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Slow Window Fix... “Accelerator” module

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by vincenzo, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
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    So.. after years of non use, the driver side window shows absolutely nothing when switched. Not even a grunt. Fuse is good.

    The passenger side is slow, but functional.

    Presumably the grease has solidified. But ‘while I am in there’.... are these worth adding into the circuit?

    https://www.awitalian.com/product/window-accelerator-kit.html/

    AW Italian says:
    ***************
    How They Work

    Typically the single biggest reason Ferrari windows from these years do not work well is because the existing electric window wiring harness does not provide a good ground to the electric window motors. The way the Ferrari electric window system works is when you push the button to go up one wire is positive 12 volts and the other wire is the ground. When you push the button to go down the polarity in these two wires is reversed. The opposite wire becomes the positive 12 volts and the other wire becomes the ground. Although there can be voltage losses in the wiring harness, switch and any connections along the way – providing a better ground will significantly improve the speed at which the windows will move. This box provides an improved ground making the window motors work much better as they will now receive more voltage and amperage. There is no added burden on the stock wiring harness. There are no detrimental effects to the stock wiring system or switches. This box senses which wire is hot and automatically makes the other wire become the ground and it directs that wire directly to the door frame. These are not always a cure-all for slow windows. You may have other problems like old dried up grease in the window lift assembly or marginal connections in the rest of the electric wiring system. This kit will not correct those types of problems. In most if not all cases the speed of the windows will increase dramatically.
    *************


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  3. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Vincenzo,

    There have been a few past threads that talked about these devices and I believe that someone even posted a schematic of the internals. If you do a search on F-chat I am sure you can find them easily enough.

    Internally these devices containing two relays wired so that the power/ground of the motor connections are not fed through the console switches, but to dedicate wires that can handle more current with less wire resistance losses. The benefit of these devices is that the switches do not carry such a large current load and thus will last much longer. To me offloading the heavy current switching of the motors from the console switches is very desirable. On one car the window switch eventually failed and internally melted from the current loads. Finding a an original replacement switch was a challenge, and so I decided to design up my own version (see pic... about 1"x1" to fit my needs) of switch relay circuit so as to preserve my console switches and also benefit from (slightly) faster Window motors. I say slightly faster, as in my case this was true, but others may have different experiences.

    Now, as to "worth"... You can certainly build your own version like I did or you can buy a pre-made product like the own offered in the link.. Here you will need to decide the worth between these two solutions.

    Cheers,

    Sam

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  4. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
    2,812
    Still trying to figure this out...

    The AW text says: “This box senses which wire is hot and automatically makes the other wire become the ground and it directs that wire directly to the door frame”

    Your text speaks of offloading power from the window switch.

    Presumably our OEM window switches feed a small amount of + power towards a higher amperage relay. Is that wrong? Are the OEM switches instead routing the entire window load towards ground?

    Presumably the AW unit is locally installed within the door and does not require any new wire pulls outside of the door. Is that the same for your design?

    Appreciate your reply to my specific questions. It does save me a lot of research time trying to ‘hopefully’ get my questions figured out. Much appreciated.
     
  5. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Vincenzo,

    I cannot comment on what AW's product does or does not, however, I can tell you that the 308/Boxer/ 365 GT4 2+2/etc window motors are simple DC motors. As such in order to control the motor's direction (e.g. up or down) the voltage across the motor terminals must reverse in polarity. The polarity reversal is done via the window switches (see attached pic of the switch functionality) and so the full motor current is fed through these switches (plus the initial current spike as the motors just start to turn). Over time as the motors age (internal lubricant's harden and dry out) and the switch contacts oxidize, the current increases which causes heat to be generated in the switches and throughout the window motor/switch wiring. All of this creates problems along with reducing the voltage across the motor terminals which reduces its speed and torque. Now, if one adds external relays to control the motor's terminal polarity reversal and use the switches to control the relay's coil (coil current is much, much lower than the motor current) we preserve the switches and its internal contacts and at the same time provide maximum voltage to the motor which maximizes its speed.

    The above is applicable for the 308, Boxers, and 365 GT4 2+2 cars and I am sure a bunch of other Ferrari's too (except maybe some of the newer and more modern cars). For the Testarossa, etc you would need to review its window motor wiring to determine if it is the same. My feeling is that it is or very close to the same idea. Does this make sense?

    As for links... the links I was thinking of appear to be gone and/or lost. However, I did find the following which has some good info:

    https://www.ferrarichat.com/forum/threads/slow-window-fix-for-less-than-30-00.310804/

    I hope the above answers your questions.

    Cheers,

    Sam

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  7. DonB

    DonB Formula Junior
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    Something to think about.

    On my '79 308 I discovered that the window motors were not grounded directly to the chassis/body via a dedicated wire. They were grounded just to the door. The "grounding" of the door to the body simply used the door hinges which make for a terrible ground for obvious reasons.
    Even after replacing the concrete grease in the mechanisms the windows were still slow. After discovering the grounding scenario I ran dedicated ground wires from the motors to the body and it worked wonders.

    I haven't as yet investigated my '84 BBi but perhaps the set up is the same? However, rest assured the project is "on the list". I'll get to it as soon as I finish the cure/vaccine for COVID-19...maybe next Tuesday.
     
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  8. pshoejberg

    pshoejberg Formula 3
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    Same issue with the 512BBi, no dedicated grounding wire, so high current will have to travel via the well greased hinges....Terrible solution.

    Best regards Peter
     
  9. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
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    The differences are:

    In the stock arrangement, the positive voltage and negative voltage are both supplied by the window switch -- so the high window motor current flows thru 2 sets of contacts inside the window switch. So the summary is: no added wires, but you have the voltage drop thru 2 sets of contacts inside the window switch.

    In Sam's "solution", both the positive voltage and negative voltage signals go thru the relays -- so the high window motor current does not flow in the window switch at all (the downside is both a large positive voltage source and a large ground source needs to be supplied to the relay board). So the summary is: two added wires (one can be the door frame, but the other needs to be a dedicated, insulated +12V wire), and no voltage drop in the window switch at all.

    In the AW "solution", the added relays "sense" with motor lead is at ground and then connects that motor lead to the added ground wire. The high window motor current still flows thru one set of contacts inside the window switch. So the summary is: One added wire, and you have the voltage drop thru 1 set of contacts inside the window switch (so electrically better than stock, but not electrically as good as Sam's, but easy to implement as the added "ground" wire is just connected to the door frame).

    PS I don't see how it would be possible to add a "dedicated ground wires from the motors to the body" as there is no wire on the window motor that is always ground. Additionally, neither 308 nor 512 use the door hinge as a ground connection for the window motors -- using the AW solution, by connecting the ground wire to the door frame, does use the door hinge as a ground connection.
     
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  10. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Thanks Steve, that helps a lot.

    two questions for you and Sam please:
    1) is the resistance thru the door hinge high enough to warrant an additional ground wire to the frame (AW system)?
    2) do the OEM window switches have a typically high failure rate with that much current running thru them? Fire hazard?

    electrically, Sam’s solution is clearly best... but I hesitate to make a wiring change that far away from OEM.

    Thanks again to you both!
     
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  12. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
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    #10 Steve Magnusson, Apr 19, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
    My opinions are:
    :
    1) No (but you could always measure the voltage between the door frame and the negative battery terminal when operating the window motor. If it was more than, say, 1V, maybe that would justify adding a wire to go from the door frame over the door joint to the chassis).

    2) Not a fire hazard (unless a switch got stuck in the "on" position). The high current eventually causes the resistance of the switch contacts to go up (which reduces the current and slows the window motor). Eventually, the switch contacts will go open and (or to such a high resistance that) the window motor won't work.

    An expanded description of each design would be:

    stock arrangement -- the high window motor current flows thru 2 sets of contacts inside the window switch and a bunch of fairly small gauge wire.

    Sam's "solution" -- no voltage drop for the window motor current in the window switch at all, and very little wire (both positive things, but does require adding a big +12V wire, too).

    AW "solution" -- the high window motor current still flows thru one set of contacts inside the window switch and has only about 1/2 the amount of the small gauge wire as stock.

    (i.e. the voltage drop in the wires is also not insignificant, as a car manufacturer can't use a lot of big gauge wires for everything as the cost and weight are just too much.)
     
  13. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
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    I added a dedicated ground wire from the braided ground strap on the rear of the engine to the battery. I figured can't hurt!
     
  14. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Thanks everybody for the help! Really good info & much appreciated.
     
  15. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Vincenzo,

    Steve said and paraphrased the whole system much better than I could or can! Thank you Steve for continually providing such excellent information, insight, and guidance!

    As for your questions:

    1. Using body mounts, hinges, etc can be OK, but in reality it is best not to rely on connections that are not dedicated. Over time these non specific connections can loosen and thus oxygen can enter between the two contact points. Over time these two contact points can oxidize resulting in increasingly the resistance between the two points. The increased resistance then absorbs energy from the circuit current which creates heat and also a voltage drop across the load... all of which is undesirable over the long run. If anything is would be best to install a ground strap/wire instead of simply relying upon non dedicated grounding points.

    2. I cannot speak for all model family window switches, but the ones in my 365 really suffered. To be fair this could have been from a variety of things that all contributed to the switch's demise: Window motors that were not serviced in a long time, dry/aged window channels, window cables not adjusted properly or became loose, etc no doubt caused loading on the motor which increased its demand for current which is fed through the switches. Over time the switch's internal contacts would oxidize and so as current flowed through these contacts, heat would be generated which could eventually cause the switch to fail. This is exactly what happened to my one switch. It was was melted internally and the it failed in an "on" position so that the window motor was constantly on. Thankfully these window motors have an external thermal switch that opens if the motors get too hot...and thus saved the wiring and a potential fire.

    As for my approach... I designed the module so that it is pretty close to plug and play and can be installed in two ways depending upon how much extra work you wish to do. The first solution is not touch or add any wires within the door and window motor. The module and wiring is done in the console and all it takes is to move 2 wires from the switch to the module and then add a +12 and Ground from the switch to the module.... and thus the factory wiring remains intact should you ever wish to put everything back to original. This approach simply offloads the heavy motor current from the switch to the relays and does not take into account the voltage drop across the original Ferrari motor wires.

    The second and superior way requires a bit more effort, as two additional wires must be installed. For this approach the module is installed within the door and is connected between the existing switch motor wires and the motor. Two larger wires are now installed from inside the door to the cabin. One of these cabin wires is connected to the window motor fuse location and the other is connected to a solid ground. The other side of these dedicated +12 and ground is connected to my module. The existing switches and wires remain untouched and now when you press the switch it controls the modules's relays which switches the +12V and Ground appropriately. The result is maximum voltage across the motor and in so doing increases its speed and torque.

    As you can see the original wiring is not permanently altered and so the module, etc can be removed at any time and returned back to original if one wanted.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
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  16. tf308

    tf308 Formula 3
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    Sam...

    You make these,but stopped the fuse box?

    Are these limited production and may be discontinued?


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  17. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    @SCantera did something like this on his 512 if i recall
     
  18. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day TIm,

    I have only made these modules for my own use and do not sell these. I only commented in this thread as Vincenzo was looking to understand if the devices sold by AW and others were worth the $. I presented some background, info, and what I did as an example of what one could do to address this issue. My apologies if this came across like I was trying to flog something.

    As for my fuse blocks... I only make and offer these as time permits and so technically I have not "stopped" making them. Even so I primarily offer my blocks as a service to the community, as in reality I make very little or any real profit on them.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  19. c4b4the04

    c4b4the04 Karting
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    I ran a dedicated 15A fused power wire into each door. Then I use the signal from the window switch to activate one of two relays, effectively doing what you are showing in the schematics. I did this a year ago with two relays (not as nicely as Sam's setup mind you!) but dedicated battery power means little draw on the factory harness. My windows go up and down in just a few seconds. At some point I will scrape the old hard grease out, but my system was under two hours and made two inop windows 100% operational.
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  20. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Technically, I love the fix with relays and dedicated wiring.... but really hate to add non oem wiring.

    the aw fix is very much confined to just a small area and can be clearly seen and assessed by anybody going into the door cavity.

    Consider a future tech finding seemingly stray wires running to and fro while saying to himself WTF?

    on 83958, the SR fuse board was installed, and I really hated to do the mod... but felt that it was required for longevity. The overall installation is somewhat dramatic from a ‘modification’ viewpoint... but it is mostly confined to the fuse box cavity. That said, it does run a wire directly to the battery.

    Now add in some wire for the window relays....

    add in some wire for the radar detector...

    add in some wire for the stereo sound system...

    pretty soon you have spaghetti wiring running all over the place.

    Begrudgingly... I am willing to do the aw mod. Even though relays are a better technological solution... the relays are too big a mod at this time. Hopefully fresh grease and the aw mod will present an acceptable solution. If not... then the relays will be retrofitted.

    sign me off as “anti-spaghetti”.
     
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  21. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
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    Agree completely with your descriptions of these two options, Sam, but, since you guys have motivated me to maybe pursue this improvement, I see there may be a third placement option on a TR -- putting it under the front scuttle where there's: 1) conveniently already door wiring connectors (with the window motor signals), and 2) a much shorter path for the added +12V wires. This is the TR's C1 connector for the LH door (and there's a similar C9 connectors for the RH door):

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    Just a thought for any F models with a similar easily accessible door connector on the chassis side of the hinge. Will post the results (someday ;)).
     
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  22. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Vincenzo,

    Here is where you and I differ. To me if there is no permanent wiring alterations and is done cleanly then I would not consider this spaghetti wiring. I cannot see how moving a few connections around and potentially adding 2 wires would constitute spaghetti wiring... and yet adding AW's device plus an additional wire + some slight wiring mods is not spaghetti wiring by your definition. To me spaghetti wiring, etc is when a lot of wires are run and/or the original wires are permanently altered with a load of splices and butt connectors. As I said, our views are certainly different on this.

    As for the AW solution... given Steve's summary of its operation... to me this is simply a variation of the two relay solution with a couple of diodes (used for blocking) that was presented in the links I mentioned as well as what I have done. Here the "sense" leads are attached to the window motor wires and are fed to the two relays via diodes. When either one of the "sense" wires see +12 (or Ground depending upon how they wired their relays) one of the relays switch which effectively connects a more direct (low impedance) ground connection to the respective motor connection. Depending upon your interest and technical skills you could duplicate the AW solution quite inexpensively. That being said, having a ready made solution would certainly be faster to implement and also potentially less effort to get working correctly.

    Best of luck in whichever method you choose!

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  23. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Steve,

    I also concur. I have no experience or exposure with TR's and so my comments were directed to earlier models that I do have familiarity with (308/BB/365 Gt4 2+2). That being said, your approach and the picture sure would make the mods a lot cleaner and perhaps easier to do!

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  24. vincenzo

    vincenzo F1 Rookie

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    Thanks Sam... both you and Steve have been a big help. I figure to approach it in stages.

    First - fresh grease and the AW solution

    if that proves inadequate, then...

    Second - do the relay mods per your solution


    No right or wrong here, just solutions. Once again, my thanks go to you and all on F-chat
     
  25. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Cassidy,

    Well done. I chose the relays I did, as I wanted the module to be as small as possible. The relays I used (Omron) are tiny, but are rated to 30A and yet are really tiny. The entire module is about a 1" cube when placed into an enclosure that I then epoxy filled.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
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  26. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Vincenzo,

    You are most welcome. I would also check and lubricate your window channels/tracks along with checking the cables, etc. If the window channels are dry this will increase loading on your motors resulting is slower speed and increased current through the switches. The cables, etc also should also be inspected,as they could be loose and/or misadjusted causing the motor to work harder. On my 365 replacing the channels (they were worn) and readusting the cable really dramatically improved the original system even without my modules (about a 4 second up and down time).

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
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  27. tf308

    tf308 Formula 3
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    I asked because if you made them, I would buy one. I’ve been waiting to see if I can get one of your fuse blocks for my 308qv.

    512tr has the updated mechanism...no pulleys or wires



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