Special Thanks to
LV-F-Body Association &
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I like to not think of this mod as the ultimate in laziness but rather something a hard working gadget guy might do! :-) I told a buddy of mine what I had done and his reply to me was "You went through all that work just so you could tap the button instead of hold it for 4 seconds???" I thought about it for a brief moment and with a smile on my face said "Yep." :-)
A year or so ago somebody mentioned on www.camaroz28.com how it would be "neat" if the passenger side window went down automatically like the driver side did. Well, I got thinking about it and looked at the schematics didn't think it would be that hard. I then priced the parts to do this and since they were relatively inexpensive, went ahead and ordered them. Now, a year later, I have finally got around to installing them. LOL!
What this page will do is describe how to make your passenger side window operate in like your driver side window in that, when you hold the button for about a half second then let go, the window will continue to lower until it either gets to the fully down position or the "up" direction is briefly pressed. This feature will be available from the passenger side switch as well ;-)
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to shoot me an email!
|The "brains" of this mod is nothing more than a factory replacement power window control module. This module does nothing more than handle the express down feature of the driver side. I decided to purchase an extra one and make it work for the passenger side. This is a solid state GM replacement module, part # 1218-2126. This part runs $23.94 at www.gmpartsdirect.com and is all that is needed to actually do this mod.|
|Above I mentioned how all that is actually needed was that module and that was true. However, to complete the mod and make it really cool, one must change out the button so it matches the driver side button with the "AUTO" label on it :-) The downside to this is GM doesn't sell just the switch covers. You must purchase the entire side driver switch assembly! While I admit purchasing this switch assembly may be considered a waste of money to some since all I'm using is the plastic cover, it was something I just had to do to finalize the mod ;) The part number for these switches is 1040-2838 and it only cost $6.57 so it isn't all that bad. LOL! Also, this is the part number for the Camaro... I'm not sure of the part number for the Firebird/Trans Am but I'm sure the cost would be comparable.|
|Ok... before I get into the details of just how to do
this, I've got to tell you what I went through to make this so easy for the rest of you :)
If you don't care to read the story, just skip to the next section!
This all seemed VERY easy at first glance because I have a factory service manual and could easily see how to hook this up. However, when I actually dug to start on this, there was a glaring discrepancy between my factory service manual and the module I had in my had. The factory service manual showed 4 wires going into the module on the "Power Windows" schematic. However, the module I was holding in my hand had 5 prongs on it which would plug into the factory 5 cavity socket! DOH! I looked everywhere in that factory service manual for an explanation of what that "mystery" prong could be but found nothing. I also found a sketched picture of this module and it showed 5 wires going into it!?!? Based on this, I wanted to figure out what got connected to the unknown prong. I figured the easiest way to do this would be to just find it in the car, put a meter on it, and see what it's for. Well, as you can see by the picture, I tore apart my entire car looking for this damn module and COULD NOT FIND IT! I even broke my top dash piece BAD trying to pull it off and see if it was somehow mounted near the firewall. I was searching the area behind the radio and behind the passenger side glove compartment to no avail because that is where the factory service manual shows it being located. Well, after about 20 minutes of hunting for this darn module, I gave up and was just going to hook up the 4 terminals/prongs I knew and see what happened. Heck, it's protected by fuses so why not :) Much to my delight (and confusion!) when I got done the thing worked even though nothing was connected to this mystery terminal. I didn't care... it worked... but I still wanted/needed an explanation. So, I emailed another camaroz28.com member (shoebox) who I knew had a factory service manual and asked him if he had any clue about this module. It just so happens in his digging around in his own car he remembered seeing this module under the DRIVER SIDE dash area. HUH!?!? Well, sure enough, that's where it is at. ARRGGHH!! Not only did Rob (shoebox) find this sucker for me he also took it apart and determined my mystery terminal led to NOTHING inside the module! LOL! Must be a standard module box and this terminal just isn't used for the express down board. Anyway, I was happy to hear the reason I couldn't figure out what went here was because nothing was supposed to go there! Again, many thanks to shoebox for saving me the trouble of researching this further. Be sure to check out his great site here: Rob's Home Page He also has a great power window motor change out guide which goes well with this mod :)
|Ok... now on to the good stuff!
The wiring for this mod will be done inside the passenger side door panel. I tried to find a place to hide the module by taking off just the plastic trim piece which goes around door handle but no luck... the entire door panel will need to be removed. Start off first by removing the power window/door lock switch panel and the trim piece around the door handle.
Sometimes you can just pull up the trim piece around the switches but this time my fingernails were strong enough so I ended up popping the piece out as shown in the last picture then reaching in from behind and pushing the switch assembly up to pop it out. Once you get this out, unplug the connectors.
|Here is a picture of the terminals on the module and how they are labeled. I'll refer to these later as terminal "A", "B", and so on.|
|This is a picture of the underside of the passenger side power window switch. If you look closely at this picture you will see each wire slot is labeled. I'll refer to these labels later as well.|
|At this point I realized I would have to remove the
entire door panel because the module was too big to place anywhere I could get to with
just these panels off. Note: This is why I told you to go ahead and remove the
three large screws above... these large screws are what hold the door panel firmly in
place against the door.
The first picture shows how you are going to have to remove the small light. Push in and twist to remove the light from its housing.
With the trim piece removed you are now ready to remove the door panel. These are not like many door panels which just have a ribbed plastic piece holding them in place. It is actually a hook which pulls the door panel tight to the door when installed. To remove the door panel, push in and up at the same time in various places on the door and you'll release these hooks. Take a look at the last picture here and it will give you an idea of what you have to do to release this hook.
|As you can see, there isn't a whole lot of room to stick this module. I decided to put it in the armrest :-) The bottom picture shows the cavity where I'll place the module.|
|Now we have to cut 4 wires to go from the module over
to the power window wires. This picture shows where the module will set so make the
wires long enough (plus a couple extra inches!) to go from the module to the bundle of
wires. I forgot to measure these otherwise I would have just told ya how long to cut
Since the window motor is fairly heavy duty and does draw a decent amount of amperage, you don't want to skimp on the wire here. Use 12 gauge stranded wire for these hookups. You should be able to get this wire at Radio Shack, Wal-Mart or an auto parts store. It's typically called "hook up" wire.
|Once you get your four wires cut, crimp on some
connectors and slide them on the terminals as shown. Notice how "B"
terminal is not used... this was the reason for my heartache as I described above :) Also,
you'll need to get the BLUE crimp on connectors exactly like I have. I had these
laying around so can't give you any part numbers. The reason you need these exact
connectors is due to the closeness of the terminals coming out of the module. It is
obviously very important that your connectors do NOT make contact with each other.
The connectors must be the same size as the terminals or it'll be too close and you'll
risk shorting something out.
If you have never crimped wires before, check out the little guide I have about crimping on my Alarm Install page at the bottom. Crimping Guide I'm sure you'll notice that for 12 gauge wire, BLUE colored connectors aren't recommended. Well, they don't make YELLOW connectors small enough (AFAIK) for this project so you'll just have to force the BLUE connectors on :)
|Ok... for those who don't want to mess around with
the connectors in the above paragraph or just want their install to be more
"professional looking" (even though nobody will ever see it. LOL!) you can use
this connector instead of the blue female spade style connectors I used above.
My bud Rob (shoebox) did a little research and sent me the following information:
You can use the ACDelco part number at any supplier that carries ACDelco parts. gmpartsdirect price was $13.86 and partsamerica.com was $20.99.
"The PartsAmerica.com Team includes Advance Auto Parts, Checker, Schuck's, Kragen and CSK Auto, Inc., some of the largest auto part retailers in the U.S."
|With all the wires connected to the module, you're
now ready to start making the connections to the factory wiring!
I used BLUE quick splice connectors as shown in the picture. These are actually the wrong ones. If you can find YELLOW crimps like this, use those instead. The BLUEs work but take a bit to get them on there. If you don't wish to purchase quick connectors like this, you can simply cut the wires and splice everything together using wire nuts.
For the first connection, you want to splice in with the wire located on terminal "A" of the module to the BLUE wire going to cavity "D" of the power window switch.
|The next connection will also be a splice. You
want to splice in with the wire located on terminal "C" of the module to the BROWN wire going to cavity "A" of the power window
switch. Look at the picture closely and you'll see there are two BROWN wires at the switch so make certain you splice into the one
at cavity "A"!!!
Go ahead now and CUT the BROWN wire going into cavity "C" of the power window switch in preparation for the next connections. Be sure to leave yourself enough distance away from the switch so you can easily work with this wire.
|Now you are ready to connect the final two wires off
Use YELLOW butt connectors are shown. Take the wire coming from terminal "E" of the module and with your butt connector, connect to the BROWN wire you just cut coming from cavity "C" of the power window switch.
Take the last wire from the module (should be for terminal "D") and using your butt connector, connect the wire to the BROWN wiring going into the wiring bundle inside the door.
|Your passenger side express down should work at this
point! Give it a shot and see if it works. If not, recheck all your
connections. This will also work from the passenger side switch :)
Once you have verified it actually works, tape up the connectors as shown. This really won't do much because they won't be anywhere near metal but it made me feel better so I went ahead and taped them up :)
|With everything working, button her back up! I
placed the module in the arm rest as shown in the picture. I just rested the bottom
of the panel on the bottom of the door and laid it in there. I haven't noticed it
"rattling" around in there at all but if you are concerned about this, wrap the
module in some foam or something to snug it up. Put the door panel back on in a
similar way that you took it off but in reverse. Make note of where these
"hooks" are as it will make it easier to ensure you have them lined back up
properly. You'll know the door panel is on correct when it is tight to the door in
all areas without the use of the screws.
Screw and snap everything back together and you're done! Unless, you got really carried away like I did and ordered the extra set of switches just so you could have the "AUTO" logo on the passenger side switch. If you did this, read on!
|On my car the driver side switch panel assembly was a
bit looser than on the passenger side and I was able to just pull it out without taking
anything else off as shown in the first picture.
Once off, you need to remove the two power window switches from the entire assembly. Use a screwdriver as shown and gently push down on the edges with the screw driver while pushing up from the bottom on the switch. The switches will pop out of the housing. The picture doesn't show this very good but just look at it closely and you'll see where you need to slightly pry it apart in order to "release" the switches.
With the switches out, now comes the hard part. I wanted to use the NEW switch assembly in my car so what I did was remove the passenger side switch cover on my new switch and remove the driver side switch cover on my old switch. I then placed my old driver side switch cover over the passenger side switch of my new switch assembly. This gave me, on my new set of switches, both covers with the "AUTO" labeling on them :)
It is kinda tricky to get these switch covers off. You'll need some patience and some very very small flat headed jewelers screw drivers. Use these very small screw drivers and gently pry the bottom portion of the switch "ears" out and over the tab on the switch. If you look closely at the switch you'll see what I'm talking about! Once you get your cover back on snap the switch back in place in the driver side switch assembly then snap the switch assembly back into the driver side door panel. You're done :)
Since the passenger side window will also express down from the passenger side switch, I'm going to buy another switch assembly so I can have the "AUTO" label on that switch as well... just haven't got around to ordering one of these yet :)
Time to go out and show off to your buds. You can really confuse them and tell them you bought a specially optioned F-Body with dual express down windows... a very rare option. LOL! :-)
This mod was done on a Camaro but should also work just fine on a Firebird/Trans Am. The part number for the switches will be different but the wiring should be the same.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me!