Electric Window Conversion

Warrenpeace1970

Daily Driver
Has anybody here attempted to convert manual to electric windows? I have a parts car with the window motors and all the mechanisms in them, and I'm "electrical friendly" and can read a wiring schematic to install some wiring and necessary relays. I'm just curious how tough of a job it is to swap out the components in the doors.
 

JimD

Waiting for Godot...
Moderator
Which electric mechanism does your parts car have? The cable system that is laid out the basically the same way as the manual set up, or the "modern" central worm drive setup? It is probably easier to swap doors that it is to swap in the system. IIRC each set up has some internal door differences. Have you looked into any of the universal systems that basically apply a drive system to the manual systems handle gear?

There is a thread on this topic somewhere on Xweb. I will look for it if I have time, but you could search "conversion" and see what various conversion threads exist.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
I'll be curious to hear what you find out. I also have a set of doors with power windows, but the doors themselves are badly rusted and not worth using. So I'd have to remove the power window mechanisms and transplant them into good doors. Which I also have a set of, but with manual windows. Off hand I don't even recall which type of power window mechanisms they are.
 

bbrown

Bob Brown
Moderator
What year is your car?
It's possible that the wiring is already there and all you need to add are switches and the motor mechanisms.
Might be easiest to get doors that already have the electric window mechanisms installed. (suggestion)
 

Warrenpeace1970

Daily Driver
So, it turns out that the electric windows in the parts car are the more modern bosch worm-drive motors that don't use all of the cables like the older versions. I tested the motors and they both work great. Worst case scenario is that I will have to drill two holes in my doors for the mounting bolts, but everything else is going to be a straight conversion. I was able to find a universal system on amazon that has all of the wiring, switches and drive system for 51 bucks before I checked out the parts car, so I'm just going to use that wiring and the switches and the bosch motors out of the parts car. I'll take some pics and update the post when the parts come in and I get an afternoon to get things switched out. Also... the amazon system comes with some caps that will fill the hole in the door panel where the old regulator post comes through, but you can also use the new switch brackets and place them over the holes as an option. Below is the link for the universal system I bought, and also some automatic door lock actuators.

 
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Warrenpeace1970

Daily Driver
What year is your car?
It's possible that the wiring is already there and all you need to add are switches and the motor mechanisms.
Might be easiest to get doors that already have the electric window mechanisms installed. (suggestion)
Mine is an 80, and I'm pretty sure that the wiring isn't in place for electric windows. The reason this entire plan came to light is because the regulator on the passenger side is stripped where it comes through the door panel, and somebody had drilled the winder and the stud and put a roll pin in it. It makes for a real pain if you need to get into the door for any reason.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Worst case scenario is that I will have to drill two holes in my doors for the mounting bolts, but everything else is going to be a straight conversion.
That's good to hear. I think the power windows I have are the same type as you described (I'll have to dig them out to confirm). And I'd like to install them in a '79, which also has no wires for it. But as you say, the wiring and switches isn't difficult. So hopefully drilling a couple of holes is all that's needed. I vaguely recall something about this subject being discussed here in the past, and that sounds right from what little I remember.
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
By the way I've used the same type of power window conversion kit before. I'm referring to the type in the prior link, that connects onto the existing manual window winder shaft. They work but aren't the most robust solution. The drive gears are plastic and will wear out. Might depend on the particular installation; some windows are heavier and more difficult to lift than others. And if the car and/or windows aren't used much then that may not be an issue. But you certainly can't beat the cost compared to alternatives. I realize you will not be using the "power" portion of them in this case, but just wanted to relay my experience with them.
 

maz124s

True Classic
how hard is it to convert an early door with wiring mine is an 1982 with elec windows wiring, i do have 2 x spare late tupe bosch window regulators and window frame mount that i could use but assumed the mounting wouldnt work
 

Warrenpeace1970

Daily Driver
how hard is it to convert an early door with wiring mine is an 1982 with elec windows wiring, i do have 2 x spare late tupe bosch window regulators and window frame mount that i could use but assumed the mounting wouldnt work

I don't think it requires much. I will update this post when I get a chance to get mine installed next week, but at this point it appears that simply removing the old regulator, cables etc. and "POSSIBLY" drilling two mounting holes for the newer bosch system is about it. Again, I'll update next week with pictures.
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
When I did all the body work on mine, I also replaced both (87) doors with old model doors (no holes for side molding) I didn't have to modify the door to make them fit. Is this the type you are using? Those universal motor kits seem kinda shiesty - the load on them will be much higher, having to operate the manual winder gear, I would expect...

X19-Door00004.jpg


I did cut sections from the old doors to reinforce the mount areas, as the sheet metal can tear from the torque.

X19-Door00003.jpg
 

maz124s

True Classic
wow thats awesome, it actually seems easier than trying to replace my manual wire, might have to do the elctric conversion instead
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
wow thats awesome, it actually seems easier than trying to replace my manual wire, might have to do the elctric conversion instead

I think the larger issue would be attaching the regulator to the glass - pretty sure the window channel is quite different between the mechanism styles. I could be wrong, I didn't save the door glass from the '81 parts car I had (wire mechanism), so I personally cannot affirm this one way or the other. Hopefully someone else can verify
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
it actually seems easier than trying to replace my manual wire
Probably true. Although I've never needed to do it myself, I recall several threads over the years reporting major headaches dealing with manual winder replacement. The one that stands out in my mind had a picture of a "bird's nest" of cable when the windings on a new replacement mechanism let go and sprung out. Wish I had a link to that thread because it was a classic picture (the title was something like "how the hell do you fix this?").

EDIT: Found the thread I was thinking of:
 
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Dr.Jeff

True Classic
pretty sure the window channel is quite different between the mechanism styles
Are you referring to the channel at the bottom of the glass, where the window attaches to the lifting mechanism? I have not looked at them, but I believe the glass is the same for all versions so I imagine they can be swapped into another channel without too much difficulty (if that was what you were referring to). I've never tried so not sure, but I may be doing the conversion to power eventually so interested in learning the details.
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
Are you referring to the channel at the bottom of the glass, where the window attaches to the lifting mechanism? I have not looked at them, but I believe the glass is the same for all versions so I imagine they can be swapped into another channel without too much difficulty (if that was what you were referring to). I've never tried so not sure, but I may be doing the conversion to power eventually so interested in learning the details.

Yes, the channel that retains the glass, not the glass itself - that (besides clear/factory tint) is unlikely to have changed

MWB has listings - can't see them clearly on my phone
 

Dr.Jeff

True Classic
Looking at the MWB listings, it appears there is a difference between 74-85 and 86-88 models. In the description for the 74-85 it says "This unit can be used with manual or early-style power windows. Is not compatible with late-style power window regulators used from 86-88". And for the 86-88 it says "Used only with later Bosch-style power window regulators". And you can see they have different tabs at the bottom of the channel/rail:
watermark.jpg
mark.jpg

There is a slight discrepancy in the years. For the window listings (which include the lower channel/rail) it says 74-84 and 85-88. And the descriptions read like those noted above, but with the different years indicated. So the 84 and 85 year models may be either style? Just check to see what you have, but obviously the change follows the power window lift unit styles.

I'm guessing it wouldn't be too difficult to change the lower channel if needed. I believe they just push into the rubber retaining seal. Naturally you would need to correct channel to match the lift mechanism.
 

DanielForest

True Classic
Looking at the MWB listings, it appears there is a difference between 74-85 and 86-88 models. In the description for the 74-85 it says "This unit can be used with manual or early-style power windows. Is not compatible with late-style power window regulators used from 86-88". And for the 86-88 it says "Used only with later Bosch-style power window regulators". And you can see they have different tabs at the bottom of the channel/rail:
View attachment 33211View attachment 33212
There is a slight discrepancy in the years. For the window listings (which include the lower channel/rail) it says 74-84 and 85-88. And the descriptions read like those noted above, but with the different years indicated. So the 84 and 85 year models may be either style? Just check to see what you have, but obviously the change follows the power window lift unit styles.

I'm guessing it wouldn't be too difficult to change the lower channel if needed. I believe they just push into the rubber retaining seal. Naturally you would need to correct channel to match the lift mechanism.

You are correct Dr Jeff. I just checked my window channels from my 1985-88 electric windows for sale and they are the model in the right of your picture.

Those are the electric power window I have for sale.

I could include the window channels. They are still on the windows but I guess the shipping will be much more expensive if shipped with the windows.
 

lookforjoe

True Classic
You are correct Dr Jeff. I just checked my window channels from my 1985-88 electric windows for sale and they are the model in the right of your picture.

Those are the electric power window I have for sale.

I could include the window channels. They are still on the windows but I guess the shipping will be much more expensive if shipped with the windows.

Makes sense to include the channels, then it's essentially a conversion "kit", otherwise only useful to someone who already has the later style setup
 
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