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Power window regulator restoration/repair on the cheap.

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Power regulators for the windows will run about $150 a piece new, $100 new aftermarket, and $50 a piece for replacement cables(snakes). So here's an alternative.


Finding a good pair of snakes from a XJ at the junk yard. $6 :thumbsup:



96 is the last year of our style window regulators, so try to get them from that year. Yes you could just replace the whole regulator but coming from the junk yard, you'll not no until you get home, if they work. Also, it does not matter if it is a 2dr or 4dr and on the 4dr it doesn't matter if it is front or rear. I choose the rears from a 4dr because they should have the least amount of use over the years.


Reason for my replacement is because of the common rusted snakes due to water in the door. This will cause the window to operate slowly and not go all the way down.



Now this replacement of the snakes is assuming that you have a good power motor.


First you have to remove the window regulator from the door. I won't go into removing all the interior trim and what not. Once you have it out, you can quickly find out if your problem is a rusted snake by pulling the plastic hose off the regulator. There is a little tab that helps hold it on. Use a pair of pliers and gentle push in down, and the hose will come off easier.


Metal tab after hose was removed.



You can see the bump from the tab.



To remove the old snake, you'll have to open up the crimped end. I used a set of needle nose pliers.



I then cut the snake flush with the bottom side of the motor. This is not manditory, however with the rusted condition on mine, I didn't want to run it through the motor.



Now just plug the window regulator back in and run the switch in the down position to get the snake out. In my case, the truck is not wired right now, so I just took two wires and attach it to both wires and provided 12 volts DC. **12 volts hook to one wire and ground to the other runs the motor. Swapping the wires will change direction of the motor**


here's the regulator with the snake removed.



Once the old one is out, take time to clean the 20 years of crud out of the track. I did this using minimal water and Purple Power cleaner. Be careful not to get the motor too wet.








Now the next step is not nessecary if your plastic tubes are good, however mine were cracked and clogged and I think what I have done may help the life of the snake.


I used a piece of 3/8 air hose (had it for another project, paid $10 at Harbor freight so I guess you could say I use about 50 cents worth of it) to replace the plastic hose. It is a little larger diameter on the inside which I think should allow better drainage of any water that should get in there.



Cut to length. Old on the left. I cut mine a little longer just in case.



Bend the tab back up on the bottom side of the motor. Then slide it on.



Now your ready to put the snake back in. Feed it into the track until its butt up against the motor, then apply power to the motor again like before to get it to feed through. I ran it a couple of times just to make sure the new hose would work. It ran super smooth and fast. I parked the motor with the end towards the bottom so when you put it back in the door you can re-attach the glass.


Re-crimp the end.



I used these to replace the smaller clamps to hold the hose to the bottom of the door. $2 at the auto parts store.



Here's the completed project.



I had started a thread in tech about the regulators and if there was a lubricant you can put on them. Well believe it or not, it's not really needed if you have good snakes. That red felt like material provides the "slickness" that is needed to slide through the track and hose.


Here's a close up of the snake in the track. You can see the nice red felt in there. The old ones had very little left.



Few reminders:

This is for power window regulators. The same process in sorts should work on manual, however the snakes for power and manual are not interchangeable.

Carefull working with the power. Don't want to short anything or shock yourself.

Be careful not to disstort the track when cleaning and handling.


So roughly $10 and about an hour or more, you should have window regulators that will operate smoother than before and run the window all the way up and down.



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Thanks for the kind words.


Say....you do such a great job in all the projects you tackle....you wouldn't be up for hire to repair everything on my truck, hmmmm...?


Well, you would have to give up your truck for about a year and a half. Thats about how long we've been working on it. :oops:


If we could get some sponsor's and sell it to the cable networks and call it "this old MJ"


I think it would be more in the lines of the Tom Hanks movie, "The Money Pit" :D


Here's a couple of pics of the regulators installed. You can see with the two clips vs one it had before, that the tube end should stay above the water channel in the bottom of the door.



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