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Retrofitting New Window Regulator to Convertibles

Old 09-10-15, 04:06 PM
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Retrofitting New Window Regulator to Convertibles

I finally had enough of the driver's window regulator failing repeatedly. Time to retrofit the one I bought for a '97 Accord Coupe. I originally picked this specific car as the donor since it had longer doors & likely heavier window glass to fill them, the door height looked similar to the 'vert for packaging the window track & motor in, and in general the layout & details looked very similar, just newer. Also - $35 for the whole assembly & they're still widely available, unlike the ones in the 'verts.


The Accord regulator is laid on top of the RX-7's; The track itself is slightly longer while the sheathed part of the cables is slightly shorter for the Accord.


The accord uses a pulley wheel in the top guide while the RX7 doesn't, but the accord's guide points the cables further downward which would interfere with the front window stop in the RX7's door. The lower cable guide (black on Accord, white on RX7) in both window guide assemblies is the same exact part, so I used the newer one.


The basic idea was to reuse the whole window guide assembly from the RX-7 and retrofit the motor, cable, & cable sheaths from the Accord onto it. The motor & cable orientation is very similar, but the mounting plate on the Accord's motor sticks off the wrong side - easy enough to fix since it's just screwed on using some of the 4 holes in the regulator housing.


The accord's regulator & winding spool is 1-piece, which does not allow you to adjust the tension. The RX-7's is 2-piece which makes rebuilding & accounting for different cable lengths a little easier. No problem, we'll just need to measure & cut the cable to the right length, and possibly shim it at some point if necessary (of course it will be necessary...). I decided to use the new Accord cable sheaths, which meant I needed to cut 34mm off of both ends of the cables after mocking the whole assembly up. I cut this off of where the cables would attach to the window guide, since I still needed to add the rectangular washers & crimp/pound on new flat cable-stops to go into the RX-7's window guide.



There we go!

I had hoped to mount the motor in the same spot, using the same holes as the original. Things looked promising since I could pretty easily flip the Accord's mounting plate, drill 1 hole & cut off 1 stud. Then using a creative combo of longer bolts, nuts & washers, you could create the same bolt pattern as stock while keeping the motor and cables in approx. the same spot.




Things were looking promising... until that bit about the accord's cable sheaths being shorter reared its ugly head. With the window guide in-place, the motor could not reach the original mounting spot - it seemed to need another 3" or so of cable & sheath length. Well, we've come this far, lets at least see if it works & holds up well, so time to make some new mounting holes. The motor fit pretty well between the inner door panel & the front window track (between the fixed & sliding windows), slightly below & forward of where the inner door handle is. 3 holes later (well, 4... oops) and it all bolted up & seems to work great! Its faster than the passenger's side, seems very consistent going up & down, and doesn't appear to catch on anything. No pictures of the new mounting location - I must have been excited enough that I forgot to take them.

Wiring-wise, both motors had a thick green & thick red wire - I just matched the colors and soldered the RX7 connector onto these two wires coming off of the Accord cable. The Accord has 2 more thinner wires - possibly a switch for reaching the end of travel (or when the motor stalls) to cancel auto-down or auto-up window relays? I didn't test these. Works like a charm!

I'll call that a victory!
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Old 09-15-15, 05:30 PM
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Nice find and good post. I have to dig into mine to figure out what's wrong as it stopped working shortly after adding relays before the switches. This will be super helpful! Thanks.
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Old 09-15-15, 07:28 PM
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This is cool. Out of curiousity were there any obvious impediments to fabbing up brackets so you could swap the entire regulator in place of the Mazda one?
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Old 09-15-15, 08:02 PM
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There is a mod from way way back when where someone put the manual window regulator pulley on the vert regulator. I couldn't find it.

I agree, the plastic bushing is such a joke on the vert regulators.
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Old 09-15-15, 08:48 PM
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Well, the Accord's entire track was about 2" longer than the RX7's, so it wouldn't have fit in the door height-wise.

Fitting a pulley to the top of the 'vert's track isn't hard, I just decided to use the stock one as-is since a storm was rolling in and I wanted to get the regulator back into the car before things got soaked. Plus, that's the original one to the car & it's got 190k miles on it but is still in good shape - it can't be that horrible of a design.

If I were to do it again, I would either:
- Cut about 10mm more off of each end (so 44mm off of each ends), since I needed to shim each cable sheath by about that much.
- Not cut any off (the accord cable-ends would fit & work as-is in the RX-7's window support/shuttle-thing), try to retrofit some bicycle cable tensioners into the top guide, and take up the slack that way in a more adjustable manner. This would also allow a little bit more freedom in placing the motor assembly within the door.

I had spent a bit of time making the mounting plate for the accord's motor match up with the orientation & stud pattern of the RX-7's motor, which I didn't need to do in retrospect since the cables weren't long enough and couldn't make it to the original holes anyway. Just un-bolting the mounting plate & flipping it onto the other side of the motor would have done enough.

2 weeks on & the whole thing is still working great, and it operates the window about 50% faster than the OEM (but recently re-greased) passenger's side - both sides are using relays after the switches. Considering the cost, I may just do this mod on the passenger's side so that they're the same speed.
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Old 09-16-15, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by toplessFC3Sman View Post
Well, the Accord's entire track was about 2" longer than the RX7's, so it wouldn't have fit in the door height-wise.

Fitting a pulley to the top of the 'vert's track isn't hard, I just decided to use the stock one as-is since a storm was rolling in and I wanted to get the regulator back into the car before things got soaked. Plus, that's the original one to the car & it's got 190k miles on it but is still in good shape - it can't be that horrible of a design.

If I were to do it again, I would either:
- Cut about 10mm more off of each end (so 44mm off of each ends), since I needed to shim each cable sheath by about that much.
- Not cut any off (the accord cable-ends would fit & work as-is in the RX-7's window support/shuttle-thing), try to retrofit some bicycle cable tensioners into the top guide, and take up the slack that way in a more adjustable manner. This would also allow a little bit more freedom in placing the motor assembly within the door.

I had spent a bit of time making the mounting plate for the accord's motor match up with the orientation & stud pattern of the RX-7's motor, which I didn't need to do in retrospect since the cables weren't long enough and couldn't make it to the original holes anyway. Just un-bolting the mounting plate & flipping it onto the other side of the motor would have done enough.

2 weeks on & the whole thing is still working great, and it operates the window about 50% faster than the OEM (but recently re-greased) passenger's side - both sides are using relays after the switches. Considering the cost, I may just do this mod on the passenger's side so that they're the same speed.
A bushing is fine, it's the plastic that they made it out of. It turns yellow and starts to crack.
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Old 03-20-18, 01:54 PM
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I have ended up powdercoating some, depending on where they're being used.
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