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Adding Power Windows & Door Locks
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cloudbaseracer
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 7:29 am    Post subject: Adding Power Windows & Door Locks Reply with quote

My '90 Westy does not have power windows or door locks at this time. I would love to have them, especially the power door locks with a keyless entry system. I hve thought about trying to scrounge/purchase used parts to do a retrofit to OG (there's that slang- Original German). My business partner has a business in high end audio as well as car audio sales/installation. He says he can put in a nice system from a company called Spal http://www.spal-usa.com/. Of course with us in business together the price would be right - pretty much his cost. I am inclined to think that 2006 technology is superior in almost everyway to mid-late 80's technology/motors/switches etc. For the power windows they would supply a cap over the hole where the crank now inserts into the door panel and would have to cut a new opening for the switch. This does not seem to be a big deal to me. I could of course try and find two panels from a vehicle with power windows and avoid that little cap.

So, my questions:

What are your general thoughts on this?

Is the technology from an industry leader in retrofits better that the original german (OG) of 17 years ago?

What would need to be done to get power to the side slider and the rear hatch especially? Are there wires already there in existence? I know that power locks were an option.


Thanks guys for all your help. I really do enjoy this forum.

James

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CurtisS
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know my 1990 Westy MV has the power lock assemblies already in place (for the driver and passenger doors) but they are not wired and there is no switch. All that would need to be done is to get some power to the doors and run it through a switch. Finding a suitable switch that looks good would probably be the tricky part. I haven't investigated the sliding or rear door locks yet.

As for windows, the power window regulator and motor are pretty straight forward to install (I have replaced the drivers side reg before). I imagine the mounting holes and such are already there. What I don't know is if the mount to the glass is the same. You would also need to get power to the door and run it through a switch. I do know that the power window parts are expensive. Shop around.
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weinerwagen
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bet you will find the wiring is already installed. Get the window lifts and the mirror with the switches should be an easy swap
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cloudbaseracer
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CurtisS,

So your van alredy has the motors? Why would they do this but not provide the power to them? That just seems like a simple thing to do when new at the factory.

James
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been contemplating putting the power locks in mine so I could have an alarm and unlock everything remotely. The OG system is fine, but needs a bunch of small gridley pieces. There are brackets required for each door, and a special metal rod to connect to the lock. The read hatch lock is different for power locks and also needs a bracket. The slider needs the contact plate. It is two plastic plates with brass fingers to make the contacts.

I think I'm going to get the aftermarket version. The kits come with all the parts you need to adapt them to virtually any door configuaration. They are also eaiser to interface with a cental remote system. Most of the kits I've seen come with a cental remote, and run about $90. One OG door lock actuator runs about $50 on Samba or Ebay, and is garenteed to be 20 years old and come with no hardware. With a kit, all you need to source is the contact plate ($10 on eBay) and the rear lock.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My $100 89 running (leaking water) parts van has power windows and locks. I have looked at retrofitting my 85 with them. The early vans are a particular PITA because the do not have the holes and some of the moutning points installed. The right door is the biggest pain. It needs a welded in bracket that could be made and riveted in. You also need the contact block in the B pilar. I am lucky because I used the rear hatch and right door from the 89 when we fixed up the body work on my 85 Westy. But, now the real hard part. The early vans do not have the holes for the big harnesses. Recall these cars are before any sort of automotive bus systems. So there are lots of wires. I have thought of a relay board for the front doors with a PIC (microchip.com) processor. Maybe with a CAN bus or some simple ad hoc serial control connection. There are a LOT of wires to run for the power mirrors, locks and windows. I have the parts and still do not want to install them all. Plus for the rear locks you need to run the harnesses under the or in the bus to activate them. Some year I may put a MegaSquirt FI system in and the new second version has a CAN bus. But, I am musing at this point because there are so many other more important projects to complete.

I have had aftermarket lock actuators in other cars. They fail. Most of the time they are made just too cheap. Don't know what to say about that. On my hot rod A1 GTi I added a solenoid to activate the rear hatch unlatch and it has worked flawlessly for approaching 15 years. But that is the acception. I do not know how many times I have had to replace those cheesy aftermarket lock actuators.

So any method you choose will provide a set of issues to deal with.
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Dogpilot
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I agree that many of those kits are cheesey. However, you can buy several kits for the price of an OG set of well aged actuators. You can pay the extra $20 and get the swiss made kit.
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beteljuze
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did some research on this cause I wanted to put power windows in my 88 Westy.There are two types.The less expensive(read cheaper)ones are just a motor with a cable system that turns your window crank.These are easy to install because the unit can mount anywhere in the door as long as the one end fits over the cranker.These are all over Ebay.So if your windows are hard to crank with the handle,I would imagine the motor's gonna have a hard time,till it burns out.The better ones replace the window regulator with a new one that has a motor fitted to it.This would be much like the original system.Of couse its more coin,and harder to install,because now you must take every thing out and replace it with this.
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CurtisS
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloudbaseracer wrote:
CurtisS,

So your van alredy has the motors? Why would they do this but not provide the power to them? That just seems like a simple thing to do when new at the factory.

James


My van already has power windows. I was commenting that a van with manual cranks may already has the mounting points for power windows in place.
My van does have the power locks assemblies (the part where you pull/push the lock) but they are not wired to work.
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cloudbaseracer
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

beteljuze,

Where do I get these "better ones" that you are talking about? Do you have brand/company names and model number?

DogPilot,

What is this Swiss company you are talking about? Do you think the Spal company makes the "chessy" ones?

Thanks,

James
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloudbaseracer wrote:
beteljuze,

Where do I get these "better ones" that you are talking about? Do you have brand/company names and model number?

DogPilot,

What is this Swiss company you are talking about? Do you think the Spal company makes the "chessy" ones?

Thanks,

James


Bump.
Currently no power locks in our van. Any advice/update on a good quality after market kit?
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done power mirror, power window and power lock retrofitting on many vans.
You will need the bulkhead subharnesses, door harnesses and front to back harnesses. Vans without these options stock do not have any of the subharnesses installed.
All power door lock actuators are held in place by brackets. Easy retro, just drill holes and rivet in place.
The hardest part of the retro is getting the front to back subharness out of the donor and into the retro van. GLs and Carats have the wiring up in the roof section and it gets routed in and out of the unibody construction, so you can not just pull it out. The headliner should be cut out to gain access. I have not used a Westy as a donor, so I am not sure where all the stock wiring is as the roof section is different.

I have ALL wiring, relays, actuators, brackets, mirrors and window regulators available. I will only sell them as complete kits ready to install.
Your best bet is to buy a complete parts van with these items as I will not let these complete kits go for hundreds of dollars. Single pieces such as the window regulators are worth that alone.

If you are looking to have me retro your van I will discount the entire parts package as it will take a day and a half, minimum, of labor to install properly.

I can also make NEW harnesses from marine grade wiring that will out last your van. Your van must be sent to my shop for such upgrades and I will not sell the NEW harnesses outright.

Hope this helps.

dylan
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delta-vanagon
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To answer your question, yes new technologies, and parts would beat a 20+ year old system. If you want options you could look at the Hoffman Group, Autoloc website for neat toys that are available. http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

delta-vanagon wrote:
To answer your question, yes new technologies, and parts would beat a 20+ year old system. If you want options you could look at the Hoffman Group, Autoloc website for neat toys that are available. http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/


Anybody install this kit in their late model Westy?
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/doorlocksconfigure.lasso?step=universal4doorkit

I assume it would still require some OEM parts for the sliding door and rear hatch, and also the front door brackets, correct?
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erdonline
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: power locks Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:
delta-vanagon wrote:
To answer your question, yes new technologies, and parts would beat a 20+ year old system. If you want options you could look at the Hoffman Group, Autoloc website for neat toys that are available. http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/


Anybody install this kit in their late model Westy?
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/doorlocksconfigure.lasso?step=universal4doorkit

I assume it would still require some OEM parts for the sliding door and rear hatch, and also the front door brackets, correct?


I was in Princess Auto in Canada in August and saw a kit to add power locks to a vehicle. The parts, though not the brand, seem to to be identical to the kit referenced above. At the time I didn't think of what I'd do about the slider or the hatch, but I did shortly after I bought it. It will be easy to add them to the front doors, but as was mentioned, you'd need to have some original equipment for the hatch and slider. I don't think I'm going to bother to add it just for the front doors, so if anyone is interested, I'm selling the kit like the one refenced above. Contact me privately.

Ed
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singler3360 wrote:
delta-vanagon wrote:
To answer your question, yes new technologies, and parts would beat a 20+ year old system. If you want options you could look at the Hoffman Group, Autoloc website for neat toys that are available. http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/


Anybody install this kit in their late model Westy?
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/doorlocksconfigure.lasso?step=universal4doorkit

I assume it would still require some OEM parts for the sliding door and rear hatch, and also the front door brackets, correct?


I may have jumped the gun on the kit. Following their vehicle selection pull-downs for a '91 vanagon, the suggested kit is the one specifically for VW:
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/details.lasso?itemid=vwck

Under Accessories for this kit, there is a hatch add-on:
http://www.thehoffmangroup.com/autoloc/details.lasso?itemid=PT1000
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presslab
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stock brackets make for a clean install. I didn't use the stock actuators as most are broken and corroded and not worth the trouble. With regard to the rear hatch, if you want true lock/unlock capability (not just 'trunk release') you will need the OEM lock unit. The non-power slider lock can be made to work but it's tricky.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:
The stock brackets make for a clean install. I didn't use the stock actuators as most are broken and corroded and not worth the trouble. With regard to the rear hatch, if you want true lock/unlock capability (not just 'trunk release') you will need the OEM lock unit. The non-power slider lock can be made to work but it's tricky.


I have been able to make the rear function properly, but only with the power slider assembly. Make sure to ask for it when buying locksets.
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

insyncro wrote:
presslab wrote:
The stock brackets make for a clean install. I didn't use the stock actuators as most are broken and corroded and not worth the trouble. With regard to the rear hatch, if you want true lock/unlock capability (not just 'trunk release') you will need the OEM lock unit. The non-power slider lock can be made to work but it's tricky.


I have been able to make the rear function properly, but only with the power slider assembly. Make sure to ask for it when buying locksets.


InSyncro,
Do I understand correctly that you got the rear hatch to lock/unlock (as opposed to trunk release) with the slider door power lock contacts and/or assembly? Can you elaborate on this?
Thanks.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cloudbaseracer wrote:


DogPilot,

What is this Swiss company you are talking about? Do you think the Spal company makes the "chessy" ones?

Thanks,

James


Ancient thread, but no doubt DP was referring to MES kits. Highly recommended for the doorlocks, though I don't know anything about their window kits, which may not be MES stuff
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