Jun 5, 2013 update to the Nissan 240SX project car

Window Woes for Our Nissan 240SX

Before we could enjoy our Nissan 240SX, we had to fix the driver's window. (And yes, we realize this is the passenger side--better lighting that day.)
This little back box--actually, it's white with a black rubber coating--seemed to be the root of our window woes.
Nissan calls that box an amplifier, and it's part of the power window harness. We popped it open to take a look inside.
Depending on how the amplifier hung from the harness, either the windows worked of they didn't.
Accidentally bumping the amplifier's circuit board seemed to jostle something back into position. For now, at least, our power windows are operational.

Then we either made a mistake or performed a miracle: We accidentally bumped the bare circuit board. Doh!

Before taking possession of our 1991 Nissan 240SX we knew that we had one issue to fix: The driver-side window was stuck in the down position.

Window regulator? Motor? Switch? Bad ground?

We broke out the multimeter and did some testing. The switch tested out good. A quick visual inspection showed that the regulator looked sound, too.

What about that black box hanging from the door’s wiring harness? Before we could even test it, we learned something: Moving it around mysteriously brought the power window back to life. If we held it upside down, for example, the windows worked.

Turns out that it’s a Nissan part, and some internet searching showed that its failure wasn’t uncommon. Nissan lists its replacement at about $150, and we found online prices for a few bucks less. All sources said a replacement would have to come from Nissan.

We did the only logical thing: took it apart to see if there were any obvious problems inside. Our initial inspection didn’t reveal any problems, and just for grins we decided to try the windows with just the box’s circuit board plugged in.

As before, operation was intermittent. Then we either made a mistake or performed a miracle: We accidentally bumped the bare circuit board. Doh!

And that’s when the window started working normally. So we put everything back together and went on our merry way. If the widows stop again, at least we know where to look.

Anyone else happen to stumble upon a fix that was way easier than expected?

We have been writing about Nissans since they were known as Datsuns. Subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports now.
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ssswitch
ssswitch Reader
6/5/13 10:01 a.m.

Cold solder joints indeed - I have to give my Miata's DRL module a sharp smack once in awhile until I work up the flexibility and free time to try and pull it out of the pedalbox.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/5/13 10:40 a.m.

Before taking possession of our 1991 Nissan 240SX we knew that we had one issue to fix: The driver-side window was stuck in the down position.

Window regulator? Motor? Switch? Bad ground?

We broke out the multimeter and did some testing. The switch tested out good. A quick visual inspection showed that the regulator looked sound, too.

What about that black box hanging from the door's wiring harness? Before we could even test it, we learned something: Moving it around mysteriously brought the power window back to life. If we held it upside down, for example, the windows worked.

Turns out that it's a Nissan part, and some internet searching showed that its failure wasn't uncommon. Nissan lists its replacement at about $150, and we found online prices for a few bucks less. All sources said a replacement would have to come from Nissan.

We did the only logical thing: took it apart to see if there were any obvious problems inside. Our initial inspection didn't reveal any problems, and just for grins we decided to try the windows with just the box's circuit board plugged in.

As before, operation was intermittent. Then we either made a mistake or performed a miracle: We accidentally bumped the bare circuit board. Doh!

And that's when the window started working normally. So we put everything back together and went on our merry way. If the widows stop again, at least we know where to look.

Anyone else happen to stumble upon a fix that was way easier than expected?

We have been writing about Nissans since they were known as Datsuns. Subscribe to Grassroots Motorsports now.
2ndstorer
2ndstorer New Reader
6/5/13 12:48 p.m.

Love the last pic.

Porsche in the garage... Check. 240sx in the driveway... Check. Offroad vehicle with a solid axle... Check.

Seems to be a pretty fun stable of cars at that house!

RexSeven
RexSeven UberDork
6/5/13 6:42 p.m.

Us FC3S RX-7 owners know all about cold solder joints- the stop lights and horn are on the same PCB and are notorious for not working.

If the window regulator wigs out again, then you should just apply some fresh solder to all the joints on the PCB. It's a simple job.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/5/13 7:25 p.m.

Thanks. Yeah, plenty of cars here at the house. One leaves this weekend (sniff) and another will probably follow soon after (sniff, again).

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/2/13 5:53 p.m.

Knock on wood, it's about a month later and the power windows are still working fine.

niys
niys
11/16/13 3:56 p.m.

I had to resolder the connections between the pins and the board never had an issue again.

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