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Installing Electric Windows

by Scott Stewart

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Once again one of the inadequacies of Bavarian design got my attention. From day one when I bought my first 2002 about 8 years ago I have been upset with BMW window regulators. The 2002s are notorious for water intrusion and rust on the regulator uni ts which eventually results in inoperability. My 530i had the same disease. None of the regulators worked properly for one reason or another, especially the driverís side front which of course is the one I use constantly. The design is weak and after 2 0 years of use I just couldnít get it adjusted properly to roll up and down straight and without binding. Plus the window broke free from the metal glass holders. It was time to fix the problem.

I am not a big fan of eletric windows but they are nice if they work. The electric window mechanism, regulator, lift bar etc. is a much better design than the manual unit on these cars. I decided to retrofit an electric window mechanism for the drive rís side front window on my 530i from one out of a 528i. I have not seen the electric window mechanism for a 530i but I am sure it would be less taxing to retrofit that unit into a car like mine. Like I mentioned I couldnít find a 530i with electric win dows to get the parts.

This is not for the faint of heart.

Assuming you have acquired an electric window motor, lift mechanism, glass lift rail, glass holders, control switch etc. etc. to perform the job then here goes.

Just as a reminder all is fair in love and war. Your new electric motor will not have a tolling function or automatic stop features but I have to believe people can figure out these things on their own.

Having forwarded this information, I used a full machine shop for two nights and I had taken apart 530i doors about 20 times before this to fix the mechanical mechanism. My time about 5 hours to do everything.

Estimated time for the average Hack Mechanic with proper tools 8-10 hours.

Scott Stewart


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