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Old 09-12-2016, 09:59 AM
Ricky Bobby's Avatar
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Originally Posted by motordavid View Post
Our doors have been 'slammed' only a few times, in 15 years of this X, and not by 'us'...

I like my driver window down or cracked, if it is nice out vs A/C.
Just odd, or maybe it was 'just time' for 3 of the 4 of them to go kaboom in past year.

I am getting my local Waynesville Indie to do the R&R tomorrow, as he is quick, skilled and doesn't charge too much. All I have is 'some time' left, and I won't spend it on a window job. Almost wish I had him order the pass side reg and do them both, as I know that last of four regs is gonna go in the next 20 mins or 20 days/weeks.

I still don't get why these are so susceptible vs all the cars I have had over the decades.
GL, mD

mD - sorry to hear the window reg worries, glad you got an indy that would take care of it for you at a reasonable cost, its not a terribly hard job, but just tedious.

IMO, there are 2 failure points on the regulators, yes the pulleys can fail and cables can stretch etc, but these are more rare.

Its the black plastic window clips which we always discuss for $2 apiece, these 2 pieces of plastic take a lot of abuse from age, heat cycles, etc - but in addition, its really the plastic/pot metal "slider clips" that the cable clips into that wear to the point of failure -

If both these pieces aren't replaced preventatively or before total failure, you most likely will not need to replace your regulator - I have done both front windows with a pair of "slider clips" available from RegulatorFix.com and a pair of black "window clips" from BMW, and my regulators are still going strong up front, next year I will do the rear regulators preventatively, but they never even get rolled down to be honest, maybe once in 5 years.

Yes its a dumb design that BMW didn't update for the heavier windows from the E39, but once you see how much heavier duty the "slider clips" are from the aftermarket, you will feel better - the OE clips on the regulator are pretty flimsy.

Obviously best practice is to not shut the extremely heavy doors with the windows rolled down and unsupported in the window frame, which I have been diligent about since I've taken ownership - If I want to crack the window when parked I make sure I shut the door very gently when getting out, or just crack the moon roof instead -

My recommendation is since the door carriers tend to be a common failure point, that when you go in the door to do your window regulators preventatively (or vice versa if repairing a door handle carrier) - make sure to do the door carrier. This way you get 3 parts prone to failure fixed and hopefully don't have to pop the door panel off again any time soon.

Time will tell, but so far, so good, since my door carrier failed this year and I replaced with an aftermarket that sticks on my passenger side a couple years back, I decided 2 OE door handle carriers and to do both sets of window regulator clips while it was open. Not a fun job in the least, but not bad at all.
2003 X5 3.0i 5-Speed - Born on 9/18/2003
105k miles -Topaz Blue/Schwarz/Titan Int. Trim/EHCII/Sport
Proud 3-Pedal owner, UUC SS/AFE/4.8iS Exhaust/Sharked
2013 X5 35D (CEO's) - Born on 5/17/2013 -
68k miles - Alpine White/Cinnamon Brown/Premium Pkg, Sport Activity/Premium Pkg and Sound/20" Style 214/Running Boards

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Old 09-12-2016, 11:32 AM
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When you compare the regulators from yesteryear to those of today the most obvious thing is how light the modern regulators are to help meet government fuel economy standards. Every last bit of weight is shaved off and you are left with the junk we now use.
I was surprised to find that even Toyota has switched to these lightweight units and they have the same problems. I just wish some retro-engineering company would design an old fashioned replacement that would last forever and who cares about the weight.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:32 PM
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For these era of BMWs, they all suffer from broken window regulators. e46, e39, e53 all of them. Major design flaws from factory.

Great choice with getting the one with lifetime warranty
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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? Brand Name

- My 2006 X5 128K miles, Both FRONT windows have new clips (attached to glass) and sliding clips (attached to cable system) done in 2017. Things are working fine, but for LF regulator, once in a while when I lower/raise glass I hear a faint noise, probably pulleys are getting tired.

- So soon or later, I may need a new regulator, it is down to brand name:

1. Dorman as in this thread. As the O.P. said he usually avoids Dorman and I am the same, I usually avoid Dorman, unless someone tells me Dorman lasts more than > 5y.

Budget is not an issue, what I don't want to get into is:
a. Redo the job in 2-3y.
b. Park the car at airport, then while I am out of town, the glass goes down on its own = not fun!

2. BMW: $177, which should last some > 10y/100K.

3. VDO is made is Taiwan, about $90. VDO (and Siemens) has good name.
Does anyone have any experience with VDO?

4. Any other brand?
1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:40 PM
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I just ordered A/C Delco Pro. Their serpentine drive tensioner looks like an improvement over the original, hopefully window reg might be too!
1988 325is (purchased new)
2004 X5 3.0 (new to me) 2005 X3 2.5 (new to wife)
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:33 PM
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I think a lot of regulator breakage can be avoided with some powdered lube on the window edges. My driver's window goes up 60% faster And that obviously puts tremendously less stress on the window hardware. Preventive maintenance avoid breaking in the first place.

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Old 04-15-2018, 09:54 PM
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Thanks for the lubing info, it makes sense. The problem is the tight fit of the rubber molding in most cars (for water tightness and to reduce wind noise) creates friction when the glass is going upward.

Anyway, I just came across a listing on ebay for the rebuild kit, which includes everything necessary:
1- Sliders x2
2- Cables
3- Pulley x1 (why 1 pulley when 4 are needed?)

Anyone has used this kit and can comment (I see a lot sold on ebay)?

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1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:38 PM
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It looks to me like that one pulley is the one directly driven by the motor. None of the idler pulleys are included.

I bought a China brand regulator that lasted 2-3 years and then had one of those green things in the photo break. Inspecting, it looked like the plastic parts were all substandard. I ended up transplanting the regulator clips from that China brand one to my original BMW one (that I had saved, and was in pretty good shape except for the failed regulator clips), reinforcing them with JBWeld, new window clips, a few more door panel clips, and it is running great.

I would guess based on price and origin that the quality of those plastic parts in the eBay kit will be comparable to the stuff in my full Chinese regulator that failed.

So I would not do it. Not worth the effort to use your skills on second-rate materials.
2001 X5 3.0i, 190k miles, AT, owned since 2014
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Old 05-20-2020, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Omaha, NE
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cn90 is on a distinguished road
Six (6) months report on VDO win regulator.
Installed in Nov. 2019.

It is made in Taiwan, about $90-$100 online.
The build quality is very good.
Nice and quiet operation.

I avoid using it as much as I can lol.
When coming to work, I open my driver door
(to avoid using the win reg) to swipe my
Electronic card to open the garage door at work.

Anyway, VDO win reg is so far so good...
1998 E39 528i 5sp MT
2006 E53 X5 3.0 6sp MT
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