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This seems to be a frequent problem with these vehicles, and since my Windstar had 3 locks not working, I figured I should document the process to help out those who may not be comfortable ripping into their door panels. Full credit for this method goes to resabed01 and zoobie from this thread on ford-forums.com (which I think is the predecessor to this site?), I've simply tried to write it up in an organized manner with pictures to make everything more understandable.

Note: These pictures were taken upon reassembly, so don’t worry, your door lock actuator shouldn’t have come from the factory with wire ties :) I’ll get to that…

Tools needed:
-7mm socket with extension (I used 9/32" since I didn't have a metric set)
-11mm socket (again I used 7/16")
-Torx screwdriver (I don't know the size, but it was the third from largest in my kit)
-Panel removal kit/small flathead screwdriver
-Drill with small bit
-Ohmmeter
-Small pick (also optional, but very handy. I used it for the clips on the electrical connectors, but will not reference it from this point forward.)

This isn’t too bad of a job, so just take your time with it. And the best part is, assuming you have the tools and the time, it is completely free.

Alright, let's begin. Start by taking out the panels behind the inside handle and the panel with the window/lock buttons on it. The clip for the panel behind the handle is on the side towards the door hinge where the handle points. Put your screwdriver there and pry. The button panel has two clips on either end, just pry it off and disconnect the wiring.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001311.jpg


Next, pop off the black plastic triangle that is inside from where the mirror is located. The clip here is horizontally aligned near the top, so pry it off from the top. Proceed to take off the five 7mm bolts which hold the panel onto the door.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001310.jpg


The door panel is simply held on by five hangers, so pull the whole panel up and then out. Take care to remove the interior light connected to the panel once you pull it off the door (it just twists and pops out).

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_950613001301.jpg


Now that the panel is off, you will see some foam material covering up the door. Simply peal it carefully from the edges and remove it. It should now look like this:

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_950613001259.jpg


Here is a picture of the entire assembly sitting inside the door:

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001243.jpg


Time to let the real fun begin. Unplug the two electrical connections and pull the wiring out the hole in the door. Now remove the three 11mm nuts holding the outside door handle to the door. The handle will not come out all the way yet since it is still connected to the door lock assembly by a rod. You need to open the yellow clip holding the rod and pop it out. On the driver side, there is also an additional rod (not shown here) attached to the handle that you will simply have to twist out as you remove the handle.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001244.jpg

Note: The rod is in backwards in this picture. I figured that out directly after snapping the picture and realizing it didn’t line up with the clip.

Set the exterior handle aside (You may not have to remove the handle if you don’t want to, but for the work it took to loosen three nuts, I felt that the added visibility and room to work was worth it). The locking assembly is now only being held on by the three torx screws on the edge of the door, so remove them!

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001241.jpg


Once the screws are out, you will have to gracefully twist the assembly out from behind the window track and pull it out the big hole in the door. I found it helpful to push the door lock rod out the exterior handle hole when taking the assembly out (and putting it back in). Before proceeding, reconnect the smaller white wire harness and test your power door locks. On one of my sliding doors, I simply greased the moving parts, worked it in, and the door locks suddenly worked! Your motor should make some noise as it tries to lock/unlock but is too weak. If it does nothing, you likely need to replace the actuator. If it made some attempt, disconnect the harness, and continue reading.

With the assembly now free, though still attached to the door by the cable from the interior handle, slide the actuator out. You will need to pry up the clip while you slide it out and one side will be very tight with the second electrical receptor.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001236.jpg


Take the actuator and drill out the two rivets circled in red. Then use your screwdriver to pry around the edges carefully in order to pop the two sides of the actuator apart (they are clipped by all the places circled in blue).

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001227.jpg


Here is the opened actuator:

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001223.jpg


Now take out the motor and gently pry off the white base using your channel locks (I used a second set of channel locks to also hold the motor itself). The white base is what you are concerned with. There is a small rectangular disk in the base. Pull it out; it’s just held in by friction from the two electrical contacts it connects. Since your motor is also likely dirty from years of use, as mine was, use some electrical contact cleaner or some other substance to clean out the motor.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001214.jpg


ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001219.jpg


Measure the resistance across the disk; it should read about 1 ohm. If it is much higher, as both of mine were, it’s time to once again break out the channel locks. Squeeze the disk firmly and test the resistance again. Continue this until it reads about 1 ohm.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001218.jpg


Reassemble the motor. I used pliers to straighten out the two metal clips that had crimped the base on before reinserting the base. Then once the base was fully in position, I used my small screwdriver and a hammer to bend the metal clips back around the base to firmly hold it in place. This is likely unnecessary as the motor doesn’t really have any room to move around once it is in the actuator, but it made me feel more secure. Now place the motor into the half of the actuator with the electrical contacts for the motor and test out your work. It should spin very quickly for a second when you press the lock and unlock buttons.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001224.jpg


If it works, great! If not, then you will likely need a new actuator (although I suspect you may also be able to head to your local Radioshack and pick up just a motor for much cheaper if you dare). Now place the motor back into the half of the actuator with all the gears and make sure that they are all securely seated as they are supposed to be (I’d recommend greasing them all while you have it open). Snap the other half of the actuator back on. One of mine actually seemed to hold pretty well with just the snaps while on the other I had mangled most of the clips trying to get it apart so it was very loose. I just zip tied them both when reassembling for the added assurance.

ai109.photobucket.com_albums_n55_camaro1999_Windstar_0613001233.jpg


With the actuator back in one piece, test it again to verify that everything still works. Install the actuator into the door lock assembly, slide it back into the door and into place, screw the torx screws back in, plug back in the electrical connections, slide the door handle back on and pop the rod back into the clamp, bolt the handle on, press the foam padding back to the door, reinstall the door panel and other panels (basically just reverse the disassembly), and you’re done. Now you can sit back and enjoy your working power door locks.

I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible in this guide, but if I skipped anything or something is confusing, please let me know.

A similar process can be used for the rear sliding doors although there are a few differences, most notably: the door panel is held on by clips, the door lock assembly is completely different and held in by six torx screws, the clamp holding the actuator is a huge PITA, and the actuator itself is sealed much better and I thoroughly trashed it trying to get it open.
 

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Thanks for this! My pass. side slider lock is starting to act up. I've found too that you need to clean the sliding door contacts from time to time with Electrical cleaner to keep the contacts fresh. We had a speaker that was intermittently not working and just the cleaning helped solve that problem.
 

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This fix totally works! I love places like this where a working man can save a buck! The resistance in my driver's door lock motor was a 9.8!!!!!!!! Squeezed it with the vise grips and fixed!
 

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Excellent article, thanks for your hard work. My '98 Windstar is having a similar problem but with one big difference: when pressing the Lock/Unlock button you can hear and see the posts try to go up / down accordingly.

It's almost as if all three are not getting enough voltage. And if so, what should the voltage be at the switch?

Also, if one component has failed on one door will it impact the others from functioning?

Many thanks.
 

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Hi, useful thread.

I did all a bit other way, using chenese door actuators. Anyway the same effect.

But one problem is unsolved. When van shakes on bumps door ajar light is on, I found that it is dr. door and tailgate. I jumped dr. door switch but problem did not dissapeare, I sugest bad door wiring. But I got no wiring diagram
 

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Hi to all. I got a bit different problem, motor is short inside and something hepened wrong with FEM modul ore wiring, becouse new motor wont worknig, relay inside FEM clicks but just grounds motor terminals, no power to motor

So i need some help, like FEM pin assigment and wiring diagram
 

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I have found a Ford tsb which supersedes tsb 02-18-4 Body-Power Sliding Door Operation and Diagnostic Service Tips Article 04-2-3 this tsb goes on to state that a common cause for electrical glitches is the control module for the sliding door it has internal contacts that are prone to oxidation causing numerous problems. Ford knows about the problem but their answer has been to make the original control board obsolete and not have a replacement. Leaves owners high and dry and constantly searching for electrical demons... got to love those bean counters that make all the the important decisions.
 

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This seems to be a frequent problem with these vehicles, and since my Windstar had 3 locks not working, I figured I should document the process to help out those who may not be comfortable ripping into their door panels. Full credit for this method goes to resabed01 and zoobie from this thread on ford-forums.com (which I think is the predecessor to this site?), I've simply tried to write it up in an organized manner with pictures to make everything more understandable.

Note: These pictures were taken upon reassembly, so don’t worry, your door lock actuator shouldn’t have come from the factory with wire ties :) I’ll get to that…

Tools needed:
-7mm socket with extension (I used 9/32" since I didn't have a metric set)
-11mm socket (again I used 7/16")
-Torx screwdriver (I don't know the size, but it was the third from largest in my kit)
-Panel removal kit/small flathead screwdriver
-Drill with small bit
-Ohmmeter
-Small pick (also optional, but very handy. I used it for the clips on the electrical connectors, but will not reference it from this point forward.)

This isn’t too bad of a job, so just take your time with it. And the best part is, assuming you have the tools and the time, it is completely free.

Alright, let's begin. Start by taking out the panels behind the inside handle and the panel with the window/lock buttons on it. The clip for the panel behind the handle is on the side towards the door hinge where the handle points. Put your screwdriver there and pry. The button panel has two clips on either end, just pry it off and disconnect the wiring.

View attachment 4827

Next, pop off the black plastic triangle that is inside from where the mirror is located. The clip here is horizontally aligned near the top, so pry it off from the top. Proceed to take off the five 7mm bolts which hold the panel onto the door.

View attachment 4828

The door panel is simply held on by five hangers, so pull the whole panel up and then out. Take care to remove the interior light connected to the panel once you pull it off the door (it just twists and pops out).

View attachment 4829

Now that the panel is off, you will see some foam material covering up the door. Simply peal it carefully from the edges and remove it. It should now look like this:

View attachment 4830

Here is a picture of the entire assembly sitting inside the door:

View attachment 4831

Time to let the real fun begin. Unplug the two electrical connections and pull the wiring out the hole in the door. Now remove the three 11mm nuts holding the outside door handle to the door. The handle will not come out all the way yet since it is still connected to the door lock assembly by a rod. You need to open the yellow clip holding the rod and pop it out. On the driver side, there is also an additional rod (not shown here) attached to the handle that you will simply have to twist out as you remove the handle.

View attachment 4832
Note: The rod is in backwards in this picture. I figured that out directly after snapping the picture and realizing it didn’t line up with the clip.

Set the exterior handle aside (You may not have to remove the handle if you don’t want to, but for the work it took to loosen three nuts, I felt that the added visibility and room to work was worth it). The locking assembly is now only being held on by the three torx screws on the edge of the door, so remove them!

View attachment 4833

Once the screws are out, you will have to gracefully twist the assembly out from behind the window track and pull it out the big hole in the door. I found it helpful to push the door lock rod out the exterior handle hole when taking the assembly out (and putting it back in). Before proceeding, reconnect the smaller white wire harness and test your power door locks. On one of my sliding doors, I simply greased the moving parts, worked it in, and the door locks suddenly worked! Your motor should make some noise as it tries to lock/unlock but is too weak. If it does nothing, you likely need to replace the actuator. If it made some attempt, disconnect the harness, and continue reading.

With the assembly now free, though still attached to the door by the cable from the interior handle, slide the actuator out. You will need to pry up the clip while you slide it out and one side will be very tight with the second electrical receptor.

View attachment 4834

Take the actuator and drill out the two rivets circled in red. Then use your screwdriver to pry around the edges carefully in order to pop the two sides of the actuator apart (they are clipped by all the places circled in blue).

View attachment 4835

Here is the opened actuator:

View attachment 4836

Now take out the motor and gently pry off the white base using your channel locks (I used a second set of channel locks to also hold the motor itself). The white base is what you are concerned with. There is a small rectangular disk in the base. Pull it out; it’s just held in by friction from the two electrical contacts it connects. Since your motor is also likely dirty from years of use, as mine was, use some electrical contact cleaner or some other substance to clean out the motor.

View attachment 4837

View attachment 4838

Measure the resistance across the disk; it should read about 1 ohm. If it is much higher, as both of mine were, it’s time to once again break out the channel locks. Squeeze the disk firmly and test the resistance again. Continue this until it reads about 1 ohm.

View attachment 4839

Reassemble the motor. I used pliers to straighten out the two metal clips that had crimped the base on before reinserting the base. Then once the base was fully in position, I used my small screwdriver and a hammer to bend the metal clips back around the base to firmly hold it in place. This is likely unnecessary as the motor doesn’t really have any room to move around once it is in the actuator, but it made me feel more secure. Now place the motor into the half of the actuator with the electrical contacts for the motor and test out your work. It should spin very quickly for a second when you press the lock and unlock buttons.

View attachment 4840

If it works, great! If not, then you will likely need a new actuator (although I suspect you may also be able to head to your local Radioshack and pick up just a motor for much cheaper if you dare). Now place the motor back into the half of the actuator with all the gears and make sure that they are all securely seated as they are supposed to be (I’d recommend greasing them all while you have it open). Snap the other half of the actuator back on. One of mine actually seemed to hold pretty well with just the snaps while on the other I had mangled most of the clips trying to get it apart so it was very loose. I just zip tied them both when reassembling for the added assurance.

View attachment 4841

With the actuator back in one piece, test it again to verify that everything still works. Install the actuator into the door lock assembly, slide it back into the door and into place, screw the torx screws back in, plug back in the electrical connections, slide the door handle back on and pop the rod back into the clamp, bolt the handle on, press the foam padding back to the door, reinstall the door panel and other panels (basically just reverse the disassembly), and you’re done. Now you can sit back and enjoy your working power door locks.

I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible in this guide, but if I skipped anything or something is confusing, please let me know.

A similar process can be used for the rear sliding doors although there are a few differences, most notably: the door panel is held on by clips, the door lock assembly is completely different and held in by six torx screws, the clamp holding the actuator is a huge PITA, and the actuator itself is sealed much better and I thoroughly trashed it trying to get it open.
 

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Hi, Great detailed information, but I have one question, If 3 of the doors are not working do I need to do this to all of the doors? If not which door do I begin with? Thanks
 

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Great write up! Saw a similar one somewhere on the power windows. Had to take mine apart like this several times. They kept getting stuck. I would grease them up and hit them with a BFH (big freaking hammer) and BFS (big freaking screw driver) and they would work for a year then freeze up again. Finally I discovered it was the white plastic gear that rides on the metal worm gear! The plastic had stripped out the gears on one end of the arced gear. So I just flipped the gear over and used the other half of it. Window works fine since then! Must be some kind of a built in safety feature to strip the plastic in case some little kid gets their head stuck in the window. Only I do not know of anyone getting their head stuck in the window of my van. My ex had it after the divorce. She gave it to my daughter who drove it to college at IU. I bought it back from my daughter so I have to get my money's worth out of it. (i.e. paying for it twice). You think maybe they were crushing beer cans with the window at IU? LOL
 

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I have found a Ford tsb which supersedes tsb 02-18-4 Body-Power Sliding Door Operation and Diagnostic Service Tips Article 04-2-3 this tsb goes on to state that a common cause for electrical glitches is the control module for the sliding door it has internal contacts that are prone to oxidation causing numerous problems. Ford knows about the problem but their answer has been to make the original control board obsolete and not have a replacement. Leaves owners high and dry and constantly searching for electrical demons... got to love those bean counters that make all the the important decisions.
Can the module be opened up and cleaned??? I changed out my module with a known working one and the actuator and motor for the lock on the LH Slider. All works great EXCEPT it closes all the way and then opens itself back up. I have clean the pad and plunger. I am so confused when it comes to the wiring...
 
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