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BMW E46 3-Series Window Regulator, How To Install Aftermarket Replacement

January 15, 2013

In replacing the window regulators on most BMW models, you typically have the option to use BMW original parts or quality aftermarket replacements.

Click below for window regulators:

Click HERE for our DIY video on replacing window regulators in the BMW 3-series 99-05.
This video can also be used as a general guide for other BMW models that use the cable operated window regulators, such as: E39 5-series, E38 7-series and E53 X5.  The applicable Bentley repair manual will cover the exact procedures for these other models.

For the E46 3-series chassis (99-05, 323i, 323ci, 325i, 325ci, 325xi, 328i, 328ci, 330i, 330ci, 330xi, M3, etc.), Some of the aftermarket regulators use an updated design that helps to overcome some of the problems with the BMW original regulators.  One of these changes involves the connection of the glass to the regulator slide bracket.

The revised slide bracket uses a male post and a clip to secure the glass to the slide bracket vs. the red clip, bolt and nut for the original BMW versions.  See below for a guide showing how to mount the glass to the new slide brackets.


1)  Remove the bolt from the red plastic clip.  The nut may fall out of the clip at this time.  This is OK.  Remove the red clip from the glass by spreading it apart and pulling it down off the glass.

2)  The mounting hole in the glass will now fit directly over the male mount on the new regulator’s sliding bracket.  Pull the clip from the male mount, place the glass over the mount and then lock the clip into place over the glass.

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