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Dark Skies's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: United Kingdom.
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Electric Windows Brain Teaser.

Here's a tricky problem that's beaten the previous owner and their mechanic and passed down to me as their legacy.

The passenger window will not operate on the passenger side switch. It will work from the driver's side passenger switch. The driver's switch will also operate the driver's window.

I thought it'd be the passenger side switch and so swapped this over to the driver's side and vice versa. I expected the problem to be transferred to the driver's side. Not so. Nothing changed. Not better or worse.

So I know the switches are both OK.

The window motors in the door must be OK too as both function when operated from the driver's side.

There is evidence that the previous owner's mechanic suspected a fault in the passenger's window motor as the plastic skin (behind door card) has been cut and reshut in the area where the cable goes into the motor. Also newer connections have been fixed - suggesting he may have thought the problem was down to a loose fitting connection.

The wiring must be OK as I can operate the windows from the driver's passenger switch.

So now I'm stumped. Any ideas?
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1983 944 Lux (manual) 2.5 litre 8 valve na and no pas

1991 944 (automatic) 2.7 litre 16 valve na and pas

"I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands."
Old 12-31-2005, 09:16 AM
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SoCal Driver's Avatar
 
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Replace the switches and test again.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:40 AM
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Dark Skies's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SoCal Driver
Replace the switches and test again.
Well, I swapped them back over again and the same applies. Or did you mean buy new switches?
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1983 944 Lux (manual) 2.5 litre 8 valve na and no pas

1991 944 (automatic) 2.7 litre 16 valve na and pas

"I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands."
Old 12-31-2005, 09:54 AM
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Power window switches for Porsche and most other "older" cars are basically a double pole center off type of switch with a kicker. That is, since the two switches that operate the passenger window are in series, power must flow through the driver side switch in order to activate the motor with the passenger switch. The window motor has insulated wirings so the switch can reverse current flow, permitting "up" and "down" operation. There is a reasonably clear diagram on

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/power-window2.htm

I eliminated the problem by installing two high end marine rated center off double pole switches in the area formerly occupoed by the ashtray. Simplified the wiring and eliminated a problem site.

THe reason that such a complex switch is used by manufacturers is to prevent a potential "dead short" situation if one switch is in the "up" position while the other is held in the "down" position.

So, a switch CAN fail and still the other in the circuit can work.
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Bob S. former owner of a 1984 silver 944
Old 12-31-2005, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dark Skies
Well, I swapped them back over again and the same applies. Or did you mean buy new switches?

944 switches have internal contacts that resemble old style points. They can be carefully taken apart, surfaces filed, re assembled and restored to live a season longer. I agree with So Cal, I replaced these switches twice ,both sides, in a 15 year period.
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1998 Glacier White Boxster
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Old 12-31-2005, 11:00 AM
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I had the identical issue with my 84. All new switches and problem with passenger side persisted.

In frustrstion I tried some redneck engineering. I could get the switch to work by just tweaking the wiring loom down from the motor where the wires appeared to be spliced. I assumed a fault somewhere in the wiring but just repositioned and retaped the loom at the "splice" and down where it enters through the door.

Works perfectly now. YMMV
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84 944 Original Owner
65 Plymouth Satellite
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Old 12-31-2005, 11:18 AM
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Dark Skies's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by bertman
I had the identical issue with my 84. All new switches and problem with passenger side persisted.

In frustrstion I tried some redneck engineering. I could get the switch to work by just tweaking the wiring loom down from the motor where the wires appeared to be spliced. I assumed a fault somewhere in the wiring but just repositioned and retaped the loom at the "splice" and down where it enters through the door.

Works perfectly now. YMMV
Could you get the passenger window to go down with the driver's side switch prior to rigging your loom?
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1983 944 Lux (manual) 2.5 litre 8 valve na and no pas

1991 944 (automatic) 2.7 litre 16 valve na and pas

"I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands."
Old 12-31-2005, 11:29 AM
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Yes. My problem was exactly as you described yours. I did replace the switches first though. If you're certain the switches are good, I'd try to find a wiring issue.

Good luck.
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bertman
84 944 Original Owner
65 Plymouth Satellite
08 Mercedes-Benz E 350 Sport
Old 12-31-2005, 11:58 AM
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As noted if/when new switches don't fix the problem then it's in the wires at the door jamb. Twenty years of switching and flexing take their toll.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 12-31-2005, 01:25 PM
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For all its worth, with all the crap I've been thru with these window switches is:

SoCal is RIGHT. If brand new switches, in all three positions STILL do not work, then, you can start really looking at the wire bundles in the door jams, (the bundle inside the rubber coil). The constant flexing of that wire bundle, can and will cause intermitant connections thru the wires, and is NOT uncommon.

I've found, that if used switches are not cleaned, and CORRECTLY assembled (all three of them, exactly the SAME WAY), you will have constant and intermitant problems. ALSO, make sure the switch connectors coming out of the door are making a good and tight connection on the back of the switch. And still, you may have to go with new ones, depending on how well you can do this, and the condition of the points on the switches.

A multi-meter, contact cleaner, a good point filing, NOT bending the spring tabs overly, one way or the other, will help you tremendously. Dielectric grease, is good in these switches, ONLY for the center pivot point, and should NOT be used on the contactor point pad points.

Just my .002. Good luck!
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1985/1 944 Granite Red (wife's car. Iceshark is lighting her way)
1983 944 Platinum (my daily)
1985/1 Guards Red (project)
Old 12-31-2005, 08:45 PM
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Dark Skies's Avatar
 
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OK everyone. Thanks for your input. I paid 28 for a pattern switch today (shudder to think what Porsche would have charged). If that doesn't fix the problem then I'll have to bite the bullet and look at those wiring bundles. Is it likely I can do the job by just easing the boot out in the door jamb or will I need to expose those tired old door cards to more prying of their tired old plastic popclips again?
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1983 944 Lux (manual) 2.5 litre 8 valve na and no pas

1991 944 (automatic) 2.7 litre 16 valve na and pas

"I have only five words for you: From my cold, dead hands."
Old 01-05-2006, 03:23 PM
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