Driver's window won't go up. Bought new motor but mechanic says replace the hinky switch panel, and I can't find one to buy.

My windows are slow up and down but all worked until the driver's window got stuck down. The lights dim when you hit the switch, indicating electronics should be OK, so I bought a new motor(maybe Chinese, I'm not sure). When my trusted mechanic went in, he said the black plastic rectangle underneath the driver door armrest/switch panel was cracked and the connections were questionable. He wants to replace this before taking the door apart, which is a bit of an ordeal. I cannot find this item at CaddyDaddy. The upper part of the armrest, the chrome and switches, seem fine, it's just the plastic underneath. Anyone know a source for this or want to suggest just replacing the motor? I'm reluctant to do all that only to reinstall the questionable switch panel. Rather do the switches first to correct something apparently substandard. 

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Preston,

Check this part: https://www.ebay.com/itm/63-64-65-66-Buick-Riviera-Power-Window-Swi...

Although it's listed as Buick, I believe it will work for your car. Many parts were used across the GM platform. Be sure to confirm though. I have not used one but it looks worth a try if your part can not be salvaged. Water damage there can cause a lot of harm.

The motors are usually not the problem so you are right to attack it this way. Also check the wiring, especially in the bends in the rubber boot in the driver side door jamb. The wiring is notorious for breaking there and can give intermittant power which can be confusing. If it is cracked or broken, my opinion is it's worth splicing in lengths of new wires - maybe 12"rather than attempting to solder or use crimp on connecters at the break. It breaks there for a reason and you'll be better off with fresh wire at the trouble spot.  

Ian

Excellent suggestions, thank you. The listing for this part indicates NOT compatible with '64 Cadillac but it does look sort of close and could possibly be rigged to work in the absence of a perfect replacement. One the armrest is sealed up it doesn't matter to me what's inside as long as the windows work!!

Although the listing says not a match for your Caddy, I believe it will work. The seller specializes in Buick parts and might have only listed the Buicks that it fits.

Check the photos of the switches in the listing. The first one looks identical to what is used in the Caddys to me. Again, confirm this for yourself but I think this will work.

I have a new reproduction base  85.00 plus shipping.  Just email me at  russ85747@hotmail.com

There are several on ebay at the moment.  These are expensive ($100 on up).  They can be taken apart, but the assembly is swaged or crimped together and getting this firmly back in place caused me problems.  

The plastic wire shell doesn't carry current, it only separates the brass terminals inside which squeeze the pins of the switch, so replacing the plastic will do absolutely nothing except cosmetically.  You need to fix the actual connections, ie, the brass wire ends inside.    
But slow windows are usually just dry or sludgy tracks.  If all of your windows are sluggish, you 99% have this problem and need to address it. You only want to do it once.   Get all the windows out, clean and regrease all the cams and the motor gears.  Your windows will probably go back to original speed just from that.  Then bench test the motor that's stuck with no load on it.    If it's stuck, slow, noisy, or shows any signs of reluctance at all, just replace it with the motor you already have. 
If your mechanic has the ability and the equipment, he should check the amp draw of the motors while they're working.  If he has a scope with an amp probe, he can actually diagnose bad brushes or 'flat spots' without taking the motors apart.  
Damage to the plastic shell is never the cause of window problems, but it is an effect.  You need to get at the underlying cause, which is usually heat from either:

  1. short in motor
  2. bad contacts in switch
  3. bad terminal contact to pin at switch
  4. abnormal motor load from binding linkage  or lack of lubrication on tracks

This will all need to be ruled out or corrected to have a successful repair, and unfortunately that will cost money if you aren't doing it yourself.  If your other windows are sluggish, it's a waste of money to change the switch or wiring to it without correcting that problem first;  slow windows draw current, current makes heat, heat melts plastic and burns contacts, so you'll just be left with a recurring problem.   Better to bite the bullet and rip the band aid off all at once then little by little.  

Thanks for the detail! I like to work on the car, but it doesn't sound fun to access all four motors, dismantling quite a bit of the interior. I pretty much drive it 9 months a year with the windows and top down but I will do as much of this as I can. When other cars develop slow windows, I sometimes squirt some lithium grease inside with a long tube and it gets my by for a year or two. Not as good as a complete teardown and bench inspection!!

I've had trouble with my electric windows also. Turns out I had a broken wire in the bundle of wires that pass from the door frame into the drivers door. Lots of flex at that point and 50+ year old wire.

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