Cheap fix for power window track issue
My 1999 Dodge truck driver's side power window broke last fall. The window fell down to the bottom of the track and I had to lift it back up by hand with much effort. A glass company said they could replace glass but not fix the power window if the mechanism was broken. The glass was not broken just a mechanical connection.
The power window works on a scissors system and the window is lifted by two little trailer hitch ball type joints running in a horizontal track. The two little balls are covered with phenolic caps that retain the ball and keeps it in the track. That little plastic cap was broken and one of the plastic pieces was shredded. The ball would not stay in the track.
I called the dealer and asked the price of the 1/2 inch plastic cap and they informed me that it was not a shelf item. In fact, I would have to purchase the power window mechanism complete with padded window tracks, the frame and the gearing and the power motor with the switch. The part cost would be $260.00 plus tax and installation They did not recommend that I fix it myself.
Now this made me very angry and so I got my engineering cap out of storage and started to design a fix. It took three hours of thinking, planning, and fabricating to make the part and install it but it works like a charm and I still have the $387.62 they quoted in my pocket.
I don't know how to post a picture but I will try later.
You can see in the picture below that the top picture is the good joint with the plastic cap in position. The second picture shows the split steel pad I made to trap the ball joint and keep it in position. The steel pad slides in the rail just fine and the window works as it should. You can see where I had to grind away part of the rail on the right end in order to slip the pad into position. The sketch at the bottom shows the way it was made on the left and my fix on the right. The tricky part was making the socket trap the ball and I did this by splitting the pad, capturing the ball and then slipping the pad into the channeled rail. I split the pad at two off-set angles so that it would not bind because the working force expansion was vertial rather than horizontal.
One would assume that they could sell that little 62 cent plastic part over the counter rather than sell you the entire mechanism at the high prices they charge. If I was working and had to leave it at the dealer and had rented a truck white they fixed It would have cost me $500 for the complete package. As it was I purchased a set of little grinding wheels at Harbor Freight for $16.00 and fixed it myself.