E38 BMW 740i/iL Rear Window Regulator Removal
Originally posted at http://www.cifesystem.com/bmw740_window_regulate.html

Warning - I wrote this to help other E38 owners, I assume no responsibility for
any damage, failure, and/or person injury from following the procedure below.
Do this at your own risk. -Author

E38 BMW 740i/iL Rear Window Regulator Removal

Photos and Description

Removing Door Panel

The window regulator breaks quite often in our car and it is somewhat pain to replace one. It involves many tedious steps to get to the window regulator and its related parts.

A broken window regulator, a faulty wiring or blown fuse, and/or a broken switch can cause the window lifter to not work. Be sure to identify your problem first before replacing the expensive parts.

Removing Outer Door Panel

Start from (1) and separate the door panel from the door by prying it open with a flat screwdriver. Be sure to cover the screwdriver tip with some towel to prevent any scratches. The door panel is held to the door with many plastic clips and with some force, you can pop them out quite easily. Don't worry about breaking them, they are very cheap from your local BMW dealers.

Undo the (2) screw and the door should come apart. I removed the wood trim (3) by pulling them toward to me. I removed it so I don't accidently scratch it while working on the door, but it is not necessary to remove.

Removing Outer Door Panel

Use this picture to locate where the clips are. Once you unclip-ed all of them, you can lift the door panel upward to seperate. Be sure to pull the door panel to undo the door handle clips (1).

Taking out the air filter housing and AMF (air mass flow) sensor

The picture does not show the rear door speaker (1) which I have already removed. Unclip all the wiring harness and remove the speaker at this point. My cat (2) is checking out my work.

Removing Door Trims

Accessing Window Regulator

To get to the window regulator (2), you will need to remove the door barrier matt. The matt is attached to the door by sticky glue and you won't be able to reuse them later once the matt is off. BMW sells the matt and the glue, but I didn't want to replace more than what I need, so I decided to cut out an opening (1) and repair the opening later with a tape.

Once you get this point, we will need to remove the window before removing the window regulator. And in order to remove the window, the rubber window trim must come out as well. Finally, to remove that rubber window trim, we need to lower the window to all the way down. I hope the procedure steps are confusing enough! Don't get mad, it's fun!

If you can lower the window all the way down manually (by pressing the window down with bare hands), you are already ahead of me. But for those you are unlucky, your window is probably stuck tight. Let's free the window by cutting metal wire which positions the window. You can find the metal wire by reaching behind (2). Now you should be able to lower the window slowly, be careful not to drop it and shatter the window! "You break it, you buy it my friend! - Gone in 60 seconds"

Window Gasket

This (1) needs to come out before removing the window. You can pull this gasket out from the outside of door.

The Window Gasket

Here is what you are removing. See how long the gasket reach under the door (1)? Just remember this when you are putting the gasket back into its original place.

Removing the Window Regulator

Taking Window Divider

Let's make more room to take out the window by removing this divider. Matter in fact, this step is necessary. This divider also contains a small sun shade (an E38 option) which you can pull out to cover the small rear window. To take out the small blind unit, you will need to pull the unit upward and detach the bottom. If this doesn't make any sense, I will show it on next picture. Once the small blind unit is out, take out this divider by unscrewing bunch of screws (1).

Removing the Small Blind Unit

This is the little clip on the bottom of the blind unit (1) which you will need to lift to detach! If you are still lost on this, I give up, sorry; I can't help you anymore...

Window Divider

Another picture of removing the divider, note the screw holes (1) and you do not have to remove this chrome piece (2) before taking out the window as some source indicates.

Removing Window

Finally, now you should be able to take out the window by unscrewing this Torx bolt (A). Your will need a Torx bit set, probably T30? Once this bolt is out, pull up the window carefully to remove. Undo the window regulator motor connector (1) and unscrew three window regulator (2) bolts and you are done! See next two pictures for the three window regulator bolts location. You can use a 10mm open wrench / socket for these bolts.

Window Regulator Bolt Location

For one of the top bolts(1), you will need to cut a clear film to get to the bolt.

Window Regulator Bolt Location

This is the window regulator, yours should look the same. For your reference, (1) is the metal wire that I had to cut, and (2) shows the bolt locations.

If you can get here fine, you should be able to put the new window regulator and window back without any trouble! Good luck.


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