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If it didn't take too long to remove the door panel, I suggest removing the passenger door panel just to see how things work in there. In the meantime, Fordarts.com has very good diagrams of their vehicles and I am going to look through the repair manuals I have access to and find out what is going on there or at least how to get a good look in there.
Is this a 2 door or 4 door and does this not have keyless entry?
The repair manual says the Explorer has a GEM (general electronic module) to control body electronic controls and even has a troubleshooting guide,
I saved a few of the steps, namely TEST A: ONE POWER DOOR LOCK INOPERATIVE, TEST C: ALL POWER DOOR LOCKS INOPERATIVE (EXPLORER , TEST I: POWER DOOR LOCKS OPERATE IN ONE DIRECTION ONLY (EXPLORER and TEST P: POWER DOOR LOCKS OPERATE INTERMITTENTLY (EXCEPT VAN)
This should be the diagram of the parts inside that door,
I do see an actuator.
The first thing to do though would be to retrieve the trouble codes from that gem module.
I didn't miss the point, I am only telling you what I read.
I read where you said that, I am only pointing out what the ford parts.com website says. Unless of course it's the wrong vehicle for which you didn't answer, "Is this a 2 door or 4 door and does this not have keyless entry?"