Replacing Rear Door Window Regulator: 2009 BMW 328XI (E90)

KodyWallice

KodyWallice

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A few weeks ago, I was at a gas station with the goal of filling my car with fuel. For some reason, I needed to open the rear passenger (right) side window. I pushed the window control button down and heard a "crack." The window didn't roll down. I went on with my day. I completely forgot all about the occurrence until two nights ago when I realized that the window in question was ajar by approximately an inch. To close the window, I started the car and pulled the control button towards the sky. Nothing happened. The window didn't move. I heard the motor turning, but the window didn't move from its position at all. I then placed both hands flat on the window, one hand on the inside and one on the outside, and pulled upward. The glass moved. I was able to close the window. The problem was, I was also able to open it with no resistance. Basically, there was nothing holding the glass in place, either in a closed or open position. And what's worse, as I pushed the control button up and down, I started hearing a sort of crunching sound coming from the motor. I knew something was terribly wrong.

After a bit of internet reading, I discovered that the likely problem was the "window regulator." Apparently, this part going bad is common to BMWs. The regulator is the contraption that attaches to the glass and slides it up and down properly. It's basically a piece of plastic that holds onto both the window and a track and that has cables connected to it. The electric motor is also situated to the regulator. Here's a photo of the window regulator that fits a 2009 BMW 328XI (E90).

OE-51357140590.jpg

As you can see, I took this photo from AutoHausAZ. The reason for this is because this is where I ordered the new part from last night. I'll get to that later.

Yesterday, I decided to pull the rear door apart to see what I was dealing with. I watched a few videos on YouTube before I attempted this. Overall, the process of disassembling the door wasn't very challenging. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I took photos of the process and I'll share them below.

This is the inside of the right rear passenger side door. I already pulled off the trim with a large screwdriver. The trim is held on by a few clips.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-rear-passenger-door-interior.jpg

Under the trim are two Torx bolts that need to be loosened up. You'll need a size T15 Torx tool to do this.

torx-bolt-under-trim.jpg

I used my trusted Dewalt T15 socket and wrench.

t15-torx-socket-wrench.jpg

Next, I popped the door handle trim off, which again was held on by only a few clips. Under this trim was another Torx bolt that needed to be removed. Same size as before.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-door-panel-handle-trim.jpg

After that, I went around the bottom and sides of the panel with the screwdriver and popped the panel from the door itself. When that was finished, I lifted the panel from the door.

separating-door-panel-from-door.jpg

This is the inside of the door panel after it was removed from the door. You can see the clips that held it in place. Also, before completely removing the panel, I had to disconnect a few wires and cables. The one wire at the center of the above photo is for the window switch and the cable you see on the right is for the door handle.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-inside-door-panel.jpg

Directly under the door panel is a layer of black foam that's held on by very sticky rubber glue. To remove this, I pulled carefully and cut the glue as it stretched.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-door-foam-membrane-layer.jpg

This is what the inside of the door looks like; window regulator, motor, and all.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-inside-rear-door-window-parts.jpg

This next photo is of the inside door handle cable attachment. This is attached to the door panel that I removed earlier.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-rear-door-handle-cable-attachment.jpg

This next photo is of the door lock rod along with the end of the handle cable. Both are attached to the door itself. I'm not quite sure how to reinstall either of these things, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

2009-bmw-328xi-e90-rear-door-lock-rod-handle-cable.jpg

After everything was apart, I inspected the guts of the operation; the regular and associated parts. What did I find? Sitting at the bottom of the inside of the door was a small piece of green plastic that somehow broke off the plastic clip that connected the window to the slide track.

broken-bmw-e90-window-regulator-clip.jpg

I think this thing is called a window regulator clip or something like that. The part that broke off held the top cable in place. That's the cable that pulled the window up.

bmw-e90-green-plastic-window-regulator-clip.jpg

green-window-regulator-clip.jpg

This is what this piece is supposed to look like when it's in one piece.

bmw-e90-window-regulator-clip.jpg

These pieces sell on Ebay for just under $8. I decided to go for the entire regulator as opposed to just the clip. I have a feeling there's a problem with the gears as well. Also, I found the entire regulator without motor for sale at RockAuto.com with a cost between $15 and about $175. I ultimately went with AutoHausAZ because they sold the OEM product for about half price at $61. The part numbers for the regulator are:

P/N: 51357140590 O.E.M.
Cross References: 51357140590OEM
BMW 325i, 328i, M3, 330i, 335i, 328i xDrive, 325xi, 330xi, 328xi, 335i xDrive & more

I almost bought an aftermarket part from Amazon for $32, but the reviews were mixed. Some models looked completely foreign as well, meaning, the replacement looked nothing like the original part.

When I receive the part and replace it, I'll update this thread with photos and commentary.
 
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KodyWallice

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  • #2
Here's a video of the complete repair of the window regulator.

2009 BMW 328I (E90) Rear Window Replace Fix​


 
KodyWallice

KodyWallice

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I received the replacement window regulator from FedEx this afternoon. I quickly looked inside the package to make sure it was, in fact, an OEM part. It was. While there were less expensive alternatives, I'm glad I went with the original. I read too many bad stories about how the aftermarket alternatives failed to fit properly, much less last longer than a year.

Here's the package the part was contained in.

bmw-window-regulator-pn-51357140590.jpg

As you can see, the part number is 51357140590, if that helps anyone.

This is the regulator outside of the bag.

bmw-328xi-e90-window-regulator-oem.jpg

And these are the gears held in place by a zip-tie.

bmw-328xi-e90-window-regulator-oem-gears.jpg

I went ahead and used a 10mm socket to loosen and remove the three bolts holding the old part onto the interior of the door. Once that was finished, I used a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the two screws that held on a black piece of foam. I have no idea what that was for, but it was in the way of my pulling the part out from the inside of the door. Once everything was set, I unplugged and removed the part.

This is the old and new regulators sitting next to one another. You can see the motor still attached to the old one.

old-new-replacement-window-regulator.jpg

To remove the motor from the old part, I used a T25 Torx socket.

t25-torx-socket-wrench.jpg

I removed the three screws, placed the motor onto the new part (after cutting off the zip-tie), and screwed those three screws back in. The process was simple.

Now here's what's interesting about this entire process. After removing the interior door cover, I noticed a loose cable due to the green clip cracking. Well, as it turns out, when that clip breaks, the tension on the cables disappears. If you attempt to roll the window up or down, the cable gets caught up in the gears. Take a look at this.

window-regulator-cable-caught-in-gears.jpg

I tried pulling the cable loose to no avail. It was really jammed in there. So if I had intended on only replacing the clip, I don't think the job would have been a successful one. I guess this is the reason everyone needs to replace the entire regulator at times like these.

This is a photo of the motor gear before I attached it to the new regulator.

bmw-e90-window-regulator-motor-gear.jpg

To put everything back together, I simply did what I had done before, but in reverse. Overall, this was an easy job. If you're facing a situation like the one I faced above and have any questions, please go ahead and ask down below. I'll do what I can to help.
 
Replacing Rear Door Window Regulator: 2009 BMW 328XI (E90) was posted on 08-12-2021 by KodyWallice in the Motor Forum forum.

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