04-07-2005, 12:39 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Metuchen, NJ
My Ride: 2004 325cic 2011 X5
I've spend WAYYYY too much time analyzing what actually "broke" on my regulator..and provide the following dissertation for your reading and kind consideration..Here's my analysis..I welcome feedback, critiques and/or insights from anyone who tries my suggestion...
THE BAD NEWS
Note: My suggestion will require you to do the disassembly/assembly TWICE if your gear is broken or my suggestion doesn't work for you..BUT, think of it as PRACTICE for when the part you end up needing arrives...
First, I shall assume you've gotten or can get to the point in Tommie's DIY where you have removed the door panel, the vapor barrier (what a be-yatch!), the airbag assm (3 screws) if front window(s), and the window motor (3 screws). When you remove the motor, you see the gear that meshes with the motor..which drives the cable that of course raises and lowers the window...
After I replaced the window regulator, I began the inspection of the old one I removed, to try to discover what was wrong with it (and so many others). In MY case, NONE of the gear's teeth were broken BUT it was HEAVILY clogged with what can only be described as gunky, dried up BROWN grease (or whatever lubricant the factory put in there),.. With the grease dried up, it prevented a smooth range of motion of the glass driven by the cable via the gear...
BEFORE you buy the window reg part (reminder, mine was a FRONT regulator which MIGHT be different from the rear), go thru the same steps of taking off the door panel, the vapor barrier and the motor.. Now, LOOK CLOSELY at the white gear from where you just removed the window motor.. IF there are no broken teeth in the gear, CAREFULLY spray the area with brake cleaner or your personal choice of solvent (PLEASE, NOTHING TOO STRONG or it'll melt the plastic gear part)..get a box of q-tips and begin removing any/all traces of the old brown grease..work hard to get as much of the old grease removed as possible..Manually push the glass down to see if any old grease OOZES out from the sides..
NOW, get some white lithium grease and carefully spray it into the area where the gear spins inside it's holder..Again, manually pulling the window up and down between sprays will help insure that you've gotten the GOOD grease inside..
Reinstall the window motor...reconnect the neg side of the battery (if you didn't disconnect it from the beginning, give your forehead a smack and say "DOH!" really loud), and before putting back the vapor barrier and the door panel back on, TRY the window (ie, see if it goes up and down without making cracking sounds or any other stalls along the way...)
BE VERY CAREFUL !! THE AIR BAG IS LIVE ONCE THE BATTERY IS RECONNECTED AND DOESN'T LIKE TO BE JOSTLED, BOUNCED, SHAKEN OR DROPPED !! IT IS YOUR CHOICE/RESPONSIBILITY TO USE THIS APPROACH. MY SUGGESTIONS ARE MERELY THAT - SUGGESTIONS !! AIR BAGS ARE RISKY, AND IT'S YOUR CHOICE TO TRY THIS APPROACH. BE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT THIS PROCEDURE.
THE GOOD NEWS!
If it works, you not only saved the $200 labor, but the $75 for the parts !!
I have no idea if this is a permanent fix, but I have checked all the other gears on my sedan..they looked exactly like the one I replaced, so I perfomed the service I just described..I will tell you that they definitely move much SMOOTHER than before, and "seem" to seal better than before..
Hope this helps someone...and if your experience differs from my own, please write and let us know..
Ed in NJ