Ford Windstar power window problems


My wife’s Windstar has just about put me off of Big Three cars forever. I’ll save the previous problems for another time.

The current problem is the power windows; first the driver’s side window stopped working. We could hear a click under the dash, but nothing happened with the window. I began a disassembly to troubleshoot and while removing the two screws that retained the window motor, I noticed that it was under stress… being pushed out. As soon as I got the last screw completely unthreaded, the motor popped out under force. Subsequent testing showed that the motor was working well while not connected to the crank mechanism.

Before I removed the motor, I connected a voltmeter to the motor power leads without the motor connected. When operating the window up/down switch I could hear a relay under the dash click once for every up or down operation of the switch and the voltage measured switched between +12 and -12 volts according to the switch position.

Doing the same measurements with the power leads connected to the motor: when I operated the up/down switch I heard the initial relay click and, after about 2 seconds, another click. The voltmeter registered the expected voltage to the motor only in the time between the first and second clicks. I concluded that an over current circuit was detected a (1) shorted motor or (2) a jammed crank mechanism and was shutting off the power to the motor to prevent an over-current situation.

Since the motor appeared to work properly without being connecting to the load, I conclude that the power window crank mechanism is jammed… perhaps because of more of those severely cheap gears that Ford like to use.

Last note: the scissor mechanism that allows the window glass to raise and lower smoothly appears to work quite well. I suspect that the gearbox that interfaces the wormgear on the motor to the window crank mech is jammed.

Any similar experiences? Advice?


It could still be a bad motor. When put under a load the characteristics can change just like a starter motor, which may work fine on the bench and do nothing while attempting to crank an engine over.

Most manuals usually specify that a hole must be drilled in the scissors and a “safety bolt and nut” installed before disassembling these things. It is then removed after reassembly.
In the right situation those springs can cause the removal of a finger or two.


You seem to be more knowledgeable than most folks. Have you considered a new motor? You have the bulk of the job done already. It could be that there is a stripped part or some defect inside what you now have, that prevents the motor from operating properly. It is not that expensive. You had indicated that nothing else is noticeably broken. I have changed two motors on the same model car/vehicle. My advise, change it.

I hope it works for you. Good luck.