Adapting 1973-1979 F-Series Window Regulators for 1967-1972 F-Series Trucks
By John Brown (FTE user Rebocardo)
You can adapt 1973-1979 window regulators into 67-72 trucks. I just did it!
I bought the cheapest 73-79 window regulator I could find, $30, which happened to be at JCW, and it is made by Pan Asia. The reason for buying it is I just wanted that stupid little cast spur gear. I have been hunting everywhere for it to repair my windows for the past two years. The closest match I found was an electric chain saw gear, but, the angle was off just by enough to make it unworkable over the long term.
Knowing Ford, I knew they would not make a big change in tooling and I have swapped power window motors and a lot of big Bronco parts into my BII before too.
There was no way I would pay $140-$200 for a regulator when that costs more then a new door and almost 1/10 the price of the truck when it was new
First off, the 67-72 is like a solid work of art compared to the 73-79. I doubt this will last 30+ years. $140 for a new old stock is probably worth it to someone restoring a truck or keeping it another 30 years. I rather spend my money on the stuff that counts like the rubber and felt. Besides, this window is so scratched from no one taking care of the truck (no weather strips) and the door was not worth a $140+ regulator.
Second the spur gear would have worked perfectly with some tweaking, its’ base was narrower so I would have had to weld the hole its end sits in and drill it out the exact size. Bushing it did not seem viable.
Plus, the stem for the crank was much longer. Putting my old regulator back together I noticed not only were the teeth badly worn on the main gear, but, a few were almost missing and it did not feel that great on a test roll.
So, I decided to adapt the 73-79.
Take all normal safety details including holding the glass and window up with wood and probably tape. SAFETY GLASSES! Make sure you release the springs properly on the regulators before you start working on them or you could be in for a finger chopping. I used channel locks and stepped over/on them in my steel toe boots. The Ford one is quite tough, much better spring.
Minimal welding skills are required.
1) Take both regulators completely apart! Grind the old arm and its edges free of rust.
2) You have to take the new base, position it about 45 degree backwards to allow it a good mounting spot on the door. It has three holes and will not fit where the older four holes are. The crank will end up in the same position. You can hold the new regulator with 1/4 bolts, 3/4 inch long max. Use self-locking nuts.
3) The only thing you are going to use on your older regulator is the arm. On the new one, only grind off the back of the main bolt as needed to punch it out since you will have to weld it back on later.
4) Get a 1/2+ inch bolt, put the new housing together with the main gear and your arm. Put it into the door and hook it up to the window. Now spin the main gear so the bottom of the gear aligns with the bottom of the housing, remember the housing is tilted now. This will allow about three extra teeth before the stop at the top. Tighten the bolt. Now mark the arm with a marker to where it is on the gear. The roller should be in the middle of the window guide.
5) Remove. Replace the main split bolt and clamp everything together, line up the arm. Now, move it just a hair or two towards where the front of the vehicle will be. This is a "cushion" to make sure it never rolls off the end of the window guide while it is in the middle of being rolled down. Do one tack weld, the metal gear will warp! Remove everything and clamp the whole thing in a vise so it is flat and do a tact weld on the other sides now. Cool with water. Remove the split bolt, replace with 1/2 inch and test. Window should move up and down freely without popping out of the track/off the roller. Remove.
6) Now replace the split bolt. Line up the regulator in the up position and make sure the split on the bolt lines up down the middle of the arm. Clamp the nut so it is flush against the body and it should be just about flush with the arm. Start by filling in the two holes on the backside of the bolt. Chip away slag. Then reweld the whole thing so it looks like a rivet. Heat sink the formed sheet metal with a big metal clamp so it does not warp. The gold bolt will turn a nice gray, so you know its hot. Cool off with water.
On my HH135 I used a #2 setting and 10 for the wire speed. I did a few test runs on the old stuff to get the heat right. Another test fit.
7) Now rivet back the spur gear. Taking a suggestion from here I drilled a hole at the very top of the housing to squirt grease through. Whoever made that suggestion THANK YOU!
My suggestion, remove the spring and position the leg that would be at the backside directly behind the hole. It gives the grease a clear shot into that little housing once the spur gear is back in. Make sure the drilled hole is at the top when placing the spur gear housing back.
I did the factory rivets from the back and added two more in from the front so the housing is solid and clamped from both sides. I used aluminum so I can drill them out easier to replace the spur gear if I need to.
You can reuse your handle, the new screw is a bit too wide and the old one is not right. When there is light tomorrow I will figure it out.
One mistake I made. The window can be pressed down if you push hard enough, though the handle now rotates. I guess I got the spring backwards, easy enough to fix. I thought the logic was to have all the spring pressure when it was at the bottom so rolling it up was easy. I guess it is better to have it under tension when it is at the top. All it takes is swapping the spring around.
It is not "factory", but, $30 and some welding skills and you have a new window regulator with easily sourced parts. I had thought about doing a junk yard one, but, I really wanted the name of the place that makes the regulators and gears should I could contact them directly.
I had thought about keeping this a little secret and selling refurbs on E-Bay, but, so many people have been so good to me including that guy that sent me those needed really needed door jamb brackets (free!) for my light switches, I just could not wait to share this with everyone.