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Thread: Replacing sliders and greasing front door tracks

  1. #1
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    Replacing sliders and greasing front door tracks

    Problem: Windows go up/down slowly or make a slight thump(there could be more then reason for thumps in the window the regulator (not covered here) is one and the window slides being the other. Also the increase effort causes the motor to work harder, raise and lower the window a few times and notice the heat. After it doesnít take as much effort.

    Cause: Window slides and/or rails gunked up in need of grease or sliders worn.

    Note: I refer to the front pass or driver side window, the one that moves as the window. I refer to the non movable window in front of the movable window as the fixed window.

    Note 2: If the door chime drives you nuts pull fuse 31.

    Warning:
    1) We will be working around the airbag, the prudent thing to do would be to remove the air bag. The problem with that though is we need to be able to move the window up and down, hence turn the ignition to on or accessory, this could cause the airbag warning light to light as itíll see a fault with the airbag. I left it plugged in moved it around as needed. Just be careful with it, itís not as unstable as people think but I wouldnít go touching the connector with static in my hand nor would I strike it with a hammer.

    2)Weíre dealing with glass a little care is necessary, handle it by the edges as much as possible and donít strike it with anything.

    3)There are sharp edges in the door be careful, I have yet to slice my hand in the Z3 but I have left a little loving blood in a jetta once before.

    Fix:

    Remove the door panel there are two screws holding it in(Torx T25 ), first one in the rear behind the ďairbagĒ plastic cover( careful when removing donít break the tabs or youíll be replacing it). Second in the door handle on the driver side behind the mirror control and on the passenger side where the mirror control would be, BMW makes a special tool to remove the control. I used a mid size screw driver in the hole that the factory tool works in to push it far enough then use jewelers screw driver to carefully pry it out. Then there are plastic clips around the door, that you must pop out of the door skin. I work my fingers behind one try to grab the plastic holder, after you pop the first one out with a pry bar. You donít want to pull just the panel as the particle board may rip or the plastic holders may tear away. If the later happens just reglue them if the former happens you may need to figure out your own repair. Just be careful and take your time.

    Next we need to remove the foam insulation, I was able to work it from the adhesive, youíll have to be creative here, donít rip it. Next remove the airbag (10 mm), I simply rested it on a jack stand.

    Now the real fun begins. Lower the window and remove the inner weather stripping now remove the outer, there is a plastic retainer holding the outer in place on the rear of the door, you can leave it hanging on the plastic clip if you want, wipe both window surfaces clean and set aside. Next we remove the fixed window, there are three bolts hold it in, one in the front inside of the door, the second near the channel that window rides on in the rear of the fixed window(this one is used to adjust the window and is longer then the other two), the last is on the bottom of door, underneath the door. There maybe large washers used here so pay attention to them, I think they are used to help shim things, the smaller washers are part of the bolt. Now slide the fixed window forward slightly and lift straight out, there is a tab on the bottom that you need to get out. Open the door fully, and angle the fixed windows toward the inside of the car you should be able to work it out.

    Now we remove hold the window with one hand and roll it up, see picture below, now push it forward, you may need to lower or raise the window a tad to get off the slider. HOLD THE WINDOW THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO HAPPEN IS IT TO DROP. Once off the plastic slides you should be able to pull it up and out. Gently lay It on something softÖ

    First letís clean the window, there is a white plastic slider on the rear of the window hit it with some brake cleaner and wipe it clean. Now there are two black guides that ride on the slider. Again get the gunk out of the channel and hit with brake cleaner and wipe out all the crap you can.

    Now letís move back to the door. Youíll see the old sliders hanging on the regulator. Pull the metal clip off the slider then pry it off. DONíT PULL IT, it may bend the regulator. Try to pry it, I found breaking part of the tabs off the back helps. Ok letís get the brake cleaner and clean the guide on the rear of the door, this where the while slider on the window rides on. Then clean the track of the regulator, then if you want the gear teeth that go to the motor(this is hard to get to and see), also clean the slider mounting balls.

    Itís time to get greasyÖ I used lithium grease from a can not that spray crap. Lube up the regulator track, the gear teeth for the motor and the balls of the slider. Grease up the window slider on the window(donít get dirt or grit on it once greased) then the two tracks on the window. Next pull the clips off the new slider and push them onto the regulator. Then pop the clips on and lube up the sliders..

    Move the window regulator up and down a few times then clean up any excess greaseÖ

    Putting it back together first put the window up slightly the sliders should be towards the top of the lowest hole. Now get the glass and slide into the top of the door frame, push it all the way forward and line it up with the sliders, now try to get the tracks on the window to line up with sliders and push it onto the sliders. It takes some finessing and may help to raise or lower the window slightly. You just need to get on the sliders enough! KEEP ON HAND ON THE GLASS AT ALL TIMES , you donít want it to fall. Once you have the sliders in place and theyíre in the guides push the window back into the rear track. Looking down from the top you can see how itís fitting in make sure to push it back all the way. HOLDING THE WINDOW and pushing slightly back lower and raise the window a few times make sure nothing binds, DO NOT USE THE EXPRESS FEATURE. Lower the window all the way down. Now get the fixed window and work it in, itís hard because of the tab, angle it where it should be and itíll go in, the key is the window should be down. Make sure the window is now in the front track(the fixed window) and put all the shims back in place and loosely put the fixed window bolts back in. If you want to be fancy here use a little graphite in the fixed window track.

    Take the outside weather stripping , line the cut out for the fixed window up into place. Now get the front of it in and the rear of it in. Itís important to make sure these three points are in the proper spot otherwise youíll have problems later on. Now get the roll of tape, yes thatís hockey friction tape, and the hammer. Lay the stripping in the trap, put the tape roll on top of it and lightly tap on the tape with the hammer. Be careful of the fixed window, the window and the paint. You want to tap it all the way down with out hitting the paint or window.

    Loosely put the airbag on.

    Now comes the adjustmentsÖ. You want to get the front of the fixed window to sit nicely in the A Pillar yet have enough tension on the back window. You also want it to make sure the seal on the a pillar is perfect up the a pillar. Itís a painÖ. Close the door gently sitting on the inside with the window up ,if you have an assistant have them move the fixed window from the outside, if you donít and you have a roadster top down it and work over the window. Once it looks right, tighten the rear bolt of the fixed window, the one you can see. Now open the door and do the front bolt. Now tighten the bottom bolt as much as possible but would still allow movement. Close the door, open it and then tighten it down. Next we adjust the window height, mine was off from the factory or maybe the dealer. You want the front of the window to be flush with the top of fixed window track, not protruding. The bolt on the regulator adjusts the height, Tighten it to make lower, loosen to make the window sit higher. You canít have the window all the way up to adjust it so lower it slightly adjust it and test it. Now if youíre in the roady put the top up and make sure the window seals along the top.

    Here is the fun part, get the hose and shoot water all long the the a pillar and top. Check for leaks and adjust accordingly. Once you have everything perfectly adjustedÖ Itís time to put the door panel back on.

    Reseal the door insulation and tighten the airbagÖ

    I have no pics of this, since I looked into why my door lock wasnít working and Iím going to have to order parts ,more on that some other time. The key to putting the door panel on is ,put the inside weather stripping on the DOOR PANEL not on the door. Then install the panel.
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  2. #2
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    What's the part # for the white sliders?

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    they are really cheap on ebay

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Bump for a great 'how to'. I tackled this today. There is no way to do this based on the Bentley alone. This article is very complete and well-done. Thank you for posting it. I recommend it to anyone who has this problem.

  6. #6
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    I actually just did this too. Got done like 30 mins ago. Pretty easy. Only one of my sliders was broken, but both windows got a lot faster.

    Thanks Ferris!

  7. #7
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    Those parts are on my list. I'll be doing this soon too. Thanks for the write-up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sound Of Speed View Post
    I actually just did this too. Got done like 30 mins ago. Pretty easy. Only one of my sliders was broken, but both windows got a lot faster.

    Thanks Ferris!
    Need to do mine as well and was wondering how long it took you to do it?

  9. #9
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    First, make sure you have what you need when you start. In addition to the new sliders, I recommend buying a few extra door clips in case you break any. Also I used can or tube lithium grease, not the spray can.

    My first door took almost 3 hours. That is because I went VERY slowly to be sure not to break anything. Also I like to poke around and familiarize myself with what I'm seeing and double-check everything. The second door would have taken about an hour or so, but I did some damage to the inside of the door panel. It was easy to fix but required some epoxy-like affixing which had to sit. It gave me time to do a couple other things while I waited...

    Even going very slowly and carefully I still had a couple problems. First, the part I had to epoxy was a piece near the door speakers that pulled away from the backing. Also I managed to pull both tweeters off when I first removed the door panels. One I was able to repair, but the other is not repairable. Fortunately Vinci had an extra for me.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by struenz View Post
    Need to do mine as well and was wondering how long it took you to do it?
    The first door took like an hour or hour and a half maybe. It started sprinkling and i was trying to make sense of everything. Once I knew what I was doing, 2nd door took like 20 mins.

    Putting door panels back on is the hardest part, but it gets easier and easier.

  11. #11
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    Got my drivers side door yesterday. What a freaking mess. Those doors had been pulled before and someone had done a horrible job of trying to patch it up.

    One slider was crumpled. The grease used was some sort of graphite, that had dried and turned to stone. The original foam vapor/dust barrier, was lost and replaced by a 4 mil poly that had been glued in place with some sort of black roofing tar. A couple of the little white clips/tabs were broken (fortunately I had ordered a bunch of replacements before I began.

    In any event... it's all back together now and working great.

    Mods might want to consider parking this thread or putting it in a nice easy to find place. It was really helpful ! My thanks to Ferris.

    JWhite
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  12. #12
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    how many white sliders do I need per door? 2 each?
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  13. #13
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    2 per door

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JWhite View Post
    Got my drivers side door yesterday. What a freaking mess. Those doors had been pulled before and someone had done a horrible job of trying to patch it up.

    One slider was crumpled. The grease used was some sort of graphite, that had dried and turned to stone. The original foam vapor/dust barrier, was lost and replaced by a 4 mil poly that had been glued in place with some sort of black roofing tar. A couple of the little white clips/tabs were broken (fortunately I had ordered a bunch of replacements before I began.

    In any event... it's all back together now and working great.

    Mods might want to consider parking this thread or putting it in a nice easy to find place. It was really helpful ! My thanks to Ferris.

    JWhite
    I think the graphite stuff was OEM because that's what was on mine too, and mine had never been opened. As for the roofing tar, that too is OEM - it's a great product because it allows you to reattach the barrier easily. Smart to buy clips before you started!

  15. #15
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    cool, my stealer had them in stock.
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  16. #16
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    Ferris.. When are you coming back to CT? My window is stuck :P
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sxychnamn View Post
    Ferris.. When are you coming back to CT? My window is stuck :P
    I've extended my stay up here in milford. Long story involving chicks and the witness protection program, or something like that ... We should get a BBQ going
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  18. #18
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    Great thread! I plan to tackle this job. The DIY suggests buying some extra clips in case you break some. Can someone point me to the part number for the clips that I'll need? -thanks
    Greg H
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  19. #19
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    The door panel clips are #51411973500

  20. #20
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    I did this fix today and completed it. I'm happy to say that the windows are working fine now and this DIY helped me do it. A couple of notes:

    1) I have tinted windows like many people do, I'm sure. I managed to put a scratch in both the drivers and passenger side window tint despite my best efforts. Be extra careful of the bare metal edges inside the door once you remove the weather stripping when you are removing or installing the window glass if you have window tint. It doesn't take much to scratch the tint.

    2) Reinstalling the door panels was harder than I expected. It took some finessing, but I finally got them on.

    3) I only broke one trim clip!
    Greg H
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  21. #21
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    Just ordered 4 new window guides/clips. My passenger window is just about done with so hopefully this will fix the problem. Thanks for the writeup, I know it'll help.
    -Joe

  22. #22
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    it must have been something in the air this weekend. Sunday I lubed both windows because they were getting kinda slow. Like most the second door was a breeze.
    I didn't break any panel clips but I did tear the a few of them loose from the cardboard. A few drops of thick super glue is all it took to stick them back on.
    As for the airbags I just let them hang from the wire and taped it to the bottom of the door to keep it out of the way. It made it easy to be able to work the window up and down.

    Mike
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by extra330 View Post
    it must have been something in the air this weekend. Sunday I lubed both windows because they were getting kinda slow. Like most the second door was a breeze.
    I didn't break any panel clips but I did tear the a few of them loose from the cardboard. A few drops of thick super glue is all it took to stick them back on.
    As for the airbags I just let them hang from the wire and taped it to the bottom of the door to keep it out of the way. It made it easy to be able to work the window up and down.

    Mike
    Did you actually change the clips or just lube it up?
    '08 M5 Sepang Bronze/Portland - Modded-
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  24. #24
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    i need to do this. my passenger window is sl ow. it stops in the middle

    -OG

  25. #25
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    did anyone have issues getting the window to align nicely?
    '08 M5 Sepang Bronze/Portland - Modded-
    '11 328i M Sport Le Manns Blue/Oyster - wifeymobile
    '02 525i Touring Alpine White/Sand - Getting modded
    '06 Mini Cooper JCW GP#1281 - SOLD
    '10 MiniCooper S Laurel Sport Edition 1/100 - SOLD
    '99 M Coupe Laguna Seca Blue/Black - highly modded SOLD
    '04 4.8is X5 Estoril/Black Alcantara - modded SOLD
    '01 740i Shorty Sport - TiAg/Blk - SOLD
    '98 M3/2 Cosmos - Modded SOLD
    '97 M3/4 Alpine - stock SOLD



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