Sunday, June 29, 2014

2002 Dodge Grand Caravan Window Regulator/Motor Replacement

This was not fun.

I went to Pull-a-Part today to get some parts for the van, dragged home and replaced the window motor.  It's a good story.

It was in the Mid 90s today with 100% humidity and intermittent thunderstorms.  Not the best day to be at the junkyard.  I, in full rocket-scientist mode, wore blue jeans and a black T-shirt.  Oops!  Anyway, I got there and they had a couple of dozen vans that interchanged with mine.  The very first one I went to had the passenger window motor and both lock solenoids.  Great!  Now all I need is to find the driver window motor and I'm done.  Unfortunately it didn't have the driver side window motor.  Neither did the next one, the next, the next, the next, the ... I checked 20+ vans, and not one had the driver window motor left on it.  The last van I checked had manual windows and I got really excited that my part might be on it if I could just get the window crank off.  Erm, no.  Lightbulb moment: excessive sweating, illogical thoughts, tiredness, HOT.  Time to go at that point, as I was obviously delirious. :D  The best part was the conversation when I went to the counter to pay.

Cashier: Did you find what you needed?
Me: Yes, I have a power window motor, two lock solenoids, and heatstroke.
Cashier: Haha, yes it's hot out there today.
Me: That it is.  Is that a dragon in the parking lot, or do I need another bottle of water?

Anyway.  I got home and replaced the window motor in the nice shaded garage.  I splurged and used a box fan too.  Paradise Found.  Removing and replacing these ::should:: be easy, but it wasn't.

Procedure:
Take the door panel off by removing the Phillips screws in the door handle, the door pull, and under the speaker.  Pry around the edge of the door until you think it's going to snap in half and it finally pops off.  Unhook the door handle rod and all of the electrical connectors.
Remove the speaker from the door with 4 Philips screws.  Optionally teleport these screws to a parallel dimension so you lose a half hour looking for them later.
Gingerly remove the fragile sticky rubber water protector from the door, without destroying it.
Roll down the window so you can release the clips that hold the window glass in place.  Oh wait, you can't roll the window down or you wouldn't be doing this in the first place.  <expletive/><expletive/><expletive/>
It you can't roll the window down then take out the two shiny brass colored screws from the motor and pull the motor guts out.  then you can push the window down so you can reach the clips.

The next step is to push the glass back up to the very top, and hold it in place with some tape so you can replace the parts.  You did remember the tape, right?  :/
Remove the interior door-to-glass weatherstripping from the bottom of the window by pushing up.
Loosen the 4 T-30 screws that hold the window guides in place.

Now the OMG you have got to be kidding me hard part.  Three T-30 screws hold the window motor in place.   These screws are attached to rubber and brass bushings instead of regular nuts, and they have loctite blue on them.  Pop Quiz: What happens if you sneeze, speak sternly, or gesture in the direction of a rubber and brass bushing while trying to unscrew it?  If you guessed it disintegrates leaving nothing to grip with a wrench then you'd win!

Getting these 3 screws out took an hour and a half.  Oh. My. God.  (Whinecrysweatbleed.)

Pro-Freaking-Tip.  Stick a pry bar under the mounting arms of the window regulator and pry hard.  The screws and bushings will pull out whole.  Then you can chuck them into a vice and remove them.

Once that's done it's pretty easy.  Play some Twister to get the window guides out of the door, then replace it.

That ProTip is going to save me hours when I do the driver window.  I wish I had known.

One more thing.  These window motors are permanent magnet motors.  They have carbon brushes in them.  On our van the brushes are worn out.  An enterprising person could buy or make new brushes and save a lot of irritation.

I have pictures, but I've misplaced my phone.  Yeah for ADD.  It's time for bed. 

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