Happened to me twice. The two piece pin that connects the window to the regulator tends to fall out and land on the bottom of the door.
No easy fix that I know of to reattach the pin assembly. You tube has some videos that may help.
I had scratch marks on my hood after wet sanding with 3000 foam backed pad. Could not get rid of them; so I sprayed over the scratches with SEM
Blenz-In. Worked pretty well. I too used the rattle cans. Base paint from automotivetouchup.com and clear is SprayMax 1k.
I can relate to the OP's concern. I too have to convince myself not to look for perfection when painting outdoors with rattle cans.
I do have some rust which is almost an annual event to get rid of. The front of my hood has the most rust.
I spliced my front right replacement cable under the left side cowl where it leads under the plastic cover for the conduit.
That was easier than trying to undo all of the tape to locate the old cable. Hope this makes sense. Not familiar with the NB setup.
I recently bought a syringe that sucks into one port and out through another port on the down stroke into an empty container.
Made by Lisle. I had to drill additional vent holes in the top for easier pull and push.
You need a vacuum pump to test the actuator if it holds vacuum or not. MIne did not and I was able to replace just the actuator with a Garrett.
This required a VNT delete as well.
I believe CoolAirVW has a ready made kit available.
I don't see where the metal clip that is behind the rear wheel is opened up in the above video. Those clips were very difficult for me to undo. They will have to be replaced in order for the thicker cable to be installed, along with the hooks.