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Power window fix

awood

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94 XLT
I've seen the "useful thread" post on replacing the bushings in the power window motor. Is there anything about broken cables on the regulator?
 
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strikefast

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'92 XL
Ditto for me on this question. I replaced the bushings on my left-rear window motor about a year ago using the helpful picture thread mentioned by awood. Now, my right rear window has "fallen down". Although it didn't act quite the same way, I took the door apart to replace the bushings in that motor and essentially found slack cables in the bottom of the door. I'm going ahead with the bushing replacement, but I feel certain that won't fix it.

Do these slack cables mean that the regulator need to be replaced? Is there a way to fix/re-attach/replace the cables themselves?
 
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awood

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I've learned a lot since the original post...but I haven't fixed anything yet. On my '92 right rear window, the cables were broken, but I couldn't figure out how they were routed. I discovered, after removing the "regulator assembly", how it all works, and how the cables are routed. The regulator assembly consists of the vertical track the window rides on, the cables, and the motor/gearbox assembly. This is all removed/installed as a unit. The motor bracket is held to the door by 3 rivets that need to be drilled out. The window is attached to a trolley that rides on the verticle track by 2 rivets that likewise need to be drilled out. Then, the vertical track itself comes out by drilling 2 rivets at the bottom of the track, and two nuts holding the top. (The rivets can be replaced with 1/4" bolts). To get the assembly out, the window needs to be removed first. This is easily done (with the two rivets already drilled out on the trolley) by popping out the inner bottom window seal, and partially pulling out the seal around the window opening in the door frame. Once the regulator assembly is out, you can see how everything is supposed to be attached, cables and all. I haven't found a good source for a replacement regulator yet, so I reinstalled the vertical track only, and reattached the window to the trolley. I'm currently using a small pair of vise grips on the verticle track to hold the trolley in it's highest position, which holds the window up.
 
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strikefast

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Wow, thanks for the additional info, awood. With the inner door panel off, the speaker/speaker housing off, window motor out, and the plastic liner partially peeled back, I can see the rivets on the window trolley, as well as the rivets on the bottom of the track. Haven't looked for the three motor bracket rivets or the two track nuts at the top of the track.

I can definitely see that one of the cables going to my regulator is broken. I assume it is the cable for raising the window--I can't see where it attaches, but I can see that there is a cable still attached to the bottom of the trolley, which still runs to the regulator. By process of elimination, I figure it is the upper cable responsible for raising the window which is broken.

I'm trying to paint a mental picture of the cable routing in my mind, but am struggling a bit. I'm sure it would probably be clearer if I pulled the regulator out and could study it, but I'm out of time for now...

I'm probably looking at the vice grips solution as well for now, just so I can lock my vehicle ;-)

I did read where some folks might have been able to replace the cables with bike/bicycle brake cable in this thread:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=87139
Seems like you still have to remove the regulator to do this.

By the way, is there any spring tension on the rear regulator assembly to be wary of? Seems like I've read about that, but I haven't seen anything yet in my situation--maybe it was for the front windows only...
 
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awood

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There's really no way to route (or even see) the cables without removing the regulator assembly. That's an interesting link about the bike parts...I wonder how long those cables will last. They might be okay since they look about the same diameter. You'd have to build-up the assembly with new parts on the workbench. I don't see a way to do it in the door. And yes, there is no spring in this type of regulator, so no worries about any pre-load. I've got some other house projects going on now, but if I get a chance I'll post some pics...if I can figure out how to do it.
 
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strikefast

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I proceeded to try the bike cable approach. I drilled out the rivets and removed the regulator. In my case, it appeared that the solder on the upper cable gave way right where it is secured to the trolley. The cable was chewed up pretty bad--probably by trying to operate the motor after the cable broke...

So, I got a similar bike cable at my local bike shop for a few dollars. The one end had a stop on it very similar to the end that engages the notch inside the plastic pulley wheel. No problem there. I cut the cable to the same length as the one I was taking out.

I struggled with how best to secure the free end of the cable to the trolley. I ended up trying to re-use the small round bead from the end of the original cable by re-soldering it to my new cable.

Initially, it appeared to work. The window was going up and down like a breeze. However, as soon as it got to the top of its travel range (window fully closed), my solder job gave way and the regulator cables came apart again.:mad:

So, I'm right back where I started. I'm convinced the bike cable would work great if you could securely attach something to the free end. I considered just looping the cable through the hole/notch where it locks into the trolley, but decided to try the solder approach instead.

I could go get another cable and try it, but my motivation is dropping quickly. The temptation to stick with the vice grips is high...
 
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awood

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Go to the hardware store and get cable crimps that will fit the cable. You can just hammer them to shape and you may have to file some excess away for the end to fit. I did this with my ends and they held. The cable I tried was smaller and broke mid-span.
 
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