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Is a 1986 ribbon style window regulator repairable?

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:32 AM   #1
TravisT
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Default Is a 1986 ribbon style window regulator repairable?

My window is stuck in the down position, of course I discovered this at the car wash. The button works, window motor works continuously, just doesn't roll the window up. The FSM states that non-chrome ribbon regulators are not repairable, and the entire regulator assembly must be replaced. I have read some posts that state otherwise. Has anyone successfully repaired one of these?

Not sure if it is related, but earlier in the day I heard a loud pop. At the time I thought it was a rock, could have been the sound of something breaking.
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:22 AM   #2
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yes
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Old 03-25-2012, 01:38 AM   #3
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I would guess your nylon ribbon is broken. You can order the ribbon from any of the vendors and replace it. The cost about $20. I replaced mine on my 86.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
Cliff Harris
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I recommend upgrading to the later window regulator. It's much faster than the older ribbon type and more reliable.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:03 AM   #5
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Hundreds of the early style window regulators ended up in the trash.
I upgraded to the later model type as the ribbon type are so slow, threw the old ribbon type in the trash i bet many on this forum have done the same.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAINTER MAN View Post
I would guess your nylon ribbon is broken. You can order the ribbon from any of the vendors and replace it. The cost about $20. I replaced mine on my 86.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Harris View Post
I recommend upgrading to the later window regulator. It's much faster than the older ribbon type and more reliable.
i replaced the ribbon on my 85 when it broke. after i cleaned 20+ years of crap out of the track and lubed everything, i had a 3 seconds down time, and 4 seconds up time which is close to the later scissor type. an upgrade would be better, but it's $20 vs. maybe $200-$300 or more, if you do both sides.

Last edited by Joe C; 03-25-2012 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:27 AM   #7
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Default here's a tip

I have changed mine and I learned a couple of things. First, don't order a ribbon. I ordered one from Corvette Central and waited for it to show up a week later. I opened the package and it was HELP brand that O'reilly sells. It said on the package "fits dodge and chrysler". It was the right one for the Corvette. So I paid more and waited a week that I didn't need to. Removing the door panel and the inner metal panel are a pain. Lotsa sharp edges in there. You will need a pop rivet gun and a drill.
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=martymcfly;1580373282]I have changed mine and I learned a couple of things. First, don't order a ribbon. I ordered one from Corvette Central and waited for it to show up a week later. I opened the package and it was HELP brand that O'reilly sells. It said on the package "fits dodge and chrysler". It was the right one for the Corvette. So I paid more and waited a week that I didn't need to. Removing the door panel and the inner metal panel are a pain. Lotsa sharp edges in there. You will need a pop rivet gun and a drill.[/QUOTEthis is excellent info
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:52 AM   #9
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As stated you are better off upgrading. I owned my 86 for roughly 20K miles and replaced like 5 ribbons.
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Old 03-25-2012, 12:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by martymcfly View Post
I have changed mine and I learned a couple of things. First, don't order a ribbon. I ordered one from Corvette Central and waited for it to show up a week later. I opened the package and it was HELP brand that O'reilly sells. It said on the package "fits dodge and chrysler". It was the right one for the Corvette. So I paid more and waited a week that I didn't need to. Removing the door panel and the inner metal panel are a pain. Lotsa sharp edges in there. You will need a pop rivet gun and a drill.
not sure where i got my ribbon, but it was one of those catalog companies. same thing, help brand, stating "fits dodge and chrysler". seemed like an universal, trim to fit part. they're a lot cheaper at autozone. i don't think the quality is as good as the originals. my original ribbon lasted some 20 years, and the help brand replacement onlly lasted about 5 years. the upgrade makes some sense, but weigh out the cost, estimated time that you might own your car, etc. $20 is far better than several hundred. BTW, my old 85 still has the original passenger ribbon. originally, i bought two, one for each side, but ended up using both on the drivers side. my 85's ribbons are not as fast as my 96, but then again, i'm not in that much of a hiurry either...
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback.

I would like to eventually upgrade both sides, but for now if I can get away with the $20 fix I will. I was planning on buying new tires next weekend, two new regulators would cancel those plans. My windows are down all summer anyway.

Thanks for the tip McFly.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #12
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Default not $20

I think it was more like $16. I have been into the doors more times than i would like to admit. Hatch switch, exterior window sweeper, window ribbon. Is the upgrade a direct bolt in and plug in? Other than adjusting the window where it bolts on, any other adjustments?
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by martymcfly View Post
I think it was more like $16. I have been into the doors more times than i would like to admit. Hatch switch, exterior window sweeper, window ribbon. Is the upgrade a direct bolt in and plug in? Other than adjusting the window where it bolts on, any other adjustments?
the upgrade is pretty much, drill a couple holes, bolt in, and plug and play with the basic window adjustments. there might be a tech article on the upgrade. the issue is the cost of the late model C4 window regulator(s). i bought a pair off fleabay years ago for the upgrade on my 85, but there they sit - never used. as i recall, i paid somewhere around $150 (+s&h) for used pair. i'm thinking new, they are over $300 per side. that buys a lot of ribbons.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:37 AM   #14
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I replaced the ribbon today. Auto Zone had two on the shelf part number 74413 ($16.99). Took me about four hours to replace, but I'm a newbie so I was taking my time and being careful. I could have probably done in it two hours, but then I would of had to mow.

Thanks again for all of the feedback it was very helpful.
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Old 04-01-2012, 07:18 AM   #15
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