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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 04-18-2013, 09:05 AM
ErikJeanna ErikJeanna is offline
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Freaking Window Regulator!

On the way to work this morning, my driver's side window regulator decided to crap out! I was warned during my "courtesy check" that the windows are starting to make noise and that's a tell tale sign that my regulators are about to fail I didn't know it would fail only 3 days later! Now, I'm stuck with a window that won't roll up or down. At least it sounds like the motor is still fine.

I think I'm just going to order the part and do this one on my own. After reading the various DIY pages regarding this job, I can't justify $400 for something supposedly takes between 30-60 min to do.

Would anyone like to offer up their assistance in helping me replace this thing? I'm sure it's not terribly hard to do, but it sure would be nice to have someone with experience in replacing these or someone who is mechanically inclined there to offer a helping hand. Lunch and ice cold beers will be had after the job is done! I'm located in Newbury Park in the Conejo Valley is anyone is bored and would like to help. You can message me here or text me at 8O5-4O5-3692.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:25 AM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Location: Canada's Mexico
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 525i
Theres a DIY on here for it. Mean time you have to take off your door panel and tape it up or jam something underneath to hold it up.

You can find window regulators fairly cheap on ebay. I paid around 40$ for my rears. However, you get what you pay for. I hardly use the rear windows so i opted for the cheapest option. Drivers door you should pay for quality since thats the most used.

So theres a thread on here on how to fix the regulator and another for the brands out there.

I have changed numerous on my current, previous, and friends cars. I can get in and out in 30 mins now. Id love to lend you a hand but id need a flight out of california and a hotel room....haha

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:44 AM
ErikJeanna ErikJeanna is offline
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
I picked up the $80 version from BavAuto... figured if it lasts me 2-3 years, I'd be OK with that. Hopefully it'll last a little longer than that for the next owner. I don't intend on keeping this car much longer than that.
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2013, 11:50 AM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Location: Orange County, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 477
Mein Auto: 2002 530i Sport
I'd take it apart to see what happened first. I bought the window regulator first, then after it arrived, I took the driver's door apart. Then I realized my problem was the rubber mounts had broken off, and the window regulator itself was just fine.

Taking the door apart might take a little time when you first do it, but it'll be easier the next time you do it.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:56 AM
ErikJeanna ErikJeanna is offline
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
I had thought about that... but figured with the reputation of the door regs from these cars, I would need one sooner or later. I would be perfectly fine with getting down in there and realizing something "simple" had happened to it. Then when the regulator actually fails, I would have one "in hand" and could swap it out no problem.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 12:18 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Mein Auto: 7/98 NonVanos 540iA
Unfortunately, I have become an expert at changing these regulators. I have learned that it is OEM or bust. OEM is the way to go. I have tried everything from eBay to "reputable vendor brand regulators" to OEM. Nothing beats OEM.

In my experience (might be different for others), but I have found that for some reason, the brackets that hold the window get stuck on the small guide metal pieces because the metal pulley rope makes it way to the outside of them (4 of them on the entire regulator). I now bend these back 180 degrees so that they will never get in the way. Some people might argue that now the regulator is more prone to derailing. But there is no difference between the angle of the wire when the guides are in the right spot or not.

PS: Also make sure all bolts that hold the regulator in the door are tight. A regulator derailed b/c the bolts were not tight on one of my rear windows. Use a bit of non permanent (blue) locktite if you have to.
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2013, 03:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 20,151
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I'm not happy with the brand I bought for $65.
OEM is Kuster, at least for my 2002 525i.
Typing /regulator F3 will net these threads, with about 100 pictures.
Not a single step is omitted down to taking apart the window regulator transmission and motor spools ... down to the commutator.
- One user's effort to diagnose, rebuild, and replace a BMW E39 front driver side door window regulator (1) and how to remove a BMW E39 front passenger side door window regulator (1) (2) & the unintuitive trick to effortlessly loosen and tighten the astronomical cable tension without damaging the front door window regulator (1) & how to rebuild and restring your current E39 front door window regulator (1) & scores of pictures showing how NOT to remove & repair your front door window regulators (1) & how to replace just the rollers (1) (2)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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 04-28-2013, 01:01 PM
ErikJeanna ErikJeanna is offline
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Location: Newbury Park, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Did my regulator today... now, I'm no mechanic by any far stretch of the word. It took me about 2 hours, mainly because my kids were bugging me every 2 min and mom was on a walk. However, once she took over, it went fairly smoothly... minus a few things:

A) When I got to the part where I take the 3 top screws out holding the regulator in, I found that mine were not like anything described. Mine were star shaped, like a torq, but not. I ended up using a thin deep 6-point 10mm socket and it worked fine.




B) When I went to remove the motor from the stock regulator, it didn't look like it would work on the new one. This is because the motor and regulator "pulley" piece were stuck together and had to be pried off of each other. Once I did that, it worked.

C) When I screwed the motor on, it called for 5 torq screws to bolt it on... when I removed the factory one, there were only 4 torq screws. So I used the 4 and "strategically" placed them in the holes where it would offer the greatest support to the moving parts.

D) When I went to test my regulator, everything rolled up and lined up just fine. However, I seem to have lost the ability to AUTO UP my driver window now (AUTO DOWN still works fine). This blows because I use this feature often. I did notice that there was a brown wire that was "cut" looking, but I don't think it was even connected when I removed the door panel. I stripped it to attach it again, but figured I might want to know what it is before I do so. Anyone know what this wire is for? If not for my AUTO UP part of my window, does anyone know why that feature would now be disabled?







Any help would be greatly appreciated as I am reluctant to put my door back together until I get an answer to repair the wire or not. Thanks!
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