VW Beetle Forum banner

Manual window conversion?

8863 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  e-merlin
So I've had my bug for a few years now and I never have an ounce of problems with him mechanically. Wash has proven to be one of the best cars I've ever had. However his window functionality is something left to be desired.

I take my car on lots of road trips and it seems every time I go somewhere he leaves me in a pickle because at that very moment one of his windows is bound to malfunction and by malfunction I mean fall off it's tracks entirely. (We had to use tape and a chopstick to even grab the damn thing it fell down so far.) This last trip to Chicago was particularly hairy as it was cold and snowing and let me tell you something right meow; it is not fun to drive a cold diesel car 75 MPH down the expressway in the middle of winter with your driver side window down. Didn't have to fret about the passenger window as it has been taped up for the better part of a year now do to it doing the same exact thing about a month after fixing it.

My car has automatic windows now and I was curious if maybe replacing the extremely ****ty automatic system with hand crank ones would solve all my problems. Because at this point the only window still functioning is the sun roof.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Sorry, the part that breaks is common to Both the electric and manual versions.
Just a different source spinning the drive gear that engages the poorly designed window regulators that fail on all VW's.
There's got to be something I can do. My windows don't do me any good if I can't Use Them.
You need to go through them and get them fixed up. Get quality parts. Power windows do have more problems, but it shouldn't be a constant thing. I've had my '03 GTI for over 3 years and windows are fine *knock on wood*.

The manual windows in these cars are a bit of a pain, as they weren't designed for crank windows in mind. We have an '84 Jetta with crank windows and compared to the mk4 crank windows (I had them in my '99 Beetle and hubby has them in his '01 Jetta) they are night and day difference. Mk4 crank windows aren't very easy to roll up and down at all and it takes a good number of cranks to do it. Its also hard to reach the passenger side if you need to roll it up/down while on the road. You'll need to change the door cards and its hard to find manual window door cards. I don't think its really worth it. You're time and money is better spent fixing up your windows now.
See less See more
You my good fellow VDubber have had far better luck with your car's windows than I ever had. I've owned this car for a few years now and have only had about a summer's worth or use out of the windows. And not all the windows fully. Only the driver. The passenger window has spent far more time being broke. It broke the day we got it, it's been fixed three times now, and broken about a week after each fix. No one wants to screw with the windows anymore and I don't blame them.

So the inability or difficulty to roll it up or down really does not effect me any. At this point I've never gotten the chance to use them much. If it means I have to muscle a window up for it to have some actual functionality so be it.

The car I had before this one leaked more oil then the exxon valdez and never had functioning AC for the 6 years I owned her. The 73 bus? There is a shorter list of things that don't need to be constantly repaired. I know how to deal with dumb bull**** from a car but this is just too much. Those window parts are not cheap nor are they a simple thing to replace.
See less See more
I think you have something else going on which is causing the failures. VW power windows certainly aren't known to be problem free, but breaking that often isn't something I've heard of.
Well I can't be screwed with it too much right now. I've got one hell of a chest cold and I can't be outside in this crap weather for more than a few minutes without feeling like I want to expel my own lungs.

From what I can see the track the holds the window is still down even though we managed to get the window up. I can't get the inner panel off with the track in the way, yet I can't get the track up without getting the inner panel off.

It's a mess man.
They are made with that damn mexiplastic like everything else in the Beetles. I have coined a new word. Anyway, the kits you can buy to rehab the regulators have a metal support that strengthens the glides. This doesn't make them bullet proof but it is what it is. There are you tube videos on how to do the repair. One thing to keep in mind is that the inner door tray IS the regulator and subject to damage it wont work as intended (don't know if you have any door damage)also it could just wear. there are also guide rollers that could be at issue.
I've done several of these for myself and others, gets to be old hat after awhile and I have seen the junkyards and the door panels and regulators are the first Beetle parts removed.
I have a bug that has the crank windows and I believe this puts less stress on the inner parts - as stated above though , its a chore rolling up and down. The mechanism is different true, but the regulator is the same as the automatic. The mechanism bolts on where the window motor is normally, the door panels are different in the area of crank mounting and the lack of button. My bug was totaled and I saved these parts out of the car, don't know if you go that route but let me know
See less See more
New Beetle convertible windows are not much different than other convertible vehicle windows as long as one remembers the design intent

Convertible windows should be operated in only two positions (true of all convertibles)
1) Completely down
2) Completely up (especially with the top up)

The reason this is true is that the windows have no structure (no B pillar or window enclosure) to support them should they be part way down.
When the windows are fully up, they are supported by the rubber found on the outer edges of the top frame. When the windows are fully down, they are supported by the window track.

Any position which is in-between fully down or fully up creates great stress upon the window track and securing bits, as the vehicle receives impact from roadway undulations. Engage a rather large pot hole in the roadway, and the windows will move several millimeters (in and out) if they are fully up and the top is down.
The rear windows have the least amount of structure with the top down.

Another failure mode is related to incorrectly opening the doors. The vehicle is designed to lower the windows slightly to allow the windows to clear the sealing track in the top before opening. Usurping this design will cause damage to the door tracks and the window seal attached to the top.

Finally there are those who tend to slam the door by pushing on the window glass. The pressure exerted upon the window support bits using this methodology, is enough to break the window support bits (usually plastic) and damage the tracks.

All of these issues can be avoided by changing One’s behavior, which will vastly extend the life of the window tracks and related bits.
See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.