- Start by fixing the window in the UP position if possible so it won’t fall when the regulator is removed. I used a strip of duct tape on the outside at the bottom of the window. Worked fine.
- Remove door panel – obviously. (Click here for instructions.) Not having the proper tool, I used a flat pry bar. Locate the pins that plug into the door and get the bar under the pins at these locations. There are two at the top that are reversed. The two pins at the top are attached to the door and plug into the panel.
- Remove the moisture barrier – the plastic sheet glued to the door. I pulled it loose at the sides and bottom and rolled it up to the top and held it in place with clothes pins. The foam sound damper I removed.
- Remove the speakers.
- Disconnect the electrical connector on the front of the window motor. The release clip is on the bottom. Push up on it and the connector pulls straight out.
- To remove the motor/sector assembly, punch out the steel rivet centers, then a ¼” drill bit carves the aluminum rivets right out. There are 4 in a square pattern and one up to the left at the end of the motor, about a foot away. You’ll see when you get there.
- Remove the lower roller track. One screw on the left and two on the right.
- Lift the motor/sector and remove the rollers from the upper track. This is the track on the bottom of the window itself, and takes a little finesse. Then the entire assembly can be worked out through the hole where the lower track was removed.
- I drilled a ¼” hole through the regulator and housing and secured it with a bolt through both.
STEP #9 IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP IN THE PROCESS! THERE IS A BIG SPRING ON THE REGULATOR GEAR THAT WILL REMOVE BODY PARTS (YOURS). IT ABSOLUTELY MUST BE FASTENED!
From the 1989 Factory Service Manual
- Drill out the three rivets and the motor falls off. Attach the new motor with 1/8” (I think) rivets. Easy enough, so far.
NOTE: Some new window motors include bolts and nuts instead of rivets for reinstalling the motor.
Now comes the hard part:
- Work the motor/regulator assembly into place with the rollers on the window track. Now it gets a little dicey, and you’ll need a helper. The window must be moved down until the motor holes line up with the door shell holes. Or the motor must be actuated until the same occurs. I chose to have a helper position the window. Not having ¼” rivet capability, I used ¼” bolts, ½” long with lock washers. These are easy enough except for the one in the lower left of the main 4. It was darn near impossible to get to the back side. I finally had to grind about 1/8” off the end to get it into the hole from the rear. It seemed even more impossible (degrees of impossibility?) to get the nut into position on the inside. It may be easier to fit it to the hole before putting the assembly back in – I don’t know – at that point I wasn’t about to take everything apart and start over. Anyway it was a real pain. I spent almost as much time getting that one bolt in as I did on the entire remainder of the job. Be forewarned.
Getting those bolts and nuts in place at all the mounting points is a PITA. A simple solution is to use a small amount of gel super glue applied to 2-3 places around the nut edge then centered against the hole on the motor housing until the super glue adheres (5-10 seconds). Then let the glue cure for 15 minutes or so. This will allow you to put the motor in place and then start each bolt onto the glued in place nut without ANY skinned up knuckles. - Thanks to AACA forum member drtidmore for providing this tip.
- Remove the 1/4" bolt you installed in the hole you drilled to lock the regulator gear in place.
- White lithium grease in a spray can lubes the metal parts; teeth, gears, etc. Avoid getting it on the glass if you can, it’s really tough to clean off. Had to use mineral spirits for cleanup. I used silicone lubricant on the channels.
- The rest is just a matter of reassembly of moisture barrier and door panel. Rubber cement works well to reattach both the moisture barrier and the sound damper. Duct tape on the holes and the places where it doesn’t fit right. The tape won’t show with the panel back in place.
- Be careful that the pins are properly aligned when re-installing the door panel…they will break…and they aren’t readily available. (Next time you’re at your local junk yard, find a Riviera – more available than Reattas – and collect all you can pick up.) If any of the plastic holders on the panel are broken – and I suspect that there will be – you can fabricate a replacement from sheet metal and epoxy them in place. Works well. Four of mine had previously been broken when I bought the car (both doors), and the panels weren’t real secure. They fit fine now.
But I ramble…sorry. It’s not as simple as I thought it would be, but it’s not too difficult. And a heckuva lot cheaper than having a dealer do a shoddy job of it, and probably break something else in the process.
BE DAMN SURE NOT TO REMOVE THE MOTOR FROM THE ASSEMBLY UNTIL THE REGULATOR GEAR IS SECURED TO THE HOUSING! IT IS PRE-TENSIONED BY A LARGE, TIGHTLY WOUND SPRING, AND HONESTLY COULD POSSIBLY REMOVE A FINGER.Post script: I took the old motor apart to see what the problem was. Sure ‘nuff, two teeth off the drive gear. Internally there is a worm gear coming off the motor driving a direction change gear which drives a reduction gear which drives the external gear. All of the internal gears are plastic, of course. A recent post said that the pins for the door panels are available at Lowe’s. I couldn’t find them.