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Adding Power Windows & Door Locks
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r39o
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Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 9689
Location: San Diego
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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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Joined: October 03, 2005
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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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cloudbaseracer
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Joined: September 29, 2005
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Location: Dalton, GA
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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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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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CurtisS
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Joined: March 01, 2006
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Location: Kingston, WA USA
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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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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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