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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 02-09-2011, 05:57 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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What's the NEXT step for removing the door panel to diagnose broken window regulators

I'm kinda stuck out of fear (deer in the headlights) so I ask what's the NEXT step in the removal of the 2002 BMW 525i driver's side door panel.

All I'm trying to do is DIAGNOSE what to fix/make/buy to repair my drivers side door.

I read many DIYs (and summarized the steps here & even corrected the steps here) ... but now I'm stuck.

I'm shocked that none of the drivers side door regulator DIYs (that I read) showed the next step once the panel is removed.

It "might" be as simple as tearing off the black vapor barrier; but it could be more complex than than (e.g., do I need to remove the air bag?). I guess, since I can't find a drivers side door panel DIY that explains the next step, that it must either be shockingly easy (like just tear the vapor barrier off) or they're all missing a step. Sigh. (My DIYs never skip a single step!).

Starting after the 33 steps from here ... what is the next step
to just "see" what is wrong with my drivers side window (it just fell down and is currently taped up)?

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  #2  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:00 PM
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I'm still searching (for a few hours) for the answer.

Unfortunately, when the last E39 guy asked the exact same question:
We all (including me) simply pointed him to the large set of regulator DIYs.

But, guess what?

NONE of the front driver's door regulator DIYs have this information (as far as I can see).

I'm not sure what the next step is.

Is it?
- Remove the airbag?
- Remove the speakers?
- Peel away the entire vapor barrier?

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  #3  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:08 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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To replace the door handle I've removed the air bag after disconnecting the battery, but I don't think you need to for the windoe regulator. I'd disconnect the battery anyway and keep my head away from there.

I've disconnected the speaker long black thing before to get at the regulator but I don't remember if it was necessary. Start by carefully peeling back the black foam down low to check out the regulator?
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:09 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I see some hints (although not a DIY by any means) in this E46 thread from about a year ago:
- Driver Window Goes Off track

But I'm not sure if the E46 is the same as the E39. Anyway, as I keep digging for the answer, I'll post what I find until the answer is known.

In summary, here's what not to do (at least on the E46):
- Do not disconnect the airbag
- Slowly remove the vapor barrier

It says nothing of the speaker, which the previous poster (for the E39) did have to remove.

Here's the exact quote:
Quote:
It will take about 2 hours to replace but isn't too difficult. Just go slowly on removing the vapor barrier so it can be re-used. Do not disconnect the airbag, just use a wire tie to hang it out of the way. Make sure to disconnect the battery cable and wait about 10 minutes before starting the job to avoid any problems with the airbag. This is the DIY I used. http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthr...?p=4329236%20r
I'll check out that E46 DIY next.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:11 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
Start by carefully peeling back the black foam down low
Hi ztom,
Our posts crossed. Thanks for helping (I was wondering why the world was so silent on this.)

When you say start by peeling the foam "down low", what do you mean by 'down low'?

Do you mean for me to start from the middle of the bottom and peel upward?
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:12 PM
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ill_kuma ill_kuma is offline
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Disconnect the battery if you have not yet. Then remove the airbag and carefully tear the vapor barrier. I would work from the top half and leave the bottom part alone (if the bottom seal is still tight). When you put back the vapor barrier, make sure to seal it up nice and tight. I used the 3M Windo-weld with a hairdryer while pressing down with the metal flat end of a trim removal tool.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:14 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here's another partial explanation (who knows if it's right or wrong though):

So, that's at least two votes for peeling the vapor barrier (although a direction of "down low" is one and "front to back" is the other).

Who knows, though, if the speakers or airbag or other components were removed prior in that particular post (they don't say).
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2011, 07:33 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ill_kuma View Post
Disconnect the battery if you have not yet. Then remove the airbag and carefully tear the vapor barrier. I would work from the top half and leave the bottom part alone.
I was afraid of that. None of the E39 front door window regulator DIYs seemed to mention HOW to get to the next step.

The E46 driver's door window regulator DIY, which I read while you and I were cross posting moments ago, also says to remove the airbag and a "thing" that's held on by torx bolts - but of course, the entire E46 is different than the E39 so that's why I can't just follow that DIY verbatim.

This is a picture of the removed airbag in the E46:


And this is a picture of the removed "thing" in the E46:
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:00 PM
cegeste cegeste is offline
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To summarize above:

Disconnect battery
Disconnect airbag
Remove Airbag
Remove speaker box
Peel vapor barrier.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2011, 09:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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The E39 is parked outside with the door wide open, and it's going to have to stay that way outside 'cuz it's cold (California cold, that is, at 41°F). But, more importantly, it's dark. I can't take pictures for you guys, for the DIY in the dark.

For the record, I culled from as many DIYs as I could, the following instructions (and modified them as I did it):

The problem with these instructions, so far, is that they either conflict with others, or they stop at the point I'm stuck at!
Or, they assume you already have the door panel and vapor barrier off - and they just discuss the regulators.

My specific BMW E39 2002 525i front drivers side door exterior panel removal instructions:
  1. Lower the front driver side window glass if possible (I left mine taped up).
  2. Using a 10mm socket or box wrench, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
  3. Then disconnect the positive terminal (even though the Bentleys don't say to do this).
  4. Cross connect the negative & positive cables (not the battery terminals!) with a wrench & let sit for at least 10 minutes (ostensibly to bleed off SRS charges)
    • Note: This step is not listed in the Bentleys.

  5. While waiting for electrical charges in the SRS system to bleed off, magnetize a set of screwdrivers.
    • Note: This step is not listed in the Bentleys.
  6. Make a mental note of the 19 connection points (2 screws & 17 clips, not counting wire connections)
    • 2 screws: 1 under the vent; 1 under the door handle
    • 17 clips: 5 on the top; 3 on the front; 4 on the bottom; 3 on the rear; & 2 under the arm rest
  7. There are a total of five electrical harness connectors.
    • (door light, memory module, master switch, door speaker, air bag)
    • It is a good idea to paint a line with whiteout or a different color nail polish on EACH electrical connector BEFORE you disconnect it (this was a lesson learned the hard way).
  8. With your hand, close the front corner air vent for access to the screw behind the vent door and notice that you must unscrew at an angle (it was easy with a long screwdriver).
  9. With a long thin #2 Phillips screwdriver, remove that air vent screw.
  10. Locate the driver side door handle escutcheon screw cap.
  11. With a small 1/8" wide flathead screwdriver, pry out that screw cap out from the 6 o'clock position.
  12. Many people say this is a Phillips screw; but mine was clearly a Torx bolt:
  13. With a T20 Torx screwdriver, remove that door handle escutcheon screw.
  14. Wiggle the door handle escutcheon to ensure it only loosely hinders movement of the front door panel.
  15. Locate the white door light on the underside of the driver door.
  16. With your hands, pry down the aft end of the bottom door light panel (this took a decent amount of force) & pull out the plastic light box.
  17. By hand, disconnect the 2-wire harness connector to that bottom door light.
  18. Place your left hand on the black plastic (not the grill) at the top right of the front door panel.
  19. Place your right hand on the plastic on the top vertical portion of the front door panel.
  20. With your hands, pull the door panel straight out to pop loose that top right corner of the front door panel.
  21. First working counterclockwise with your hands, pop out the 5 metal clips on the horizontal top edge of the door panel.
  22. Here is what those 5 metal clips look like once the panel is pulled away slightly.
  23. Then, still with your hands, now working clockwise, pop out the 3 yellow (longer) plastic Christmas-tree clips on the right edge.
  24. Pry out the 4 white (shorter) plastic Christmas-tree clips on the bottom edge of the front driver side door panel.
  25. 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 (I didn't really understand these instructions; but, luckily, I just ignored them and all came out ok.)
  26. Pry out the 3 white (shorter) plastic Christmas-tree clips on the rear edge of the door panel; note the middle clip may be more difficult than the rest due to the additional clip under the rear arm rest only two inches away from the middle of these three rear-side clips.
  27. When the entire perimeter is loose, the only thing holding the door panel in are two clips behind the arm rest. One is a white plastic Christmas-tree clip near the aft end of the door handle which pulls straight out; the other is a metal clip in the center of the door handle which comes out when you pull UP on the panel (the way a window would close).
  28. Pry the aft door handle white Christmas-tree clip outward with a wide tool; and then double check the 17 connections points so that the door panel perimeter is completely loose and unhindered.
  29. With your hands, twist the entire door panel slightly counter clockwise and then clockwise and then up and then out to release that last metal center clip.
  30. Note that the center clip may not come out with the panel, and may remain attached to the door metal (all my clips stayed with the door panel).
  31. Slip the door handle through the door panel hole to free up the door panel of mechanical things (my door handle fell off from all the commotion when I pulled that last center clip loose).
  32. Now the only thing connected to the door panel are wires. First mark, and then unplug the white 2-wire plastic connector to the four memory buttons.
    • Note the Bentleys have us removing the memory module first, prior to removing the door clips.

  33. At this point, you can fully access the insides of the door, if you wish to lay the door panel off to the side. Or you can continue to disconnect wires so as to totally free the door panel.
  34. After marking its position, unplug the black 2-wire mid-range speaker harness connector.
  35. CAUTION: Make certain to 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.
  36. Before you remove the master control switch, note the position of and remove the sticky four-inch-long foam wire protector just behind the door panel surrounding and protecting the master control switch wires as they exit the master control switch across the sharp edges of the door panel.
  37. Remove the master control switch by pushing outward on them with your fingers, from the back of the door panel through a round hole in the door panel.
    • Do not pry from the outside on the edges of the master switch!
    • You MUST push upward from behind the door panel!
    • Otherwise, you WILL break the edges of the master switch!
  38. After marking each with a different color, 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.
  39. Now the door panel is free of its strictures and tethers; it's time to free up the vapor barrier.
  40. The first thing you will want to notice once the door panel is off the door is whether the center black plastic clip (behind the middle of the arm rest) stayed on the door or if it came out with the door panel.
  41. If that center metal clip remained on the door itself, then first MARK the plastic (so you know how it goes back on) and then remove it from the metal clip itself which will remain on the door.
    • Nobody tells you HOW to remove that black plastic center clip. I used short square-nosed pliers to press down on the two bent metal locking tabs on the metal center clip and then I pulled the black plastic clip directly outward, away from the door.
  42. Now it's time to remove the airbag:
    • Double check that the battery is disconnected!
    • Note the routing of the airbag wires (so you can replace them in the same routing pattern).
    • Remove the three 10mm front door airbag mounting bolts.
    • First mark, and then unlip the yellow airbag harness connector.
    • You may also wish to slide the harness connector off the attachment tab that holds one end securely to the door.
    • Place the now-removed airbag in a safe place.
  43. Now remove the speaker tube:
    • Remove the three P2 Phillips head screws holding the speaker box to the door
    • After marking, pull the u-shaped lever and disconnect the 2-wire white harness wire clip to the speaker
    • After marking, pull straight out to disconnect the blue harness wire clip to the speaker enclosure
  44. With the center plastic clip, the airbag, and the speaker tube removed, it's now time to remove the vapor barrier.
  45. Starting from one corner, begin to gently pull back on the vapor barrier to release its grip on the door.
    • Note: Some people prefer to leave one edge of the vapor barrier in place so that re-alignment is perfect upon re-installation.
  46. With the vapor barrier removed, you now have full visual access to the window regulator mechanism for troubleshooting.
    • Note: In my case, this was as far as I needed to go since the two clamps on the bottom of my window had let go of the window.
    • All I needed to do was reinsert the window into those two clamps and tighten each of the P2 Phillips screws as tightly as I could twist the screwdriver.
    • I could not determine if Locktite is intended here so I did not use it.
  47. The following information is included from the Bentleys but I did not perform these procedures in my repair.
  48. Disconnect the window from the window guide rail as described in "Door window, removing and installing" of the Bentleys. Do not remove the window from the door yet.
    • See "Door window, removing and installing" (512-9)
    • Temporarily reconnect the window switch and lower the window to a convenient height and then disconnect the window switch.
    • Working carefully with a plastic prying tool, remove the chrome window trim strip from the door.
      • Starting from rear of inner window trim strip, carefully pry up on trim strip clips (5) to remove window trim.
    • With a P2 Phillips screwdriver, loosen the two window clamping jaw fasteners.
    • Tilt the window glass carefully inside the door cavity and lift the window out of the door
    • If you wish to work with the window still in the door, push the window glass up and use a wedge or tape to hold it in position.
  49. Replace plastic window retainers once glass is back inside door.
  50. Use new mounting bolts when reinstalling side-impact airbag to door.
  51. Adjust windows as described earlier.
  52. Removing window regulator from door:
    • Disconnect window motor electrical harness connector.
    • Remove six lower window regulator fasteners.
    • Remove five upper window regulator fasteners.
    • Loosen two fasteners and slide regulator up to remove from mounts.
    • Remove window regulator through opening in bottom of door, checking for any wiring that might become snagged during removal.
  53. Installation is reverse of removal.
  54. Be sure to route wiring harnesses to keep them away from moving window mechanism. Use new wire ties as necessary.
  55. Adjust window as described earlier.
    • i.e., "Door window, adjusting", (512-8)
    • "Door window, adjusting", (512-8)
    • Whenever the door window or window regulator is removed, window adjustment should be checked. The glass should contact the top of the window squarely and should seat against the window seal uniformly.
    • NOTE: If the window does not contact the window seal uniformly, wind noise or water infiltration may result.
    • Remove door panel as described in "411 Doors".
    • Disconnect negative (-) cable from battery. Remove airbag unit and vapor barrier from door. See "721 Airbag System (SRS)".
    • Longitudinal adjustment:
      • Adjustments are made with window in open position.
      • Loosen window guide rail mounting nuts (2), but do not remove.
      • Slide window glass in longitudinal direction to adjust.
      • Tighten guide rail nuts.
      • Tightening torque, window regulator guide rail to door, 89 in-lb.
    • Vertical adjustment:
      • Adjustments are made with window in open position.
      • Loosen window clamping fasteners (2), but do not remove.
      • Adjust rear clamp and tighten fastener.
      • Tighten front clamp fastener.
      • Raise door window up to stop.
      • Check gap at window front edge (Front of window = 5.4mm, 0.21 in)
      • Check gap at window top edge (Top of window = 10mm, 0.39 in).
      • NOTE: Measure window frame between door window edge and panel.
      • Tightening torque, Window regulator guide rail to door, 89 in-lb.
  56. Replacement, is, as they say, the reverse of removal.
  57. Note the proper tightening torques:
    • Window motor to regulator 44 in-lb
    • Window regulator to door 71 in-lb
    • Window to guide 71 in-lb
Here are condensed instructions for replacing the components:
  1. Temporarily re-connect the battery terminals to the battery.
  2. Check for proper operation of the window regulator by temporarily connecting the three master switch harness connectors to the master switch and pressing all the master switch buttons to observe proper window motion and adjustment of all four windows.
    • I found it helpful to connect the white harness connector first to the master control switch!
  3. With the door open, press the temporarily connected master switch door lock button so that the doorlocks are in the locked position
  4. Again disconnect the master switch three harness connectors.
  5. Replace the vapor barrier in its original position
  6. Disconnect the battery terminals as before.
    • Double check that the battery is disconnected before reattaching the airbag!
  7. Replace the airbag by tightening the three 10mm bolts.
  8. Attach the yellow airbag harness wire and route in the original position.
  9. Replace the three P2 Phillips screws for the speaker housing.
  10. Replace the black plastic center clip in the original marked position.
  11. Replace the door handle first as it's the hardest to connect
    • NOTE: It's easiest if the handle remains in the closed position when inserting it back into the door panel
    • Tilt the door handle face down to get it through the oblong shaped cut in the door panel
  12. Reconnect the two sets of speaker wires, one blue, the other white.
  13. Feed the three sets of wires through the hole in the door panel for the master switch and connect them to the master switch.
  14. Connect the memory module wires to the back of the memory module switch
  15. Tuck the underside door white light wires through the hole in the door panel for the white light
  16. Replace the sticky foam protector around the master switch harness wires
  17. Clip the harness connector to the white light at the bottom of the door and clip the white light back into position.
  18. Connect the black clip of the green tweeter wires last because it's the shortest set of wires!
  19. With the palm of your hands, push and prod the door panel back into position
  20. Replace the T20 Torx screw in the door handle escutcheon and replace the covering cap
  21. Replace the P2 Phillips screw in the door vent
  22. Test operation of the door.
HERE ARE MY REFERENCES, SO FAR:
- Fabricate a repair kit yourself, by the beloved cn90.
- 528i driver side window regulator, by RookieBMW
- Drivers Door Window Regulator, by jglover
- E39 Front Window Regulator - Re-Assembly Instructions by MatWiz
- E46 Front window regulator DIY by elbee
- E39 Door Panel Removal - Steps, By Kelly B.
- E39 Front door panel removal instructions, by ArbysNight
- E39 Window Lifter Broke...sigh
- E39 rear window regulator repair kit available
- Tips and tricks for replacing passenger side window glass in 2002 E39
- Replacing your rear window regulator
-Front Window Regulator DIY on a 2000 528iA Sport (with airbags)
-
Front window regulator replacement on a 2001 540it
- Window Regulator And Motor Replacement DIY on a 1993 325is
- DIY:: Window Regulator and Wind/rattle Noise Fix on Highway on a E46 323Ci
- Front window regulator DIY on a 2001 325I
- BMW 1999-2000 3-Series Rear Window Regulator Replacement Instructions
- DIY: Coupe Window Regulator Replacementon a 2002 325Ci

For the vapor barrier replacement glue:
- Vapor Barrier - What's the specific/ideal adhesive for repair?
- Where to get vapor barrier adhesive Butyl Tape / Rope by ill_kuma
- What sizes to buy for vapor barrier adhesive (1)

Door panel removal videos:
- http://www.videojug.com/webvideo/how...e39-door-panel

EDIT: Added later by cegeste:
- Bavauto video on removing E46 passenger side window regulators
- Nice E39 PDF on passenger side window regulator DIY
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Passenger Window Regulator R&R-RevA.pdf (4.83 MB, 337 views)

Last edited by bluebee; 02-24-2011 at 11:46 PM.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2011, 10:56 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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On page 512-11 of my 2002 E39 Bentley manual, there's a continuation (of sorts) of the previous door-trim removal instructions.

Front window regulator removing and installing (512-11):
  1. BMW recommends removing the window regulator and motor as one unit, then separating the two on the bench.
  2. Remove front door panel as described in "411 Doors"
    • i.e., see "Door trim panel, removing and installing", (411-7)
    • Door trim panel, removing and installing, 411-7 "Doors":
      1. Disconnect negative (-) battery cable
        • I disconnected both cables, & crossed the cables.
      2. Open door, and remove screw located in air duct.
        • Use a long shaft #2 Phillips screwdriver
      3. Pry out seat memory switch and disconnect wiring harness.
        • I left the memory switch in place (removing the harness from the other side when the panel was removed)
      4. Working at bottom of door, pry out door panel light and disconnect wiring harness
        • That little light is in there rather tightly; but it comes out.
      5. Pry off plastic plug from door handle trim and remove screw
        • This is a T20 Torx screw under the chrome door handle.
      6. Carefully pry out window switch panel and disconnect electrical harness plugs.
        • Because the edges of this switch are fragile, I followed the DIYs that leave it for now and pop it out from the back later.
      7. Slide door handle through trim panel
        • The chrome door handle dangled for a while and then fell off accidentally when I pulled the trim away from the door (in a later step)
      8. Unclip door panel from door perimeter using a plastic trim panel tool. Pry panel retaining clips off one at a time.
        • There were 17 total clips to pry off (5 metal clips on the top; 3 yellow (longer) plastic clips on the front; 4 white (shorter) plastic clips on the bottom; 3 white (shorter) plastic clips on the rear; & 2 under the arm rest, one of which is white plastic, the other metal)
      9. Lift bottom of door trim panel up and away from window trim to release clips
        • I'm not sure what this means
      10. Pull door panel upwards to release center mount clip
        • It pains me to see adverbs in plural (that's impossible in proper English)
      11. Disconnect radio speaker wiring harness
        • If you haven't already, now is the time to remove four wiring harnesses (door light, memory switch, master switch, and door speaker); the airbag electronics are embedded deeper in the door itself.
      12. Remove door trim panel
  3. Disconnect negative (-) cable from battery, then remove airbag unit and vapor barrier from door. See "721 Airbag System (SRS)"
    • i.e., see "Door mounted side-impact airbag, removing and installing", (721-10)
    • "Door mounted side-impact airbag, removing and installing", (721-10)
    • Disconnect negative (-) cable from battery and cover negative terminal with insulating material.
    • Remove inside door panel as described in 411 Doors.
    • Remove front door airbag mounting bolts (3).
    • Disconnect electrical harness connector.
    • CAUTION: When removing and installing the airbag unit, pay attention to the routing of the electrical harness to avoid kinks or breaks in the wire.
    • Installation is reverse of removal.
  4. Disconnect window from window guide rail as described in "Door window, removing and installing". Do not remove window from door.
    • i.e., see "Door window, removing and installing" (512-9)
    • "Door window, removing and installing" (512-9)
    • Remove door panel as described in "411 Doors".
    • Reconnect window switch and lower window down to convenient height and disconnect window switch.
    • Disconnect negative (-) cable from battery, then remove airbag unit and vapor barrier from door. See "721 Airbag System (SRS)".
    • Working carefully with a plastic prying tool, remove window trim strip from door.
    • Starting from rear of inner window trim strip, carefully pry up on trim strip clips (5) to remove window trim.
    • Loosen window clamping jaw fasteners (2).
    • Tilt window glass carefully inside door cavity and lift out of door
    • Installation is reverse of removal.
    • Replace plastic window retainers once glass is inside door.
    • Use new mounting bolts when reinstalling side-impact airbag to door.
    • Adjust windows as described earlier.
  5. Push window up and use wedge to hold in position.
  6. Removing window regulator from door: Disconnect window motor electrical harness connector.
  7. Remove lower window regulator fasteners (6).
  8. Remove upper window regulator fasteners (5).
  9. Loosen fasteners (2) and slide regulator up to remove from mounts.
  10. Remove window regulator through opening in bottom of door, checking for any wiring that might become snagged during removal.
  11. Installation is reverse of removal.
  12. Be sure to route wiring harnesses to keep them away from moving window mechanism. Use new wire ties as necessary.
  13. Adjust window as described earlier.
    • i.e., "Door window, adjusting", (512-8)
    • "Door window, adjusting", (512-8)
    • Whenever the door window or window regulator is removed, window adjustment should be checked. The glass should contact the top of the window squarely and should seat against the window seal uniformly.
    • NOTE: If the window does not contact the window seal uniformly, wind noise or water infiltration may result.
    • Remove door panel as described in "411 Doors".
    • Disconnect negative (-) cable from battery. Remove airbag unit and vapor barrier from door. See "721 Airbag System (SRS)".
    • Longitudinal adjustment:
      • Adjustments are made with window in open position.
      • Loosen window guide rail mounting nuts (2), but do not remove.
      • Slide window glass in longitudinal direction to adjust.
      • Tighten guide rail nuts.
      • Tightening torque, window regulator guide rail to door, 89 in-lb.
    • Vertical adjustment:
      • Adjustments are made with window in open position.
      • Loosen window clamping fasteners (2), but do not remove.
      • Adjust rear clamp and tighten fastener.
      • Tighten front clamp fastener.
      • Raise door window up to stop.
      • Check gap at window front edge (Front of window = 5.4mm, 0.21 in)
      • Check gap at window top edge (Top of window = 10mm, 0.39 in).
      • NOTE: Measure window frame between door window edge and panel.
      • Tightening torque, Window regulator guide rail to door, 89 in-lb.
  14. Tightening torques
    • Window motor to regulator 44 in-lb
    • Window regulator to door 71 in-lb
    • Window to guide 71 in-lb
So, now we have it. It's official. Bearing in mind, the Bentley is often dead wrong, they say to remove the airbag (but not the speaker) before removing the vapor barrier.

I guess, in the daylight, I will remove the airbag.

In summary, unfortunately, if the Bentley instructions are correct, we need to remove the airbag (but not the speaker); then the vapor barrier; and then we need to unclip the window glass (but not actually remove the glass from the door).

That's if the Bentleys are right (and I've seen 'em wrong many times!).
- Are the Bentleys nearly as useless to you as they are for me?

Last edited by bluebee; 02-10-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cegeste View Post
Disconnect battery
Disconnect airbag
Remove Airbag
Remove speaker box
Peel vapor barrier.
That sequence is good to know (because the Bentleys are often wrong).

The Bentleys have the airbag listed, but in reverse order (i.e., they remove the airbag and then disconnect the airbag).

Also, there is NOTHING in the Bentleys about removing the "speaker box".

By the way, is the "speaker box" the same as the "speaker" that I see in the middle of my picture below?

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  #13  
Old 02-09-2011, 11:08 PM
cegeste cegeste is offline
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I used this pdf to do my passenger side.

While it's not exactly the same on the E39, you can use this BavAuto video for reference.

The speaker "box" is the entire enclosure that has the speaker, as well as the plastic surrounding it. I believe it is affixed by 4 or 5 philips screws.

Last edited by cegeste; 02-09-2011 at 11:10 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-10-2011, 09:13 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cegeste View Post
I used this pdf ... you can use this BavAuto video
The PDF and video were good ... although one was a different door and the other was a different model BMW ... they both were useful (and so I added the PDF as an attachment and I added both as references to the earlier DIY posts above).

I also did a thorough review of both (sending it privately to cegeste), showing where they were similar but also where they differed from my situation.

I am a firm believer in a 1:1 ratio of my effort to DIY (meaning, if I have to fix something, I should strive to write a DIY). Or at least advance the knowledge. To my knowledge, the stuff I'm running into is not in one spot (it's scattered all over Timbuktu); so I'll try to assemble it here, as I go along.

To that end, I worked past midnight on writing the pictorial DIY (it's amazing how just uploading annotated pictures & writing a DIY takes sooooo much time) and I added everything I could from the Bentleys.

Now that it's light out (and warm), I'm gonna tackle this again. I haven't detached the master switch or figured out how that diabolical tweeter connector disengages ... so I had left it the way it was when nightfall overtook me yesterday.
(I haven't checked, but my door is still wide open so I hope the GPS and camera are still there.)
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Well, after a nice hike today in the sunny weather (wanna see pics of the Silicon Valley from a few thousand feet above it on a bright sunny day like today?) ... I started working again on the still-open door to free the panel from the wires.

Maybe these things are intuitive to you, but I stared at the tweeter connection and the three diabolical connectors on the master switch for fifteen minutes like a mouse eying cheese on a mousetrap ... trying to figure out how to disconnect them.

The bees were all around me as I finally figured it all out; but the door panel is now unconnected ... and the hot California sun is heating up the vapor barriers.

BTW, looking at the door, I'm not sure I have to remove either the air bag or the midrange box ... as the vapor barrier seems to "flow" around both of them ... but I'll soon find out.

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  #16  
Old 02-10-2011, 01:26 PM
cegeste cegeste is offline
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The screws/bolts for airbag and speakers go right through vapor barrier. There is vapor barrier material behind these items.

To get a look you may not have to remove, but should you have to replace the regulator, you will have to remove.
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:44 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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BB

Try this DIY for front regulator (on a 528), it has much of what you already have done:

http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/8...20R&R-RevA.pdf


And some other info:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1102402
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ndow+regulator

Hope this helps.
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2011, 02:44 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cegeste View Post
The screws/bolts for airbag and speakers go right through vapor barrier.
I'm in the diagnosis stage ... so I needed a "good" look ... so I ended up removing the three 10mm bolts of the airbag (and disconnecting the airbag) ... and I removed the three P2 Phillips screws holding the "speaker box" (and disconnected the speaker wires).

At that point, pulling off the front drivers door vapor barrier was 'almost' a breeze. That fustugeneh center clip was the only thing holding it back on!

After trying a half-dozen differently shaped pliers, I was able to get the center clip plastic off ... and then the vapor barrier was off!

So, in summary, to remove the vapor barrier, you must:
  1. Disconnect the battery
  2. Remove the door trim (19 connections)
  3. Disconnect the electronics (7 components, about a dozen connections)
  4. Remove the airbag (and disconnect)
  5. Remove the "speaker tube" (it's more a tube than a box)
  6. Remove the fusteguneh center clip plastic sheath!
  7. Remove the vapor barrier
Right now, I'm taking a break, with a nice cool drink, lying on my back, staring upward at the window regulator mechanism, basking in the sun ... and, since nothing seems to be "broken", I'm lying here, warming up like a lizard, with absolutely no clue what to look for next!

HINDSIGHT: I should have marked the direction of the plastic on that center clip with nail polish! Too late now (luckily I have hundreds of pictures).

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Old 02-10-2011, 02:58 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Try this DIY for front regulator (on a 528)
Thanks Fudman.

I was referring time to time to that passenger-side PDF ... and I had the DanWiz window regulator DIY ... but Dan started with the regulator on the table so he's way ahead of me!

Anyway, I placed a few cloves of garlic on the battery & airbag to ward off voodoo SRS demons ... and reconnected the airbag and the three connectors to the master switch (HINDSIGHT ALERT: I spent five minutes trying to figure out why the white connector wouldn't go back into the master switch until I realized it's a black connector ... next time I'm MARKING all the connectors before taking them out!).

I have no clue what I'm looking for ... but I can see things going up and down (just not the window following them) ... when I press the switches.

Here's a pic ... I'll take a video also (if I can remember how I posted to youtube last time I did a video). Nothing seems to be broken but the window is definitely not attached to whatever it's supposed to be attached to though ...

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Old 02-10-2011, 03:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I'm still looking for what's wrong.

I don't see anything broken, per se. But, it's all Greek to me as I can't imagine HOW this thing works!

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  #21  
Old 02-10-2011, 03:28 PM
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What does THIS look like to you as to a diagnosis of the problem?

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  #22  
Old 02-10-2011, 03:36 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Is the window holder supposed to have a hitch like that when it is 85% of the way up? It looks like the holder is catching something on the track. That does not appear to be right. This appears to be a mechnical vice electrical issue.

After watching it second time, I notice that the holder stops at a different point along the track on the first and second time up. Something is amiss. But it is hard to tell from a video.

After watching it a few more times, the sound it makes as it nears the top of the track is not normal. I suspect that something is catching the holder on the track. The fact that it twists a little bit also does not seem right. The holder should slide up the track with no unusal sound or side to side motion.

Last edited by Fudman; 02-10-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-10-2011, 10:02 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Is the window holder supposed to have a hitch like that when it is 85% of the way up?
Hi Fudman,
I watched it over and over and over again - like a kid watching a cartoon. Then, I realized, the "hitch" was simply due to the window "clamps" wiggling because there was no window in them.

It took a bit of trial and error - but basically once the window went in place (and the wires were aligned with their guides) - the thing worked.

Fustugeneh BMW design. All that apparently happened was that both window clamps let go of the bottom of the window!

All I did was put the window back into the clamps where it originally was!

One question though:
Q: Do people put locktite on those T20 torx screws?

Here's a video of the working door:
DIY to follow (I hope).

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  #24  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:08 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Blue, I have a buddy of mine who is in auto glass. I will hopefully be replacing my driver front regulator next week and he owes me some work. I will set up my cam and record the procedure from start to finish. I may have to lay some music over the original audio do to language
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2011, 11:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
replacing my driver front regulator next week ... record the procedure from start to finish.
That would be very nice.

I always try (but often fail) to write a DIY after every repair job (so that others wouldn't have to go through what I did figuring things out).

Personally, I'll wager there are (at least) two types of people:
- People who only need rudimentary DIYs (even those for other vehicles)
- People (like me) who need detailed DIYs (preferably for exactly our problem)

In "my" DIY (if I ever write it), I'll add all my lessons learned (of which they were legion). Over time, if we strive to create the DIYs, then all our work will be more efficient.

BTW, here's a video of the complete E39 regulator job, but it's for the rear (not the front).

Here is my door today ... with the window in the holding clamps this time (before I put it back together):

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