When you open the door to get in the car, where are the bolts located on the door to take the door panel off? Once you get the door panel off, how do take the regulator off of the panel? Is the door panel that you visually see when sitting in the car reusable or does that have to be replaced? The part I am talking about is the part with the handle to pull the door closed?
Okay, the outer door panel. In the Beetle, there are three t-10 screws along the bottom of the door. Remove those.
You will also need to carefully pry off the door handle cover. There will be two large phillip head screws inside the frame, one at the top, and one at the bottom. Remove those.
Carefully lift from the bottom edge of the door panel, there are several snap fittings that will pop out as you pull. Do not pull to hard, as the door release cable and several wiring harnesses will be attached to the inside of the panel. Lift it up slightly to clear the window frame.
The plugs are the quick disconnect type, unplug these, remembering which goes where. Pull the door release cable loose from its braket on the back of the handle, rotate the clip out of the loop in the handle. The panel should now be free.
The inner panel is the window regulator. The wiring harness, speaker and window motor attach to it.
Here is how I removed mine.
1. First, you have to get the window off the window rail to remove the panel. This can be a real pain. There are two rubber plugs in the upper left and right of the panel. Pop these out. These are your access holes to the T-20 screws in the clamps holding the window on. Also remove the inner weatherstripping on the top of the door. Go ahead and pull the lock button, rubber boot and foam support off the lock rod as well. The lock rod will move around quite a bit during the procedure.
2. Remove the 10mm bolts. You will get about four to five inches of play in the inner panel with them out. Reach up into the bottom of the door until you can feel the bottom of the window. Push up on the window and catch it at the top with your other hand. Here's the fun part. Hold the window in one hand, and unscrew the two clamp screws. The window rail should fall back into the door. Remove the window by tilting it down to the front. You will rotate it about 90 degrees before you can free it. Put it far away from your work area to avoid any mishaps.
3. From the back of the panel, release all of the wiring harness clips. There are two small tabs you squeeze to push them through the panel. Once these are released, place the panel back on with five or six of the bolts around the outside. i actually had to pull a few of them from the front becasue I couldn't get my arm in far enough to get to them. Also, at this point, feed the door release cable through its hole.
4. The window motor wiring harness is a top lift disconnect. Lift up on the dis-connector and it will basically unplug itself. There are three T-20 screws holding it in place. Remove these and pull the motor straight back to remove it. When i pulled mine, a "rats nest" of cable sprung out of the hole where the motor engages the regulator.
5. Once all the clips are released and you have the door release cable fed through, you will see one last harness going through the panel and into the door latch assembly. There is a clip for this one that is relaeased from the front of the panel. Remove the bolts, this harness should be the only thing preventing you from manuvering the panel off the door. I could not get the plug inside the door to release. i wound up cutting the harness and using line splicers to reconnect the harness when I replaced the regulator. If anyone knows the trick to this socket, please post it. You kinda have to go over the lock rod and then back down to clear the side rails from inside the door frame, you'll understand this better when you get to this point.
6. The speaker is riveted onto the panel. I drilled out the rivets and used bolts to re-attach it. Attach the window motor to the new panel, the screws will have to self start into the plastic.
7. Hold the panel up in place and feed the door release cable, and the one harness that goes through the panel back into there places. Pop in the harness clip that goes to attaches on the backside. Support the panel, line up the holes and replace the 10 mm bolts. I started at the top front corner and worked my way in a zig-zag from tp to bottom to make sure everything lined up.
8. Plug the motor back in, and reclip all of the harness clips back into the frame. Put the upper weatherstripping back in as well.
9. Turn the key to accesory and check the new regulator. Move it about halfway down and put the window back in. This took me three or four tries. Mantain your patience, you are almost done!
You will feel it settle onto the clips. Move the window up until the clip screws are visible in the inspection holes. Tighten these down. Run the window up and down a few times to check your adjustment.
10. If everything appears to be working, put the boot, foam support and lock button back on the locking rod. Reattach the door cable and plug the plugs back in. Put the outer panel back on, pop it back into the snap connectors and replace the screws.
This job, for my first try took a little over two hours. I can probably do it in about an hour next time. If I forgot anything, feel free to add it in.
Okay, I am going to rewrite the write up with pictures this time. My driver's side regulator went out last night. I'll probably throw it up on my website to save bandwidth here. Should have it up by tomorrow or Friday at the latest.