Window Regulator Replacement - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-10-2010, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tempe, Az, USA
Posts: 300
Window Regulator Replacement

So the window in my wife's Windstar stopped working last month and so it was time to trouble shoot. I determined the motor was bad and looked up replacement regulators. The motors are available rebuilt with a core exchange or the whole regulator assembly. Interestingly, the rebuilt motor is more than the regulator with the motor but comes with a lifetime warranty over the year coverage of the assembly.

This was done on a 2000 Windstar and is specific to 99-03 Windstar. I know the replacement motor is used '97 to '06 Rangers and Mazda trucks too. Hopefully this will prove helpful to someone since this should generally apply to many Fords.

The cover on the front interior pops off when pried from the top. This covers the only screw on the top holding the panel on. The other screws are in the armrest and at the bottom. The handle cup pops out when pried from the front and the electrical switches pop up when pried. Once the switches are unplugged and your sure you have all of the screws the panel can be lifted up then out to be removed. Then the speaker comes out. I reattached the window switches to help move the window if needed.

If you don't have help then have some painters tape ready to tape the window in place. Use enough tape so it doesn't move. I got away without help but I really could have used some.

Using a center punch I pounded the pop rivet stud in as far as I could and used a 5/16" drill to drill off the heads of the rivets and then punched them out.

I lowered the window a couple of inches to view the rivets holding the window onto the top rail. The rail itself is perfectly fine so I reused it. In doing so I didn't need to figure out how to get the rivets out without breaking the glass. However, the sliders don't come out without bending the stops.

I taped on the tab slowly with a ratchet extension until I could get my ratchets handle in there to bend it completely flat. Then the sliders will come out forward barely clearing the rivets.

Now the lower rail comes out after removing the two nuts. This rail is reused because the new assembly doesn't have it.

Now is the time to grease up the new assembly and the old rails. This one has a couple of holes I could get my molly grease into.

The new assembly goes in.

The sliders go on the front to back (Opposite of the way the came off) and the lower rail is installed. I connected the wiring and moved the motor a little to get things to line up right. I was disappointed to find the stud on the motor didn't line up with the whole. I was about 1/4" off! By the time I figured this out the hole had crack radiating out from all the stresses. I used diagonal cutters to oblong the hole.

Next came the rivets. These are the largest rivets I've ever seen. My riveter doesn't have a head to fit them. So I removed the head and used it like that. It worked perfectly.

I ran the window up and down a few times and things looked good. So, I put the speaker in and the door panel back on and tried it again. It works!

Here is the run down of what I found out about the motor through trial and error. The pieces are slightly different in the way the motors mount. If your going to try to remove the motor be warned that it's under tension.

Two of the studs on the motor were offset to match the regulator assembly. That meant that I could not use the motor on the old assembly. I had to use the new assembly. The on the left was the OEM piece made in Mexico and the other is made in China. The OEM piece clearly has a superior housing. If it wasn't for the flat spot in the gearing it would be fine. Obviously the gears are the weak point. If I had to do it over again I would probably have bought just the rebuilt motor.

Thanks for reading.

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"I could order one, right? Sure, but then I wouldn’t need to make one."

Last edited by FATNFAST; 06-11-2010 at 02:40 AM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Carson City, Nv
Posts: 628
Re: Window Regulator Replacement

You da man. I hate working on those things. Just how many scratches and cuts did you get? And don't you just love the direct replacement parts they give you?
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tempe, Az, USA
Posts: 300
Re: Window Regulator Replacement

When I actually did the replacement and took the pictures I wore gloves and everything went great. No cuts, scratches or frustration.

But... during the 'trial and error' phase last weekend I took a chunk off my thumb and got a good slice in my index finger. I had to step back and took a long break to rethink things. Rereading the vague instructions that told me things like 'take care not to break the glass' didn't help. Things turned out good though.

Oh, and yes. I love direct replacement parts.

"I could order one, right? Sure, but then I wouldn’t need to make one."
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