Archive for October, 2015

Don QuijoteSometimes you run across some little piece of writing that is so useful and at the time so entertaining that it’s worth stealing….I mean, reposting—with the author’s permission of course. So if you’ve had a frustrating day and you want to feel better about yourself, or perhaps you are what my son calls a “gear head,” or maybe you simply want to avoid the slowest way in history to repair your car’s window mechanism, this is for you.
You’re welcome.

Dear Don Quixote la Mechanica: I have two car locks and two windows that need new regulator assemblies. Would you please post a tutorial on how to install them?

Sure! Honestly the hardest part is getting the door panel off without breaking the clips, and removing the plastic insulation without tearing it to shreds. After that it’s mostly just nuts and bolts.

First, make sure you don’t buy a regulator with the motor attached, if you can reuse the old motor. You just have to be careful putting the new one in the door, so that you don’t yank any unseen electrical wires. On that note, it’s worth the extra minute to disconnect the negative lead from the battery terminal. We won’t talk about how I learned that step. Also there should be one of the 6 or 7 bolt holes in the door that has a spot where you can put the bolt on the regulator first, then push it through from the back of the inner door and drop it down in a notch. Do this one first so you can hang it there while you do the rest of the bolts. We won’t talk about how I learned that either. Then reatach the window to the regulator. That’s pretty much it.

Unless, like me, you realize after all this work that half of one of the plastic clips that attaches the window to the regulator is still attached to the old regulator because it’s stupid and it broke and it’s stupid. Then you have to completely remove the window from the door and move it to your SleepNumber brand work bench. My window’s sleep number was 3 but yours could be a 7. Good thing it’s adjustable.

Next, pull the clip off the window, and then use a solvent, a heat gun (pronounced “hairdryer”), and a putty knife to remove the glue that was holding the clip in place. Most of the old glue should now be conveniently attached to your skin for easy transport to a disposal location. Clean the window thoroughly to remove any residue. Next you have to put a new clip in exactly the right spot on the window where you just removed the residue that would have shown you where the old clip was attached. Pro tip: the new clip can be found on the same aisle as unicorns and fairies at your local parts store, which I thought was poor inventory management.

Anyway, now you have to use an acrylic based epoxy to secure the clip to the window. Let the fancy glue cure for 2 episodes of Seinfeld, then put the window back in and reattach the clips to the regulator. Extra bragging rights are awarded if you manage to do all this without breaking the window. Don’t forget to re-plug in any electronics that you had to unplug in the process before you put the door panel back on. Again, I don’t want to talk about it. Now you’re done. I think.

Wait, why won’t the car start now? Oh yeah, the battery. Ok, now you’re done.

Hope this helps.


Ryan, I owe you a bag of jellybeans.

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