The car is for sale now, So I probably won't add any more to this site. I'll leave it up for reference, and will still try to answer questions as the come up. You can e-mail me here:firstname.lastname@example.org
Wire diagrams have been added to help those trying to wire up the JDM power windows.
The pictures are here.
I wanted power windows in my CRX. I had seen a conversion from integra parts, but it looked like a hack. There were several aftermarket kits, but I didn't really like them either, and they were pricey. On ebay I found people selling JDM power windows out of CRX's from Japan so I thought I'd give that a try.
I have reasonable mechanical skills, lots of tools, a good set of problem solving skills, and a degree in mechanical engineering. I have a good history with Honda's and am familiar with how they do things. I also have two good friends that are currently or have been service managers for the local Honda dealer. Overall I thought this would be pretty straightforward. I was wrong.
Problem one: When I opened my box of goodies, the parts were dirty, greasy, and a general mess. I got out the simple green and cleaned everything up and was pretty happy.
Problem two: Japanese CRX's are right hand drive. So the drivers door there is the passenger door here (and vise versa). This means that the window control that has two switches would be on the passenger door on my car. You can decide to just mount them this way, but the passenger side will have two switches (and control over both widows). This is not what I wanted. It is not a simple procedure to swap the door handles because they are not symmetrical (the attachment screw is on the top, and the rods for the lock and latch are on one side, so if you turn them over they don't match up). My solution was to take the latch and lock pieces and adapt them to work with the door mount pieces from the other side. I have few pictures that I'll put up to help describe this procedure.
Problem three: Holes, holes, holes. Some are too small, some shouldn't be there, some don't line up. The holes for the door handle / window switches have to be enlarged to hold the new parts. This is unnerving if you've priced replacement door panels. I just cut mine a little at a time until everything fit. The parts are different sizes, so decide if you want to swap the sides on the switch consoles and live with the decision after doing this part. Fortunately, everything for mounting the regulator in the door is there, and does line up. Once you are through, there is a new hole where the window crank used to go. I plan to cover mine with a component tweeter, but I haven't gotten that far yet.
Update: I put the speakers over the handle hole. They aren't wired for sound, but they look good - the picture page
Problem four: Now that I've reversed the switches, up is down, and down is up. The passenger side is easy enough, you can just unscrew the switch from the pod, and turn it upside down. For the driver side I decided to just reverse the wires going into the motor. This works just fine because everything is DC.
Problem five: Update: I've added images of the Honda wiring diagrams to help out: wiring diagrams
The wiring harnesses don't match up. Another in the line of Japanese cars are right hand drive problems. Nothing matches up like you would like it to. I just decided to cut a lot of the harness out, and splice into the existing wiring for power (I still used the JDM harness for the connections between the swithces and the regulators). Fortunately, the 89+cars have 12 Volt power in the door for some of the safety stuff. Be careful though, because one wire is used to release a relay that releases the seat belt ratchet when you open the door. The consequence of this is that you will have 12 volts while everything is apart in your driveway (door open), and have 0 volts when you close the door. If you use this wire for your 12 Volt supply, the widows will only work when the door is open! Guess how I figured that one out!
Also, since things don't just plug in, you have to figure out what should have power, and what should go to ground. This seems obvious, but it's not. The passenger switch has 5 pins, and the drivers has 9. The drivers switch incorporates a circuit so you can't just meter the pins to see what is going on. There are 17 unique switch combinations for the dives pod alone. After about a 30 minutes with a meter and a lot of head scratching, I figured out how the passenger switch worked. I then traced wires in the harness from the drivers regulator to the switch to figure how to wire the drivers door.
Problem six: The widows don't fit the Japanese regulators. After all this when I get everything inside the doors, the holes for the window don't line up. The problem is that the domestic market cars ('89 - '91) have these stupid passive restraints that put the seat belts in the door. This makes the window shorter, and makes the mounting different (this is why there are two CRX side window when you have to get them replaced). My solution was to drill out the mount from the domestic parts (they are spot welded on), and rivet them to the JDM ones (see picture, the piece to be moved can be seen on the lower regulator on the right side of the window rail.).
Conclusion: I'm glad the windows work, and I like the way the Honda parts fit and look like factory parts. I could do this again in about 25% of the time it took now that I know what to do. If I had known the effort it was going to take I wouldn't have bothered with it. If I was going to do it again, I would, but only because I have these instructions now. If you decide to tackle this project good luck and feel free to ask me for advice. If you muck it up and wind up with damaged door panels and windows that don't work, it's your own fault (even if my instructions lead you astray!).