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Old 04-25-2011, 10:59 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Default Manual to Power Window Conversion!

No one to my knowledge has made a write up of this exact project yet. As I'm almost finished doing the project myself here we go:

First off some NA miata's came with the power window wiring as part of the factory harness whether power windows were installed or not. Hopefully some members on here can help me update this list so as to get it perfect because i'm missing a lot of info on this and could be wrong.

95-97 Miata MX5

?90-94 Miata MX5

Since the majority of the wiring is pre-existing this is not a highly technical project, if you can mod your car in anyway you will be able to do this as well. This method is cheaper and imo easier than the power window kits available for the NA.

Parts Needed:
Power Window regulator (R+L)
Door Wiring Harness (R+L) *
Center Console Power Window Switch **
3x Power Window Switch Mounting Screws

*You can do this wiring yourself if you are comfortable with that but these harnesses make the job much much easier

**Hopefully before finishing this thread I will do an update on the Auto switch upgrade

Beware if you get these parts used most likely your power windows will be slower than cafeteria pickle racing which is why many member actually down-grade to manual windows, because often manual crank is faster.

One last note before we begin! If you are careful and do not break any of the parts you remove you can box them up and sell them as a great down-grade kit for some poor guy on here that is sick of his slow power windows!

Step 0: get a beer (or non-alcoholic drink for those that aren't legal)

Step 1:
Remove the center console. There are two screws on the side near the shifter, one under the cup holders in the center, and two in the rear glove box. Remove your shift ****. Carefully lift up your center console. Beware of the two levers for the trunk and gas cap so as to not rip the rubber gaskets that surround these levers. Once the console is lifted up you will quickly notice a wire attached to the underneath, it is the bulb that lights up the cup holder. Only one small screw holds it in place. After that you can fully remove the center console from the car. In front of the shifter you will see a large 6 pin connector lying very lonely and suspiciously plugged into the air.

The white connector above the shifter is the power window switch molex, the small black box connected to two wires below the shifter is the cup holder bulb housing.

<>I suggest using dielectric grease for all connectors. It's cheap and prevents corrosion which is especially important in the doors but this is a preference so I won't restate this step.

Step 2: With the center console removed you can unscrew the power window switch filler plate. It is only held in by two screws although there are three screw posts, hence the mounting screws on my parts list. Once this is removed install the power window switch with all three screws. The long pigtail that comes off the factory switch goes nicely along the underneath of the center console and clips in to the right of the shift boot using to large clips.

Step 3: Install the center console. Install the cup holder bulb housing. Plug in the power window switch. Place the center console in place being careful the wires are no in the way of the shifter and the trunk and gas lid levers go nicely into the rear glove box. Replace all five mounting screws and your shift ****.


oh yes the switch doesn't do anything...

Step 4: Remove your driver's side door panel. Behind every window crank in every car is the infamous evil window crank clip. Do not just yank off the window crank (you can sell it to some crank happy member on here!) I used a long flat head screw driver and a flashlight to locate the clip and push one end off, however there are better tools to use for the job, good luck. Once the clip has fallen on the ground and bounced away out of sight the crank handle will slide right off. Next remove the three screws holding on the arm rest. (This is how my door is configured if yours is different then figure it out yourself or post up and complain and I will be happy to edit this step) Last remove the door handle housing. Once this is all done gently go around the door and pop the panel off the door by pulling it towards you. This can very easily ruin your door cards if you are too rough because most miata doors have rain damage and the fiber board door card is very weak even after light rain damage. If you pull too hard or not from exactly where the clip is the fiber board backing will rip. If you have a brand new NA then you can be quite rough but i wouldn't suggest it, lol. Lastly and again gently lift up on the door panel sliding it parallel to the door window and the door will fall off into your loving arms. (during project store this away from water!!)

Step 5: Finish your drink and pat yourself on the back because now your hands get messy.

Step 6: Tear driver's side the door apart. Remove the speaker, manual crank, window, center window guide not in that order. Start with the easy part, remove your speaker. Typically three screws and two plugs on the rear of the speaker. Before disconnecting the wires take note of which color wire goes to the (-) and (+) leads on the speaker you will need this info later! Place the speaker someplace safe. Remove the window stops. If you look down from above the door you can see two black rubber brackets that stop the window from rolling up too far. (i'll try to get pictures of these before i finish) There is one bolt for each of the two stops. 10mm. Now remove the window. If you put the window crank handle back on(without the clip) you can lower the window roughly half way and access all three screws that mount the window glass to the metal mount. 10mm or phillips. The window glass does have a bit of weight to it so don't let it drop it can easily get scratched or broken. Wiggle out the glass and place it where no one will bump it or step on it, lol. Next remove the three nuts that hold the manual window crank to the door. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this either when I did it but the three nuts are located very close to the window crank post so if you can't find them you are too sober. The center window guide is last but the biggest pain. (others have done this in different order or method but i found this to be the best) This guide is the same one that had the window glass attached to it. There are two nuts on the underside of the door and two a few inches apart at the top of the door. 14mm. Once these are off pull really really hard, j/k take your time and get the post loose until you can get it clear of the door. You will not be able to remove it completely because it is still tied to the window crank. This part takes a little bit of intelligence. If you have worked with bicycle brakes it will seem very very similar. There are two cables that go around a pulley on the top and a guide on the bottom then latch together in the center. Disconnect the top one with the pulley first and then the bottom one. Be gentle with any and all plastic as these NA's are old and the plastic is very brittle (my 97 plastic broke on me even being careful). Then remove the bottom cable. Do not even think about removing or disconnecting the cables from the manual crank unless you are an idiot with the intelligence of God. (I will get pictures and a more thorough description of this process) Now the guide should be completely free of your car. If you got a guide rail with your new window regulator then compare the two to see which is in better shape/cleaner because they are identical and you will be disconnecting the regulator from the other rail anyway. You didn't forget about your manual crank did you? No you can't just leave it sitting in the bottom of your door, it's time to play operation and get it out. I had to stuff all the cables into the door and take mine toward the outer skin of the door to get around the guide rail that is in the way, but i'm curious if it would fit out the speaker hole...?

Step 7: Stretch a little, clear out all the spare parts, and gather up your regulator motor that has a neat little 'L' on it along with one door pigtail.

Step 8: Run the new pigtail. If you are a big person then you best take out your seat or else pay someone smaller to do this part(i'm not joking take out your seat if you have the time). I'm 5'8" 155lbs and been under many dashboards and i did not enjoy this. Under the dash on the outer wall you will see your fuse box.

Take it off. There are two screws holding it in place once they are removed it will slide out towards you and there is plenty of wire behind it so swing it up out of the way. Behind it you will find two very large mo-lex connectors wrapped in foam sort of stuffed into a hole in the wall. Pull these out and again there is enough wire to stuff them off to the side. Underneath you will see a third smaller connector that looks like the one on one end of your door pigtail! At this point you should see this:

Back outside in the door you will need to remove the clips holding your existing door pigtail to the side of the door. I believe there are are only two but be sure that the wire is free all the way up to the grommet where the wires leave the door. Back under the dash disconnect the white connector you found in the above picture and violently pull this out (unless you want to include it in the down-grade kit you are selling). This next part is frustrating. Remove the door grommet. If you have the time, energy, and ingenuity to force the new pigtail through the grommet without removing it then post it up here for all to see. There are four clips on each end of the grommet that hold it in place two small ones on top and bottom, two large on the sides. Looks like this after you get it out:

If you don't care then squeeze in the two side clips and force it out ruining the two small clips the grommet will hold just fine with only the bigger clips. For those more picky fight with it much longer and squeeze all four clips at the same time before pulling out the grommet. Repeat this process at the other end of the grommet. Take your new four wire pigtail and plug it into the connector under the dash, then fish it through the hole in the wall. With the wire hanging between the car the and the door work it through the grommet. The regulator plug come from the factory with a clip on the side to snap into a hole in the door, i removed this so that the plug will fit through the grommet in the door. (otherwise you will have to cut your new pigtail in half and splice each wire, but if you do it that way you do not have to remove the door grommet....) With the wire through the grommet run the wire into the door and clip the grommet back into place on both the car and door side.

Step 9: test your regulator! not only for self satisfaction but also to be sure it works and you didn't get ripped off! (don't forget to pay the little person that did step 8) DO NOT do this if your regulator is not connected to a guide rail, the cables need to be under pressure and connected to the rail, if they are not you can 'unwind' the cables inside the regulator ruining it! Simply plug you regulator into the plug turn you key to the 'On' position and hit the switch in the center console.

Step 10:smile then rebuild your door. Re assembly is almost identical just do everything backwards. Refer to step 6 and then step 5 for details. Disconnect the bicycle brake cables from the guide rail and put your power window regulator into the door. Pull the regulator cables up through the top of the door and reconnect them to the guide rail. Do the bottom cable with the guide first then the top cable with the pulley second. Now drop the window guide rail into the door. Bolt the power window regulator to the door. The regulator uses different holes from the manual crank as shown in the following picture. I did a small mod here by making plastic washers to place between the regulator bolts and the door metal so as to reduce the echoing motor noise through the metal (i don't think it made a difference, lol)
my home made cat litter box washers:

new motor mount holes:

Put the guide rail back in place and bolt it down. It is important you bolt it down in the same place it was before because if the window is out of alignment it will make the window regulator struggle needlessly as it fights against the rails. After the guide rail is snug test your motor again before putting in the glass to be sure everything works properly. Before you re-install the glass make sure all cables/wires are back into their original clips (ziptie them if you broke the clips) because they will get in the way of the window going up and down. Now reattach you window glass. Last install the window stops and test you window. If your window does not roll up well (assuming you tested the motor before putting it in) you may have to go back and adjust the guide rail and window glass mount. Put the rest of your door back together.

p.s. you may notice you now have a hole in your door card where the window crank was, you can buy plugs on ebay or rewrap your door card revlimiter has a great thread on this in his project thread here. This is the route i plan on taking but one step at a time.

Step 11: tear the pass door apart refer to step 5 for this it's all the same.

Step 12: Take out the guts of the door. Step 6.

Step 13: Run the pass door pigtail. You are going too fast and until i finish step 13 and have time to explain you will have to wait. But it involves removing the bottom half of the heater blower assembly and running the door pigtail just like step 8.

Step 14: Test pass regulator: Step 9.

Step 15: Put the pass regulator in: Step 10.

Step 16: Put the door back together Step 5 backwards.

Enjoy your new power windows!!
If you have criticisms/suggestions post up and i'll edit or add to my post.
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