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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 01-17-2012, 04:27 PM
BLH1984 BLH1984 is offline
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Window motor or regulator...or both?

Went to roll my window down after work today and was greeted by a loud THUNK, and the whirring of the motor but no window roll down. Obviously there is a problem but it is currently around 0C outside so I'd like to avoid taking the door apart twice to remedy the problem.

The window is currently stuck in the up position(thank god!), and I can here so kind of mechanical movement in the door when i hit the window up/down. This is leading me to believe the motor is fine, and that the regulator has shot craps, or the teeth on the window motor have broken off. Anyone with some experience care to shed some light on this for me?

Bruce
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  #2  
Old 01-17-2012, 06:32 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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There have been numerous threads on this. I think 540Indiana (among others) discovered that his window simply slipped out of the clips that attach it to the regulator. Check the "very best links" sticky window threads. In any event, the problem will become clear once you remove the door panel and vapor barrier. There are some good DIY's on the forum, with photos.
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  #3  
Old 01-17-2012, 11:05 PM
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sainda210 sainda210 is offline
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The last time this happened to me, it was just the cable that came off track from the motor where the cable wraps around the gear. Luckily i didn't play around too much and took everything apart as soon as the problem occured and I was able to save the cabling and the plastic gearing.
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:02 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Same thing happened to me.
The cable simply came off the pulleys.
I simply put the cable back on the pulley, cost = $0.
I wrote it up a while ago.
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2012, 07:18 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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A majority of the time you're going to need to replace the window regulator. The only way to know for sure is to pull apart the door. We have new regulars available HERE for the E39. Also it's cold so being prepared is the key HERE is a DIY for the front window regulators and HERE is one for the rears.



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  #6  
Old 01-18-2012, 10:12 AM
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shaftdrive shaftdrive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
The only way to know for sure is to pull apart the door.
Or, you could buy these x-ray vision glasses!
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2012, 10:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
There have been numerous threads on this. I think 540Indiana (among others) discovered that his window simply slipped out of the clips that attach it to the regulator.
It happened to me:
- One user's experience with diagnosing the front left driver door window regulator (1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=qTmJSm-9PAM
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2012, 05:35 PM
BLH1984 BLH1984 is offline
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Thanks for all the info guys, I'm sure it will be a breeze once i get the chance to rip the door off. I've been doing car audio for 10+ years and I've done a number of E39 so I'm no stranger to the door panel removal. Hopefully it is simply an off-track situation and I can fix it without purchasing a new one. Money isn't the object here, it's just to damned cold to be working on my car outside! I'll pull it off this weekend and let you know the results of my findings.

Bruce
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2012, 06:34 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Good luck. From what I've read on the forum, people have had pretty good luck with window repairs.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:23 PM
BLH1984 BLH1984 is offline
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pulled the door panel off tonight an discovered that the window had simply slipped out of the brackets that link it to the regulator assembly. I simply had to lower the window clips all the way down, then slide the glass into them and retighten everything. The small plastic notches that align everything were way off, so i realigned them properly and buttoned everything up. Window is working flawlessly as before, all for the low cost of $0.

However, I have no idea how the window managed to stay up for the past few days since the supports for the window were nearly half-way down the door. Apparently the window was simply hanging in place!

thanks for all the advice, I saved $50 since i didn't buy the regulator before i pulled the door panel off.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:30 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Cool. Yet another successful window repair.
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  #12  
Old 01-20-2012, 10:51 PM
Dilligaf-IA Dilligaf-IA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLH1984 View Post
However, I have no idea how the window managed to stay up for the past few days since the supports for the window were nearly half-way down the door. Apparently the window was simply hanging in place!
I wondered that too when I took mine apart a month ago for the same problem. As I was driving the car till I had time to take it apart I was somewhat waiting for the window to drop down some. But once I figured out that the clips were likely the problem I ran the motor up one final time and didn't mess with it till I took it apart to try to hold the window up.
It's great to find a fix like that that doesn't take anything but a little time.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2012, 09:03 AM
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Trebbia Trebbia is offline
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I wonder what happens to those who don't diy who take their bimmer to the dealer for the window repair for this same problem?
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2012, 07:40 AM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebbia View Post
I wonder what happens to those who don't diy who take their bimmer to the dealer for the window repair for this same problem?
I was near my dealer when the window regulator in my old 02 M5 decided it didn't want to live (this was a few years ago 2007), stopped by and then left quickly when they gave me the "ruff estimate". Labor cost at the dealership is very high and everything is done based on what is called "book time" they say that it takes over 2 hours to fix one window regulator based on book time. Long story short, I replaced it myself in about an hour and saved a ton of money. My only regret is selling that car.

James with ECS Tuning
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Last edited by ECSTuning; 01-23-2012 at 07:42 AM.
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