I just replaced my passenger side front window regulator in my 2000 528iA Sport (with door airbags). Picked up a new regulator on eBay for $98 and free shipping. I took a boatload of pictures and created a 21-page PDF. It's probably a little excessive to post as a message here so if you want a copy of the file just PM me with your e-mail address. The PDF is 5mb.
Download it from this link --> HERE
I always take pictures so I can check on stuff when I put it back together. Replacement turned out to be pretty easy. I took my time so I probably spent about 5 hours total.
Since regulators go bad frequently I figured someone could benefit from what I learned. My driver's side regulator is making noise so I'll be replacing that once soon as well.
PLEASE NOTE: New link to Google Docs.
Last edited by 82bmw633; 08-22-2013 at 09:03 PM.
would love the pdf
Just today, while lowering my window to pay the parking attendant, my driver's side window made crunching noises and wouldn't go back up. From the searches I just did on the forum, it seems that the window regulator is most likely the culprit. I'd love to have the PDF you've put together.
Why not share it with the group, 82bmw633?!
*ASE Master Auto Technician <> Member, BMW CCA
I could use that PDF
I have a driver side window failure. I hear the motor but minimal movement of the window.
I'm working on a sticky version for the DIY portion of this forum. I resized the pics but it's still a freakin' 5mb doc. Probably because I got something like 54 photos in it.
Originally Posted by Gatsby740il
In the meantime, you can download it from our BMW CCA Chapter website --> Buckeye Chapter
Last edited by 82bmw633; 10-29-2008 at 09:27 PM.
Please forward me a copy of your PDF for this repair.
I would greatly appreciate it.
Also would you Know of anyone in N.NJ wanting to do the replacement?
Oh my email address is email@example.com
Last edited by mitty; 12-02-2008 at 10:55 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
I would love a copy too.
I'd appreciate it if you could send me a copy too! My damn driver side window went Thanksgiving weekend!
why not just download from the website he posted?
I just changed out my front pass. side regulator this past weekend.
I havent had a chance to look at 82bmw633's photo extravaganza but ill go off at the top of my head.
Now this is instructions for the FRONT PASS SIDE WINDOW REG. and I have a 1998 540i however all year e39's should be relatively similar. This is assuming your motor is fine but your window either makes the crunching noise and goes up/down some of the time but stops intermittently and or stays/fell down and wont come back up.
1. There are 2 phillips screws, 1 near the tiny speaker/inside the vent (front part of door card) and another in the door handle covered by a tiny plastic cover. Remove both.
2. Use your hands and pull around the door card (make sure to feel around the bottom of the door card and pull BEHIND the pockets or you will un-glue the pockets from the door card and when you go to put everything back together your DC will flap freely from the pockets and everything you put in there will fall out every time you open/shut your door.
3. After all the plastic rivet things have bee separated from frame (all should still be on DC but some will break and/or be stuck to door frame. It would be a good idea to stop by an auto store or if you go to the dealer pick some extra ones up as they are only 45cents a piece and if you are impatient like me you will break a few trying to pry them free)
4. When pulling the DC from the door, make sure to feather the door handle (handle plus black plastic surround) through the card so it is still attached to the cable and gently rock the DC back and forth to break the hold from the top portion and the DC will come loose.
5. They will be a few wires attached to the DC, one of them being the lower light (dont forget to unhook that). Now if you are anything like me and have crap for a memory get a camera and take a picture of all the connections so you know what plugs go where (however it is self explanatory as there are only about 6-7 plugs total and they are mostly different sizes and go in its specific outlet).
6. After you have disconnected the speaker wires, airbag, etc. break out your tools and start removing all the things that will stop you from removing the black protective cover. This means, remove the speaker attached to that funky plastic thing (2 bolts?), remove the airbag (3 bolts), remove the little black box above the main speaker plug (2 bolts), and last remove the unit underneath it with the other speaker (3 more bolts?)
7. You should be able to pull the protective weather guard and now you see the window/frame/regulator.
8. I should have told you to first disconnect the battery but I like suprises and like getting electrocuted and knowing that the airbag could pop off in my face while im in front of it. Anyway, if you are smart and disconnected the battery, its time to reconnect it. Why? You need to remove the window from the regulator and you cannot get to the 2 supports holding the window to the frame if the window is all the way up. It either needs to be all the way down or in the middle of the frame. (you could do this beforehand as well) I forget what kind of bolt it is, might be a torx 25 or something like that.
9. Now that you have the window removed (yes it will take a bit of prying in between the rubber and glass it has been its homefor the past few years) its time to remove the window regulator from the frame. There should be a total of 7 bolts you have to remove. 3 on the top you can access through those holes (star shaped but you can use a regular socket if you shove tape in it ) 2 on the bottom in the center of the pulleys and 2 in the middle near the motor holding the beefy frame of the regulator to the frame via a rectangle plate. Remove all these, save all the bolts and the plate and pull the regulator out. It should be easy as it is just the frame and pulleys attached by cables...a.k.a. it all bends so yank it out you cant hurt it, its already broken.
10. Inspect the unit. If you had the problem where your window made the crunching noise and got stuck, its because one of your pulleys took a dump and either started to break apart, it it fully broke apart and is lying in pieces on the bottom of your door. The crunching noise was the cable grinding on the center press fitted bolt that used to hold your pulley.
If your window fell down and stayed down thats because you kept on using your window even with this problem and you frayed the cable to its end and it snapped and the window fell!!
11. I assume you already ordered the frame so now all you have to do is swap the motor over (4-5 bolts), reverse the process of removing the regulator and test to see that the window goes up and down freely before you put all the other stuff back on.
This is important....
A. Does the part you ordered look different from your stock one? Thats cause your part is old and sucks and they outsourced there aftermarket pieces out and the cheapest bidder made a replacement. As long as you know that it is indeed the correct unit/side it should work. Mine looked totally different. The tracks were all reversed (cables facing opposite sides) the bracket that held the center portion together (step 9) was held on by one plate and bolt and the plates holding the motor to the reg was different as well. All you need to check is to make sure the curvature of the regulator is the same as the stock one and that the 5 main bolts/holes line up.
B. When you go to test the window regulator make sure you put the window in first. The 2 brackets that the window sits in will be twisted awkwardly and will hit and fray the cables if you test it without the window thus destroying your new unit. When the window is seated in the bracket it should straighten the whole thing out.
C. Just before you put the door card back on and pull the handle/surround through the hole MAKE SURE the cable is attached fully or you will have to pull all the clip off again breaking more of them. Look at the handle...is the circle loop attached to the back? Good. Now is the cable attached to the plastic shroud? Make sure that is on....the cable (exposed) goes before slot and the plastic part goes after the slot. When you see it you will understand.
Im tired, just got off work and remembered this from the weekend so if im forgetting something please add in. If I mispelled crap so what. If someone wants to save pictures and paste them to each step and make this a DIY feel free.
Last edited by lennardlector; 12-03-2008 at 12:14 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
does anyone have this PDF?
my driver's side window just ate crap this morning while getting some coffee at the Golden Arches gourmet cafe'
I'd be glad to host it on my website for everyone to use at will.
e39 window repair
can you send me these instructions for driver's side front window.
sorry, and that's to:
Last edited by morrison13; 01-06-2009 at 10:37 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
I think I've replied to everyone from the month of December. I wasn't regularly checking this thread and I just found out the link from the BMW CCA chapter web site was removed during a web site overhaul.
Passengers side 528 window regulator
Please send this pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org. I could not find it on the Buckeye site and my door is completely apart even as I write this.
BMW Window Regulator
Please send me the pdf for regulator replacement.
would love the pdf, I lost my passanger side 2 months ago, thanks
I had to replace mine three months ago (drivers side) and I searched high and low for a write up to no avail. I took everything out of the door and was going crazy. I ordered both the regulator AND the motor and found it was only the cables on the regulator that were freyed.
BTW-If you have big hands and big forearms you are in for a world of HELL. I drove around for two weeks with my window down, thankfully I live in AZ.
**I do have a driver side window motor for a 2003 525i that works perfect if anyone might need it. It was rebuilt and I have the box still for it**
I would LOVE the write up for this DIY to prevent more headaches, bloddy knuckles and tools flying around my garage, not to mention my book shelf fell on the front of my r/quarter panel to the tune of $450 in repair!!!! Thanks!!!
Last edited by Oif2vet; 01-28-2009 at 02:46 PM.
Reason: Forgot email address
On its way...
Originally Posted by Oif2vet
hi can i get the pdf too?
I'll take a PDF as well! Thanks..
Please send to:
Please send to: