After my second power rear wind jumped the track on my 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid, I decided to document the fix. Hopefully, this helps someone else out because this was a real pain in the ass doing this with little information and avoiding getting screwed but the dealer. I just had this image of some dude/dudette popping off the door panel and whacking something with a rubber mallet for a mere $400.
Screw that. In a nutshell, the bottom steel frame that holds the glass slips far enough to let the rotating lifting arm go beyond the length of the track. Hard to describe, hopefully, the photos clear it up.
If your door looks like this, your in the right place. Let's jump in
These are the only screw you need to remove, plus the plastic frame around the armrest cup (shown already removed). I scratched the first one up by using a screwdriver, this time a use a mini pry bar. Anything with a thin wide edge will work. Remove the screws and prepare to get violent. Grab one of the bottom corners of the plastic door panel and gently pull far enough to get your fingers between it and the metal door.
Firmly give a little yank away from the metal door until you hear a pop, releasing the snap plugs or whatever they call the pop rivets the secure the door panel. Do that for both right and left sides. Lift the door panel upward and be careful not to remove to door completely as it is still tethered by the electric switch.
You can now reach in and separate the switch from the harness by pushing the little blue tab. Once the door is off, reconnect the switch as you will need to operate the lifting mechanism while you align the mechanism back unto its track.
After you get through the creepy goo holding on the plastic, you will almost see this. I say almost because this shot
shows the arm mechanism already popped back into the slider track. This is NOT trivial, rather it's downright awkward to get that sucker in there. It doesn't require any tools and SOMETIMES the green square will pop right in but here's how I got it to go: with the power window button reconnected after the door has been removed, push/pull the switch to get the arm almost horizontal.
This will be the furthest position out from the arms pivot point. Now through semi-brute force and tweaking the switch, try to get the green square back into the track... It's usually awkward fishing for the fallen window and grabbing for the power switch at the same time - it helps to have a 2x4 to prop up the window while you maneuver and/or rest your arms!
There - gottcha sucker! DONT power the arm upward or the thing will pop back out again!
Ok here are the key pieces (diagram below).
Now what happened, as noted by the green arrows below, that over time the track and rubber interface slide in the direction of the arrows allowing the plastic green square to travel past the distance of the track. The first step is to lower the motorized arm downward to give users more room to slide the track even MORE in that direction. Note, these photos are from the drivers-side rear window.
What I did was wedge a piece of wood between the door panel opening and the metal track and apply pressure to slide the track more to the rear of the car. Be careful, this does take some pressure but if you crack the window - your screwed. Stare closely at the window and steel frame and you will see it slowly sliding as you supply pressure to your level. I used a broom handle. It seems idiotic to slide it this direction but stay with me. Slide it back about 2" making sure to lower the arm with the switch if it gets too close to popping out!
Good. Now mix up some JB Weld (I won't bother suggesting any other epoxy cause this stuff never fails). You should now have a generous amount of the rubber insulator extending past the metal track. Peel the rubber back and slober some of the mixed JB Weld into the inside of the rubber, bottom of the glass, AND the last inch of the steel frame. The goal is to keep this thing from sliding forward in the future. Since the JB Weld is still wet, it will act as a nice lubricant so we can slide it forward PAST the original position.
GO TIME! Grab your broom handle or whatever you used previously to, again slowly, slide the track forward. You are going to move this PAST the original position to make sure the throw arm never creeps out of the open track. Since there is so length available of this track - feel free to go 5" or so forward because you know :
a) it slipped enough to allow the green square to pop past the end
b) you already pushed it further back to douse a chunk of glue. If you're cautious, push it forward a bit ( a bunch past for the first slide to make sure you at least don't pop out!) roll the window up a bit and see how close it gets to the tracks end. Continue this test cycle till your comfortable with the amount of extra space you have on the front of the track through the entire window rising cycle.
Feel free to contact me with questions or to add your feedback: