Van window lift motor install????

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by texastami, Jul 30, 2004.

  1. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    My drivers side window lift motor has died... its a 1984 Chevy G-20; bought the new motor, got the door panel off, and was ready to get busy.... the mechanic called me about something with my other rig and in passing I told him I was getting ready to do this.... HE TOLD ME NOT TO ATTEMPT THIS... I would end up in the hospital due to a spring counterbalance that will cause injury.... Told me to bring it by next week and it will only take him about 2hours... but couldn't give me a price..... (last time my bill ended up being $800+ when he said this!!)

    Now, my question is.... is it really this hard, or he just looking to make some more $$ off me.... I am a fairly intelligent woman who can put in a starter, alternator, rewire radios and switches... Is he blowing smoke or should I just give up????

    If the motor so complicated, can I just put in manual window roll-ups???

    HELP!!! Dh isn't mechanical at all, so his answer is, let the mechanic do it... but I can't afford ANY MORE going to him if I can do this!!!
     
  2. Hogsubie

    Hogsubie Well-Known Member

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    Get a Chilton's or other manual for your vehicle and read how to do it and then make a decision on whether you can tackle it. Some lift systems might require a special tool to releive the spring pressure or for some other reason. Typically though, the motor is hard mounted with some kind shaft operating a some sort mechanism to lift the window. Again, read the manual and see if you can do it.

    As for changing over to a manual system, you'd probably spend more. You'd would have to change over the whole lifting mechanism, possibly change the door panel. I don't recommend it.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Look at the spade clip where the wire attaches to the switch, is it allright? Second, test the power supply before being sure the motor is dead.
     
  4. Herb.

    Herb. Well-Known Member

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    I have an 87 Ford pick-up that does the same thing (The motor won't run when the window is full up sometimes). What I do is pull the door panel and give the motor a good rap with a hammer, works so far. I think the brushes are about used up and will have to be changed someday. If I am careful when running the window up and not go all the way (Go up until I just can't see the top of the window) it will work good but once in awhile I forget to be careful. Brushes are not too difficult to replace. I get them from the vacume cleaner shop, if they don't have the right size I get the next bigger and with some sand paper and a block of wood sand them to size.
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Your mechanis is not blowing smoke. I have seen inexperienced people nearly lose a finger doing that job withou any knowledge of what they are doing. On the other hand it's not rocket science if you understand how it all works.
    The window regulator has an arm that lifts the window. Going down is easy on the motor as gravity helps. Going up due to leverage on the arm and the weight of the glass is another story. To help the motor there is a large clock spring that winds up going down and releases it's energy going up. No matter what position the spring has some tension on it.
    Now to replace the motor there are a few methods. The easiest is if you can leave everything assembled in the door and only remove the motor. If the regulator is completely connected to the door and the glass removal of the motor only poses no problem. In some vehicles you can see all of the bolts and all you have to do is remove the 3 bolts and replace the motor. If you cannot see all of the bolts try and visualize where they would be by looking at the new motor. On most vehicles there is a small indention in the door sheet metal where the bolts would be. Simply drill a hole large enough for your socket to fit thru and remove the bolts and replace the motor. If a large enough drill isn't available you can sometimes just cut or tear the sheet metal enough. Crude but effective.
    If this method fails or you can't get to the bolts there is another way. If you remove the complete regulator as an assy with the motor still attached you can seperate them on the bench and replace the motor. This is the lose your finger part where it's important to pay attention. After removing the reg. you can either remove the spring, not easy but I have done it many times, or clamp the regulator either in a vise or bolts and then remove the motor. I like spring removal as it can't hurt you once removed just make a diagram of how it's installed so you get it on right.
    It doesn't matter what position everything is in whaen the motor is installed so for ease of spring installation put arm in the up position and it's easier to install the spring.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    Well??? how did you make out?
     
  7. texastami

    texastami Zone 7B Supporter

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    We did it!!! Well, we called a mechanic friend who only charged us $20 (and a big plate of chocolate chip cookies) to come out to the house on Saturday and help..... He had really skinny little arms that could reach in there and unmount the motor and regulator... once it was out, we just clamped the regulator arm.... it wasn't rocket science!!! Took all of about 1 1/2 hours to totally change it out and put it all back together!! I am THRILLED!!! DH was his "helper".... I worked in the yard while they worked out there...

    I told DH that he was gonna be a mechanic yet!! :)

    Thanks to everyone for the advice.... after reading it, I know we made the right choice!!