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Old 03-19-2008, 10:04 PM   #1
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How To - Install SPAL power windows

Okay, here we go. My first How-To, so bear with me.

I'm sure all of you know how hard it is to roll down the passenger side window for whatever reason on the highway, and how impossible it is to roll EITHER window down or up with a cup in the door cupholder. (Nice one, Ford!) Not to mention how ghetto you feel rolling down your window to talk to the drive-thru attendant.

So here's how to install the SPAL universal power window kit. SPAL is made in Italy, and seems to be quality stuff. I'm sure other companies make aftermarket kits, so this should be along the lines of how you might install any other kit that uses the original crank mechanism.

First step for me was cutting the center console, since that's where I wanted my switches. If you want to get a Ford door bezel and use those instead, I can't help you with the wiring, but power to you.

Please keep in mind that this is my first how-to and my camera access was limited, so some of the pics may be chronologically out of order, but I put them to rights for the purposes of the how-to!

Here's how I laid out my holes. Using my handy-dandy machinists' rule and some duct tape to make a router "template," checking my measurements as I went to make sure I had a square hole. Cut a hole on the first side, being VERY SURE to put it where you want it; I taped down the bezel and looked at it straight-on to do my placement fine-tuning. Cut the hole a little shy of the bezel's requirements, then trim it out carefully to assure a tight fit.

Duct tape off the square so you know where not to cut...

And dremel away. I used my Craftsman Rotary tool with a drywall router bit set to "rubber/plastic" speed, per the manual. Be sure to do it somewhere you don't want plastic shavings! The hole will be sloppy on the backside, be sure to clean it up after.

Here is my center console with the -first- hole cut and switch bezel in. I know, I know, "Hey, those pics are backwards!" The first ones were just to show the cutting technique, THESE are for getting them in the same place on both sides!

Using paper, with the switch bezel removed, make a template of your console with the cut hole for one side. I just taped some paper down and ran my fingernail along the contours of the console, then cut along the crease lines.

Flip it! Line it up carefully on the other side and pencil it in roughly.

I -highly- recommend getting a fine ruler and checking your second hole's location VERY thoroughly against the first before cutting! The paper trick will bring you close, but is not exact! Use the duct tape the second time too, as before, repositioning it as many times as it takes for you to be satisfied it's perfect before you cut. You'll be looking at these switches the rest of your Focus' life!

All's done to the center console, isn't she pretty?

Part two! The motors/transmissions!
This, obviously, requires the removal of the door panel and sound deadening. I won't go into that here, because it's a pain, I didn't take any pics, and there are a couple other how-to's on that topic here on the forum. The biggest PITA is getting the panel off over the door handle; the bezel around said handle is stuck on by clips and just pulls free toward the inside. The tarry stuff on the foam can be taken off and put back on easy.

The instructions in the SPAL kit are pretty straightforward. You will need to be drilling your door panel for this, so be sure to have your window rolled up before you start; don't need that drillbit punching through the metal and into the glass!

This is the best way I found to install the mechanicals. Use common sense, follow the SPAL manual and be sure everything is where you want it before you drill. The side (front/back) of the transmission/motor flanges that you mount the brackets to WILL have an effect on the clearance of surrounding parts. You want this thing to be hugging the panel for dear life.

A note: The SPAL kit indicates a certain type of primary shaft adaptor for all US Fords. I used it, and stripped the first one out on my driver's side because I didn't have it pushed all the way down onto the shaft. Adaptor # 11 in the kit has the SAME knurl pattern and covers much more of the knurl. I recommend using this one, instead.

This shows the recommended Ford adapter. I put a spot of this silicone-based "Welder" sealant between the shaft and adapter for a bit more security.

On to part three, the wiring!

This is the step that will prove the most frustrating. Don't do this if you're anemic or haven't had your tetanus shots, there are many small cuts from your sharp chassis edges in your near future.

Step one, no pics. String the wires through your door, safely along the bottom of the inner panel, out of the way of moving mechanisms and to the jamb.

This rubber boot just pops out! Easy, huh? I used a knife to punch a hole in it, and strung the wires + loom through said hole, dabbing it with a bit of the sealant for watertightness.

And viola!

Okay, easy part's done. The next thing you will see is this.

This is a Molex plug. Removing the door section of it is as easy as twisting it off. (Thanks SquillyB for helping ME with this one!) There will be three tabs around it's perimeter, that look like they can be pushed in. You will be snapping these off with a small screwdriver. But FIRST, gut your interior.

This is what the left side of your footwell looks like, sans kick panel/lower trim. This place you're looking at will be your hand's access to the back of that Molex plug, and the place your wires will come through. The "carpet" sound deadening material can be pushed back and pulled out of the way for easier access.

I apologize at this point for not taking more pics. I was mostly cursing softly to myself as I did this, trying to figure it out, but I'll give good description.

Two of the aforementioned tabs on the Molex plug will be broken off, those being the one on the bottom, and the one closest to you. BEFORE YOU SNAP THEM, reach through toward the jamb from the inside and put your hand on the back of the plug! You do NOT wanna lose the plug in the doorjamb after it falls through, it's a PAIN to fish back out and realign correctly. After those two tabs are snapped, pull the plug back into the inside jamb, keeping proper alignment, and thread the wires through the now-open hole, being sure to thread some loom through to protect the wires, as well.

I just got some tough tube for loom, with my switch kit. So, being sure the wires themselves are in the lower notch in the hole, (the whole loom won't fit but it should flex,) re-insert the Molex plug. It will be tough with the loom in the way, but once it's in, turn it so the rear-facing tab locks, and then plug the door back in.

The male end of the Molex plug will hold the female in your jamb by it's nature, but it too will be tougher to twist on there with the wire loom now in the way. You'll feel it pop into place when it's done though.

This is where the wires will enter the cab, after the carpet stuff is put back where you found it. Below this area, behind the "L" shaped piece of corner trim, is a chassis ground. Use it for wiring your switches, it's in a convenient place!

And the wires strung across your kick panel.

Wiring it down to your center console is pretty straight forward. This procedure on the passenger's side is just the same, except you remove the glovebox instead of kick panel, and you need to reach around the onboard crash data collector, too.

Needless to say, DISCONNECT YOUR NEGATIVE BATTERY CABLE BEFORE DOING ANY SOLDERING/ELECTRICAL WORK TO YOUR CAR. I claim no responsibility for anything. <-- My official disclaimer.

As for the wiring, I used a Bussman add-a-circuit and plugged into the "Front Power Windows" fuse spot on my fuse block. I put the switch illumination on another add-a-circuit with a 5 amp fuse, in an ignition dependent spot.

Here's the block. The window power source I plugged into #55, and the switch lights are in #57, which makes them turn on whenever the key is in the ignition spot.

It's ALMOST done...

The final steps are to cut out the circle in your door panel to fit the finishing cap, and trim the sound deadening foam for clearance of your new motor. The SPAL kit includes template stickers for the proper hole size and thorough directions as far as the finishing cap goes. HOWEVER, the instructions seem to rely on an "included" hole cutter tool that I didn't receive, so I just broke out the dremel tool again.

When reinstalling your door panels, just knife out the sheet of foam wherever necessary for it to lay flat against the door like it did to begin with. Then cut the foam "block" to make clearance for the motor and cables. You will probably lose the lower "clip" and a good deal of other material from the part in this process, but don't worry, it's only sound deadening. Just make sure that when it's pushed back where it was that it's not exerting any pressure on the motor!

After that's all done, test run it and reinstall your interior! DING! Enjoy your new power windows!

Revision 1!

Forgive the quality, but here's some pics of the completed install.

Lighted Switches

Finishing cap

Per my cell phone. =)

If you have any questions, feel free to PM me!

UPDATE! Over a month after the install and all parts still going strong! There will be a visual inspection when I do my power locks, but so far, QUALITY KIT!

Goal: To have as much fun building the car as I do driving it.
Phase: Drivetrain
L.O.T.H. #9

Last edited by Roland07; 04-17-2008 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Rev. 1
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Old 03-19-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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Wowza a big sticky! I don't need this but a lot of people will, very unique and informative. Nice.
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Old 03-20-2008, 04:34 AM   #3
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Well I am going to try the other route, I did this in my 87' toy. I feel it should be easier with an 01' lx

I am going to install actual factory full power doors into my car. From scratch. I know someone has done it, however I do not see a How-To here!
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:16 AM   #4
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i really like the way you mounted the switches really clean job very well done.. great how to..
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:44 AM   #5
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the switches really look great. How did you decide to run the wires around the molex plug? Just curious...
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:49 AM   #6
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LOL....a little birdie told him to...

GREAT JOB on the write up and the work, glad to help in any way I did... need a sticky MODS PLEASE
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:45 AM   #7
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Squilly hooked me up on the Molex info. I didn't really have the tools or time to drill my jamb. =)
Goal: To have as much fun building the car as I do driving it.
Phase: Drivetrain
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:52 PM   #8
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fantastic write-up....i'm planning on doing this with my 2000 SE very soon, and this will help TREMENDOUSLY!
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:36 PM   #9
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A-1 Electric sells the Spal kit and some switches by a company, Electric Life. Good deal on both, I think.
Goal: To have as much fun building the car as I do driving it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:15 AM   #10
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How fast do they roll up one window? I remember mines would take 12 seconds to roll one up (and I had four installed!)
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