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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-09-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
VegasChick
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Window Regulator or Clips Replacement?

Hi, so the driver's side window of my 328 keeps making a clicking noise as I roll my window up/down. It sounds like something is hitting the glass and now my window is off balance, making a tiny gap in the top left corner.
When I close my door it sounds like there's a piece that broke off & is in the door. I know in most cases, it just needs a new regulator, but the window still goes up & down fine, just makes the noise from the inside.
When I did the passenger's side regulator last summer, my window would at least get stuck & then would constantly slide down.
So someone told me that my driver's side might just need the regulator clips and not a whole new regulator.
Any opinions so I know if I need to spend about $30 or $130? LOL.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Regulators at bmaparts.com are pretty cheap. $55 a side for sedans. not sure about coupes. You might be able to get by and replace the clips but honestly you don't know what lies behind that door panel. just save yourself some time and buy a new regulator.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Regulators at bmaparts.com are pretty cheap. $55 a side for sedans. not sure about coupes. You might be able to get by and replace the clips but honestly you don't know what lies behind that door panel. just save yourself some time and buy a new regulator.
^^^
This.

I just did mine. Easy install and now they go up and down no problem. My driver side made a clicking sound for about two weeks. Then it died.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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Yea, I always dread that noise. My passenger side is doing that as we speak. I've learned to just replace it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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If the regulator is not shot you can fix it with a tie-wrap. Some good DIY's on this site.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #6
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Fixing your regulator with a tie wrap is sort of like going to a car crusher and saying "Hi please crush my car"
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Old 07-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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Yea, mine's been making that sound for about a month now. Just haven't gotten around to fixing it since it's still working lol.
Just ordered the new regulator this morning so just gonna get it done this weekend.
Thanks for the opinions!
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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Post pictures please of the coupe regulator install. I've never seen this done on a coupe.

Opinions. E46Fanatics offers plenty of them.
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Old 07-11-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Post pictures please of the coupe regulator install. I've never seen this done on a coupe.

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Can you also supply the DIY site for regulator replacement? Thanks.

Edit: Never mind. Found it at DIY pg 7.
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Last edited by das boots; 07-11-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:43 AM   #10
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Need to replace rear window regulators.is it fairly easy DIY? Since there are no air bags to disconnect? I really want to do it myself but afraid I might mess up...
I'm pretty good at putting furniture and electronics together

Last edited by E46kitten; 07-17-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:16 AM   #11
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Need to replace rear window regulators.is it fairly easy DIY? Since there are no air bags to disconnect? I really want to do it myself but afraid I might mess up...
I'm pretty good at putting furniture and electronics together
I did my rear passenger side about two years ago... I found it rather easy. The one thing I do remember is it being somewhat tedious to get the door panel off and on but by no means difficult.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:03 AM   #12
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Yes. Fairly easy. No airbags, no need to disconnect battery etc. You'll find instructions on the site.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:43 AM   #13
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In my opinion, trying to fix a broken regulator with a zip-tie is a temporary bandaid that may or may not hold up. Your window regulator is going to fail sooner or later. If you are going to spend the time to take the door apart, do yourself a favor and replace the following parts:

window regulator - duh
vapor barrier sealant. Dealer sold me a 15-foot roll of 3M Window Weld and it works great. 1 roll was enough for both front doors on my sedan. Coupe doors are larger and may require more.
plastic window clip. 2 required for each front window, 1 required for each rear window - 51338218383
bolt for window clip. 1 required PER CLIP - 07147154229
"bushing"/captive nut for window clip. 1 required PER CLIP - 51338242760
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:12 AM   #14
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In my opinion, trying to fix a broken regulator with a zip-tie is a temporary bandaid that may or may not hold up. Your window regulator is going to fail sooner or later. If you are going to spend the time to take the door apart, do yourself a favor and replace the following parts:

window regulator - duh
vapor barrier sealant. Dealer sold me a 15-foot roll of 3M Window Weld and it works great. 1 roll was enough for both front doors on my sedan. Coupe doors are larger and may require more.
plastic window clip. 2 required for each front window, 1 required for each rear window - 51338218383
bolt for window clip. 1 required PER CLIP - 07147154229
"bushing"/captive nut for window clip. 1 required PER CLIP - 51338242760
Steve...all of the P/Ns you provided are included in RealOEM under the window regulators? Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:52 AM   #15
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Steve...all of the P/Ns you provided are included in RealOEM under the window regulators? Thanks.
Yes, I got the part numbers from RealOEM.
vehicle trim -> front door -> door window lifting mechanism front

It looks like BMW also offers a "Value Line" kit that includes the regulator and all the required hardware.

Set, mounted parts, power window, front VALUE LINE 2 51102311935
Set, mounted parts, power window, rear VALUE LINE 2 51102311936
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #16
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Thanks.....will need this info. And come in handy when the time comes. And all regs will soon fail one way or the other.
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:42 AM   #17
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And all regs will soon fail one way or the other.
Within a week of my front driver's side regulator going out, the passenger's side regulator started to make noise. Within a month of replacing both fronts, I started to hear noise from the rear window regulators...
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:38 AM   #18
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When it rains...it pours. However, you could in all probability do all regulators blindfolded....and all tricks and techniques to boot to make the replacement easier and faster.
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:55 AM   #19
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If your door panels say SRS on it, then YES, you DO need to remove the airbag after disconnecting the battery terminal.

You just unbolt it and hang it out of the way (try not to unplug it)

Don't all E46s have side airbags? certainly an 03 325
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:38 AM   #20
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If your door panels say SRS on it, then YES, you DO need to remove the airbag after disconnecting the battery terminal.

You just unbolt it and hang it out of the way (try not to unplug it)

Don't all E46s have side airbags? certainly an 03 325
I think rear airbags were optional.
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