Tech Tips

Power Rear Window Switch
I have done this particular task twice, on two separate Wagoneers. The first time it took me about 4 hours, mostly trial and error stuff. The second time it only took about 11/2 hours. What a difference experience makes. Both times I was able to coax the window into the position I needed it to be in, by using the switch. I got my switch from Colorado Springs Jeep Eagle; it was only $39.79 w/tax. I think the part number is 56003167? The new one has an aluminum switch, instead of the stock plastic one. It appears much sturdier. All labor was done with a regular screwdriver, pliers, and my cordless drill with assorted bits.

The first thing you need to do is check the switch at the dash. Make sure that's not your problem. It's probably not, but if it were it's easier to replace that than what I'm about to explain.

1. Remove the two covers from the tailgate, the furry one and the metal one. Make sure you place all the screws in a safe place (somewhere you won't lose them). You can now prepare to be frustrated.

2. Remove the cover plate and key mechanism from the outside part of the switch. The cover has two screws; mine were these annoying little 'security' torx head screws (there is a little nipple sticking up in the torx pattern). Your local auto parts store has the tools to remove these, or at least they should. The key mechanism has three screws. You can now see the square hole. I used a screwdriver to turn it back and forth and move the window (I didn't want to risk breaking my key off).

3. Lay the tailgate down so you can get at the clips that hold the window to the regulator rails. The easiest way I've found to do this is with the window in the full 'down' position. Remember the safety switch on the left side of the tailgate that prevents the window from being moved while the tailgate is down. There is one on each side (at the bottom of the window). I used a MagLight in one hand, and a REALLY BIG regular screwdriver to remove the keepers. If you're careful you can reuse them. Make sure you support the window after you've removed the clips. I had to remove one side of the window stripping to get the window all the way out. Remember to disconnect your defroster, it has a quick disconnect. Place the window in a safe place.

4. With the window out you need to remove the regulator. There are 6 screws holding it on. Two of these screws are behind the regulator gears. You need to move the regulators so that you can access these screws. Once the screws are out you can move the regulator, first left - then right, to clear the arm out of the tiny little opening that is there. You can disconnect the wires on the motor to totally get that piece out of the way. I didn't bother with that.

5. Now would also be a good time to clean out any debris that has accumulated over the years in your tailgate. You can also inspect the safety switch on the left side of the tailgate to make that's not the culprit.

6. Back to the tailgate's guts. The, most likely broken, switch is located behind a cover plate in the middle of the gate. There is bundle of wires going under the cover plate from the left side, these lead to the switch. The switch is held on by two screw, my wires were held in place by a zip tie, I cut it off (and replaced it later). You can pull the switch out now; you may have to pull up on the sheet metal cover plate to get it out.

7. What you are probably looking at now is a broken plastic switch. There are two little clips that hold the wiring to the offensive switch. Pry those out to remove the plug, remember the way it is oriented because it will have to go on the new switch the same way.

8. Attach the plug to the new switch, slide it back into place, and tighten the two screws.

9. Installation is in reverse. Remember to hook any wires up that you removed during installation. I found it easier to install the clips on the regulator arms when the arms where about halfway up, or down if you're a pessimist. I replace the clips that I took off with large c-style clips. They provide the same security and are easier to put on and take off. You are now back in the lap of Jeep luxury, having the ability to raise and lower your rear window with only finger pressure.

Rob Caufield