Lubricating the door window channels can make the windows roll up and down more easily, and can prevent future problems with the mechanism or cable. It may not be necessary to remove the door panel to do an adequate job. Use white lithium grease that comes in a spray can with a thin straw attachment for the nozzle. This lets you direct the flow into the tracks without getting much grease on the window or paint. After it is sprayed the grease congeals. If you have power windows avoid silicon, as it is an electrical insulator and could drip onto electrical contacts.

a. If you don't have power windows, begin by using a rag under the window crank to remove the C spring that retains the handle. A gentle back-and-forth motion with the rag will cause the spring to pop out, and the handle then comes off easily.

b. Remove the door armrest (3 brass Phillips head screws). The top screw is under a black plastic cap which is easily removed by using a small screwdriver to gently pry it out.

c. Pop off the speaker grill by pulling gently away from the door. It has clips and some pins.

d. Remove the small Phillips head screw in the plastic trim plate behind the door handle latch and slide this plate off the latch.

e. The door panel is held only with clips and one pin. Gently pry around the edge of the door to pop out the clips; they are the same ttype as used on the speaker grills so you already will have a feel for how to do it. The clips run around the edge of the the panel except for the top. Pop out all the clips gently so that you don't bend and crease the door panel.

f. When all the clips are out, the panel is easily lifted upward. There is a pin in it which pokes down into an alignment hole. If you were to pull the panel outward the way you did with the speaker grill you could break this pin, so be sure to pull up.

g. You now can easily get to the two window tracks and cable pulley without having to remove the plastic rain shield insulation. Lubricate the tracks with the lithium grease.

h. Reverse these steps to reassemble the door panel. Be gentle and patient when re-inserting the C spring under the window handle; if aligned correctly, it pops back in easily.

Additional input on Step h.:

Putting the handle back on is easy, if you put the C spring back on the window handle first. Now, just take the handle and push it onto the post. You will hear it snap into place.

Clean your windows from overspray, which is unavoidable. White grease cleans off easily with 1 part Windex and 2 parts elbow grease :-). Avoid black grease when spraying around the windows.

Note from Steve Wilson:

After following the instructions this weekend I found the excess white lithium grease virtually impossible to clean off the glass with Windex as suggested. I found a better way: Castrol Super Clean, followed by Windex. The Super Clean takes the grease off almost instantly, leaving only a slight haze which the Windex takes care of.

Another reader writes:

Use a razor blade (the thicker kind you get in cutting knives) and firmly slide it (flat, at a slight angle) up the glass . This will collect the bulk of the grease and then it makes it easier to deal with the leftover grease via the other methods mentioned.

Note from Bob Hotaling:

I had no problem cleaning the remaining white lithium grease off with some Stoner's Invisible Glass. Also, I found while dry, the "rails" were not causing my window to drag nearly as bad as the guide at the front edge. Some silicone fixed that.

Note from Christopher Muto:

For those with a '95 like me, I wanted to point out that the door panel removal is slightly different than described. The '95 panel, the one without an arm rest (just a long pocket, hand grab, window crank, and latch) does not need to have the speaker grills removed (do not pull on them) and has an additional screw that needs removal. The screw is under a plastic button cap that is at the end of the pocket by the rear edge of the door panel. The plastic cap pops off if you insert a screw driver in to the small slot and then the screw is exposed for removal. If you are gentle with the cap you will find that the cap has a small retension tab oposite the slot that keeps the cap from completely falling off.

I also found that putting silicon spray on the rubber guide above the door had a major effect on improving the operation of the window.

Note from Brian Stewart:

After removing the door panel and lowering the window I slid a piece of cardboard down between the rails and window. This kept all of the lube overspray off of the glass.

The directions worked great. My windows are operating as good as new now.

Joe Crowley:

I went thru this procedure this evening and all went well but thought I would add a few suggestions because of my observations when performing this maintenance.

It does not mention lubing the cables on the window cranks. I peeled back the plastic moisture bearer next to the window crank and sprayed a lube designed for bicycle cables called TRI-Flow with Teflon. I did this because after using the lithium grease spray lube suggested did not completely give me a smooth glide I was looking for. I also used this on the window crank bearings. I guess you could also use WD-40.

After it was done my window crank cables were also lubed and I noticed a difference.

I also noticed that the vinyl my door panels were not attached any more with the stock contact cement. I reattached my vinyl with new contact cement on the inside panels.

Back to the Garage

8 October, 2008