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Window Regulator and Door Lock DIY

24591 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  D356D
Window Regulator and Door Lock DIY

This DIY is for Removing and Replacing the Drivers Side Window Regulator, and the Door Latch Lock Control Module Assembly (aka: DLCM). This DIY can be used for Passenger Side Widow Regulator; just remember your left/right orientations.

If you are asking yourself any of the questions below, then your problem might be the WINDOW REGULATOR.

1) Does your window go up half way, stop and then goes back down?
2) Does your window go up very slowly, like it is straining to work?
3) Do you have help push your window up with your hand(s)?
4) While your window was going up, did you hear a snap and then the window dropped with a thunk?

Does any of this sound like your NB? If you answered yes to any two questions it is likely that your problem is/was the WINDOW REGULATOR ... :eek:hnoes: Don’t be scared!!! :scared: For those of average skill, you can do this in a weekend if you try.

TECHNICAL NOTES: This DIY Covers Model Years 1998 thru 2005 and does NOT Cover the Manual Window Regulator. Also it is possible to buy the Window Regulator and Door Sub-Frame as an assembly; doing it this way might save you some time, albeit a bit pricey.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENT: I have been asked if there is/are alternative steps to this DIY; there are always alternatives; there are a number of Window Regulator DIY's out there, but according to Bentley, this is the better way to do it.

DISCLAIMER: The author(s) assume that you (the reader) are reasonably capable with the automotive tools necessary to get the job accomplished, which means that you won’t glue your fingers together, then break something and then are smart enough to know not to try to blame or post ranting about anyone else if something goes horribly wrong because of it. AGREED?

These instructions were developed using the following NB's...

1) 1998 2.0 liter, 5 speed
2) 2000 1.8T liter 5 speed (Interior Door Panel)

According to eBahn-Bentley the interior layout changed in 1999, so if your NB has a manufacture date in and after 1999, then some or all of the Door Panel removal pics may be incorrect for you; especially the wiring harness.

As always, just remember to offer a simple thank you and credit to the original author if you pass on this information to friends and/or family!!

TIME NEEDED: 4 to 6 Hours; some window regulators have rivets and some have bolts; so be prepared to drill out some rivets.

ITEMS NEEDED: A VW New Beetle Bentley Repair Manual or the Bentley DVD or a Haynes manual.

The black sticky stuff on the backside of the Door Panel Sub-Frame Plate is called Butyl [bew-tull] Tape, aka: "dum-dum", :confused: and no, I have no idea how it got that name; this for the vapor barrier. I am sure many of you have seen it; typically behind the interior door panel there is a sheet of plastic that is attached to the metal frame of the door with this black sticky stuff. I did call the dealer to see what this sealant would cost and it turns out that VW discontinued using it. I ended up getting mine at O'Reilly's autoparts; you can also get it from any body shop. There is still a current debate on whether or not the vapor sealant is needed; I leave that decision to you.

The New Door Lock Control Module will need one 4mm x 10mm screw/bolt, with a Nylon Lock Nut to replace the rivet that connects the plastic mount bracket to the DLCM and two 5/16"-18 x 1/2" screws/bolts with Nylon Lock Nuts to re-mount the DLCM to the Sub-Frame Plate.

PROJECT COST: Drivers Side Window Regulator without Sub-Frame Plate $75.20, and with sub-frame $185.25; plus shipping and taxes. I purchased both Left and Right Window Regulators and the Drivers Side DLCM; my total was $411.36, includes shipping and taxes. The Butyl Tape was $15.35 for the box; taxes included.

Optional: Door Latch and Lock Control Module Assembly (aka: DLCM), varies by model year and hard top or convertible ...
1) ... '98 Drivers Side Only, $276.64
2) ... '99 thru 08, Drivers Side $189.05 and Passenger Side $161.20
3) ... '03 thru '08 Convertible, Drivers Side $140.63 and Passenger Side $120.00.

I inadvertently tossed the receipt for the 4mm Screw/Bolt with nut and the two Screws/Bolts with nuts; I do remember that it was less than a dollar for all of it.

SPECIAL TOOLS: Screw Driver Tool T10011; if you have 4mm 12 Point Star, you really do not need this tool.

WARNINGS: If you do not secure the window properly it may drop suddenly, crack and/or shatter; ensure that you use some type of 3 to 4 wide Inch Duct Tape.

CAUTIONS: For those NB's that have the Immobilizer, I am not certain if a new DLCM has to be programmed to it or not.

RE-INSTALLATION NOTES: Yes; read the last post.

Be careful with all plastic, it will be brittle. If something does not move, look for the screw(s) that you missed? There will be several screws/bolts so do not loose any; I put mine in Ziploc bag(s) and label them. Be sure to mark all wiring connectors in some manner, so you will know which ones connect to which switches and which frame access holes they run through.

So let’s begin...


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1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Step One: Remove the Interior Door Panel. The Interior Door Panel DIY Thread is here ...

Step Two: Remove the Door Key Lock Cylinder Housing. The Door Lock Cylinder Housing DIY Thread is here ... All of my NB's have the Key Lock for both doors; however, some NB's do not. If your NB does not have a Key Lock/Unlock Option, I am uncertain if you need to perform this step or not. You will have to decide for yourself.

Disconnect the Door Handle Cable [DL_13 and 14]; carefully pry the plastic cable end out of the Door Lever Tract.

Step Three: Secure the Window and you will need the window switch [WR_06] to do it. To get the window switch out of the door panel, push in on the two clips at the same time and push the switch out of the door panel.

Technical Notes: DO NOT :eek:hnoes: use a screwdriver to pry the switch, you will damage your door panel and/or break the clips that hold the switch in the door panel.
DO NOT :eek:hnoes: damage the plastic end or the cable itself or you will not be able to open your door.

Re-connect the switch to the wire harness. Pry out the window regulator access caps [WR_01 thru WR_05]. These caps are very stiff rubber, so be careful not to push the cap inside behind the sub-frame plate, as they will interfere with raising/lowering of the window. Raise or lower the window until the window regulator window clamp bolts are seen in the access holes [WR_07]. Loosen the window clamp bolts [WR_08 and WR_09] and pull the window up and secure it with duct tape [WR_10]. I used card board to prevent the sticky part of the tape from getting on the rubber part of window/door seal.

TECHNICAL NOTE: It is recommended to have another person to help you with securing the window; if the window drops back down into the door it could crack or shatter.


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Step Four: Remove the Hood Release Lever [WR_12]. You will need to pull the hood release handle a 1/4 of what it takes to open the hood; then pull out the hood release lever retaining clip [WR_14 and WR_15]. I used a screw driver to pry it out; however something with a curved or bent tip would work best. Once you have the retaining clip pulled out, you can pull the hood release lever off [WR_16].


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Step Five: Remove the Drivers Side Kick Panel. To get the drivers side kick panel out; remove the plastic screw [WR_16] that was behind the hood release lever. Remove the three Lower Dash Screws and the three screws in the upper foot-well cover [WR_19 and WR_20]. Pull the front of foot-cover down slightly and the pull out from the front.

I removed the Drivers Side Kick Panel by pulling out on the bottom rear of the panel and the rotate forward [WR_23]; then lifting up on the front, because there is a stud [WR_25] on the underside of the panel the goes into the foot threshold panel to hold it in place; :banghead: so be careful not to break it.

Technical Note: Depending on the options that your NB has; you can have up to three connectors to disconnect. The more connectors that you have the more challenging it will be to get the wire harness through the lower A-Pillar.


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Step Six: Disconnect the Door Wiring Harness from the car. Pull the floor insulation back and disconnect the door wiring harness [WR_30-1 and WR_31]. Lift the wire harness out of the way and Remove the lower A-Pillar door wire harness cover plate [WR_30-2 and WR_32].

On the outside of the A-Pillar [WR_37-1], use your finger to pry out the door wire harness at the top right corner; DO NOT :eek:hnoes: pull the rubber tube that is between the door and a-pillar. Now, using a gentle pull and push method, move the door wire harness through and out of the lower A-Pillar.

On the Door sub_frame plate, disconnect the Power Mirror Wire Harness [WR_39-1, WR_39-2 and WR_39-3] and pull it out of your way [WR_39-4] to a safe spot out of your way. The mirror wire harness goes under the window motor control, so be gentle when moving connector or you might break off the connector clips.

Now with your finger push in on the left lower corner [WR_38-1] of the wire harness; remove the screw [WR_38-2] and again, using a gentle pull and push method, move the door wire harness through and out of the door.


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Step Seven: Remove the Door Sub-Frame Panel. Remove the Door Latch Bolts [WR_40] and just like removing a cylinder head; there is a loosen and tighten bolt pattern to remove the Door Sub-Frame Panel [WR_45]. While your partner is holding the sub-frame in place, pull out on the speaker corner, working your way toward the door latch and there might be a black sticky substance around the edges of the sub-frame [WR_46]; some may be dried out. Once the sub-frame is free of the door, pull it down and to the right (toward the speaker), so that the DLCM and Door Latch will clear the door frame.

Pics [WR_47 Front and WR_48 Rear] show you sub-frame plate removed, with the Door Latch and Control Module are still attached.

Technical Note: The Door Lock Control Module and Door Latch are still attached to the sub-frame with two plastic studs; these studs may be cracked and/or broken already, so it is recommended that you have someone help you to remove the sub-frame plate; also it may be stuck to the door and when you pull it off, it may drop suddenly. If it does drop, you will need the screws and bolts noted in Post 1. :banghead:


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Step Eight: Remove the Door Lock Control Module. As I noted earlier the two plastic studs in the mount bracket that hold the DLCM to the sub-frame are broken [WR_5-20]; they just snapped right off. :banghead: The only thing holding my DLCM in place is the Door Latch Cable and the Manual Locking Lever (green circle).

WARNING: The plastic clips and guides on the Door Lock Control Module may be brittle, so take great care; :eek:hnoes: if you break any one you will be buying a new one!

Disconnect the Wire Harness from the Door Lock Control Module [WR_50-1]. Disconnect the Door Latch Cable from the DLCM [WR_52-1]; use your finger to pull up on the cable and turn the catch so that it is parallel with the lever and pull the catch out.

Disconnect the Manual Lock Lever from the DLCM [WR_54]; be careful here, you will have to pull the little plastic guide clip away from the lever while you twist the lever up and out. Too much effort on the guide clip will break it.

If your DLCM is still held on by its plastic bracket; push in on the two plastic studs [WR_56] to release it and again, be careful not break anything.

Use your finger to push the Door Latch Cable guide through the Sub-Frame Plate [WR_55 and WR_56]; then pull the DCLM down and away from the Sub-Frame Plate to get the Door Latch Cable out of the Sub-Frame Plate.

Disconnect the Door Latch Cable from the DLCM [WR_57]. Using a screw driver or some other prying tool; pry the cable out of the DLCM retaining clip.

Replacement Door Lock Control Modules do not come with the mounting bracket or Door Handle Cable, so you will have to disconnect the DLCM Bracket and the Door Handle Cable from the old module and reconnect it to the new module.

Drill out the rivet [WR_58] and replace it with 4mm screw/nut noted in the first post.

Rotate the Door Handle Cable [WR_60] and slide the cable out the retaining clip.


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Step Nine: Remove the existing window regulator. Drill out the four slide rail rivets; 1 and 2 are in pics [WR_62 thru WR_66].

Remove the window motor. Disconnect the wire harness [WR_67-4]; pry the locking slide up gently from the front of the connector. Remove the three mounting screws [WR_67-1, WR_67-2 and WR_67-3]. Pic [WR_68] shows you the window regulator mounting plate studs and pic [WR_69] shows you the sub-frame with the window regulator removed.

Technical Notes: The replacement window regulator manufacturer instructions that came with my regulator noted that I had to re-use a part; that part is a cable guide clamp [WR_69A]. The location of this cable clamp is noted in pic [WR_69].

Some regulators have rivets, instead of Screws/Nuts/Bolts. My existing window regulator was mounted with rivets and it is the original. It took the largest drill bit that had. The window regulator rivets were difficult, so I pressed down too hard when I drilled the first one out; as a result I bent and cracked the sub-frame plate around the mount hole. :banghead: So I then used a Dremel to grind the next rivet out; which took way to long. In the end I used a combination of both; so DO NOT press down too hard while drilling the rivet and when you get down enough for the drill bit to scratch the sub-frame plate, stop drilling and use the Dremel to finish removing the rivet. Pic [WR_66] shows you the end result of my efforts. Each of the four rivet holes were scratched from the rivet removal process, so I cleaned these spots and sprayed rust preventive black paint on them; front and back. :eek:hnoes: I really do not want to put another window regulator in it just because the mount holes on this one rusted out!

So here is what I should have done; :banghead: I should have drilled the rivets out from the Regulator side; any drilling damage to the old regulator would have been moot.


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Step 9A (Optional): Add Vapor Barrier sealant. The sub-Frame edge is 1/8 inch or 3mm wide [WR_71].

Technical Note: Butyl Tape [WR_71] comes in a roll, like two sided tape; it is very sticky and will stick to any thing, including clothing. You will need a good pair of scissors to cut the small strips needed.

I grinded down a screw driver tip [WR_70] to match the curved edge of the sub frame plate so I could scrap out the old dried up stuff. I then repainted the edge with rust proof black paint.

The top half of the sub-frame was still tacky, so I left it alone; I just scrapped out the bottom and half way up on each side. I stopped at the alignment pins on the sub-frame plate; not pictured.


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Step Ten: Install the New Window Regulator.

Technical Note: Some window regulators come with manufactures installation instructions; if your does READ THEM FIRST before proceeding.

The remaining reassembly is reverse of removal.

Caution: Here a few forget-me-not's to remember ...

1) What did you decide about the Butyl Tape?
2) Be sure to reconnect the inside door handle release cable to the Door Lock Control Module and pass it thru the sub-frame plate, before you re-mount the sub-frame plate on the door.
3) Be sure to test the window before you get it all put back together.
4) Be sure to reconnect the outside door handle release cable before you re-install the key lock assembly.

Warning: Remember to use the correct tightening sequence when you remount the Sub-Frame Panel and be careful not to shear off a bolt head; I did :banghead: when I over torqued it!

That's it, you’re done!!!!! :D
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Excellent as usual; thanks for posting! What is your feeling about; the regulator repair kits vs. a whole assembly? I have installed the repair kits with success; my feeling is oem vw parts are better quality, than a aftermarket whole window regulator assembly! What has your experience been with the Valeo branded assembly and the "blue box" brand parts? Thoughts?

PS: if you want to have a sub section for discussion of the repair (for cleanliness/no clutter); let me know, I will post there and delete this post.
Thanks. :D

Posting at the end of the DIY is OK and I have not put the passenger side on yet so I cannot make the comparison just yet.

The only draw back to the whole assembly is the cost of shipping; depending on where you reside, the shipping can be almost as expensive as the part.

And yes the OEM kits are better, as the aftermarket and budget minded kits use plastic to cut costs. I watched one video where the window clamps were plastic; the installer used the metal windows clamps from the existing regulator on the new window regulator instead. I believe that would void the part warranty for the new regulator.
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