Window Regulator Roller - Finding the Right Hardware for Your Window Regulator
You usually don’t have troubles rolling the windows up and down. But when they do act up or get stuck, one of the things that you could blame is a faulty window regulator roller. Tiny rollers help the arms of the regulator to slide back and forth smoothly so that windows can be lowered and raised without difficulty. Over time, however, the plastic material wears out and may eventually break apart. When it comes to this, what you’ll need is the right replacement hardware that can fit into the window regulator of your vehicle.
Type of window
No need to go through all roller options. To filter them easily, you have to focus on the type of window that you have. Is it manually operated or one that’s automatically powered through a motor? This alone can take you a step closer to finding the right set of rollers for your window regulator.
Number of rollers
As with other hardware or parts, you have to know how many rollers you need per window. In some car models, three rollers per window are used. As you check for missing or cracked rollers, figure out the number of rollers that need to be replaced so you’ll know if you’ll have to get a complete set or a window regulator roller per piece depending on your needs. You may replace not just the missing or cracked rollers but all of them if you want to be sure that the rollers are in their best shape, or you can just replace the broken rollers and not bother with the rest to save time and money.
These parts, which are typically made out of plastic materials, may be sold as a direct fit or as universal items. If they’re not a direct fit, you may have to perform some minor modifications. Various car models may use differently sized rivets for mounting the rollers. Make sure that each window regulator roller that you get will fit into the regulator easily so that the regulator arms can move back and forth and the window won’t be stuck anymore.
Rebuilding the Window Regulator Roller Assembly
A chewed-up window regulator roller will mess up your car window. When you raise the windows, the glass might now slide up. Worse, the glass may suddenly drop with a thud. If one or all the rollers are damaged, here’s something you can do to fix it.
Note: This guide is for the 1968 to 1982 Corvette. Check your manual for the window specs and diagram so you’ll know which parts need to be removed to access the regulator rollers.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you’ll need:
- Window regulator roller assembly
- Door handle spring removal tool
- Drill with 3/6” drill bit
- 1/4" drift
- Vise, clamp, punch, and hammer
- White lithium grease
Step 1: Lower the window and remove the door panel. Use a door handle spring removal tool for the door lock knob.
Step 2: Pull out the anti-rattlers on the glass door (found on the door’s front and rear). Then, take out the moulding by removing screws on both ends using a screwdriver, as well as the weatherstrip seal by taking off the screws at either side and the clip in the middle.
Step 3: Detach the glass channel stops through the door’s access holes. Remove the regulator access cover to take out the lower glass channel and regulator.
Step 4: Move up the window until the door’s access holes line up with the screws of the horizontal lower glass channel. Let someone hold the window while you reach up inside the door. Locate the nuts at the back of the lower glass channel and hold them.
Step 5: Make adjustments on the glass run channel outboard on the front and rear to make room for the glass that will be removed. Clear the roller assemblies through the door’s glass opening as the window is pulled up and out.
Step 6: Slip out the lower glass channel from the regulator arm rollers and out the rear glass run channel. When removing the channel, take off the regulator arms by moving the regulator up or down. Be careful with the regulator arms—you don’t want them to close on your fingers.
Step 7: Undo the retaining bolts on the regulator channel. Be sure the position is marked.
Step 8: Pull the regulator arms down. Once the arms are out of the way, remove the regulator through the access hole. For power windows, disconnect any wiring. Take out the regulator by unscrewing its retaining bolts.
Step 9: Use a spanner rocket, needle nose pliers, or retaining ring pliers for removing or installing the glass mounting pads.
Step 10: Remove or install the roller assembly for the front glass run channel using a screwdriver. The shaft will be held by the screwdriver as the retaining nut is tightened.
Step 11: Drill out the peened area on each window regulator roller using a 3/6” drill bit to remove the roller assemblies.
Step 12: Let someone assist you with holding the regulator while you clamp a 1/4” drift into a vise. Then, position the roller’s indented center stud onto the drift shaft. The regulator arm must be fitted over the roller’s shouldered shaft and into the regulator’s arm hole. To expand the roller stud’s hollow end, use a punch and hammer.Then, expand the roller stud on the regulator arm by tapping it with a small ball peen hammer.
Step 13: Remove dirt on the lower glass horizontal channel and regulator channel; apply white lithium grease. Then, disassemble the rear glass run channel roller. Remove it from the lower glass horizontal channel and put in the new window regulator roller assembly.
Step 14: Assemble the regulator and roller channel. Install the regulator and fix the channel on the regulator arm. Then, bolt the regulator in place. Reconnect any wiring and put the regulator and channel back to their original position. During reinstallation, use the marks you’ve made earlier as a guide in aligning the bolts.
Step 15: Reinstall the lower glass horizontal channel. Be sure to align the channel with the regulator arm rollers and slip the rear glass run channel roller into the rear glass run channel. For the alignment of each roller, the regulator arms must be positioned properly. Once everything is in place, have someone help you put back the glass. Place the front glass run channel roller assembly into the glass run channel, after which the glass may be lowered. Reassemble the lower glass horizontal channel onto the glass. As you lower the glass further, have the glass run channel stops replaced. Put the front and rear glass run channel bolts in place, but don’t tighten them yet.
Step 16: Put back the weatherstrip seal, moulding, and anti-rattles. Don’t tighten the anti-rattles just yet.
Step 17: Check if the window rolls up and down easily. If there’s any problem, make the necessary adjustments. If it’s back in good shape, tighten all the bolts. Reinstall the door panel and other components that you removed.