Convert power window to manual (?)

windows
toyota
manual-transmissions
camry

#1

I have a 1993 Toyota Camry, and yet another (that is 3/4) power window motor has failed. The car is in great shape and I intend to continue driving it for years. Does anyone have thoughts or advice on the feasibility of converting my power windows to manual? I’ll enjoy this type of project, if it can be done without extensive expertise or specialized equipment. Or, if anyone knows what a reasonable mechanic would charge for such a service, that would be helpful too.


#2

I would suspect that it would cost less to just fix the power window.


#3

and yet another (that is 3/4) power window motor has failed.

If you are having repeated failures of the same window, I would suggest the problem is not the type of window, but rather the repair or replacement quality. I suspect someone is not getting it adjusted properly, or missed a failing part that was not corrected.


#4

That’s NOT going to be easy. And if you can find a mechanic to do it…it’ll cost far more then just replacing the motor.

I’m AMAZED you’re having so many problems with the motors…Sure something else isn’t going on there??? A window motor should last the life of the vehicle.


#5

I have a neighbor with a '95 Camry and similar trouble.
One of his windows has failed and the other 3 sound pretty sick.
I think the root of the problem is lack of lubrication.
The solution is to pull the door panels and re-grease the regulator mechanisms as soon as operation seems slower or strained.
I did this on my '88 Accord when it was about 15 years old.
A friend owns it now and the power windows are working fine at 22 years old.


#6

By several estimates, the motor replacement is a $200+ job. 2/3 of the cost was in labor though.


#7

Clarification: the most recent failure was the passenger side rear window. Both the front windows had previously failed (so the driver’s side read door is the lone holdout). I had a mechanic replace the motor (and regulator unfortunately) for the driver’s side front door, which ran upwards of $200 (and his price was significantly less than the previous estimate).


#8

Bummer to hear that opinion. I was holding out a shred of hope that it could be a simple swap, like replacing the core of the spool (inside the motor).

I’m not terribly surprised the windows are all failing (this is the third window to fail). It is a fairly old vehicle, and the windows have been used a lot, a privilege of being in Colorado!


#9

That would be a very helpful solution. Too bad the problem has advanced past that stage. The worst thing may be that the “default” position is down. I believe it has something to do with the tension the motor/regulator keeps on the belt which moves the window up and down.


#10

Manual conversion will cost more than that, if it’s even possible.


#11

I think that gravity is a factor in the “default” position.


#12

Many times the mechanics is different…And you’ll have to gut the old power window system and replace with a new/used manual crank system. They are usually welded in place…This is NOT going to be easy.

I’m not terribly surprised the windows are all failing (this is the third window to fail). It is a fairly old vehicle, and the windows have been used a lot, a privilege of being in Colorado!

I am…I have a friend with a completely restored 66 Cadilac Fleetwood…Original auto windows…Electric motors are 100 times more reliable/durable then your typical car engine. If this is happening to different windows…then what I suspect Toyota didn’t put a strong enough motor in there. Maybe there might be a way to put a more powerful motor in. GE refrigerators had this problem for about 5-10 years. They were using this dinky motor that would only last about 2-3 years…The problem was you couldn’t upgrade the motor to a correct sized motor…so you spend $200 for the new motor…and replace it again in 2-3 years…


#13

I think the best way would be to swap the doors. Go to a junk yard and see if you can find a 1993 Camry with manual roll-down windows. It would help if it is the same color as your Camry.


#14

If you’re planning to drive it for years, I’d say it’s too early to start jerry-rigging things. New motors should last the rest of the life of the car. I’d bite the bullet and fix it, especially since it sounds like you enjoy having the windows open.


#15

The downfall of cars that have lived past their intended design lives are odd and expensive replacements.

Have you priced the cost of manual window mechanism vs a motor? In my 20 years of driving I have had more problems with manual windows than power windows.