66 Polara - Power Window Woes

knight_hwk

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Hi all, I'm new to the forum but have been reading threads over the past few months pertaining to minor things I've had to fix on my 66 Polara. sorry for the wall of text, but there is one issue that I have not been able to find any info on, at least anything that I could connect to my specific problem. Here's my problem:

The power windows don't work properly. Simple, right? I couldn't tell you because I have no idea what's wrong... I'm not a mechanic, engineer, or electrician.

All of the windows will move down about 5 inches before they slow down and eventually stop. Going back up is different, sometimes they just don't move at all. This summer, I rolled the passenger window all the way down and it wouldn't come back up no matter what I did. However, the next time I started it (only a few days later) it was able to push itself all the way back up. The thing is, this problem affects all 4 windows.

This leads me to a few questions. Can a bad motor or window regulator have an effect on the other windows in the car? Is it reasonable to assume that they all went bad at the same time? Could it be something wrong with a circuit breaker?

My FSM doesn't have any valuable information about the power windows, nor do the wiring diagrams show the window circuit breaker. I read a post a while back about the breaker being the same for the top, windows, and seat. I haven't noticed any problems with the top but the power seat won't move forward; only back, up, and down. It seems like it wouldn't be connected to the same breaker if they aren't all having similar issues.

One last bit of info is that the ammeter needle will go up when I hit the window switches rather than down like every other accessory. I don't think that they could be wired incorrectly as the wiring hasn't been touched since I got the car in 2015 and the windows only stopped working this year.

There was a problem with the voltage regulator. The battery was showing higher voltage output than it should have and the ammeter was hanging more towards the C than the middle, there was also some flickering of the interior lights and dash. So I replaced that and now it sits right in the middle and no longer has those problems. But, it didn't fix the windows. That's pretty much everything pertaining to the situation.

This post ended up much longer than I expected so I'll add some pictures to make up for the great wall of text. :D

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She's a Convertible 500 with a 440 and she's never left Big Sky Country. I inherited it from my uncle after he passed away. He loved this car and I want to take proper care of it in his stead.
 

Xenon

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Motors need to be removed and gone thru..
NOT a job you can do as you can actually chop off a finger if you are not careful..
Find a COMPETENT shop you can trust do do this for you as from your own admission,,,
""I'm not a mechanic, engineer, or electrician."" ................

Do not replace the motors with new one,, have yours re-done...
 

LocuMob

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Nice car, and thanks for the pictures.

Do what @Xenon said, and find a good shop to rebuild the window motors. There are threads on the site that cover the removal of the regulators, and they can be dangerous if they aren't taken out correctly.

Good luck!
 

knight_hwk

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Motors need to be removed and gone thru..
NOT a job you can do as you can actually chop off a finger if you are not careful..
Find a COMPETENT shop you can trust do do this for you as from your own admission,,,
""I'm not a mechanic, engineer, or electrician."" ................

Do not replace the motors with new one,, have yours re-done...

I definitely wouldn't mess with the motors or regulators myself, I know a couple mechanics that would be able to handle that. I'm trying to determine if the motors are in fact the problem before shelling out that kind of money for labor and parts if they aren't the cause. Would all 4 motors go at the same time or can one motor cause the others to stop working as well?
 

LocuMob

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My Monaco has three that work, poorly, and one that doesn't do anything. I haven't done more than check, but they are over fifty years old, and I imagine never been touched.

If you're worked until a year ago, they may just need a little love, and rebuilds Ng them never hurts.

You could have the mechanic verify the switch(es) work correctly. There a member how rebuild them, I can't recall his name at the moment. If the switches check out good, motors are next.
 

Xenon

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with age the get goop on armature and brushes do not make real good contact..
Additionally the bearing on the lower side a lot of times get corrosion so should be cleaned and freed...
The "gear box" grease also get rather solid with age and gears should be thoroughly cleaned and new grease...
 

Davea Lux

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One thing that could affect all 4 windows is a bad ground. Just for the heck of it, take your jumper cables and hook one end to a good ground on the vehicle body and the other to the negative post on the battery. If you have a bad ground strap to the body, this test will eliminate a bad ground as a cause of motors failing to operate.
You could also have a bunch of algae crud in your window tracks, this keeps the glass from moving freely in the channels. Usually this happens on a car that has been stored outside extensively. Sometimes you can fix this by spraying the channels with a can of spray silicone lubricant. Use the silicone stuff as it does not harm the rubber in the channels.

Dave
 

413

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Yes they need cleaned and lubricated, regulators and motors, Take apart the motors, clean the armature and brushes, clean out bearings and bushings and new grease. Clean and Lube regulators. Every moving part. The car is 56 years old now.

@Devinism rebuilds the switches if they are in need.
 

knight_hwk

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My Monaco has three that work, poorly, and one that doesn't do anything. I haven't done more than check, but they are over fifty years old, and I imagine never been touched.

If you're worked until a year ago, they may just need a little love, and rebuilds Ng them never hurts.

You could have the mechanic verify the switch(es) work correctly. There a member how rebuild them, I can't recall his name at the moment. If the switches check out good, motors are next.

I don't think that it would be the switches since they still move up and down a little (albeit reluctantly). I'll still probably see if someone can take a look at them.
 

knight_hwk

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One thing that could affect all 4 windows is a bad ground. Just for the heck of it, take your jumper cables and hook one end to a good ground on the vehicle body and the other to the negative post on the battery. If you have a bad ground strap to the body, this test will eliminate a bad ground as a cause of motors failing to operate.
You could also have a bunch of algae crud in your window tracks, this keeps the glass from moving freely in the channels. Usually this happens on a car that has been stored outside extensively. Sometimes you can fix this by spraying the channels with a can of spray silicone lubricant. Use the silicone stuff as it does not harm the rubber in the channels.

Dave

I'll look into the grounding, some of the wiring does look a bit aged in the engine bay (not so much in under the dash) so it can't hurt to check it out.

As for the window crud, the car has been stored inside in a garage for the past 15-20 years, if not more. I guess it can't hurt to try some silicone lubricant anyways though (can it?) so I'll give that a shot as well.
 

knight_hwk

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Yes they need cleaned and lubricated, regulators and motors, Take apart the motors, clean the armature and brushes, clean out bearings and bushings and new grease. Clean and Lube regulators. Every moving part. The car is 56 years old now.

@Devinism rebuilds the switches if they are in need.

I have no doubt that they could do with a good cleaning and greasing or even a rebuild, but is it really that likely that all four motors would develop this problem at the same time? I find it hard to believe that all the windows would have the same problem at the same time but that it would be all due to the four separate motors. Stranger things have happened, but it still seems improbable.

Also, the car may be 55 going on 56, but there is no way to know what kind of work has been done in all that time. The motors could very well have been cleaned and lubricated at some point. My uncle was a mechanic but it's not like he kept a record of everything he did or didn't fix on the car over the decades he owned it, if he did then I'd sure like to find it.


Also, forgive me if I potentially come across like I am questioning anyone's knowledge or input with these questions. I am extremely grateful for everyone's help and am purely questioning the advice I'm given so that I can understand your reasoning and learn more about the nature of the problem. It's easy to take it to a shop and get work done, but I'd rather learn from you guys so I can eventually get to the point where I can have a better understanding of what I should be looking for when diagnosing stuff like this.
 

cbarge

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All suggestions are good.
I can share my experience if you like.
On the 66 300 that was in storage for 20 years or so the power windows did the same as yours.
I removed the door panels and cleaned all the wire connections and lubed the gears and tracks.
I operated each window until they moved freely before reinstalling the door panels.
As for the ammeter jumping up when using the windows that is to be expected and even more so with higher resistance from the motors.
If you has not done so already, I strongly recommend doing the underhood ammeter bypass.
Underhood Ammeter Bypass
If any of your motors need replacing, it is best and safest way to remove the regulator assmbly with the motor attached.
Use a bench vice or a few pairs of vise grips to clamp the regulator gear against the arm of the regulator. The spring is under great tension and if not done properly you can lose a finger or risk other injuries.
Otherwise seek pofessional help that are old car savvy.
Hope this helps!
20210831_100638.jpg
 

CBODY67

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Seems like the FSM is VERY emphatic about the regulator spring issue, IIRC. But might there be a guide hole that a bolt can be inserted into and lock-nutted as later models were? Just curious.

Back when the cars were new, power windows was something that not every car had, unlike modern times. About the only people who might work on them were the dealers who HAD to work on them, I suspect. Somewhat out of the realm of normal "mechanics" back then, who normally did brakes, shocks, ignitions, engines, and such. But usually, it took several years for any issues to surface, other than things which happened during the 1st year "body" warranty, not the 5yr/50K mile powertrain warranty.

When I got my '70 DH43N, it had power windows. That was in 1975, when power windows were becoming more popular and seemingly trouble-free in nature. The car had about 80K miles on it. The horn only worked until the rim blow switch cooked the horn relay, due to a problem with the rim blow "switch". The front power windows operated as expected, as they probably had been the most used ones. The lh rr window was similarly, but the rh rr window was slow and would need help to go up and down past the 1/2 point. Even with my punching the window switch and manually pulling it up, it was hard to move, up or down. Didn't force it down, but it would barely move up. I pulled the door trim panel off and used silicone lube on the tracks and white grease on the slides and the linkage. Nothing helped. So I just lived with it and it's still that way. Just the nature of the beast, so to speak.

Obviously, the lh frt window had been used quite a bit as that button on the main switch sagged a bit and had a looser action to it. When I got another switch, the orig had superceded into the 1974-style switch with convex buttons rather than the prior concave buttons. No change in the rh rr window's action, though.

I had read the FSM on the regulator removal and determined that was well past my capabilities and I also knew the local dealer's shop might have done a handfull of power window regulator issues over the past decades. Nor was I really "excited" about chasing electric circuits, back then. So, nothing was do. But I got more joy in how it drove and how the 383N responded to throttle input, not hesitating to put the speedo needle in the triple digits very easily . . . while making some glorious sounds doing it.

But convertibles are different in that all four windows need to be down with the top down and then up when the top is up and locked into place.

Keep us posted on your progress,
CBODY67
 

knight_hwk

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For today's update, I have some discoveries that have given me more questions.

First thing I did was get into the engine bay and check the ground connections. I hooked my multimeter up to the battery and it read 12.32v, the ground wire from the battery to the engine was 12.31v, the alternator ground was 12.33v, the starter relay was 12.31v, and another small ground wire at the back of the engine connected to the firewall was 12.33v. Seeing that these are all within .01 volts of the battery I would guess that the engine bay is grounded properly. However, I didn't get too deep into the dash or circuit breaker wiring yet so I will have to check those for any other grounding issues. Note: the FSM had a power seat troubleshooting section that said the battery should be at 12.6v. I didn't start the engine during or prior to these tests so I'm assuming that 12.3 should be fine since the battery might not be fully charged.

Upon entering the car, I did notice a strange occurrence that I am assuming is related to the electrical system. There is a "thunk" and the interior lights get slightly dim, and then shortly after there is another ,somewhat different, "thunk" and the light goes back to its original brightness. This went away after a few minutes but I thought it might be pertinent to the situation. Here is a video:




From there, I popped the master switch panel off of the door and checked that to a ground connection in the car. The reading I got from the main wire to the switch panel fluctuated between 11.88 and 11.92 volts. When I activated any of the switches, the current dropped to roughly 9.98-10.02 volts. I don't know if this is normal or if the voltage should have gone up or really what should happen when I activate the windows. I am assuming that there shouldn't be such a big disparity between the battery's 12.3v and the window's 11.9v but, again, that could be within normal operating range so if it's not then please feel free to chime in.

After messing around a bit, I headed back inside to continue researching possible causes or solutions unrelated to the motors themselves. This eventually led me to a video showing how to raise and lower a car window with the door panel removed. It involves hooking jumper cables to the battery and then attaching the other end to the positive and negative motor cables. I only attempted this on the driver's window but it moved the window all the way down and all the way back up. It wasn't very fast so I'd say that the regulator and motor could do with some new grease or a nice cleaning, but it still moved the window completely in both directions without getting stuck at all. I'll try and take a video of this when I get a chance, but by the time I did it today it was quite dark out and my garage has no power and therefore no lights.

Going off of this new information, is it possible that the problem is related to the switches themselves? Or could it be due to the power and ground connections coming from the master switch? Should I just try cleaning the contacts in the switch panel? Could the problem be that the motors are so gummed up that they need more voltage than they are currently being supplied in order to move?


All suggestions are good.
If you has not done so already, I strongly recommend doing the underhood ammeter bypass.
Underhood Ammeter Bypass
View attachment 496956

I am planning on addressing the ammeter sometime soon. I was thinking about either bypassing it or replacing it with a voltmeter like this or this. Now that I think about it... I might as well bypass it for now and then see if I can find a spare gauge to mess with before going at the one in there right now. I may not be an electrician, but I do have experience working with electronics so this shouldn't be too far out of my comfort zone.

Again, thank you all for your input and I'm sorry if my posts are a bit on the long side.
 

413

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A helpful tip: don’t run the power windows or the power top unless the car is running above idle speed so then you will have 14+ volts instead of the low voltage you have.

A law of electricity is when the voltage goes down the amperage goes up. So that is just harder on your motors and connections.

12.33 is low, next is to charge your battery.
 

knight_hwk

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A helpful tip: don’t run the power windows or the power top unless the car is running above idle speed so then you will have 14+ volts instead of the low voltage you have.

A law of electricity is when the voltage goes down the amperage goes up. So that is just harder on your motors and connections.

12.33 is low, next is to charge your battery.

Thank you for the tip, I'll be sure to try it while the engine is running next time.

I didn't really take ohm's law into account while I was fiddling around but I guess I really should have checked the amps on the window circuit and measured the resistance of the motors. Well, now I have something on my to-do list tomorrow.
 

Devinism

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All of the above add up to slow power windows.
Back when I had my shop (mostly MoPars) the window tracks / regulators / rollers / felt channels / window sweeps all needed a good cleaning, even on manual systems.
Clean off all of the old factory grease from the tracks (a big, messy job). WD40 will help if you can't get at them. Flood the regulator center pivot also. Once you've done that then you can apply white grease to the tracks, rollers and slides, and anywhere you can on the regulator.
The felt runners and window sweeps can get either graphite or silicone spray. Very time consuming and messy, but it almost always has to be done.
 

knight_hwk

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All of the above add up to slow power windows.
Back when I had my shop (mostly MoPars) the window tracks / regulators / rollers / felt channels / window sweeps all needed a good cleaning, even on manual systems.
Clean off all of the old factory grease from the tracks (a big, messy job). WD40 will help if you can't get at them. Flood the regulator center pivot also. Once you've done that then you can apply white grease to the tracks, rollers and slides, and anywhere you can on the regulator.
The felt runners and window sweeps can get either graphite or silicone spray. Very time consuming and messy, but it almost always has to be done.

Thank you for the insight. I went out and bought some silicone spray lubricant based on Dave's advice earlier in the thread and I have white lithium grease so I can give that a shot. I'll see how they move with just some lubricant before I commit to getting the panel off and grease everything up.


On the electrical side, I'm going to clean up the contacts where the wires meet the switch panel and see if that helps anything. If not, then I'll try hooking up some jumper wires from the power and ground wires that run to the circuit breaker. If that works, then maybe something in the switches needs cleaned or fixed. Otherwise, I'll then check the circuit breaker and the line that connects the breaker to the instrument panel.
 

detmatt

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I personally would not fuss with making them work again until everything has been dismantled, cleaned and freshly lubed. Forcing them to work without the proper lubrication is risky at best.
 

John Kirby

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Fire wall connection. A common culprit when voltage tanks inside the vehicle when a significant load is placed on the system (i.e. power windows). Disconnect the connectors under the hood and look at them carefully, any corrosion should be cleaned up. Discolored terminals are a clear indicator of a bad overheating connection. Replace these terminals. you can remove the spade side by pinching them with needle nose pliers. The firewall side needs a small jewelers screwdriver inserted into the small opening next to the terminal, twist it while gently pulling on the wire from the back side. Terminals can be found at delcity.net. Look for Packard 56 terminals. Other places have them too.

You can find bad connections by using a voltmeter. Using a common ground point, measure the voltage starting from the battery and work your way toward the motor/etc. Turn the load it on and off and look for a large voltage drop. You will know it when you see it. The fault lies between the normal small voltage drop and the large voltage drop. Make sure it isn't the engine ground strap, measure it's voltage drop too.
 
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