Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
About a week ago my driver side window started acting up. It would go down fine, but didn't respond when trying to get it back up. After a quick search I discovered that this is seemingly a wide spread issue with Gen1 OBWs. Although there are several topics discussing this issue, I was unable to find a DIY tutorial (anywhere on the internet!) for this simple non-electrical fix, so here it goes. This is a relatively strait forward fix, and doesn't require any advanced mechanical inclination. The only tools required are a philips head screwdriver, a flat head screwdriver, and a pry bar (optional but helpful).

After several years of use, the small plastic nubbins (sorry, not sure of the technical term) that activate the window switch wear down and will eventually fail to make a connection. Fortunately, the nubbins are removable, and because they contact the switch on only one side all you have to do is remove the nubbins and reverse them.

Unfortunately, in order to access these switches in the 1st Gen OBW you must remove the entire door panel.

First, there are two screws that must be removed. One is behind the door handle, and the other is under the arm rest. Both have black covers that are easily popped off with a screwdriver.




Next, use your pry bar or flat head screwdriver to pop off the door panel, which is attached via ~12 push pins. Just a little pressure and they should pop right out. Start at the bottom and move around the sides. Once all the lower pins are loose, pull the door panel upwards and it will release.






Detach the electrical connections, and the door panel will be free.



Lay the door panel upside down, so that you can access the reverse side of the switch box. At this point we are removing the bluish panel that covers the window and lock switches and the door handle. There are ~8 screws that must be removed to remove this panel.





Now remove the four screws on the front side (shown above) that hold the window switch box in place. This will allow you to remove the black window switch box fron the door panel. Make sure you keep track of everything that comes off the door panel. A couple of the black switches fell off the box when I removed the bluish panel, but this isn't a bit deal as long as you have them later on.




Around the outside of the box there are several black and white tabs. Carefully press the black tabs in with a flat head screwdriver in order to open the box.





Now press in the white tabs in (very carefully, as you DO NOT want to damage the electrical circuitry!) and remoce the circuit board. On the under side of this circuit board are the warn down switches. You're almost there!




Gently pull the faulty switch out, in this case it is the upper right driver side switch. As you can clearly see, the greasy nubbins on the bottom are severly worn, which is causing them no fail in activating the switch and make an electrical connection. (On a side note, 2 of 4 of my switches didn't have the wooden extension. They still work, but I got the impression someone may have attempted a fix of some sort in the past and removed a couple of them... If you follow this tutorial let me know if your box contained all 4)



Pull another switch out (I chose the rear driver-side) and remove the nubbins from both switches. The rear window switches will likely look practically new, but if they show signs of wear also, simply reverse them so that the non-worn side is facing upward on the right side and downward on the left side.




Once you are satisfied that the switches seem to be activating, put the black box back together and reconnect it to the electrical wiring in the door. Turn on your car and test that all windows are functioning properly. If you are still encountering an issue, it is likely electrical rather than than mechanical.



If everything seems to work properly reverse the steps to get everything back in place, and roll down your window with confidence.


:cool:
 

·
Registered
96 Legacy OBW, EJ22 swap, 2" suspension lift, 215/75r15, HIDs, 06 WRX interior swap
Joined
·
335 Posts
I did the same thing a while ago on my 96 for the exact reason. Saw no wood like yours have and have never seen that before on others I have fixed. I also highly doubt that Fuji heavy would manufacture a part with wood in it.

My best assumption is that the wood you saw was the attempted fix. I'm hoping a few other folks can back me up. Just seems a bit too cheesy to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I did the same thing a while ago on my 96 for the exact reason. Saw no wood like yours have and have never seen that before on others I have fixed. I also highly doubt that Fuji heavy would manufacture a part with wood in it.

My best assumption is that the wood you saw was the attempted fix. I'm hoping a few other folks can back me up. Just seems a bit too cheesy to me.
I was thinking the same thing at first, but each plastic piece had a slot, and when I removed one of the wooden pieces it appeared manufactured to fit both openings perfectly. If someone did that as a home remedy, they sure did a very professional job of it. :iam:
 

·
Registered
96 Legacy OBW, EJ22 swap, 2" suspension lift, 215/75r15, HIDs, 06 WRX interior swap
Joined
·
335 Posts
Hmm. Mystery indeed!

Well as long as it all works. Who cares?
 

·
Registered
1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
Joined
·
191 Posts
The wood is NOT factory. They look like popcicle stick ends stuffed into the switch base. Could be that they were placed to replace broken switch covers during a previous repair where the switch was taken apart with a bit too much enthusiasm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Thank you!

Helios,
Just wanted to say thanks for this outstanding tutorial! Thanks to your help my husband and I just got our window working again today. My favorite part was not having to buy any replacement parts. I think we will copy the beautiful popsicle switch you discovered as one of ours broke in the process.

I just traded the whole switches instead of pulling out the nubbins as they seemed interchangeable.

Again, thanks so much for giving us a feel-good DIY moment today! I used to work on cars with my dad but I felt like those days were behind me since there seems to be less and less we can do ourselves on the newer cars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Helios,
Just wanted to say thanks for this outstanding tutorial! Thanks to your help my husband and I just got our window working again today. My favorite part was not having to buy any replacement parts. I think we will copy the beautiful popsicle switch you discovered as one of ours broke in the process.
I'm very glad it was helpful :D
 

·
Registered
1999 Outback 2.5L 5 SPEED
Joined
·
2 Posts
I replaced my switch with a new one on my 99 OB. Spoke to a couple of mechanics and they asked me just how many times I wanted to tear open the door, so I went with new.

I have never seen these wood pieces in any of the 3 master switch clusters I have worked with.

Both the old and new switches were made in Mexico.
 

·
Registered
1999 Subaru Outback
Joined
·
1 Posts
I`ll check the front passenger side switch which is not working. Thank you for this complete information.

(Before the Outback I owned a 1992 Legacy wagon and suddenly the driver side window goes down and never come back and let me exposed on a rainy and windy weather. Its was a such an experience)

Greetings from Chile
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top