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Thread: 1998 528I REAR Window Regulator Repair

  1. #1
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    1998 528I REAR Window Regulator Repair

    DIY: 1998 528I REAR Window Regulator Repair

    My REAR Regulator went out, as it turned out, I did NOT have the classic crack at the "Cable Metal Bracket", somehow the cables jumped the track. Maybe my kids slammed the door too hard!

    Anyway, it was a FREE Fix. I saved $250! Here is the DIY.


    Good Links:

    http://www.bimmernut.com/forum/body-...l-removal.html


    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrL6rlYl504[/ame]



    NOTE:
    - Get a box with different compartments to store nuts and bolts, it is very easy to lose them!
    - Later models (? 1999 –2003) have airbag in Rear door, so disconnect battery before removing airbag!
    - The Bentley Video above is a Must-watch video!

    TOOLS:
    - Screw drivers
    - Torx Set (T20 and T30)
    - Reverse Torx E Sockets (E12)
    - 10-mm wrench
    - Butyl Rope to re-seal the Vapor Barrier; $1/ft at local Auto glass repair shop. Butyl Rope is used in older Ford/Chevy models. Sold in 15-ft roll. Ask for the "pencil size" butyl rope.
    - Loctite (not shown)





    PROCEDURE:


    1. Open Rear Door. In my case the battery is still connected, so hit the Dome Switch to turn Interior Lights off (so you don't drain the battery).


    2. To remove Door Panel:
    - Gently pry Round Cover off (small screw driver)
    - Remove Phillips Screws
    - Lift Window Switch upward (flat screw driver)
    - Using a Flat Screw Driver wrapped in cloth, pry the bottom of the Door Panel: 9 clips total.
    - Lift the Door Panel upward to remove it; but disconnect all 3 electrical connectors first.
    - Set the door panel in a safe place! I set it on the other side of rear seat.









    3. To remove Vapor Barrier: I used an old hotel plastic card to separate the Butyl Rope.
    (During re-install, use new Butyl Rope).
    Using a Flat Screw Driver wrapped in cloth, gently pry the "Horizontal Trim" Upward. Note the Trim's "Flat Tabs" go in the door frame's "Flat Slits". See Picture later.





    4. Now remove vertical trim to expose 3 screws holding "Outer Trim". Remove "Outer Trim" by lifting Upward! Slide the Rubber Seal sideway to prepare for the Widow Glass to come out.






    5. Now with window glass lowered (if stuck them manually lower the window glass). Remove T30 bolt.
    Now lift glass up and remove it from outside (See Bentley video) and set it in a safe place (I set it on the other rear side). The Window Regulator is held by:
    - E12 bolt above
    - 10-mm bolt at bottom
    - The electric motor itself: four (4) T20 screws





    6. Remove Window Regulator from car for inspection. I was lucky because the cables simply jumped off tracks! Place them back into proper grooves as shown. There are 2 grooves (2 separate pulleys sandwiched together but spinning freely from each other). Note also the cable sheathing needs to be in proper places.
    I lubed all pulleys with some grease.





    7. You can see that my "Cable Metal Bracket" is still OK. If yours is cracked, then search forum for "Repair Kit" (sold on ebay/online for $25 by "Lance").






    RE-INSTALLATION NOTE:

    - When re-installing "outer trim", make sure the window glass fits INSIDE this trim properly! Also make sure the Rubber Seals sits properly with the glass.
    - Remove old Butyl Rope and apply new Butyl Rope. Once the Door Panel is install, press with thumb to ensure a tight seal (where the Butyl Rope is).
    - The Window Switch as an UP and DOWN side, make sure you install properly (look at other window switches for clues).
    - The "Horizontal Trim": Note the Trim's "Flat Tabs" go in the door frame's "Flat Slits". Work from Front side toward the Rear corner. Total = seven (7) clips.
    - I use a small dab of Loctite on the bolts and screws to prevent them from working loose.


    That is all folks, don't forget to clean your glass with Windex and have a cold beer later!


    Last edited by cnn; 07-24-2011 at 01:59 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very nice, Cam.
    I wasn't aware Bentley Publishing had any DIY vids on Youtube. I did a search and there are a couple of other vids from them on E39 procedures as well.
    I'm going to try to incorporate them into the existing DIYs archived here on BF.c.

  3. #3
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    For those who have cracked "Metal Clip", instead of doing the repair kit, I just saw this on ebay for $13 + $7 shipping = $20!

    The seller (ebay "yourwindowregulator") is from Turkey, and the part appears genuine. I cannot believe that one can find this part. Usually one has to buy a new Window Regulator and not individual parts of the WR.


    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Bmw-E...#ht_1607wt_918



  4. #4
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    cnn,

    That is an excellent repair article that was put together...

  5. #5
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    Just did my left rear regulator and found the slider had distorted to the point where the lead piece on the cable popped out.

    I bought the entire regulator and could have gotten away with a $20 piece...

    Had to install the new regulator due to pending rain, but I sure won't make that mistake again. $125 vs $20. sigh...
    Last edited by gnilson; 10-02-2011 at 06:17 PM.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
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    BMWCCA member #110881

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  6. #6
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    If you have to replace the regulator, this info might be of use.
    After replacing your window regulators, your Auto Lowering/Raising functions for your window might not work.

    Here is the reprogramming procedures.

    Activating Automatic Lowering Function:
    1. Turn Key to 1
    2. Lower your window fully (manually)
    3. Hold on to it for 30 seconds.
    4. Done

    Activating Automatic Raising Functions:
    1. Turn Key to 1
    2. Raise your window fully (manually)
    3. Hold on to it for 30 seconds.
    4. Done

    Hope this helps~

    Jae Lee

  7. #7
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    This thread is also interesting & relevant to those that need to perform the rear vapor barrier fix...

  8. #8
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    I did this a long time ago, but my gear is so badly worn that it just slipped right back off. A few months ago I rolled my windows up with my key and the windows that was broken actually started to roll down halfway before I heard snap. The cable snapped in half. I drilled a whole in the regulator and put a bolt through it to stop the windows from rolling down.

    Good tutorial though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Da Clean1 View Post
    This thread is also interesting & relevant to those that need to perform the rear vapor barrier fix...
    OMG, did you use the search button for relevant subjects!

    The hell's wrong with you.
    Last edited by Xeniczone; 10-07-2011 at 02:35 AM.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xeniczone View Post
    OMG, did you use the search button for relevant subjects!

    The hell's wrong with you.
    It's hard to tell the tone of voice others are using when they type messages to people they don't know over the internet on car forums. But, I think & surely hope you are joking & being sarcastic. I have searched & I know where & how to find a plethora of info on this subject. I just said what I did because you can never have too many pictures or different articles on a subject. Sorry if you though otherwise bud...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Da Clean1 View Post
    It's hard to tell the tone of voice others are using when they type messages to people they don't know over the internet on car forums. But, I think & surely hope you are joking & being sarcastic. I have searched & I know where & how to find a plethora of info on this subject. I just said what I did because you can never have too many pictures or different articles on a subject. Sorry if you though otherwise bud...
    Yeah the tone of voice was lost. I was making a joke about how you actually know how to search and find stuff about related topics. Removing the vapor barrier, search for something that you need to remove to vapor barrier to get to. Need to remove the center console. Research stuff about replacing the carpet or fixing the rear air duct.

    Basically I was calling you smart in a indirect way.



  11. #11
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    UPDATE: My repair fails again. Cable probably jumped off track. I will need to fix this soon.
    For now, I use bluebee trick: Push the glass all the way up and tape it with Scotch Tape.

    BMW lists this PN 51358159835 (LEFT REAR Regulator + Motor) for $280!
    Ebay has a whole bunch of sellers selling aftermarket LEFT REAR Regulator without Motor for $40-$100.

    If you look at this listing of this particular aftermarket regulator ($32 +shipping), there were 112 sold!!!

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/97-98-99-BMW...-/180757972911

    Has anyone used this aftermarket regulator and can give me long-term feedback?

    My further research on ebay shows me that lots of LEFT REAR Regulators were sold on ebay, while RIGHT REAR Regulator failure is rare.

    Then it occurs to me the root cause (at least this is what I think) is in the driver master switch design!

    Sit in the driver seat and you will realize that every time you press the DOWN button on the driver window, it is very easy to hit the UP button of the Left Rear Switch because these are very close together.
    If you keep pushing on the UP button of the Left Rear Switch so many times (forcing it to go up when it is already up), the regulator will fail with time.

    I know I have small fingers and careful when using window switches, but I am the 4th owner, so the P.O.'s probably had big fingers pushing on these poorly designed switches.

    Oh well, time to do some more home work of OEM ($280) vs aftermarket ($40).

    I borrowed this pic from bluebee post to show you that when you lower the driver glass (RED Arrow), it is very easy to hit the LR Switch UP button (BLUE Arrow):







    -----------------------------------
    Gentlemen,

    From my research, the ebay link above lists a part "most likely" made by MTC (a Chinese company). Basically a direct fit, just install it.
    It works but:
    1. It is noisy.
    2. Long-term reliability may be an issue.

    After a little more research, I found out that many BMW owners use the repair kit that basically restores the regulator back to original.
    The ebay seller "ensarian" sells many repair kits for different cars. He is from Istanbul, Turkey.
    It is a very simple procedure if you watch this video:


    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NzGXMRZrLA[/ame]


    ------------------------------------------------
    Here is what I ordered, it will take some 3 weeks to get here but it will be a "factory restoration" repair. I will post an update later...Stay tuned!


    Last edited by cnn; 04-04-2012 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  12. #12
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    UPDATE to my post #11 above.

    Received the Repair kit from "ensarian" (Istanbul, Turkey).
    - BRACKET is good.
    - Pulley is somewhat off (holes drilled in wrong places), I re-used the factory pulley (still good).
    - New cable seems OK but cannot be used with factory pulley (different heads etc.)
    - So I re-used factory pulley.


    1. You can see in Fig. 1a that I used Packing Tape while waiting for the repair LOL.
    Fig. 1b shows the new repair kit.
    I ended using ONLY the Bracket + Plastic Washer.






    2. Before you remove anything, take pictures of the existing setup so you can re-install the cable properly.
    NOTE:
    "OUTER" Pulley = toward the Outside of the car
    "INNER" Pulley = toward the Inside of the car.

    * The Pulley (where it mates with the motor) has 2 sides. One of the sides is more CONCAVE.
    Make sure the CONCAVE side faces the electric motor during install.
    Rewind the cable as in the youtube.

    * If you replace ONLY the BRACKET, then skip this Step #2.






    3. You MUST use the new Plastic Washer as shown when re-installing the glass:






    4. The new BRACKET is all metal (factory bracket has some plastic to allow smooth sliding).
    The new Bracket is machined a bit tight.
    So when you finish installing the glass, STOP.
    a. Apply some grease to railing
    b. Temporarily attach the Window Switch
    c. Turn key in Ignition to Position II.
    d. Operate the Switch to move Window UP and DOWN.
    Use your (L) hand to help the glass UP and DOWN so the motor does not overheat.
    Do Not force the motor!
    The new Bracket will grind a bit with the railing (see pic). This is because the railing, when installed in the car has a slight curve.
    The ebay Bracket is all metal so it grinds a little bit but eventually it will be fine. You will see small amount of metal shavings from these runs.
    After 6-7 runs, it should be smooth.
    It will be a bit slower than factory, but I do not care because I virtually never use the (L) Rear Regulator.






    5. Now I know why I HAD this problem in the first place.
    Fig. 1a: shows The Bracket collision with the Pulley at its LOWEST position.
    Factory design fault! After repeat collisions, it knocks the Cable off the pulleys!
    Fig. 1b: shows you where you can place some cushion to prevent collision.
    Fig. 1c: I cut a square piece of rubber (sidewall of an old light truck tire), add some butyl rope so it sticks to the surface.
    Bingo, it is nice and quiet, no collision!






    6. Now is time to make sure drain holes (total =2) are clear.
    One drain hole in each corner of the door.
    I used a bamboo BBQ skewer because it is stiff but flexible so it does not mar paint work.






    7. Now re-attach Vapor Barrier, taking care to seal it properly.
    Reattach the rest (electrical connectors, inner door handle etc.).
    Test the window again.
    Then label the switch "avoid using this window" LOL.
    Actually this ebay bracket works, it is a bit more friction so it is slow, but for $20 I cannot complain.


    PS: The whole new regulator (incl. motor) from BMW is $300! So this fix is cheap for me.
    Last edited by cnn; 04-22-2012 at 11:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Nice

  14. #14
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    Need some help guys. Trying to re-install everything, and this outer trim in this picture http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...hmentid=286293 is fucking impossible to put back? It was easy to get it off, but how do I re-install it? I get it down like 1 cm, then it is stuck. Any tips?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naikon View Post
    Need some help guys. Trying to re-install everything, and this outer trim in this picture http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...hmentid=286293 is fucking impossible to put back? It was easy to get it off, but how do I re-install it? I get it down like 1 cm, then it is stuck. Any tips?
    Wiggle it a bit as you push down.
    Also make sure it does not hit the glass.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Wiggle it a bit as you push down.
    Also make sure it does not hit the glass.
    Yea, thanks, it finally went down.

    Now there is a new problem... this fucking trim http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...hmentid=286297
    is impossible to put on. The first and the last clip snaps on perfect, but NONE of the others will snap on. No matter how hard I push.

    Is there any other guide or tips including this trim?


    Should I use a hammer and knock it down? Feels wrong to use a hammer when the first clip snaps on nice...
    Last edited by Naikon; 05-01-2012 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naikon View Post
    Yea, thanks, it finally went down.

    Now there is a new problem... this fucking trim http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...hmentid=286297
    is impossible to put on. The first and the last clip snaps on perfect, but NONE of the others will snap on. No matter how hard I push.

    Is there any other guide or tips including this trim?
    Couple things:

    1- Don't use the word "f#cking" in the forum.

    2- You need to work from Right to Left (or Left to Right), one clip by one clip.
    Very very very easy to do.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Couple things:

    1- Don't use the word "f#cking" in the forum.

    2- You need to work from Right to Left (or Left to Right), one clip by one clip.
    Very very very easy to do.
    Sorry man I was just so frustrated at this trim.

    Thats exactly what I am doing. Putting each clip on, one by one, from the front to the rear. The first clip goes in, but the second clip just gets stuck halfway down. I can put all my weight on it, but it doesnt move. Should I use a rubber hammer?

  19. #19
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    Look carefully, the door itself has flat slits (maybe 1mm in width).
    Make sure all the slots are nice and straight.

    Also check the trim piece to be sure all the tabs are straight (not bent):




  20. #20
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    Thanks cnn for great write-up!

    I had same problem today, but also my sliding metal bracket is badly damaged.

    1. How did you manage to put wire back on pulley? Did you have to take the motor apart? Whats the trick?

    2. Also, how did you take the sliding part off?

    TIA
    siny528i
    BMW CCA 434493

  21. #21
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    Happy Fathers Day!

    On the second thought most likely I will get new Window Regulator and then connect it to my existing Motor.

    Question is where to get it from. I can buy it off eBay for like $40 or from AutohausAZ.com for $80 made by URO.

    What do you think,
    siny528
    BMW CCA 434493

  22. #22
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    Thanks again, cnn!

    Yep, thats exactly what I did. I bought one (without motor) on Ebay for $40. It fits the motor perfectly and tested best! Identical to OEM. Except yellow guide is blue and pulley that goes on motor is White instead of Black.

    I am amazed how are similar problems with our two cars. I just thought about it and you already have a DIY for it

    Salut!
    BMW CCA 434493

  23. #23
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    Just did both today on my 2000 540i.
    I hate those privacy blinds on reinstall

    Engine: RMS Stage 3 15lbs 8 rib pulley kit shrick cams evo head gasket track pipe 3.5 hfm dinnan throttle body and exhaust aatuning clutch flywheel pressure plate aluminum thermostat cover aluminum water pump , and termostat spal fan vac oil intercooler m50 intake manifold

  24. #24
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    Great article I hope this is the problem with my car. I lowered the left rear window a bit and when I was putting it up there was a loud snap and then the window would not close all the way to the top it leaves about a half an inch gap. I has my son puck the up button while I pulled the glass up to close it all the way. It would go down but not go up. A $200+ regulator is out of the question at this time.

    has anybody experienced this?

    1970 Morris Cooper * 1973 Mini Clubman 1275GT * 2008 BMW 135i Coupe 2008 BMW 128i Cabriolet * 1995 BMW M3

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guam135i View Post
    Great article I hope this is the problem with my car. I lowered the left rear window a bit and when I was putting it up there was a loud snap and then the window would not close all the way to the top it leaves about a half an inch gap. I has my son puck the up button while I pulled the glass up to close it all the way. It would go down but not go up. A $200+ regulator is out of the question at this time.

    has anybody experienced this?
    Sounds like the regulator. I found a reman on ebay for $99 2 years ago, still going strong.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

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