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Window winders (regulators)

Author: Dave Mann

I know of two makes of window winders, these are the Hobson Perfect and the Lucas. The one I'm dealing with is a Lucas unit which came off our RN saloon, the Hobson Perfect is similar.

The problem of wind up windows descending on their own is due to failure of the friction spring mounted in the housing between the pinion and the handle. It is so designed that any attempt to move the window other than by the handle will lock the drive whilst operating the handle unlocks the drive.

The first job is to get it on the bench so to remove the handle there is a catch on the face of the handle facing the door panel which has to be slid towards the bit you hold, see photo 1. With the handle removed the door trim panel can be removed, photo 2, together with the door top trim rail. Prop the door open for the next operation to prevent it closing and breaking the window. Refit the winder handle and wind the window up and out of the door watching that the winder arm doesn't damage the nice walnut finish off the centre cross rail. At some point during this operation the winder arm will disengage from the window channel and the window can be lifted out and stored in a safe place. You will now see 7 woodscrews holding the winder assembly and door cross bar to the door, 5 at the hinge side and 2 at the catch side of the door. Remove these while supporting the assembly and take it to the bench.

The next essential operation is to unload and remove that great big counter balance spring, failure to do so will cost you a finger or two. So wind the handle to bring the operating arm up to the vertical and mind that walnut finish. With the arm vertical the spring will be unloaded and can be lifted off after you have noted it's position, it can be fitted 2 ways depending on whether it is passenger or driver mechanism. Wind the operating arm to the horizontal position and remove the winder handle.

You will now see that the winder has 4 rivets securing it to the door cross bar, I drill these out and tap the holes in the door cross bar 1/4" BSF and use 1/4" BSF countersunk screws from the hubs to resecure the winder to the cross bar, see photo 3.

Turning the winder over you will see that the housing behind the pinion, photo 4, has been secured by 3 bent over tabs, which usually break when you straighten them, and the two 2BA cheese head screws I use to re-secure it. Before undoing the tabs I drill two 4mm holes (2BA tapping size) in the only available place to drill them. Then the tabs can be bent, broken, and the cover removed and out will fall the pinion, spring, pin (these stop the handle from rattling about) and if the friction spring is broken the broken spring and the spindle. See photo 5 shows the contents although I haven't completely removed the spindle and the friction spring, it's fiddly refitting it. Tap the holes 2BA in the winder back plate and open the ones in the cover to 4.8mm (2BA clearance) clean everything up and apply your favourite lubricant (I use Molyslip grease) and reassemble with a new spring. I was lucky I bought various winder spares at Ashover many years ago.

Once assembled you will find it is relatively easy to turn the winder but virtually impossible to move the operating arm. You can now refit the counterbalance spring, the correct way round after winding the operating arm to the vertical.

As a note of interest a relatively unworn passenger unit can be made into a drivers unit. Remove the rivet securing the operating arm to the gear quadrant after removing the counter balance spring. Straighten the opposite end of the gear quadrant which has bent to stop the the quadrant being wound out of mesh, swing the arm to the opposite end of the quadrant gear and secure with a 2BA bolt and nut. See photos 3 and 4 where it can be seen I have done that. Fit the counter balance spring the other way to which you removed it.

Secure the winder to the door cross bar with the 1/4"BSF countersunk screws using some Loctite screw lock, you don't want them coming undone. And refit the assembly in the door. Wind the operating arm up to the position it was in to remove the glass and prop the door open (I use an old stool) refit the window and wind it well down. Refit the door top rail to prevent the window being raised too far and being broken when the door closes. There is no seal on the window to stop rain entering the door and getting on the mechanism and the back of the trim panel, so I secure some heavy duty plastic sheet to the back of the trim panel with some gaffer tape along the top and sides leaving the bottom unsecured so it can breathe. Remove the winder handle, refit trim panel and winder handle.

Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.

Window winders (regulators) Window winders (regulators) Window winders (regulators)

Window winders (regulators) Window winders (regulators)

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