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Repairing your window regulator
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Thread: Repairing your window regulator

  1. #1
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    Repairing your window regulator

    Hello all, I hadn't seen a howto on this yet, but I had the dreaded window regulator failure. I went in and took it out and found the plastic lifter/slide had a new a**hole ripped in it by the lifting cable end.

    The good news is, you can fix the regulator much cheaper than replacing the whole unit. $9 on Amazon (no affiliate link):

    https://www.amazon.com/PWS-COMPATIBL...dp/B07QQBW8ZD/

    And while you're at it, you can grab a replacement little plastic channel guide in case yours is busted and that caused the failure. If not, you'll have it for when it does fail and start to rattle, then you can replace it. Mine was fine, so I have a spare. But for $7, best to have it ready to go, IMO (no affiliate link):

    https://www.amazon.com/PWS-COMPATIBL...dp/B07QKFWTZJ/

    Tools needed:
    Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
    Torx T30 driver
    Alan wrench set in metric (size unknown)
    10mm socket/ratchet
    A friend (optional, also, he's not a tool, he's actually a pretty nice guy for helping)
    Pliers, because they're always helpful at some point.

    Anyhow, here's the replacement next to the original as it would be lifting the window. You can see where the cable holder failed on the left side by where the little ear sticks out:

    IMG_20200729_104113.jpg

    Looking down into the clips where the window sits on those rubber baby buggy bumpers, you can also see the left side had started to crack and pull away. So that clip was doomed to failure one way or another.

    IMG_20200729_104236.jpg

    Anyhow, on to the actual repair...
    First thing to do is remove the door card. A video on how to do it AND remove the regulator here:



    But since I hate videos, here's what to do for the door card:
    1) There are two plastic plug/caps along the rear door edge, one about 2/3 the way up, the other is just underneath as the back edge turns around to become the bottom edge. Pry those out. Use something plastic, if possible. The plastic is SOFT and easy to mar. Remove the phillips screws under the caps.
    2) Pry the plastic cover that's in the door close pull in the armrest off from the top. Likewise be gentle and don't mar it. Underneath are two allen head machine screws. My allen set weirdly has no sizes printed on them, so I'm not sure which it is. It's a standard metric set though, so if you have a metric set I'm sure you'll have the right size. Take those screws out.
    3) Pry gently around the edges or from the middle of the plastic cover on the door handle. The main snap is opposite the side the handle comes out. The side with the handle is made to be inserted at an angle then hinge, so don't try and pop that side. I used a screwdriver with carboard over the blade. Underneath is another of the allen head machine screws. Take that out.
    4) The rest is all snaps. Start prying the bottom edge of the door panel out until you've popped all the snaps free. It hangs from the top, so once this is free, slide it up to release.
    5) The door pull cable is the last thing keeping you from the innards. It's just an "L" shaped cable stuck in a hole and secured with a little snap. Unsnap that and the cable tube end from the door card and you can lift the "L" part right out.
    6) Slooooooowly pull a bit at a time of the glue around the edges of the white foamy vapor barrier piece. It's not hard to do, but you can only do an inch at a time, so it's a bit annoying. No need to fully remove and deal with the speaker. Just get enough space to work in.

    Removing the regulator:
    1) If you're doing this, your window is probably in the bottom-most position. Lift the window to the top and secure with painter's tape or a very patient friend.
    2) Undo the power plug on the regulator. It's got a security clip you have to pry to slide it off.
    3) There are three 10mm nuts attached to studs on the regulator. Top, bottom, and the middle one offset. My top one was totally loose, due to the highest quality factory assembly of Fiat products. Take those off if some knob hasn't conveniently left them off for you.
    4) Wiggle the regulator out. If your lifter clip thingy like in my top picture there isn't completely broken and the cable holder broke like mine, you might need to pry the little hook outward that goes through the bottom hole on the window so you can slide it off the bottom of the glass.

    Depending on the nature of the failure, your wires may already be lose, sloppy spaghetti. If not, go ahead and take the two torx T30 screws out here. This will let you slide the drum from the motor unit inward and reduce the spring pressure. Take care of how the wires are wrapped around. You can pry the cable off the top pulley after doing this. I didn't have to pry because I had the spaghetti, but you'll need to remove these to set the cables back right and get everything back in place, so go ahead and take 'em out.

    IMG_20200729_112154.jpg

    My window regulator was about 2/3 of the way up, so here's where the cables were supposed to be. The bottom cable goes around once, the top cable goes around the spiral path twice. My bottom cable was actually originally well wedged in the gap between the drum and the plastic insert/bushing doohickey instead of the proper groove and had worn a path in the bushing. More quality assembly! Anyhow, make it look like this if the regulator is high, or two turns on the bottom if it's low. I got them wrapped and channeled, then applied some tactical duck tape to hold the wires in place before reassembly.

    IMG_20200729_112031.jpg

    Snap your new lifter plastic gizmo onto the metal edge... it only goes on one way, then feed the downward-pulling wire through the bottom slider (left in the pic below) and into its holder. Do the same for the top but leave it off the pulley. The pic below is fully reassembled, but we're not there yet. So now you have the wires wrapped and taped to the drum, the bottom (left) one around the bottom slider and into it's holder on the lifter thingy, and the top one (right) loose but into the holder on the lifter thingy. The motor assembly is still free from the track.

    IMG_20200729_112202.jpg

    See those two slots on the top (right in the picture) pulley? Stick the loop of the cable in one of them and hold it down in there with your thumb and rotate the pulley around to get the wire seated and tensioned. I used a small screwdriver in the opposite side slot to rotate the pulley around to get the wire fully in the channel. This is an intelligence/dexterity test designed by Fiat. If you can't get the wire popped over the pulley within 5 attempts by this method, Fiat considers you a terribly useless waste of meat. Luckily, they aren't observing you, so they'll never know what a failure you are. Having a friend help is cheating. I recommend cheating.

    Now, all you have to do is pull outward on the motor/drum unit and put the screws back in and your regulator is fixed. Don't forget to slather the track edge with grease!

    IMG_20200729_112146.jpg

    Reinstalling everything is just the reverse of the above, but before you do, let you window down a bit and wiggle the top of it in the channel. If the edge comes out, your guide clip is busted and down in the bottom of the door somewhere. Go ahead and replace that.

    Also, after you attach the regulator to the door, if you align the bottom hole in the window horizontally with where the clip is supposed to go and slide it on till it's bottomed against the rubber baby buggy bumpers, you can just roll it up until the motor mashes those bumpers down hard enough to snap that clip in, you'll hear a little click and you can check it. No need to be a hero, you definitely already passed Fiat's intelligence test above with flying colors, right?

    Finito. Go drink yourself a Birra Moretti La Rossa and admire your rolled-up window.

    Sam
    Last edited by samwichse; 07-30-2020 at 09:42 AM. Reason: Fixing Pictures

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  3. #2
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    lovely write up sir! good job the pics are lacking tho...unless its just me lol
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    It's not just you. I can't edit the post to fix them for some reason. I PM'd Fiat500USA, but no response yet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
    It's not just you. I can't edit the post to fix them for some reason. I PM'd Fiat500USA, but no response yet?

    Sorry I missed this. I work nights and didn't catch the message. Try it now. If the pictures are hosted on Google or Facebook, they don't allow third party hosting. If you are stuck and can't figure it out you can send me the images and I'll fix it. Just message me and I'll tell you how to send them.
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    Yes, I was copypasta-ing the images from my Google Photos... and was thinking it was suspiciously streamlined that I could just "copy image" and paste right into the editing box for a vBulletin-based board. I've just uploaded them as inline attachments instead now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samwichse View Post
    Yes, I was copypasta-ing the images from my Google Photos... and was thinking it was suspiciously streamlined that I could just "copy image" and paste right into the editing box for a vBulletin-based board. I've just uploaded them as inline attachments instead now.

    Thanks for your perseverance. The forum would take it, and Google used to allow it, but they stopped. There is a way to get the image link but it is complicated and you need a Blogger account.
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    Is there a "how to" in adding photos? I mostly upload JPGs from my local computer (to keep size down) but had to clear all photos when the system said I'd exceeded maximum space. That, of course, deleted all the photos from my posts.

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    Thanks for the write up and links.

    I've always replaced the complete window regulator assemblies as an assembly. I have replaced both sides once, and now I am due for another pair.
    I'll buy a set of the window regulator clips and repair them.

    Also... just an FYI... it's an "Allen Wrench", not an "Alan the guy Wrench".
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    One thing about old Italian cars from the 70s is their power windows were not robust, so I always used them very gingerly. I always had the feeling it when using them it was going to be the last time they were going to work. Old habits die hard so even on the new cars I always stop the windows before they reach the top or bottom of their travel and try not to use them when I don't have to.

    Thanks for the heads up on repairing them. Probably inevitable at some point. The last car I did was our Audi's regulator / motor assembly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddySRT View Post
    Thanks for the write up and links.

    I've always replaced the complete window regulator assemblies as an assembly. I have replaced both sides once, and now I am due for another pair.
    I'll buy a set of the window regulator clips and repair them.

    Also... just an FYI... it's an "Allen Wrench", not an "Alan the guy Wrench".
    I'm sure he knows that and that was spell check issue. He wrote it correctly 3 out of the 4 times.
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