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Old 08-13-2019, 08:12 PM   #1
WilloCO
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Window regs and why they die

So I replaced my second window regulator today. The last one was a uro parts (by accident) that died after 1 year of light use.

Now, in the meantime (but not before the last one died) I had some window tint start coming off on the bottom of my window.

After installing my new one I ran the window up and down happily but found it sticking a bit. After looking more I started removing the now slightly peeling - I mean 1/2 inch across 10 inches of the bottom of the window.

After some removal surgery - I need to get a new razor scraper and clean it all up - I noted that the window is sticking horribly to the inner seal when it goes down and the leftover tint adhesive hits the seal. So, I have a theory. Overenthusiastic adhesive from the factory (I think) resulted in sticking windows later on, resulting in failed regulators. Even with non-peeling tint, I think the very bottom of the window has been sticking enough to stress out the regs.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:55 PM   #2
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Key word is Uro brand. There stuff is absolute crap. I'd rather put a used genuine part on then a new Uro part.

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Old 08-13-2019, 10:29 PM   #3
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I have to say that I do not buy Uro stuff after I bought one of their pulleys. To give them credit, they did contact me when I complained about it, however... The pully I purchased had terrible casting marks and no QA engineer should have EVER needed to contact a customer for feedback on it.

The regulator wasn't labelled as a uro part, I didn't know until I looked up the part number that bimmerworld shipped me. I suppose I should voice my displeasure for the lack of labeling with bimmerword. Looking today, it's no longer listed so perhaps they figured it out at this point.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 PM   #4
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There's a whole thread about regulators that discussed the affects of tint, mainly at the top of the windows, the use of dry lubes in the seals and how the Uro Premium regulators are actually pretty good. I have two of them in my sedan and they are working flawlessly. https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showth...371&highlight=
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:53 PM   #5
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Have you done an autopsy on the failed regulator? In other words, what's failing? The motor? The plastic carriages that hold the cables in the tracks? If the latter, you can reinforce them with a zip tie. It's a poor design but, in my experience, somewhat redeemable.

I don't think the tint situation is helping. Any kind of restriction, whether in the tracks or elsewhere, is going to gum up the works.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:13 PM   #6
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All of the window regulators in my E46 are generics, bought on EBay. The two front ones have been in there almost 10 years, I think I paid about $50 for them. The rears were repaired a few years later, using replacement plastic part kits, also bought on EBay for under $10 each. I've had an EBay regulator in the right front window of my 335i, paid under $30, for about 3 years. All work perfectly.

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Old 08-14-2019, 12:04 AM   #7
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
So I replaced my second window regulator today. The last one was a uro parts (by accident) that died after 1 year of light use.

Now, in the meantime (but not before the last one died) I had some window tint start coming off on the bottom of my window.

After installing my new one I ran the window up and down happily but found it sticking a bit. After looking more I started removing the now slightly peeling - I mean 1/2 inch across 10 inches of the bottom of the window.

After some removal surgery - I need to get a new razor scraper and clean it all up - I noted that the window is sticking horribly to the inner seal when it goes down and the leftover tint adhesive hits the seal. So, I have a theory. Overenthusiastic adhesive from the factory (I think) resulted in sticking windows later on, resulting in failed regulators. Even with non-peeling tint, I think the very bottom of the window has been sticking enough to stress out the regs.
I think the sluggish response from a newly fitted regulator is down to the fitting rather than the regulator. When you get to the point where the regulator is installed and the four nuts are in place you should only nip the nuts up just enough to stop them slipping but loose enough to allow them to slip and shift when you test the window travel up and down motion throughout the full range of travel. There is enough room between the studs on teh regulator and the holes in the door to allow the runners to be installed non parrallel. This can cause excessive stresses on the glass, the cable and the motor during use resulting in shortened life time. When you are happy that the window is moving freely only then should you fully tighten the nuts.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:08 AM   #9
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Window regs and why they die

The engineer who designed the window regulators is the same engineer who designed the CCV system. He’s been fired by Audi before coming to BMW. He works for URO now. /s

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Old 08-14-2019, 10:36 AM   #10
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Back when e46s were new I was a dealer tech. Window regulator failures and replacement were very common even when the cars were new and still under warranty. The problem was not just e46 cars, many other models of the era had similar failures. E46 failures were the most common but they were the highest volume (sales) so there are more of them than the others so maybe the failure rate is similar? Either way, the design is weak and that is the only explanation. Many vehicles, even those costing a fraction of the price, manage to make it to the scrap yard with all of the original window regulators still working. 4 door e46 models (sedan and touring) have the most problems. Coupe/vert 2 door models have a somewhat better design but are more difficult to replace due to the frameless window and the extra adjustments to make it close and seal properly. Cheap knockoff parts from China and Taiwan are lower quality copies of the originals, which were weak to begin with. Not a recepie for success. The cheap ones I tried lasted months. Oe bmw parts last years. Worth the extra money especially for the driver window.

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