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Discussion Starter #1
The design of the window regulator/motor is pretty simple, however, there are some minor flaws in the motor/regulator design that might cause window failure, as well as possible failure of the motor in time.

I've replaced a few power windows and this is a fairly straightforward repair for the DIY'er, if you just want to replace the motor yourself and save a few hundred bucks on dealer P&L.

Just replacing the regulator/motor is about a 6 out of 10 in complexity, so really not to bad. It doesn't require any special tools except some rubber door stops or a piece of wood to prop the window.

Repairing the regulator/motor assembly is a little more complex, maybe 7 of 10, but still fairly straightforward and only requires one special tool: a hydraulic crimper and die. Besides that, I was able to complete the whole repair with parts that I purchased under $10 from home depot, I probably ended up saving at least $500 total from having the dealer replace it.

If your motor has died or you dont have the tools or desire to repair the regulator, you need to purchase the full assembly, it is sold as one piece:

Replacement of the regulator/motor (this is sold as one piece P/N:
B117U0389F for the left side: Window Lift Mechanism, electric, LH
or
B117U0390F for the right side: Window Lift Mechanism, electric, RH

This part runs close to $300 each right now (with shipping).

If your motor runs, but doesn't actuate the window, your regulator has probably failed like mine. It relies on a series of cables and pulleys attached to the motor and regulator that could either corrode, stretch, slip, etc over time.

One of my cables slipped out, which caused the whole spool to slack and get jammed and kinked. The windows fell down into the door. Once the cables are kinked or stretched, reusing them would not be recommended. However the design does allow them to be replaced with new parts fairly easily.

Before you start make sure you have a good organization system. I use a parts bin that I throw little handwritten labels in, I've seen some people use little ziploc baggies etc. Lots of little screws, nuts washers and easy to get them mixed up.

Removing Motor/Regulator Assembly:

Step 1: Remove inner door panel. Series of screws and some velcro on my '05. Separate window switch, this just unplugs from behind the door panel once it's loose. pretty straightforward.
Loosen the plastic moisture barrier. You don't need to completely remove it, you can just leave it hang by the bottom.


Step 2: Secure window This needs to be secured in the fully raised position if possible. Once raised, it needs to be secured. I used 2 rubber door stops wedged in from the top between the body and glass and also a notched piece of wood underneath the glass. See pics 1,2, 3.


Step 3: Unfasten door handle. This is a series of screws holding the inner bezel and then some screws underneath holding the actual handle to the door. Remove the bezel and screws and put aside.
Once the door handle is loose, store the screws and just leave the handle looose inside the door.
(see pics 4&5)

Then loosen the two nuts that hold the door handle actuator rod. This is the long metal bar going across the door, inside it is the actuator. Can be seen in pic 2. Just loosen the 2 bolts and the rod/bar will pop loose inside the door. You need this loose inside the door to get the regulator/motor assembly out of the door. You don't need to remove it, and be gentle with it as it's still attached to the latch release mechanism for the door. I found it best to lift it up as high as possible and secure out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
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Step 4: Unbolt Regulator/Motor Assembly. The regulator is held to the window with just 2 nuts and washers. Make sure your window is propped before removing. The regulator is fastened to the door with one bolt up by the door handle, and two below the door opening. See pics 1,2,&3.

The motor/regulator is two pieces attached by cables as one assembly. It shares a mounting bolt with the regulator that was removed above. The motor assembly itself, located behind some black plastic covering on my window, now needs to be unbolted. It is also held in place by nuts/washers to the right of the motor assembly by the door handle. One at 1' oclock and one at 5'oclock.

Important to note the placement of things now before you remove. The motor is against the door in front of (under) the regulator mount and also in front of the door handle actuator rod assembly. Would be good to take some pictures for reassembly.

Now you should be able to loosen the entire assembly inside the door. The regulator should drop on its own when you remove the screws. Then loosen the motor by just pushing inward. Before you remove it you need to remove the wiring harness. I did this by clipping the wire tie on the window switch, pusing it inside the door and then lifting the motor a bit with one hand and unclipping and wiggling the connector with the other. Its a bit difficult but just work it, it will come out. See pic 4 and 5. The connector is on the bottom of the motor assembly, opposite of what I show in the picture.
 

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Remove assembly: Now with everything unbolted and disconnected you can remove the entire assembly. This takes a little time and patience. Move it slowly and carefully so you don't scratch the window or damage anything. The best method I found was to lift slightly and pull the bottom of the regulator assembly towards the rear of the car. Then the regulator will fall sideways, remove this first lengthwise out of the door opening, followed by the cables, followed by the motor.

Done with removal! To install a brand new assembly reverse the process. I don't know how these come new, but I used Sil-Glyde generously on the regulator assembly and cable assembly to protect and lubricate the mechanism. See pic 1. Very good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Regulator Repair:

Repairing the regulator is a little more complex and requires special tools, but to pay $300 for a new assembly to fix a $5 cable was difficult for me to swallow.

Once you have the assembly out you can diagnose issues. Mine was pretty clear to see, a cable end had slipped out of the regulator which jammed up the whole cable spool. See pics.

Once this happens I strongly recommend not trying to repair, but for $10 in materials you can put brand new cable and ends on and not risk it happening again.

If you're not sure whats wrong you can pull the motor connector through the door panel, hook it up externally to the motor/regulator and troubleshoot while inspecting it. This is also how you test before installation.

Step 1: Remove old Cables: The spool is held to the motor with 2 nuts. This is not under any tension, just remove the nuts and remove the cover and then the spool will lift right up. All of the cables have crimped fittings that fit into the spool and regulator and are held in place with tension. You just push in and lift them out. See pics.

The piece that attaches to the window and slides up and down in the regulator just sort of flips right open. Don't completely detach it from the regulator if possible because it's a pain to reattach. If you flip it open you have access to everything you need.
 

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Great write-up. Thanks
 

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Regulator Repair Cont'd

You have to cut one end of the cable to slip the cable out of the pulleys. DONT CUT BOTH ENDS! You'll need to the originals to measure. And when you cut the end, cut it right up in front of the nut so you know exactly the size and where the nut needs to be placed.

Once all the cables are removed. Save them. You'll use them to measure the correct lengths of the new cable.

Begin Replacement:

The stock cables on the '05 Elise (and probably all) are 1.8mm. You can buy this size and stop nuts on the internet, but I was able to find 1.6mm (1/16th inch) cable at my local Home Depot for .30 a foot. It's rated at 96 pounds which is more than enough to actuate that window, so I felt safe with that. It actually sits a little nicer in the spool. They also sell the stop nuts/ferrules for 1/16th inch cable for 1.27 for 2. (See Pic) You'll need 4 (2 pkgs) but buy at least one extra. I ended up screwing up a few times, so for the price I recommend buying extra cable and stop nuts. I bought 8 feet of cable. You probably don't need quite that much, but again, I screwed up a few times so the extra was good.

You'll need a hydraulic crimping tool with an appropriate die. I have a cheap harbor freight model and the die I used is marked 4. Not sure what that means. Don't try to do this with a hand crimper or plier or anything else, it just wont hold. Also, the stop nuts must be the correct size or they will either slip out or wont go in. The Home Depot stop nuts are just a little too big for a couple of spots and I had to open a few of the holes with a dremel a tiny bit.
 

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Regulator REplacement Cont'd

Crimp a stop nut on one end of the cable. Line up the cables and mark where the other stop nut should go. I used a marker.
Insert to stop nut into the regulator end, thread it through the pulleys and sheaths. Once it's threaded through everything, crimp the other stop nut on the other end.

Do this for both cables but Don't mix up the cables or sheaths! They are different sizes and you need to keep track of whether the longer cable/sheath goes on top or on bottom. Also the configuration at the motor spool is important, the cable to the top of the regulator goes to the bottom of the spool. Note all that down or take photos. Its critical to get all that right or your cables could rub in the wrong spot and wear or your window wont' go up or down properly!

Once your cables are cut and ended you can thread the cables onto the spool. Make sure the stop nut is pulled flush against the stopper in the spool. I had to use a screwdriver to sort of push them in a little further and make sure they were secure, it's a tight fit.

The shorter cable with take up only one or two twists and the longer cable three or four depending upon where your regulator is. As the motor runs it unwinds one side of the spool and winds up the other. You should have all the grooves in the spool full when you're done (see pic).

when both cables are wound on the spool place it in the correct configuration (bottom of regulator cable to top of spool & vice versa) back on the motor pulley and attach the nuts that hold the spool. Run the cable into the metal guide then place the sheath (with spring) into the top of the metal guide (see pic). When you do the second one, it should be very tight and require some force to pull the sheath and spring into the metal retainer. if it's loose, you made one or both of the cables too long. This happened to me. Just cut it off at the stop nut (or further) and crimp another one on. You want each spring to have a decent amount of tension on it. Not completely compressed but enough that its taut. That's what holds the assembly together.

When the motor hits a stop, either top or bottom, the spring will compress on that side and it will slack the opposite side a little, so if its too loose it could fall out of the metal guide tube. This will show up when you test it. If that happens, again, cut the stop nut off and crimp a new one a little closer.

Flip the regulator closed. Lubricate both the track and the cables generously with the Sil-Glyde or other long lasting grease/lube.

You can test the whole assembly outside the door if you pull the connector through the motor hole and temporarily reattach the switch.

Then reverse the dissassembly instructions to reinstall. It took a good 20 minutes for me to position everything correctly back inside the door. Go slow and be careful with the regulator or it can scratch the glass.
 

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