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robert baker
robert baker, ford master cert
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 128
Experience:  i have worked with cars all my life
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I have a 2001 ford windstar sel minivan. The driver side power

Resolved Question:

I have a 2001 ford windstar sel minivan. The driver side power window will not work and the rear passenger side power window will not work. When I push the driver side button, I can hear clicking under the steering wheel behind the dash.

Can you help with this?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
The problem sounds like the window motors have gone bad and are going to need to be replaced. This is a common problem with the windstars. Im not sure if you are just asking for the problem to be daignosed or if you are asking for directions on how to replace the motors but i can provide you with that also once you get the replacements if you plan to do it your self. You can go to the junk yard and purchase the motors or your other option would be just go to a mechanic and have them do it in which case you could receive some type of warranty on the work. Hope this has been helpful please accept pay and feedback thank you onus always appreciated
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Actually, I purchased a used control switch for driver side from a reputable used car parts place but apparently that was not it (which was a loss to me because now I'm stuck with it).

You said to get both motors? The passenger side works so is it just the drivers side motor? Would that make it click under the dash (under steering wheel)? If I do need to purchase a used motor, I would like to know how to install it. If you could give me that information, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.

the Motor is either Frozen because the Window is Stuck, Gear is jammed, or the Motor Armature is burned (typical) The fact that the window is not engaging is what causes the clicking noise or there could be a problem with the relay but 9 out of 10 times it is the motor but try this first and then go from there...


Stuck Armature Brushes

Make sure the motor is in fact bad... Many times they just stop working because the armature brushes hang up and will not make contact with the motor armature. Sometimes you can slam the car door and this will jar the brushes and they will make contact with the armature. If this doesn't work you will need to remove the door panel and reach inside the door where the window motor is located and tap the electric motor with a small hammer or some other suitable object. While you are tapping the motor have someone hold the window switch in a functioning position, either up or down depending on the position of your window. I have done this many many times and hopefully it will work for you and you will not have to replace the motor. Good luck


To replace the motor...


NOTE: The window doesn't have to come out for this repair.

Remove inside door panel -

  1. remove plastic corner piece - it snaps out, a clip and tab hold it in place.
  2. remove lock stem.
  3. remove plastic fascia piece around door handle, it also snaps out, single clip and tab.
  4. remove 5 panel screws (7mm), 2 at base, 2 in arm rest, and 1 in upper corner, where the corner piece was.

    The door panel can now be lifted off some plastic molded hooks that hold it on the frame.

    1. there are 3 wiring quick disconnects that need disconnecting from window/lock switches on the arm rest
    2. The courtesy light needs to be rotated out from the panel as well.

  5. As you work the panel loose from the door:
  6. Remove the foam from door frame.

  7. You should also remove the speaker - the hole it vacates is useful for working on the regulator / assembly replacement

Now, the regulator is held in place by 4 rivets and threaded stem & nut and 2 tabs. With the panel and foam removed, you can easily see them. It is also attached by rivets to the window in 2 places at the bottom of the window. And, it is attached to a guide bar across the large opening in the frame.

The guide bar needs to be removed first. Remove the 2 nuts (11mm) that attach it to the frame and it can be worked off the regulator assembly and out of the opening.
Then, The rivets need to be drilled out, the 4 in the door frame and the 2 holding the window to the regulator assembly., the window rivets can be a pita - I used a Dremmel with a cutting wheel. Before starting the rivet removals, I used duct tape to hold the window up in place. But once the guide bar, 4 frame rivets, and stem nut are removed, the whole thing, window and all can be moved up/down in the door frame - and need to be to get at the rivets that attach the window to the regulator assembly. Move the window to a place so that you can get to the attaching rivets, you'll obviously have to loosen the tape to do so but then tape it where it works for getting at the window rivets (the pita part of this job).

Once the window rivets are removed, the regulator assembly can be removed through the large opening in the frame. New one goes in as old came out. Attach window to it - I used nuts/bolts, short enough to ensure there wouldn't be any interference. Not too tight, need the bushings to move as window goes up/down. Now - the new regulator assembly i got was slightly different in that the threaded stem was about 1/2" forward of the old one - so the hole the stem goes through had to be opened up toward the front of the van about 1/2" (turned it into a slot). With some time, a few choice words, and patience, the stem and tabs can be put in place in the frame and the new regulator assembly reattached to the frame. Again, I used nuts/bolts and couldn't replace the 2 inner rivets because of space constraints. I figured that the tabs, stem and 2 that I could replace could do the job of holding it in place.

Then, replace things as they came off. Don't for get the courtesy light and quick connects!


once you have the door cover and foam removed look for two small divets/dents located in the area of the four rivets. Once you locate them drill them out with at least a 1/2" drill bit. Right behind the new holes are the two nuts holding the regulator in place. remove the two nuts and remove the regulator then reverse the procedure to put the new regulator in place.


Removing the door panel is the easy part. A redesign of the regulator means that a new motor will not fit on the old original 2001 regulator. Not only are the mounting holes different but so is the electrical connector. You could perhaps find an old motor at the junk yard but it will most likely fail just like the original design. There are six rivets. Two hold the window to the regulator and four hold the regulator to the door. The new regulator requires you enlarge one of the mounting holes. The difficult part for me was the window being riveted to the regulator. I did not want to drill out the rivets on the window and did not have a rivet gun that could handle a 1/4" rivet. Most homeowner rivet guns are for 3/16" and smaller rivets. The door rivets can be replaced with short 1/4" bolts. After many hours and hassles with wrong parts I opted to take the vehicle to an auto glass business and gave them a new regulator/motor assembly ($87 from Ford). Depending on how nice the glass people are it is still cheaper than having Ford do it. If you have the correct tools and rivets plus don't mind working with the glass it can be done at home.


Hope this has been helpful please accept pay and feedback thank you bonus always appreciated

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I have exactly what you just typed for me to do. I found that on another site looking up my question. It was word for word and I copied it on paper so you apparently cut and copied that same answer. You have given me something from another site. I am sorry but you did not give me anything new. I thought your reply would be original.

Thank you but this was not what I was looking for.

Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
well considering that is my answer on that website you were on the answer is original, is there anything on there you do not understand and that is why you are still in need of help??? Please accept thank you and good luck
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

On that website, you had mentioned a short cut instead of popping the rivets. What is that all about? Click here to go to the website


Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
You can drill a hole into the inside of the door after you take off the door panel which will allow you direct access to the bolts holding the window motor if you have an email i can send you some pictures showing you what it is the shortcut looks like but it willnot be for your make and model so i am not sure how helpful it will be. If you have any other questions please ask if not please accept so i can get paid for the work i have provided thank you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I"m not sure why I would want pictures if it is not for my make and model? Would I be able to duplicate the procedure? I'm trying to get a satisfactory answer and you are wanting me to hurry up. I thought we are to ask until satisfied with an answer to our question? Maybe I did not understand that part but it sure looked like others did that. Can I take the short cut to replace a motor (which you say I have to do as it has to be the problem) or do I have to drill out the rivets in which case I cannot do as I do not have the correct tools to do so. I hope you see that getting an answer that will help me fix my van window is equally as important as you getting your payment............wouldn't you agree?
Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
im not trying to hurry along,sorry if that is the impression i left you with... anyhow the pictures of the other vehicle would show you the purpose of drilling the holes which make it easier to do the removal but no they wont help show the location of where the holes need to be placed on your vehicle. Yes you can use the shortcut but there is no way for me to inform you exactly where to drill the holes for the access point. Once you take off the door panel you can reach inside and feel where the bolts will be and drill a hole in the door in that location. With it being inside the door it will not hurt anything if you drill and miss. Just follow the directions i have sent you earlier and If you have any other questions please feel free to ask if not please accept thank you.
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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
sorry, I had to get my girls a snack and ready for bed. I guess I'll try this by buying a used motor. What kind should I ask for? E-bay sells used motors for 2001 ford windstar doors but they do not all look alike. Is it the A-1 cardone motor , l/4 window motor or window motor regulator? E-bay has all 3 types listed for 2001 Ford Windstar. I just do not know what one to purchase.
Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
if you can provide your vin number i would be able to give you that information, if not just call a junk yard and give them the vin number and they can tell you the model number you need for the motor, just let me know
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
We called a parts place and they've not gotten back to me yet. I told them the motor is for a ford 2001 Windstar van. Ours is an SEL type but I didn't mention that. They haven't gotten back yet. They are checking on a motor. Thank you for your help. I really hope this is the problem or else we are stuck again.
Expert:  robert baker replied 8 years ago.
im sure this will be the resolution to your issue but if not please let me know and i will try to help you get it resolved. One other thing you can try which probally wont do anything but is always worth a try. Open and slam your driver door 10 times in a row and then try to use the window button and see if it works. Make sure the car is on when you do this. Good luck let me know how things go
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX let you know. It will be great having the van back in operation. The other vehicle we are using does not have air conditioning..........needs an ac pump and we found that out after having it filled (he said he checked for leaks first) and it drained out in 2 days. Seems we keep buying parts and things for vehicles and then find out they are not what we need. : ( Thank you again. I will also try slamming the door.