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Old 09-20-2015, 01:50 PM   #1
MrGreen
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Early to late window mechanism and motor conversion

I searched for this and was unable to find a step by step on how to convert the old cable version of the power windows to the scissor update. Apparently BMW updated the motor mechanism in the e30 from 1988 on.

My passenger motor was fried. I went to pick your part and picked up a new motor not knowing there were two different systems. The motor worked great, but when I installed it it stopped working. The cable system on my '87is was stuck. Anyway I picked up a couple complete doors from a 1990. It is a very easy conversion and I only had to drill one hole!

First, remove the three screws in the door handle. Two below the arm rest and the other behind the top of the handle behind the mirror adjustment switch on the drivers side and behind the plastic plate on the
Passenger side. Just use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry it out. Screw is right inside.

Next, pull off door cards. Multiple clips that pop out if you pull gently away from the door at one of the bottom corners. Make sure to unscrew the door lock.



Next remove the moisture barrier and place it aside.



Next remove the 3 10mm nuts from the motor



And the 4 10mm bolts from the cable system



Lift up the window and remove the 2 10mm bolts and release the window from the cable system.

Get a flat head screw driver and unclip the clips for the inner remove the inner trim


Remove the window


Remove old motor and cable system out of the large bottom opening.


Gently pry inner trim off and remove rubber channel for window


Now it's time to get the guts out of the donor door. Remember the window position (up or down; I went with up) so you can install in the same way.



Remove nuts and bolts all 10mm (7 total)

Slide motor and mechanism till both tracks of the windo are free and remove the window like you did with the other one. Then remove motor and mechanism out the bottom large opening.



Then remove rubber window channel and guides.


Then reinstall everything in the original door. Do not bolt down the channel nearest to the door opening as it will need to have a new hole drilled.


Roll down the window to find the position where the new hole must be drilled. This can best be done by firmly pushing the channel rail against rolled down window. Don't press too hard and make sure the channel is locked or tabbed into the top section. Then drill 1/4" hole. Screw in bolt.


Put everything back together.

Last edited by MrGreen; 09-21-2015 at 02:27 PM. Reason: Updated step by step
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
etaclay
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Nice write up! I'll be looking to do this in my '85 as both of my coupe windows don't go all the way up from messed up window regulators. Are all the connections the same?
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Old 09-27-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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Awesome! Def on the list of things to do

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Old 10-01-2015, 08:11 AM   #4
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Those guides explain why my window wasn't working. I figured haha. Nice write up!
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:17 PM   #5
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Thanks guys! All the connectors and hardware are the same, you just need to make sure that you get all the components (Windows, mechanism, seals, and guides) from the donor. It was way easier than I expected.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:33 AM   #6
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i know ive already posted in here, but i am genuinely excited to try this soon... my windows work like ass
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:02 PM   #7
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Thank you for writing this up. Why did you pull the rubber window seals?
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:09 PM   #8
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The seals for old and new are not the same length and are not compatible.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:29 AM   #9
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The seals for old and new are not the same length and are not compatible.
I'd like to understand this better. Where I live there are no donor cars so I'll have to have everything shipped -_- And I suspect it will be difficult to find someone selling 30 year old seals...

If the door frames are the same size/shape, how do the seals end up being different lengths?
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Old 07-17-2016, 10:24 AM   #10
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The seals are longer into the door on the newer model, if I remember right. They extend all the way down with the metal guides (11th pick down in this thread). You may need to find a junk yard or search on eBay or here on R3v for newer model seals. Otherwise the window probably won't go up/down or will rattle all over the place when rolled down.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:24 AM   #11
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do you need the windows from the newer car for this?

or do the old windows fit on the new regulators?
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:14 AM   #12
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do you need the windows from the newer car for this?

or do the old windows fit on the new regulators?


You need the new windows. You have to use all newer version parts with new. All old with old. No parts are interchangeable.
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Old 08-05-2016, 10:48 AM   #13
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cool, thanks. picking them up this weekend
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:12 AM   #14
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I think the early cars changed over at some point. My '84 has no provisions for the newer regulator. I'd have to drill all new holes and correct spacing from the doorframe.
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Old 05-06-2019, 01:16 PM   #15
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Thanks for putting this together. I discover the need for a new hole for the rear track on my own last night, and this confirmed that.
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