Updated 10/16/2000

If you happen to have a '96 Z3 you certainly know one of the things added to '97s were one touch windows. These are handy in a 5 speed convertible. Luckily Autoloc makes a product which lets us early Z3ers add one touch to our cars.

The install is very involved though and unfortunately at the time I did it I didn't have a digital camera to take any shots of the install. Basically you need to splice the Autoloc units, one for each window, between the window switch and the power window motor as well as giving the Autoloc unit 12v power and a ground. I used the power wiring going to the power window switch to also feed each Autoloc. To gain access to this wiring you almost have to remove the entire center console which is a project by itself. I had the center console removed to install my Fred Kern built custom gauges and to relocate my AC and heated seat switches so I decided to tackle this project at the same time. If you are really good with a soldering iron you might be able to do this working through the shifter boot and power window switch holes but it will be extremely difficult as most of the wiring is under the carpet. With all the hassles I had doing this with the center console removed I'd never attempt it with it still installed.

The instructions that come with the Autoloc detail the wiring fairly well. I followed the to the letter then tried testing a window.

It worked!

Until I tried testing it with the car running. When the car was running the windows would only move a fraction of an inch then stop. I tried talking to Autolocs tech support. They suggested I was getting noise on the power lines and that I should try another place for power. Did that... no difference.

I was getting really frustrated at this point and decided to call it a night before I gave up entirely. I got to thinking about a post Ron Stygar had made when he used an AutoLoc to one touch his M-Coupes sun roof. He needed to adjust its sensitivity to get it to work. But on his car before he adjusted the sensitivity it didn't work at all. On mine it worked with the engine off but not when it was on. Then I recalled how my V1 needed a BMW 3 series mod performed to it to keep it from resetting whenever the lights were turned on or off. Apparently we don't have the most steady voltage around. Hummm.... I wonder if power supply was fluctuating enough to trigger the current shut off on the AutoLocs?

On the post from Ron Stygar he adjusted the sensitivity of the units by turning a pot on the inside of them. Pulled one of my units apart but there was no pot in it. :( It did however have a red loop of wire with the instructions to cut it when used with Autoloc power window kits. By checking the circuit board I found that the wire put two resistors in parallel. If you cut the wire it removed one resistor from the circuit and increased the resistance that the rest of the circuit saw. Wasn't sure what the effect this was going to have but I assumed it was the change the sensitivity.

So I cut that wire and reinstalled the unit. It still worked with the power off and now was working better with the engine running! However, on my windows they bind slightly around the midpoint of their travel. This was triggering the AutoLocs to stop again due to their current sensing. I needed to decrease their sensitivity further. This meant unsoldering the one resistor still in the circuit and soldering in a new resistor of greater resistance. I had to be careful not to go to to great of a resistance or the AutoLoc wouldn't turn off when the window was fully up or down. To check this you need to listen to the AutoLoc unit and hear the relay click off after the window was fully up or down. If you don't hear the relay click off the unit is still trying to raise/lower your window which will burn out the motor. To little resistance and the windows wouldn't open/close all the way.

To make it even more fun this varied a little depending upon if the engine was on or off. It took about 45 minutes per window to find the resistance that best worked for each. They were not the same.

All told it took about 3 nights to figure this all out and get them working properly. I made sure I mounted the AutoLoc units so that I could access them through the shifter boot just in case I needed to change those resistors at a later date. Luckily since that initial fun they have worked fine every since.

They do not work the same as '97+ one touch windows. With the AutoLocs every touch of the windows is considered a one touch. To stop the window before it is fully open/closed you press the window switch another time which stops the window. You can not hold the switch down and release it when you want the window to stop. Took about a week to get accustomed to that.

This mod really drove me crazy until I figured out what was going on. I'm very glad I did it though as they are handy.

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