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Old 11-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
aaron95sl2
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Default Replace window motor

Over the course of the last year, my driver door window has been getting more and more stubborn. It moves less and less each time, followed by a minute or so of nothing. So you wait, then hit the switch again and it moves a little more.

I've ruled out the switch by bypassing the switch and feeding it power directly. Same result. Once it stops and decides not to move for a while, when you give it power, you hear something click in the motor. It's obvious the motor is getting power, it just doesn't want to go anymore.

The current motor/regulator setup is used out of a donor car. Two years ago the original died this same way. So I want to sacrifice some wallet padding and buy a new one. (Unless anyone knows something I don't here, but it sure seems like the motor is just done. I know switch failure is common, but as I said I bypassed the switch and fed it power directly with the same result.)

My question is, I can only find stand alone motors on the FLAPS websites. I didn't think you could swap only the motor, I thought you had to swap the whole regulator. The motor is riveted to the regulator with some serious fasteners - I tried drilling them out on the old regulator with no success and many broken drill bits. How the hell would one remove and re-install ONLY a motor?

...
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaron95sl2 View Post
Over the course of the last year, my driver door window has been getting more and more stubborn. It moves less and less each time, followed by a minute or so of nothing. So you wait, then hit the switch again and it moves a little more.

I've ruled out the switch by bypassing the switch and feeding it power directly. Same result. Once it stops and decides not to move for a while, when you give it power, you hear something click in the motor. It's obvious the motor is getting power, it just doesn't want to go anymore.

The current motor/regulator setup is used out of a donor car. Two years ago the original died this same way. So I want to sacrifice some wallet padding and buy a new one. (Unless anyone knows something I don't here, but it sure seems like the motor is just done. I know switch failure is common, but as I said I bypassed the switch and fed it power directly with the same result.)

My question is, I can only find stand alone motors on the FLAPS websites. I didn't think you could swap only the motor, I thought you had to swap the whole regulator. The motor is riveted to the regulator with some serious fasteners - I tried drilling them out on the old regulator with no success and many broken drill bits. How the hell would one remove and re-install ONLY a motor?
That I don't know, not having had that pleasure yet.

However, have you tried the simple things like lubrication and tapping the motor gently with a tack hammer (or something along those lines)? I've found that sometimes, accumulated crud gets in there, and tapping it dislodges it. Contact cleaner has also been known to resurrect power window motors and switches, if you can figure out where it needs to go and can get it there.

None of this is Saturn-specific, mind you. I've never had to replace a Saturn window motor, so maybe it doesn't apply here. But in general, cleaning and lube have been known to do wonders on power window systems.

-Richard

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replace window motor

I do not think new ones exist. If you saved the last one it is remotely possible to disassemble the motor and overhaul it as long as the windings are still good. The secret to these power windows is to spring for the proper lubricant and lube the slider track and pivots.

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekOnTheHill View Post
However, have you tried the simple things like lubrication and tapping the motor gently with a tack hammer (or something along those lines)? I've found that sometimes, accumulated crud gets in there, and tapping it dislodges it. Contact cleaner has also been known to resurrect power window motors and switches, if you can figure out where it needs to go and can get it there.
That's a good idea. I haven't had the door skin off yet to mess with it, I was just narrowing down the issue. The switches are famous for getting gunked up and failing, so that's why I ruled it out. The new motors at my FLAPS are only $40, and I don't mind paying that for the peace of mind knowing that if I roll down my window at the drive through when it's 10 degrees outside, the ******* is going to go back up when I leave!

But coercing it to keep living for a while longer wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: Replace window motor

^^
Presumably you have already ruled out the window glass guides themselves aren't the trouble...like dragging or binding the glass in the channel on its way up or down? If you rule out any drag, then i'd deal with replacing the whole regulator. Amazon has a regulator & motor assembly for under $64.

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Old 11-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Quote:
Originally Posted by toggenburg View Post
^^
Presumably you have already ruled out the window glass guides themselves aren't the trouble...like dragging or binding the glass in the channel on its way up or down? If you rule out any drag, then i'd deal with replacing the whole regulator. Amazon has a regulator & motor assembly for under $64.
Yes Amazon and eBay both do, for 1996+. Will that work in a 1995? Also, as I've said, I haven't had the door skin off yet. I did brakes and a radiator hose today, that was enough! When i put the current used regulator in two years ago, I went hog wild with the lithium grease. BUT, that isn't to say something isn't loose or gummed up or whatever. Next chance I get, I'll look into it.

I was just asking about the motor to be prepared to replace it if need be. I don't mind buying a new motor if necessary, but how the hell do you install it?

...
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Last edited by aaron95sl2; 11-21-2013 at 09:59 PM.. Reason: Forgot something

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Old 11-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Lithium chassis grease is not what you want to use on plastic and rubber parts. Syl-Glide is your low cost best choice.

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Old 11-22-2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Replace window motor

i would be taking a hard look at the window chanel run.. if you have changed a regulator 1 time pull it out.. push the glass up from open there should be little to no resistance..look at the chanel felts/rubbers there should be no deformaties in any section of it.. if it is stiff look at the ft and rear chnnel gude runs insidr the door follow the mounting bracket to the inside of the door skin.. around that aera there will be a 10mm bolt.loosen it just enough to push the trak with hand pressure..moveing the runns to the door latch/hinges is loose..tword the center of the door is tight... almost all gm window moters have a ctkbraker built into the moter and overtemp due to high amps makes it cut out...hth

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Old 11-22-2013, 12:45 AM   #9
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1995 SL1
Default Re: Replace window motor

^^ Good advice ^^

With any power window it's easy to neglect the not so obvious, in this case the resistance of the channel itself. With crank windows you notice as things dry out and get tighter, with power windows you don't.

My crank windows could probably use an adjustment on the drivers side soon, and need some lube now. I've found that silicone spray works excellent on lubing them up, and it lasts a good long time. A few squirts of the spray, cycle them up and down a few times, then clean any excess off the window.

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Old 11-23-2013, 06:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Excellent advice, guys. I'll report back when I get a chance to take the door skin off. Thank you!

...
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Door skin off. Lithium grease damn near rock hard. Insert string of expletives here.

What to use to remove this crap so I can lube her up with some synthetic cold-weather friendly slippy slime?

...
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Brake cleaner and a rag. Spray rag and wipe. Big hair dryer to warm all the plastic up so it does not break helps as well.

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Old 12-05-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Replace window motor

And use Sil-Glyde to relube everything?

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Old 12-05-2013, 07:37 PM   #14
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Well I decided to pull the motor out of the worm drive to clean and lube the worm gear. Indeed, there was some hardened lithium grease in there that needed to be removed, so it was a good idea. However, upon pulling the motor out, I discovered the square solid brass contacts that push up against the spinning part of the motor to supply it with electricity were broken into several pieces and simply fell right out! No wonder my motor was weak and didn't want to try very hard, especially with the hardened lithium grease.

So, a new motor is definitely in order. I ordered a Cardone reman unit from eBay. I know, I know - EBAY?!? But in the pics the motor had the NAPA auto parts sticker on it, so I trust it's a decent part from a reputable source, and the seller had good ratings. And it was half the price that NAPA had listed on their website.

So some Sil-Glyde (right?) and a new motor in the next couple days, and we'll see how she levitates! Until then, I'll have to drive my Suburban to get espresso from the bikini baristas

...
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Replace window motor

New motor in, Syl-glide plastered everywhere, and she goes up and down without a problem.

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Old 12-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #16
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Did you replace only the motor? If so, was it indeed riveted in place. I'm having the same issue with my driver's window and will likely want to fix it in the spring.

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Old 12-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Replace window motor

The motor (or more specifically, the worm gear box) is indeed riveted to the regulator assembly. I've tried previously to drill out those rivets, leaving me with many broken drill bits. So I removed the four allen/torx (depending on year) screws that hold the actual outer motor shell to the gearbox. Once apart, I used the parts from the new (remanufactured) motor to replace the little plastic ring that contains the brass contacts and electrical connector, the motor itself (containing the windings and screw gear), and the motor shell. The hard part is pushing those little spring-loaded brass contacts back to insert the motor in.

I wish I had made a video like RichPin to show everyone; it's very lengthy to explain in writing. But feel free to ask anything else, and I'll do my best to explain! If you're in the middle of the project and need a quick answer, email me. I get my email instantly, but I only check these forums occasionally.

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Old 12-12-2013, 09:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Replace window motor

I bought just the motor off Amazon, and it came with the bolts necessary to replace the rivets.

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Old 12-13-2013, 01:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: Replace window motor

Thanks to both of you for the explanation, which I understand. Almost convinces me to spend the extra $60 to buy the motor/regulator assembly. Maybe I'll take the easy way out.

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Old 12-16-2013, 04:57 AM   #20
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Default Re: Replace window motor

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I bought just the motor off Amazon, and it came with the bolts necessary to replace the rivets.
The motor i bought did, as well. I tried and tried to drill out the rivets previously. All I got out of it were a few broken drill bits. Maybe I was doing something wrong.

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