Repair and Diagnosis of Problems with the Power Windows on Your Imperial


Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Electrical System ->Power Windows

If you are working on your Imperial's power windows, you many find our "Tips on Removing Door Panels from your Imperial"  and "How To Repair Your 1950s-Style Imperial Power Window Switches" helpful.

Also, if you need information on removing window glass, please check out the window repair page located in our "Body" repair section.

 Tip from John (1967):

I was working on my power windows on my 67 LeBaron this weekend and learned more than I had planned.  To start with, out of the 6 power windows, not a single one of them worked.  I could hear some of the motors spinning but nothing was happening.  The drivers window and front passenger window could be pulled up and pushed down by hand. Not very convenient.  I went to the local self service junkyard and pulled several motors from a 79 full size Chrysler.  The motors were easy to pull from the newer car due to they finally put access holes to the bolts. The numbers on the motors were identical to the ones already on my car.  They bolted up as a direct replacement for the defective ones. What had gone bad is the rubber disc on the old motors allowing them to slip. The new motors from the 79 Chrysler looks like it has changes to that rubber disc.  Hopefully the newer design is more reliable.  It is true as people have said, that extreme care must be taken when replacing the motors on these cars. The assist spring can give a very unpleasant surprise and maybe a trip to the hospital if one is not careful.  I was lucky on one door in that a previous owner had cut out access holes to get to the bolts to the motor.  This made the replacement of that motor a 15 minute proposition.

Tip from Kerry (1964 - 1966):

It IS possible to remove the motors on 64-66 WITHOUT taking out the regulator. Robert Soule showed me the trick when we fixed the windows in the '64. There are 3 bolts that hold the motors in place. Two are easy to see and get to (once the door panel is off). The third is pretty hidden behind the verticle channel. A modified 3/8 or 7/16 (forget which) open end wrench will allow you to back this screw out and remove the motor without removing the regulator. The modification is simply grinding it thinner so it will slip between the regulator arm and the channel. As it starts to back out it will push the regulator arm out and increase the opening size but will spring back when the motor is removed (not much spring). Installation takes some patience but can be done.

Tip from Jay:

I have never taken a power window motor (or any other electric motor) apart in my life, but I had a good experience with window motors last weekend and I want to share!

I had a couple of bad motors from our '62 (one front and one rear) just laying around the garage. One day a few months ago while my wife was driving the old girl, she had the passenger window motor fail (luckily in the full-up position). Last weekend, I threw caution to the wind and with nothing to loose, I opened both of my "bad spare" motors. After gawking at the crud and corrosion inside, I cleaned them out a little, cleaned the face of the brushes and the contacts on the, I want to say "commutator" (is that the right word), and put them back together.

Lo-and-behold! The darned things work again!

The trickiest part was spreading the brushes apart (they are spring-loaded) to get the "commutator" seated and put back together.

Addition from Bob:

There should be "caps" or something on each side of the motor where you can remove and reinstall brushes and springs.  Just be sure you orient the brushes so their worn ends match up with the curvature of the armature.

Tip and Warning about working on window motors:

Somebody ought to mention that you should never remove a power window motor without first clamping the regulator so that it CANNOT move. The regulator is the X shaped mechanism which raises and lowers the window. You can't really clamp the regulator while it's in the door, but that's OK because it's much easier to remove the motor when the motor and regulator are removed as an assembly. There are three basic parts in the door.

1. The window glass. The remove it, you'll have to take out all of the stops at the top of the door. There's probably two, one at the front, one at the rear. The window will have a small section of track attached to it. In the track/slot are the Nylon guides. These little "rollers" are part of the regulator. 

2. The window track/guides. These (2) parts run the vertical height of the door. One at the front, one at the rear. It'll help to loosen these, but you don't need to remove them. 

3. The regulator. Once you get the glass out, you can unbolt the reg. from the door and lift it out through the top. On one side will be the motor, on the other is a large clock spring. Three bolts hold the motor to the stamped pieces that make up the regulator. You'll want to hold the regulator in a vice so that neither of the arms can move (Perhaps one arm against the bench, one against the vice) Once they are secured, you can remove the motor. Keep them held in the vice until you re-install the motor. 

Now before you take anything apart, I would try to operate the window with a jumper wire at the motor connection. The connector will have a male and female end. Connect one to power and the other to ground, if you reverse the connections, the motor will run in the opposite direction. A little battery charger (around 10 amps) works good for this type of troubleshooting. If you take any of this stuff apart, remember where everything went and was adjusted. Write notes or take pictures if your new at this.

Follow-up from Gene:

Often it is necessary to remove the motor to replace the drive gear - especially the ones with the rubber coupling that disintegrates after time. When this happens the motor can be removed safely from the regulator without removing the regulator from the door - the weight of the window keeps the spring under control. Of course holes in the inside door panel are needed to make this a possibility. Recently someone on the IML suggested drilling holes in the inside door panel for this purpose - it works! The motor can then be taken out with little difficulty. I've just been doing this on my '75 4-door hard top. In fact on this car there are factory holes in the rear door panel giving access to the motor mounting screws - I only had to drill holes in the front door panels. Using the motor from the rear door, I made a template to locate the needed holes in the front door. After marking the hole locations, I used a small drill (1/8") to be sure I was drilling in the right place, and gradually enlarged the hole with drills to 1/2". Then I used a 5/8" dia, 1/8" thick mill slot cutter with a 1/4" shaft in an electric drill (crude but effective - its just what I happened to have handy - a rotary file should work equally well) to open up the holes (without leaving ugly jagged edges) to enable a socket wrench to reach the bolts.

Tip from Carmine:

I don't usually bother to go after window motors and such from an older junkyard car, since they are probably as bad as what I'm replacing. I'll go after something like the newest, (>1989) or lowest mileage/cleanest RWD Mopar I see, figuring my odds of getting working motors are better. The newer motors swap into older regulators, although they may require extending the wiring depending on application. 

If your motors spin, but windows don't move, it is likely that the window motor "gearbox" has crumbled into greasy nylon crumbs. However, the larger outer nylon gear appears to be made from a better grade of plastic and usually survives in good shape. 

There are three round, nylon discs that spin inside a the larger nylon gear and "push" the metal regulator drive gear. These usually crumble with age, and the gearbox strips. That was the case on two of the window motors in my '68. 

I fixed them for a grand total of forty-four cents and a trip to my local Home Depot. In the fasteners isle, they have drawers full of nylon spacers. I chose the 1/2" diameter by 1/4" tall package of spacers. This is just slightly taller than the last recognizable OEM disc. 

I cleaned out the gearbox and re-packed it with new lithium grease, using it to "stick" the discs inside the larger OEM nylon gear (triangle shaped depression). Then I slide the whole assembly back into the die cast housing/worm drive gear. The extra height of the Home Depot spacers did not prove a problem. BTW, Checker sells a rebuild kit for $20+. I'd bet it's the same thing as my 44-cent Home Depot spacers.

Follow-up from Ron:

Checker Auto Supply, part of the CSK Parts Group. Checker Auto, Shucks Auto, Kragen Auto

Tips on How to Rebuild your electric motor in less than 3 hours- by Chris

I had great success rebuilding the power window motors in my 67 Crown about 7 years ago. I honestly never expected them to be rebuildable and had already purchased replacements at a local Pick-A-Part, but when I removed the old motors I saw they were only screwed together. Removing the two long screws and looking out for flying brush springs upon disassembly revealed about what I expected: good windings and very worn brushes. Matching the brushes to a set of alternator brushes at my local NAPA store (the only guys who seem willing to make this effort) produced a good match, and all four windows go up and down with incredible speed (less than 5 seconds full-up or down) and smoothness. Of course, scraping all the petrified grease from the regulator mechanism helped, too, but the whole job (all four doors) took about three hours and has lasted without a problem so far for many years. 

More tips about repairing electrical motors:

One thing I found to be a great time and labor saver is to not remove the entire regulator-motor assembly. Drill 1/2 in. holes in the steel panel you see after removing the door trim panel, armrests, etc. There are three 3/8 bolts that hold the motor to the regulator - with a little care you can pretty much judge where they are behind the steel panel. Drill your holes as close as you can directly over the bolt heads. Then reach in with a socket and take the bolts out.

Do this with the window up, but not all the way so the motor won't be in a bind. Then, remove the 7/16 bolt that goes into the bracket that attaches to the bottom of the motor - no drilling required here it is about 4 in below the holes you made - right on the steel panel. Unplug the wiring connector inside the door.

The motor now should come off and out. Re-install is basically the reverse but don't put the lower bracket 7/16 bolt in until the top of the motor is in . be sure the gear teeth on the motor are in mesh with the teeth on the regulator before you install or tighten all of the top 3 bolts. Reach up and move the window up or down a little by hand to achieve mesh, or rock the motor back and forth - maybe a combination of both.

Anyway, you will know when it is ok. Hook up motor wire plug and temporarily hook up the window switch and try it out before putting the trim back on. Lube all of the regulator rollers and pivot points first with penetrating oil and then with white lube grease - both in spray cans w/extension tube nozzles. Some points are easier to get with the window up, and some with it down.

Start the engine while you do this as you have more voltage to run the motors that way. When you are satisfied with the way it works, put the door back together. Some people may not want to drill holes in their doors, but it saves a lot of hassle and once the holes are there, changing a motor is a quick job, and you won't throw your window glass adjustment off! The holes don't show anyway.

Chances are that if a motor was changed on your car in the past, it was done this way. Three of my doors were drilled already when I took them apart to repair the motors - now they all are! This worked well for me on my 68 Crown 4dr.HT.

Tip from Tom:

I had some of the motors on my '56 refurbished at a local shop that repairs electric tools. I supplied the wire because it was the braided variety and he didn't have any. It cost me $35 per motor to have them repaired.  The braided wire can be purchased from Rhode Island Wiring Harnesses, but you will have to purchase a whole spool... They advertise in Hemmings...This is their ad:

"Chrysler, Dodge, DeSoto, Plymouth, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC,  Pontiac, Olds. Highest quality, Exact reproductions, Correct color code & gauge,  Fire resistant braided or plastic wire (depending on originality) each wire identified, soldered connectors, 3 different catalogs representing a  total of 1, 300 models are available. Specify, American cars through 1939, American  cars 1940 through 1959, or foreign cars. Send $2. per catalog, refundable on  1st order to: 

Rhode Island Wiring Service

Box 3737H

Peace Dale, RI 02883,


Tips from Arran about problems with your power window motors:


For those Imperial owners who are having problems with their power window motors, I would suggest that you try to service them first since you would have to take them out to replace them anyways. Cleaning up the switches would also be a good idea. As for things that you should replace while the door panel is off I would run a new power cable and wiring into the door. After 30+ years the wiring going through the hinge area into the jamb is usually fairly fatigued from flexing, rubbing, and corrosion. Its a might as well that doesn't cost a lot but saves a lot of headaches.


You should check the window motor relay as well. If it has developed a problem you may get something weird as you described. Usually these are used to switch on the motor and to tell it which way to turn. Maybe the relay or the window switch has a stuck set of contacts making the window go down on its own? I would be inclined to inspect the window switch and its wiring first, a short between two of the wires going to it could cause the problem as well.

Question from Marcus:

Both my rear windows are frozen, has anyone ever dug into this problem? Does the rear seat have to come out?

Reply from Dick:

The arc is caused by the dead battery suddenly seeing a source of current from the donor car and is probably a symptom not a cause. (I hope he knew to turn off the motor on the donor car BEFORE jumping the 81, if not he took a real chance of burning out the alternator on the donor car). It is also a good idea to disconnect the white cable connector that powers the EFI while you are hooking up the battery cables to jump start. You have to reconnect it, of course before it will start! The real problem is that something is on in the 81, and it is draining the battery. The method for finding the culprit has been discussed here many times, but basically it involves disconnecting loads one at a time until the current drain (as monitored with a Multimeter) goes to zero. The last item disconnected is the culprit. Something's to check first are the glove box and all other interior lights, the seat controls, the power door locks, the hazard warning system, the power antenna, the sun-visor vanity lamps and garage door opener, the under-hood lamp, and anything else that is powered even with the key off. The EFI system also draws a small amount of current (assuming the car still has its original systems), but you are looking for something upwards of 0.1 AMP. The alternator is also a possible culprit. If you are not comfortable with trouble shooting electrical problems, you would be best advised to find an honest auto electrical shop to do it.

Question from Ken (switches):

It was once mentioned to me that power window switches that no longer function could be rebuilt, however, when I broach the subject with the local auto/electrical people, I just get blank stares. Has anyone had any personal experience with getting switches rebuilt? 


From Dan:

The repair shop that is working on the power windows on my 64 told me beforehand that the switches could be taken apart and cleaned if they were the part that ended up being bad. Apparently it isn't a big job to do. You might could even do it yourself.

From Michael:

My switches were another victim of the evil tobacco, as almost every switch on the car was bad initially. Extensive cleaning of just about every switch and every surface made me glad I don't smoke. Mine were easy; required only patience.

Question from Chris:

My rear passenger side window will operate in either direction for an inch or two then stop.  Moving the switch at that point doesn't dim any lights at all. Wait 30  seconds or so and it works for another inch or two. Continue until closed.  When I got home it didn't work for about and hour. It was hot yesterday and  the car sat in the sun at the meet all day. Don't know if it's heat related.

Reply from Jay:

The window motor is drawing too much current (either the motor is on it's last legs or there is an unusual amount of friction in the mechanism or the window channels). This causes the circuit breaker to heat up an 'click', the power to the motor is automatically cut off. The 30 second pause is the circuit breaker resetting itself. The amount of heat equates to how far the window will go before the circuit breaker cuts out. On a hot day you may get 2 inches. Try is with a cold car and I'll bet that you get at least 3 or 4 inches, maybe more.

Question from Roger (1955):

I have been looking for the rubber connector for my '55 imperial electric window for months. I was told by a guy in a parts yard that ford use the same one. If so I can order a new one from Macs. I hate to order one and find out it's wrong. Any ideas? 

I was just looking through my '58 Chilton's auto manual to see how hard it would be to service the windows on my car. I thought some lube would probably do them some good. You will never guess what I discovered. The little rubber connector that is so hard to find is also used on '54-'58 Ford cars with "B" type electric windows. '55-'58 that is all that was used. I'm calling Car Quest to see if they stalk them. If not I know other obsolete catalogs will have them. I was told if it is gone good luck finding one.


From Ted:

I also have a 55 4-dr and have repaired these switches a few times. They come apart, and the hardest thing to replace is the little spring that allows them to "rock" between up and down positions. The contacts can be cleaned, unlike the later Mopar offerings that are sealed and require a second mortgage on your home to replace! Don't lose the spring.

From Arran:

Believe it or not I think that the big three all used the same window switch manufacturer. The Switches in my car are remarkably similar to those used in some 50's GM cars like Oldsmobile with the exception of the bezel, the mounting is the same so it probably uses the same spring clips. I removed the ones from my car to give them a good cleaning and those clips actually play a role in hold the assembly together as well as in the door panel. It would not surprise me at all if Ford and Chrysler used the same window motors at that time. After all Autolite made horns for everyone including G.M. and they made the window motors in my '54.

Question from Bill (1959):

I would like to get at the rear window motors in my '59 Imperial. The car is a two door, so I was wondering if it is necessary to pull out the whole back seat to do this? One of the widows is working, but very sluggish. The other may also work with some attention. My drivers side door also will not lock, any tips here would be appreciated, as the car becomes better and better looking, I am becoming more nervous about leaving it unlocked.


From Chris:

Sorry, but the back seat will have to come out to remove the armrest panels to gain access to the rear window mechanisms. Scrape out all the petrified grease that you can get to, then clean the residual with brake cleaner - especially the scissor arm pivot. Grease everything thoroughly, using a Teflon spray on window tracks and guides.

The lock rod has possibly popped loose on your front door. Remove the door panel, operate the latch & door handle mechanisms and see if there are any loose rods flopping about. You might get lucky. Happened to me recently on a '64.

From John:

On the lock, most of the time, the mechanism is all gunked up with dirt & dried out grease. You may be able to free it up using WD-40. There should be a small rod from the lock cylinder to the mechanism down inside the door attached to a trip lever. The lower end is where the attention is needed. If you can't manage to get enough WD-40 in there, you may need to remove the door panel to do it. If the rear motor are like the 60 2 door, you should be able to get to them removing the lower cushion as well as the panel.

Question from Rick (1959):

Does anybody know why there are two different power window motor mountings in the drivers door in '59 Imperials? One is a screw clamp, the other is a 2 bolt mount on the motor housing itself?

Reply from Allan:

The 59 parts book shows 4 different motor and mounting set ups for power windows. They probably used the same patterns for making the door and regulators and just used whatever motor was available at that moment.

Question from Rob (1960):

I need power window motors for my 4 door Imperial. My motors are completely trashed, tried several places to have them rebuilt, but to no avail. Anyone know what year motors will fit a 1960?


From Tim:

Just went through this myself. The 1960 Imperial Id# was P-41 (413). The engines that will interchange are from 1959-1961.

From Patrick:

I found a place in Berkeley, Ca where I use to live that rebuilt my window motor on my 64 Crown Coupe. While a small operation it took him about 2 weeks at a cost of $170. Fortunately I only had one that was inoperable. The gratification came only from my drivers side window being functional again. I definitely wasn't overly excited about the price though. I'm not sure the extent of your search or location, I looked for a place that did motor rewinding / alternator or generator repairs/auto electric shops.

From George:

I'm sure there is a place where the motors can be rebuilt for less than $170.00 ea. At worst you could get good used motors from Lowell Howe for less. I don't have my Hemmings with me as I'm on the road but perhaps another member has one handy for the names of places who rebuild motors. You never did say what's wrong with all 4 motors. I find it hard to believe all 4 are trashed!

Question from Steve (1962):

I recently had a driver window motor stop.  I took the motor apart and cleaned. The center shaft did start to move easily. The brushes appear to be in good shape. The grooves were cleaned and these appeared to be good. When power was applied I still do not get anything. What part does that contact play? I did file that a little with an Emory board. Does anyone have any suggestions?


From Ted:

The windings in the motor may be shot. Check them out.

From Frank:

Be sure to ground the case of the motor to bare metal inside the door when you apply the power. I sanded the case where it makes contact with the car to be sure it is grounded well.

The contact is a thermal overload switch. When the motor get too hot a bi-metallic element will open the circuit. The normal position for the contact is closed. I also clean those contact points when I overhaul a motor.

From Demetrios:

Checking the windings may be feasible by measuring the resistance of the motor. A good motor should be within a certain range (may be the value is in the shop manual). If the resistance is too low, the insulation in the windings is probably shot and the current goes straight through rather than round and round. If the resistance range is not in the FSM, may be someone can check the resistance of a known good motor for you.

Question from Max (1962):

No amount of cleaning seems to repair my '62 driver's side six switch power window assembly. The window will go down, but it just won't go up. I'm having a touch time finding a replacement part with all six switches in good working order. Any one have one of these or know someone who does?

Reply from John:

The 60-63 Imperial all use that switch, so it should a fairly easy find. There are several parts sources here, such as Bob H. or Lowell Howe that should be able to help you.

Question from Jeff (1964):

I have had the joy today of doing brakes on 3 cars and a power window replacememnt on my 64 crown 4dr.. Anyway the '64 driver's side back door window has not worked since I bought the car. I decided today to swap out the moter and get it going... Well.... As soon as I plugged in the motor it started running. Without the door switch plugged in. So I thought.. Hmm.. maybe the mmaster switch is bad?? Well.. I replaced that with the one of my '65 Lebaron and same thing happens.. So.. here is what I know.. The down wire (Green) is hot all the time, even without the sitch connected to the back door or the drivers door??? Any ideas where I should look for the green wire getting power?? I do want to check in the block on the drivers door but after that I am stumped.


From John:

I'd wonder is someone did some wiring repair & made a mistake. If you have another car to look at, compare all of the connections from the drivers switch all the way back.

From Paul:

I know that this must sound painfully obvious, but when my '65 Crown four door did that, it was because the wires in the door jam were shorting out to each other and the car body.

All the switch does is complete the circuit. If that happens with out the switch, that means that the wires are probably doing it by themselves, usually because the insulation has broken off, and the copper strands are touching each other or grounding out.

Open the door and take a look at the metal "wire cover". I think that you can remove it and the wires will be exposed. It shouldn't be too hard to spot wires with broken insulation. For the time being, electrical tape would probably work until you can replace the wires themselves.

Question from Dan (1964):

I just got a call from the repair shop to find out that all but two of my vent and window motor on my 64 LeBaron are bad.  None of the parts stores of the Chrysler dealer carry them.  Can these things be rebuilt?  So far the cheapest price for used ones has come from Lowell Howe...125 for the vent and 85 for the window motor.  I just hate to spend this much money on used parts, but everywhere I call says that they get a lot of calls for these pieces.  I've got the following part numbers... 2583856- window motor (side to side and front to back); 2428282- right vent window; 2428283- left. vent window.  I would consider getting mine rebuilt, but the only place around here that will even look at them says the only part they have that they can replace on mine is the armature.  Does anyone carry rebuild kits for these things?  



Try Pettyjohn Auto Electric in Athens, Ga. 706-543-0627, anytime. He rebuilds all kinds of motors and has some NOS and rebuilds in stock.  Many Imperial electronic luxury accessories were made by Delco.

From John:

I've finally started pulling my door panels to work on my windows. Here's what I know: A shop in Tucson claims they can rebuild the window motors. I don't think that means much more than testing them and replacing the brushes. If your motors run at all they probably are or can be usable. Check with some alternator/starter shops. My motors (1965) are labeled "Bosch" and are coated in vinyl to keep the water out. I assume they are exactly like yours, and I doubt they are exclusive to Imperials. Do your vent window motors run but refuse to turn the windows? If so, the drive gear is likely stripped. They were made (for some reason) from soft pot metal. Repros of these gears in proper steel are available from Hydro-E-Lectric for $49 each. By coincidence I ordered a pair just today. They are not that obscure: the same item was used also by GM. You can replace these gears yourself without odd tools. If the motor is fried, well, that's different.

Question from Bill (1964):

I know (and have been told) that the window regulators on the powered windows are under some pretty stout spring tension. Are the springs holding the windows "up" (my guess), or trying to pull them down? The book says to secure the window in the up position to remove the regulator. I intend to use a couple of those sliding and locking carpenter's clamps (w/rubber tips), right where the window exits the top of the door. Should that be sufficient?

Reply from Don:

The spring is used to assist the raising of the window (fighting gravity) and is wound back up (with the assist of gravity) as the window goes down. This makes it possible to use a smaller motor (and wiring).

Question from Bill (1964):

What is the scoop on the little contact points that are wired in series with one of the brushes in the motor? The arm is a sort of spring steel, it "snaps" open and "snaps" closed. It will also stay open or closed on its own.

Reply from Arran:

The pair of contacts are very likely some form of thermal cut out. If the window motor draws enough current to heat up the brush, and the wire connected to it, those contacts will open up and break the circuit. If the armature is shorted or the motor has an excessive load put on it this will also cause it to open. This differs from a circuit breaker or fuse which is dependent upon a dead short to trip or blow.

Follow-up question from Bill:

Ok that makes sense. But should they not tend to stay closed on their own when "cool"? As I said, if I manually open them as if "hot", they stay that way. Or do they need to open when hot in order to spring back shut on cool down?

Reply from Arran:

One would tend to think that it should close on its own after you release your grip but remember that it is a bimetallic strip. The bimetallic strip moves the contacts apart when its heated but only by a small amount, it isn't like the points in a ignition where the strip is spring loaded and is moved by a cam. One way to to see if the cutout works is heat it up with a hairdryer or heat gun and see if the strip moves apart and moves back after it has cooled down. If it doesn't work right I would see about a replacement or even bypassing it. If you have your motors cleaned up and working right there shouldn't be a problem unless someone intentionally holds down the switch, but I believe that the relay cuts out the motor at the end of travel anyhow.

Question from Mark (1965):

My '65 has always had finicky power windows. The driver's window had been working great. Now it is getting finicky again. The window motor makes the noises but the window barely responds. Is this a grease issue or something else?


From Kerry:

The '64-'66s have a rubber gear mount that breaks up over time. That is what happened to you. Not fixable to my knowledge. However you can transfer one from a bad motor to a good motor pretty easily.

From Roger:

Probably a dry/bound regulator system.

Question from Chris (1965):

I am about to begin repairing the power windows on my 1965 Crown. Both side vents and two main windows aren't working (but you can here the motors whirr on 3 of them). The other two main windows work but move VERY slowly. Please advise me on the following:

1) Removing door panels without damage 

2) Cleaning the motor/regulator/switches 

3) In general what should I look for when diagnosing the problem?

I have the Service Technical Manual but I would really appreciate some advice from those who have learned by experience. I am a novice mechanic so doing repairs like this is kind of frightening...

Reply from Kerry:

To remove the doors, remove, all the screws holding the door on, and the door lock. There are two big screws accessible under the door armrest. The ones for the front can be reached in the storage compartment behind the little plastic caps. The rear seat armrest "Pop's" out and the screws are right there. They are large Phillips. The door handles have a large Phillips that holds them on the shaft. The screw is in front of the handle and if you take a flashlight and a small screwdriver to move aside the 'fuzzies' you will see it. Then just remove all the trim clips with a upholstery tool or stiff putty knife. Once it's loose, you can wiggle it out from the window frame at the top.

Removing the window motors is a REAL pain. They are held in place by three screws, only two of which can be seen and reached by mortals. There is one 7/16 bolt that can be slowly removed with a VERY flat open end wrench. We ended up grinding one down. It's a pain but it can be done.

The problem you hear of the motor running is common with these cars. On top of the motor transmission, is a rubber isolator that holds the actual gear. These things fall apart and the motor just runs but no torque is transferred to the window. Don't have a clue where you can get new ones.

The slow ones are PROBABLY just lubrication. I had one bad motor, one slow window, one bad isolator, and one that worked well. We took the good isolator from the bad motor and put it on the one which had the broken isolator. The slow motor we lubricated. I was fortunate that Robert Soule had a spare motor and I was all set.

Question from Charles (1965):

When a power window fails on a 1965 Imperial, is it difficult to find a replacement motor? Are these motors easy to install?

Reply from Rick:

None of the windows on my 65 worked when I bought it so I pulled the door panels off cleaned all the old grease, pine needles, etc out of it. Then greased it with lithium grease cleaned the connections. Still didn't work. Tapped on the motor lightly with a hammer while working the switch and presto it works. Did same on the other three and they all have worked ever since.

Follow-up Roger:

Most likely, the commutator brushes were stuck.

Question from Dave (1965):

I have a problem with my power windows on my 65 Crown. The windows on the drivers side work fine, but the passenger side does not work at all. The power vents didn't work either. I used a test light and determined that there is now electricity going to the switch and I checked the fuses-there OK. Does anybody have any ideas on what I should do next.


From John:

With the engine running, try operating the switches & watch the alternator gauge for movement. If it shows movement, the switches are working & most likely, the motors are stuck or dead & or the tracks are all gummed up with dried out grease. If you need to take them apart, its a very good idea to have an FSM to follow as the 64-66 windows are tricky "dangerous" to take apart without proper knowledge.

From Teddy:

Check the panel in the driver's door, the power to the passenger side comes from the panel in the driver's door, could be a loose wire.

From Kerry:

Run power via small jumper wires and alligator clips from the battery to the window motors. If they work the problem is in the switch, if not, the motor. If the motor runs but nothing happens the plastic/rubber coupling between the motor and gear has fractured.

Question from Steve (1965):

I have a stuck motor for the drivers side window. Motor worked slowly until this last weekend. I have tried to get the motor out before with NO luck. (the passenger side motor was simple) It appears that there is a hidden bolt or screw hidden behind the regulator. Does anyone know how to access this?


From Mark:

There are three bolts holding the motor to the plate on the front door.  The third bolt, if the window is in the up position, hides behind the large moon-shaped gear.  What I did in the past is unbolt the plate and shift it to one side and remove the motor from the plate.  The front door motors on a two-door are a lot easier to take out then the ones in the rear quarter. 

From Peter:

You, my Imperial friend, are headed into seriously gashed finger territory. Proceed with great caution while doing this job.

The window regulator assembly must be unbolted from the door and slid front or rear to access all three motor-to-regulator screws. If you slide the regulator front or rear far enough to disengage it from the window glass frame, you have pulled the hand grenade pin. Then, when you gleefully remove the final motor screw and pull it free of the regulator, a most terrible surprise awaits you. The coiled-up counterbalance spring will accelerate that nasty, sharp-edged regulator arm onto your waiting hand with amazing force. It is no fun to experience this. Blood will flow. Read the service manual procedure for the details regarding motor removal. I am not intimately familiar with the 65 regulator, but I do know it has a nasty bite!

From Jim:

On that pesky bolt hidden in behind the regulator gear, I use an ignition wrench. the thickness makes it a possible task. Also, yes when that last bolt comes out and the motor drops out of the gear cogs that thing can unload like gangbusters. Use extreme caution!!

From Kerry:

Peter is exactly correct and DNA tests on my shop floor will prove it.

However, it IS possible to remove the motors on 64-66 WITHOUT taking out the regulator. Robert Soule showed me the trick when we fixed the windows in the 64. There are 3 bolts that hold the motors in place. Two are easy to see and get to (once the door panel is off). The third is pretty hidden behind the vertical channel. A modified 3/8 or 7/16 (forget which) open end wrench will allow you to back this screw out and remove the motor without removing the regulator. The modification is simply grinding it thinner so it will slip between the regulator arm and the channel. As it starts to back out it will push the regulator arm out and increase the opening size but will spring back when the motor is removed (not much spring). Installation takes some patience but can be done.

From Robert:

The most important thing to remember is to remove the difficult bolt last. This will allow the motor to back-off and it will not be necessary to spread or increase the gap between the regulator and the regulator sprocket. The bolt will remain trapped between the regulator and the sprocket even after the motor is free. When reinstalling the motor just engage and tighten the difficult bolt first. The thin wrench is the key.

Question from Mark (1965):

Some of my power windows on my '65 have been "buggy" for some time now. I have followed some of the advice I have received from the list and have had limited success. So I took the car yesterday to my local auto electric shop for an evaluation. Here is what I got. They said the two motors were bad, regulators good, switches and connections good and a cleaning was in order.  They "banged" the motors to loosen up the brushes, ok. I get into the car and one problem window now works fine!. I call the place to inform them. They respond that the window will stop working so don't use it or it will get stuck. It still needs a new motor. I am confused. Ps they said the motors were drawing 15 amps when they should only draw about 3. Any thoughts?


From Bill:

Unless some motor component like the field windings or commutator is burned up or shorted out, or the shaft bushing is worn out (doubtful), you can probably get it working again by cleaning it up inside and replacing the brushes. You will play hell finding "new" motors. When I took ours apart, I found that the spaces between the commutator segments were clogged with brush material, and the brushes them selves were worn down. If you can't find brushes let me know, I found a supply house in LA that carries them for about $1.25 each.

From Dave:

My dad who is an electrical engineer used a set of brushes from a vacuum cleaner to fix the electric windows in my 1983 Mustang. He filed them down to fit and cleaned the armature. I thought he was crazy but the worked better after he finished than the new motor a dealer tried to sell me for $100. You might try it, only draw back is I don't remember exactly which one's he used and I don't guarantee it'll work.

From Dick:

There's nothing at all tricky about brushes, they are simply cast chunks of powdered carbon, which is very easy to reshape to fit any holder. Anything that is larger, and has attached leads that you can make work, is fine. You can shape the stuff with coarse sandpaper or with a file, a file is better because it does not carry the potential hazard of leaving any abrasive embedded in the brush.

From Jay:

I have revived two "bad" power window motors simply by opening them up and cleaning them out. Keep in mind that up until the point a few months back when I decided to open up few of my spare '62 windows motors to see if I could get them to work, I never repaired a electric motor before. The ones that I had were pretty darned dirty and corroded inside.

The motors are "dipped" in rubber at the factory to seal them, but as it turns out this actually causes them to suck moisture in through the shaft and it collects there and cannot escape. The insides corrode so badly that the motor stop working.

A few simple hand tools will get you into the motor. What I did was strip away as much of the rubber off the outside of the casing. Once I had the motor open, I used some emery cloth (very fine sandpaper will do) to clean the contacts on the commutator until they were all bright metal again.. A very thin tapered X-acto blade can be used to dig all the dirt and gunk in-between the contacts on the commutator. That's all that was needed to get my two spare motors working again. It was kind of tricky spreading the brushes apart to slide the commutator between them to get the motor assembled again, but I am told that the brushes can be removed by removing the large round "screw" type access door in the side of the motor. This may make disassembly/reassembly easier, but I haven't tried it (yet).

Get yourself a replacement motor from Bob Hoffmeister, Murray Park or another one of our reputable parts dealers. You may find it easier to repair the motor yourself and keep the working spares, ready to drop into the door the next time one fails. It's certainly cheaper than having it rebuilt professionally. The satisfaction of doing it yourself is the icing on the cake!

Follow-up from Dick:

A comment on Jay's excellent post regarding rejuvenating old motors: It is a better idea to use fine sandpaper to clean up commutators, rather than emery cloth, since the latter will leave a slightly abrasive residue on the copper, which will cause greatly shortened brush and commutator life. If you do use emery cloth, be very sure to wash the commutator off generously with contact cleaner, and dry it thoroughly with a clean paper towel or lint free cloth before putting it back in service. This is of course also true of any starter or generator you treat to this service operation.

And from John:

I would suggest using an eraser (pencil or ink). it will leave no bad residue and the finished surface will be slicker so it won't wear down the brushes. did this for years when with at&t.

Question from Jon (1966):

Thought I'd let you all know that I got the motors and regulators out of the front and rear windows this weekend. I also removed the door windows but the rear windows don't come out so easy. I'm told I need to unbolt the window tracks to get them out - we'll see. Anyway, I was able to remove the regulator and motor in one piece from the door BUT I had to separate the motor and regulator in the rear before I could take those out. All the warnings about springs flying and gears moving rapidly are true but, with a couple of strategically placed screwdrivers and c-clamps, I came out uninjured.

Now, my motors don't work. I'm told it's either dirty contacts inside the motor (brushes/commutators???) or a seized bearing around the screw gear. I hear it's at least $100 to buy a used replacement motor so I'm going to try to fix them - hopefully without breaking them in the process. Anyone have any good instructions here?


From John:

If you have the motors out of the car, you need to ground them to make them operate. At least that's the case on 60-63. I once thought the motor I had was dead, but while it was plugged in & operating the window switch, the motor was resting on the lower part of the door. The motor started to spark & momentarily operate. Holding the motor firmly against the metal, it worked just fine. The problems you usually find on the 64-66 is that the motor is just stuck & once freed up will be fine. The other is the plastic gear breaks & the motor spins but doesn't operate the window.
Other common problems are a lot of old dried out grease in the track & on the rollers. Another is a flat spot on the roller (s) from lack of lubrication. The rollers should be able to turn freely in the tracks. If they are very tight or have a flat spot, they need to be replaced. These windows generally operate very slow & need all the help possible.

From Paul:

If you have not worked on motors before, I would recommend trading them as cores to someone selling rebuilt motors, or save them and by good used ones from one of the parts suppliers available though this IML. Once you take them apart they are not rebuildable if you damage them.

Also, be sure to check the wiring in the door jambs to make sure the insullation isn't gone, causing shorting wires against the car body or each other. Window motors will eventually burn out if the wires are shorted. Some have internal circut breakers that click on and off until the short is fixed, but those little circut breakers only function for a short time before they sieze and the motor burns up.

Just a few tips from someone who has been there.

From Arran:

AC/DC brush motors are simple enough to service, there should be instructions in the archive. But if you have never taken one apart before I would suggest that you pick up a junk brush motor to play with, out of an old appliance or something, so you can figure out how one goes together without hurting anything. Take it apart, perform the same procedure that you would on your window motors, and reassemble it. Then you will have an idea of what to do, and what not to do, when servicing your window motors.

Question from Loyal (1966):

It seems as though the window motor is over heating during its cycle & shutting off. Then about a minute later you will here a metal click & you can use it again. (the same kind of sound you get if you over heat a hair dryer then cool it down to get it to work again.) Has anyone else run into this problem? Do I just need to replace the motor?If so, is this just a standard Chrysler window motor that can be purchased at NAPA?

Reply from Dan:

The window motors are working as they should. You have too much resistance in your travel( binding/rusty components) mechanism. Your motors are working too hard. Ideally, with the motors removed(motors only, not motors with mechanism) you should be able to easily move the window up and down it's full travel. You need to lube a lot more-if you are using WD-40 to free them up, remember to finish it off with a good lubricant. WD-40 alone is NOT recommended. It will promote rusting over time.

Question from Ken (1966):

I was wondering if someone could tell me the color code for the passenger side windows on a '66 Crown Coupe. Mine doesn't work and I cleaned all the connections so I thought maybe it was wired wrong. It has been taken off before. The colors now are from top to bottom: white, yellow, blue, black, yellow, purple. Is this right? Is there something else that goes wrong with these often?

Reply from Dave:

Quite often it is the switch contacts that are the problem clean the contacts with electrical contact cleaner, they have to come apart for this, be careful but it can be done.

Question from Gary (1966):

I have a 66 Imperial coupe, and driving yesterday the drivers window went down about 6 inches, and stopped...I took the switches out to see if a wire came off, but none did, and the others still work...I need directions on how to take the motor out of the door if anyone can do that.. Also can anyone tell me where I can get some new switches for the windows... When I hit the switch for the other windows you can see the drain on the amp meter, but when you hit the one for the drivers door nothing happens.


From Dick:

Since the ammeter isn't indicating current drain when you operate the switch, there is a disconnect somewhere. It could be inside the switch, although as Mike says, this is usually intermittent for a while before it fails completely. The driver's door window is always the first switch to wear out, of course.

Since you already have the switch assembly out of it's mounting, bypass the switch with a jumper wire to make sure the problem is not something else. If it is the switch, you can probably repair it yourself, just study it and take it apart slowly, watching out for flying parts. I've repaired quite a few this way. Just see what is wrong, and make a replacement part from something similar. This is not rocket science.

If you don't see a way to repair it (for instance if the plastic parts are burned beyond saving), you can perhaps find a replacement switch from another car and use the innards in your housing. I think any of the parts vendors on the IML list would be able to sell you a switch that would have the same innards, although it might not be a driver's door switch or from a 66.

If your jumper wire makes the window operate, look elsewhere in the wiring for the disconnect. Usually these are easily spotted as a wire that has fallen off a terminal, or gotten chewed up in the mechanism because of incorrect routing.

Take the motor out of the door only as a last resort. This is a dirty and potentially dangerous job, you need to follow the service manual carefully to avoid damage to yourself or your car.

From Mike:

Doesn't sound like a switch to me...usually when a switch fails its intermittent at first, and gets worse and worse (like the dash lights on my '67)

I'd say check for obstructions in the door mechanism and the motor. Could be a loose wire, too. The door panels aren't hard to take off...I'm not familiar with the '66- hopefully someone else here can give you direct experience-related help- but it should just be a few screws, and then the ultra-delicate perimeter clips. These come off well with a thin piece of stiff metal with a slot cut into it. Looks kinda like a flattened crow bar. This will pry off the clips without damaging them or the door panel.

From Bob:

Mike is correct - the door panels for a '66 come off without too much trouble.

However, I'd try a contact cleaner on the switch first. When my driver's window failed during a heat wave a few years ago, before my A/C was working, I got a "miracle cure" by dribbling some Rail-Zip (a contact cleaner sold at hobby shops) right into the switch. In 10 minutes, the window was working and has been for 3-4 years since.

Rail-Zip is red, gooey, smelly, but I've had great results with it. And it's cheap!

From Richard:

I have had excellent results with Electro-Motive spray for many years. No need to remove the mechanisms, just spray and wait a few minutes. I have used this successfully in 98% of the contact problems I have had. It is non flammable and dries without being noticeable and has never harmed any plastic pieces I have used it on. When in doubt, read directions and applications before using though.

Question from Kathy (1967):

I am in need for RH front and rear window motors for a 1967 Imperial Crown Coupe.

Reply from Chris:

You possibly don't need new window motors, as the ones you have can be rebuilt with some ingenuity (new brushes often do it). I would also try to be sure it's the motor and not the switch, wiring or regulator mechanism before replacing the motor. However, the same motors fit practically every Chrysler product with power windows from the mid-60s well into the 1980s. I think maybe the later 1980s ones are reversed-polarity, so you need to connect the two wires in the other order, but that's about it.

Question from Jason (1967):

I am attempting to repair my power window switches and was wondering ther best way to take them apart and clean them.

Reply from Dick:

I have taken these apart many times. If you inspect the switches, you'll see that there is an access hole in the side of each section of the switch. In that hole is a black plastic latching protrusion on that section's main rocker lever. Just depress that protrusion through the hole, and wiggle the lever while you pull it out, you'll see what is inside the switch then.

Caution! The return to center springs are tiny wires that just lay in there, they are held captive by the lever, so when you remove it, those wires will try to hide under your bench, or in your pants cuff, so be careful! You need good light and patience, but these are not hard to repair. Just make sure all the electrical contact points are bright and clean bare metal, and snap it back together. If all the parts are good, the switch should now work like new.

Question from Don (1967):

I've got a questions regarding my '67 LeBaron window motors.  The passenger side windows worked fine, then the odd time they would not work - sometimes just opening and closing the door would get them to work - other times you would hit the switch two or three times before they would respond. Well, you guessed it, they have now taken a permanent vacation. When you hit the button, I hear a click and the dome light dims for that second or so which I presume indicates that power is being used. I should mention that the power vent window works fine. Any idea's or thoughts as to where to start?? Would it be the motors or maybe the tracks seized??.


From Bob:

Some Chrysler models (and I don't know which ones) used permanent-magnet motors. After they got old and were run all the way up, they would "bind" with the same consequences you mention (interior lights dim a little). The only solution I had was to remove the door panel and "whack" the metal inner door on the motor mounting area while holding down the switch (you have to keep the door switch connected as in some models, that completes the circuit) and the window will work. My solution is after running the window up, just "bump" it down a 32nd of an inch or so.

From John:

Sounds like time for a new or rebuilt motor, often they start going bad as you describe and finally die altogether. You may find that taking it loose from the regulator and running it will get it going again, although this fix is usually temporary. These motors are available through most parts stores, although listings do not go back to 67. I will post more info on this in the next few days as I am going to replace both rear motors on the 68 convertible I am redoing while the car is apart.

Question from Scott (1967):

I just bought a nice 67 Imperial and I am picking it up in Tucson, Arizona.  I can't get any of the windows to go down. Any quick fixes available to get them down for the time being, while I'm here in the sunny southwest? A/C doesn't work, so I need to get them down!


From Gen:

I am not an expert by any means but I have had power windows on 3 Imperials (and every other car I've ever owned) and here's some common checks/detective steps that might help that I've picked up along the way: 

1. When you hit any of the buttons, do you hear any of the motors (in the doors) responding/making noise at all? If motors audibly respond but windows don't go, then the issue is likely purely mechanical--like jamming, stuck windows, or mechanicals disconnected between motors and glass/linkages. You can remove a door panel and probably spot and correct this. It may be the motors have just gotten very weak, in which case if you hear motor activity, you can usually "assist" weak motors by "helping" the windows down by force. 

2. If there is no motor response to using the master buttons on the driver's door-- while car is on/running, try using the button on each specific door. Sometimes the wiring/connection harness in the driver's door becomes disconnected because the driver's door gets opened/shut more frequently--I had this in my 69 Imperial and also in 2 "other-brands" luxury cars--and it is usually pretty simple to get the switch panel up/out and reconnect the wiring harness. (The buttons on individual doors may or may not work though, if the master panel is disconnected--depends on maker/model.) 

3. Check the fuses/circuit breakers very carefully. If all window motors seem silent/dead this is likely a cause.  Often other accessories may be on the same circuit breaker or fuse circuit and will also be dead so this can be a clue--if you've noticed the seats or another accessory are also dead this may be the culprit. I don't know about 1967 model Imperials--there may be under hood circuit breakers, as well as fuses/cb's in the cabin (under dash or in kick panels). There also might be "relays" which are dead --I don't know any specifics about those but that's what a Chrysler dealer cited after a passenger window repair trip to fix a window I gave up on--after trying the usual suspects I knew of. 

4. The motors might really all be dead--if none of the other suspects pan out, you may be stuck without the quick-N-easy fix.

From Bob:

The comments from Gen are all great. When you are wiggling the switches, I'd dribble some contact cleaner down from the top. I've had great results with an inexpensive cleaner bought at train hobby shops - "Rail Zip". No kidding!

Question from Gordo (1967):

Fellow '67 owners, do your power windows work with the key off?  Also, does anybody know what other motors interchange with the '67s?


From Paul:

'68's are the first year to have a relay which is activated by the ignition switch to turn on the power windows.  The power window motors and gears from the 1980's Chrysler 5th Avenues are a bolt up fit for '67 and '68 power windows...You may have to switch the wires in the connectors to get the correct direction when you press the buttons. There are left and right hand gear housings on the motors. My suggestion is to go to a wrecking yard and get a full set of motors (with gears) from a 5th Ave. $15 -$20 each around here.

From John:

The same motors were used in 65 Chrysler and 67,68,72,74 Imperials. The 74 Imperial application can vary in that it is set up for attachment at a 90 Degree from the earlier. My bet is that your motors would cross to a 72 Imperial, although brackets would most likely be different but they are easily changed. The later motors can also be used, but they require more rigging to change the angle of application.

Question from Bob (1968):

I am restoring my '68 Imperial Crown convertible.  I have all the windows motors out and I want to test some off the extra ones that I have and I want to lube the ones that are out.  There is two wires that come out off the motor is one of these a ground and can I use a battery charger for power?


From Peter:

The two wires (green and purple IIRC) are neither power nor ground. Each is BOTH power and ground. But not at the same time ; -)

For UP, the green is +12 and the purple is ground. For DOWN the green is ground and the purple is +12. Or do I have that backwards?

Actually, it doesn't matter. Just DO NOT hookup a ground wire to the motor case!

I wouldn't use a battery charger to test the motors. It might work, but battery chargers put out really "dirty" DC voltage. Meaning that the AC voltage is chopped down and rectified but, if you look at battery charger output in an oscilloscope, you'll see that it isn't steady DC voltage.

Use jumper wires and your car battery to test, but be sure to make all final connections at the motor. Sparks at the battery can cause a big boom.

From Brandt:

The ground is the chassis of the motor, the two wires are for fwd and reverse or up and down.  Yes, you can use a charger.  1st scrape all the liquid electrical tape off and then take apart the motor.  Next spray it down with alcohol or electrical contact spray and then spray it out with compressed air.  After you put it back together, use some red grease to lube it back up and then coat the entire thing (except the part where the strap sits) with liquid electrical tape and that should do it.

Question from Jody (1968):

I have a 68 Imperial and I have electric window problems.  The rear driver-side window and the front passenger side window does not work.  The rear window is up.  If I operate the switch for it I can hear it click but get no motion.  The front window failed today.  It is halfway down.  The switch for it makes no noise.  Also, I noticed tonight that with the key on accessory, if I operate the switches for the windows, the switch on the rear window will dim the interior lights slightly just as the functioning window switches will.  However, the switches on the front window that failed today do not indicate a power drain (i.e. the interior lights do not dim).  Is it reasonable to assume that the rear window has good connections but a bad motor and the front window has a bad connection.  I really find it hard to believe that the motor in front has failed because that motor was very strong--the window moved up and down rapidly and freely until today.  I am also assuming that there are no fuses for these windows since there are no labels for them on the fuse box.  Is this true or are there fuses located elsewhere? 


From Rolland:

I am not sure whether there is a circuit breaker on the fuse panel or inside the left kick panel for the power windows but if there is it would be for the entire circuit and not just one window so you can rule that out for the front window. Each motor has a thermal overload device built into the motor which will sometimes fail and cause the condition you are experiencing on the front window (no current drain). My guess is the rear window has some part of the mechanism jammed. Either where the small pinion meshes with the large sector, possibly in the worm drive itself attached directly to the motor or less likely the window regulator itself. In any case you will need to remove the regulator/motor assembly and check it out. (Note: heed the caution given a few days ago on IML. Take the unit out as an assembly and do not remove the motor assembly without first removing the clock spring (this too can be dangerous) or blocking the sector. This is a spring loaded device and can shear or severely damage fingers. On the front window you should check the switch and wiring for continuity. If possible connect a jumper wire from a power source (perhaps under the dash) to one of the connector terminals on the motor wire. You should experience a current draw (sparks or window operation) if the motor assembly is good. If not you will need to remove the assembly the same as the rear and either replace the motor or repair it. The most frequent cause of failure is the thermal overload (a bi metal strip with contacts at one end), or brushes. I have not had success purchasing components for a motor and replacement is perhaps best unless you have an old motor or two for parts.

From Dick:

I think you have analyzed the symptoms and the probable cause correctly. Rather than a bad motor in the rear, it is much more likely that you have excessive friction in the window track, and just taking the mechanism apart and lubing all moving parts is likely to get it going again. On your more important problem, the open window that does not draw current, it you get this same indication whether you use the driver's control or the one at the window, there is most likely a poor connection inside the door with the failed window, in the harness that goes to the motor. This should not be hard to troubleshoot, the problem is very likely going to be obvious when you get in there and look. The power window system is protected by a circuit breaker rated at 30 AMP, which is located behind the left kick panel. As you would guess, the same breaker protects all the windows, so that cannot be your problem.

Question from Robert(1968):

While working on my 68 imperial tonight I ran into another problem. I have put all the windows back in and hooked them up. I can only get the power vent windows and the right rear window to work. The front windows when I plugged in the wires to the motors the windows came down on there own and will not go back up. I can unplug the motors and use a battery and the windows will work.

Reply from Dick:

You've got a problem in the master switch, or the wiring to it. If the windows move without operating the switch, obviously, 12 volts is getting to the wires to the motor, and this should not happen if you are not operating the switch. Take your wiring diagram and a test light or VOM and figure out where things are going wrong. Be sure to disconnect the battery immediately, since you might have a fire if there are some wrong connections. You can unplug the motor wires while you troubleshoot, this will prevent burning up the motors.

Question from Mark (1968):

I took the '68 convertible out today.  As I was trying to bring down the passenger side window it stopped halfway & won't budge. Than, a little later, when I tried to bring the driver's side window up, it wouldn't move. None of them do. I looked at the fuses - they all appear fine. What could it be? The switch has gone bad? None of the switches operates, though. My windows are now stuck open, hope it doesn't rain.


From Joe:

Hope this is as easy for you as it has been in the past for me. The connection from closing the drivers door had loosened up the connection on the drivers door for the power windows. Just pull out the button switch assembly and reinsert the wire harness connection.

From Norm:

Although I have never studied the window circuits on the 67-68 cars, most times power windows are protected by a circuit breaker, not a fuse . Perhaps it is malfunctioning due to heavy load or ??  Time to get out the old FSM and take a look.

From Dr. Challenger:

On my 68 300 convertible all the power for all the other 3 window switches goes through the driver's master switch. Check and make sure the wires on the master switch did not come lose.

From Roy:

Power windows are protected by a circuit breaker which I believe is behind the right kick panel. The breaker should have reset itself in a matter of seconds, but sometimes they get stuck, try again later, and resist any temptation to operate more than one window at a time, while that was possible when the car was new, the older they get the more current they tend to draw.

From Carl:

These are ugly little boogers. They are grounded through the chassis of the motor, so if it's gummed up, you have a bad ground. The switches could be bad too of course. Check the connections and the ground for the motors, actually... check the switches first, use a voltmeter with continuity check to make sure they do what they're supposed to do. The motors are a pain!

Question from Kevin (1971):

How much 'juice' does the turn signals use, and the powerwindows? Other cars can operate their powerwindows without dimming the headlights, is there somthing wrong here?


From Dick:

If the power windows are dragging because they have not been disassembled, cleaned and relubricated in the last 10 years, they will draw excessive current. This maintenance must include ALL the moving parts, including the sliding parts for the glass lifter. If you continue to operate the power windows in this condition, you are straining the power window motors, and will soon be taking the doors apart anyway, so you might as well do the maintenance and forget the whole problem. The IML site has much info on how to take the door panels off and clean/relube the window mechanisms. All you need is a good light, some normal hand tools, and a can of the white lithium grease sold for disc brake use. While you're in there, lube the door hardware also, you'll be pleased at how much better the locks and handles work.

The turn signals have their own fuse - if it is the correct size, and isn't blowing, there isn't anything wrong with the turn signal wiring. The headlights dimming when you use them must indicate a problem with the power feed to the whole system. If you notice this symptom when the engine is stopped, I suspect a poor connection at the bulkhead connector through the fire wall. You need to unplug this connector and clean all the contacts, both male and female to clear this up.

From Steve:

This is not good, the turn signals should only draw a few amps, the only way to check properly is with a amp probe or a amp meter that you place directly on the wire, it will read through the insulation. You can not depend on the gage in the dash because some times the shunt breaks or burns and the gage reads all over the place.Turn on the interior light and use the turn signal,see if the light gets dim, if so your going to have to open up the light len one by one and check for corrosion and or fryed wires grounding to short. As for the window motors the commutators get carbon buildup from the brushes and the grease must be like wax by now. When the car was new yell you could drive all the windows at the same time, now live with driving one at a time unless you want to spend the money and the time rebuilding the motors and adusting the regulators.

Question from Stevan (1972):

I also have a problem with my right rear window which if rolled down has to be helped to go back up.  The motor is in good condition so I am gathering the gears.


From Kerry:

I doubt that it is your gears. In my experience when the gears go, you can't "Help" the glass up. Sometimes you can "Pull" it up but usually it is frozen in place. If it acts like the motor just isn't strong enough to do the job it is probably due to one of two things:

1- Binding or stuck linkage. A little WD40 to loosen and then some white grease did wonders for my 73 with that problem

2- Replace the motor.

From Steve:

I think there is some confusion about "helping" the window up or down. From my experience with the late '60 to '70s lift motors, there are 2 kinds of "helping". "Helping", to me, means grabbing the window and pulling it up while the motor is trying also. Here are the 2 kinds:

1) You push the switch....the motor whirrs and makes all kinds of clicking sounds. The window tries to move but just jiggles. <--this WAS the case with the door-side ft window on my '75 Imp. The plastic gears were at fault. I had spare motors. The replacement gears, from what I have heard, are available in Auto Parts Stores.

2) You push the switch...the motor tries like hell, but comes to a silent stop, even with the engine running to give it extra juice. But, if you grab the window and help it, it then will go. This indicates a tired motor and/or mechanism and slide-channels in dire need of lubrication. Your Lithium grease might have turned to "chicken-fat" like Kenyon said.

The lift motors are available too, I can get 'em from the place where I work for about $40(employee purchase) plus core.  I am not sure if the early-mid '60's motors resemble the '70's motors.

Some causes, other than lack of lube, might be unnecessary stress on the window such as someone leaning on the window when it is partially up, to talk to someone inside. Or someone trying to force the window down to gain entry. Possibly keeping your finger on the switch, even though the window is already up or down will cause damage. (Kids in the back playing w/the switches...and the driver having the window-lock-out switch off). I make sure I release the switch once the window has gone all the way up or down.

Question from Kerry (1973):

Today, I pulled the window mechanism out of my 73 to try and get the window working and the glass up.  Before I start the paint prep, I need to give her a VERY STRONG bath.  Otherwise, I just be sanding the dirt into the existing paint.  As solid as the paint is, I don't plan on taking it down to bare metal.  Anyway, I let the spring get away from me.  No harm done except to my pride.  The problem is that I don't know how much to 'wind' it back up.  I did about 1/2 revolution and reinstalled the mechanism but the window does not want to go up without my pulling on the glass.  It goes down fine.  To me this means the motor is weak or the spring which acts as a counterbalance is not wound tight enough. 

Reply from John:

The spring needs to be wound more. When the window goes up, the spring unwinds. Not sure how many winds, but my guess would be to see how far up it goes on two by itself then add from there.

Question from Randy(1973):

My '73 LeBaron needs some window motors (l/rear, r/front, l/front). Does anyone have these available new anymore (NOS or aftermarket) ??


From Kerry:

I was able to find a new motor for my 73 at my local "old" parts store. They are different left to right but the motor is the same. When one of mine died, the "new" motor was, of course for the other side. I just unscrewed the gear from the motor and put the new motor on the used gear. Works fine. The motor was about 75 bucks.

From Steve:

The lift-motors are still avail. What makes you certain that a motor is what you need? If the motor is making popping or clicking sounds...and is just jiggling the window, most likely all you need are the replacement gears.

Replacing the gears at the drive-end of the lift-motor is a piece of cake once you get the lift-motor out of the door. The gears ARE avail separately. Usually the back part of the gear strips.

Question from Mark (1974):

My driver's window on my '74 imp 2dr needs work; you can hear the motor spinning around but the window doesn't move. Anyone have experience in fixing these and anything I need to look out for? 

Reply from Brad:

All in all, its a pretty easy fix. You need to remove the door panel and then the motor. The motor is help in with three screws. In the gear head of the motor there is a plastic piece that acts as a sort of shock buffer between the window mechanism and the motor. More often than not that plastic thing is in a million pieces. I've been told you can buy replacement parts new for about $30 or so. Ask around at the parts stores and you should be able to find the parts. Replacing it is easy once you have the gear head apart. I suggest you wash the grease out of the gear head so as to get all those nasty plastic shards out or they will really do a number on the gears. Then replenish the grease in there, it looks like some sort of moly or graphite type grease. I think a set of gears comes with the repair kit and that would cover you in the event that it is a stripped gear, that does happen but not as often as the busted clutch thingy.

Question from Aeyn (1975):

I need to get replacement switches for mine ALL 4 of them. Does any one know where?

Reply from Terry:

The switches (themselves, not the panel they are attached to) are the same as the earlier Imperials such as my '73. Elijah (a member of the IML) remanufactures them. Another source are '76-'78 NYB's. They are the same, even the panel matches.

Question from James (1976):

How do the windows in a '76 NYB adjust? I had to adjust the rear doors so that they don't bash the sills anymore, but the window glass is now alignment. Do the windows have adjusting screws? Or does the whole window assembly have to be reseated?

Reply from Arran:

I don't know about the windows on that car but I would advise checking the oil level on the dipstick. If the oil is still too high drain some off IMMEDIATELY! Overfilling the engine with too much oil can cause the oil to foam resulting in dry bearings. The effect is almost the same as the engine running out of oil and can seriously damage parts. In this case there definitely can be too much of a good thing.

Question from Al (1976):

I have a weak power window on the front, passenger side. I took it to the local car repair for a look, and I got it back with some kind of goo on the window, I suppose to lubricate it. The stuff has the consistency of Vaseline and I can't see through it. I can't see my side view mirror.

As you can imagine, I am not totally pleased with this "repair". I wiped the goo off the window.

In cold weather, even sometimes in warmer weather, the window will refuse to open, or, if open, needs me to pull the window up with my fingers while applying the electric power to it.

Is this a common problem, and what is the solution? I am willing to buy another power window motor, if necessary. Is another electric motor easily available and at what cost?

Can I rebuild the current motor? I want it to work properly.

I had another problem with the motor which pulls the headlight cover out of the way for headlights. A local electric motor shop said they could rewind it, but they couldn't locate the brushes and therefore could not fix it. Any ideas there? This is not currently a problem, but that motor has crapped out on me 3 times in the last 3 years. I replaced it last time with a motor from the local auto wreckers, but I'd like to be as prepared as possible for the next crap-out.


From Matt:

Sounds like the plastic gear middle has given way and you can order a new one from Hydro-Electric. They advertise in Hemmings. With shipping its about $25 for the new gear. A fairly simple job for an experienced mechanic. Also, sounds as though the tracks need cleaning and a good coat of white grease applied.

From Allan:

Sounds like the motor is a little weak but that the tracks are all gooed up and possibly out of alignment. First thing you should do is remove the door panel and maybe even the glass and get all the guides and tracks clean, make sure all the rollers are clean and roll free. Then using a light, white lithium grease, grease the tracks where the rollers go and the arms pivot, also clean and lubricate the regulator this way. Be careful if you remove the motor as the regulator is under spring pressure and will spring towards the up position when the gear is released. If you can't move the window up or down without the power applied, the gear is good. Lubricate the glass guide channels with a good silicon spray lube and replace the glass and align the tracks and channels so there is no binding. This is easier to do without the motor attached to the regulator but with everything else in place. If, after all this, the glass still goes slow, you need a new motor. If you have yours rebuilt, make sure whoever is doing it really knows how to rebuild it and not just a clean and paint. Through the years I have found that 90% of so called rebuilds are nothing but clean, paint and maybe new brushes. The shop manual for the car should give full instructions for aligning the window and everything else. If it proves to be the motor, let me know as I have a parts store near me that has loads of parts like motors back to the 60's, some new and some rebuilt. 

From Brad:

In conversation with a fellow who works for one of the companies that designs the window regulators that were and are used in our cars, he noted that even though those little plastic wheels on the regulator appear to be meant to roll, they are not. If they roll, it's ok but they don't have to. Other manufacturers make similar regulators with square parts that obviously just slide rather than roll.

Follow-up from Mark:

The regulators in my '71 were rectangular. The replacements I bought were round.


Question from John (1967):

I just picked up the 1967 LeBaron that I purchased and was reading more on it. One standard feature that it mentioned that it has is "power vents". Would somebody please explain what these are and how they work?


From George:

"Power vents"== quarter windows in both front doors, pivot open using motors.

From Bob:

The power vent windows, are simply the wing vents that are turned by a electric motor directly under the vent window assembly. Your master switch has the switches for it and also the PS front door will have a extra switch also. If you remove the door panel you will see this assembly ahead of the window and tracking assembly for the drivers door window.

Question from Paul (1965):

My '65 Crown Coupe has power vent windows.  Does anyone know a replacement if they're bad?


From Luke:

Don't replace them, they can be overhauled very easily. What happens is they tend to contain moisture because they are sealed in the factory. Pull them and break them down. give the parts a good de-rusting with Genolite, grease the bearings and inspect the bushes. This is all mine needed and they all work perfectly now.

From Arran:

It has been my experience with repairing old appliances and such that the motors very seldom wear out. Usually what causes the trouble is either a lack of maintenance or poor wiring. The motor can be taken out and tested with any twelve volt power source across its leads, it can be either AC or DC since it is a brush motor. If it moves under strain or slowly it needs cleaning and lubrication. If it doesn't move it isn't necessarily burned out so don't chuck it. One thing that happens quite often is one of the wires connected to the brush holder will burn off and break the circuit. Replacing or soldering this wire back onto the brush holder will fix that. Another thing that happens is that the brush itself will break requiring replacement, usually a shop that repairs small appliances will have new or used ones at a nominal price. The next problem that these motors run into is having a dirty or rusty commutator. The commutator is the part of the armature with the bare metal segments that the brushes push and make contact against. In order to clean it you must remove the armature from the body of the motor, but take the brushes out of their holders first.. Using some fine sandpaper, wrap it around the commutator and, holding the sandpaper in one hand, rotate the armature with the other until the metal of commutator is shiny. Put the armature back into the body of the motor, reinsert the brushes in their holders, and test it again. If it still doesn't work find another motor or someone handy at fixing electrical things.

From John:

They're not that hard to pull once you remove the door panels, then you can connect them to a battery to see if they work. Chances of the motors actually being bad are slim. However, the gear that actually drives the vent window is made out of soft metal and is easily stripped. Replacements in hard steel are available from Hydro-e-Lectric. They're not cheap, though.

Question from Joel (1966):

Can anyone offer any suggestions on how to adjust the wing windows on a '66 coupe to get rid of the wind noise. I took out the motors, cleaned them, replaced the gear and now they don't shut tightly.

Reply from Paul:

In addition to tightening things up on the bottom end, which it sounds like you have already done, you can try adjusting the top hinge. There is an screw on the little chrome foot that holds the vent window to the top pivot hinge. The screw is on the interior side of the window. You can move the window quite a little if you loosen it. This adjustment usually is made to fit the window squarely in the opening. Sometimes if the window won't pull closed all the way, because it is hanging up on the weatherstrip..

If you do loosen this screw, be careful to reposition the rubber seal properly so this doesn't allow water (and or wind noise into the car).

The driver's vent window in my '65 has never wanted to stay closed tightly and sometimes will jar open slightly when I close the door. I have been in the habit over the years of pushing it closed from the outside with my finger when I am underway. I haven't tried to adjust it. It seems that the electric motors for the vent windows in the earlier cars, are more powerful and pull the window tighter. I have never had that problem with those.

Follow-up question from Joel:

I'm still having trouble getting the wing windows to closely tightly. (The passenger's side never did but the driver's side did until I removed the motor to clean and replace the gear.) My question is, is the motor not strong enough to close it completely, or are there adjustments with the gears inside the motor that can be made? I've adjusted the screw on the glass every possible way. The window is not getting hung up on the weatherstripping either. Hopefully someone has some helpful info they can offer.

Reply from Bob:

It's hard for me to believe the vent window shaft is bent. I helped out at my cousin's body shop many years ago (when these cars were new) and that would have taken a blow to the top of the window.

More likely, the rubber seal is dried out. When that happens the rubber shrinks and there are miniscule cracks all around and even when the window is fully closed and seating against the rubber, air will whistle in. Wind can find places to enter you couldn't imagine, especially if you have the under dash vents open--this creates a suction or "low pressure" area inside the car.

You might try a rubber preservative like Armor-All or a rubber tire dressing. It might help, but not by much.

Question from Marc (1966):

Will '67 or '68 wing window motors interchange with my '66 wing window motors??

Reply from Don:

Yes they will-put my 65 Vent Wing Motors in my 68 Crown. Works like a charm.

Question from Donna (1966):

Took my '66 Imperial LeBaron cruising and opened all my power windows for show. Got home closed them problem. Till this morning. Now the power vent on the passenger side won't open. The motor runs and but it just won't open.


From Ken:

I have had this problem for years on two different Imperials (a 64 and 67). The problem seems to be that the clutch inside the motor housing sometimes slips resulting in the situation where the motor turns but the window doesn't.

Here's the fix that works for me. Don't do anything. That's right, my problem windows "fix themselves" after a while. Go do something else and then try it again and I'll bet the little guy works just fine. Sometimes it takes a day or two, but it always works again and usually continues working for months.

From John:

I had a '66 that did that. Rocking the switch back & forth eventually got it to open. It seemed that once it opened, you could open & close it any number of times without a problem, after it rested a while, it would sometimes not want to open again without fussing around a bit.

From Bill:

Try running the car, fast enough to show a charge on the amp meter, with nothing else electrical on, then working the switch back and forth, with a rest in between so that you don't overheat anything. After repeated efforts, the vent may open. Once it is open, be careful when you close it to avoid closing it too tight. I have had this happen on 68's numerous times, so don't give up, it will open.

Question from Chad (1973):

I recently pulled the window motor out of the drivers door on my '73 Imperial (what a pain). It had stopped working and I pulled the door panel off to see what had happened and it was only a bad connection with the switch. I fixed that and figured I would take the motor out too and lube the internals. I got it out and lubed the gears and put it back on. It worked great for about 3-4 days and yesterday when I rolled the window back up in the fully closed position it acts like there is not a stop on it and tries to keep going up. It makes a really loud popping noise. Does anyone know what might be causing this?

Reply from Roy:

When I R&R'ed my window motor and raising mechanism I made the mistake of washing the concentric spring in solvent. That removed all lube from the coil. The coil slips by itself as the window goes up and down, without lube any rust or dirt within it causes it to catch and jump (pop). Lube the spring entirely, using a small screwdriver to create a gap as you work your way around will help. I used Tri-Flow but grease would be better. That should take care of the popping.

Question from Larry (1983):

Would a K-car window motor fit a '83 Imperial?

Reply from Rob:

I can't answer this definitively, but I know my Daytona window motor is NOT the same as my '83 Imperial. You MIGHT be able to adapt it, but I'm not sure. What's wrong with your window motor? I used the "Home Depot" fix on mine for about 75 cents.

Question from Chris:

I am having problems with my power vent windows - Just a click and dims lights no matter if you try to close from driver's or passenger side. Window is stuck in the far open position.  Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Reply from Jay:

There's nothing like being forced into having forced air forced into your face! These happy Imperialists (from what I am told) have bugs in their teeth (VW?) Sounds like the motors in our vent wings ('66). Sometimes I get the 'click', sometimes they will work. Ours are very temperamental depending on the outside temperature and if the sun has been shining on the door. Try the vent again on a cooler day. Any difference? Can you get it to move at all? The motor could be worn and in need of repair or replacement. Can you hear the motor running while the vent window just stays in one place? If so, the gear between the motor and vent wing is worn badly or missing teeth. They were originally made of pot metal and they wear quickly. I believe that someone is producing machined replacements. 

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