Window Regulator Repair / Bracing

The purpose of this page is to illustrate how to repair the window regulator mechanism. A very common problem on these cars is to have the window regulators fail. This is most often due to the plastic pieces of the mechanism cracking due to a combination of stress, temperature, and age. One option is to simply buy a new (or used) mechanism, unfortunately all this will do is buy you more time before it fails again. In addition, replacements aren't cheap. Thus, I decided to see if I could repair the mechanism in such a way as to make it last.

(Note: Click on pictures below to see a larger version. The descriptions on this page are not yet complete, since someone requested the info and I didn't have the time to 'do it right'. I will try and make some time in the future to revise the page. And yes, some are way out of focus.)

Step 1: Remove The Interior Door Panel:
This procedure is already documented (very well) on Jeff Lucius' site. Please refer to it for this procedure.

Step 2: Remove the Window Regulator Mechanism from the door.
Once the door panel has been removed, you should have access to the window regulator mechanism as show below:

a) Make sure the window is about half-way down so you can access the bolts attaching the window to the regulator.
b) Prop-up the bottom of the window glass with a piece of wood.
c) Remove the 2 bolts hold the window to the regulator.
d) Remove the 3 bolts attaching the power window motor to the door and unclip the power cord.
e) Remove the 4 bolts attaching the regulator to the door.

Step 3: Inspect Regulator Damage and Re-align.
a) After you have removed the regulator from the door, inspect the damange. You can see in the pics below, the top pulley bracket on mine was cracked and allowed the entire pulley to move out of position... slacking the cable and making it completely useless. I've had several of these thing go out over the years on my various cars, and more often than not... it's this top pulley mount that cracks and fails. Between the heat here in Texas, and the the stress put on this mount, the plastic just isn't up to the task.
b) Once you've repositioned the pulley mount, clamp it back into it's original location as show in the pics below. It is sometimes very difficult to work the mount back into place because of the tension on the cables, but with a little effort, it can be done.

Step 4: Fabricate The Aluminum Support Bracket.
a) Measure and cut a support bracket to attach to the back of the pulley mount. I made mine from 1/8" thick aluminum, and cut the length to 3 1/4" long.
b) De-bur the rough edges of the support bracket, and shape it to match the slight bend of the original plastic pulley mount.

Step 5: Mount The Support Bracket To The Regulator.
a) Clamp the support bracket to the back of the upper pulley mount. Take time to ensure it is aligned exactly where you want it mounted.
b) Drill at least 2 holes through the pulley mount and the support bracket at each end. At one end you'll also drill though the metal track of the regulator. I used an 1/8" bit to match the size of the rivets I used to mount the bracket.
c) Pop-rivet support bracket to regulator through the drilled holes. I used an 1/8" aluminum pop-rivets.
d) De-bur and clean up the rivets to make sure they will not interfere with the cable operation. Becareful not to cut or weaken the rivets when cleaning them up.

Step 6: Ensure Proper Travel Of The Regulator.
a) Make sure the regulator mechanism will clear your rivets. The only change I had to do was trim a little amount off of the plastic slide as show. I tried a couple of different dremel bits, and ended up using the cutting wheel (see pics).

Step 7: Clean Up and Lubricate The Regulator.
a) Wipe off any excess material from the drilling and cutting process, then use spray lubricant to thouroughly lubricate the entire regulator mechanism before re-installing it back into the door.

Step 8: Lubricate The Rest Of The Window Mechanism.
a) While the regulator is out of the door and you have more room to work. I took the opportunity to lubricate the rest of the window mechanism. This includes all the tracks, slides, etc.

Step 9: Re-install The Regulator Back Into The Door.
a) This simply the reverse process of the process you did to remove the regulator in Step 2.
b) When re-attaching the window to the regulator mechanism, make sure the window is properly located before tightening down those 2 bolts. It helps to have someone else pulling up on the window to insure that it doesn't sag down. Otherwise, you could end up with the window mounted a little too low and have a gap at the top when the window is in the closed (all the way up) position.
c) Once the regulator is re-installed and mounted to the window, I suggest you temporarily hook-up the power window switch and test the operation of the window before re-installing the door pannel. Check all the clearances, etc. This will save you from having to remove everything again if there is a problem.

Step 10: Re-install The Interior Door Panel.
This simply the reverse process of the process you did to remove the door panel in Step 1.

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