Inner Door Tune-Up

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Inner Door Tune-Up

Replace your window regulator and door latch assembly

Time: Approximately 3 hours

Tools: Phillips screwdriver, impact driver (optional), hammer, socket wrenches, open-ended wrenches, window crank removal tool, white lithium grease, flashlight and small inspection mirror, window crank removal tool

Cost: Window regulator assemblies approximately $100 each, door latch assemblies approximately $100 each

Tinware: Window regulator assemblies and door latch assemblies are both available for your Chevy on any of Eckler’s brand websites. www.ecklersautomotive.com

Performance gains: obviously nothing in terms of dragstrip performance, but a whole lot of piece of mind when it comes to smooth door latch and window operation.

Tip: We recommend wearing long sleeves while working inside the door assembly. Sharp edges can easily cut skin! If necessary, use flashlight and small inspection mirror to make sure that rollers are firmly set in tracks.

shot-1Window regulator

shot-2  Door latch assembly

Are the door locks or latches on your Chevy jamming or not working altogether? How about the windows? Do they rattle or jam in their tracks? Maybe it’s time for an inner door “tune-up”.

Before starting, roll your window to its “up” position. This will allow easy access to the inner door assemblies. Clamp the window in this position, taking care not to scratch the glass (when the window regulator assembly is removed, nothing will be supporting the glass). Strong masking or duct tape works well.

To get things started, we’re going to remove the window crank with removal tool. Tool is slipped behind crank until it is pushed against retaining pin. Gently pry tool until crank is removed.

Next, we remove inner door handle. Use a 5/16” open-end wrench on single nut located under handle. Then, remove 2 screws located under molded armrest, and 2 sheetmetal screws located at bottom of door panel (in carpeted area). Pry 4 retaining clips with window crank tool, and pull panel. Your application may be slightly different than this.

Now that everything’s exposed, we’re going to remove the 3 door latch retaining screws. A #3 Phillips screwdriver can be used, but if the screws are rusted, you can easily strip the heads. We recommend an impact driver for this procedure. At this point, you should also unscrew and remove the the door lock knob, then gently pry loose the door lock ferrules. (The small trim ring around the knob.)

Using socket wrench, remove the 3 screws that retain the inner door latch mechanism. You should also inspect the control rod and the lock rod. Look for stress cracks or undue amounts of rust. If the rods appear questionable, they should be replaced.

Our control and lock rods were OK, so we attached them to the new door latch assembly. Fortunately, the rods require no screws or nuts, and should “snap” back into place. We then reinstalled the new latch assembly. Do not over-tighten screws!

Now, on to the window regulator. Make sure the window is clamped (use a vise grip or tape) in the “up” position. (This will prevent the window from “falling” into the door when the regulator assembly is removed). Using socket wrench, remove the 4 retaining bolts that hold the front end of the regulator assembly.

Next, we are going to remove the door guide rail. The door guide rail acts as a fixed point that holds the bottom of the window regulator assembly. Very Important: Mark the location of the bolt closest to the door jamb. This bolt is adjustable, and its position is set at the factory. It is critical that the bolt be returned to its original location. Using a socket wrench, remove the 2 bolts and pull the door guide rail.

Then, reach into door cavity and work regulator assembly back and forth to remove rollers from the window roller track. This will be a tight operation, so watch those sharp metal edges!

Install new window regulator assembly. First, bend the fixed window guide rail flanges open slightly using pliers, and insert regulator roller into the window channel track. Then crimp back into original position. It may be necessary to wind the window crank to line up the 4 mounting bolt holes in the regulator assembly with the holes in the door. Using socket wrench, re-tighten all 4 bolts. Do not over tighten.

Remove clamp and gently lower window. Place door guide rail inside door, and attach “scissor” arm of regulator assembly back into door guide rail channel. Tighten bolts, making sure that rear most bolt is in its original position. Using white lithium grease, lubricate all moving parts (window regulator, door latch, guide rollers) at their hinge points. This is done after installation to avoid getting grease all over window, door, hands, etc.

To reinstall the door panel, you can use your old door panel clips. We’d recommend using new ones however, as the originals have probably lost some of their shape and tension

Finally, re-attach your window cranks and inner door handle.

Comments

  1. Madison McKee says:

    Thank you for all these informative articles. I have a folder on my hard drive where I keep all your articles for future reference. Good stuff! Mac, ’79 ‘Vette.
    .

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