Window Regulator Steel Bushing Mod - TCCoA Forums

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Window Regulator Bushing Replacement/Mod

If you can hear your window motor turning but the window does not move, then you probably need to replace your regulator bushings.

This is my take on using steel rather than plastic for these bushings. The process is the same for any of the options below with the modifications described. I have not had any issues with this, but I am not liable if you damage/destroy yourself or your stuff.

You will need:
  • OEM Option: Dorman p/n# 74410 (1 pk per door)
  • Nylon Option: Hillman p/n# 880435 (1/2"x.194"x1/2" nylon spacer) - (3 pc per door)
  • Steel Option: Hillman p/n# 880418 (3/8"x1/2"x1-1/2" steel spacer) - (1 pc per door)
  • Grinder/Dremel/hack saw (to cut the steel spacer)
  • Sharp knife/razor blade (to trim the nylon spacer)
  • Small flat screwdriver (to remove c-clip)
  • Grease (I used marine wheel bearing grease.)
  • Channel-lock
  • Patience


This is what bad bushings look like:


You will need to remove the small c-clip on the top of the steel gear. Then pull straight up and remove the steel gear from the plastic gear. Remove the plastic gear from the housing.

Use your patience to remove all of the small bits of plastic and old grease. The plastic pieces can get stuck in the worm-gear so try to get it all out. I decided to pull the motor housing off to get at it better. I recommend you do NOT do that, because it is a HUGE pain to get back together correctly.


You will then need to cut the steel spacer into 3 roughly equal pieces about 1/2" long. I suppose you could just use 3/8"x1/2"x1/2" spacers if you can find them. I didn't explore that.


New plastic bushing versus new steel bushing (for comparison).


Now take your 3 steel bushings and set them in place in the white plastic gear. Then take the steel gear and set it in position in between the bushings. Mine was kinda tight, so I used the channel-locks to work it down until it was fully seated. If you do this, be careful to work it around evenly as to not break the white plastic gear. Take the assembled gears and apply a light coat of grease to the back side of the white gear, front side of the steel gear, and the teeth on both. Now drop them into the housing, making sure the teeth mate with the worm-gear correctly.


Re-install the c-clip on top of the steel gear. Re-install the gear cover and screws. Re-install the regulator into the door and enjoy not having to fix it again next year!

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W

Last edited by jco1385; 08-05-2015 at 08:00 AM.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:18 PM
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Awesome write up, looks a simple yet very useful mod.

Also you can get the spacers from Lowes for about 1.48 per 40 pieces

Last edited by Rodeo Joe; 06-19-2013 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Merged posts
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greddy2race View Post
Also you can get the spacers from Lowes for about 1.48 per 40 pieces
I just went with the new plastic bushing and found something to make work

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 04:22 PM
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Good tutorial. I made the mistake of taking the motor housing off as well when I was cleaning out the plastic pieces. I wouldn't recommend taking it off unless someone knows of an easy way to put it back.

I used a piece of paper I folded into a half circle to hold the springs down as I inserted the shaft back in, and then it took a couple tries to get the housing back on without moving the shaft out. Wasn't worth it for the few pieces of plastic I got out.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-18-2013, 05:58 PM
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Good to know this happened to me Saturday night. I haven't looked at it yet. Thanks for the write up.

Jason H.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 04:20 PM
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Nice write up! Thanks! My PS window is getting cranky, maybe I will tear into it...

Regards,
Mark
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 08:19 PM
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Did this today to fix my Pass.side. It worked great good write up.

Jason H.
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Power train- 4.6 cat back w/ muffler delete 2"I.D. tips , Taylor Pro Series plug wires, intake silencer delete

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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-22-2013, 08:28 PM
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almost looks like a pilot bushing will work for this any body try this?
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Basically anything roughly 7/16" x 1/2" round will work.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W

Last edited by jco1385; 08-05-2015 at 07:52 AM.
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-23-2013, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for this. I just bought a 1996 T-Bird that's going to need this done to both sides. What is it with Ford and their crappy window regulators? My previous car was a 2004 Grand Marquis (Killed in action by Bambi) that I had to have both front window regulators replaced.

I'll probably fix mine over the New Year's holiday.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 05:55 PM
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I need to try this. Seeing how i will never own another car besides a mn12 i see the 40 pieces for 1.48 being a good investment. My passenger windoe you can hear the motor just slipping. The drivers rolls up smooth till it gets about 1" inch from shutting thrm it binds and after a few seconds it slips up by itself or by holding thr button.

I know i need new bushings on the pass side.

What do u guys think is happening with the drivers side.?
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 06:51 PM
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94Thunder - on my car, the window windlace (?) that it slides into is slightly bowed. I can straighten it out and the window works perfectly for a few months, then ... time to grab the screwdriver and widen it out again when it starts to bind.

IOW - Check EVERYTHING in the path to find where it's rubbing.

Don't forget to lubricate the guide rails for the scissors action.

RwP

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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 09:43 PM
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I've replaced the biscuits before, did it on my '85 Bird back in the '90s and most recently my '92 Bird that is 22 years old and still oem on pass side. Motors are smooth, windows fast. I think Ford used same motors since the mid '60s anyway.

I think they are a decent enough design, they have a designed in weak link.

A fine pair ... ... and whatever you do, Have a Safe Trip!
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-04-2014, 11:59 PM
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Terrific pics & directions for installing either steel or plastic bushings.
A big thanks to jco1385 for sharing this info with those of us who lack experience repairing these regulators.

The driver's window on our 95LX. is a definite candidate for this fix & I plan to refer to these directions when I begin the task.
Ron

Last edited by BLKBRD88; 11-07-2014 at 07:56 PM. Reason: spelling error
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Mine gets stuck sometimes due to old crappy tint residue that gets warm and sticky. While the door panel is off, you can grease the moving parts. After you fix the motor run the window up and down with the panel off to see if you can tell what the issue is.

I edited the first post to provide the OEM style part number.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RalphP View Post
94Thunder - on my car, the window windlace (?) that it slides into is slightly bowed. I can straighten it out and the window works perfectly for a few months, then ... time to grab the screwdriver and widen it out again when it starts to bind.

IOW - Check EVERYTHING in the path to find where it's rubbing.

Don't forget to lubricate the guide rails for the scissors action.

RwP
Well thats good advice, i doubt the door has bent or even tooken apsrt before i did it..

However i do believe i dnt have enough lu rication on the scissors action. I sprayed a lil wd40 on it and it seemed to help s tad. Bit. My thing is the doors window track has never been replaced and its rivoted in.. Ehich is gonna be a pita to just get a new one and install it.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-06-2014, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 94Thunder View Post
Well thats good advice, i doubt the door has bent or even tooken apsrt before i did it..

However i do believe i dnt have enough lu rication on the scissors action. I sprayed a lil wd40 on it and it seemed to help s tad. Bit. My thing is the doors window track has never been replaced and its rivoted in.. Ehich is gonna be a pita to just get a new one and install it.
WD40 will remove the lubricant, not lubricate the movement.

Don't need to replace it, just lubricate it with the proper lubricant (I used a PTFE-based spray lubricant on mine.)

RwP

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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 07:05 PM
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I thought the bushings were made out of plastic for two reasons: One, in the event of a child's neck in the way, these bushings would fail first, and prevent decapitation. The other reason is that the bushings would be the first item to wear out from normal use, so the other parts would last longer.

This mod makes the plastic gear the "weakest link". How long do the plastic bushings typically last? If they wore out every 5-10 years, I might be inclined to go with steel. But if the plastic is good for 20 years... I'd go OEM.

1996 Thunderbird LX (4.6), daily driver
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 11-07-2014, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urambo Tauro View Post
I thought the bushings were made out of plastic for two reasons: One, in the event of a child's neck in the way, these bushings would fail first, and prevent decapitation. The other reason is that the bushings would be the first item to wear out from normal use, so the other parts would last longer.

This mod makes the plastic gear the "weakest link". How long do the plastic bushings typically last? If they wore out every 5-10 years, I might be inclined to go with steel. But if the plastic is good for 20 years... I'd go OEM.
I thought the plastic bushings gave the window a little cushion when it went to the top, and solid bushings would break the window when it went up to the top
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urambo Tauro View Post
I thought the bushings were made out of plastic for two reasons: One, in the event of a child's neck in the way, these bushings would fail first, and prevent decapitation. The other reason is that the bushings would be the first item to wear out from normal use, so the other parts would last longer.

This mod makes the plastic gear the "weakest link". How long do the plastic bushings typically last? If they wore out every 5-10 years, I might be inclined to go with steel. But if the plastic is good for 20 years... I'd go OEM.
The reason that I did this with steel is because it was my 2nd time going in there to replace the plastic pieces. The first set lasted about 2 or 3 years before they gave up. I don't think the motor is strong enough to decap a child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1995 cougar xr7 View Post
I thought the plastic bushings gave the window a little cushion when it went to the top, and solid bushings would break the window when it went up to the top
I have also not broken any windows with this mod.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jco1385 View Post
The reason that I did this with steel is because it was my 2nd time going in there to replace the plastic pieces. The first set lasted about 2 or 3 years before they gave up. I don't think the motor is strong enough to decap a child.



I have also not broken any windows with this mod.
I still havent had a set of 94+ window motors go bad because of the bushings. Never had to tear them apart to see what the difference is.

As for the decap .. stick your hand or any other sensitive body part in the track and roll the window up. Its a lot stronger than it seems.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 04:16 PM
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Ok, time to revive this thread again.
A big thanks to "jco1385" for the directions on doing this rebuild.
I went with the nylon bushings, but followed the directions and the window is working just fine.
Ron
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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I have another alternative that I am going to try. I found these nylon spacers for $0.99 at Lowe's. They are about 1/16" taller than the Dorman pieces.



Dorman


Hillman:



1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 06:41 PM
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If it's too long, chuck it up in a cordless, and use a razor knife to trim it.

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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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The nylon pieces from Lowe's do work, but you have to trim the excess off or the c-clip won't go back on top of the metal gear. But for $3 to do both doors I'd say it's worth the effort, since the Dorman pieces are about $8 for one side (3 pc). Just use a sharp razor knife to trim them.

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 05:40 PM
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just did this mod using the metal ones works great but now I need to do the other door
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2015, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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I edited the first post to put all of the part numbers in one place for the different options I've tried. I also edited the title so it may be easier to find in a search. Sticky??

1994 Thunderbird - 2000 4.2L M5R2 now on the road!!

1995 Thunderbird - 2002 Alum 4.6L SVO - Awaiting transplant... (Parts donor)

1996 Cougar - 2004 3.9L 4R70W
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:18 PM
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Thanks for posting the information JCO..


I chose to go with the Dorman bushings in lieu of the steel bushings..

The window motors are so easy to remove, and rebuild..I didn't find it necessary to use the steel bushings..

Somewhere down the line if these bushings fail..I'll try the steel bushing mod instead..






Rayo..

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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 12:44 PM
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For those who are interested, I measured the Dorman pieces. I used a set of 9" Starrett calipers so the decimal measurement should be good.

Height: 0.421" or 27/64" if you perfer

Diameter: 0.500"

Thinking about maybe making some out of UHMW.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-25-2015, 10:47 PM
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Steel ball bearings work perfectly also.
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