DIY: Coupe window adjustment without removing door panel (as per Bentley manual)
First of all, this will be my first try of my first real DIY, so go easy on me. :) Second, the pictures are made in dark enviroment, some of them are blurry, but all of them are useful enough. Sorry for that, I had a hell of a month at work, so everything I did on my car, I had to do it in the evening or at night, under the flashlight, so...yeah... And one more thing - English is my second language, so there will be bad grammar and bad spelling, but you can correct me and I will edit my original post. ;)
Problem: two of them, actually...driver side window was loose/rattly in its up position with the door opened (no rattle if I'd lower it a bit) and I had wind noise even at 80 km/h (50 MPH). Bentley manual (secton of it about adjusting coupe windows is in the attachment) showed me that my window is not adjusted like it should be, in more than one way, as you'll see from the pictures.
I decided to adjust the pretension and make longitudinal adjustment, as those were the ones that were very off, but in the end I had to make hight adjustment, also. I planned to do it "the Bentley way", without removing door panel, which is the correct way, but in order to do that, door moulding had to be taken off. As I am genius at breaking clips and plastic parts and scratching the hell out of paint and clearcoat, this was the part of the DIY that I was scared the most. But actually, it was easy.
Longitudinal window position: Bentley says that the window should protrude towards THE FRONT outer seal lip by 1-2mm, but my was protruding towards the rear:
Pretension: Bentley says that at the fist latch "click" (catch) the window should at least touch the door seal. As you can see from the picture and judging by the shadow, it is clear that I had a big gap between window and seal with the door at "the first catch".
-Bentley askes for "BMW special tool" (yes, it is REALLY essential for this job) but I made mine for $3 :D
E7 torx socket for inverse torx bolt
13mm tube socket/wrench
3/8'' type extension
There you go: cheapest "BMW special tool" you will ever own!
I also used plastic interior removal tool set for removing door moulding, microfiber towel to wrap those tools for additional protection, T20 torx bit (only needed for hight adjustment) and optional adjustable wrench which I didn't need, because I was able to turn 13mm tube wrench with my hand - that 13mm hex was easy to rotate/adjust.
Now, on with the DIY...you have to take off door strip / moulding. It is held with 9 (?) clips and the same number of rubbery, almost condom-like small grommets that go into the door. Start from the rear of the door, and unclip the first clip with plastic tool.
Then, work your way across full width of the door, unclipping clips one by one. This picture is for reference only:
That is the way I positioned the tool, but I also wrapped it with microfiber towel, like this...
Pay special attention and hold the outside part of the moulding with the other hand at the very moment of unclipping, just not to break it. Some rubber grommets will stay inside door holes, but most of them will come out with clips.
Bentley says that if the window upper edge is 155mm from the door, that is the position where adjusting screw will be visible through adjusting holes in the door. My window edge was 167mm from the door where screws were perfectly centered into the holes, but nevermind... Both screws will be perfectly accessible at the same window position/hight.
Front hole and the inverted torx screw. Notice the circular washer (or whatever...) around the screw. This screw is only used for loosening the window so it can be longitudinally aligned.
Rear hole and the inverted torx screw. Notice the difference - here we have hex 13mm part over/around the screw. This "system" is used for adjusting pretension. Loosening the screw only loosens the glass so it can be longitudinally adjusted, same as the front screw.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: There is a lot of info about those screws and how they are reverse threaded and such.... That is not uncorrect, but I'll try to explain better... They should be accessed this way (from the outside of the door) and this way they are loosened counter-clockwise and tightened clockwise, like any other standard screw. But you are actually accessing the bottom of the screw, not the head of the screw. BMW made this screw torx shaped both at its head and at its bottom. Imagine standard screw. If you are to unscrew it from the bottom (if you can access its bottom) you will be turning it clockwise to unscrew. The opposite is with the reverse threaded screw. If you want to unscrew it from its bottom, you would be turning it counter-clockwise (lefty-loosey) to unscrew. So, bottom line: yes, it is the reverse threaded screw per se, but since you are accessing it from the bottom (also torx shaped, like the head) you are suppose to turn it like any other screw to loosen it - lefty-loosey. This is VERY important, if you overtighten it by trying to Ğlooseğ it, you can very easily break the glass. I can't explain this better. :( Again, bottom line: if you are accessing them from the outside of the door - lefty-loosey, righty-tighty.
Longidunaly adjustment: loose both (front and rear) torx screws (ONLY loosen them, half turn to one turn max is enough, no need for more). The whole point of this DIY is not to remove door panel. If you loosen it too much, it will drop into the door and then you'll have to remove door panel.
Next, you HAVE TO lift the window fully up in order to move the glass. Adjust per Bentley, check... If it's OK, lower the window and tighten the screws.
Pretension: use your "BMW special tool", put tube part over the hex shape part and torx bit over the torx screw.
Loosen torx screw (counter-clockwise) while holding tube wrench over hex part. After the torx is loose, tighten in small increments (1/8 to 1/4 turn) hex part by hand, and then without any movement/rotation of the tube wrench, tighten the torx screw. Check. Adjust again if necessary. Full "travel" of the hex part is only half turn (180°). I ended up turning it "to the max". End results: tight, not-rattly window that rests on the door seal at first catch.
Longitudinal adjustment as per Bentley.
Thing to note: I don't quite understand if it was the consequence of those adjustments or I just never noticed it, but my window was dropping too much on openning the door and was not going high enough under the "window moulding" (or whatever you call it) upon closing the door.
So I decided to make the third, hight adjustment.
It was really easy, I didn't take any pictures of it. Just take two plugs from the bottom of the door, lower the window and access two T20 torx screws. For your help, put masking (or some other) tape on the upper edge of the window at its front and rear end and draw millimeter scale on it (something similar to other BMW special tool from the attachment) just so you have an idea how much have you lowered or raised front and rear part of the window. Upon checking, parallelism was perfect along the whole edge of the window, plus it was "tucking" quite nice under the window moulding and consequently wasn't dropping as much on openning the door.
After all adjustments are made, put door moulding/strip back. Reinstalation is the reverse of the removal...(I ALWAYS wanted to say that \o/ )...but it's not. :D Remember how I said that most of rubber grommets ended up on clips. Well, I put the moulding that way back, but for some odd reason, it didn't want to be pushed all the way in, it wasn't sitting correctly. So I took if off again, removed all grommets from the clips, put grommets into the door holes first, and then put the moulding on. This way it clipped right and with a bit of measured pressing it was tight against the door, just the way it way before I took it off the first time.
There you go...I hope this will help some of my fellow coupe owners. ;)
This a great DIY! I have plans to do this in the near future as my driver's side door has never been to Bentley specs. Fine work!
A long extension and socket will fit as well, though the bottom one you will need a 1/4"
Note: When adjusting the coupe window pretensioner, the nut it is spinning inside is plastic. Do not overtighten it or you will strip it, and that's a bad day. If this happens, you either need a new window regulator, or you need to take apart the door panel, unscrew the entire adjustment mechanism, shove a 14mm hex wrench in there, pretension the window to the level you'd like, then put it all back together. That's what I had to do :(
For anyone doing this DIY that were unable to find a 13mm tube wrench. I took the interior door panel off and was able to use a 13mm wrench instead of the tube socket to adjust pretension. Little tricky to reach and het at the proper angle but worked fine was able to sit at the end of the door with one hand inside holding the wrench while turnin the e7 with a ratchet
tried adjusting my windows. driver's side won't touch the door seal at first latch no matter what i do. also has a good bit of wobble in it. do i need a new regulator or what?
Also unable to find the 13mm tube wrench. Here's what I just did:
- 13mm 3/8 drive deep 6 point hex socket (deep is the key, and it needs to be deep at the part that fits over a bolt, not just a long socket)
- 5mm 1/4 drive Sears Max Access socket
- 3" 1/4 extension
- A dual-sided ratchet that has 1/4 drive on one side and 3/8 on the other.
I tried a couple of different options first, but you need at least that length to get at the hex / torx combo (it's an inch or two inside the door panel).
Do just like with the other homemade tool, only you have to grip the 13 mm socket with your hands while turning the torx socket inside. This was not an issue for me when tightening or loosening the torx bolt (ie. the adjustment screw).
When you want to tighten the 13 mm hex head, you have to remove the torx socket and extension, and just tighten with the 13mm deep socket as normal. When done, replace the torx socket and extension, tighten the adjustment screw, and you're good to go.
I just did this, and it seems to have gotten rid of my rattle. I'll know for sure in a few days.
I'm going to start with ordering a 13mm spark plug socket (can't even find that tube wrench online), then try conditioning the door seals, to see if maybe that's part of the problem.
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