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1985 Sedan DeVille
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Discussion Starter #1
Recently the driver-side power window on my '85 DeVille decided that it would not roll back up. Upon inspection, I found that the little white plastic guide that attaches the window glass to the regulator had cracked and the armature had popped off. After reading on here and looking other resources I decided to replace the guide assembly instead of the little plastic piece.

First thing was to get the assembly. I bought a pair of Dorman HELP! front regulator guides from rockauto and got them shpped via postal for a grand total of $14 I think



The way the windows are setup is that a heavy slotted 'tape' runs through the regulator guide from the motor to the bottom of the glass, and the guide assembly hooks onto the end of the tape. Replacing the guide requires releasing the tape from the motor assembly so that the window can be rolled down past the bottom, and the guide pops off.

Here is what the tape looks like where it anchors to the motor end of the regulator. It just pops off with a screwdriver, and once it's released there is nothing to stop the window from being rolled down to negative space. The tape goes through the motor so dont roll it down too far or you'll have to rethread the motor.



Once that was loose and the window rolled down too much, the guide just fell off the end of the metal sleeve and then fell off the tape. Then put the new one on the sleeve and roll the window back up so that the guide clips over the rail.



A couple of things worth noting here. The tape goes between the teeth on the guide assembly and the rail, but the guide is too narrow to just push the tape on--however if you look closely you'll see the teeth are rounded off on one side, which means you can "rock" the tape onto the teeth from one side. Second, there really isn't anything holding the guide to the tape except the hooks for the rail, so you have to hold the assembly together with one hand while you bump the window with the other. Finally the pieces I got were molded just a hair large and one of the claws dragged against the rail, so I had to file and sand it down and then lather it up with silicon grease.

Once the guide is on the rail, secure the window motor and then flex the rail to get the plastic piece back on the glass, then secure the rail to the door again.

Since I already had the window motors replaced a while back the rivets were already drilled out so it was a simple matter of unscrewing the regulator assembly. However removing rivets is pretty simple if you still have yours--just use a punch to knock the steel center pin out, then use incrementally larger drill bits to enlarge the center hole until the alumninum donut is almost drilled out, and then shear it off with a screwdriver.

Straightforward job but there is nothing easy or quick about power windows. I had to disconnect and reconnect the motor several times due to short wiring and needing to move the regulator assembly around in the door. I would rather have paid somebody else (as I did for the motors), but its not terribly difficult and don't mind doing it if I have the time.
 
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1990 DeVille
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Very useful. Too bad you're in MD or I'd invite you and your tools over for a few beers...
I have a similar problem on my '90 DeVille, but won't know for sure till I find time to pull the panel. It looks like you had excellent access -
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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Discussion Starter #3
Access is very limited. I don't know how they got the regulator in there. Like I said I had to disconnect and reconnect the window motor wiring several times as I tried to move the regulator around. If you have space its doable. It would be a big help if you are young and skinny.
 

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1990 DeVille
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Access is very limited. I don't know how they got the regulator in there. Like I said I had to disconnect and reconnect the window motor wiring several times as I tried to move the regulator around. If you have space its doable. It would be a big help if you are young and skinny.

I think it's welded shut, and for some work the sheet metal must be cut or welds must be drilled out.

I'm quite young - only 71 - and am fairly skinny. It's worth a try, because you've provided good photography and guidance.
 

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1990 DeVille
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Well, I'm in there and you're precisely correct. However, the local Chevy dealer has the part at $31. The work will be finished this afternoon, hopefully, and your guidance has been valuable.
Thanks again.
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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Discussion Starter #6
Did you get it done?
 

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1990 DeVille
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181 Posts
Got it done - thanks. My window now has its ups and downs.
I just ordered more parts from Rockauto (thanks again!) -- I'm sure there will be more such failures. By the way, I used a folded velcro pad, q-tips, and alcohol to thoroughly clean the tracks, then lubed them with silicone. They're all noticeably faster now.
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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Discussion Starter #8
The replacement broke a couple of days ago. The white piece snapped in half just like the stock parts, and the arm-with-ball piece broke through the black plastic (may have been opposite order, that was how I found it). This time the replacement went much much faster. I also put a BUNCH of silicon grease on teh track so there is no way the white slider will catch every again.
 

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Thanks for this very informative article. After fighting with this all day yesterday I was positive I was going to have to take it in to the shop for repair. But after reading this I am almost positive I can conquer this with very little problem. I will update later on my success or lack there of later today. Thanks again!
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Moderator edit: Post/thread moved from Moderation files. No activation e-mail reply.

Good morning, Your CF account is activated. Please use the profile and Settings tabs to update your profile to show correct birth date, approximate location, car owned and time zone - or do you really live in London - GMT ?

This thread hjas been dormant for 4 years - there is a ton of info on the Deville "pop & drop" window regulators in Cadillac Tech Tips. .......and try to Google "cadillac forums deville window regulator replacement" or something close.

Welcome to the Funny Farm !!!
 

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2008 STS
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Just followed these steps in my 1988 Coupe Deville. Very Helpful in replacing the regulator. I did have to drill out the rivet at the base of the guide to pull back the guide so the new plastic piece could fit into the track.
 

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1985 Sedan DeVille
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Discussion Starter #11
Had to swap this again myself recently. I bought a GM guide from ebay this time.
 

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'85 Sedan de Ville, '10 CTS-V
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Had to swap this again myself recently. I bought a GM guide from ebay this time.
I told my son this morning that we probably have the last '85 Sedan de Ville around, but I guess not! I wonder if AutoZone has these parts. I found a window regulator for a '92 190E that had a lifetime warranty. Then at least you don't have to keep paying for parts! (Usually they don't break though...)

Thank you for posting this information! Some day I hope to restore the de Ville to operating status. In 2008 my mother hit a parked car the same day she had cataract surgery and I decided it not worth it to fix at that time. Broke the front right axle shaft swiping the right front side of the car on a parked car. Have the axle shaft, but it bent the connection of the A arm to the frame. Also seemed to have taken out the antenna motor. (Tried to source one from car-part.com but LKQ told me it wasn't in good shape and cancelled my order.)
 

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85 Coupe Deville 4.1 V8 & 4.3 V6 Deisel & 1970 Eldorado
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I have had nothing but bad luck with my 1985 Coupe Devilles. I also went through several of the Dorman regulator guides. Each only lasted a week or two. The 85 also has thicker window glass and the aftermarket window track guides are not wide enough to snap in place. All of the aftermarket parts books list the same guides for 1985 to 1993. This is wrong. The 85 and part 86 are thicker. Last i checked the dealer still had the correct size. I had so much trouble that i sold my black 85 Coupe Diesel after i had just replaced just about everything and re painted the car. I had Lots of money in it and it was in perfect shape except for the windows. They also needed the rubber replaced and this is un-obtainable. After having to repair each window 4 or more times i got disgusted and sold the car. I consider the power windows to be the worst engineered part of the car. I would rather deal with the HT 4100 then mess with the windows. Find any 55 Cadillac in a junk yard that has been parked for years in the elements and i bet the power windows will work fine. Today's power windows are built extremely cheaply!

The thicker glass is also helps my 85's run quieter than my friends 88.
 

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'85 Sedan de Ville, '10 CTS-V
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Strangely, we didn't have too much trouble from the windows during our ownership. (My parents bought it new.) Don't remember the repair work done on the windows in ours, but it was in use until late 2007/early 2008 if I remember correctly. This was for a sedan though....

Water pumps kept breaking, until I found out about the tablets though from the sticker on the radiator frame, (or whatever you call it.)
 

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1989 Sedan de Ville
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This is by far the best information I've found anywhere on dealing with the window regulator and guide for these cars. A particularly big "Thank You" goes out to ehall for the pictures.

I've had a 1989 Sedan de Ville for a bit over a year and a half and have had oval nylon guide on both the front passenger and driver's sides fail by the usual cracking along thin sides that surround the ball stud. The passenger side appeared to be original while the driver's side looked to be a replacement.

When I wrote to Dorman technical support for information on installing the full regulator and guide they told me they had nothing, and I'd not yet found this thread. But, at the same time they also gave me a really useful piece of information: If it's only the oval nylon guide that has broken you have a reasonably simple option to replace just that: Use a Dorman 74444 round window guide instead.

Here are photos I took of the original passenger side guide (after gluing to restore the correct shape), the Dorman 74444 round guide, and a Dorman full replacement regulator:
Regulator_Window_Guides.JPG

Here's a side shot of the round guide:
Dorman_74444_Round_Window_Guide.JPG

And here's the round guide installed:
Dorman_74444_Installed.JPG

The only modification necessary is taking out just a bit of the nylon around where the ball stud pops in to the round guide since the GM ball stud is slightly larger than will allow you to just easily press it in. A few moments with a Dremel took just enough out to allow the ball stud to be inserted, to maintain a good, tight grip, but not crack the guide. While this may require several cycles of taking just a bit off until you reach the "pop in" point, it's much easier than trying to get a new regulator & guide on to the tape, and back into the tape and window guide channels. The round guide fits perfectly within the lift channel both vertically and in terms of thickness for easy gliding without risk of coming out of the channel. It also looks as though the design on this will be less prone to cracking.

I hope this saves a lot of people a lot of effort and frustration.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That looks like a good fix, thanks for the info
 

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1989 Sedan de Ville
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There also appears to be another option that's an aftermarket variant on the OEM theme of the oval guide:

RegulatorFix GM Window Regulator Repair Guide Clips

I asked last night whether these could just be popped on to the existing OEM ball stud, and there has been a resounding wave of, "Yes," answers to that question.

They're certainly reasonably priced. I only wish the set included four in case you eventually needed one for each window.
 
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