PART II - REPLACING THE WINDOW REGULATOR CLIPS
Steps 1 through 5 provide some background info on how the old-design window regulator clips break, the differences between the old- and new-design clips and how the window regulator assembly works. The actual replacement of parts begins with step 6.
1. An intact, old-design window regulator clip can be seen in the picture below. The old-design clips are a two part design - a metal clamp (which attaches to the bottom of the window glass) which slides into a plastic support. The plastic support slides up and down the window regulator track via an L-groove (right angle) in the support and is connected to a motor by a set of opposing cables - one moves the clip down the track and one moves it up the track.
2. A broken, old-design window regulator clip can be seen in the picture below. The old-design clip fails when the plastic support cracks and pieces break off. This allows the metal clamp portion of the clip to fall out of the plastic support, often resulting in the window falling into the door (usually when both clips fail). My original clips were replaced after 4.5 years. On both the driver's and passenger's side doors, one of the two clips was found to be broken when the window regulator carrier panel was removed. I have no idea how long the clips were broken and how much longer the remaining intact clips would have lasted. I consider myself extremely lucky not to have had a window fall into the door. Only closing the doors with the windows fully closed (I was afraid of the clips breaking) probably had something to do with the clips lasting this long.
3. The differences between the old- and new-design regulator clips can be seen in the picture below. While the old clip is a two-piece metal/plastic design, the new clip is a one-piece metal (pot metal) design with a small plastic L-groove sleeve insert to allow for easy sliding on the window track. The new-design clip is considerably stronger than the old design and should have been used from the beginning (would have saved VW and its customers a zillion headaches).
4. The colorized image below illustrates how the window regulator system works. The window glass is raised up and down by a set of clips (yellow) that attach to the bottom of the glass. The clips are raised up and down by a set of opposing cables (blue) which travel around a set of pulleys (red) and are controlled by a drive unit which consists of a cable take-up reel (green) and an electric motor (behind the take-up reel on the other side of the carrier panel). The cable network is setup (uses a criss-cross pattern) so that both clips move up and down at the same time.
5. The colorized image below illustrates how the take-up reel unit works. Inside the unit is a wheel (yellow) which has the opposing cables (blue and red) wrapped around it in opposite directions. Therefore, as the window motor rotates the cable wheel, one cable is let out while the other is wound in around the wheel. The springs on either end of the take-up reel unit assure that the cables always remain tight (even when the clips fail and the window falls into the door) and that the window operates smoothly.
6. The replacement of the window regulator clips begins with the determination of whether or not the cable/take-up reel assembly supplied in the Window Regulator Repair Kit will also be replaced. The cable/take-up reel assembly is not an improved part - only the regulator clips have been redesigned. The cable/take-up reel assembly only needs to be replaced if the cable or take-up reel unit was damaged if/when the original clips broke and the window fell into the door. If your existing cables are OK, you do not need to replace the cable/take-up reel assembly when replacing the regulator clips.
7. The cable/take-up reel assembly supplied with the Window Regulator Repair Kit can be seen in the picture below. The take-up reel assembly comes with a steel bracket attached which is used to keep the adjusting springs compressed while the assembly is not installed on the carrier panel. This bracket makes it significantly easier to replace the regulator clips and is why VW supplies it with the new cable/take-up reel assembly. It is still possible to change the regulator clips without the bracket, but doing so requires that the springs be compressed manually while trying to reinstall the regulator cables around the pulleys (this will make more sense later on).
8. If you are replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, leave the bracket in place on the new assembly and go directly to step 9. If you are not replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, remove the bracket from the new assembly (be very careful - the springs are under considerable tension) and slide it onto the old cable/take-up reel assembly which is attached to the carrier panel, as shown below. If you're doing this step, make sure that the bracket is slid onto the old assembly completely. You don't want the bracket to accidentally pop off the assembly when the tension is off the cables and the cables are removed from the pulleys (this will also make more sense later on). Go directly to step 10 (skip step 9).
9. Remove the regulator motor from the front side of the carrier panel (the side opposite where the clips, cables, etc are) so that the take-up reel unit on the back side of the panel can be removed. To do this, remove the three (3) T30 Torx screws indicated by the yellow arrows in the picture below and pull the motor assembly off of the carrier panel. Do NOT attempt to remove the cable/take-up reel assembly off of the other side of the carrier panel at this time.
10. Using a screwdriver, pry the cable off of one of the pulleys on the carrier panel, as shown below. The bottom rear pulley (closest to the rear of the car when the carrier panel is installed and closest to the ground) is shown in the picture below. Once the cable is removed from one of the pulleys, there should no longer be any tension on the cable and it can be easily removed from around the other pulleys. If you are replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, remove the cable from the bottom front and top rear pulleys only - the cable can be left in place around the other two pulleys (top front and bottom rear). If you are not replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, you only need to remove the cable from one of the pulleys - it doesn't matter which one you choose. Note: It will be more difficult to remove the cable from the first pulley with the screwdriver if you are planning on replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly and did not slide the steel spring bracket off of the new cable/take-up reel assembly and onto the old assembly.
11. Steps 12 through 22 deal with the removal of the old-design clips and the installation of the new-design clips. I RECOMMEND that you remove and reinstall each clip completely before attempting to remove and reinstall the other clip (i.e, perform steps 12 through 22 on only one clip at a time). It's possible to do the procedure on both clips at the same time, but doing it on only one will help insure that the cable routings remain in the correct position, something that may save some time when the cables need to be reinstalled on the pulleys. Note: If you are also replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, you MUST remove both clips from their cables so that the cable/take-up reel assembly can be replaced.
12. The schematic below shows a cross-section of a new-design clip in place on the window track (the old-design clip attaches to the track in exactly the same way - the only difference in the schematic would be the design of the clip itself). The schematic clearly shows how the window track fits into an L-groove in the clip body (on the new-design clip, the L-groove is in a plastic sleeve that is an insert in the clip body, as shown below).
13. To remove the old clip from the window track, rotate the clip body away from the window track (A) and then slide the clip off of the track (B), as shown in the schematics below. In some cases, the carrier panel itself may interfere with the rotation of the clip illustrated in schematic (A). You may need to slide the clip up or down the window track (depending on which clip and which pulley the cable was removed from) to an area where rotation is unimpeded. If this is not possible, you may need to remove the cable from another pulley to create some more slack in the cable. If it's still not possible to remove the clips, you can always remove the cable from around all of the pulleys - this should allow you to move the clips fully up or down the window track.
14. The picture below shows a side view of an old-design clip body where the cables attach (actually one of the broken clips). The cables fit into grooves on the underside of the clip body. One of the grooves is deeper than the other - the cable in the deeper groove needs to be removed last and installed first.
15. A picture of the underside of the clip body (below) shows how the cables are secured in the body. There is a small cable stop on the end of each cable which fits into a hole on the underside of the clip body.
16. To remove the cable ends from the clip body, remove the cable from its groove (start with the cable in the more shallow groove) and rotate the cable around the stop until the cable is roughly perpendicular to the clip body, as shown below. Then simply pull the cable stop out of the clip body.
17. If you are replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, remove the old assembly from the carrier panel (it should just pop off) and then install the new one in the same spot. Before doing so, take notice of how the cables coming out of the cable/take-up reel assembly are routed. When installing the new assembly, make sure to route the cable that comes out of the top of the assembly underneath the diagonal cable between the top front and bottom rear pulleys. Once this is done, reinstall the window regulator motor on the front side of the carrier panel. If you are not replacing the cable/take-up reel assembly, go directly to step 18.
18. Before installing the cables into the new-design clip body, make sure that you have the correct clip for whatever door and window track you are working on. The four regulator clips (both new and old) are all different and will only work on their corresponding window track. The new clips are labeled with a code that indicates the door and window track that the clip should be installed on. 'L' and 'R' indicate that the clips are for the left and right doors, respectively. 'A' and 'B' indicate that the clips are for the front (towards the front of the car when the carrier panel is installed on the door) and rear window tracks, respectively. For example, a clip with the code 'R-B' should be installed on the right door on the rear window track. Similarly, a clip with the code 'L-A' should be installed on the left door on the front window track. Also, before installing the cables on the new clip, make sure to loosen the T30 Torx screw on the clip so that the window will slide into it easily later on. Do not remove the bolt completely - only loosen it.
19. Install the cables into the new-design clip body by following step 16 in reverse. Remember to install the appropriate cable into the deeper groove first. The cables should appear as they do in the picture below after being installed.
20. On the side of the clip, there is a small tab which separates the two cables and keeps them from rubbing against each other. Make sure that one of the cables runs on one side of the tab and the other cable runs on the other side of the tab.
21. Now it's time to install the new-design clip onto the window track - the schematics below indicate how to do this. The process is basically the exact opposite of the removal of the old-design clips from the window track. Simply insert the edge of the window track into the plastic L-groove insert in the new clip (A) and then rotate the clip body into place on the track (B).
22. The picture below shows a new-design window regulator clip installed onto the window track.
23. If you did not remove and replace both regulator clips at the same time (for whatever reason), remove and replace the regulator clip on the other window track by following steps 12 through 22.
24. Once both regulator clips have been replaced, it's time to reinstall the regulator cable on the pulleys. Make sure that the cable is installed correctly on three of the four pulleys and then use a screwdriver to pop the cable onto the fourth and final pulley. Make sure that the cable guide (indicated by the yellow arrow in the picture below - there is one for each pulley) is in position. This procedure should be relatively easy if the steel spring bracket is in place on the cable/take-up reel assembly. If it is not, you'll need to compress the springs on the assembly by hand to provide enough slack for the cable to be installed on the final pulley. It helps to have a second person compress the springs while you install the cable on the pulley. Newer pulleys have a cam pulley molded on top of each cable pulley which can be used to assist in reinstalling the cables if need be (Sorry. I don't have a picture). To use the cams, install the cable on one or more of the cams instead of directly on the main pulleys - use as many cams as necessary to provide enough slack to get the cable on all four cams/pulleys. Once the cable is in place on the four cams/pulleys, pull down or push up on the two regulator clips simultaneously. This will force the clips to move and will cause the cables to rotate on the cams/pulleys. After moving the clips a short distance, the cams will pop the cable onto the main pulley - move the clips until the cable is correctly installed on all four main pulleys.
25. Once the cable has been reinstalled on pulleys, double check to make sure that the clip replacement process has been done correctly. First, make sure that the new regulator clips line up with the access holes in the carrier panel (red arrows in picture below). If they do not, you'll need to reinstall the clips in the correct locations. Next, make sure that the cable coming out of the top of the cable/take-up reel assembly passes underneath the other diagonal cable, as indicated by the blue arrow in the picture below. Finally, make sure that the cables sit on opposite sides of the small tab on the edge of the clip bodies, as described in step 20. If the above three conditions are met, then the new regulator clips should be installed correctly.
26. Remove the steel spring bracket from the cable/take-up reel assembly. The window regulator system should now be fully operational.
27. Reinstall the carrier panel back onto the door - proceed directly to Part IV (below Part III) for these instructions.
Let me know if you have any questions.
As always, do this procedure at your own risk. I am not responsible for any mistakes in the procedure or those that you make while performing it.
Modified by VgRt6 at 7:24 PM 5-12-2004