Window lifters (1 article)

Window Lift Rebuild

OK, a lot of people have asked for this so here it is. I believe that the actual rebuild of the motor is universal, so even non-Esprit posibbly even non-Lotus owners may be able to use this information. I look at it this way: if you've already determined that the motor is bad, it can't hurt to give this a try, since, if it fails, you'll have lost nothing.

Before we start, I have to say that following these procedures is strictly at your own risk. I can not be held responsible for any damages or injuries caused by attempting the following procedure. Also note that mixing some lubricants with electricity is a bad idea. If you have any questions reguarding the possibility of electrical shock, contact the manufacturer of the lubricant. Also, make sure to read the entire procedure through before attempting as some mistakes can quickly end your quest to save money. Finally, I am sorry for any typos that may be in this and I also hope that some of my terminology doesn't confuse you. I have tried to be consistant, but mistakes do happen and I am doing this all from memory. Well here goes (good luck)

First, the things you'll need:

1. A philips head screwdriver - used to get the door panel off
2. 10mm and 11mm sockets
3. A star head screwdriver (I don't know what size) - this is to separate the motor from the gear section.
4. Some sort of instant bond or super glue. I used "Instant Bond" from Radio Shack -- $1.59.
5. Some sort of lube oil, like "WD-40". I used "Slick 50: Oil One".
6. (optional) a very fine sandpaper or soft scrub and a toothbrush.

First, I'll assume you know how to take the door panel off. If not, see the Lotus Fact File. After this, disconnect the two door panel electrical connectors and the motor lead wires (the latter should be a green wire connected to a slate/light green wire and a red wire connected to a slate/pink wire)

Next, remove the four nuts holding the whole window lift assembly to the door cross-bar with your 10mm socket. NOTE: In order to remove the bottom bolt, your socket's inner hole must be big enough to go over the screw (test it on one of the upper screws to make sure that it does). Next carefully remove the assembly from the door and CAREFULLY slip the arm roller from the window holder. Next, remove the four bolts that secure the lift bracket to the lift assembly with the 11mm socket. Now, remove the three bolts that hold the arm assembly to the motor assembly with the 10mm socket.

Now for the rebuild: Remove the two star-headed screws to separate the motor from the gear and CAREFULLY pull the motor out - you may have to rotate the gear manually to get the motor out clean. Now the fun begins. The plastic housing and set it aside - out of the way. Now, pull the motor out of the casing. If the two magnets came out with the motor, this is the cause of the motor failure. When the magnets are right up against the motor, it can't move and so it seizes.

Alright, you now want to clean the housing and both magnets THOROUGHLY. I used soft scrub and a toothbrush. If there is a lot of rust, you might want to use fine sand paper to get it off. After these pieces dry, add an appropriate amount of glue to the magnet (ie. one drop per square inch) and place them into the housing. Make sure that the magnets are lined up correctly and pushed all the way to the bottom. While you are waiting for the glued to set up (make sure you let it set a little longer than even the glue manufacturers recommend) check the two copper leads on the plastic housing. They are the two small copper blocks that are loaded on either side of the housing's inner circle. If there is any corrosion, clean it off, usually with a VERY fine sandpaper.

All right, now that the glued has set up (you did wait long enough, didn't you? Try to pry them off with your fingers to be sure), spray a small spot of the lube onto each magnet. It's o.k. to let the excess stay on the bottom, it'll help lube the bottom part of the mast on the motor. Now push the motor into the casing between the magnets, making sure that it goes ALL the way to the bottom. Try to rotate the motor with your hands. It won't necessarily spin like a top, but it should be possible to crank it gripping the copper ring below the "screws" of the motor. Do this for a little while to let the lube distribute evenly across both magnets.

Now for the hard part. In order to get the plastic/electrical piece back on, you must push the two copper leads outward so that they fit over the copper ring below the "screw" of the motor. This can be tricky, but DO NOT FORCE THE HOUSING, this could ruin the leads, and all your hard work will have become much harder (I found this out first hand). Now slip that rubber "gasket" over the motor casing from the bottom up and place it between the plastic housing and the motor casing upper lip. Next, carefully place the gear assembly back on the top of the motor assembly. Again, you might have to turn the gear manually to get it in correctly. After you screw the two star-headed screws back into place, it is time to check to see if you were successful. First, connect the motor back up to the electrical system - green to slate/light green and red to slate/pink. Then you have to connect both of the door panel electrical connectors back up. Now for the moment of truth: start the car or turn the key to the on position and try the switch. Your gear should be turning. If not, either the magnets weren't the problem, i.e. the motor is "burned out", or something went wrong in one of the above steps remove the gear again and make sure that the motor still turns freely between the magnets. If it doesn't you'll have to go all the way back to the beginning of the rebuild section(maybe you didn't wait long enough for the glued to set) or, more lube is needed.

Disconnect all the electrical connections, and re-attach first the arm assembly (you may have to shift the arm a little to get it to match up with the gear) and then the lift holding bracket. If you can't remember which bolts go where, the 10mm heads hold the motor assembly to the arm assembly, and the 11mm heads hold the lift assembly to the lift holding bracket. Reinsert the arm roller back into the window holder and replace the whole lift assemble onto the three bolts on the door cross-bar. This is another of those tricky jobs, but be carefull -- you wouldn't want to damage your hard work, would you? Replace the nuts that hold the lift assembly to the door cross bar not forgetting to re-attach the grounding terminal to the forward, top bolt. I recommend that you close the door while tightening these down, else you might not be able to close it later (again, I'm speaking from first hand experience). Reconnect all of the electrical connectors and try the window again. If it doesn't work, something may have caused the magnets to come loose and you'll have to try again, or their is something wrong with the arm (I'm sorry that I can't be any help in that situation). If everything checks out, make sure that the electrical connectors are inside the door and put the door panel back on. If everything has gone as planned, you now have a workable window and CONGRATULATIONS, you've just saved yourself a bundle of money. If not, I'm sorry, but I tried.

Before I let you go, I would like to include a couple other things. You can go ahead and copy these instructions and give them to all your friends, post them on a website, or even try to sell them. Just remember to mention where you got this procedure from and also include a "try at your own risk" warning.

If you have any other questions feel free to write to me directly or to this group and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible. I would also like to hear from anybody who is successful in rebuilding the motor.

Until then, Good Luck,

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