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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 08-16-2011, 06:29 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Question BMW 540i Rear Window Won't Roll Up

I have a diagnosis/DIY question for everyone:

When I pulled into work this morning, I attempted to roll up all of the windows in my car. They were only about 4 inches down. The rear driver's side window would not roll up. I rolled it down another several inches and it wouldn't go up any further from there. The window mechanism itself is still making all of its regular noises, though I did hear a crack or snapping noise when I attempted to roll the window up the first time.

I didn't want to attempt to pull it up at that point, so it's sitting in the parking lot and I'm crossing my fingers that no one messes with the car.

I've searched through the forums and have found a lot about window regulators, but no one with this exact problem that I'm having.

I'll be taking the door apart later but does anyone have any ideas or diagnosis concerning what may be wrong with the window?

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2011, 07:09 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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For now you can just pull it up by hand so that it's not just sitting open. Looks like a search for "window regulator" is your next step.

I had a similar issue and was able to wire tie the little hex shaped thing to the clip that holds the window track. this was about 4 years ago and its still holding. Once you pull the door panel you may see what I'm talking about.
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Last edited by BigCo540i; 08-16-2011 at 07:11 AM.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2011, 07:15 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Thanks a lot! I was afraid to try to pull it up by myself, I didn't know how much strength it would require and I didn't want to do any more damage to the window. I'll run outside right now and see what I can do
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2011, 07:19 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Same thing happened to me, turned out the cable on the W.Regulator fell off track.
Put it all back and all is fine.

Fix your WR and don't roll up or down your windows LOL!

All you need is:
- Torx set
- Phillips screw driver
- Flat Screw driver
- 10-m wrench
- And YES get new "Butyl Rope" (get the size of your pinky finger) for about $15/15ft roll.
Or roughly $1 for each foot.
Most auto glass repair shops have it.

If you have door airbag, disconnect the battery first!!! Here is the DIY I wrote last month:

http://wwww.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=556902
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  #5  
Old 08-16-2011, 07:33 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Awesome I'm not a great DIYer (as I'm a mostly mechanically challenged woman), but my dad is, so I will make sure to send those links and directions his way! I'm sure he'll really appreciate the help instead of just taking the door apart blindly.
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  #6  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:05 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
Awesome I'm not a great DIYer (as I'm a mostly mechanically challenged woman), but my dad is, so I will make sure to send those links and directions his way! I'm sure he'll really appreciate the help instead of just taking the door apart blindly.
Trust me, a woman can do this WR replacement.
It is easier than going to your daily work LOL.
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:11 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Trust me, a woman can do this WR replacement.
It is easier than going to your daily work LOL.
Hahaha, maybe I'll give it a shot I think you're overestimating my mechanical abilities, however. I can't put together Ikea furniture.

I really do need to start learning how to do these things as my car and father both get older... I'm sure there will be plenty more things to fix in the future.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:17 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
Hahaha, maybe I'll give it a shot I think you're overestimating my mechanical abilities, however. I can't put together Ikea furniture.
A human ability to solve any future issues is only limited by one's desire to learn.
If one has the desire to learn, one can do it.
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:18 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
A human ability to solve any future issues is only limited by one's desire to learn.
If one has the desire to learn, one can do it.
Meh, my brain just doesn't work very well when it comes to mechanics. I have three degrees, so I'm definitely willing and able to learn. I just have no natural capability. Doesn't mean I won't give it a shot, however
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  #10  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:19 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
I've searched through the forums and have found a lot about window regulators, but no one with this exact problem that I'm having
The problem sounds 'similar' to what happened to me.
- One user's experience with diagnosing the front left driver door window regulator (1)

You can tape it up, for now, so nobody messes with your car.


Meanwhile, your only option is to remove the panels to see what it's like inside.

If you're lucky, like I was, the only problem might be the two clamps loosened on the bottom of the glass.

In my case, I put them back on the glass, and tightened the one bolt for each clamp - and I was done (cost = $0.00).

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qTmJSm-9PAM

Last edited by bluebee; 08-16-2011 at 09:20 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:24 AM
dmickle1 dmickle1 is offline
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Nice! Thanks Blueblee!

If this fix actually costs me nothing... I may die of shock. That would be the first (and probably last) thing that's gone wrong with the car that didn't cost anything.
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  #12  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
I have three degrees, so I'm definitely willing and able to learn. I just have no natural capability.
I'm also well degreed but it doesn't take that kind of an education to diagnose the problem.

What it takes is the tribe on this forum (and a few basic tools, as listed in cn90's DIY):
Quote:
- Screw drivers
- Torx Set (T20 and T30)
- Reverse Torx E Sockets (E12)
- 10-mm wrench
- Butyl Rope to re-seal the Vapor Barrier
- Loctite
Cn90 wrote his DIY (for the rear) after I wrote mine (for the front door); so I didn't use the butyl rope nor the Loctite. Nor, since my problem was simply the clamps let loose, did I need the reverse torx sockets. All I needed were screwdrivers and a wrench.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
I was afraid to try to pull it up by myself
I too was afraid I would break something by pulling the window glass up:
- Do you know a good way to keep a side window up (now off the track) for a few days

But, as BigCo540i said, you just wiggle it up and it will stay put with tape (some people permanently stick them with bathroom suction cups).


Quote:
Originally Posted by dmickle1 View Post
If this fix actually costs me nothing... I may die of shock
You'll know if the problem is similar if, when you wiggle the glass upward, if it can also move catty corner (indicating it's not clamped). However, you'll know what the problem is, for sure, as soon as you take the door panel off (as per the cn90 DIY) since you can then watch the entire operation in situ.


Last edited by bluebee; 08-16-2011 at 09:49 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2013, 11:41 AM
atlantiscats atlantiscats is offline
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Cool Suction cup idea....

Suction cup.... ha ha ha. Perfect. Didn't think of that one (perfect).... will do until I locate man to do my bidding for me.....
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