• Power Windows in a '67 GS400, Special, Skylark

    So, you want power windows...

    Buick Special, Skylark, GS400 power windows

    I shopped around and ended up purchasing a pricer set from a reputable Chevelle/Camero/Nova restoration supplier for $699.00. They were sold to me as a good replica of the original equipment regulators.

     

    You are going to have to remove the doors and everything in them. (Give some consideration to the fact that you may wish to remove the front fenders to adjust the doors later)

    Read the instructions, they sound straight forward, but lack a lot of information unless you are familiar with working with doors and windows.

    Take your doors off.

    Disassembly:

    Roll down the window and remove the felts.

    Remove Front Window

    Remove two upper window stops and the rear window guide. Remove the two screws holding the horizontal track rail and the rail. Remove the window by lifting it up at the rear and sliding it out of the track.

    Vent window mountings

    Remove the vent window, three phillips screws (Two near the back of the vent window and one hidden under the weather stripping), one bolt (near the front), and the two adjusting nuts. Loosen the window by shimmying it. You will work it up until the front comes clear of the door, the move it back a little and turn in to allow the adjusting screw to pull through the opening.(you may have to pry the outer and inner panels apart a bit).

    Remove the four bolts that secure the crank mechanism and pull the mechanism out through the upper center hole.

    Drill the four motor mounting holes as indicated in the instructions. We used a die grinder to open up the rectangular lock plate hole for the power regulator. Now you might as well get the 3 large holes on the door ends and the door jam. The instructions have been corrected in pen to reduce the size of the small holes from 1 3/8" to 1 1/8" (OE was 1 1/4") and the large hole from 2" to 1 7/8" (OE was 2"). This is probably because the larger holes were not holding the grommets tight enough when opening and closing the doors. It would be nice if the hose used was a bit lighter. There are nice OE type grommets available, so consider getting them now. The hose supplied is split fuel line. It may be interesting to get the switch and motor plugs through the grommets.

    • Put the power regulator assembly into the door and mount it in the four new holes.
    • Remount the vent window.
    • Slide the window back into the track and roll it into the front guide.
    • Reinstall the rear channel guide and the upper window stops.
    • Reinstall the lower track guide.
    • Test the up and down of the window.
    • Note that while it goes up, it is still not as good as it could be, not enough spring power!

      Darn thing!

      We will look at the spring angle and see if we can tighten it up 1/8 turn.

      Measuring power window assist spring

      Here is how we measured the power window assist spring pressure. We found that when the ones on the kit supplied about 5 lbs. of assist while the OE ones supplied about 10lbs. This is why the windows had a hard time going up and couldn't make it to the top! When reinstalling the spring anchor turn it at least 45 degrees, 1/8 of a turn. You will find you are getting close to "coil bind", but you will get close to the required assist.

      removing the spring lock.

      This image shows you exactly how the spring lock is mounted in the linkage. You can remove it using tools like an angle grinder or die grinder.

      ****REAR WINDOWS!

      Sorry I didn't get the pictures for the rear window removal. First remove the rear track (two bolts). Next release the front track (four adjusting nuts) and push it into the door. Lift the window out of the track. Move the track up toward the package tray to remove it. If you want to remove the window, lift it up and into the car. Remove the regulator.

      Move to the rear quarters. Dissemble everything and prepare to install!

      Rear Power Window Motor Clearance

      It looks like it would be nice if the motor was about 3/4" shorter to allow proper adjustment of the track. It was good that an OE motor will work on this kit. It gives the desired clearance on the track and allow it to adjust. When using an original motor, it should have a couple of washers stacked under two of the bolts for it to sit square with the track.

      Rear Power Window Regulator

      The next problem we ran into is that while the lift arm is a good replica of the original, it is not mounted at the same pivot point. The resulting problem is that the window arm does not come up against the window stop. The lines drawn on the door show where the arm should sit when the window is up, the arm is in the up position. The right position shows the one inch bumper added to stop the arm on the window stop.

      When we went to put the switch in the door panel we started to square the round hole. As an afterthought we went over to the other door panel and simply pushed the switch into the round hole. That make a nice firm installation. Don't square the hole. You will have to square the drivers hole.Keep on Learnin'

      After running this set of windows for only a very short time, the driver's window stuck down! Not a welcome experience! The problem turned out to be in the motor. Probably a set of stuck brushes. There was power to the motor, and after removal and replacement with the spare motor from the rear quarter, it was again tested. The thing worked!

      Now again 6 months later, the drivers window motor experience is being replicated in the passenger door. So when I redo my interior this winter, I don't want it covering up this quality of windows because the door panels will not survive the repeated removal for repairs. I must choose another set of window.

      If I can obtain an original equipment set, my concern is the switches. It will be hard to find an OE set of switches that look good, so the temptation will be to use a replacement set which may not have the quality to run the OE style motors witch certainly place high demands on the switches.

      Now, when you give them a call, the first defence is, "Oh, our supplier shows a different set for the Buick". Strange no other supplier does. We have supplied and installed many of these and have never had a problem, or complaint... It could be that the rear regulators were accidentally marked '66/'67.

      I am dis-appointed that this article seems to have turned into a bit of a product bash

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. mstapell's Avatar
      mstapell -
      I was able to install a similar kit into my 69 G.S. 400 without removing the door. I was able to drill out the hole from inside. I'm not sure if the vent window would change that since my 69 didn't have vents. I have had similar problems with the windows sticking in the down position. I have not resolved that yet, the car is in a full restoration so when I reinstall the glass I will examine that closer for binding issues. I know its not the motors.
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