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Front power window switch box LED install

 
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 04:12 am
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Default Front power window switch box LED install

Hi all - you might already have seen my thread building on Sanatanadharma's info on the front window switches and seen comment on me replacing those crappy little incandescent grain bulbs with LEDs. If you haven't already, check out this thread for a teardown and spec:

Gen 1 power window switch unit disassembly/schematic

Simply, there is a bus ("panel lamps driver") which sends out a voltage from a few volts through to the full-on voltage of either the battery or alternator (dep. on whether the engine is running or not). This bus controls the brightness of the grain bulbs by limiting available voltage. Pretty straightforward.

So, swapping those bulbs out for LEDs presents a couple of challenges. Firstly, we need to make them fit. Four of the original grain bulbs (switches) are soldered to surface-mount pads on the lower PCB whilst the fifth is through-hole.

This is how the PCB looks after desoldering the tabs. Note that the top bulb has already been desoldered....



The PCBs are pretty crappily-made, so the pads delaminate easily. It's a good idea to get at least a 25w iron to them with some desoldering braid. The big tabs holding the two halves together are connected to some heavy planes which act as sinks for heat, so a big iron and a little flux makes these easier to desolder without overheating other local components.
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by Prostheta; 09 Oct 2016 at 04:15 am.
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 04:19 am
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

After desoldering the bulbs, we're left with this.



Apologies for missing out the top bulb pad orientation....it's important to know which is positive and which is ground for LEDs, unlike a simple bulb. Check for continuity between the other bulb pads so we know which is which (unless anybody can remind me?).

From what I am aware, early gen1 PT Cruisers came with a switch assembly which was not properly perforated to allow light through from the bulbs. Mine seems to be one of those. A drill makes short work of this. Bear in mind that you'll easily hit one of the embedded contacts at the top end of these slots, so don't get heavy-handed.



Check the slots for fit so that your LEDs will poke through. I bought a bunch of 2mm x 5mm Kingbright L-9763PBDT-A 465nm blue LEDs.

The way to mount the LEDs is to clip the leads short, noting which side is the anode (pixies go in here) and which is the cathode (pixies goes to ground). The longer lead denotes the anode, however you can also tell from the internal organisation of the LED....the "smaller bits" usually mean the anode. As with all things, double-check and don't take my word for it before committing. I clipped my LEDs about 5mm from the body. One surface-mount solder pad of each pair was given fresh solder and the lead placed in whilst molten. The second pad is then soldered normally before reflowing the first with a little flux. Basic soldering. 5mm gives enough lead length to bend the LEDs to a side to align with the holes in the switch assembly. If you want to preform the leads before soldering to better achieve this, go for it. It's maybe a little fiddly, but better if you've got the patience!

Check the LEDs using a 9v battery and a 390 Ohm resistor to pins 6 (positive) and 4 (ground). It doesn't matter which side the resistor goes on at this stage.
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens

Last edited by Prostheta; 09 Oct 2016 at 04:30 am.
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 04:52 am
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

Sorry I lost the photos I took of this part of the process. The four switch LEDs should protrude *just* through the base of the switch contact assembly plate so as not to conflict with the switch paddles. This can be a pain to get right since it involves partial reassembly, however lining up the PCB and the switch assembly side by side helps you bend the LED leads so they're in the right plane. The long fifth LED needs to extend out towards the icon in the front fascia. Not too close, otherwise you end up with a small bright blue spot (ask me how I know this) but not too far so it becomes dim.

Once you're good here, do a final check with that 9v battery and resistor. Good? Good.

The second difficulty (wait, that was only the FIRST?) is limiting the current that the resistors can draw. Connecting them directly to the car's panel lamp driver will cause them to blow instantaneously, so we need to add in a current limiting resistor in between the line driving the LEDs.

I did the calculations elsewhere already, however in brief we're looking at five LEDs which in this case are designed to run at 20mA. Take the maximum voltage these guys will see (about 12,5v from the alternator) and subtract the minimum or typical forward voltage (minimum voltage before the conduct) from the datasheet. This gets us worst case values....

Series resistors are calculated via Ohms Law of resistance=voltage/current. 12,5v minus the forward voltage (3,2v) gets us 9,3v divided by (5x LEDs at 20mA) 100mA gives us 0,093 kOhms or 100 Ohms. Sweet. I haven't got any big 100 Ohm resistors in right now however, so I'll temporarily fit a 390 Ohm resistor. Not too bright, but good enough.
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 04:55 am
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

We need to be adding in the series current-limiting resistor into the loom wire corresponding to the panel lamps driver line, which is pin 6 on the box.

Chrysler actually made this one easier for us by marking the pinouts on both the switch box and the connector. Still, I double-checked and measured with a DVM between pins 4 and 6 to ensure I had the right wire before clipping it.




"She may not look like much....but she's got it where it counts, kid."
(length of heatshrink added before soldering....)




The results:


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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 09:10 am
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

Good job, nice write up. Glad mine was the Limited Edition with all the bells and whistles that came standard plus some extras before Chrysler decided to go cheap and do away with a bunch of them.

Lighted switches
rear table tray
passenger side door lock
under hood alarm switch
cargo net

The list goes on and on.....
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

Thanks!

Well I think they cheaped out on the PCBs anyway. I have better PCBs than that made for even my simplest electronics work. It would be possible to copy the PCB whilst modifying it for LEDs, desolder existing parts and transfer them across, but that's a proper ballache. Easier to get rid of the automatic wind down, however I am thinking that the circuit might also deal with the "stop" to prevent overruns and broken things.

I'm getting to work on the rear box now. Weird thing is, they used 3mm green LEDs in those switches which also seem to be internally current-limited. They look a lot better blue....I'll detail the swapout and mods on the second switch this week as I do it....
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

One of the strange things is that Chrysler got rid of the LED lighted door lock switches in 2003. But at some point they started using them again. At least they did on my 2007 Vert.

For the ones without the LED, it appears the circuit board in the switch has the circuit for the LED, but there's no pin receiver for it in the plug going to the switch.
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 01:23 pm
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

Because Trump
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Last edited by sanatanadharma; 09 Nov 2016 at 11:54 am.
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 10:37 pm
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

Good call. Do we know if the panel lamp bus to those switches is current-limited or whether the LED used has an internal series resistance? It didn't burn up connected straight to a 9v supply so I highly suspect the latter.
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens
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Old 09 Oct 2016, 11:26 pm
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Default Re: Front power window switch box LED install

I guess that over the space of a few hundred thousand or more PTCs manufactured without the rear LEDs, the saving of a couple of blade connectors, LEDs and wire in the loom (unless that still maintains the panel lamp voltage bus wire?) adds up to a few employee's yearly wages.
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2001 2.0l PT Cruiser Touring Edition
Mods: New gear knob, blue LED re-lighting, token chrome bits.
215'000km (55.9% distance to the moon, 71.7% of a second at light speed, Usain Bolt running for 200 days)

"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use" - Søren Kierkegaard
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" - Christopher Hitchens
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