More Up than Down

More Up than Down


This 1996 Dodge Caravan has a visible motor (usually they’re hidden from view) and two window tracks instead of just one like most power windows nowadays, probably because the door and the window are so long.

Richard McCuistian/Motor Age — My dad drove a lot of different cars home from his garage. One morning in 1963, I remember looking down the long dirt road in front of our house at the approaching school bus, and I glanced over my shoulder at Dad while he slid behind the wheel of a long black car to leave for work. I still don’t know if that grand old boat was a Cadillac or a Chrysler, but I do remember the goose bumps I felt when I saw all four of the windows slide down into the doors under their own power. When I was 6 years old, it seemed more like magic or science fiction than reality.

According to some sources I found online, Daimler first introduced electric windows in 1948, but the SAE timeline credits Lincoln with the first power windows in 1946.

My wife is a drive-through bank teller, and she says one in four of her customers have a driver side front power window that is inoperative; they have to open the car door to do business. Any shop owner knows there’s a big profit in power windows.

The old scissor-type regulator with its curved rack and spiral spring were by no means trouble free, but they didn’t drop like flies the way so many of the cable and pulley units do nowadays, either. Usually all it took on those units was a motor or a switch. That being said, those units do tend to bind up as the door housing gets tired. And the cable and pulley units are easier to service and from the design side of things; they’re a lot easier for automotive engineers to work into a variety of door shells.

Source: Motor Age

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About the Author

Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor is the SureTrack Community Administrator and a Senior Applications Specialist at Mitchell 1 with over 25 years of experience with electronic repair data systems. Nick previously worked in the automotive dismantling and engine rebuilding industries.