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Front door window regulator replacement howto (long, lots of pix)

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Front door window regulator replacement howto (long, lots of pix)

 
Old 01-12-2008, 08:12 PM
  #1  
AudiWorld Super User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 4,043
Default Front door window regulator replacement howto (long, lots of pix)

So, backstory, my window started having trouble going up, driver's side front. Would climb a bit, then hit a snag and the anti-pinch would kick in. I left it for about a month and it got worse and worse, so I finally got some time to fix it.

This job requires the following:

Parts
a) window regulator - got mine from <a href="http://www.genuinevwaudiparts.com/partlocator/index.cfm?action=getLocator&siteid=214407&chapter= EPA257&appSectionid=25&groupid=10050&subgroupid=20 061&componentid=62136&make=2&model=A4&year=2004&ca talogid=1">here</a>.
Part numbers:
Left Front Regulator - 8E0 837 461C
Right Front Regulator - 8E0 837 462C

b) a few one-use door clips - these tend to break - source from dealer. They'll know what you mean. Don't have part number, sorry. They look like a black trim clip with a white washer on them.

Tools
a) Socket set with Torx T15?, T20, T25, T40, possibly T30
b) Philips screwdriver
c) flat-head screwdriver with tape on the head, for prying without scratching
d) blanket/sheet/somewhere to put door frame without scratching it
e) beer

Courage
If you're not prepared for this scene:
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/02-ifthisscaresyou_10x7.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/03-ifthisscaresyou2_10x7.jpg">
then stop now! OK, you can have the beer anyways.

Steps:
Preparation
1) Get beer. Open. Drink.
<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/01-necessarytools.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/01-necessarytools_10x7.jpg">
</a>
2) If possible, roll window all the way down.

Door trim
3) Remove plastic cap underneath armrest handle. Insert flathead in middle of cap, push in slightly, and pry up
4) Remove two Philips screws behind cap.
5) Remove Philips screw (black) from bottom of door trim, in middle of door. This required some Liquid Wrench, I think it gets wet in the door being at the bottom, and can get a bit corroded
6) Pry long beltline trim piece, starting at front of door. It will pry out about 1/2 cm and then click out. Pull away from door from front to back. Once all clips are disengaged, slide forward and it will come out.
7) Remove 4 Philips screws from behind beltline trim.
8) Remove small plastic trim from window frame near mirror. This just pops out.
<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/mirrortrim1.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/mirrortrim1_10x7.jpg">
</a>
9) Remove triangular plastic trim from front portion of door/window frame, opposite mirror. There's two friction plugs on this piece, they are pretty sturdy. This will expose a couple more bolts, but don't take them out yet!
<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/mirrortrim2.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/mirrortrim2_10x7.jpg">
</a>
10) Pull door interior skin away from door. Suggested methods vary here. I personally recommend starting from the top front, and pulling away towards bottom back. There's about 8 clips to disengage, 6 of which are one-use technically, though if you're careful and it's warm enough, they shouldn't break.
11) Drink beer. You've earned some.
12) Disconnect door handle cable from door handle; pull cable out of strain relief, and unhook.
13) Disconnect wiring harness. Pull down on the blue/purple tab, it pivots from the middle of the connector towards the ground. As it pivots down, the connector will come loose. Disconnect tweeter connection from speaker at the same time. Squeeze inner tabs of connector in, and pull straight up.
14) Door skin is now detached. Set aside for now.

Window frame/regulator removal
15) Disconnect other three wiring harnesses from window motor. All three have a tab on the front (ie facing inside car when door is closed) that clicks in, after which connector will slide out towards ground. Disconnect second connection from speaker. Remember when reassembling that the tweeter connection goes into the front connector.
<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/speaker.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/speaker_10x7.jpg">
</a>

16) Remove 3 silver Torx screws holding window motor in place. Think these are T25.
<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/windowmotor.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/windowmotor_10x7.jpg">
</a>

17) Pull window motor out of door, straight out. Set aside.

18) Remove speaker. Three black Torx T25 screws hold it in place. There's also the first of many annoying wire clips that you'll encounter attached to the speaker. Pull it out, or just cut the tape holding the wire to the clip. Up to you. I hate these things.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/speaker.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/speaker_10x7.jpg">
</a>

19) Remove sound deadening foam skin from door. Be careful not to rip it as you remove it. You can probably get away with leaving some of the glue in place, but it's best to take the whole thing off so you can see into the door. The back piece of support foam will come out with this skin. The front piece of foam can also be removed at this point, just pull it away.

20) Loosen side view mirror wiring clips. This is a green harness, that comes out of the big foam plug with the rest of the harnesses. You disconnected it earlier. The cable runs through the foam plug, down to the base of the door, and then up the front side of the door, into the window frame. We need to undo the wiring clips that hold it in place on the door. Pull the foam plug out, and then pull the green harness wire out of the plug, and through the plug hole. Starting from this point, you will disconnect three black wiring clips that can easily be removed by pinching the back of the clips; one is between plug and speaker, two are at base of speaker. Next, there is two more clips up the front of the door. These are much harder to remove, I just cut the tape holding them in place. Once free from those clips, the wire will come out of the door with the window frame.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/sideviewmirrorcable.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/sideviewmirrorcable_10x7.jpg">
</a>


21) Detach door seal from window frame. It is friction fit into place around the window frame. On the door portion, there are a number of plastic clips holding it to the door. I recommend you do not pull any of these out; leave the seal intact on the door itself. There is a mark on the seal molding at the base of the window frame; this is the point from which you should start detaching the seal. Detach along the entire window frame.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/sealmarker-front.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/sealmarker-front_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/sealmarker-back.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/sealmarker-back_10x7.jpg">
</a>

22) Squeeze and push blue regulator bolt holes into door. Regulator gearing will now be hanging on regulator cable shielding inside door. Unclip regulator cable shielding from the two clips it is attached to on the door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorclippedin.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorclippedin_10x7.jpg">
</a>


23) Remove black Torx T25 screw attaching regulator to door, inside speaker opening.
) At about the same height on the back half of the door, there's another similar screw. Remove it. This detaches the bottom of the window regulator from the door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorbototmright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorbototmright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorbottomboltleft.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorbottomboltleft_10x7.jpg">
</a>

24) Remove black rubber 1" or so plug from back side of door. Hiding deep in the door behind this plug is a Torx T40 bolt. Remove it. You might need a magnet to get it out, but don't worry, it won't fall into the door when you remove it. There's a little cubby in there that is closed off from the rest of the door, I guess to prevent the bolt from dropping and pissing you off.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/framebolthidden.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/framebolthidden_10x7.jpg">
</a>

25) Remove T40 Torx bolt from front of door, about halfway up from the ground. Black I think.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/frameboltright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/frameboltright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

26) Remove T20? Torx bolt below mirror retaining bolt. This one is pretty long IIRC.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/toprighthiddenbolt.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/toprighthiddenbolt_10x7.jpg">
</a>

27) Remove two silver Torx T40 bolts from top of door, near front and back of window. These are the last bolts holding the frame to the door, but don't worry, the window won't drop or anything as these are loosened.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/bigframeboltright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/bigframeboltright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/bigframeboltleft.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/bigframeboltleft_10x7.jpg">
</a>

28) Pull rubber trim piece at base of window frame, back of door, away from door exterior skin. There's a couple sturdy plugs holding this to the door. You want to leave it attached to the window frame, but detached from the door skin.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/rubbermolding.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/rubbermolding_10x7.jpg">
</a>

29) Set up sheet/blanket/whatever somewhere close by, ready for door frame to be placed on it.

30) Door frame with window and regulator can now be removed from door. Grasp frame from front and rear, and pull straight up. The exterior window insulation will possibly come off at this point, you can remove it if it helps to give you enough room to get window frame out of door. You'll be moving the frame towards the interior of the car as you remove it, to account for the curvature of the glass and regulator as they come out of the door. Don't forget the mirror harness is coming out with the frame.

31) Set door frame down on blanket, exterior side up.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/oldregulatorinframe.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/oldregulatorinframe_10x7.jpg">
</a>

32) Drink beer

Window/Regulator/Frame disassembly/assembly

33) "Roll" window all the way down track, if possible. You can just pull it from the bottom, as long as window regulator isn't totally pooched.

34) Unscrew the two Torx T15? bolts attaching window to regulator. Slide window down all the way out of the frame, and set aside. Black plastic triangles at base of window will come with glass.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/taketheseout.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/taketheseout_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/windowoutofframe.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/windowoutofframe_10x7.jpg">
</a>

35) Set new regulator down beside door frame, in similar orientation. Make sure you have it oriented correctly before removing old one, so you don't get confused how it will attach.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/newregulator.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/newregulator_10x7.jpg">
</a>

36) Unscrew the two countersunk Torx T15? bolts that attach the regulator to the window frame. Remove old regulator, set aside.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/thentaketheseout.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/thentaketheseout_10x7.jpg">
</a>

37) Place new regulator on frame, attach countersunk Torx bolts back into place. Try to get the regulator sliders parallel to the window track. Tighten the rear one down into place, and make the front one finger-tight, just in far enough so the screw doesn't interfere. Pull window attachments all the way to bottom of track.

38) Put glass back in place in track, lining up base attachment points with regulator. Reattach Torx bolts holding window to regulator, but do not tighten yet.

By the way, here's the side view mirror cable I'm talking about

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/sideviewmirrorcable-out.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/sideviewmirrorcable-out_10x7.jpg">
</a>

39) Tighten front regulator/frame countersunk Torx all the way, now that you have it mostly lined up with window movement.

40) Slide window all the way up track, and then pull window towards rear of the frame. Tighten Torx bolts holding window to regulator. Pull window back down about halfway to facilitate reinstallation into door.

41) You know the drill. Beer.

Here's some shots of my regulator, it was failing but not too badly. Could probably have fixed it, temporarily at least. I've seen much worse.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/badregulator1_10x7.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/badregulator1_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/badregulator2.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/badregulator2_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/badregulator3.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/badregulator3_10x7.jpg">
</a>



Window Frame Reinstallation

42) Make sure any metal clips etc are still in place on window frame, after removal. There's only one I'm aware of.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/clip.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/clip_10x7.jpg">
</a>

43) Slide window frame back into door, being careful of regulator. Don't forget the mirror cable, drop it down first, make sure it gets down to the speaker opening as you're feeding frame into door. Reattach outside window seal now if you detached it earlier, before putting frame all the way into door. Make sure frame is aligning with bolt holes where you've removed them. Make sure metal frame clip has clipped onto door.

44) Re-attach silver Torx T40 bolts at top right and left of frame/door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/bigframeboltleft.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/bigframeboltleft_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/bigframeboltright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/bigframeboltright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

45) Re-attach black Torx T40 bolt at front of door, halfway up from bottom.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/frameboltright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/frameboltright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

46) Re-attach black Torx T40 bolt into recessed hole on back end of door. This is a bitch, you might have to lightly tape the bolt to your T40 socket to keep it straight and attached while inserting. Magnetic tool also works to get bolt into place. Again, don't worry about it dropping into door, it won't. Pop rubber bolt cover back into place.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/framebolthidden.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/framebolthidden_10x7.jpg">
</a>

47) Re-attach long black Torx T20? bolt at front of door, behind mirror trim.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/toprighthiddenbolt.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/toprighthiddenbolt_10x7.jpg">
</a>

48) Attach black Torx T25 bolts at base of regulator tracks; one inside speaker opening, another at parallel height at the back half of the door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorbototmright.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorbototmright_10x7.jpg">
</a>

49) Pull regulator gearing bolt holes through door, they will click into place. Clip regulator cable shielding into two clips inside door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorclippedin.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorclippedin_10x7.jpg">
</a>

50) Clip/route mirror harness back through foam plug with rest of wires. Push foam wiring plug back into place.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/regulatorclippedin.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/regulatorclippedin_10x7.jpg">
</a>

51) Stick foam skin back to door. Attach foam support bits to top of door again.

52) Re-attach door seal around window frame. It just pushes into place. Push in rubber piece plugs back into door

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/rubbermolding.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/rubbermolding_10x7.jpg">
</a>

53) Using three black Torx T25 screws, reattach speaker to door.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/speaker.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/speaker_10x7.jpg">
</a>

54) Using three silver Torx T25 screws, reattach window motor to door. Make sure motor gear has slid into the regulator gearing properly before torquing down.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/windowmotor.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/windowmotor_10x7.jpg">
</a>

55) Reattach wiring harnesses to motor/speaker.

56) I don't have to tell you, do I?

Reinstall door trim

57) Clip wiring harnesses back into place. Now might be a good time to test your new window performance. Give it a shot, before you finish wrapping it all back up. Assuming all goes well, proceed. If not, hey remember you get what you paid for on the 'net...

58) Attach door handle cable back to door handle. Clip hook into loop, then press cable back into strain relief clip.

59) Attach door panel from top, making sure top of panel is pushed far enough in towards window. Having the trim on an angle (ie further out at the bottom than the top) helps here. Once top is in place, attach clips top to bottom.

60) Attach mirror trim pieces.

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/mirrortrim1.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/mirrortrim1_10x7.jpg">
</a>

<a href="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/large/mirrortrim2.jpg">
<img src="http://mikedavies.ca/images/windowregulator/mirrortrim2_10x7.jpg">
</a>

61) Screw 4 Philips screws into panel behind beltline trim

62) Clip beltline trim back into place. Slide in at back, then clip towards the front of the door.

63) Screw in black Philips screw at bottom middle of the door.

64) Screw in 2 Philips screws underneath armrest.

65) Reattach trim plug underneath armrest handle.

66) You're done! Beer time.

Congratulations, hopefully you don't have too many pieces left over.
nanotech is offline  
Old 01-12-2008, 09:19 PM
  #2  
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Default Absolutely awesome write up Mike. Thanks for posting. This should go into the Tech Articles.

I think one of mine is on its way out :-(
Tgr_Clw is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 01:07 AM
  #3  
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Default

looks like a 2 hour job
Merkin is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 10:05 AM
  #4  
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Default Fantastic job!

One possible addition would be Audi Technical Bulletin 91-05-13, which recommends cleaning the grease out of the electrical harnesses. When I did my regulators none of the switches worked until I cleaned the harnesses.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:39 AM
  #5  
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Default That was weird

I guess someone else was posting where I was logged in, friends or something. I wasn't really congratulating myself
nanotech is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 10:43 AM
  #6  
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Default Good idea

I didn't need to pull that part of the door/wiring, so didn't occur to me. Definitely easier when the door is apart though!
nanotech is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 10:44 AM
  #7  
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Default Yep, 2-3 hours. Took me a little longer with pictures, and experimentation.

I had Bentley as guide, but it's useless when it comes to door trim/seals/etc.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:34 AM
  #8  
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Uh huh, sure.
Tgr_Clw is offline  
Old 01-13-2008, 05:05 PM
  #9  
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Default Same issue with the harnesses on the speaker and for the door...

control module though.
stacks is offline  
Old 04-18-2008, 08:47 PM
  #10  
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Default Re: Front door window regulator replacement howto (long, lots of pix)

Hi nanotech, i stumbled upon your post after taking my door apart to find out what the problem was when my window was making weird noises. Turns out its the same problem you hade but i have a bit of an issue. The spindle is severly mangled and the spindle grooves have been chewed up. I was wondering if your white spindle that winds up the two cables is totally shot or if it looks fine and if you still had it. I would rather just replace my messed up cable via homedepot if i could get my hands on that little white spindle from somewhere. please keep me posted on its availability, im willing to buy it off you.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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