Thursday, January 3, 2008

Power Windows Install

So you saved yourself some money and got the ride without power windows. Good work. Now comes the best part: Installing them yourself! This tutorial should help you to install a universal power window kit in under two hours.

First things first. You need to find yourself a good kit. I recommend that you get one from either AutoDax ($90USD-2DR) Or AutoLoc ($180USD-2DR) These kits are highly recommended by DTz members. SimonTuffGuy uses the AutoDax kit in the 'Pimptiva' and says that it works great and customer service is top notch. Now the difference here is that AutoDax makes their own kit. AutoLoc sells the Collibri Universal Kit. I use this kit in my '03 Cavalier and absolutely love it. Not a single problem, although customer service does need a little work. All of the steps involved will be almost exactly the same for both kits. I have decided to try this kit, as it is much cheaper and seem to work just as well. Keep in mind that the overall step process will be exactly the same and that the way that the kits work is exactly the same. The basic principal of a universal power window kit is to attach a motor to the hand crank of the window, and have the motor turn the crank for you. In this tutorial I will be explaining the general process of this installation on one window, and the running of power, ground, and switches. To do four doors, the steps are

The first step is to set up for the install. You are going to need a few suggested tools. I suggest a Crank Removal tool, and also a Door Panel Removal tool. Both of these items can be purchased for less than $5USD at the auto parts store. I got myself a tool from AutoZone that has both tools in one for $5. There are many ?homebrew? ways to pop the widow crank off, and you could always just yank off the door panel, but I suggest that you pick up the tools. They will come in handy for future mods if you have to pull the doors again, and they keep things from getting messy. You will also need various items from the toolbox: Wire cutters/strippers, screwdrivers, etc. I also suggest a power drill with a metal bit.

After you get all the necessary tools, park your car on a level working surface. This will keep the doors open and not swinging. Then, roll the window all the way down. Remove the window crank. There is a little silver clip that you want to pop out. Next, remove the door panel. If there is any weather barrier (looks like heavy plastic wrap) remove this also. Now you have the door exposed and easy access to everything.

The first step is to find the correct adaptors for the crank. After removal of the crank, it will now look like a knob with gear cuttings. Included in your kit are many adaptors that will enable you to fit your motor to the crank. The appropriate gear will be listed in the instructions that come with your kit.

Next, mount the motor assembly. I found it easier to mount the motor to the crank first, and then swing the motor assembly into a good placement. The motor assembly must not be inside the door, as it will interfere with the window, but it must also fit inside the door panel once you replace it. Most vehicles were designed to have power windows so the motor generally swings right into a good spot. The first thing that you want to do is test-fit the motor assembly. Your kit will come with triangular mounting pieces. The larger end will fit to the motor with screws, and the smaller end will secure the motor in place when you screw it into the metal doorframe. I suggest that you attach one bracket to the motor, and then drill a pilot hole in the door, and screw the bracket into the door making sure that the motor is where you want it. It will be loose, as the motor will need much more support, but all we want to do is test it. Grab your door panel, and put it back into place on the door. Make sure that everything fits, and that the door isn?t bulging out because of the motor. Some cars will have Styrofoam inside for noise dampening and protection for side impact. I would that in my car I had to shave a little bit of this away to get the motor to fit just right, so that the door would not bulge out. If the door panel fits well and there are not any problems, remove the door panel and set it aside. Now we need to properly secure the motor assembly.

To permanently secure the motor assembly, attach more of the supplied bracket to the motor and attach them to the door. Again, you will have to drill pilot holes in the door before screwing into the door. After the motor side of the assembly is secured, you now want to secure the end that is attached to crank. The instructions will suggest that you secure this end the same way that you did the motor end. I found that the plastic adaptor gears kept wiggling with the window going up and down, and eventually wiggled all the way off. You can either attach this end in the same fashion, or as I did, go to the local hardware store and purchase some very small, 1 inch screws. (I will get the exact size and update soon). The crank end of the motor assembly will have open holes in it around the circumference of the unit. If you screw this down, through every hole using the screws you purchase, it will be much more secure and permanent. This will definitely keep the motor assembly in place and keep it from wiggling.

After you have completed the installation of the motor assembly in both doors, you will now need to run the switches. Universal Window kits use a 5-wire switch. Now you need to decide where to mount your switches. If you have a 3-switch kit, there will be 2 switches in the driver's door and one switch in the passenger?s door. If you only have a 2 switch set, both switches will be center mounted. Wiring for both types is the same process. I will be going over a 2-switch installation. The first step is to find an appropriate place to run the wires. In my Cavalier, I ran the wires under the center console and up under the dash. You will have three bundles of wires in this case. You will have 2 leads for each window, and a third bundle of the 12v power lead, and the ground. Run the wiring under the center console, and run one bundle under the passenger side dash, one bundle under the driver's side dash, and the 12v and ground to the driver?s side also (or wherever you have access through the firewall.)

Your doors will already have grommets and tubing to run the wires through. This will keep the wiring out of the weather and keep it from crimping and damage. Run the 2 lead bundles through this tube, and into the door on both the passenger and drivers side. Now, you need to connect your ground and 12v source. Your ground needs to be attached to the frame of the vehicle. I ran the wire through the firewall, loosened one of the bolts on the strut tower, slid it under and tightened. This is a pretty common place to ground to.

For the 12v power you have two options. You can either go straight to the battery or to the cars fuse box. If you have illuminated switches, I suggest going to the fuse box, or they will e lit up all night and day. This won't kill your battery, but it may attract someone to your car at night. The plus side of going straight to the battery is 1. It's much easier and quicker, 2. Your windows will work anytime. You won?t need you have the key turned on to roll them up or down. In my Cavalier I went directly into the car's fuse box. If your car didn't come with power windows you should have an open fuse connection. You will need to open and remove the entire fuse panel in order to gain full access to it. Remove the clip in the fuse opening, and crimp your wire into it. There should already have a 12v on the other side of the fuse there. This is great because it is a more professional and OEM style install. Your windows will work exactly as they would have come from the factory. You will need the key in the ignition and on in order to roll them up or down.

Now that you have power to the switches, Plug the wire bundles into the motor assemblies. (Green to green, blue to blue, black to black, red to red, etc, you will only have 2 wired per door, just make sure that you match up the wires correctly.) After everything is wired and plugged in, plug the switches into the wiring, and test it all out. You may find that he down button will roll the window up. If so you will have to flip the wires going to the motor to make it work accordingly.

That's it! You're done!

Now all you have to do is replace the door panels, permanently mount the switches in the door or center console, or however you like, and you're done!

This project should only take you about 2 hours. Keep in mind that this will depend on your knowledge about your vehicle, wiring, and if you choose to go into the fuse box. The installation is pretty straightforward. Mounting the switches and running the wires is up to you on how you want it to look. In my installation I wanted it to look as OEM as possible, and therefore the wiring into the fuse box, and mounting the switcher took me 2 hours alone.

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