Window regulator cable too short?

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Window regulator cable too short?

Postby pineapplecharm » Sat 23.04.2016, 16:02

After getting my MOT the garage kindly informed me that my passenger window had gone down but was refusing to come back up. I investigated and found a broken part. For those who don't know, the window has runners at either end and, in the middle, a nice circular hole through which a plastic piece fits. This plastic piece also hooks into either end of a long cable which passes through a motor assembly which 'walks' along the cable, causing the two ends to move up and down, driving the glass.

I ordered a replacement part (and the other side; a lot of plastic parts seem to be shattering and after 25 years it might just be design life) and fitted it. But I could not get the two cable ends to meet. The cable runs round a pulley at top and another at the bottom but, while there is some slack in the assembly thanks to springs top and bottom on the cable sheaths, there just wasn't enough slack to go around both pulleys and have both ends meet, let alone overlap as they must in order to hook into the window-lifting part.

Advice on this forum said, basically, 'man up and walk it onto the pulley' but it clearly needed about an inch more than there was even with serious force applied and I didn't fancy breaking something. Thinking about it, I wondered whether the muppets at the garage had kept trying after it broke and somehow wound up some slack inside the motor assembly. So I popped it open and GUESS WHAT.

2016-04-23 13.30.14_.jpg

What a mess. In fact, when I wound it, the two winds actually crossed over and locked - horrors. Now it's a bit scary unwinding this because you basically have to pull the inner part of the big gear out and it twists in your hand and feels like a clock mechanism that will never go back together. But if this amateur can do it, I'm sure you can! In a rare moment of clarity Lotus have provided handy grooves cut into the drum for you to follow so it's unlikely that you'll do it backwards or something. Just be ready to get covered in grease. The only tricky part was pushing the inner gear back into place fully; the technique I used involved opening a pair of pliers and turning it back and forth while pushing into two opposite recesses in the middle until it locked into place. Without doing this, it looks like it's in position but the motor only drives the outer part of the gear without winding the cable and I briefly panicked that I'd destroyed the mechanism like I did with my headlight motors.

Anyway, after a little care and attention I ended up with this:

2016-04-23 13.48.21_.jpg

In this photo you can see I used a big washer and the case screw to retain it in position so I could test-run it with the case open so I could see what was going on.

Yes, it was tight to refit it but with a bit of nylon strap I walked the cable onto the pulley pretty easily.

So, job done. Ultimately I am very, very glad I didn't try and force it when it was obviously not going to go. Hopefully this will help someone stuck with the same problem.
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pineapplecharm
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Re: Window regulator cable too short?

Postby roy666 » Tue 18.04.2017, 19:27

Hi - that looks like the original cable... right? What size is it? Probably around 1.5mm to 2.mm. I'm just in the middle of replacing my cable.. but have no original cable to base it on. Thanks Mike.
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Re: Window regulator cable too short?

Postby Rice crispy » Wed 19.04.2017, 07:18

Have a search for Specky's write up on window problems, the cable is a bugger to refit I believe

Or this viewtopic.php?f=32&t=7937
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Re: Window regulator cable too short?

Postby roy666 » Wed 19.04.2017, 21:43

Thanks RC,.. yep, it sure is a bugger. I'm a 405 transplant man and getting pretty good at the wire replacement. my problem is the ferruls keep popping, which then scews up the wire. You can't use the wire again... any kinks just mess the wire travel up. I've invested in a proper crimping tool this time around... using 2mm galvanised wire and 2mm ferruls, but this time I'm not using 'stop' ferruls, but the double type and solder. I should be ok. cheers Mike
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