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How to Convert Your Electric Tailgate Window to Manual

Contributed By: Bill Kelsey

  1. Open the tailgate and raise the window
  2. Remove the tailgate access cover
  3. Remove the tailgate glass
  4. Make sure you can access the 6 retaining screws (three along the top, three along the bottom) through the large holes in the regulator gears -- the lift will need to be raised about halfway
  5. Disconnect the electric window lift wiring at the dash switch and from the regulator
  6. Remove the electric window lift regulator and motor assembly and donate it to a deserving masochist (or anyone who will pay for it) IMPORTANT NOTE: On gear-driven sector-type electrically operated regulators, the regulator control arms are under pressure and can cause serious injury if the motor is removd without first locking the sector gear; BE SURE to lock the regulator sector gears in place with a pin, screwdriver, or other metal rod inserted through the hole in the lower half of the left (smaller) gear into the regulator frame before removing the motor
  7. Install a well-greased manual window lift regulator assembly liberated from a retired FSJ (or bought from Jeep, if still available)
  8. Move the lock cylinder from the electric switch to the manual crank handle so you don't have to carry another key (or get the lock cylinder rekeyed)
  9. Reinstall the tailgate glass
  10. Find something creative to do with the nice dash switch for the rear window (and when you do, let me know -- I've yet to come up with something useful).

(I've often wondered if I could have converted the electric lift assembly to a manual one by simply replacing the motor with a crank-and-gear assembly -- but I had the whole manual setup already and someone who wanted the electric lift, so never bothered to check.)

Bill Kelsey
Aberdeen, SD
'79 widetrack Cherokee "S" (which began life with an electric tailgate window lift, but now enjoys the distinctive and classic crank)

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