As our plans came together to build our Week to Wicked 1966 Mustang early in 2017, everyone on the team agreed we needed to build a well-rounded vehicle that had serious horsepower, great handling and brakes, and an interior that was functional and comfortable for long hauls. That would mean things like great audio, air conditioning, modern instrumentation, and more. Adding power windows to the mix is an obvious choice, especially when you consider the Mustangs to Fear custom door panels we’re using in the build mandate power windows due to their design, which features a large speaker pod with tweeter mount at the forward end that prevents the use of a manual window crank. Knowing we had these door panels en route, we gave our friends at Electric-Life a shout for a set of their direct-fit, bolt-in power window regulators for our 1966 Mustang Week to Wicked project.
Electric-Life’s power window kits feature high-quality electric motors mounted to window regulators engineered to be a bolt-in solution. There’s no fabrication involved. You simply remove your manual window regulator and any scissor mechanism/tracks, and bolt in the Electric-Life version. It’s pretty simple really. Even the electrical end of the project is a breeze. While many fear electrical work, the wiring and switch kits that Electric-Life offers (and there are many to choose from) require minimal wiring knowledge. Simply supply switched 12-volt power, a solid ground, and follow the basic wiring diagram to pin the included switch connectors. The project is an easy Saturday afternoon job for most we feel with basic hand tools, and while many think power windows may be superfluous, once you have them installed you’ll wonder why you hadn’t performed the upgrade sooner.
Electric-Life sells the power window kits in pairs for front and rear quarter windows (hardtop/convertible). We opted to power the front windows only on our ’66, PN FD38-K, but adding the power quarter windows is the same bolt-in wrench work. Electric-Life sells the switches and wiring harnesses separately so that you can choose the switch design you prefer. They offer a traditional vintage chrome switch along with a plethora of modern-look backlit switches, and even billet switches in black and polished. We went with their black backlit switches for our center console mounting, PN 4980-21-007.
Begin by removing the door panels to access the regulator mounting bolts. You’ll have four bolts to remove the regulator itself and several more to remove the scissor assembly on the ’65-’66.
This is what the manual window regulator and scissor assembly look like once extricated from the door shell.
Before installing the power regulator is the perfect time to drill passage holes for the wiring in the front of the door and in the cowl side. Remove the kick panel trim and drill your body side hole first. Then line up the new hole with the door shell and drill the door shell from inside the door with a small cordless drill and a step bit. Plastic sleeving is included with the wiring, but we opted to install grommets and use some cloth-look harness split loom for a vintage look.
As you can see in this photo, the more compact Electric-Life power unit installs with the factory mounting holes for the scissor assembly and includes a new guide track. While you don’t have to remove the door glass for installation, we were replacing the door glass belt line moldings and opted to pull the glass out for more room.
Tighten the power regulator mounting nuts and then reinstall the glass if removed. If you need to power the regulator to line up the window rollers and the glass’ track, use a 12-volt power source to power the motor up or down to get things in line.
Switches can be mounted in the door, in an OE console, or just about anywhere. (Lots of photo ideas online. Let Google help you there.) Since our Mustangs to Fear console was ordered with the optional power window switch openings, that is what we used. Route the wiring as needed, secure your switched power and ground, insert the wired terminals into the switch connector cavities, and then snap the switches into place.
All back together and ready for its first road trip. As you can see, the Mustangs to Fear custom door panels look great, but must utilize power windows. Hey, we’re not complaining. We have some great speakers now, a sweet looking door panel setup, and power windows to boot. What’s not to like!