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  #1  
Old 10-23-2017, 07:06 PM
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window regulator repair

Hello,

my driver side window is stuck down. Pushing the switch will move it up or down 1/4". My question is that the window needs to be up 5 1/2" for you to access the 8mm bolts that holds the glass to the assembly. Any suggestions on getting the window up? Anyone who has done this job would appreciate any hints.

Best, Ben

2015 640i
2003 X5 4.4i
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2017, 07:27 PM
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If your positive your regulator is bad you can cut the cables & then you can move the window glass anywhere you want.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2017, 12:35 AM
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Hi kmm111,

I do have cutters. Can you access and cut the cable with the window all the way down?

Best, Ben
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2017, 05:03 AM
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I can’t say I remember the job well enough to answer your question honestly. I have replaced hundreds of window regulators, in many different cars & I’ve never had one I couldn’t get out one way or another. If you haven’t purchased them already, be sure to get 2 new window to regulator clips
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2017, 03:36 PM
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Hi kmm111,

Thanks for the reply. I have seen youtube videos where people use needle nose plyers and try to raise the windows a little with the assistance of the motor. I thought about loosening the regulators and hope the old regulator can lift it 5 1/2 inches with assistance. Just want to go through all the oh-sh*ts before I start.

I haven't done one on BMW. I did one on a Mercedes E320. Still have the rivet gun in my garage. Used it only for that repair.

Best, Ben
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2017, 03:54 PM
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I just did both front regulators in my X5. It kinda sucked because both were stuck in the down position. Open up the door panel, get some hefty wire cutters, and snip all the cables. That should free up the glass enough to move it around and then you can remove everything properly.

Thankfully you don't need any rivets for the X5 regulator job, it's just 10mm bolts holding the regulator on. You'll want to replace the window clips along with the regulator, as they're prone to breaking. They're pretty inexpensive so it's worth replacing them.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2017, 06:43 PM
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Hi dannyzabolotny,

Thanks for the feedback. I now have two votes on cutting the wires. As you did it recently, were the wires easy to access with the windows all the way down? Did you have to remove the speaker to access the wire?

Also, did you disconnect the negative on your battery before you removed the side air bag modules? Everyplace I read, it says to do such. I saw a video where a master BMW mechanic removed the side airbag just without the key in the ignition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA_xpjGpyFc

Always interesting....

Best, Ben
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2017, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhuang1103 View Post
... did you disconnect the negative on your battery before you removed the side air bag modules? Everyplace I read, it says to do such. I saw a video where a master BMW mechanic removed the side airbag just without the key in the ignition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA_xpjGpyFc...
I usually (yes, sadly, opening up the doors on the x5 is a fairly regular thing for me, even though everything I fix stays fixed and I do what I can to fix things before they break) disconnect the battery first to reduce the chances of the airbag going off when I remove it. But then I usually find it convenient to restore power so I can adjust the window during the rest of the repair.

Re-connecting the battery with the airbag module removed will set the airbag light on your instrument panel.

But since I had that light on when I bought the car, one of my first purchases was a reset tool. If you don't have such a tool, you would probably want to avoid having the airbag module removed when the battery is connected.

Regarding cutting cables, no I would not do that. I also would not take it to the fire dept so they can practice with the jaws of life. But that's just me. I usually prefer to fix things with minimal destruction.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2017, 08:00 PM
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Yeah, disconnect the battery and wait 15-20 minutes before disconnecting the side airbag. Make sure to not reconnect the battery until the airbag is reinstalled, especially if you don't have a way to clear airbag errors.

You do need to remove the speaker to access some of the cables, but the speaker is just one cable and 3 screws to remove, so it hardly adds any time to the job.

I've tried several methods to get the glass to go up when the window regulator fails in the down position, but cutting the cables seems to be the most straightforward. Obviously it's destructive, but it's not like you can reliably fix a broken window regulator anyways, so chances are that you'll be replacing the whole regulator assembly regardless. The motor is usually fine, and you can transfer it over to the new regulator assembly with ease.

I highly recommend have somebody help you with this job, as you'll need a way of supporting the glass in the correct position for removing the glass and reinstalling the glass.
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1995 750il | 2003 Mercedes S500 | 2003 540i/6
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:46 PM
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First I want to thank everyone who responded to this thread. I finished the regulator repair, and I want to share what I found.

1. It turned out the insert molded plastic on one of the two window support failed. When I remove the door trims to keep the window on track (in order to lift out the glass), I was able to get the glass to the 5.5" position by lifting and powering the motor. I didn't need to cut the cables. Now I have a regulator with one bad window support that someone can have.

2. I didn't need to remove the airbag. I just used a wire and hung it on the door off to the side.

3. Definitely needed the window clips. Thanks for the heads up.

Hope this helps other members.

Best, Ben
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