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Got a New to My 1994 Chevy G20 van

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Got a new to me Van today , 1994 Chevy G20 , seems power windows are not working , nor are the power locks...any ideas as to where I should start looking.

Hope to make a little camper out of it.

 

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Fuzes maybe master switches then wiring then actuators and solenoids .Have fun :89: Mike C...:200:

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Its an older rig so i would definitely check the wiring in the door jam. Lots of opening and closing on them doors. But check fuses first.

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Since both power lock and windows are inop I would start with the fuses as well. Be aware though...those window winding motors have been going up and down for 25 years! The motors will start to draw more amperage as they wear and that extra draw tends to shorten the life of the switches. 

1) Check fuses. Blown fuse can indicate a defective actuator motor or damaged wiring.  

2) Check for battery voltage(ignition on) and ground at the back of the drivers door switch cluster with a multimeter. Post back here and I'll try and talk you through further diagnosis. 

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What everyone else said too, but odds are the original culprit was a touch of corrosion at the switch / wiring juncture.. It only took a tiny bit of moisture to set things in motion.. Pounding on the door panel early on would usually knock enough rust loose to let things work a while longer, but eventually you'd need to clean things up.. This fix used to be an easy task, untilllllll....................................

..."they" started using plastic fake screws (push pin thingies) to hold the panels on and totally doing away with any hangers, replaced furing or metal connector strips to screw into with cardboard and began hard sealing the motor switches instead of being able to non-destructively take them apart, clean them up and put them back together again.. You could even usually drill them out at the pin early on to fix 'em, but then they totally hard-covered that indent -- so ya weren't sure where to drill..

Soooo, now instead of having a relatively easy and not-too-time-consuming repair where it was possible to get away without needing to purchase a thing, you now need to find and buy a bag of bulk expanding push screws (that may be an oxymoron,) replace the in-door holding strips (with the exception of any where the pins push into the door frame, which may be none) and purchase new door lock & window switch kits, odds being aftermarket by now and not the correct size for what's already cut.. I used to have a box full of old style switch junkyard pulls laying around strictly for replacement use or scavenging rebuilding pieces-parts.. It's pretty empty these days..

My advice is, after checking fuses and making sure the wire routing between the body and door isn't compromised, would be to pound the chit outta the inside door panel with a rubber mallet and pray you get lucky before starting to "unscrew" the panel to discover what a nightmare awaits -- because it sure ain't an 'old days' fix in there any longer..

Swamp

BTW -- I have a '95 Ram Van 2500 with power doors & windows, so I am intimately familiar with what you speak.. Been pounding on the passenger door panel for over a year now to get the window switch going again, note the again, and again.. I've yet to have it not re-start and I'm not about to succumb to failure this time either -- at least not at this point..

EDIT: I previously had an '86 GMC 3/4T Vandura, which is what I had the majority of my door panel / switches / inner-workings-of fun times with.. If things were already chintz then you can rest assured they weren't upgraded any come '94..

Edited by Swampstomper Al
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check battery connections first. me 1998 chev tahoe had 250,000 miles on it me got it march 2018. start switch had to jiggle it to start, replaced it. rear tail lights quit working. replaced circuit boards.

have over 18,000 miles on it, runs great, heater works great, airconditioning quit on me last may, no problem, damp towel around the neck works just as good.

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So fa the heater and all the lights work , the rear switch for door locks works . Will start testing fuses right after lunch. Sure runs good .

I watched under the hood and the AC unit  was not kicking in  belt is turning but not the clutch .

 

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1 hour ago, azdigger said:

...I watched under the hood and the AC unit  was not kicking in  belt is turning but not the clutch .

Does your van still have multiple belts or had they gone to single serpentine by then..?

Regardless.. I don't know chit about a/c, but there is one thing I can tell you: The clutch does not necessarily need to cycle in order for a/c to blow cold.. N got a '99 Astro van a couple years ago.. The a/c was blowing cold at that time but slowly was losing its charge.. I got a can to add and noticed the clutch wasn't engaging and the on-can gauge was in the red.. I still finished putting the charge in, and the a/c got cold.. Since then I need to add a can about every six months.. The clutch hasn't engaged the entire time, the gauge is always in the red and the a/c always has gotten cold again.. Obviously something is broken, but it ain't broken either -- so I ain't fixing it until it won't work at all or stops blowing cold air..

Something else too -- you don't necessarily need to pull a vacuum on a system if it's just been out of 'freon' for a long while and hasn't been cracked open to be worked on.. At least that's what I've experienced.. May not be the "right" thing to do, but they've held the charge and blown cold air.. Slow leak but I could afford whatever a can cost back then.. What I couldn't afford was the at the cheapest $800 & up repair..

Swamp

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6 hours ago, azdigger said:

So fa the heater and all the lights work , the rear switch for door locks works . Will start testing fuses right after lunch. Sure runs good .

I watched under the hood and the AC unit  was not kicking in  belt is turning but not the clutch .

 

Theres a few things for your A/C compressor that it could be. First off, start easy just like everything and check the fuse for the clutch. Then visually inspect the system. A lot of times the condenser get hit with rocks on the highway and pokes a hole in it. Check the shrader valves on the high and low side ports to make sure they are there and the caps are on. Dirt will build up in there and start to press down on the shrader. Another thing you need to check for is another condenser in the right rear quarter panel for the rear a/c if equipped. If there is, then it is a horrible area for the condenser due to rocks flinging up and hitting it and the lines. If all checks out good visually, then run and get a can or 2 of R134 from the parts house and charge it to spec. The spec should be under the hood on a sticker. Just remember, an overcharge is just like being undercharged. The pressure switches read the wrong pressure and will not switch the clutch on. Monitor it and if it starts working after charging then quits after a while, then unfortunately you have yourself a leak. Then parts house here we come. If you want to get real hands on and technical, you could pull your orifice tube before you fill it and inspect it for debris, like metal from the pump. If it is clean then you should be ok. Let us know what you find.

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Probably just low on Freon. The system has a low pressure switch that will cut the compressor out when it is low so you dont damage the system. Check all your A/C hoses for oily areas. If you find that, there is probably a leak.

Tom H.

 

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Another thing I noticed , when blower is on high , nothing felt coming from vents in dash , just the little vent on side of dash if the door is open you can feel it.

I tested all the fuses and they are all good , and I used test light to make sure power to one side of fuse.

Guy that  I got it from said he could never get the TV to work.....Not plugged in , plugged it in , black and white TV and VCR , not in the van anymore.

Edited by azdigger

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For the heater, there's a blend door actuator that fails in the full heat / Defroster mode.  In my truck its an easy fix, in other vehicles, much harder to get to.  Had the defroster vent been working, I'd suspect that.  My truck's was about $75.

The tabs that hold my window broke, letting the window fall down, and I got a new regulator assembly with motor from Pep-Boys, which stopped working 2 years later and they gave me a free replacement when I returned it.  Also, a power lock was bad, but after switching, it started to buzz, so there's a short in the wire or something somewhere, so I disabled that one lock.

If you wanted to start over with the locks, there's aftermarket kits to install.  I have not installed one, but was considering as an aftermarket add on for one of my vehicles.  Some are part of an alarm system.

If it hasn't been recommended yet, I'd inspect the wire bundle where it goes into the door for anything obvious.

Both the locks and the windows seem like simple problems, but can be pricey and time consuming to fix.

Might concentrate on the A/C, which I can't know little.  That AZ summer will be here before we know it.

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1 hour ago, azdigger said:

Another thing I noticed , when blower is on high , nothing felt coming from vents in dash , just the little vent on side of dash if the door is open you can feel it.

I tested all the fuses and they are all good , and I used test light to make sure power to one side of fuse.

Guy that  I got it from said he could never get the TV to work.....Not plugged in , plugged it in , black and white TV and VCR , not in the van anymore.

Rick,

Work on one problem at a time haha. As far as the fan goes, it sounds like the blend door motor is stuck. When they go out, they default to defrost for safety. Just remember, when you can, use a multimeter and not a test light. Like i tell the guys that work for me, a test light will light up with low voltage, say 5 volts. And that can make you think you have proper voltage when you really dont. Do you have all speeds on your blower?

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Totally agree with Nugget108. One problem at a time! It makes it much easier to tackle. Get some hard data on the door problem first. It's encouraging that the back switch works for the door locks. That could indicate a bad master switch on the drivers door...but without data we are twisting in the wind. 

We'll cross the A/C when we get to it. Like TomH said it probably low on refrigerant. I do have my 609 cert if you need it worked on, but I'm sure you can find someone closer to GV. 

The other issue is the blend door as others have said. That was probably a vacuum actuator based heater box, and the issue could just be a rotten vacuum line not allowing the system to pull vacuum. 

All relatively easy fixes with a little time and money. 

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Talked to old owner , he said door was left open in rain , got window switches on driver door wet , there is an electric box thing, not sure of name that hooks to switch , how do I check it , do I just look for power there. 

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Hmmm...that info has me leaning towards the switch. Once the switch is out of the door panel, leave it plugged in and post a pic of the back of the connector(showing the wires) if you could. 

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11 hours ago, nugget108 said:

...Just remember, when you can, use a multimeter and not a test light. Like i tell the guys that work for me, a test light will light up with low voltage, say 5 volts. And that can make you think you have proper voltage when you really dont... 

Even multimeters can be fooled in certain situations.. I'm not sure how or even if this could apply to automotive, but let me share a little story about my house..

One day a few years ago, out of the blue, I lost power to a portion of my house.. In total it was 3 or 4 outlets and two light switches that operated the same light from different sides of a room.. I checked the outlets and they all read 120v.. Called my buddy n had him come over with his meter to re-check and they all read 120v.. Plug something into any of the outlets and it wouldn't work..

We're sitting there scratching our heads n biching about the shoddy workmanship builders did 'back then' when he remembers there was a period of time during one of the building crazes when the electrical code allowed for outlets to not be "hard wired," as in not needing to screw the wires secure but just push 'em through the tabs to make the connections as a time saving move.. There's a term for that which I can't recall.. Welll, sixty-cycle hum n all that and twenty-five years down the road...

So we started pulling outlet covers to look at the boxes and sure enough there were a couple that were literally hanging by a thread -- which allowed the meter to read correct voltage, but as soon as a load was applied................. Tightened things up and no more problemo..

Like I said, I don't know if this can or does translate to automotive, but there ya have it.. And there's Murphy standing over in that corner trying to act invisible too..

Swamp

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54 minutes ago, Swampstomper Al said:

Even multimeters can be fooled in certain situations.. I'm not sure how or even if this could apply to automotive, but let me share a little story about my house..

One day a few years ago, out of the blue, I lost power to a portion of my house.. In total it was 3 or 4 outlets and two light switches that operated the same light from different sides of a room.. I checked the outlets and they all read 120v.. Called my buddy n had him come over with his meter to re-check and they all read 120v.. Plug something into any of the outlets and it wouldn't work..

We're sitting there scratching our heads n biching about the shoddy workmanship builders did 'back then' when he remembers there was a period of time during one of the building crazes when the electrical code allowed for outlets to not be "hard wired," as in not needing to screw the wires secure but just push 'em through the tabs to make the connections as a time saving move.. There's a term for that which I can't recall.. Welll, sixty-cycle hum n all that and twenty-five years down the road...

So we started pulling outlet covers to look at the boxes and sure enough there were a couple that were literally hanging by a thread -- which allowed the meter to read correct voltage, but as soon as a load was applied................. Tightened things up and no more problemo..

Like I said, I don't know if this can or does translate to automotive, but there ya have it.. And there's Murphy standing over in that corner trying to act invisible too..

Swamp

Swamp,

Heck yeah this applies to automotive electrical also. Out at the mines the mud and water are the biggest killer of harnesses and modules. You can show 12 volts plus on a circuit but if you dont try it every way possible, ( key on, engine cranking, engine running, wiggle tests, etc) then it can fool a meter also. The smallest split or poke in the insulation of a wire gets moisture in it then it swells up with corrosion causing high resistance. Thats where a meter shines, because if you test that circuit all ways possible you will see the voltage drop in the circuit. So it can start out at 12 plus volts, but with the key on or whatever test you do, then the resistance drops the voltage to say 5 or 6 volts. Enough to fool a test light, but not enough needed for that circuit so the person thinks since the test light lite up, im good because there is power there. But not knowing the true voltage. Then you move on to the next area and you just pull your hair out chasing it. I really do love chasing down automotive electrical ghosts. 

Dan

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Was taking switch out for pics, RED power wire is broke from  plug that goes into switch , just got to try and fix it...We will see, just got to get a little warmer for me first

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Hooked the wire up....NO JOY , still nothing...checked other wires best I could.....with volt / ohm meter.

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Sounds like you have yourself a project there Rick. Just pick away at it when you can and you will figure it out bud.

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as much as I did not want too , I am going to have to remove door panel

 

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As far as the blower, on the air, I had to have mine blown out with an air hose, it was full of leaves and dirt, but now it blows like new. Grubstake

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Door panel is pretty easy on that model Rick. Get the window winder remover for about $8 and it will be easy.

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2 hours ago, azdigger said:

Hooked the wire up....NO JOY , still nothing...checked other wires best I could.....with volt / ohm meter.

Hmmm. You want to see power or ground when the switch is depressed at the various wires while backprobing the connector. If you have NO output from switch but power and ground going in...the switch is defective. 

I don't remember what chevy used back then. Some systems were based on a switched ground circuit, so you need to check both positive and negative outputs. 

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