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 Post subject: Window Regulator Repair
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 2:15 pm 
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Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Year and Trim: 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport.
***Note: This article was originally written when the cost of the regulators were $250+. There are now relatively low cost after-market regulators available via Ebay, and online parts suppliers. This gives another option for those not wanting to tackle this repair.***

Due to the cost of replacement rear window regulators, as well as their frequent failures, this is a low cost, relatively easy repair using readily available parts and tools. Additional information on some follow-up fixes are at the end of this article.

This article is for the rear window regulators, although a similar method might be used if the front regulators cable fails. The most common problem with the fronts is that they will become inoperative.

If the front stops working, while depressing the window switch for the direction you need the window to move, give the door a good, hard slam closed. You may have to do this a couple of times.

If that doesn't solve the problem, remove the door panel, door module and water deflector. Remove the 3 bolts holding the motor on to the regulator, and remove the motor. You do not need to remove the regulator. Temporarily reconnect the door module, then test the motor by depressing the window switch. If it works, lube things up on the regulator with a good silicone grease, and put the motor back in. The window will likely now work properly.

Tools needed are:
a bench vise,
hacksaw or dremel tool
10 mm socket or phillips screwdriver and
an 1 1/2 inch corner bracket. It is available at the Home Depot, or just about any hardware store. When selecting the corner bracket, note where the holes are at each end. The ones with the holes in the center work better than those that have them slightly off to the side.


It is a good idea to lube things up as you do the repair with a good silicone based grease.

After removing the regulator from the car, it is likely to look like this.


The lower cable has slack, the sled moves up and down, and the top cable end is captured in the top guide.


Remove the 3 screws that hold down the motor

Grasp the top cable end that is stuck in the top guide, and pull down. If it moves easily and the sled slides down, you're in luck and the bottom cable has not become tangled inside the reel. If it is stuck, that will be fixed later in the instructions.

Removed the black clip from the sled by prying it off with a screwdriver.

This is where the repair will be made, and the clip will not be used. Using the vise, or a hammer, flatten the corner brace.

Measure and mark 1/2 inch in from the end on each side of the bracket. Place the bracket in the vise to that mark, and bend the end to a 90 degree angle.

Take the bracket to a grinder (or a file if you're really patient) and grind off some from each side of the bend until it is 3/8 inch wide. Use care with this step, as it is easy to have the part get caught and go flying off, or grinding off part of your skin. You may wish to clamp it into a pair of vise grips to hold the piece. You could also grind it down with a dremel tool.

Using a hacksaw or Dremel cutting wheel, cut a slit down the center of the end of the bracket. This has to be wide enough to have the cable slide through it.

If the slit isn't wide enough for the cable, you can pry it open wider with a screwdriver, and then take a bit more off from the side of the bracket.

Remove the reel from the regulator by straightening the pins that hold it down, and compressing and pushing out the plastic guide pin on the back.

If the bottom cable was not tangled in the reel, use care to hold the reel inside the cover so that the cable does not spill out. If it was tangled, remove the reel from the cover. Some have been hesitant to do the repair if the cable is kinked, or somewhat frayed. Successful repairs have been done even if the cable is not in the best condition.

Slide the top cable under the top of the sled, and pull up through the hole at the top.

Push the cable end into the slot just below that hole.

These are the dimensions of the final piece. Each bend is 1/2 inch as stated, and the distance between the bends is 1 7/8 inches.

Push the previously made bracket into the holes at the top and bottom of the sled which hold the black clip that was removed. Make certain that the cables have slid into the slits that were cut into the bracket.

If the cable had become tangled, wrap the cables back around the spool. You can tell by the direction the cable comes out of the spool which way to wrap it and there are grooves on the spool to hold the cable. Keeping a little bit of tension on the cables helps. Place the spool back inside the cover, still keeping tension on it. If the grooves on the spool are damaged, the cable will still wrap properly.

It will appear as if the cables are too short at this point, as the slack has not been taken up yet.

Pull the spool and cover down toward where it attaches to the regulator bracket. Align the guide pin on the back with the bracket, and slide the cover over the previously straightened pins. Bend those back down.

Note how the center of the spool slides over the raised portion of the regulator. You may need to use a screwdriver or other tool to line this up. This is where the end of the motor's gear slides in. It is a lot easier to align it ahead of time rather than trying to do it while putting the motor back on. It will require a fair amount of force to remove the slack from the cable and line the spool properly.

Line the motor's gears up with the gears in the center of the spool, and push it in until it is flat against the spool cover. You may have to wiggle things around a bit to get it to go in. Screw the 3 10mm screws back in, and you're done. In case you forgot which way the motor was installed originally, the motor end is on the same side as the black cable guide that goes to the top of the regulator.

This looks like a lot of detail, but it is relatively easy. The whole process, including lubing and testing (not removal or installation in the car) took 40 minutes.

Some have had the problem where the plastic is so brittle, that it breaks apart, and then allows the anchor on the cable that attaches at the top to pull through the bracket. If that is the case, I'd suggest opening a split type lock washer enough to slip the cable into the center, and then crimp it closed. When you're done, it should look something like this.


Then install the bracket like before, with the washer between the plastic above the cable end and the bracket. That should keep the cable from pulling through.

Others have apparently had some trouble with the bracket popping off. The bracket is held in only by friction, so if it is made too small, or not bent properly, it may not hold as tightly as it should. In that case, you may wish to make a type of clip to hold the bracket on. I bent up a wire coat hanger until it looked like this.


Before pulling the cable tight, insert that clip over the bracket so that each bent end is under the cable. When inserted, it should look like this.


*Gone, but not forgotten* - Black 2000 SSEi, HIR Headlights, Angel Eyes fogs, 3rd brake light overlay, hi-flo cat, 180 degree thermostat, HS 1.9 rockers, LSx yellow springs, Intense FWI, PCM, shift kit, push rods, and 3.4 Pulley. ZZP Power Log.

Last edited by Archon on Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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