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98 Explorer Window Regulator Ball-and-Socket

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by jmcr, August 1, 2011.

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    1. jmcr

      jmcr New Member

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      Hi, really great forum!

      It seems my 98 EB Explorer has developed a problem with the drivers side window regulator. I've been reading all the window regulator threads I can find on the forum and have taken off the door panel to find the problem.

      Somehow the longer arm of the regulator has bent inward away from the track. The ball at the end of the arm has pulled out of the sliding plastic socket part that rides horizontally in the track.

      I've unbent the regulator arm so its back in line with the track with a slight outward pressure(so it makes good contact with the track) but I can't seem to pop the ball back into the plastic socket part. I'm using vise grip pliers with a good amount of pressure but I'm worried about cracking the glass because its still riveted to the track.

      Has anyone seen this specific problem with the ball and socket pulling apart on window regulators?

      I was thinking about placing a bolt with a washer behind the plastic socket joint and attaching it through the regulator arm with a lock nut but I don't think there is enough clearance in the track behind the plastic part for even a ground flat bolt head.

      Really hoping to fix this in place without having to drill out the rivets and remove the whole regulator to work on it. Any ideas would be very welcome.
       
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    3. Lube

      Lube Active Member

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      Having the ball and socket come apart is pretty common. Unfortunately, the only real cure is to replace the regulator.
       
    4. jmcr

      jmcr New Member

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      Thanks for the reply. Do you know if its possible to pop them back together?

      I'm trying to do this without removing parts if it can be avoided.

      The arm seems sturdy enough after being bent back into place, it seems like everything would work fine if the ball would just get back into the socket.

      I'm kind of wondering how it got out of the socket without breaking it, but the socket is still in good enough shape that it won't accept the ball even with a strong squeeze with pliers.
       
    5. rickybobby

      rickybobby Well-Known Member

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      a c-clamp might force it back in, but i wouldnt expect it to stay very long
       
    6. Lube

      Lube Active Member

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      ^^^^ What he said.
       
    7. jmcr

      jmcr New Member

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      Thanks, I tried the C clamp like suggested and it seemed like a great idea. It almost worked but it kept sliding off when the ball was just about to pop in. It was very tight in the door trying to do everything in place and was turning into a real pain ita.

      Ended up drilling the 2 rivets on the window mounts and the 3 rivets holding the regulator to the door and removing the whole thing, like I probably should have done in the first place but was trying to avoid.

      After it was out I was able to pop the plastic runner back on to the ball. I bent down the little retaining tab on the track so I could get the loose runner out of the track and then squeezed it back onto the ball with a vise grip, then slid the newly attached runner back into the track and bent the stopper tab back up.

      It seems very solidly on there now but however it popped out before I'm wondering if it will happen again. There was a bit of a bend on the longer regulator arm but I seemed to have bent it back into shape, hopefully that decreases any stress on the ball and socket joint so it will stay together.

      The window pane was also completely out of the front run channel near the door hinge, riding on the outside of it, which might have caused the original problem and bent the arm. I have no idea how it happened though.

      I still haven't put the regulator back in since I need to get 5 bolts and nuts to replace the rivets. I was wondering if you guys knew which size are right for door bolts? 5/16ths, 1/4? probably not more than 1",1.5" long I'm guessing.

      Any tips would be great.
       
    8. Lube

      Lube Active Member

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      I used 1/4-20 x 3/4", with flat washers on both sides. Blue Loctite to make sure they didn't come undone on their own, but can still be taken apart if needed. If you use red Loctite, you'll either twist the bolts off or have to heat the bolts to break the seal and not damage them. Grade 2 hardware is fine (Lowes or Home Depot nut n bolt bulk bins).
       

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