Need How-to: Replacing rear window motor

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by ImagoX, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

    Greetings everyine - hope someone there can help me.

    One of my rear windows stopped responding the other day. I had to take the car in anyway for some scheduled service and the dealer advised that the motor needed to be replaced. Trouble is, they want to charge me about $475 to replace the motor!

    I found the motor on for about $60 shipped - looks like to just attaches directly to the window regulator. The guy I talked to said that the real pain of the install is cracking open the doors - I've read threads elsewhere that speak of clips and such that can break. He also mentioned to secure the window well with strong tape or it will crash down when the motor is replaced.

    I did Search the forums and found THIS THREAD that talks about testing the motor, but I assume the dealer is right and it's out, so I guess what I REALLY need is assistance on cracking open that door panel. Can anyone direct me to a How-to?

    1 person likes this.
  2. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Is this a Burb or a car?

    First remove all the screws that you can see, then look for any small plugs that may be covering any screw on the door pad.

    Now check again, just to make sure you didn’t miss any screws.

    Now a trim removal tool would be nice to have but not absolutely necessary. Any parts store will have one for around 5 bucks and it will make the process easier.

    If not a heavy putty knife, or even a butter knife will work. Slide the tool in between the bottom of the door pad and the door. Slide it back and forth until you find a (We called them Carrots at the factory).

    Pry the tool out against the doorpad and the door so that the doorpad pops out a little then go on to the next one, there a quite a few, 4 or 5 on the bottom and another 4 or 5 on each side.

    Now the door pad should be loose all the way around except on the top, so you should be able to pull it away from the door itself.

    Now this would be easier if the window was down, removing the top of the pad from the top of the door, but it can be done with the window up, and the motor can be removed with the pad attached, but it is much easier with the pad off.

    The top of the doorpad is attached at the top with 2 clips that need to be pushed in with a small screwdriver, but a push against the top of the pad upwards should pop them off and the pad.

    Now there is a peace of paper or plastic on the side of the door that is attached to door with a sticky string type material. Pulling that away from the door to gain access to the door, being careful not to rip it. But don’t worry if you do you can just use tape to fix it later.

    Now you can see the inside of the door and how the motor is attached to it. They used to use large rivets to hold the motors on, I don’t see why they would have changed it but I have not see one this new so look.

    If it is attached with rivets you will need to drill them out to get the motor out.

    I have never seen the cable type drives in these so from here on you will have to hope some one here has done this part.

    I am familiar with the old style, belts and gear types.
  3. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

    I'm sorry - can't believe I didn't give the make/model - appologies I was in a rush.

    It's a 1999 Suburban 1500. The window is the driver's side rear.


    1. Should I do this repair with the window up or down? Sounds like it's easier to get the liner off with it down, but what about the motor replacement? Having it down would prevent the "crashing down and breaking" thing the dealer mentioned as well, but I wasn't sure if I could disengage the motor with it in the down position.

    2. If the OEM motor is riveted on, is there sufficient clearance to use bolts to secure the replacement motor, or will it need to be re-riveted? I know I don't have a rivet gun - looks like the dealer might be getting my cash after all. Drat.

    Thanks very much 84fiero123! :great:
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    (Welcome to the site) ... Feel free to add that information to your signature for future posts.
  5. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    From experience, let me tell you to take your time with this and get into a comfortable position when doing it. Don't force the clips or they may become distorted and leave you minus one clip (and give you a rattle sound). Also, watch for the backing material, usually dense cardboard-type material in my experience. You don't want to damage that either.
  6. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

    Excellent idea - added! :great:

    I was sort of figuring that I'd need to replace a few clips, actually, so it's encouraging to hear that you can reuse them if you're just careful. Thanks!
  7. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    huh, I perceive that you've done this before. :great:
  8. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

    You mean make forum IDs or open door panels? :smile:

    I've never really worked on the 'Burban... It's a tank and I've had to do almost nothing on it since I bought it other than scheduled/common sense maintenance. I've had my MINI opened up a few times for minor electrical modifications/additions though (cold cathodes, LEDs, etc.) so the idea doesn't scare me - I just know that there's usually a "right" way and a "other way that breaks all the fasteners" where door panels are involved.
  9. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Easier to get the doorpad on and off with the window down.

    The doorpad, carrot tool help with saving those carrots, (clips).

    Plenty of clearance for small bolts behind, just don’t get them any longer than you need, that can make using them a pain.

    Also, lock tight, or lock washers is a must.

    If you have had doorpads off before on just about anything it’s pretty much the same. Some are metel carrots, (fords mostly). Some are plastic (GM). All are available at auto parts stores in the help section.

    Also be careful as Steve said, the carrots are set in cardboard.
  10. ImagoX

    ImagoX New Member

    Good to know abou the bolts - I can always trim off any excess with my Dremel. Appreciate the help - I'll order that motor this week.

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