Chevy Impala SS Forum banner
181 - 200 of 238 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
I just did these myself using the 74444's (unaware they were knock-offs). They worked perfectly for me. I ended up drilling out the rivets and using nylon locking nuts and screws so I can easily change them out again whenever / if ever they fail. Greased the track as well.

The stock ones were very brittle and easily damaged when I tried to remove them. In my mind rollers would've worked better since all they do is glide back and fourth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
An ordeal !

Well, I just finished replacing the front passenger door sliders in my '94 RMW. I see in this thread that some people can do this in (evidently) just a few minutes. But it took me...
7 HOURS !

How can that be? Well, right off the bat I had trouble getting the door trim panel off. I have a number of trim-removal prybars of various sizes and shapes. However, two of the plastic fasteners just wouldn't pop loose for anything. After a lot of prying and cursing, I cut them off with a hacksaw blade pushed up behind the panel.

Then came the removal of the seat switch and door lock switch sub-panels. I had a tough time getting the door lock switch sub-panel off over the door handle. Probably took 15-20 minutes to do that, and I thought I was going to break the plastic. Getting the switch connector off the seat control switch was tricky - it would have been a lot easier with 3 or 4 hands. But with those disconnected, it was time to lift the panel up and away from the door..... up and away from the door..... up and away from the door... It just wouldn't come loose, and I couldn't figure out why. I have the shop manual, and it just says to lift up on the panel to remove it. I thought maybe the plastic trim around the inside of the window was somehow holding the panel down, but that turned out not to be the case. (after I broke one of the mounting clips for that trim piece)

Then I remembered that I had a spare door trim panel that I had bought some years ago, and never used. I went to see what was what and ... AHA ! There are three black plastic tabs that have to be released to get the panel up. Near as I can tell, the shop manual does NOT mention these tabs - not their existence, or where they are. I lowered the window (mostly) down all the way - another three hand operation when one of the sliders is broken. That let me disengage the front two tabs, and then I was able to wiggle the back one loose and remove the panel (finally).

To get at and assess the sliders, I had to raise the window back up until it was about 3" from the top (another three handed operation). Then I taped the window in that position with Gorilla Tape (great stuff). That made the slider rail align with the topmost holes in the inner door panel. Sure enough, the frontmost slider had cracked in two - the rear one was still intact. So I then tried to open up the front end of the slider rail, by bending, as others in this thread have done. I must have 15 - 20 pliers of various sizes, shapes, and orientation. But not one of them would engage the end of the slider rail, from any vantage point that I could see. Eventually, I was able to bend the end of the rail open by sticking in a pin punch and prying. I thought the broken slider would come out easily at that point. But no - the slider rail rivet was in the way. So I had to drill that out, to be replaced with a 3/16" screw later on. I then removed the ball end from the rear (intact) slider, by heating it first with a heat gun, and prying with a metal L-shaped forked trim tool. Popped right out! (about the only easy thing there was on this job). Pushed that slider out the front end of the channel, by using a length of auto brake line I had lying around.

So then time to put in the Dorman 74444 rollers. (I had a bit of trouble finding these locally. Are they no longer made?) I got the two rollers into the channel, and had to jog the regulator motor a bit to get the ball to line up with the roller. But the rear one went in easily with a C clamp, and the front one easily with a small channel-lock plier. Then the 3/16" screw to replace the drilled-out rivet. I figured I was on the home stretch. I ran the window motor up - and the window stalled halfway up !!! Now what the heck?? Well, it turned out that the rear of the window had somehow gotten out of the rubber track, and between the track and the door frame, where it jammed. So..... I had to pry the ball back out of the front roller, pivot the window by hand down and maneuver it back into the window track (another 3-hand job), fix it in place again with Gorilla Tape, and re-install the front ball into the roller. Phew! That went smoothly, and I could start re-installing the door panel, and finally the switches. Curiously, I had a socket left over that didn't seem to have a wire to plug into it. But everything worked, so it must have been for some option I didn't have.

With two of the plastic door panel fasteners missing, the door panel doesn't hold quite as tightly against the door, but I was too tired to be fussy.

But the window does go up and down smoothly now, so I guess I can declare victory. Only took seven hours!

(I don't think I should ever imagine being a professional car mechanic. I'd never make any money at it!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,616 Posts
Well, I just finished replacing the front passenger door sliders in my '94 RMW. I see in this thread that some people can do this in (evidently) just a few minutes. But it took me...
7 HOURS !

How can that be? Well, right off the bat I had trouble getting the door trim panel off. I have a number of trim-removal prybars of various sizes and shapes. However, two of the plastic fasteners just wouldn't pop loose for anything. After a lot of prying and cursing, I cut them off with a hacksaw blade pushed up behind the panel.

Then came the removal of the seat switch and door lock switch sub-panels. I had a tough time getting the door lock switch sub-panel off over the door handle. Probably took 15-20 minutes to do that, and I thought I was going to break the plastic. Getting the switch connector off the seat control switch was tricky - it would have been a lot easier with 3 or 4 hands. But with those disconnected, it was time to lift the panel up and away from the door..... up and away from the door..... up and away from the door... It just wouldn't come loose, and I couldn't figure out why. I have the shop manual, and it just says to lift up on the panel to remove it. I thought maybe the plastic trim around the inside of the window was somehow holding the panel down, but that turned out not to be the case. (after I broke one of the mounting clips for that trim piece)

Then I remembered that I had a spare door trim panel that I had bought some years ago, and never used. I went to see what was what and ... AHA ! There are three black plastic tabs that have to be released to get the panel up. Near as I can tell, the shop manual does NOT mention these tabs - not their existence, or where they are. I lowered the window (mostly) down all the way - another three hand operation when one of the sliders is broken. That let me disengage the front two tabs, and then I was able to wiggle the back one loose and remove the panel (finally).

To get at and assess the sliders, I had to raise the window back up until it was about 3" from the top (another three handed operation). Then I taped the window in that position with Gorilla Tape (great stuff). That made the slider rail align with the topmost holes in the inner door panel. Sure enough, the frontmost slider had cracked in two - the rear one was still intact. So I then tried to open up the front end of the slider rail, by bending, as others in this thread have done. I must have 15 - 20 pliers of various sizes, shapes, and orientation. But not one of them would engage the end of the slider rail, from any vantage point that I could see. Eventually, I was able to bend the end of the rail open by sticking in a pin punch and prying. I thought the broken slider would come out easily at that point. But no - the slider rail rivet was in the way. So I had to drill that out, to be replaced with a 3/16" screw later on. I then removed the ball end from the rear (intact) slider, by heating it first with a heat gun, and prying with a metal L-shaped forked trim tool. Popped right out! (about the only easy thing there was on this job). Pushed that slider out the front end of the channel, by using a length of auto brake line I had lying around.

So then time to put in the Dorman 74444 rollers. (I had a bit of trouble finding these locally. Are they no longer made?) I got the two rollers into the channel, and had to jog the regulator motor a bit to get the ball to line up with the roller. But the rear one went in easily with a C clamp, and the front one easily with a small channel-lock plier. Then the 3/16" screw to replace the drilled-out rivet. I figured I was on the home stretch. I ran the window motor up - and the window stalled halfway up !!! Now what the heck?? Well, it turned out that the rear of the window had somehow gotten out of the rubber track, and between the track and the door frame, where it jammed. So..... I had to pry the ball back out of the front roller, pivot the window by hand down and maneuver it back into the window track (another 3-hand job), fix it in place again with Gorilla Tape, and re-install the front ball into the roller. Phew! That went smoothly, and I could start re-installing the door panel, and finally the switches. Curiously, I had a socket left over that didn't seem to have a wire to plug into it. But everything worked, so it must have been for some option I didn't have.

With two of the plastic door panel fasteners missing, the door panel doesn't hold quite as tightly against the door, but I was too tired to be fussy.

But the window does go up and down smoothly now, so I guess I can declare victory. Only took seven hours!

(I don't think I should ever imagine being a professional car mechanic. I'd never make any money at it!)
The learning curve is fairly steep when you do it the first time.

You are supposed to open the rear of the channel. It is easier to reach with the window most of the way down.

If you disengage the window from the regulator first, you can move it to where you want and tape it in place.

The top of the door panel, is removed by smacking it with your hand at the back corner.

You will probably do this again, it should take somewhat less time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
"You will probably do this again, it should take somewhat less time. "
I'll bet I could get it down to 4 or 5 hours ! (hah)

"The top of the door panel, is removed by smacking it with your hand at the back corner."
The back corner is up against the residual portion of the window. Wouldn't you smack the front corner? What I did was to stick a finger down into the window opening at the front corner, feel for the plastic tab, and bend it away from its metal catch. Ditto for the middle plastic tab. But the back tab I only worked loose by wiggling the whole door trim panel. But to take your advice at face value, it's too bad the shop manual doesn't have an illustration saying, "Smack here."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,616 Posts
Starting at the back works better because the panel rotates away from the window frame. You can smack it in the middle and front if you need to. Just be a little careful, the panels are fragile, and can crack.

The upper part is ABS, and difficult to repair. The lower part is styrene, and can be repaired with MEK or MEK substitute. Acetone would probably work as well, but is not as fast.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
436 Posts
I had to order the Dormans from ebay as locally I couldn't find any as well. Although I only looked at one auto parts place... I figured it'd be cheaper online as well.

As far as difficulty it took a total of 2 hours for everything my first time. However I didn't bother trying to bend the ends and just went straight for the drill. I figured it'd of been easier for me next time if all I had to worry about was a nylon nut and screw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I am going to have to do this job soon on at least 2 windows.

My back Passenger-side window has had the tilting problem (as I call it) since I got this Caprice. My previous Caprice had the same issue on the same window, go figure. Then, just last week, my front Passenger window tilted out of place. My dog is not too happy with me that he can't ride with his head out the window any more! I'm not willing to roll it down since it's a pain to get back up.

So, a question for those who have done this before. Should I just fix the two windows that have problems? Or should I go ahead and also do the fix to the other two windows as preventive maintenance?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Nemo:

Just do 'em all. Once you've done the first window you'll get the hang of it and the process will be fresh in your mind for the others. You'll benefit from the peace of mind in knowing they're all sorted.

From what I remember, the challenges were:

Getting out broken fragments if they fell down inside the door;
Stabilizing the window at the proper height to fasten the new rollers;
C-clamping the new rollers on;
And be gentle with the plastic clips when you're dealing with electric wires.

Some of the door panel plastic fasteners broke when I did a couple of mine. I had to make a trip to the auto parts store to get some new ones. I don't remember the part number, but if it's mentioned in an earlier post you should take note and buy a few. I'd say at least 6.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nemo

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,991 Posts
So, a question for those who have done this before. Should I just fix the two windows that have problems? Or should I go ahead and also do the fix to the other two windows as preventive maintenance?
You could if you wanted to and had the time. Personally, I would just wait until they fail. Keep in mind these door panels were flimsy to begin with so care must be taken to remove them after 20 years.

Seems like every time my sliders failed, was able to at least get the window to stay up until there was time to fix it. Just can't put the window down and your pooch may get a little anxious waiting for the fix. >:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nemo

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,616 Posts
I would fix the broken ones, and leave the others alone. The others may have already been fixed, and you may be wasting your time, and needlessly stressing your interior door panels. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."


The passenger's side is usually the last to break, because it/they are not used as much as the driver's side.


Having your dog ride with its head out of the window is dangerous for the dog, because something may hit the dog in the head while you are driving, and/or the dog could be thrown from the car in case of an accident. Children are required by law to be restrained while in a moving vehicle for the same reasons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Thanks for the tips! While I do generally agree with Fred that if it ain't broke don't fix it, I have a bit of damage to both of the door panels with my good windows. So I might as well make a night (or weekend) out of the project and try to clean those up as I at least inspect all 4 window mechanisms.

On both of my front door panels, the side lights that illuminate when you open the doors have fallen out of place. In both cases the electrical wiring is long enough for those to reach the little storage cubbies built into the door panel, so I have just had them sitting in there for the past couple years (always thinking it will be my "next project"). On my door panel for my good back door, the plastic got bashed by something in the back seat and the power window control switch was knocked out of place. Again, it will take removing the door panel to fix that.

As for the doggo, well I need to get the window back to operational for him because he can't stand the smell of pot. He also complains a lot about my music - as he really hates the Eagles. I tell him this aggression will not stand but he's a show dog, with papers, I can't restrain him or his hair will fall out. Oh well, the Dude abides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,991 Posts
As for the doggo, well I need to get the window back to operational for him because he can't stand the smell of pot. He also complains a lot about my music - as he really hates the Eagles. I tell him this aggression will not stand but he's a show dog, with papers, I can't restrain him or his hair will fall out. Oh well, the Dude abides.
You need to have the Windows go down so you can let the smoke out and not drive down the road like Cheech. If your Doggie don't like the "smell of pot", then I take it he's not a Labrador. :laugh:


At least they are driving a "Chebby" Impala I think so it fits the Forum discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
oh boy its time for me to try this out for both windows up front and 1 rear :frown2: hopefully I dont mess anything up I use to have a guy do mine for me for only $20 including the part
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Reporting back.

I repaired my Front and Rear Passenger-side Windows on Saturday. First of all, big thanks to B-body Builder and everyone who has contributed to this post over the years for all the excellent advice! I've read through it several times over the past 8 months or so to prepare, knowing I'd need to set aside a day for it. Also - I like to work on bigger projects like this when I'm with my Dad - since he was an Engineer for GM and used to have me work on car repairs with him when I was young.

I'm not going to go into all the details, since they would be redundant, but I will mention a few things. Hopefully they will help convey my experience... This will only make sense if you've read the thread a few times and maybe you'll want to re-read my description as you are actually working on the project to really understand what I mean.

Parts:
Doorman #74444, Window Regulator Rollers, $3.51 ea on RockAuto
Doorman #45115 (700-343) Door Panel Retainer / Clip, Box of 25 for $7.75 on RockAuto
Lucas Oil White Lithium Grease 8oz
Hillman 10-24x1/2 Combo Round Machine Screw
My Lowe's did not have the 10-24 Lock Nuts in stock, but had another brand equivalent
(by the specialty drawers, far away from where I found the round machine screws)

Follow all of the instructions as written. If you've not done this before, I do recommend you remove the door handle brace from the back door, as it gives you a lot more room to operate. I didn't at first and was really struggling until I said "screw it" and removed that. Also, if you are doing both front and back, start with the back door, as that's easier to figure out than the front and once you've done this once the next repair is easier.

Once I drilled out the rivets that holds the window brace to the rising track, I very easily pulled the window up and taped it out of the way. Then, I was able to reach into through the access holes to twist the sliding bar 90-degrees so that the unbroken clip just popped off the ball joint of the lifting bars. I got the rising track out of the door through the access holes, and then I bent the crimps out and slid out the broken pieces of plastic sliding clips. I greased up the track, slid in my two Round Rollers, and then re-crimped the end of the track.

I put the bar back into the door and lined up the first roller, it easily popped into the ball joint on the lift arm with a squeeze of my big self-locking "Alligator Pliers" which were adjusted for the proper width of the track over the connector. I used the power switch to move the lift, got the other side to a place I could access, and used the Alligator Pliers again to pop in the other ball joint. I then used my ratchet to disconnect the stationary track for the single slider from the door, twist to pop it off the ball joint, remove, regrease, replace with a round roller, pop onto the joint with my Alligator Pliers, and then reattach the bolts. This was all on the back door.

I reattached the rear door handle brace with 5/16" hex-head bolts, 1" long (but 1/2" probably would have worked), with a flat washer, locking washer, and nut on the back of each. They were rock solid when tightened and the bolts were not in the way of anything internal. The front door handle brace does not need to be removed. I used a shop vac to suck out all the debris that fell into the door interior once I was done working in there. Also - while I didn't mention the plastic barrier before, this is obviously something I had to cut up a bit to move out of the way. I used a lot of duct tape putting it back together... hopefully it will be an okay long-term solution.

On the front door, I followed pretty much the same process. I do want to mention that you will need to remove the speaker to open up an access hole, but it is easy to do. I got a reminder that you definitely want to replace all three of the plastic sliding clips with rollers! When I inspected these tracks, I found that the stationary track already had a round roller. In other words, a previous repair had obviously been done, but since that time one of the two sliders in the rising track had become brittle and broken, so here we are again. The good news is, since this was already a round roller and it felt like it was in good shape, I didn't see the need to replace it like I would replace a clip.

The big difference on the front door is that since the access holes are in different places, it was simply not possible to use the Alligator Pliers to pop the round roller onto the ball joint - you don't have the space to maneuver. Luckily, I did have a 2-inch C-Clamp and was able to have the driving rod stick out of a small access hole to tighten it for the same result. It was still a lot more difficult to raise the bar into the right place and get everything lined up - but possible with some patience... and it helps if you have some experience, which is why I recommend doing a rear window first if you're doing both rear and front. In fact, I'm willing to bet from my own experience there are a lot of Caprices and Impalas out there with rear window problems that aren't fixed because they are easy enough to live with until the front goes bad too ;-)

Anyways, that should be a pretty good summary of the lessons I learned. It took me about 7 hours of total work, because I was going slow and talking with my dad a lot. That does not include the breaks we took for lunch and dinner. I have 4 round rollers and 20 door clips left, so I may check on my driver's side doors at some point in the future so see how they are doing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,616 Posts
Nemo, sometimes you can use a vice grips to push the front ball studs into the rollers on the front doors. They have a lower angle to the jaws. I have even used a large slipjoint pliers, but you need a good grip to close them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Nemo, sometimes you can use a vice grips to push the front ball studs into the rollers on the front doors. They have a lower angle to the jaws. I have even used a large slipjoint pliers, but you need a good grip to close them.
Thinking about the angle, a good set of vice groups very well may have worked! That ball stud definitely isn't very easy to get to. Dozens of ways to skin a cat, of course. Half the fun is figuring out how >:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,616 Posts
Don't use the inside of the door skin for a brace, or you will have a bulge in the panel.
 
181 - 200 of 238 Posts
Top