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Old 03-09-2009, 03:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 89 Tracker window regulator rebuild

I've disassembled a balky passenger side window in my 89 Tracker and found the cables around the regulator drum tangled, kinked and out of the tracks. I've opened, cleaned and inspected everything and gotten the bad kinks out of the cables. It looks to me like it might work again if I can reassemble it and lube it real good. My problem is that it isn't clear how to pre-tension the small spring inside the drum. Can anyone offer advice on how to pre-tension and wrap the drum?
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you will have to teach us.
not electric ,right,?

passenger = RH side?
not in England.

new one is RH,
$71 at suz.
pn. 83410-60a00 RH
LH same but prefix 83440-

teach us, great coil winder....... LOL

dont forget PPE, with goggles. hehehehe
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Listen well Grasshopper, and I will show you the way...... as soon as I find it.

P.S. I suppose I should have said starboard side.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HotTommy View Post

P.S. I suppose I should have said starboard side.
Don't say that to a Navy guy... he won't know what you mean!!
(I hear they use 'right' & left' these days!!)

Too bad we can't yell "Starbooooooooooard!!" when trying to merge lanes!!

'96 Tracker 1.6l 16v 4x4 2dr 3spd auto 85k 1.5" OME lift - 235/75r15 BFG AT Ko's on 15x7 Ion Alloys - Pioneer Sound - Custom Installed Hydraulic Drivers Seat
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OK all you grasshoppers, my rebuild of the manual window regulator on the right door of my two door 1989 Geo Tracker seems to be working. Here are the high points and some photos for anyone else who may want to try this. There are larger photos in my gallery. The symptom was that the window would not move up or down. The previous owner stripped the splines in the plastic window crank handle trying to force the window to move.

I won’t repeat the steps for removing and reinstalling the window regulator assembly as the service manual covers that. The assembly consists of four major parts – the track assembly, the spool assembly and two cables that run from the spool assembly to the track assembly. I’ve labeled them in this “before” picture. Note that this photo shows the assembly as it would look if you were outside the car and looking through the skin of the door. Before you remove the regulator assembly, note that the track has a small tab at the top that allows it to conveniently hang in a slot in the door while it is being mounted. When working on the regulator, that tab is useful for determining which end is up and which side faces the inside of the car door.

After I removed my regulator assembly, I noted the cables were bound and kinked on the spool. I also noted that he cable had jumped out of the pulley on one end of the track. In order to unwind the cables from the spool assembly, it was necessary to remove the cup shaped cover from the spool bracket. The cover is riveted in place, so I drilled out the rivets with my drill press. I started with a 7/32” bit and gradually increased the bit size until a 9/32” bit finished the job. With the cover removed I unwound the cables from the spool, and removed the spool and the crank shaft from the bracket. I noted a clockwork spring made of flat metal inside the spool and a coiled wire spring beneath the crank shaft in the bracket. I cleaned and lubed everything including the track assembly. I paid particular attention to removing the kinks and flat spots in the cables.

I discovered it is possible to reassemble the regulator in several wrong ways. I also learned that when assembled properly, the cables will be so tight that it is difficult to get all the pieces in place at the same time. So here are some pointers to make the task go smoother.

1. Get four sets of flat head screws, nuts and lock washers to replace the rivets. I used 6 mm x 16 mm screws. If the screw heads are too thick, the regulator shaft will not protrude far enough past the door panel to mount the crank handle.

2. Place the assembly on a table with spool assembly facing up. It will be as if you are looking at the regulator from outside the car. I found it helpful to place a roll of tape beneath the spool bracket so the crank shaft would stay in place.

3. Place the window shelf in the middle of the track and make sure the cables are in the pulleys.

4. Wind one of the cables around the spool and anchor its end in the slot provided. Look at the following photo and note that the cable departs the spool on the side nearest the track and in line with the guide that attaches the cable cover to the spool bracket.

5. While holding the first cable to keep it from unwinding, wind the second cable around the spool as you did the first. When you finish this step, it will look like this photo.

6. The next step is to pull all the slack out of the cable so you can slide the spool down over the crank shaft. Note that there is a tab on the bottom of the spool that must align with a slot in the crank shaft. If they are not aligned, simply turn the crank shaft until they are. Turning the crank shaft also turns one of the springs mentioned earlier and may require some effort. Slide the spool over the crank shaft.

7. Before you put the cover over the spool, note that there is a small shaft in the center of the cover and that the shaft has a small slit down the center. That slit must engage the flat spring in the center of the spool. If the spring is aligned so it is in the center of the spool, engaging it is not too difficult. Otherwise, it’s very difficult. Put the cover on the spool with the flat spring engaged by the shaft.

8. While holding the cover firmly in place, put screws in the rivet holes so the nuts are on the same side of the bracket as the spool. Secure the screws, nuts and lock washers.

9. Reinstall the regulator assembly in the door and test it before reinstalling the glass. When I first tried to turn the crank, I felt some resistance as if the springs inside the assembly were moving into position. It very quickly smoothed out and now feels normal.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i new someone had this here.
seen it and is very good.

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Old 04-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I realize this is an old thread but it is worth bringing back. The drivers side regulator assy in my 91 Tracker had the same problem, minus the stripped crank. I found this via search and while I didn't print it or follow it to the letter, it certainly gave me inspiration and confidence that this is a practically free DIY fix.

I basically had to think about how the whole thing would function to be able to put it together. First I looked at the clockspring inside the drum, and knew it could only go one way and there was only one reason it had to be there. To help hold the window up. You wouldn't want spring tension pushing it down. I checked and the spring seemed to have about 9.5 turns before it bottomed out, and there were 8 grooves on the drum so 8 turns max. So I figured the spring should be in its relaxed state when the traveling block is fully up. The window won't be any farther up than this. This also determined the direction of wrap, since you want the bottom cable to be pulled when you are turning in the direction that tensions the clockspring.

(I just checked my finished assy and there are 5 turns of actual travel from top to bottom, so I could have had up to 4 turns of pre-tension, but for now it wasn't worth the work. I'll try it and if I have a problem with the window working its way down then I'll go back and do it.)

I found it very finicky to keep the drum fully on the shaft without it walking off and the spring underneath wanting to walk up and out of the recess. I started the same way as the OP by roughly centering the traveling block in the track, then fine tuning it so both exposed cables were the same length. Then I wrapped the cables evenly until I got to where the white blocks were ready to attach to the steel plate.

Since the drum was so finicky, I attached the cover with a couple screws to hold it all in place. Then I worked the cables. The bottom pulley in the track is a spring loaded cam and this can be pulled to gain more slack, then work the crank to take up that slack in the pulley. It would have been amusing to watch since it took both hands, a knee and a foot. It was SO close and finally I got it. It is good it was that tight since hopefully it won't come out of the groove again. Another thing I did before putting the cables on, is I flattened what appears to be the anchored end of the clockspring, it had worked its way up and was nearly to the top of the cable grooves, encouraging them to come out.

But now I had a problem because the traveling block was in the middle and I needed the clockspring to be relaxed at the top. You don't want to turn a clockspring the wrong way or you will trash it. Ever took a windup toy and kept forcing it to go after the spring ran out, and it never worked the same after that? So I was expecting the worst, parts to go flying when I removed the cover, but surprisingly they didn't. I took the cover off, then held the drum down tight, while slowly and carefully turning the crank until the traveling block was at the top of the track. This also oriented the center of the spring to match the groove in the pin in the cover, so it all went together nicely. I bolted the cover back on and cranked it to the bottom and back, to make sure I didn't run out of clockspring. All was good.

Now I just have to get some proper flathead screws which I don't have, but can get tomorrow, either from the store or possibly from a junk drawer at work. So tomorrow I should have my window functional again. It will be nice. We are supposed to get 4" of rain in the next 2 days, then snow again by Friday night.

Thank you to the OP for creating this thread.
1991 Geo Tracker 2 door ragtop 1.6 8V 4x4 5 speed
on 235-75-R15 Goodyear Wrangler Radials, no lift
Various GM FWD cars & minivans late 80s - early 90s

Last edited by tlctracker76; 04-17-2013 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks HotTommy for posting your rebuild. I couldn`t get mine back together until I read that the spool goes on last. I was putting it together first and trying to get the cable over the pulley last and it just wouldn`t go. After realizing that it went easy peasy. I also kept the window in the door and just held it up with a skinny philips screwdriver handle in one of the upper holes in the door.
1996 Geo Tracker, 1.6 liter 16 valve, 2 dr, 4wd, 5 spd.
1993 Suzuki Sidekick, 1.6 liter 8 valve. 2 dr, 4wd, auto
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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HotTommy's instructions are very good. My driver's side (LH) window failed about 1/3rd the way down. Took mine apart to rebuild it (but without HotTommy's helpful post) ... an hour's job that took all day. My problem was the same, the cable came off the spool and jammed between the spool and the support bracket. Fortunately, the cable was in good shape, kinked in a couple of places straightened with pliers, but no frays. Cleaned and lubed everything real good.

As he states, there are several wrong ways to reassemble before you figure out the right way. Start by rewinding the cable on the spool and ensure good tension with the leaf spring, then tightened everything with the window crank to make things as tight as possible before remounting in the door and dropping the window back in. Reassembling on a table is a good idea (I reassembled mine on my lap sitting in the drivers seat - yuk). I also drilled out the rivets and remounted the spool cover with 4-40 hardware (maybe 6-32). If your cable is not frayed or with broken wires sticking out, you should be able to clean and rebuild it. Just takes a little piddling around to figure it out. Mine has been working flawlessly for over a year now. With a frayed cable or badly kinked cable you can't straightened out, then purchasing a new regulator is probably the only recourse.

Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I got a regulator at a junkyard for $10. Saved all the hassle, although I suppose rebuilding mine might have been a fun project.....impossible, though, if the cable has snapped anywhere in the middle....
'91 Tracker 8V, 1.6L, 5 sp, 4wd, 2dr, conv, CAMI, horribly rusty
'97 Suzuki Vitara 8v, parts car - worth its weight in gold.....
'61 NSU Quickly - 150mpg
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