Replacing A Power Window Regulator
The XJ Cherokee proves its mettle, both on- and off-pavement. Differing from the spartan 4WDs, most XJs have power options and creature comforts. Intended as an all-season grocery grabber and commuter SUV, a well-equipped XJ might have air conditioning, power steering, power windows, and power door locks.
Convenience items and a solid, wagon-style body further enhance the XJ Cherokee's appeal. Weather, it would seem, hardly bothers an XJ — unless plagued by a power window regulator's failure. Without warning or ceremony, with no strange noises or telltale signs, the cable-operated regulators can simply fail. Be assured, if a regulator fails in a blizzard, the trip home will be memorable!
The typical scenario starts with applying the window switch, followed by a slight ratcheting noise, indicating that the lift mechanism or cable has stripped or the cable has broken — usually snapping loose at the crimped end. The motor may be perfectly fine, the regulator frame and lift still function, and the cable just strips or fails! If the cable breaks loose, it often spools out of its sheath and jams up inside the door. Do not attempt to operate the regulator if you suspect a stripped or flopping cable!
When our 1999 XJ's right front-window regulator failed without notice, there was no reason to suspect another window would soon follow — but it did. The driver's door regulator broke less than 10,000 miles later (the duty-cycle and life expectancy of these parts is apparently accurate). On four-door models, front window regulators generally fatigue first, perhaps due to more usage than the rear doors' windows.
So, if you own an '83-to-'01 XJ Cherokee, and if the power regulators are original, expect a regulator repair at some point. While these mechanisms often last well past the 100,000-mile mark, their replacement is inevitable.
Note: Model year differences do exist. Before tackling a regulator replacement, refer to a factory shop manual for your XJ’s year and body style.