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Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

Like so many, my power windows work less than optimal.

One side goes up good and down terrible.

The other side barely goes up but comes down nice.

I will be replacing all the felt on the windows this winter and thought while I had the door panels off, see if I could improve the motors.

Has anyone run direct power to the motors or added a relay if that would help?

As always, thanks in advance,

Vin
 

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I've often thought about re-wiring the power windows using relays. Shouldn't be too hard - just need to get a RounTuit...

Another thing to consider is to go through the system and search for voltage drops. I suspect there isn't one common fault but rather a combination of smaller problems that add up to slow window operation.
 

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I have never owned a 115 series Alfa new enough to have power windows.

However, I do own a 1970 BMW 2800 CS (an "e9") with power windows. The factory wiring on the CS does not include relays, and these cars' window performance is typically anemic. Adding relays to those cars is a pretty standard modification. I've done it on mine, and it made quite a difference. The voltage drop through the switches and associated wiring was significant - I can't imagine improving the stock set-up to approach the performance that results from a direct power lead to the doors + relays in the doors that deliver power straight to the motor.

Here's a thread from the e9 discussion board that includes schematics and photos: Electric window relay upgrade - BMW E9 Coupe Discussion Forum
 

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If you disconnect the window motor wires at the connector closest to the motor and connect the battery directly to the motor side of the connector, does the window go up/down much faster than what is now normal, I.e. slow. By simply reversing the polarity during this test you will make the window go in the other direction. If it is faster then the issue is definitely related to the circuitry external to the door, that is the wiring and switches. If you do go the relay route you should consider using wire that is a larger gauge than what currently exists as a larger gauge wire will have less drop.

I had the same problem summer before last and during the winter it tried the above to find that the issue was external to the door. I considered installing a relay but instead cleaned all the connections and disassembled the window switch and cleaned the internal contacts. Once this was done the window did and still works better than 2 years ago but it was not as fast as when the battery was connected directly to the connector closest to the motor.

If you do go the relay route you will need a setup that changes the polarity of the voltage going to the window, this is what is actually done by the window switch in the console, window up has the polarity one way while down has it reversed.

If you would like some sort of schematic I can publish something.

Bob
 

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I suppose if the windows do greatly improve in speed by direct battery current to the winder motor (but using the door as ground), then those F Gadgets could work. However if windows are still slow with direct wiring, then they won't offer any improvement, as the problem probably lies elsewhere (the usual suspects being hard grease in window channels, stiff mechanism wheels, or bad connections to switch etc)
As I understand it, they seem to be electronic relays that offer a direct ground at the motor on the door frame itself, rather than ground running through the long wiring all the way back to the switch............they of course depend on the door offering a good earth (so ground is basically running thru the hinge pins, when door is open)
A further description of how they work here:
My Ferrari 348 - 348 Window Accelerator

Interesting...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you would like some sort of schematic I can publish something.
Bob
Bob,

I will take you up on your offer for the schematic.

I plan on using the same relay/inline fuse set up as used in the starter relay addition.

Thanks,

Vin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
However if windows are still slow with direct wiring, then they won't offer any improvement, as the problem probably lies elsewhere (the usual suspects being hard grease in window channels, stiff mechanism wheels, or bad connections to switch etc)
SS4,

Thanks for the read.

I have purchased all of the felts for the door, channels, scrapers, etc. and will be replacing those first to see if it makes a difference.

If that doesn't work, then I will be trying the direct power/relays.

I do think that adding the direct power will make a huge difference, but lets see.

Vin
 

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Hi Vin: Does the ambient air temperature make any difference in how fast that they go up and down? My passenger door worked fine above 70 degrees F but was sluggish or inoperable depending on how cold it was. I found the problem to be the grease in the winder mechanism. I took it apart, cleaned everything, and repacked it with silicone grease. Now it's so quick that I might be willing to race someone for their title based on window speed:)
 

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Vince, also have a look at window alignment - meaning how snuggly they rest in the closed position against the convertible top. My passenger window was much slower in the upward direction than the driver side . The felts were good, and some silicone spray on them helped very little. I finally watched the upward travel of that window and found the window vent track adjust too far inward, so the window would start to bind as it rose. I readjusted the track slightly outward and instantly saw about 50% improvement. I also no longer needed to slam that door for it to completely shut. But as you know... once step forward, two steps back. At that time, I never thought to check the snugness of the glass to the top, and now the glass is not quite snug enough to the roof- its a balancing act. Not saying this is your problem, but is something to look at as a possible contributing factor.
 

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I have purchased all of the felts for the door, channels, scrapers, etc. and will be replacing those first to see if it makes a difference.
Go ahead and replace all of the felt and associated seals. But be prepared for that to work against you - fresh felt is usually more snug (kind of like a new pair of shoes), while the old stuff is worn in.

spiderserie4 said:
a direct ground at the motor on the door frame itself, rather than ground running through the long wiring all the way back to the switch............they of course depend on the door offering a good earth (so ground is basically running thru the hinge pins, when door is open)
Oh yea, I forgot to add: On my BMW set-up, I ran a dedicated ground wire from the motor through the door jamb, to the frame.
 

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I have found all those sprays (silicon, WD, etc) tend to get sticky in very cold weather (in 90 degrees heat they work fine!), and pick up dirt which renders them useless after a short while.
What I use now is a Talcum spray that we get in Germany (Nigrin Talkum spray), it is basically like adding a fine talcum powder, except in spray form it stays where you have sprayed it to! It doesn't get sticky after time with dirt etc..and is a good rubber/felt lubricant........it is a bit like the powder you find in latex gloves, that allows your hand to slip in and out easily.
Maybe there is something similar in the States?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Good food for thought given. Larger guage wire for power.

Now for some thinking:

Where to draw the power from?

Where to ground?

Vin
 

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Hi Vin,

I'll draw up a schematic tomorrow. I have the original shop manual and will use the existing color coating when referring to the original wiring.

As for a good power source, you may want to consider connecting to the 12V that goes to the starter. Connecting to it should keep your 12V line relatively short with minimal line drop. When I talk about the 12V that goes to the starter I'm referring to the huge 00 gauge wire.

I'll also look at the car tomorrow because the ground return will be just as important.

Bob
 

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Hi Vin,

Attched is the schematic along with a basic theory of operation. I looked around at a number of auto parts stores and no one had DPDT relays however SPDT are pretty standard. With DPDT relays you'll only require 4 relays to do both sides, with SPDT relays you will need 8 to do both sides.

Princess Auto carried a fairly neat option in that it also had the socket and 6-8 inches of flying lead, the part number is 8402034.

The schematic is based on this relay with regards to the contact numbering but I believe it is fairly standard.

If you need any clarification just ask and I'll be glad to answer, I'm currently using your front suspension refurb thread, thanks.
 

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Wow!

Hello Robert,

Wow! That is great.

I am no wizard at electronics, so yes, I will be giving you a call to make sure I am reading your schematic correctly.

4 relays per side? 4? Really?

Vin
 

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Hi Vin,

Yes 4 per side if they are single pole double throw (SPDT), if you can find some double pole double throw (DPDT) you will only need 2 per side.

The issue is you need to switch polarity to both sides to the window motor.

DPDT relays do exist and relatively common. What you will probably find is that although 1 DPDT relay is equivalent to 2 SPDT, the price may be more than double.

If you find DPDT send me the part number and I'll update another version of the schematic with contact numbers for that specific relay.

Bob
 

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Hi Vin,

Your last question, are 4 relays really needed, caused me to think a little more and yes you can reduce the number of relays.

The attachment contains the updated schematic and Theory of Operation. Basically one of the control relays, RL2, was eliminated and RL1 location in the circuit has changed. I think this makes the modification a bit simpler and probably better.

Bob
 

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