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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-10-2010, 08:44 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Do you know a good way to keep a side window up (now off the track) for a few days

Do you know a clever way to keep a window up for a few days that seems to have just fallen off it's track?

I guess this just never ends ... today I was raising my driver side front window and click- clack ... halfway up ... and then nothing... just stuck.

I turn around and immediately drove home ... I pulled up an inch ... let go ... and it fell right down, even further, to the bottom ... as if nothing was holding it up ... with just a couple of inches on one side and none on the other ... I can work on it but I have an interview today (what great timing).

Do you know a good way to keep it up just for a few days until I figure out how to diagnose, buy parts, and repair?

PS: What I'll do for fixing it is read all the bestlinks threads on window regulators:
- POWER WINDOWS SUDDENLY STOP WORKING: low-quality rear-window regulators that stop the windows from closing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) and for other models (1) (2) (3) (4)

Sorry for the lousy cell phone picture quality!
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Last edited by bluebee; 12-11-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-10-2010, 08:46 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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An old broomstick cut to proper length and prop it up from below (open door panel first).
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  #3  
Old 12-10-2010, 08:48 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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You can pull the door panel and use wire or a zip tie to keep it from sliding down.
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Old 12-10-2010, 08:51 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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For a quick fix without pulling the door apart, use some clear packing tape and tape the glass to the top of the door on the inside.
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:53 AM
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Clear packing tape could be difficult to remove. I would suggest electrical tape of the two inch variety.

Poor man's shadow trim
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:55 AM
rph74 rph74 is offline
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The best way is to use 2 suction cups along the inside bottom of the window. One on the left, and one on the right. You will use the nipples of the suction cups to hold the window up. This has worked for my in-laws Pontiac for about 2 years now.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:17 AM
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As soon as I saw the clear packing-tape idea, I ran out to do that which seems to have worked (see photo below), at least until I figure out what went wrong after reading the articles listed in the OP.

It was only afterward that I saw the wise admonishment to use electrical tape, but I don't have clear electrical tape so I'd better fix it soon before the tape 'settles'.

However the idea of the suction cups seems cleanest of all; except that I don't understand how the suction cups are going to keep the window glass up?

Anyway, I was worried about touching it and having it fall fully down; but luckily there was the corner toward the rear which afforded a grip and it pulled straight up without too much force.

I've always been afraid of opening the door panel (see this example); but, I guess ... it's finally time for me to open it up this weekend. I'll look for a good DIY in those reference threads.

Thanks,
Blue

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  #8  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:22 AM
rph74 rph74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
However the idea of the suction cups seems cleanest of all; except that I don't understand how the suction cups are going to keep the window glass up?



Thanks,
Blue


I wish I had a pic to demonstrate, but it really is quite simple. The bottom half of the suction cup will actually go down into the door. Simply peel that rubber strip back and stick the bottom half of the suction cup in. The nipple of the suction cup is what keeps the window up. If I can find a pic online I'll link it here.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:29 AM
rph74 rph74 is offline
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Here's a link to the best pic I could find:

However, I actually used 2 small, clear suction cups. One on the left, one on the right. It works so well, the in laws decided to just leave it that way since they never use the rear windows.
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  #10  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:34 AM
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Hey Bluebee, don't forget to create a pull-strip on that clear tape or you'll be picking at it while trying get get every piece of once the packing tape starts to shred. if you're lucky, the tape is thick enough to not shred but Murphy's Law always seems to apply when it comes to E39s.

A little dog-ear helps to grasp the tape while you're pulling it off.

I know this because one of my first jobs was working at FMC in Santa Clara masking and unmasking armored personnel carriers. A little pre-fold in the tape works like a champ.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:40 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My cousin BMW indy guru told me one day: buy the E39 but make sure you don't use the sunroof and don't lower the windows and you should be fine. Then he laughed so hard.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:40 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Piece of advice:
Whenever you will open the panel, please remove the battery contacts first. There's an air bag in the door, and it will trigger a SRS light (You will have to pull out the air bag connector and other stuff when you replace the broken/faulty guide rail). Also, if the motor is good, try to get only a good quality guide rail/cable assembly (forget the proper name now). The electrical motor is the expensive part, and if it works, no need to change that one. Usually the OEM motor is good quality.

0.02

P.S. the guide rail is called "window regulator".
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Last edited by doru; 12-10-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rph74 View Post
Here's a link to the best pic I could find
Ah, I understand. I initially thought the suction cups were INSIDE the door somehow or at the top. I didn't even think of them being at the bottom.

Thanks. For now, the tape will have to do until I research by reading the window regulator DIYs. At the moment, I'm not sure (since I haven't yet read the DIYs) whether I should take the door apart first or if I should buy the parts first. Hate to do something like that twice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
create a pull-strip on that clear tape
Now you tell me!

Since the tape is new, I'll dig up a corner and dog ear it. I put a strip on the inside and then on the outside, so I'm also worried about the rubber molding pulling off. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
one of my first jobs was working at FMC in Santa Clara
The old FMC factory buildings that used to be across the SJC airport? If so, they're now a Lowes shopping center. I kind'a liked the old low factory buildings. I even tested my ABS & shocks the MatWiz way in their large empty parking lot!


Last edited by bluebee; 12-11-2010 at 09:49 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
The old FMC factory buildings that used to be across the SJC airport? If so, they're now a Lowes shopping center. I kind'a liked the old low factory buildings.
Those are the ones all right. I wonder how they were able to clean up all the toxic waste that was spilled there in the years FMC built stuff. Both Plant 3 and Plant 6 turned into ovens during the summer but they wouldn't let us go home unless the temperature stayed at 103 degrees for an hour.

Good luck with your window issue. My day started off with a near dead battery :/
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:15 PM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Clear packing tape could be difficult to remove. I would suggest electrical tape of the two inch variety.

Poor man's shadow trim
I guess it depends on ones definition of difficult.
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Last edited by BigCo540i; 12-10-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2010, 02:46 PM
98540iA 98540iA is offline
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My rear drivers side window regulator died 4 months ago and I've had clear packing tape on it since
Planning to fix but it's too cold out to diy right now and the tape's been holding fine for months. Not ideal but hell if I'm going to pay someone $300 to fix it. I bought the DIY kit for $25 and have it on hold until a warm spell. I have to say though, the DIY kit seems like it will be a PITA to fix..... oh well
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2010, 02:56 PM
thecushion thecushion is offline
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The best thing I used was some torn up pieces of card board wedged on the inside of the window towards the front. Leaves no tape residue aswell. Hope this helps.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2010, 04:38 PM
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bluebee, i guess sooner or later we all go thru that, in my case the window just pull out of the rubber clip, i dont know what else to call it, i found that out when i remove the panel, it was just a matter of puting it back in place, and to prevent it from happening again, i tape the window to the rubber clip bracket, its been good for a year now, good luck
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:44 PM
caballero caballero is offline
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doru is correct, i forgot to disconect my battery first, and since you have to remove the air bag housing, when i plug averything back, my air bag ligth was on, i had to bring my car to my indy to have it reset for $40.00 dollars.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCo540i View Post
I guess it depends on ones definition of difficult.
Peeling 1/4" pieces of tape off one bit at a time would be considered at least time consuming if not a total PITA. Being someone that has worked with all kinds of tape at various times in my career, I've tried to speak from experience.

Since I also now have a significant amount of arthritis in my hands, it would also be difficult.

Your experience may vary.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:42 PM
sidneyj sidneyj is offline
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"This has worked for my in-laws Pontiac for about 2 years now."
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  #23  
Old 12-10-2010, 10:33 PM
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edmonem edmonem is offline
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Lol... I used packing tape for about a month and a half. It would slide down atleast once every 2 weeks. My cousin told me to cut a stick to length and shove it I the panel. Until I decide which route I'll go to fixing it (the diy quick fix kit some one custom built or order online). Right now it's been 3 months and the stick has been a temporary permanent fix. Lol, not like I have pSsengers I. The back anyways.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:16 AM
MotoBMW528i MotoBMW528i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rph74 View Post
Here's a link to the best pic I could find:

However, I actually used 2 small, clear suction cups. One on the left, one on the right. It works so well, the in laws decided to just leave it that way since they never use the rear windows.
My rear two window regulators have been broken for at least a year. I first used paper wedges to keep the windows up. That didn't work. Then I used erasers wedges to try to hold up the windows, that didn't really work. Finally it dawned upon me to try using towel hooks with suction cups. That worked pretty well! I have two big suction cups holding up the back windows. Your idea of using two per window is better. Using only one, the window will drag down eventually, but I think two will hold the window in place better and for longer periods of time.

It's so funny to me that others have thought of this as well. I thought I was so special and smart for coming up with the idea.

BlueBee, I look forward to your fixing adventure. I will attempt to fix my rear window regulators this holiday break as well. So I'll be watching this thread carefully. Good luck.
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  #25  
Old 12-11-2010, 08:24 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoBMW528i View Post
My rear two window regulators have been broken for at least a year.
Your towel rack suction cup story was interesting. Apparently a lot of us wait for that round tuit before we fix the rear window regulators.

However, this is the driver's side front door - which is the one window that needs to be fixed sooner, rather than later.

I wonder how you guys build up the courage to begin tackling these things!

To build up my courage, I read the widely divergent DIYs, and, then, I assembled my first pass at a composite front drivers side door panel removal instructions (see below).

I'm still rather confused about whether I should buy anything in advance, but, at least I'm at the point of building up my courage to get a look at the window regulator mechanism after removing the front door panel.

My composite BMW E39 front drivers side door panel removal instructions:
  1. Lower the front driver side window glass if possible.
  2. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery; then the positive terminal.
  3. Cross connect the negative & positive cables (not the battery terminals!) with a wrench & let sit for at least 10 minutes (ostensibly to bleed off charges)
  4. While waiting for electrical charges in the SRS system to bleed off, magnetize a set of screwdrivers.
  5. Locate the driver side door handle escutcheon screw cap.
  6. With your fingernail or a jewelry flathead screwdriver, pry out that screw cap.
  7. With a #0 Phillips screwdriver or a T20 Torx, remove that door handle escutcheon screw.
  8. Locate the driver side front top corner air vent screw.
  9. Close the vent for access to the screw and notice that you must unscrew at an angle.
  10. With a long thin #0 Phillips screwdriver, remove that air vent screw.
  11. With your hands, pry down the aft end of the bottom door light panel.
  12. By hand, disconnect the harness connector to that bottom door light.
  13. Wiggle the door handle escutcheon to ensure it only loosely hinders movement of the front door panel.
  14. Place your left hand on the black plastic (not the grill) at the top right of the front door panel.
  15. Place your right hand on the plastic on the top vertical portion of the front door panel.
  16. With your hands, pull the door panel straight out to pop loose that top right corner of the front door panel.
  17. First working counterclockwise with your hands, pop out the plastic christmas tree clips on the entire horizontal top edge of the door panel.
  18. Then, still with your hands, now working clockwise, pop out the plastic clips on the right edge and then the bottom edge of the front driver side door panel.
  19. When you get to the bottom rear corner of the door panel, note the pocket is glued onto the panel with a plastic sheet; place your fingers on that plastic sheet so as not to detach it from the door panel when you pull outward to release the Christmas tree clips.
  20. When the entire perimeter is loose, the only thing holding the door panel in are two plastic Christmas tree clips behind the arm rest. These clips don't release straight out.
  21. Double check that the door panel perimeter is completely loose and unhindered.
  22. With your hands, twist the entire door panel slightly counter clockwise and then clockwise and then up and then out to release those last two center clips.
  23. Note that the center clip may not come out with the panel, and may remain attached to the door metal.
  24. Slip the door handle through the door panel hole to free up the door panel of mechanical things.
  25. Unplug the midrange speaker harness connector.
  26. Be careful with the master control switch plastic as it is often brittle and may crack; do all your prying from the backside of the switch, not from the outside lip.
  27. Remove the master control switches by pushing outward on them with your fingers, from the back of the door panel through a round hole in the door panel.
  28. Unclip the three diabolical German connectors to the master control switch, two with clips that you push down by hand and then rotate the loose lever, and one with a u-shaped clip that you pull out with an L-shaped piece of scrap metal to release the clip.
  29. Now the door panel is free of its strictures and tethers.
  30. We hope.

Last edited by bluebee; 12-13-2010 at 06:30 PM.
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