My driver's door window is taped up at the moment so I can't advise you other than to point you to other window regulator DIYs ... but I would love for you to advise me whatever you find out.
As for me, my driver's side window fell down a few weeks ago and I just taped it up.
I haven't ordered the parts yet 'cuz I don't know exactly what's wrong (and I won't know 'till I remove the door panel).
Luckily it seems to be about 57 degrees today so maybe it's a good time to look for that round tuit ...
Here are some links from the VERY best of E39 Links for DIYs:
- POWER WINDOWS SUDDENLY STOP WORKING: low-quality unreliable window regulator mechanisms (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) and a repair kit (1) (2) and for other models (1) (2) (3) (4)
As I said, I still haven't done the research enough yet to tackle the job; but here's what I put together for removing the drivers side door panel: My composite BMW E39 front drivers side door panel removal instructions:
Lower the front driver side window glass if possible.
Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery; then the positive terminal.
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)
While waiting for electrical charges in the SRS system to bleed off, magnetize a set of screwdrivers.
Locate the driver side door handle escutcheon screw cap.
With your fingernail or a jewelry flathead screwdriver, pry out that screw cap.
With a #0 Phillips screwdriver or a T20 Torx, remove that door handle escutcheon screw.
Locate the driver side front top corner air vent screw.
Close the vent for access to the screw and notice that you must unscrew at an angle.
With a long thin #0 Phillips screwdriver, remove that air vent screw.
With your hands, pry down the aft end of the bottom door light panel.
By hand, disconnect the harness connector to that bottom door light.
Wiggle the door handle escutcheon to ensure it only loosely hinders movement of the front door panel.
Place your left hand on the black plastic (not the grill) at the top right of the front door panel.
Place your right hand on the plastic on the top vertical portion of the front door panel.
With your hands, pull the door panel straight out to pop loose that top right corner of the front door panel.
First working counterclockwise with your hands, pop out the plastic christmas tree clips on the entire horizontal top edge of the door panel.
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.
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.
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.
Double check that the door panel perimeter is completely loose and unhindered.
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.
Note that the center clip may not come out with the panel, and may remain attached to the door metal.
Slip the door handle through the door panel hole to free up the door panel of mechanical things.
Unplug the midrange speaker harness connector.
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.
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.
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.
Now the door panel is free of its strictures and tethers.
If you buy one from www.regulatorusa.com, they will pay $50.00 for your broken one. I have bought from them twice and returned my broken ones for the $50.00 with no problem. You can also send yours in for repair too.
I feel I did not have a good experience with regulatorsusa (Mirror Guard). I would say they were somewhat fair in the end only after multiple requests, by giving me a replacement regulator for the first one from them that immediately failed, but I found the person I talked with argumentative and insulting. By the time I got the second one, I got one from another supplier and fixed my window. So I ended up doing the job twice, not compensated for the extra work to take things apart again, plus got an extra regulator sitting in my garage.
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