Sunday, August 19, 2012

Freelander Tailgate Window Repair

Got a MK1 or MK2 Freelander?  Eventually the tailgate window mechanism will stop working and you are going to have to replace it.  The reason for the failure is that it is a cabled system connected to a motor, the cables are steel, the holder clamps for the window glass are cast aluminium, over the years the aluminium oxidises, reacts with the steel cables and they rust through.

So this is how I repaired my Freelander.
The first job is to remove the trim from the tailgate, under the pocket section you will find 4-5 screws to remove and then you need to pull the trim away from the door, start at the bottom and work you way upwards, the trim then unclips from the top hooks.
You are then faced with the foam cover, unless you are buying a replacement, this needs to be carefully peeled away using a sharp blade, cutting through the mastic - the warmer the day the easier it is.
Now you will be able to see the 'gubins'.
You will see the two runners either side of the door, and where the glass clips in, there is a clamp bolt on each of the cast aluminium clams that needs to be loosened, there is also to electrical connections to the window that need to e disconnected.  You should now be able to lift the glass free of the car.
Each runner is held using two nuts at the top and a nut at the bottom, just undo and you should be able to 'jiggle' the runner out of the door.  The motor is held in with three bolts, just loosen them and twist the motor free of the door.
Once everything is out it should look like this.
Taking the cover of the motor will probably show what a state the cabling can get into...

I purchased a kit on eBay for the replacement cables, you can see by the video below (from the supplier) how easy they are to replace, don't believe the video!  I had real problems getting the cables wound onto the reel, they were either too tight or too loose, I actually had to change the run slightly to get the tension correct.
The last job to do was to refit everything, but hold off sticking the foam back.  With different cables in the system, the window will need adjustment using the clamps, this takes a bit of trial and error but after a few adjustments you should be level :)
Have fun.