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BenWA's version of a power sliding rear window retrofit >>>

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by BenWA, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:09 PM
    #1
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    EDIT: this OP is pretty much obsolete. This mod has been significantly refined since the OP.


    For those of us double cab drivers, we all know how useless that rear sliding window is when we are busy driving down the highway. If you have arms that are 6 feet long then you can disregard this thread. ;)

    I came up with a way to make the rear sliding windows of our 2nd Gen Tacomas into powered sliders. I know there has been widespread interest in finding a good way to do this, and I know a few TW members have come up with their own ways (such as using a 12" stroke linear actuator) -- well here's my version.

    First, a vid to show how well it works:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQxzXTnUkOE

    With the seatbacks folded down so you can see the mechanism at work:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzMPcvDu2jE


    Disclaimer: The concept and procedure that I have outlined in this thread are considered experimental, and if you attempt to copy what I have done, serious damage to your truck or to the parts you buy for this project may occur. I cannot be held responsible for any damages that may occur to your truck or any other parts if you attempt to copy this mod, nor can I be responsible for any injury that you may incur, nor for blood, sweat, or tears that you may shed. Nor can I guarantee that this mod will end up working for you as it did for me. MODIFY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Moving on...


    My version utilizes a real power window regulator (motor, cables, etc) from a Honda.

    Here's what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    It consists of a 12V window motor, two cables with cable housings, a spool that winds the cable when the motor activates, an aluminum track, and a "trolly" that get's pulled by the cables and rides along the track (this gets mounted to the window glass).

    I got my regulator from a wreck yard for $20 out of a totaled 2006 Ridgeline. Unfortunately, I don't have a part number for the whole shebang (I only have a part # for the motor).

    The biggest challenge with this project is that the regulator from the Ridgeline is a bit too big -- it has 17" of stroke (our Tacoma's only need 12"), and the cables are too long and cumbersome to fit on the back wall of the cab. So some modification will be involved.


    This is basically what the setup looks like before I did any modification of the size -- NOTE that I don't have the passenger side storage bin in my truck, because of my custom sub box. If you have the storage bin, it will probably inhibit you from mounting a regulator motor. It's gonna be up to you as to how you want to deal with the bin.

    [​IMG]


    Essentially, there are 5 main steps involved in this project:

    1. Shorten the regulator's track and change the cable and cable housing lengths
    2. Mount the regulator motor to the back wall of the cab using a mounting plate
    3. Mount the trolly track to the bottom window frame
    4. Mount the trolly to the window glass
    5. Install a rocker switch in your dash and wire it all up


    This thread will probably make this whole task look like a major PITA -- but really I did it all inside 5-6 hours. Wasn't too bad at all. Easier than it probably looks.



    Here is the rocker switch I used -- it's a good quality 2-way switch and I got it for $10 from Gama electronics, it even has amber backlighting:

    [​IMG]

    This is what the switch looks like wired to a 9V battery, which I used to test the regulator. I used 1/4" quick connectors to plug the wires to the switch. The two loose-ended leads in the pic are the + and - that plug into the regulator motor:

    [​IMG]


    Okay, let's get to work.

    The regulator assembly came with a mounting bracket that is affixed to the motor with three bolts. I removed this bracket and discarded it (see first pic in thread).


    The first step is to disassemble the regulator motor/spool assmbly so that we can change the cable and track lengths.

    I used a flathead screwdriver to CAREFULLY pry the metal back off the spool compartment. There are fragile parts behind there so be careful!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This is what it looks like inside with the lid off. Theres a bunch of white grease in there:

    [​IMG]

    I gently pryed up the spool just enough to unravel the upper cable.

    [​IMG]


    And then just popped out the blue spring-loaded cylinder.

    [​IMG]

    Once the cable tension was relieved, I coud just unhook the cable end from the spool. Note that this is basically bicycle cable, so if you have experience working on bicycles, this will seem familiar to you.

    The only difference -- and it's a challenging difference -- is that the cables are fixed length with cable stops at each end. You'll see this in a minute...

    [​IMG]

    Once the cable tension was gone, I could just slip off the white end pieces of the trolly track...

    First on the left side:

    [​IMG]

    Then the right side:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (Continued)
     
  2. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:16 PM
    #2
    TidalWave

    TidalWave I have a shovel and no one will miss you...

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    Subd. Sounds pretty intense so far.
     
  3. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM
    #3
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Then I was able to slide the trolly off the track and unhook the cables from the trolly. Note the cable stops on the ends of the cables:

    [​IMG]


    Once I had everything un-done, I cut 5" off of the track using a metal cutting bandsaw, but you could also use a hacksaw with an old school miter box to keep the cut straight. Cutting the 5" changes the stroke lenght from 17" to 12", which is what is needed for the Tacoma's window.

    [​IMG]


    Next, I replaced the left hand cable housing with a new one that was about 5" longer than the original housing (about 5.5", actually, to account for the amount of cable that was lost to the cable stop replacement). I got the housing from my local bicycle shop. FYI, special housing cutters (pricey) are needed to cut the housing to length so I had the bike shop do this for me.

    To replace the housing, I had to clip off the cable stop on the end of the cable that sets into the trolly. I clipped the cable off as close to the stop as possible to minimize cable length change.

    [​IMG]

    Basically, the amount of track that I cut off was accomodated by the increase in the new cable housing length. I put the cable into the new housing and crimped on a new 1/16" cable stop that I got at the hardware store for 20 cents each.

    Crimp cable stop shown on right:
    [​IMG]
    You really should use the proper crimp tool to compress the stops, but I just used vice grips:

    [​IMG]


    NOW... let's pause to talk about something. Since we are dealing with fixed length cables, the cable housing, cable length, and location of where your new cable stop goes all have to be EXACT. I really had to think this whole process through carefully. The little springs around those blue cylinders on the spool assembly allow you a TINY bit of slop in fudging your cable housing length -- like 1/8" max. So you need to get the lengths of the cables and cable housings to jive with each other to within 1/8". I"m not going to get into too many details, but it was kind of a pain in the ass.

    ANYWAY, I replaced the right hand cable housing in a similar fashion: I clipped off the cable stop, swapped out the housing for a new length of housing that was 8" SHORTER than the original, and also clipped the cable by approximately the same length (accounting for the 1/2" that replacing the cable stop takes up on the cable length).

    After all that, I reassembled everything pretty much in the reverse order from which it came apart:


    OK, NEXT STEP.

    I made a mounting plate to mount the motor to the back wall of the cab using a 5" x 8" piece of 1/2" thick sheet PVC that I got from my local plastics supplier for $1.50. The motor assembly will get bolted to this and the plastic plate will get glued to the corrugated steel of the back wall of the cab.

    The motor assembly has three threaded holes in it that the original mounting plate got fastened to (the plate shown in the first pic that I discarded). I drilled these threads out so the holes are unthreaded.

    I then drilled three holes in my plastice mounting plate and put three T-nuts into the holes. I heated the T-nuts in the flame of my gas stove to get them good n hot so that they would melt themselves into the relatively brittle plastic a bit.

    [​IMG]


    Here's the modified regulator assembly with new cable housings and shortened track, all mounted to my plastic mounting plate.

    [​IMG]



    Now for another hurdle I had to overcome:

    The cable housings join the trolly track at a weird angle such that if you were to mount the track flush to your window frame, the cables would stick out forward too much... also the trolly itself would be at a weird angle relative to the window glass that it gets affixed to... you can kind of see what I mean here: The metal surface on the right of the assembly in the below pic is what gets mounted to the window frame:

    [​IMG]


    To compensate for these weird angles, I put a piece of aluminum edging that you use for linolium floors behind the track as a shim (got the edging at the hardware store fpr $5). I had to cut it to the same length as the track and drill mounting holes in the same location as the mounting holes on the track.

    THis is what the edging looks like -- it shims the trolly track so that the angles are less adverse:

    [​IMG]


    Finally, here's what the setup looks like mounted to the truck:

    [​IMG]

    I predrilled holes in the rubber window frame (there's actually sheet metal inside that rubber) and mounted the track with 1" long #10 sheet metal screws with washers. I glued the plastic mounting bracket to the back wall of the truck with UV6800 Industrial strength UV resistant adhesive.


    The shim I used pitches the track forward enough that the cable housings don't stick forward too much:

    [​IMG]


    To fasten the trolly to the window glass, I made a bracket out of a piece of the same aluminum linoleum floor edging that I used for the shim. I basically bent the aluminum at 100 degree angles on each end of the bracket exactly 12" apart from each other (the width of the window glass), then cut off the excess so that only 1/8" lips of aluminum were left at the ends (see pic). I glued on a small plate of 1/8" steel as a spacer, and then drilled and tapped two holes to accept 1/4" 20 thread per inch screws, which fasten the bracket to the trolly. This bracket then literally snaps in place onto the window glass and no glue is required to hold it onto the glass:

    [​IMG]


    Here it is painted black and installed:

    [​IMG]


    And the whole shebang all buttoned up behind my felt carpet ... you can't see any of it when the seatback is in the upright position:

    [​IMG]


    The aluminum bracket idea came about when my previous method for affixing the trolly to the glass with a plastic piece and glue failed. The aluminum bracket works perfectly. Also, since the bracket is painted black it can't bee seen through the tinted glass from the outside.


    And finally, the switch mounted on the dash under the 4wd selector:

    [​IMG]

    All in all, the project wasn't too bad at all. I figure since I did all the hard work in figuring it out, it should only take a reasonably handy DIY'er an afternoon to do, once all the parts are acquired.


    Estimated project cost:
    Power regulator assembly (1) -- $70
    Plastic motor mounting plate (1) -- $2
    T-nuts and mounting screws (3) -- $5
    New cable housings from bike shop (2) -- $5
    Crimp cable stops (2) -- $0.50
    Aluminum edging for shim and for mounting bracket (1) -- $6
    Screws and washers to mount trolly to bracket (2) -- $1
    Black spray paint -- $6
    Wire and wire connectors -- $15
    2-way rocker switch (1) -- $10
    Add-a-circut with 10A fuse (1) -- $7
    Industrial adhesive -- $8

    -----------------------------------------------------------
    Approximate parts & materials total -- $135-ish


    Feel free to post back with any questions about anything I did. :)


    EDIT: if you want to purchase a quick-install power window kit, see post #69 in this thread.
     
  4. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM
    #4
    Pope953

    Pope953 That's a fact Jack!

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    Looks good so far. When you get it done and all I would and am sure everyone else would love to see a video of it.
     
  5. Jun 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM
    #5
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'll def have a video of it.
     
  6. Jun 24, 2011 at 11:12 PM
    #6
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

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    :popcorn:

    Subbed :)
     
  7. Jun 24, 2011 at 11:14 PM
    #7
    Mr. Brown

    Mr. Brown Well-Known Member

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  8. Jun 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM
    #8
    kcrob1

    kcrob1 Choot It!

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    Subbed
     
  9. Jun 25, 2011 at 12:30 AM
    #9
    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

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    Hey, this reminds me, toyota is putting in power sliding windows standard on all 2012s. I Just read it on their site.




    ok j/k. Excellent creativity and original mod goin there for sure,
     
  10. Jun 25, 2011 at 1:00 AM
    #10
    THExBUSxDRIVER

    THExBUSxDRIVER Victory is reserved...

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    Not enough.
  11. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:14 AM
    #11
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It is when you are driving! :) At least in a double cab
     
  12. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:21 AM
    #12
    BenWA

    BenWA [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was impressed with the idea in that other thread, and I was gonna go that route ... but I actually ordered one of those linear actuators and when I tried it out it was ultra noisy and way too slow for my taste. So I returned it. It's still a great idea and I give rep to the OP of that idea, but I believe mine is quieter, quicker (I mean, the window slides quicker), closer to what you would see in a stock setup, and less expensive (if you can get the regulator in a junk yard like I did).

    It's really not as much work as this thread makes it seem. As a comparison, I thought the BHLM was WAY more difficult to do than this.
     
  13. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:22 AM
    #13
    Dark Knight

    Dark Knight Well-Known Member

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    I'm 6'2 and cant reach the back window in my double cab.

    Nice job dude.
     
  14. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:45 AM
    #14
    primer

    primer Well-Known Member

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    I can reach the window in my AC - but still like this idea a lot.

    sub'd
     
  15. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:52 AM
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    VooDoo

    VooDoo More Cowbell!

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    subbed
     
  16. Jun 25, 2011 at 12:03 PM
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    Uncle Cliffy

    Uncle Cliffy Well-Known Member

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  17. Jun 25, 2011 at 12:31 PM
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    Tacoyota

    Tacoyota senile member

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    Green shirts n popcorn never looked so good.Can't believe someone tried to threadjack with a window mod over that.
     
  18. Jun 25, 2011 at 10:59 PM
    #18
    Uncle Cliffy

    Uncle Cliffy Well-Known Member

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    But better than a smiley eh?
     
  19. Jun 25, 2011 at 11:32 PM
    #19
    phatdrew

    phatdrew Well-Known Member

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    thats some awesome creativity! nice work!
     
  20. Jun 26, 2011 at 8:27 AM
    #20
    RZRob

    RZRob Well-Known Member

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    So just curious, how vulnerable is it to break-ins, over stock? Also, not a huge fan of the part glued to the glass. I'm not sure it's discreet enough for my tastes, but I may be being harsh. Nice workmanship on your part. A true MacGyver.

    RZ Rob
     
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