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Thread: electric window regulator mod?

  1. #1
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    electric window regulator mod?

    im getting my car ready for the track and am wanting to switch from electric to manual.

    Is it possible to convert a electric window to a manual window? can i remove the motor and install a crank handle?

    if i can mod the electric regulator id rather do that then have to buy the manual ones.

    thanks for ya alls imput


  2. #2
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    i would also like to know if there is a converion out there

  3. #3
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    <-- yet another guy wanting to know.

    I searched and searched yesterday and somebody posted somewhere that some older models had them but didn't say which ones. I spent about a half hour on rockauto.com searching through the various models but came up empty.

  4. #4
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    If for an e36 chassis, then the answer is that it's not possible, with factory parts. This is due to the frameless design of the doors (if we're talking coupe), and the sealing feature. Not even the LTW had manual windows.
    For an e30 there after regulators that are manually operated.

    This only refers to factory parts (for the e36), not what you're able to do if going fully custom, and dealing with leaks.

  5. #5
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    are a waste of money
    RealOEM shows the manual parts but no part numbers.

    I love electric windows, for a street car.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrsprt View Post
    If for an e36 chassis, then the answer is that it's not possible, with factory parts. This is due to the frameless design of the doors (if we're talking coupe), and the sealing feature. Not even the LTW had manual windows.
    For an e30 there after regulators that are manually operated.

    This only refers to factory parts (for the e36), not what you're able to do if going fully custom, and dealing with leaks.
    balls.

    I guess it's time to fabricate a custom center dash to hold the switches then.

  7. #7
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    I've seen this topic discussed before on this forum. Surprised your search didn't find it.
    The final answer was that the manual conversion weighs more than the electric version.
    I'll post a photo tonight about relocation of the window switches to the dash, to the left of the steering column. Or you can search for that too.
    Joel

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwilly View Post
    I've seen this topic discussed before on this forum. Surprised your search didn't find it.
    The final answer was that the manual conversion weighs more than the electric version.
    I'll post a photo tonight about relocation of the window switches to the dash, to the left of the steering column. Or you can search for that too.
    Joel
    For which chassis did you hear that manual was heavier? I have heard that about the e30 coupe. However, having installed manual regulators in my e30 m3 and comparing the weight of the to the electric ones that came out..... I can assure you that the manual ones were lighter. It was obvious by holding them, so I weighed them. They were, in fact, lighter on the scale, too. These were the scissors type, not the worm gear type. I can't speak to the e30 worm gear type, or the e36 or e46 coupe parts, if in fact they do exist...(which, as I understand it, they do not.)

  9. #9
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    they do exist.... and a guy in Ohio did it on his track car that he drives to/from the track with tire trailer...

    http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...&postcount=168

    his build thread
    http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...ighlight=track
    "Torque is like cowbell... you can never have too much." - Michael Cervi


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrsprt View Post
    For which chassis did you hear that manual was heavier? I have heard that about the e30 coupe. However, having installed manual regulators in my e30 m3 and comparing the weight of the to the electric ones that came out..... I can assure you that the manual ones were lighter. It was obvious by holding them, so I weighed them. They were, in fact, lighter on the scale, too. These were the scissors type, not the worm gear type. I can't speak to the e30 worm gear type, or the e36 or e46 coupe parts, if in fact they do exist...(which, as I understand it, they do not.)
    Check out these threads.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ual+%2B+window


    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ual+%2B+window


    Also note that the track car build on the BMW M3 Forum (posted by 99MPower) is for a 4 door. Bryan points out in the thread above that it will not work in a coupe, which the OP has.

    Joel
    Last edited by jwilly; 10-20-2010 at 02:56 PM. Reason: more info

  11. #11
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    Those threads do make sense to me. No e36 coupe manual regulators, only sedan due to frameless windows in coupe form. Also all the LTW's were power windows.
    e36 sedans in Europe could have manual regulators, so they can be retrofit to US sedan cars.. door windows are framed.
    The only thing is that the e30 coupe regulator information must be about the worm gear type, because my scissors type regulators in manual were noticeably lighter than the electric version. DEFINITELY.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrsprt View Post
    These were the scissors type, not the worm gear type. I can't speak to the e30 worm gear type
    I did a manual conversion in my E30 M3 with the worm-type regulators. It's not a huge difference, but the manual is lighter.
    Brendan
    '90 E30 M3
    Boston, MA

  13. #13
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    Switch relocation

    Here is my solution that I copied from this forum.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrsprt View Post
    If for an e36 chassis, then the answer is that it's not possible, with factory parts. This is due to the frameless design of the doors (if we're talking coupe), and the sealing feature. Not even the LTW had manual windows.
    For an e30 there after regulators that are manually operated.

    This only refers to factory parts (for the e36), not what you're able to do if going fully custom, and dealing with leaks.
    Or you can weld a nut to the motor (E30) and bolt a handle on. It will work, light duty. The full manual assembly is heavier then the electric, which is just a plastic strip in a thin metal housing.

    2010 BMW Club Racing E30 M3 Touring Car Champion, 2011 and 2013 SCCA National Championship Runoffs 3rd Place, STU, 2011 SCCA Jim Fitzgerald Rookie of the Year, 2012 SCCA Northeast Division STU Champion, 2015 SCCA Runoffs Pole Position Daytona/STU

  15. #15
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    It's possible, but you'll have to find a car with a two-piece window regulator that has a removable crank handle stub and housing. Ford had manual windows on some of their early 90's sh*tboxes, and it might be possible to retrofit the stub/housing to the stock BMW regulator.

    BTW, if you can toss the motor, the microswitches, and the 200 miles of electric window harness, you'll save at least 40 pounds per door.

    You could also try to retrofit a scissor-type regulator from another car intgo the BMW door. The guides and stops on the BMW window operate independently of the regulator. I've driven several e36 coupes that had one or more door glasses disabled, and the glass seals perfectly to the roof without any interference issues if it's left all the way up.

    I worked in the auto glass industry for 20+ years, and this sounds like an interesting project. I may have to hit the local Pull a Part and take a look at some regulators.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JS154 View Post
    Or you can weld a nut to the motor (E30) and bolt a handle on. It will work, light duty. The full manual assembly is heavier then the electric, which is just a plastic strip in a thin metal housing.
    Eric,
    Are you saying put an e30 electric regulator, with a nut welded on, into an e36 chassis? And that this would be lighter than an e36 electric regulator?
    I'm a little confused by this, because my manual regulator (regulator, handle, and nut), in my hands separate from the car was noticeably lighter than the electric regulator (only regulator and motor. Not including all of the wiring and switches.) Again this is scissors type regulator, not worm gear type, for an e30 coupe. I assure you that this is the case... and if you add in the weight of the wiring and switches the difference become greater.
    Also, as BCM noted, the worm gear type is lighter in manual than in electric.

    Can you clarify what regulators you're referencing?

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