What a super cool, innovative way to solve a problem...kudos to you sir, you have won the "MacGyver" Award in my book!!
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:
Wow wish Ii had seen this earlier. LOL I just re-ordered the 64:1 thanks. I will try to return the 256:1Yes, that's the only place I used the black tubing. I should also point out that the folks at Actuonix saw the video and recommended that I try the 64:1 instead of the 256:1 and sent me the unit. It works great, and is MUCH faster.
Looking at this guy's kit for the taco, it looks about 95% like the kit that came with my CR Laurence Power Slider for my Ram. Makes me wonder if you could just order a replacement motor assembly and such for a CRL Taco (similar size to Jeep?) install and make it work for the Jeep .... If MY 2022 doesn't add this option then I will probably eventually go this route. That rear slider has been worth every penny.There are several posts on Toyota forums regarding power back window using Honda rear passenger window power units. And they move fast!