Power Window Replacement with Manual Window

By Bill Spooner - spooner4@cox.net

Here is a great way to save some money replacing the power window with a manual hand crank. Cost to repair is always a big factor in my decisions. By choosing the manual hand powered window, I could easily save over $300.00 over the cost of having a newly installed power window. For about $60.00 I could install a new manual hand crank. I spoke to a few experts in the field, just to verify that it could be done. Yes, it was possible. I went to my friendly Miata dealer, to price out the parts required. I got a lot of strange looks, when I told them I needed to purchase the manual hand crank to replace the power window. Some how I got the impression that they weren't too happy with my decision. As usual the price was kind of high, so I checked with Roebuck Mazda. Marshall from Roebuck, did a good job of giving me a good price at $58.00 for all the parts needed, to complete my mission. A list of parts is provided below. The following simple procedures are all you need to follow and to save some bucks.

  1. Remove the door armrest, three brass screws, the top screw is under a black plastic cap, this can easily be removed by gently prying the cap out with a small screwdriver.
  2. Remove the small screw in the plastic trim plate behind the door handle latch and gently remove the plate.
  3. Next remove the speaker panel by gently pulling it away from the door. It is hard plastic, which is held on by clips. The door panel also has clips and one alignment pin. The door panel can also be removed by gently prying around the edges of the door. There are no clips on the top edge of the door panel, (this is where the pin is), just start on one side and work your way around. When you have all the clips popped out, gently lift the door panel upwards, make sure you don't it pull outwards or you will break the alignment pin.
  4. Next you should see the plastic rain protector. I just folded this up and out of the way. After this is folded back, you will probably see the broken power window cable. First, I unplugged the electrical connector for the power window, (located in the lower middle part of the door), just push down on the plastic retaining button, and it should disconnect. You probably can't see the power window regulator, but there will be three nuts holding it on, which you can remove. There is also a Philips head screw on the bottom edge of the door, directly underneath the power window regulator, which also should be removed. This holds the window track guide in place. Now the tricky part to removing the regulator, it takes a little wiggling, and some maneuvering, there should be a hole were you removed the screw from the bottom edge of the door, you will need to push on the window track guide with a screw driver and wiggle the regulator out at the same time. You will most likely have to cut a cable to remove the regulator from the door. The remaining cables are held onto the door by cable clips, be sure to pop these clips out, so that the new cable can be installed properly, using the same holes.
  5. Now you will have to remove the window. This is easily done, by pushing the window down, so you can see two round plastic window stoppers, about he size of a half dollar, in the open area of the door. Just remove these with a Philips head screwdriver. Pull the top of the window up and it should come right out.
  6. Ok, its time to remove the window glide track from the door. This is where the two cables were attached, which pulled the window up or down. You will find two nuts on the top of the door and two nuts on the bottom door edge. Remove the nuts and pull the window guide out from the top.

  8. Now you can install the new manual door regulator. You will have to insert the new regulator through the open area of the door, since the hand crank assembly will be attached. You can now basically reverse the procedures to finish installation. Follow paragraph 8, before you install door panel. Be sure to attach window stoppers and cable clips.
  9. After everything is bolted, screwed or clipped on and before you put the door panel on, you must drill a hole in the door panel. The method I used to locate the hole, was to put a little white grease on the window handle shaft, then install the door panel by just pushing it in from the top, (don't clip it in), then press the door panel against the window handle shaft. If all goes well you will have a round dot of grease where the hole should be drilled. I drilled a small pilot hole to ensure that it would be on center, next I drilled a 5/8 inch hole. You may want to put some tape on the hole before you drill so that it won't tear the plastic. Next, I installed the foam pad on the back of the door panel and around the new hole. You can now re-install the door and speaker panel. The last thing to do is install the window manual crank handle, but first, you must install the plastic escutcheon, this is for appearance and protects the door panel. Now you can install the window crank, by just pushing it on until you hear it click. The END.


 Parts List

Part / Part No.
Regulator Handle - B092-58-580-00
*Regulator-LH - NA01-59-560J
*Regulator-RH - NA01-58-560H
Pad - B092-58-863A
Escutcheon - B001-58-582A-00

* Either Left Hand or Right Hand Door



Philips Head Screwdriver

Metric Sockets

5/8 inch Drill Bit


 I found this to be challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Yes, I did save over $300.00. To me that is the best part. If you take your time and follow the simple procedures, you too can save some $$$$. It is now a pleasure to drive by Miata dealer with my window rolled down. Appreciate any comments you may have either positive or negative. If you have any questions please send e-mail, I will gladly walk you through the process.

I would also highly recommend that all power window cables be inspected and greased at least once a year. This may help reduce cable failure, as these cables are unprotected from the elements.

Back to the Garage

8 July, 2002