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Old 04-14-2003, 04:18 PM
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Post Power window woes

I just got a '85 cadillac DeVille for a daily and the front windows refuse to move. The rear windows will move, but only the drivers side rear window will cooperate with the drivers side front switch. The passenger rear will only work with the passenger rear switch. I havn't gotten a chance to tear the 3 peice door panel apart to look at anything, When I do what should I do first and how. check to see if the motor works with a direct juicage? Do what I usually do and pound the sheet out of power windows and go cannibalize another caddy for manual windows? Theres more frikin bells whistles lights flashy things than I care for, but it gets good mialage and its better than walkin 30 mile. Thanks for the help.

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Old 04-15-2003, 03:12 AM
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the good news is that although there are lots of bells and whistles in your cadi, the window system should still use relatively simple circuits.

the first thing i'd do is test the console switches. they can fail after a while, ESPECIALLY ON THE DRIVER'S SIDE. chances are the switch contacts are worn out, or the block terminals are loose, both of which prohibit current from powering the windows.

if your de ville has the chrome rocker-style switches that most cadis (and most GMs) used since the 1960s, they are easy to fix and/or cheap to replace. my '70 olds had these switches go bad. i couldn't rebuild them, so i bought a set on ebay from a '67 cadillac - same exact part - for $10. now it works like new. i also have an '86 chevy caprice that has the same switches, but it's never had a problem.

assuming your cadi does have the same kind, they are usually clustered in fours, and you must remove a bezel plate in the armrest to get at them. the switches are mounted to the pate with screws, and they should unplug from a plastic block, which contains the power wires. this may take a little prying with a screwdriver, just nudge it easily all around the til the block comes off. when it does, you can remove the whole plate and take it inside to test.

you will notice there are about 9 or so pins sticking out of the back of the switch. one should be connected to a brass plate. this is +12vdc power IN. all the others are +12vdc power OUTS. each of these go to different window motors. see illustration:

to test the switches, use a voltmeter with continuity check. hook one probe (red or black) to the +12vdc IN pin, then hook the other probe to one of the +12vdc OUT pins. now, one at a time, push each of the switches BOTH ways. one of the four should cause the meter to beep. when it does, this means that contact is good. repeat for all other +12vdc OUT pins, leaving the same probe connected to the 12vdc IN pin. you should hear a beep each time. if you don't, it means that contact is bad, and you've found the problem.

if the switches turn out to be the problem, you can try to take them apart, clean, and rebuild them, but i wouldn't waste your time. you can go to a junk yard or ebay and buy a used set for $5-10. i think NAPA and other discount parts stores have replacements as well, but i feel the original GMs are better. as far as i know, almost all GMs from the mid '60s to the late '80s used the same design.

if the switches are not defective, try plugging them back into the block VERY tightly - to ensure good contact. if this doesn't work, use a voltmeter to test the +12vdc IN wire from the block. it should read hot with the ignition on. if not, check fuses and wiring upstream.

at worst, your window motors could be bad, or maybe it's a hardware or wiring problem downstream. if these things are the case, you'll be tearing off door panels, which i believe is more your territory anyway.

oh, if your cadi's switches are for some reason different than i described, the above method will still work, but you will need to identify which wires are +12vdc INs and OUTs. this comes with a little experimentation. good luck, and i hope your windows are stuck UP and not DOWN!

[ April 15, 2003: Message edited by: 98rocket ]</p>
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Old 04-15-2003, 02:45 PM
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Thanks for the great info 98, will try and attack it when I can and let you know.

Those are the correct switches you described. I've taken hundreds of them out for paint and shaving work, just never had to repair one. Thanks again.

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