Thursday, August 10, 2017

Project #1

Project #1 is actually project #2 if we are being honest.  But in the midst of #1 we engaged in #2 and just so happened to finish #2 first.  Thus, by default, and for the purpose of sequential blog writings, #2 became #1.  Then again, if we were being truly truthful, #1 is actually #2 and #2 is actually #3 because the real #1 is on hold until some parts that are on backorder come in. 

Either way, if you haven't figured it out by now, we finished a project!  Considering the multi-page list we've got going for things that need to be done and things that we want to get done, getting one done is pretty darn exciting.

So, what did we get done?  Got the passenger window working again!  It's only been about a year. 

First up... remove the door panel and regulator assembly.

Why so long before fixing the window? 

Well, we didn't really need it.  We have AC for when it is really hot and have these amazing little triangle windows that are famous in old vans and which provide so much more air than rolling down the big one that we typically just use those anyway. 

Why now? 

Extended time in FLA has brought about some new ideas for cooling down the interior of the van and we have finally decided to tint the windows.  To do that we've got to have a functioning window and will finally need to replace the window scrapers and run channels (project # - undetermined but the parts are on the way) which had dried up and cracked up long ago.

                                                          Fix me, please!

So, what was wrong with the window? 

In the type of set up that we have there are three plugs around the plastic gear.  They will break up and disintegrate over time which leaves the motor turning but the gear unable to crank the window.

How did we know what was wrong?

When we bought Annie the passenger window was not working.  We talked the guy down $100 thinking that we had to replace the whole assembly.  In the end, after some research, we came out $95 ahead.  A little research revealed that if the motor was still turning when you triggered the switch (which you can tell by putting your hand on it or just listening) but the window was not moving that it was most likely the plugs (which seven years ago cost $5). 

So, we've done this before which put us ahead in terms of knowledge.  One of the things were were very knowledgeable of was this...

                                       The infamous finger snapping spring!

Although we did not remember the whole procedure from seven years ago, the one thing we both remembered was this spring and its ability to take or severely damage your digits.

You can just see the regulator to the right of the spring.  Once you release the motor from its secured location that spring kicks into high gear and the arm will go flying and take whatever is in its path with it.

Last time we directly attacked the spring and removed it, etc. etc. which meant that then we had to try to wind it back up and put it back on.  This time, we decided to control it instead.

                                                       Meet... the enforcer!

The vice grips are a bit of overkill but when it comes to keeping your fingers overkill is not overrated.

We had seen a video online where a guy used only vice grips and it worked for him.  Our vice gripping strength is not as superior as his and we did not trust it to do the job alone.

    Next up, remove the three bolts that hold the motor / regulator in place.

But first, mark locations with a sharpie just in case your contraption doesn't hold and things move.

Try out your best Albert Einstein hairdo, hold your breath and control your nerves as you begin removing the motor / regulator.  Be ever ready for spontaneous spring salvation.

                             Celebrate, motor is free and all digits intact!

Remove the one small screw that holds the back plate on to reveal the internal mess.

You cannot say we didn't grease it well the last time we worked on it.  Unfortunately, all of that grease is loaded with bits and pieces of the disintegrated plugs so it all has to go.

  The larger of the pieces.  There should only be three plugs, not all of these pieces.

                    Darlene got creative with her part of the cleaning process.

                                                 A properly bent toothpick

    does the trick for getting under and behind that gear where little pieces hide.

                                       After the picking comes the flossing.

                                     Cleaned up and ready for re-assembly.

                      This is what the three plugs are supposed to look like.

And here they are held into place with a little grease on the bottom of each which makes for the easiest application since you have to flip this gear over to insert it back into the motor.

                                                         Grease the wheels!

                                                       Set it into place...

                                             and press for the final securing.

                                                      Grease the main gear.

                                               Reinstall motor / regulator...

            Hold your breath one more time as you release unit from the enforcer.

   Revel in your handy work and take it out to the van to test it before the final re-install.

If it works, reverse prior steps to put it back into the door and appreciate the success.

There you have it!  Our $8 (current going rate for the plugs) fix of a non-functioning window motor / regulator.