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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT: Originally this thread was titled "Should I use Loctite or other adhesive on my window regulator clamp bolt?".
Due to the exigency at hand, the thread necessarily morphed into "How not to fix a front driver's side window regulator".


This is the 'second' time my front driver's side window has fallen out of its clamps, in about a year.

Most likely I'm doing something wrong or I'm skipping a key step (or I'm missing a small piece of something 'clampy').

About a year ago, when I first put the window back in its clamps, I tightened the single bolt on each clamp as tightly as I could, by hand - but I did not add any adhesive glue or Loctite (aka locktite, Loc-Tite).

However, the window slipped out again!


QUESTION:
Is there a lock-nut-style thingey possible? Or do you guys recommend cyanoacrylate glue (or Loctite) on the clamp bolts
 

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Keeping it surreal
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Loc-Tite Blue for things that might need to be taken apart sometime in the future.

Loc-Tite Red for a near-permanent bond (like, you`ll need a TORCH to get it apart)
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Loc-Tite Blue
Is the loctite (or other chemical) my main option?

Or is there some kind of 'lock nut' or something mechanically more 'clampy' that can keep those loose clamps tight?

Since this happened twice, I'm looking in the realoem diagrams to see if maybe I'm 'missing' a part - like maybe a rubber strip or a clamp or something.

Unfortunately, the diagrams confuse me, because one is labelled "electric front door" but the clamps don't actually 'look' like my front door clamps:
2002 E39 525i => Vehicle trim => Front door => EL.FRONT DOOR WINDOW LIFTING MECHANISM


Confusingly, the diagram for the rear looks more like what my front door clamps look like:
E39 525i => Vehicle trim => Front door => DOOR WINDOW LIFTING MECHANISM REAR


Am I going crazy or are the realoem diagrams reversed?

What I'm looking for is to see if I'm missing a gasket or rubber thingey or locknut or something more mechanically 'clampy' ... because both clamps came off twice already!
 

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Bluebee

I've never had to do any repairs on the regulators in my car, so I'm speculating here.

Is it possible that the window glass is sticking or binding in the track? Over time, each downward travel would then work the glass just slightly out of the gripping pads in the regulator clamps. Eventually one or both come out. Potential causes could be a distorted track or mis-aligned regulator that is cocking the glass in the track.
Try lifting and lowering the glass by hand to check for any sticky points.
Then with the trim panel still off try re-setting the glass in the regulator and traversing it up and down to see if the regulator is causing a twist or cocking effect. Pay particular attention at top of travel watching to see if the glass is jammed or cocked so that it will be difficult to pull loose. (don't forget to re-connect the door airbag when powering the car, unless you have a system to reset the airbag warning light.)

Another possible cause might be that the regulator clamps have become bent so that tightening the screw/bolt isn't increasing the clamping force on the window pads.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I put Loctite blue on nearly everything that I don't want coming apart
OK. That's what I'll do. Since the window keeps coming off, my first thought was I was missing something in the clamp to make it more 'clampy'.

Unfortunately, I don't see if I'm missing something as I was surprised I'm confused by the realoem diagrams (which seem reversed to me), which don't seem to show the necessary close-up detail of the clamp itself.

When I get that round tuit this weekend, I'll doublecheck the diagrams when I remove the door panel - but they sure 'look' reversed to me just comparing my old picture above with the diagrams.

Then I can look to see if something is missing on the clamp itself.

EDIT: The realoem diagrams are NOT reversed! The front door diagram 'is' for the front door. It shows the #3 "Clip" but it doesn't show the T25 bolt in each of those two window "Clips"); but the diagram does show the two separate #7 rubber "edge protection" strips that go inside the two #3 window "Clips". Also, the diagram does not show the #6 rubber "Absorber" in the proper position; nor does the front door diagram make it clear that #4 is not inside the door (it's above the top edge of the window on the door). Also, the clip and thick rubber o-ring washer on the back of the motor plate which T25 bolt #2 attaches to is wholly omitted in the front-door diagram. The white rectangular rubber stop at the bottom of the fore black metal guide is also not shown. Neither is the white plastic "wing" on each of the clamps which hold the bottom of the windows, nor the second T20 Torx bolt that holds that wing in place on the clamp apparatus.

each downward travel would then work the glass just slightly out of the gripping pads
I like the way you think!

That makes sense, since I certainly tightened the clamps as well as a screwdriver can, the last time a year ago.

When the round tuit is found this weekend, I'll take careful note of the motion of the glass in the door panel & report back.

Oh, and thanks for the airbag light warning ... I'm prepared ... in fact, since I don't like taking chances on the dreaded airbag light, I plan on warding off the evil SRS spirits by placing a bulb of garlic inside the door panel, even though just a few cloves should ward them off just as well.
 

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FYI - Loctite blue is Loctite #242 or #243. You usually won't be able to tell the color by just looking at the bottle.

And FastBob is right, if you need to break Loctite red apart, you WILL need a torch to heat the Loctite and break it's seal

Jerry.
 

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I checked the Bentley workshop manual, and it doesn't specify any Loctite, but does give a torque of 8NM, which is not much, so I would definitely use blue Loctite (242) to ensure nothing comes loose. Good luck.
 

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I didn't use loctite when I replaced my regulator so now you've got me worried that my window will come off and I'll have to take the door panel apart again, not something I enjoy.

The OEM diagrams look like they're drawn from an "outside" perspective, is that what you mean by reversed?
 

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I use blue Locktite on almoust all the small or low torgue nuts and where is no casket to be considered. Cant think of anything why it should do any harm, torque is what you set it to be when you tighten the nut and the weaker blue glue just tries to keep it there. BTW is it just in my car but all the window actuators do sound like they are over theyr limits and to die at any moment, windows movement is smooth tho. same for the sunroof, im afraid to move them they sound like begging me to stop.
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You usually won't be able to tell the color by just looking at the bottle.
Interesting. I'm only vaguely familiar with Loctite adhesive glues, having never used any myself.

At first, I thought you guys were talking the blue/red color of the bottle, but both Loctite 242 and Loctite 243 are sold in red bottles ... so you must be talking about the color of the Loctite adhesive itself.



you WILL need a torch to heat the [red] Loctite and break it's seal
Looking at the Loctite glue's methacrylate ester ingredients (msds), I'm beginning to strongly suspect Loctite glues (the main Loctite ingredient is polyglycol dimethacrylate) are simply varying concentrations of your typical cyanacrolate super glues (e.g., crazy glue) with sprinkles of saccharin and silica added to the glue to make Loctite glues weaker than the pure ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate & poly acrylate (e.g., methyl methacrylate) of your typical "instant glue/superglue/crazy glue".

Bentley ...doesn't specify any Loctite
Thanks. I had almost certainly consulted the Bentley manual myself when I last did the job as I remember asking whether or not I should employ an anaerobic glue.

Methinks I 'may' be missing something ... a small piece of rubber ... or a lock washer ... or something not easily seen in the realoem diagrams.

The OEM diagrams look like they're drawn from an "outside" perspective, is that what you mean by reversed?
I hadn't thought about perspective - but - I belatedly realized the front-door diagram is (mostly) correct. The 'perspective' is definitely from that of the driver sitting inside the vehicle cockpit looking outward, toward the door.

EDIT: In hindsight, the front door diagram is confusing to me because, while it shows the all-important #3 "Clip" ... it doesn't show the T25 bolt in each of those two window "Clips". And, while the diagram does show the two separate #7 rubber "edge protection" strips that go inside the two #3 window "Clips", the diagram does not show the #6 rubber "Absorber" in the proper position; nor does the front door diagram make it clear that #4 is not inside the door (it's above the top edge of the window on the door). Also, the clip and thick rubber o-ring washer on the back of the motor plate which T25 bolt #2 attaches to is wholly missing in the front-door diagram. The white rectangular rubber stop at the bottom of the fore black metal guide is also not shown. Neither is the white plastic "wing" on each of the clamps which hold the bottom of the windows, nor the second T20 Torx bolt that holds that wing in place on the clamp apparatus.

the weaker blue glue just tries to keep it there
I suspect crazy glue would work as well - but I don't have the courage to try it by sprinkling some saccharin and silica onto super glue to weaken it just a bit.

EDIT:
However, I 'might' run an experiment the next time I decide to give a household item to charity. I can remove a few bolts, and sprinkle (1) Loctite blue on some, (2) pure crazy glue on others, and (3) mixtures of crazy glue and saccharin on others. Then, if I wait a few days and try to unbolt the bolts, I'll see which are the hardest stuck. I suspect the answer will be the superglue is indeed just Loctite red, while the saccharin blends may approach the lesser stickiness of the Loctite blue.
 

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Dinggg....what now!
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Hi blue...item #7 in the realoem is a rubber strip that seats between the clamp and the glass.....from the trail of posting i didn't see any mention of this rubber piece.i do have that rubber piece on my window and it is this that holds the glass.i dread to think about tightening the clamp without this rubber piece.....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
item #7 in the realoem is a rubber strip that seats between the clamp and the glass
Bad news.

I see in these pictures from Agent99's and MatWiz' thread what you're talking about ...


But I have worse problems at the moment.

Both window clamps are (apparently) jammed solid against the top (against something) and will not travel down no matter how hard I pull on them with pliers once I removed the door panel late today.


So, I started removing the regulator, even though the 'original' problem was merely that the window released from its clamps.


I had not expected to be removing the regulator and reinstalling it - so I had not looked up HOW to remove the regulator.

It got dark before I could get the regulator out ... so I had to leave the car outside with the door open (since I still have the window master switch connected).

Hopefully someone can help me understand why the regulator mechanism just won't travel down. It's stuck in place. The motor shuts off in a split second. It's jammed way up at the top.

I think I need to remove and re-install the regulator mechanism, which is something I've never done before.

I see the three Torx screws on the top of the door, and two 10mm bolts on the bottom.

Q: Are those five bolts all that is needed to remove in order to get the now-jammed window regulator mechanism out?


EDIT: Looking up the procedure in the Bentleys, there are apparently LOTS more bolts than I at first assumed!
Removing window regulator from door:
a. Disconnect window motor electrical harness connector.
b. Remove six lower window regulator fasteners.
c. Remove five upper window regulator fasteners.
d. Loosen two fasteners and slide regulator up to remove from mounts.
e. Remove window regulator through opening in bottom of door checking for any wiring that might become snagged during removal.
Wow. I'll start looking for a photo of those 11 bolts, and two fasteners holding the window regulator in place!

Digging, I think the Bentleys are wrong, as they match an E46 but not the E39, so I don't think the screw count or directions are actually correct.

Examining my old pictures from this thread, it seems I should probably first disconnect the window regulator motor black harness connector.


Then, it seems this 'brass' screw holding a clip to the door must be removed, along with the 12" cable ties:


And, apparently this rear bottom 10mm bolt needs to be loosened:

And, this forward bottom 10mm bolt needs to be loosened:


But I'm not sure what the next set of bolts needs to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I've been looking at a half dozen front driver door window regulator DIYs and surprisingly, most don't show the bolts that need to be removed.

This one seems to be one of the best though, as it seems to show the bolts (again proving the Bentley is dead wrong on this procedure).
- Bimmerboard E39 Front Passenger Side Window Regulator R&R

It shows that at least one of the top three T25 Torx bolts needs to be removed (probably all three need to be removed).
NOTE: This DIY says it's a T27, which might be the case as the T25 was slightly loose on me.


So, since the Bentley is dead wrong, my take (based on that DIY above) as to how to remove the regulator is:

  1. Lower the window clamps to the lowest position
    • (I can't do that in my case because they're jammed up against something).
  2. Remove the window trim
    • (most seemed to leave this step out, and I don't see why it's needed anyway, because I was easily able to pull the window glass out without removing ANYTHING, since the clamps were already loose).
  3. Remove one Torx brass bolt in the window motor backing plate
  4. Disconnect the black harness connector to the power window motor
  5. Remove the top 3 Torx bolts
    • (they each have a hole for doing so)
  6. Loosen the bottom 10mm hex bolts.
  7. Cut any tie wraps after making note of them for future reference
  8. Remove regulator assembly out of the bottom of the door.
To those who have done this before ...
Q: Is the the right sequence for removal of the E39 front driver's side window regulator?

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I'm working on the car now (9am Pacific) ... so any timely advice would be appreciate

It's daylight ... so I was able to remove the window regulator, once I realized NOT to trust the Bentleys!
(Note to self: Change title of this thread to: "How not to remove a window regulator...".)

Since the Bentley is apparently somewhat wrong, and, since NONE of the DIYs (see previous links & PDFs) explain all the Torx sizes, here's how I would write a more definitive DIY to remove the front driver side door window regulator on my 2002 525i (photos to follow once I'm done).

  1. Take a moment to locate the 6 bolts that must be removed in order to slide the window regulator out of the door
  2. It's best to have lowered the window clamps to the lowest position before you removed the door panel, but, if necessary, do this:
    • Disconnect battery negative cable; re-connect airbag yellow connector; connect battery negative cable; connect armrest master switch; press button to lower window clamps; disconnect battery negative cable; disconnect airbag yellow connector; disconnect armrest master switch.
    • Note: I can't lower 'my' clamping clips because they're jammed up against something near the top.
    • Note: You must remove the glass to get to the upper three T25 regulator bolts.
    • NOTE: This DIY says it's size T27, which might be the case as the T25 was slightly loose on me.
  3. You'll need to loosen the single T25 bolt on each the rubber-protected window clamps before removing the window glass.
    • Note: My situation was unusual in that this window-clamp Torx bolt was inaccessible as it was jammed high up in the door.
    • In your case, the bolt will likely be accessible near the bottom of the door (if you lowered the window before removing the panel).
  4. The Bentleys and some of the better DIYs say to remove the outside & inside upper window trim
    • But I don't see why this step is needed as I already removed the window glass without touching 'anything' else (not even the door panel). Of course, my clamps were clearly loose, so 'you' will need to remove the door trim.
    • So, for now, I'm leaving the window trim on the de-glassed door.
  5. Remove the top three T25 Torx bolts (they each have a hole in the steel door for easy access with an extension bit)
    • Note: I'd remove these 3 bolts first because when I removed them last, the weight of the regulator was on the last of the three.
  6. Remove one T25? Torx brass bolt in the window motor backing plate
    • Note: It's slightly bigger than a T20, which, unfortunately, is a problem because I only have T10,T15, T20, & T30 Torx screwdrivers
    • Luckily, I had a ratchet set of T15, T20, T25, T30, T40, T45, & T50 sockets; but even the T25 seemed slightly loose.
    • Sadly, I just went through the dozen DIYs listed in this post #10 and not one mentions the specific size of this E39 Torx bolt!
    • No wonder people report their window regulator Torx bolts rounded off by the previous owner!
    • Take care not to lose the clip and rubber washer below this bolt just removed. Notice my rubber washer was squished beyond recognition:
    • Note: For reasons of fit & leverage, I would not recommend removing the Torx bolts last.
    • Note: The five torx bolts on the motor itself are T20.
  7. Disconnect the black harness connector to the power window motor
    • Note: For once, it's a simple press-the-two-side tabs-and-pull disconnect procedure.
  8. Loosen the bottom 10mm hex head bolts with a socket wrench.
    • Note: I had to remove the forward bolt to get the regulator out so you might just want to remove them both instead of just loosening them.
    • Note: For reasons of fit & leverage, I'd remove these two bolts last.
  9. Cut the one aft 7-inch long 1/8" wide tie wrap on the window regulator after making note of the location for future reference
  10. Remove regulator assembly out of the bottom of the door.
    • Note: You simply need to wiggle and twist it a bit but it should stay together.
Now I need to understand if the jammed regulator is 'broken' or salvageable.

Here's a picture of the aft clamp jammed up against the top-left plastic roller high up in the inside of the door.


And here's the forward clamp, also jammed against the top-right roller, high up in the door panel.


Looking closer, we see the aft window clamp is locked against the top-left roller, with the result that the cable has almost been pryed away from the clamp apparatus:


We see a similar, but not as severe crunch at the forward (top-right) plastic roller:


Basically, at this point, I'm in diagnostic troubleshooting mode. I need to figure out what is going on.

Any advice would be appreciated.

EDIT: I found this in the BMW TIS Home ***8250; 5' E39 ***8250; M5 (S62) Saloon***8230; ***8250; Body equipment ***8250; front electrically operated windows ***8250; Removing and installing electric window regulator in left or right front door
BMW TIS - 51 33 000 Removing and installing electric window regulator in left or right front door

Disconnect negative battery lead,
refer to General Information MG 12
Version with side airbag:
Removing and installing airbag in left or right front door,
refer to 72 12 010
Remove window in front door,
refer to 51 32 170

51 33 000 Removing and installing electric window regulator in left or right front door
Pull Bowden cable (1) backwards, detach from door handle and remove.
Remove connector (1).
Unfasten screws (2) and remove loudspeaker box (3).
Remove connector from window regulator drive unit.
Pull off guide (1).
Unfasten screws (only loosen lower 3 screws) and remove complete cable on window regulator.
Installation:
Install window regulator in locating bracket and install all screws loose.
Tighten down screws (1) and (2).
Tightening torque, refer to Technical Data 51 33 2AZ
Installation:
Installing door window in clamps of window regulator and adjusting door window,
refer to 51 32 154
Installation:
Lower door window down to stop.
Tighten down screws (3) and (4).
Tightening torque, refer to Technical Data 51 33 2AZ
Installation:
Close door window firmly.
Tighten down screws (5) and (6).
Tightening torque, refer to Technical Data 51 33 2AZ
******* class="tis"> ********>
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
To answer the original question about the use of loctite adhesives on the bolts ...

Item #7 in the realoem is a rubber strip that seats between the clamp and the glass
Mine are in sad shape.

Notice also that there appears to be red loctite from the factory on the penultimate threads of the T25 bolt on each clamp.


The two bottom 10mm hex-head bolts also seem to have red loctite on the penultimate threads from the factory:


The T25 window regulator motor plate clasp to the door seems to have blue factory loctite on the penultimate threads.

Yet, the upper three T25 window regulator bolts do not seem to have any factory loctite applied to the lower threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I need your advice as to how to get the window regulator wires "unstuck"

I have a dilemma which I need your advice on.

No matter how hard I tug, the wires are stuck tight.

Q: How would you 'unstick' these stuck wires?

Q: Can I replace 'just' the one chipped white plastic roller?

To help you help me, here's a detail shot of the aft window clamp that is jammed in a position that is too high, and which seems to have damaged the (top left) white plastic roller wheel:

Here is a closeup shot of the fore clamp that is likewise, way too high (but this forward clamp doesn't seem stuck as much as the rear one is, nor does it seem to have damaged the top-right white plastic roller wheel).

The bottom two roller wheels appear to be undamaged.

And, here is an inside-looking-out view of the stuck window regulator:

Likewise, here is the reverse view:


My question:
Q: How would you 'unjam' this mechanism?

Specifically, would you remove the five T20 Torx bolts of this window regulator motor?

Q: And, how would you replace this chipped top-left plastic roller wheel?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Q: Do you think applying 12 volts DC (in order to jog the clamps loose) to the pins labelled #1 and #2 on the motor connector would damage the motor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, that was a dismal failure.

In either direction, the motor drew over 6 amps when I connected a 12 volt battery charger momentarily.

The motor moved only about an eighth of an inch in either direction ... so that's not going to be the solution to the stuck clamps.
 

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