Cloudflare vs. Google Analytics: Why the Numbers Are So Different

It’s certainly well known that Cloudflare’s analytics (or any request-based analytics, for that matter) tend to give larger numbers than those that are javascript based. The de facto explanations make sense: some users navigate away from a page before the it is fully loaded (before the javascript executed); other users keep javascript disabled. There are more.

But these standard answers really can’t explain the discrepancy I tend to see between the real numbers. Take these stats as an example:

Google Analytics

Pageviews: 143,646
Unique Visitors: 36,091

Cloudflare Analytics

Pageviews: 425,785
Unique Visitors: 111,921
Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 11.18.19 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-28 at 9.49.24 PM


If we are to believe these numbers, than either:

  1. Most people browse the web cURL spoofed to look like Chrome, Safari or Firefox
  2. There more at work than the standard explanations


In a comment I just made to Hey CloudFlare, What’s Wrong with these Numbers?, I gave one suggestion:

It’s possible that Cloudflare is logging anything it connects to the server, *including* non-2XX code responses. For example, my organization uses the root domain, and 501 redirects any www. subdomain traffic to the corresponding root URL. On CF, this might be marked as 2 separate requests.

On the other hand, I’m not sure this would explain the discrepancy between the 36k monthly *uniques* on GA, verses the 112k on CF. Any thoughts?

But as you see I couldn’t even get through a comment without finding the hole in my argument. So, here’s another suggestion:


Prefetching and Prerendering.

There’s a relevant standard, and Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even IE do it to varying degrees. While I haven’t researched the implementation subtleties of the different browsers, Google Chrome is apparently able to “predict network actions” and might prerender pages based on the links from anywhere, including search results.

And this is what piqued my attention. If I look at queries in the SEO section of Google Analytics, and I select only those with an average position of 10.0 or better, I see 73,599 impressions with only 8,188 clicks. That’s 65,411 opportunities for the browser to prefetch or prerender our site based on first-page Google results alone, which is likely an underestimate. It doesn’t factor in the many results that have extremely high impressions and click through rates, but don’t average on the first page. Here’s the name of the organization itself, for example:

Screen Shot 2013-04-29 at 12.45.26 AM

If Google Chrome is as smart as I think it is, there are many prerender requests to our server attributable to this keyword alone. And with Chrome responsible for nearly 32% of our traffic (and other browsers likely also contributing to the effect), this is a very likely source of this discrepancy.

I’m sure there are even more factors at play, but this is one to look out for… if that’s possible. While Firefox sends some header information when prefetching ( X-moz: prefetch ) Chrome doesn’t.

If you’ve made it this far, let me know if I’ve missed something!

Check out My Wedding Website!

It’s official! The public internet (aka the web that’s not Facebook) knows I’m engaged. My beautiful bride – Miss Emily Shafer – and I have launched our website: We’ve put our story, engagement photos, wedding details, and registry links there for the world to see.

I’ve used Ruby on Rails for the whole thing and built a beautiful RSVP system that’s about as easy to use as it is good looking. By using Active Admin for the system, it’s absolutely cake for Emily and me to manage the guest list. This is one of those things that I really, really wish I had time to blog about in detail. But alas, I will resolve to rant of my awesomeness without evidence.

Oh, and speaking of my awesomeness, check it out on your i-Devices! Ya. Pretty awesome and responsive and surprisingly fast for the crazy, crazy amount of images everywhere. That took a lot of tweaking to get just right, but I think I got it.

So ya – check it out:

Mike and Emily’s Wedding Site


Rounding inner corners with CSS only

When designing something for the web, sometimes you want to round the inside of a corner. Historically, we've had to use images to make this happen. The problem is, well, images suck. They don't scale well, so you can't change the radius, they waste bandwidth, and any time you want to change their color or style, you're SOL! While CSS has provided the native ability to round outer corners for some time with the `border-radius` property, this whole inner corner business has been tricky... until now. This strategy will let you:
  • Use any color you want including transparent colors!
  • Change the radius on the flu
  • Look good in Retina (highDPI) displays
  • Save a request, bandwidth, and a bunch of hassle!
Check out the jsFiddle: Here's a simple HTML page we're going to make pretty:
Select Code
<div class="first">
    <p>This is made with 100% CSS</p>
<div class="second">
    <p>Go ahead, zoom in, use that Retina display!</p>
Here's the special CSS-sauce:
Select Code
html {
    background: url(;
    background-size: cover;
    background-repeat: no-repeat;
    height: 100%;
    font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

div {
    background-color: rgba(255,255,255,.7);
    color: black;
    position: absolute;
    text-align: center;

.first {
    border-radius: 12px 12px 0 0;
    height: 100px;
    left: 100px;
    top: 100px;
    width: 100px;

.first::after {
    background: transparent;
    border-radius: 0 0 0 12px;
    bottom: 0;
    box-shadow: -2px 2px 0 2px rgba(255,255,255,.7);
    clip: rect(0px, 12px, 12px, 0px);
    content: "";
    display: block;
    height: 12px;
    left: 100%;
    position: absolute;
    width: 12px;

.second {
    border-radius: 0 12px 12px 12px;
    height: 100px;
    left: 100px;
    top: 200px;
    width: 200px;

p {
    padding: 12px;

Updating Your Website to Support Retina Displays

I just got my brand-new Macbook Pro with Retina Display last friday… and it is awesome! It comes after about 9 months of life-support for my old, 2007 MBP, which included bolting the hinges back together and baking the motherboard to re-solder the GPU.

One of the new macbook’s most impressionable features is, of course, its retina display: pixels are truly indistinguishable, even on high-contrast diagonal lines. This wonderful new era of High-DPI screens comes with a cost, though. Because Apple (ingeniously) uses pixel-doubling (and pixel scaling at non-default resolutions) to give familiar screen real estate, most web images look pixelated. Seeing as I am both an in-house and freelance web developer, I decided I needed my sites fixed straight-away! The problem was: I don’t particularly like any of the available solutions (all designed for iOS). The only one I found particularly clever was Retina.js, but even there, I avoid client-side preprocessors like “LESS CSS” and am not a fan of all the extra HTTP requests.

It seems certain that the new, ultra-high-resolution internet is going to be heavily dependant on things like SVG, <canvas>, and robust CSS; at the same time, raster images aren’t going anywhere. To deal with those, we should really get used to hand-coding multiple versions where and when they are necessary. My immediate answer (take it or leave it!) that I used for BioLogos is very simple:

For <img/>’s

In each image tag, I added a data-2x-src attribute with the URL of a double-resolution image. For example:

// notice the use Apple’s standard "@2x" notation
// make sure you have height and width set!</pre>
<img src="/images/logo.png" alt="Logo" width="325" height="73" data-2x-src="[email protected]" />

Then, I added some jQuery:

// replaces ‘src’ with ‘data-2x-src’
if(window.devicePixelRatio > 1.5) $(‘img[data-2x-src]’).each(function(){$(this).attr(‘src’,$(this).attr(‘data-2x-src’));});

For CSS Backgrounds

There are two strategies here:

  1. Best Option: If you can get an SVG version of your image, just use that!
  2. If you can’t, then add the high-res version behind a media query in CSS:

#logo {
background-image: url(‘/images/logo.png’);
/* make sure this is the size of the original image */
background-size: 200px 100px; -webkit-background-size: 200px 100px; -moz-background-size: 200px 100px; -o-background-size: 200px 100px;

@media all and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5) {
#logo {
background-image: url(‘[email protected]’);
And here’s the before/after:

…eventually I’ll get around to retinafying this blog, my most neglected project that ever went live!

Updating Xcode on the App Store… again

So, Xcode is apple’s developer software, and since the App store‘s launch, that’s the only place you can get it. The problem is that the app store makes it a HUGE PAIN IN THE A$$ to update. Because of this, I wrote the following dialogue in Xcode’s review. Oscar nominations can be sent directly to my twitter.

Xcode is awesome. The App store, well, is awesome in its own respect, but completely inapropriate for this kind of software. For that it gets only 4 stars. I think I’m going to hop on the bandwaggon and shout “please just use software update” like a nagging wife:

Hey Apple, can we talk? Please listen to me. No, please, Dear: turn off the TV. So, I know you say I nag – please, Hunny, can you look me in the eyes? I don’t want to be a nag, but I just feel like all our conversations are one-way. You never really listen to me. I know your silence helps create mystery and keeps me coming back… but I really wish you would admit when you’re wrong. Like only offering Xcode on the App store. You know that wasn’t the best idea – please don’t give me that look! It’s not like I’m asking you to surrender something to Google or Microsoft – I’m just suggesting that using software update (which you invented) may be a better aproach. I mean, the developers that are frustrated with the download process are the same ones you want to ship their products on the app store.

– no, wait, Hunny? Please come back… I’m not done…. No, I’m not trying to emasculate you…

The case for buying a Mac

I could probably write a doctoral thesis on why you should ditch your POS windows laptop today and buy a Mac. Of course, writing about something so obvious might be insulting to academia… like studying whether little boys prefer cars or dolls. Oh ya, and I don’t have enought time.

Lucky for all you unenlightened folks, though, I do have time to give you one nudge in the right direction: today I did the quick math to figure out how many hours I will have spent on my Macbook Pro when I replace it this spring. The result? About 10,000 hours. Let me repeat that. Ten. Thousand. Hours…


Trust me, your life will be noticeably better with 10,000 fewer hours of frustration.

God and Evolution

בראשית ברא אלהים
את השמים ואת

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

In the Unites States, at least, there exists a massive rift between the ideas of evolution and Christianity. As a Christian student of Biology and Chemistry, I have seen far too many casualties of this unnecessary dichotomy – I’ve watched friends’ faith collapse into nihilistic lifelessness, and more often witnessed intellectual stonewall, where all hope of reason and discussion are shut out in defense against these “evil thoughts.” In the mind of non-believers, this behavior has helped cement the idea that Christianity is a discipline for the irrational, and has further polarized the sides.

I am writing this as a humble attempt at bridging the divide, and to show how an honest examination of both the science and scripture reveals no need for discord. While this letter is geared towards a Christian audience, it may be useful for anyone interested in this discussion. In my experience, I have found that Christians are most hostile to evolution when they have never thoroughly examined their own interpretation of Genesis. For this reason, I will begin by addressing scripture, and then introduce the scientific theory and evidence.

Genesis is Not a Biology Textbook

Biblical Genres and Genesis

In daily life, as you encounter books, movies, TV shows, YouTube clips, or even text messages, you are almost instantly aware of their genres – whether the content is educational, comedy, satire, a tutorial, news, a novel, or a textbook – and the messages you chose to take away are completely dependent on the content’s genre. For example, watching an episode of The Office or 30 Rock as a comedy gives lots of laughs and a satirical description of business ironies in America. On the other hand, watching those same shows as instruction manuals would lead to atrocious business practices and an enormous amount of wasted time! Genre is so important that we can often infer a document’s type without ever seeing its content: a novel is small, paperback, and fits easily in the hands, while a text book is large and usually hardcover; “legal size” paper distinguishes such documents from smaller less formal papers.
The books of the Bible also come in many genres, including letter, genealogy, myth, law, poetry, and several more. It is just as important to experience the books of the bible in the context of appropriate genre as it is for modern works. Take David’s 23rd psalm for example, which reads,

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalms 23, KJV)

Surely insisting on literal interpretation would be an injustice to this beautiful poem! It’s certainly possible to use these lines to insist that God forces His people to “lie down in green pastures,” but doing so misses the entire point. Let’s read the first few lines of Genesis, keeping an eye out for genre:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3, NIV)

Even as a translation, thousands of years after their initial construction, these words elicit powerful, moving images – just think about how you would direct this in a film. Even the biggest skeptic must admit that something meaningful is lost when this passage is treated as a part of a creation logbook.

Genesis 1, or Genesis 2?

There are many issues with interpreting Genesis outside of its literary genre, especially by reading it as a scientific text. Not the least of these is the presence of two strikingly different creation stories, one in chapter 1, and the other in chapter 2. The chapters describe two very different creation stories, with different timelines and orders of creation. The first story contains the 6-day creation typically followed by Young Earth Creationists in which man is the very last creation. The second account begins with the creation of man:

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up… then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground… (Genesis 2:5, NIV)

A literalist’s interpretation of these chapters argues against itself as convincingly as it argues against evolution.
In reality, these two accounts are written by different authors, during different periods, even using different names for God: the first uses “Elohim” which is a generic ancient near-east word for “gods” and is typically translated into its plural form. Vestiges of this plurality appear in the pronouns of Genesis 1:

Then God [Elohim] said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness… (Genesis 1:26, NIV)

The second chapter uses the Hebrew God’s personal name, given first to Moses, Yahweh, as indicated by the use of “LORD God” in translated text.

Limits of Language

In addition to literary genre, there are many other contexts that should be considered when reading Genesis, all which give support to a non-literalistic interpretation. One important consideration is the limited ability of ancient language to describe cosmic or biological phenomena. Even if God enlightened the writer to all the mechanisms of creation and the universe, there would be no possible way to record them – the words to describe genomes or nuclear reactions did not exist. It would have been impossible to write a scientific account of creation, just as it would have been impossible for anyone else to read it.

The Process of Evolution

Evolution’s Genre

Evolution is a scientific theory, and, just like scripture, must be read within the context of its genre; a scientific theory does not comment on the existence or nonexistence of God – it, by definition, proposes a process observed in nature; it cannot deal with the supernatural and cannot disprove the involvement of God. While there are many who misuse scientific evidence to replace traditional religions with atheism, this is an overt misunderstanding of science’s domain. This evolutionism is a religion; evolution is the incredibly strong scientific theory this religion abuses.
Another common misconception is that “evolution is still only a theory, and not yet a law.” In reality, a theory never becomes a law, because they describe different things: a law describes a trend, and gives a framework to make predictions, while a theory suggests a mechanism by which this trend exists. For example, Newton’s law of gravitation (the law of gravity) is:


Where F is the force between the two objects with masses m1 and m2; r is the distance between them, and G is the gravitational constant (). This applies to all objects in the universe (within the confines of the classical limit), can be used to model aspects of the cosmos, and has played a critical role in the discovery of planets and the mysterious “dark matter.” It is also extremely important for all sorts of engineering here on Earth, but actually does not work in some mathematically extreme situations. It also doesn’t explain how gravity works, which is the role of a theory. There are many theories that attempt to do this – including Newton’s own theory, Einstein’s general theory of relativity, and string theory – but these also break down under certain conditions. And there is another important point: not all theories and laws are perfect, and they don’t pretend to be. The scientific process is one of continuous refinement, where our understanding is honed closer to truth by each observation and experiment. Good science is directed by the realities of nature and not the preconceived conclusions of scientists.

The Theory of Evolution

Charles Darwin was an Anglican clergyman, and spent 5 years as the captain’s companion on The Beagle, which circumnavigated the globe and brought him through a tremendous variety of ecosystems. He spent much of his time collecting and cataloguing natural specimens, slowly discovering evidence for what he would eventually call natural selection. It was his collection from the Galápagos Islands that was the most defining.
There, he collected 13 distinct species of finches from the different islands in the archipelago. He observed that while all species maintained a clear similarity to each other and to the mainland American finches, each bird had traits specific to the conditions of its island – most strikingly, the birds had tremendously different beaks shapes that matched the food available on their respective islands.
Darwin noticed that in all species of animals (including humans), children are never identical to either of their parents. However, when individuals reproduce, each passes down some of its traits to the next generation; when individuals do not reproduce, their traits are not passed down.
In his finches, he noticed that beak shape drastically influenced the ability to reproduce, depending on what food was available. On islands where seeds were prevalent, powerful-jawed short-beaked finches were best able to survive and reproduce; on islands where cactus flowers were the primary food, long, thin-beaked finches were most successful. To describe this, he defined the word “fitness” to mean the success at passing down traits.
This definition of fitness is often confused, because it is used retrospectively and not predictively – that is, the individuals that reproduce are by definition the most fit, regardless of how “fit” they may seem in other situations. For example, the human disease sickle cell anemia is a recessive disorder that is fatal in those who have 2 copies of the defective gene. While the disease is rare in the global population, it is very common in much of Africa, where malaria is present. It turns out that the malarial parasite is unable to infect humans who have one copy of the defective gene; those that have 1 copy of the gene neither get malaria, nor sickle cell anemia. Even though the gene can be deadly, and may not initially seem to contribute towards fitness, these individuals are more successful at reproducing, and the gene is passed down. In malaria-infected areas, those with 1 sickle cell gene are the most fit; in other words, malaria naturally selects for the sickle cell gene.

The Mechanism of Evolution

In my experience, I have found that many Christians can accept the idea that small changes can occur within a species, such as color or beak shape, but reject the idea that a species can change so much that it becomes a different species. I hear statements like, “Sure, a wolf and dog may come from the same ancient species, but they’re still the same type. You don’t find a butterfly changing into an elephant!” And while they are right that butterflies don’t change into elephants, a general rejection of macroevolution (large scale evolution) almost always results from an insufficient understanding of biology.
Developmental biology is possibly the most compelling area of study with regard to evolution, as it actually describes the mechanisms that create large-scale changes. The appearance of limbs, stripes, and the eye are easier to explain than you might think!
It is commonly assumed that there are genes for each body part – that there is a specific set of genes that makes one finger, another set for arms, more for each tooth, and so on. This is actually not the case. In reality, the body reuses many of the same genes to create its incredible structure.
The human genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes – one from the mother, one from the father – that are made of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The exact same genome is contained in the nucleus of every cell of the body except blood cells, and contains all the genes required to create the entire body. Genes do nothing on their own but consist of a string of chemical letters – A, T, C, and G – that form a amazingly complex code. When a gene is expressed, this sequence is copied (or transcribed) onto messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) which uses the letters A, U, C, and G. The mRNA leaves the nucleus, and the code – which is arbitrary but identical in almost all living things, from bacteria to humans – is translated into a string of peptides by a ribosome. These peptide chains form the proteins that carry out all the functions of the body.
Even though these proteins are the literal building blocks of every body part, the genes which encode them make up only 1.5% of the human genome! Much of that other 98.5% is involved in regulating exactly when, where, and to what extent the genes are expressed. Parts of the genome that do this are called enhancer regions, and consist of many different, modular repeating sequences of DNA. Each of these sequences can bind to a specific transcription factor, which is a type of protein that, when bound to one of these sequences, either stimulates or represses expression of the sequence’s corresponding gene.
Because the enhancer regions of each gene contain these sequences in all sorts of combinations, the gene can be turned on and off in different cells, at different stages of development, depending on the concentrations of different transcription factors. This process sounds complicated at first, but is a remarkably simple way to organize the entire body!
This process is responsible for much of the swiftness and magnitude of evolution in complex creatures. If a mutation occurs in a gene itself, it’s likely to have detrimental effects in at least one of the places it is expressed. On the other hand, if a mutation occurs in the enhancer region, then what changes is when, where, and to what extent the still functional gene is expressed. In this way, different genes can easily be expressed in new places, without killing the organism. This process of gene reuse is called co-option, and is responsible for the quick emergence of new and vastly different traits.
Furthermore, chemical signals called morphogens govern which and how many transcription factors are produced and activated by a cell. Concentration gradients of these molecules form the different axes of the body – head to rear (anterior to posterior), front to back (ventral to dorsal), left to right, and from the body to limb extremity (proximal to distal). The combination and concentrations of morphogens outside the cell influence the transcription factors inside the cell, and ultimately direct what type of tissue that cell’s progeny will become.
This allows entire developmental processes to be “copied and pasted” and is responsible for enormous variation between closely related species, and even between members of the same species. For example, one single point mutation – the change of just one DNA letter to a different letter – in the enhancer region of a morphogen’s gene causes the condition polydactyly, where individuals have six fingers on each hand and foot. This occurs identically in mice and humans, and variations of this conditions exist in 1 of every 500 live human births.
Although Darwin had never heard of these precesses, and relied almost entirely on observation and comparative anatomy, his ideas have been supported again and again with each major biological advance. Most recently, the processes of development have shown just how easily and efficiently evolution can occur.

Big Questions

Interestingly, I’ve found that many of the questions evoked by an evolution-versus-scripture discussion are not evolution-centric at all, but issues with a Christian worldview. While the idea of evolution should require some reflection and the openness to worldview recalibration, truth should never be ignored for the sake of avoiding discomfort. I strongly believe that when understood in their proper contexts, the scientific theory of evolution and poetic narratives of Genesis are beautifully complementary.
Genesis chapter one describes our God as infinitely powerful, commanding light and life into existence! Chapter two expresses the intimate character of Yahweh, who delicately forms man from the clay, and breaths life into his nostrils. The natural world agrees: the dramatic nuclear processes of stars and incredible diversity of life declare God’s incomprehensible authority; the beautiful, intricate processes of development sing of His careful attention to detail. This idea is not foreign to scripture:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20, NIV, emphasis added)

Please PleASe PLEASE!!!!! Stop using Internet Explorer 6!!

Please PleASe PLEASE!!!!! Stop using Internet Explorer 6!!

Google doesn’t suggest hate

Google’s been quite a tenacious fighter of censorship, taking on the world’s largest government and openly (and maybe ironically?) keeping tabs on big brother with Transparency Report.

In a minor twist, it appears that, despite their anti-censorship commitment, they refuse to suggest hate – I don’t mean that they should be telling you to hate, or that they block “hateful” content (come to think of it, they might do that with safesearch, but I’m not sure). It’s just that they literally don’t give suggestions with the word “hate” in the query. Try it yourself: go to the google home page and type “I hate” and it stops spitting out suggestions. If you have Google Instant turned on, it won’t even show you any results for your query until you hit enter!

Is this good or bad? Well, I’ll tell you how it’s inconvenient: I sometimes use Google’s suggestions to find others’ opinions. Yes, yes, I know that’s what Google Trends is for, but the suggestions are sometimes more useful and funny. For example, try typing “lindsay lohan is a” into google and you’ll get a laugh. Type it into trends? Nada. So, early today, when I wanted to see if Los Angeles was on Google’s list of most commonly hated things, I was out of luck: “I hate ” and nothing.

Replacing 2004 F-150 window regulator.

Given that this problem claims the title of “Twelfth Most Common Complaint” on, I shouldn’t be too surprised that a window regulator from my 2004 F-150 (the thing that makes the window go up and down) broke with a loud “POP!!” and sent my window sliding into the door… twice. Yep: once for the driver’s window, and once for the driver’s side rear window (I have a crew cab). The first time this happened, I bought the part and had a Safelite Auto install it, but the second time, I did it all myself. Given the commonality of this problem, there’s a lot of good help on the internet, but it’s all spread out, and surprisingly hard to find. So, in the spirit of community, here’s a post of everything I learned in the process, and hopefully all the info you’ll need. Disclaimer: If you break something, it’s not my fault!


Buying the Part

[PHOTO HERE = broken part]

The part that breaks on these is a cheep plastic pulley. Unfortunately, this pulley is riveted directly to the unit, and cannot be purchased separately, so unless you are able to drill out the rivet, find a comparable part, and reattach it, you’ll have to purchase the whole unit. Also a bummer, nobody makes an aftermarket version of this part (you CAN find aftermarket regulators for 2004 F-150’s, but these are for Heritage/pre-2004 body style models). So, you’ll have to purchase from Ford. Lucky for me (and you), there exist some great folks at who will sell you any Ford OEM you can imagine at wholesale price. Use their site to find your part, or give them a call – they’re extremely knowledgeable and helpful, and will give you the part number right away. (I’m not posting my part numbers, just to avoid confusion: the parts differ depending on cab type and vehicle side, and I don’t want any of you ordering the wrong part.)

[PHOTO HERE = motor]

Motor or no motor? Well, [expand]

The Tools You Need

[WRITE = tools]


Here’s how you replace the regulator. It’s really easy to do, and could probably be finished in 20 minutes if you know what you’re doing, but I’d budget 1 or 2 hours for your first time. I only have pictures from my rear window replacement, but there are links to front window tutorials in the helpful links. Hint: if you are replacing the right rear window, just flip the images horizontally in an image editor.

Panel Screw Positions

To take off the rear door panel, remove 4 sets of screws and bolts, marked A, B, C, and D.

Panel Screw A

Getting to screw A requires popping off the trim that runs along the side of the window. Slide your trim removal tool or flat screw driver between the trim and door about 20% from each end, and pop up. Use your 6mm ratchet to remove the screw.

Panel Screws B

Use a flat head screw driver to pop out the small bolt cover behind the handle. This exposed two 8mm bolts which must be removed.

Panel Screw C

Use your trim removal too or wide flathead screw driver to pop off the control panel. Disconnect the control wires, and remove the now exposed 10mm bolt.

Panel Screws D

Use your 6mm socket to remove the two screws at the bottom of your door panel.

Remove Panel

Now remove the panel. Grab the handle and lift straight up. Make sure you clear the lock/unlock probe (circled), then lean back. The panel is still held on by the handle cable.

Remove Handle Cable

This image is looking from the top down, inbetween the door and door panel, which is tilted as in the previous picture. Use your fingers to pop out the white lug attached to the cable away from the panel, rotate toward the door, and lift the whole cable out. The panel is now completely detached.

Remove Plastic Liner

Carefully remove the plastic liner by gently pulling from one corner. Keep it from stretching by always gripping near to the door. The tar-like glue used to hold this on will stay tacky, and as long as you don't get it dirty, you will not need to use any additional glue when you put this back on.

Tape Window Up

Now is a good time to tape your window up. If your window fell into the door completely, push it up, and tape it in place. We will be removing the regulator, and if the glass is not secure, it could fall in and break.

Loosen Window Clamps

Locate and loosen the Torx screws on the clamps that attach the regulator to the window (shown outside the door at right). With the window up, they should be directly behind the oval holes pictured on the left.

Remove Window Regulator

Remove all 5, 10mm bolts attaching the regulator to the door frame. You may also need to disconnect the regulator from the frame shown in the green box. The old regulator I removed was attached as in the top right photo; the new regulator I installed used a black plastic trim pin (see bottom right) pushed through the metal. These keep the regulator cable out of the way of the moving window. Once this is disconnected, pull the regulator out, gently twisting it as needed.

Disconnect Regulator

Before the regulator can be fully removed, you must unplug it from the electrical system (left photo). The regulator cable might be stuck behind the speaker cable, as shown in middle picture. If it is, disconnect the speaker wire from the speaker, and finish pulling out the regulator.

Raise Window Clamps

You're halfway done! Now, insert the new regulator the same way you removed the old one. Secure it with the 5, 10mm bolts, and reconnect the speaker wire and black trim pin, if necessary. You may notice that the window clamps are not at the top, as they were on the old one. To fix this, connect both the regulator and door control panel to the electrical, as shown above. Turn on your car to accessory mode (ie, you don't need to start your engine), and hold the button that rolls up your window. Turn your car off, unplug the control panel, and tighten the now-raised window clamps onto the window using your Torx screwdriver.

Reinstall Liner and Panel

Put everything back together:

  • Reinstall the plastic liner, using your finger to press the glue back together.
  • Reattach the handle cable!
  • Place the panel back on, making sure to thread the lock probe through its hole.
  • Plug the control panel back in, and tighten all screws.
  • Celebrate! You just saved a lot of money, and learned something in the process!

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