Rear window motor rebuild how-to

Discussion in 'Gen 1 & 2 - Guides (For How-to guides, NOT how-to ' started by hawkeye18, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    Ok folks, my left rear window had stopped working a long time ago, and today I decided to troubleshoot it.

    The motor was getting 12V with either set of switches activated so that wasn't it. The motor was toast.

    ...or was it?

    See, most rear window motors don't go bad... they just get gummed up from the grease hardening (mostly from disuse), and the load becomes higher than the torque the motor can provide. If you get new grease in there and clean all the gunk out...

    I had ordered what was supposed to be a front passenger motor (which will work), but I got a *rear* passenger motor instead, so I figured I could probably rebuild it with the one I had. Turns out I didn't need any parts from it at all.

    Parts required:

    8mm socket
    #2 phillips screwdriver (#1 will probably work too)
    1/8" straighthead screwdriver (it needs to be small) or equivalent to scrape old gunk
    c-clip pliers or two pointy things (picks work) to get the snap ring off the motor
    latex gloves (to apply grease with)
    door trim puller (looks like a pickle fork thingy) (optional)
    tub o' grease. I used this, but in the 1 pound tub variety. Expensive, yes. Will it work forever? Yes.

    [​IMG]
    First, you have to remove the door trim; start by taking three phillips screws out, one from the door handle (you might not have to remove it, but I did anyway), one from inside the handle, and one inside the ashtray thingy. You have to open it first.

    [​IMG]
    Then, remove the ashtray assembly, pull on the right side.

    [​IMG]
    Now, you pull the door off. You pretty much just yank on a corner and work your way around. Make sure you feed the window switch assembly through the hole so you don't rip stuff. If you want, you can use the door trim puller to pull the black thingies with. You will probably break a mounting point or two; it's just a matter of the age of the plastic(I broke like 5 cos it's cold :frown:). Congrats if you don't!

    [​IMG]
    Remove the "water shield"... you only need to remove the right side of it - start at the bottom right corner (this is for LR, you can figure it out for the other side). You should be able to see the motor assembly now.

    [​IMG]
    You don't need to drill any rivets or anything for the rear windows - thank God! But you have to remove three 8mm bolts - they're pretty long, so keep going. Make sure you disconnect the motor first - should be pretty obvious. (I didn't cos I'm a rebel)

    [​IMG]
    Now the motor should come out; yank kind of down towards the ground and towards you at the same time. You might have to wiggle a bit. If there's rusty grease or dried up grease it won't want to let go.

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    The first thing you need to do with the motor once you have it in your hands is clean it! Get all that old crap off of it. This is where the straighthead comes in handy - I used a big one to get most of the gunk off. Then, use whatever cleaner you like (I used MAF cleaner since that's what I had handy), keeping in mind that there is a rubber seal behind the gear.

    [​IMG]
    There is a small snap ring that must come off the shaft. I used two circuit probes to get it off cos they have pointy ends but whatever you have will work - it's nothing like the AC compressor snap rings, that's for sure!

    [​IMG]
    Notice the small washer under the snap ring. I don't think it'd be catastrophic if you lost it, but you don't want to lose it anyway. I had a wheel that attaches to a drill... the shaft of that (1/4", I wanna say) fit perfectly so I just put the snapring and washer on that.

    [​IMG]
    Now you can pull the gear plate off. It should slide right off but heavy gunk may bind it up, so use a flathead if necessary. (icky!)


    [​IMG]
    Clean, clean, clean!
    [​IMG]

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    Next are three parts that need to come out: two endplates and a long spring. The top endplate should come right off, but the spring is gonna take some work. Get that tiny little flathead under where it kinks at the top and just run the flathead under it around the circumference. You have to take this spring out one coil at a time. It takes a while. Keep going. Keep going. There! You finally got the bottom of the spring out. Now, you can prise the bottom endplate out.

    You will notice that the spring has a kink at each end that fits just perfectly into the notch in each endplate. When you reinstall it, these kinks need to be on either side of one of the cams under the gear plate. If you cleaned it before you removed it, you can probably see what I'm talking about. It doesn't matter which cam (there are 2). Just pick one.

    Now, clean it out again. There really needs to be no grease remaining on, or in it if you want it to last for any length of time.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Now, you can work on the electrical side of the motor. Remove the two looooong 8mm bolts and WHILE HOLDING IT VERTICALLY pull the black housing off. There are two parts to the housing; if the big foam block is still on it, the two parts won't seperate on their own.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ***IMPORTANT!!*** There is a wee little ball at the very top of the rotor shaft. DO NOT LOSE THIS BALL. What I would recommend is, once you get the black housing off, turn the motor upside down so the ball plops into your hand. Then, stick it against the permanent magnet in the housing. It will not go anywhere.

    [​IMG]
    Now you can see the rotor and windings. You will notice at the top of the housing (where the power wires go) the brushes. Make sure there is still life in them. If there is less than 1/4" of material in them, I would recommend replacing them if possible... I had plenty on mine so no worries.

    [​IMG]
    Start turning the shaft clockwise like you're tightening it. The worm drive on the shaft is a reverse thread. Eventually (it might take a while), the shaft will come out. If it just keeps turning the gear, immobilize it with your hand or a screwdriver or whatever. You might have to use SUPER HULK STRENGTH! if it's really stuck in there.

    [​IMG]
    ***IMPORTANT!!*** There is another little ball at the BOTTOM of this shaft as well. These balls act as bearings for the shaft. Put this ball where you won't lose it (again, the magnet in the housing works very well). (sorry the pic is fuzzy!)

    [​IMG]
    Once it's out, you can clean it off (ewww!). Make sure to spray liberally inside the shaft housing with cleaner. Make sure there is no old grease left on it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2010
  2. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    [​IMG]
    Now, this is where you get your tub o' grease out. Slop a bunch of grease all over everything below the rotor windings, with special emphasis on the worm gear. Also make sure you put grease in the motor body where the shaft goes into.


    Put the ball back in the bottom of the shaft and screw it back into the body (remember, lefty tighty). Keep screwing until it starts rotating the gear.

    Now, back to the body. You might notice that the cam assembly, which won't come off the shaft, might have risen up and slipped off the cams that drive it. This happened to me, and confused me for a while. There are three cams that drive this center thingy, and you have to rotate it so that it sits on them and doesn't slip right off... then you kinda whack it from the top with whatever you have handy. I used a big flathead. It went right back on... just make sure you don't whack too hard.

    Now then. Grease the living hell out of it. Make sure you get plenty of grease down in the gap between the center drive thingy and the rest of the backplate, and get it ALL over the backplate and on the center drive. The more the merrier. Leave no shiny metal.

    Now, take the spring and endplates (you cleaned them off good, right?) and grease them up individually. Make sure you grease the inside of the spring. Set one endplate so that its notch rests against one side of a cam (make sure the valley of the notch is facing you).

    [​IMG]
    Now, set the spring in the endplate. First, set the spring on top of where it goes and flip it around until the kinked end at the top goes on the other side of the cam you set the bottom plate against.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    You won't be able to get the spring inside the gap all at once. So, here we go again with the tedious process of running your little flathead around the circumference, pushing one coil at a time down inside... now do this until the entire spring is in. It needs to be about 1/16" below the lip of the hole it sits in. If it's not, you didn't get the center drive down all the way. You should still be able to whack it.

    [​IMG]
    Now, (while constantly adding grease) set the top plate on the spring, matching the notch with the kink. OBTW, the two plates are identical. It doesn't matter which one you set down first.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Now, take the top gear plate, and after having cleaned it well and greased the bottom (not the top yet) liberally, set it down. There are two cams on the gear plate that mesh with the cams on the center drive. There are gaps; this allows the motor to build up torque and RPMs before it comes into contact with the gear. Were it not for this, the motor would have to be much larger to have enough instant torque! Crafty, eh?

    [​IMG]
    Now, reinstall the washer and snap ring. I used the 1/8" flathead to spread the eyes apart while I pushed the other side down with another flathead.

    Now, you should have an exposed rotor assembly and a completely assembled gear plate. You should only have two 8mm bolts, the two outer housings and one ball bearing left. If you have anything extra, put it where it belongs now, before it's too late!

    Now, make sure you clean the rotor assembly and brush rings VERY well. You do NOT want any grease in there. Use Electronics cleaner. Wipe clean with a NEW shop towel (or equivalent).

    Remove the ball bearing from the magnet in the outer housing and put it somewhere else where you won't lose it. You'll be retrieving it in about five seconds.

    [​IMG]
    Put the larger part of the outer housing, while holding the whole thing vertically (the part where the ball goes at the top), over the rotor assembly and seat it.

    [​IMG]
    Now, get that ball (told you, five seconds) and put it where it goes. Do not drop it.

    [​IMG]
    Get the top part of the housing and set it on top of the shaft. It will not slide on because of the brushes, so you will have to get a very small screwdriver (again, the 1/8" flathead works well for this) and push the brushes aside. One side of the housing will have a space for you to insert a screwdriver to do this. Once you have one brush back far enough, the housing will tilt down. Keep slight pressure on the lower part so that the brush doesn't come back off the ring while you're doing the other one.

    [​IMG]
    Once you get the brushes over the ring, the top housing will sit on the bottom housing, and it'll all look... well, right.

    [​IMG]
    Now get those two 8mm bolts... I think you know what to do here. And you're done! Now for reinstallation.

    Take the motor and work it into the door so that it sits about where it's supposed to, and the bolt holes line up. If you can't figure this out, I just can't help you.

    Insert the three bolts so that they're mostly tightened down, but still have about 10-12 threads left (about 1/4"). This is important.

    Now, hook the battery back up if you disconnected it (you freakin' goody two-shoes) and turn the key to ON. Now, take the rear window switch and, while putting pressure on the window motor, run the window down.

    Chances are good that when you put the motor on, the teeth weren't aligned. If this is the case, you will hear a small *thunk* as the window catches and the motor will go outboard about another 1/4". (Turn the car back off now.)

    Now, while keeping pressure on the motor (don't want the teeth to slip back out again), tighten the bolts the rest of the way. I'm pretty sure spec isn't more than 5-6 lb/ft. Tighten them "good 'n tight".

    Now, you'll see the big pole (huh huh, I just said "big pole") that the window slides on. Grease this up good 'n heavy too. Or use WD-40. Either way. If you roll the window down, you'll see the big quarter-wheel that the motor engages. If you can get your finger back there, grease that up too. Otherwise, just spray WD-40 liberally back there.

    Now, stick the water shield back on (use spray trim adhesive if it won't stick any more... or just use whatever sticky stuff you have [not that, you sicko!]), reinstall the door panel (just line the holes up and give 'er a whack), and you're good to go!

    Now turn the car back on, roll that window down, and revel in the fact that you are now a motor rebuilder! And that you just saved like $40 in parts and $70 in labor.

    Now that you've done this window, you'll probably notice that it goes up and down a LOT faster than the windows... uh oh, you've just got yourself three new jobs to do! :omgsho:
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
    go-to, wickedstangs, Devin and 26 others like this.
  3. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    what, nobody cares?

    Ungrateful bastards. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
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  4. frosho

    frosho WOLFMAN

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    I was just waiting to see some pictures. ;)

    I did mine a year or two ago, but not that thoroughly. Will probably do em again soon. My LR window takes years to go up...

    :thankyou:
     
  5. Storm-Chaser

    Storm-Chaser SHO Member

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    So, what type of OEM grease was originally used? It looks to be some type of lithium-based grease (and much different from what you're using).
     
  6. whlav

    whlav SHO Member

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    Great post. I replaced instead of rebuilding but that was long before this post. Good job!
     
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  7. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    Honestly, I don't know. It was very sticky and hard to get off, and formed a nasty film where it'd dried up completely. It was more than likely white when first applied, so lithium-base doesn't sound too far off. Whatever it was, I doubt it was meant to last 14 years.
     
  8. mrecoolgar

    mrecoolgar SHO NUP

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    Now there's a well detailed how to.
    Kudos !
     
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  9. Northwestvoodoo

    Northwestvoodoo SHO Member

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    Count me in as a grateful bastard. Taking those pictures and doing the write up must have taken longer than the rebuild! Thank you.

    Alex
     
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  10. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    Thank you for validating the effort I went through to do this! And yeah, it took about an hour for the rebuild, and about four-five for the write-up. And it only took an hour because I had to pause every minute and a half, clean my hands off, and take a picture!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2008
  11. oldyak

    oldyak SHO Member

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    wonderful how to!
    BUT would it solve my driver and passenger side Front Window problem?
    They both make motor noises....but thats it! no window movement!
     
  12. kevinspann

    kevinspann 87 Octane

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    If theyre like every other ford window from the era, youll probably have to take them apart similar to what he did here and replace the nylon bushings.

    The bushings can be bought in the Help section of the auto parts store, or you can buy the gear assembly with them in it

    http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDetail.aspx?MfrCode=A1C&MfrPartNumber=4291

    The bushings are each point of the triangular area underneath the black gear.
     
  13. Phoenix

    Phoenix SHOHOLIC

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    Great write-up man.

    This needs to be put on the shophoenix project
     
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  14. SHOGUN88

    SHOGUN88 1994 MTX

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    Great how to! I just did all 4 motors, the back ones were terrible and all rusted up no wonder they didnt work. I didnt see it in your how to but i managed to pry of the plate and access the gear below and really got it cleaned out.:thankyou::thankyou:
     
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  15. Team Dave

    Team Dave SHO n00b

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    What kind of grease did you use? Kragen changed their domain name, so the link you posted is no longer active. Looking to do this to my SHO in the next few days..
     
  16. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    Pretty much just go to where they have the grease-in-a-tub section of your local AAP/Schucks/Kragen/Murphy's/whatever store and pick out the valvoline-brand one in a mostly black tub that says "synthetic" on it. Or just pick any tub you think looks keen. I got the synthetic cos a) I don't EVER feel like going in there again, and b) I can use it on other stuff and it'll last forever and a day n stuff. But shortly I will fix the link so it'll work with the new website.
     
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  17. Team Dave

    Team Dave SHO n00b

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    Thank you for that, and thank you for the excellent write up / pictures. This was something I already wanted to do but didn't know the first thing about where to start. Now it looks easy! Might give the rears a try tomorrow :thankyou:
     
  18. frosho

    frosho WOLFMAN

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    Yo Jason, the link for the grease is down.
     
  19. hawkeye18

    hawkeye18 Sorta cares

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    Fixed again... lol
     
  20. Ashley_MTX

    Ashley_MTX SHO Member

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    Awesome! I have a back window that doesn't work...mind the lock on that door doesn't work either so it's probably crank cancer just spreading to the rest of the car.

    Anyway this might be a good project for January when I don't have anything to do...except procrastinate from doing my final project.

    Also, I personally liked best the precise technical terms like "thingy" and "wee little brushes."
     

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