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Lisa Simpson
15,043 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Installing an Alien Window Controller

Firstly, this is not intended as a replacement for the instructions provided by Alien Technology. There is also an excellent supplementary guide provided by Stargazer. I used both sets of information and had very little trouble with the install. It took me slightly longer than suggested, about 1.5 hours total, probably because I have never taken apart a door before, and stopped to look at everything in detail and had to run into the house for tools a few times. Now, I think that it would take me about 30 minutes to do it again. You will need the following tools:

T20 Torx driver
#2 Phillips screwdriver
Large flat screwdriver
Razor knife
Linesman's pliers or ChannelLocks
Electrical tape
Towel (to protect paint when prying door card off)

The hard part of the install for me was the removal of the door panel.

2 broken fingernails

The install of the Alien was very easy. The people at Alien provided all of the connectors needed, including an extra one which I did need when a wire slipped out during a crimp.

0 broken fingernails, one Yahoo!

I took the grey interior pictures during my install, I hope that they are useful to you. Pictures of the black GLX interior and some commentary are from Jeff Wilson (jwil) who kindly supplied the additional information for sedans and GLX trim and more good tips.

I have just started to pry the switch/handle unit out. I have already removed the inner grip moulding (pried out from bottom), and rolled down the driver's window.

At this point, I have removed the switch/handle. I accidently did some extra work, removing the handle unit from the door.

The three big screws in the back are the ones they are talking about in the Alien instructions. You do not need to remove this part from the door trim, but you do have to undo the three screws to take the door trim panel off. In some Passats, these are Phillips, in some they are Torx.

At the bottom of the door card are two Torx srews which must be removed befor the door card can be pulled off. The "snaps" everyone talks about are little plastic "christmas trees" which insert into holes in the metal door lining. I broke one of five, I will probably not worry about it! There will be five or six of them total. Reports are that starting from the bottom and working around the door clockwise results in the fewest broken snaps.

Prior to lifting the door card off, several connectors must be disconnected. These are the trunk release, valet key, and fuel door release (some sedans only), puddle light, and speaker wires (all Passats) at the bottom of the door, the alarm LED at the top left (some cars may not have this connector and the door card will remain connected by this harness), and the mirror connector at the top right. Additionally, the cable to the door latch must be freed from the pull handle on the door card. Take care not to damage the black plastic clip which guides the cable into the pull fitting on the door card.

Here is a shot of Jeff's door completely dissassembled.

Here, I have removed the harness tape and exposed the wiring (note two broken nails from pulling trim panel off door!) Use wires from the door harness when possible, as some wires may be duplicated in the LED harness (brown - ground).

These are one type of crimp connectors (AMP - green). I used a flat screw driver to push the wires in. By staggering the crimp connectors, the tape-up will be very sleek. The three holes are for the three screws holding the handle to the door.

Jeff's install has the ScotchLock connectors (red).

Note the electrical tape on the resistor to allow rollups. If you count, there are eight "aliens" now because I mis-crimped.

All wrapped up!

Now, put the door back together in reverse order to complete the install. Take extra care when reattaching the door latch cable. Hook it to the pull handle first and then slide the barbed clip into the cup fitting to secure it. I recommend that you test the controller as described in the Alien instructions. I forgot to do this, fortunately everything worked great!
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