jsgun

Power window motor removal, any tips?

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jsgun    31

On my 64, I'm wanting to remove the power window motors and refurbish them. The chassis book mentions drilling a hole through the regulator, and running a bolt through it to lock the counter balance spring.

Does anyone have any other tricks for locking the regulator in place, and pulling the motor? How strong is this spring?

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KongaMan    170

Last things first: the spring is strong enough that it's a PITA (and can cause some serious pain) if it gets loose on you.  Having said that, I've had motors out several times and I don't ever remember drilling a hole.  I don't remember what I did, but can you wedge a board in or use a zip tie to hold it in place?

 

On a more general note, if you're going to refurb the motors (I assume that means complete disassembly?), you would be well served to have a go at all the tracks, rollers, gears, etc. at the same time.  As the old lube hardens and/or disperses, it makes operation much more difficult.  Among other things, it makes the motor work harder.  You'd be surprised at how much faster and more quietly a clean, well-lubed window goes up and down.  "Clean" is key here; don't just put new new lube over the old, hard stuff.  Clean the channels completely; make sure the rollers roll freely (they like to get stuck).  You don't need to slather the lube in, either.  A light coat will do.

 

As long as I'm making free use of your time, I'd also suggest that you clean up the door locks and latches while you're in there.  Like the windows, they can gunk up pretty good.

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jsgun    31

That's the big plan actually. Basically, I'm wanting to go through all the window parts, so I don't have to touch them again for several years. The car had been sitting for 10 years, it's suffering from dry out. My latches were dry as dust. The tracks are a little, but there's tons of gunk in spots. I was thinking of pulling them, and cleaning that way, but I don't want to lose alignment. So, i'll get them cleaned while on the door.

 

I was thinking of using white lithium grease on the tracks, is it still the best stuff?

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KongaMan    170

IIRC, aligning the front windows isn't a big deal, as you can get to everything easily.  I don't even remember that's there's any significant alignment to be done, as the position is pretty much set by the front channel/vent pillar.  I think that all you've got to worry about is the height and (maybe) getting it a little cockeyed.  I think that both of those kind of fall into place when the window's all the way up (shove it against the front channel, level it out, and tighten the bolts).  It's been a while since I did this, but I don't remember any notable difficulty when pulling the window, regulator and everything else.  I don't think you need to pull the guides to get everything else out.  You might look at the channels as well, as the lining can get quite worn.

 

I used white lithium grease on mine.  That was 15 years ago, and they're still going strong.  There may be something better, but that's worked fine for me.

 

Now, if you're doing the rear windows... :D

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RivNut    1,013

When I disassemble the winows on my 64, I first removed the glass from the regulator then ran the regulators in the direction that took all of the tension off the spring.   The motor could then be removed without any tension against the gear.  I have a couple of loose tracks on a shelf and there is no bolt, drill bit, or rod holding the spring in a certain position.

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jsgun    31
18 hours ago, KongaMan said:

IIRC, aligning the front windows isn't a big deal, as you can get to everything easily.  I don't even remember that's there's any significant alignment to be done, as the position is pretty much set by the front channel/vent pillar.  I think that all you've got to worry about is the height and (maybe) getting it a little cockeyed.  I think that both of those kind of fall into place when the window's all the way up (shove it against the front channel, level it out, and tighten the bolts).  It's been a while since I did this, but I don't remember any notable difficulty when pulling the window, regulator and everything else.  I don't think you need to pull the guides to get everything else out.  You might look at the channels as well, as the lining can get quite worn.

 

I used white lithium grease on mine.  That was 15 years ago, and they're still going strong.  There may be something better, but that's worked fine for me.

 

Now, if you're doing the rear windows... :D

 

Now that I think about it, the window is slightly crooked. I suspect i'll have to realign it no matter what. I keep forgetting about how that removable door skin make everything so much easier. One of GM's better ideas.

 

I am planning on doing the rear windows too. I have to reseat the quarter glass in the regulator, so I might as well hit both and refurb them too. It sounds like it should be a job!

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jsgun    31
4 hours ago, RivNut said:

When I disassemble the winows on my 64, I first removed the glass from the regulator then ran the regulators in the direction that took all of the tension off the spring.   The motor could then be removed without any tension against the gear.  I have a couple of loose tracks on a shelf and there is no bolt, drill bit, or rod holding the spring in a certain position.

That seems like a great idea. I'm assuming this would be in the window up position?

 

I'm wanting to pull the regulator and take some measurements anyway. A goal is to recreate that broken guide arm from nylon bar stock. It might not be as strong as the original, but I'm hoping it is more flexible and won't snap like the original.

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alini    120

The bigger problem you will have is the motor is bolted from the inner side of the regulator.  You either need to remove the entire regulator OR loosen it all up alot to get the motor off the regulator.  I would remove it all from the door/rear window area and rebuild it on a bench.  You can also get replacement rollers, they are easy to swap out.  The alignemhaent process is easy and in the service manual to get it all aligned.   If you tear it all the way down, inspect the rubber seal in the front channel of the door glass.  If you need to replace it, now is the time that you have it apart ;)

when I did mine I used brake caliper grease in the channels, its thinner and handles temperature changes better than the lithium which gets thick in the cold

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KongaMan    170

This may help a bit: http://www.chip.com/buick/techtips/windowrebuild.html.

 

If you can get replacement rollers, jump on them.  Either they weren't available or I didn't know about them 15 years ago, but I do remember that it was a dickens of a time getting all of them working free and easy.  I may have even had a couple that were broken and had to be replaced with cannibalized parts.  As I remember, a common problem is that they gunk up internally and there's no good and easy way to clean them out (since they didn't come apart).

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jsgun    31

I was able to remove the regulators this weekend, and thought I'd document what I discovered.

 

I had issues with the door skin bolts spinning instead of coming loose. If the bolts are pulled to the edge of the skin, they'll grab and you can remove the nuts. A swivel ratcheting 3/8 box end makes quick work of them. There's one at the front edge of the door, I had to open the door and get it from the outside. To get the glass out, I had to completely loosen the rear guide channel. There's a 2" flat guide at the top mid-rear inside door edge that also stops the window from lifting out (there's two other stops, they're obvious). I couldn't find a way to remove it (glass was in the way), so it was easiest to move the channel. It's all 7/16 bolts. My glass is pressed in, it tried pulling out of the base, so it's better to hold it by the bottom.

 

It's possible to reach the regulator bolts with a open end wrench, if your regulator is stuck in the up position. I had to remove the vent window assembly to get the regulator out. It's extremely easy to remove. It was easiest to just remove all the window related stuff. Mine needs new channel liners, so it makes sense.

 

Attached is a pic showing where you can run a bolt into the regulator gear, and lock it from turning. (pic is the backside of regulator) My 64 had factory holes, not sure about others. It will move a little, but nothing drastic. I put a nut on the backside, but it's probably not necessary. I pulled the regulator, and put it on the ground. There is positively spring pressure on the regulator. It's not super strong, it can be moved by hand. But I found it's strong enough to give you a good pinch.

regulator lock.jpg

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jsgun    31

I'll have to replace all my window channel liners. The desert is hard on rubber. The front channel is two pieces. It takes a slightly narrower piece at the vent window (custom made for Riviera), and a 1/2" by 1/2" rubber U-channel for the lower channel. The top part is advertised for the vent window, but the bottom part was a guessing game. One place says it's 7/16" wide, and slightly taller. But I measured a piece of my old one (original riveted on the guide) and it's 1/2". The channel I bought was listed for Dodges.

 

The rear glass channel takes a glue in mohair tape. It seems to be sold in rolls, and you glue it in and cut to fit. I confirmed material thickness at 1/16th inch.

 

My 64's glass is pressed into the bracket with glass setting tape. I confirmed its thickness at 1/32nd inch. I'm assuming the rear quarter windows is the same. Confirmed the glass is the same thickness.

 

I'll document what it takes to get this stuff installed in a couple of weeks.

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RivNut    1,013

This brings up an interesting subject.  I parted out two 63s, each with the windows pressed into a channel with setting tape.  My 64, however has the glass bolted to tell regulator as does the 65.  I thought all along this was a change from 63 to 64.  Now it sounds as if it might be a mid year 64 change.  If so, could you let me know the build dates of your 64s and if the glass is bolted on or pressed in.  While you're at it, let me know if the bolts that hold the hinges to the door are accessible from the outside or do you have to remove the door skin to access those bolts.

 

Thanks, Ed

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jsgun    31

Hi Ed, the build date is 03C, body number is FB21681. My windows are press in, and the door hinge bolts are accessible from the outside.

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KongaMan    170

Again, my memory is hazy on this, but I know that I removed and reinstalled the spring from the regulator (because I'm anal and like to disassemble things for a complete cleaning and lube).  Maybe I just clamped the base in a vice and used the arm to rewind it?

 

The point is that you don't need to live in mortal fear of the spring -- but you should respect that if it cuts loose unexpectedly, it can cause some pain.  And if it does unwind on you, you can twist it back into place.  If you're going to do that, be sure to count the number of winds first.

Edited by KongaMan (see edit history)

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alini    120

Once you remove the motor and the arm is straight there really isn't a lot of tension. Maybe an 1:8 of a turn more to get it free.   Mine fell out while I was working on pressing in the new rollers.  

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jsgun    31

The lift snapping open gave me a nice welt on my palm. It seems like once it's fully open, there's no tension on the spring. I locked it in place just to make it easier to reinstall the motor later.

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This is my winter project as well.  

 

I have my driver side power window out and found that one of the support arms just hanging from its channel by its roller.  It appears to have broken off from the bottom edge of the window (see photo).  I have a vague recollection from another thread that this isn't uncommon, but that the window should still function properly.  My window worked just fine and I'm assuming this has been broken for a long time.  If this happened to you did you try to repair it?  

 

I'd be interested to hear from others that have had this happen.  

 

Thanks.

 

DSC_0309.JPG

 

Thanks.

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alini    120

Happens to almost every Riv, doesnt affect performance but you can chase down the parts and replace it or get it welded.  I have one of mine with and one without you cant tell the difference from the outside ;)

 

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jsgun    31

My driver's door arm was broken, but the passenger side wasn't. I bought some UHMW plastic to attempt to make a new arm. I haven't cut it out yet, but plan to soon. It's an extremely abrasive resistant plastic but it's difficult to cut so i'll try bolting pieces together instead of cutting down a larger piece.

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jsgun    31

I'm trying a couple of things with replacing the stuck window rollers with bearings. Although, I'm considering making my own rollers from UHMW. Also working out the wiring to add power locks, and one-touch power window relays for up and down on all windows.

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