Power Sliding Rear Window - It's possible!

  1. Upside47

    Upside47 Member

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    Brian
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    Like many of you, I think the Bestop Sunrider is one of the best additions to the Gladiator. However, since using the Sunrider, I notice that I have to open a rear window or I will get "side window buffeting" or "Helmholtz Resonance" which google tells me is the correct term. The rear sliding window is perfect to control this as rear passengers might not want the side windows down and wind in their face and I use the Sunrider even when it is quite cool.

    Several times I have caught myself forgetting to close the rear sliding window after using the Sunrider, or unable to open the rear sliding window while flipping back the Sunrider while in motion. That's why I started to wonder if I could create a power rear sliding window option that could be controlled from the driver's position. After some trial and error, here is what I came up with:

    I attached a 12 volt, 300mm, 256:1 mini track actuator to the plastic panel below and to the right of the rear window (link below). This unit has a maximum force of 67lbs, but the trade-off is that it is slow. I first tried a faster unit with 11lbs of force, but it couldn't move the window at all as there is to much play and friction in the window sliding track. The company makes a 64:1 unit that might work, but after their 22:1 unit couldn't handle the job, I just went right to the strongest option.

    The hardest part was figuring out how to transfer the power from the actuator to the window. I finally landed on using 1 inch extruded aluminum tubing in black (link below) which I attached to the actuator tabs using the supplied machine screws, and then used stainless wood screws to affix the top of the tubing to the large rubber square on the bottom right of the rear sliding window. This connection is much stronger than I anticipated, as I have opened and closed the window at least 20 times. Admittedly, this is also where I think the most likely point of failure will be over time, but we will see. There is a quick disconnect of the wiring near the motor of the actuator when I remove the hard top.

    I ran and concealed the wires from the actuator along the driver's side to the momentary DPDT rocker switch I bought off Amazon (link below). Although you can program the Gladiator Aux Switches to be momentary, you need the ability to reverse the polarity (to close the window) which is why this switch is needed. I laid out and cut the hole for the switch on the bottom panel by the driver's left knee as there is nothing behind this panel. I drilled holes in all four corners of the layout rectangle and connected them with a small band saw. Then I used a razor blade to fine tune the hole to accept the switch.

    Next, I ran the wires to the Aux Switch 3 connection under the passenger foot well.

    Last step was to cut off the plastic locking tab on the on the window catch. I did this with a cordless cut-off tool which worked fine, but I slightly scratched the rest of the tab. I then cleaned the cut ends of the tab with a razor blade. There is probably a better method. As far as security, the resistance on the motor is at least as strong as the removed tab, so I'm not concerned about that.

    So far, the set-up works great. The actuator and connection are barely noticeable, and I think the aesthetics blend in well. Only downsides are that the unit is very slow and loud, but I don't really care as the point is to open/close the rear sliding window a 1/4 way when the Sunrider is open/closed.

    I hope this helps someone that wants to try the same thing!

    Video of window in action:


    https://www.actuonix.com/T16-S-Micro-Track-Actuator-with-Limit-Switches-p/t16-s.htm

    https://eztube.com/product/100-100-square-aluminum-tube/

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FA9UNMA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    AE640B15-A1E4-4DC6-8E23-AB67E455277B.jpeg

    CDE28A86-2603-4852-B3D4-2DD6FD8140F9.jpeg

    5B6EACC1-DC24-44D1-AA2E-098FB6834579.jpeg
     
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  2. Renegade

    Renegade Well-Known Member

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    I applaud your ingenuity. People like you make the world so much better! I can’t say though, after 6 months of ownership, that I have ever concerned myself with the thought of needing to open that window. I do like the idea that electric rear window would be an option, whether factory or aftermarket. Way to go!
     
  3. wannajeep

    wannajeep Well-Known Member

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    Major kudos for this piece of DIY engineering beauty!

    I installed my Bestop Sunrider today and absolutely LOVE it. This is a high quality product. I ordered my JT with the hardtop (Freedom panels) only, because I no longer want to fiddle with a soft top, and also because a love a rear sliding window, at least in a regular/single cab. Obvious problem is I can't reach it now. I've thought about rigging up some kind of mechanical push/pull bar that I could use from the driver's position, coupled with a rain deflector/visor over the rear slider. Your solution is more complicated than what I had in mind but it's genius. Many thanks for your efforts and for sharing. Let me guess. You're an engineer.
     
  4. block

    block Well-Known Member

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    very cool.. great idea, i think i might give it a try... thanks for the info !
     
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  5. mojocho

    mojocho Well-Known Member

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    Damn...I knew I should have played my erector set rather than my star wars figures...

    Well done good sir. You should sell them.
     
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  6. TheSolarWizard

    TheSolarWizard Well-Known Member

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    Put me down for $99 on this if you build 5 them and retain the ability to remove the top
     
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  7. mazeppa

    mazeppa Well-Known Member

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    :like: watching this thread
     
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  8. MudderTruker

    MudderTruker Well-Known Member

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    You sir, are a genius!! :handsinair:
     
  9. Red Hot Sloth

    Red Hot Sloth Well-Known Member

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    One of the things I miss from my last truck was the power rear window, I used it almost every time I drove it for over 12 years.
    Put me down on your list as a confirmed buyer if you want to sell kits...for the realz!
     
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  10. Austingobi

    Austingobi Well-Known Member

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    Yes please ! Me, me, me !
     
  11. Slapping_Rabbits

    Slapping_Rabbits Well-Known Member

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    Very nice!
     
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  12. NeCo Gladiator

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    Sin Jin
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    Very cool! Can you open it all the way if you wanted to?
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Upside47

    Upside47 Member

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    Brian
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    Yes, it will open all the way
     
  14. Yachtnutz

    Yachtnutz Member

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    I'd buy a kit also if you decide to make them.
     
  15. WXman

    WXman Well-Known Member

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    10 months and I never opened my rear slider a single time.

    But yes, the ingenuity is amazing. Well done.
     
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