BMW E46 Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As we all know, the long list of Preventative Maintenance (PM) items for our cars is long, and at times, expensive. The window regulator is yet another aspect of our cars that, with time, will ultimately fail. However as I can tell, there is no official DIY addressing this issue. This will be my first DIY

*Note*
As of right now, I don't have any pictures of myself doing this repair. What I am simply providing at this point, is reference material to source parts and conduct a successful DIY repair. When I do my next window regulator, I will update with pictures and detailed step by step instructions.

The Problem:
Failure of the window regulator, or related components, resulting in inoperable window function.

Common solutions, and talking points:
A lot of people have had this issue. As such, a lot of solutions have been presented. Some people opt for replacing the clips that hold the window itself in place. My issue with this is, if you are already in the door to replace one plastic component, it is very likely that the rest of the plastic components are not far from failing. These parts are cheep and not hard to replace.

Many people on this forum will argue that any part purchased on Ebay is cheep, unreliable, parts made in china (they are). In my experience with doing 3 window regulators in BMW's, previously this was not the case. However, now I cannot recommend the Ebay regulators. There are fitment issues and they do not have good longevity. ECS Tuning is a good source for window regulators. FCP Euro also carries a wide array of quality parts. They can be sourced anywhere from $40 - $140 depending on the brand you go with. The genuine BMW part is well over $120, not including shipping costs.

All that being said, it is far more cost effective and reliable to simply replace the entire window regulator assembly. From a PM standpoint, it may be beneficial, to mitigate failure, to replace the component every 2 years, depending on usage. These figures will of course vary per individual usage.

Where to source parts:
ECS Tuning, or FCP Euro as previously stated. Enter search term "E46 window" or follow links.

Driver side (front left):
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323i-M52_2.5L/Interior/Window/Regulator/ES2776543/

Passenger side (front right):
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323i-M52_2.5L/Interior/Window/Regulator/ES2776542/

Rear drivers side (rear left):
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323i-M52_2.5L/Interior/Window/Regulator/ES2776546/

Rear passenger side (rear right):
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-323i-M52_2.5L/Interior/Window/Regulator/ES2776547/

Equipment needed:
Standard torques bit set
Standard mechanics socket set in metric.
Number 2 flat tip screw driver or applicable trim removal tool.
1 Roll of duct tape, or similar adhesive material.
Applicable window regulator assembly


Procedure:
As stated above, I don't have pictures of my self doing this procedure yet.
However I do have a nice video DIY for everyone to follow! Front window regulator Is similar install. Video by edzgarage.

Window Regulator Installation BMW 325i e46:
http://youtu.be/-QYflvMB3AU

Here is also a link to another thread that addresses this issue! The more information the better!
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=356847

I hope this Helps some people out. I will update this when I do my next regulator. Any positive/constructive feedback, please leave comments. Any negative feedback, please file it in shredder. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
655 Posts
goooddd shitt broo my driver side one has a messeded up clip!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I didn't know there was another write up. But if I can add anything to the cause, then that's better than not helping at all in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
284 Posts
I didn't know there was another write up. But if I can add anything to the cause, then that's better than not helping at all in my opinion.
The other write-up is for the front window regulator, which is a bit different. Yours is for the rear, and it's EXCELLENT for that.

Thus, both combined complements each other very very nicely :)

from what I've read, given my rear regulator broke, I can expect the other 3 to go bad soon... so will need both DIY :) very handy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
What, no air bag. I have done all of my window regulators at least once, and the video is a good start for someone who has never done this. It does not address the Air Bag and how to handle that--which is easy. But I would never work side-by-side with a live Air Bag before disconnecting the battery, which changes the video slightly. It also does not suggest changing the red grommet that holds one window screw, they sometimes go bad, and for a part that cost less than a dollar, good to change it. Lastly, I learned the hard way (after the first 2 window regulators) that replacing the plastic rain guard using the existing black sealer will not work in my E46's following your directions. That will, based on my experience, result in 100% chance of a water leak (puddle) inside your car, and 100% guarantee you will be re-opening the door to redo that. Special attention needs to be paid to how you reseal the plastic guard. Just following this video does not do that. I use a hair dryer to reactivate the black sealer so it attaches properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I haven't had an Issue with water entering the car. But I was quite ginger when removing the vapor barrier. The video is intended to be a guide. I wouldn't consider it a technical step by step as something you might get out of the TIS for example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
As i said, good start. Just wanted those who undertake window regulator replacement to know that this is a easy thing to learn and do. Use this video provided as a good background, but need to look at some of the other postings, and from my own experience and write-ups of others, do not ignore how important the black re-seal is in the process. Thanks for the good video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I know for the front window regulators you have to disconnect the battery due to the airbags. Does that need to be done for the rear windows as well?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
I know for the front window regulators you have to disconnect the battery due to the airbags. Does that need to be done for the rear windows as well?
Some cars came with rear side airbags; in that case, yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
I don't think my 2001 330i has rear side airbags. Where would they be, in the C pillar?
They would be in the door, similar to the front door. When you remove the panel you will see it there. The panel should have a blow-out section for the airbag to inflate, just like the front--and is probably marked (like the front) with airbag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
707 Posts
Great video! Just a couple of small things to add. I learned these from snooping around the Internet from some other sites. I made sure to pull the window out and clean the entire thing. I also put some goof off on a rag and used a flat stick to clean all of the channels. Then I used dry silicone lubricant on all of the rubber channels. I like the goof off because the xylene in it gets the dirt out but doesn't dry out the rubber.

I had replaced regulators a couple times before and the windows just didn't seem to work all that well. When I cleaned and lubed all the channels with the proper lubricant they all worked just like new! The great thing about the dry silicone is that it doesn't get any crap on your window, but the rubber feels slicker than whale snot.

One more thing, if you've done it several times it helps to get some more of that sticky butyl rubber to re-seal the inner foam panel. Mine started leaking after the second time I replaced the regulator.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,186 Posts
Are the front doors regulators the black ones and the rear doors regulators the silver ones? When you click on one of the links that's what shows up.

Also, don't the BMW brand regulators hold up a good amount of time to just get those? Not saying I want to spend $500 on window regulators, just trying to see if the aftermarket regulators are just as strong as the BMW brand ones
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Are the front doors regulators the black ones and the rear doors regulators the silver ones? When you click on one of the links that's what shows up.

Also, don't the BMW brand regulators hold up a good amount of time to just get those? Not saying I want to spend $500 on window regulators, just trying to see if the aftermarket regulators are just as strong as the BMW brand ones
Yes, I believe that the front are black and the rear are silver. Having had time to further examine the longevity of the ebay units, I can't recommend anyone getting those any more. Best to get the brand name ones with a better warranty.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top