How to Replace Power Windows with Manual

by Eli Laurens

Replacing power window motors with a manual crank can save money and time replacing continually burned-out motors. Since most automobile models have power windows as an option, the cranking mechanism of the window regulator is typically the same unit or similar. The average backyard mechanic can replace the power window motor with a hand crank in about an hour.

Disconnect the battery by turning the positive terminal bolt counterclockwise. Store the terminal away from the battery.

Remove the screws inside the interior door handle by turning them counterclockwise. Remove the armrest bolts by turning them counterclockwise. Pull the door panel away from the pop rivets firmly and remove the panel from the metal door. Set the panel aside, away from the work area.

Remove the window regulator motor by turning the mount bolts counterclockwise, then unplugging the wiring harness adapter plug. The gears for the window regulator use the same set up for different models, built with both cranking and power windows in mind. The window regulator should be able to accommodate the stock hand crank coupler by inserting it into the gears and turning the mount bolts clockwise. Some models may require a complete window regulator replacement.

Replace the door panel by pressing it back into the pop rivets, giving each one a tap to seat it into the metal holes. Replace the armrest bolts and interior door handle screws in a clockwise fashion. Seat the hand crank against the bolt sticking out of the door panel. Some models of door panels will have this hole by default, some may have to be drilled. Secure the crank to the bolt by pressing it into the grooved sides, then turning the Phillips-head screw clockwise until it is tight. The window regulator should operate when the hand crank is turned.

Reconnect the battery by turning the positive terminal bolt clockwise.

Tip

  • check Sell the motor as used auto parts online.

Warning

  • close Do not remove the motor without disconnecting the battery.

Items you will need

About the Author

Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.