Front Seat regulator motor repair | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Front Seat regulator motor repair

Mitchs07explorer

Well-Known Member
Joined
August 14, 2015
Messages
459
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Location
Idaho
City, State
Meridian, Idaho
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 XLT V8 AWD
07 XLT V6
Hey everyone I just picked up a 97 Explorer V8 AWD for $400 I'm really excited about it ive always wanted one of these models. It's got 166k on it and definitely needs some TLC but in all reality pretty decent condition aside from a few other issues I need to address. One of the many items in my long list is both the motors in the power seats are failing. Ford doesn't make those regulator motors anymore so that made me wonder if anybody knew of any companies out there that could repair these little motors. I googled "servo motor repair" and several options popped up right away. I going to email a couple of them to see what they say or even if they can point me in the right direction. I know the seats can be manually adjusted as a last resort but does anyone know of any fixes or aftermarket motors?
 



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A few suggestions would be to google seat motors for your 97 explorer, try looking on eBay, even consider local junkyards or either people who is parting there explorers out on Craigslist also even getting a donor seats and use the parts on your seats is a option too
 






Repairing one of those "little motors" can cost more than you paid for your truck. Look for good used base/motors or convert to a manual base.
 






The more I'm looking around on eBay the more working motors in finding. Looks like you get the tracks, switches and motor for $100-$200 depending on who's selling it. I'll prob end up picking a couple of those up in the end. First I need to get through the other issues the truck has before I can even consider buying those, I'm dying to buy them out of paranoia they'll be gone when I'm ready for them lol. There's a bunch on eBay though I think I'll be alright :)
 






Repairing one of those "little motors" can cost more than you paid for your truck. Look for good used base/motors or convert to a manual base.
Are there kits to convert to a manual base?
 












What exactly do you mean by failing? Have you taken the seat out and looked it over? Could be that the tracks are rusted and grease hardened, motors just overwhelmed by it.

Otherwise see if you can lube the motor bearings or bushings, whether the brushes are good, any bad spots on the commutator or winding wires broken off. If it is tab-bent or spot welded together then it's a matter of whether you can get it put back together after taken apart IF it gets this far.
 






What exactly do you mean by failing? Have you taken the seat out and looked it over? Could be that the tracks are rusted and grease hardened, motors just overwhelmed by it.

Otherwise see if you can lube the motor bearings or bushings, whether the brushes are good, any bad spots on the commutator or winding wires broken off. If it is tab-bent or spot welded together then it's a matter of whether you can get it put back together after taken apart IF it gets this far.
I haven't gotten that far yet, I'm just thinking towards future repairs. I'll definitely pull them out to take a closer look, seems that the motor doesn't want to reverse and then stops and starts working intermittently. I suppose it could be the switch.
 






What exactly do you mean by failing? Have you taken the seat out and looked it over? Could be that the tracks are rusted and grease hardened, motors just overwhelmed by it.

Otherwise see if you can lube the motor bearings or bushings, whether the brushes are good, any bad spots on the commutator or winding wires broken off. If it is tab-bent or spot welded together then it's a matter of whether you can get it put back together after taken apart IF it gets this far.

I'm having a similar problem in my 99 Mountaineer. If it is warm outside the motors do not work. When it is cool they work...looking to convert them to manual seat tracks.
 






My 97 Explorer drivers seat motor runs forward and back all the way in both directions. The problem is that it won't do it all at once. It'll move maybe 6 or 7 inches then slow down and stop. Wait awhile and it will move another 6 or 7 inches. I think the KEY here is that it SLOWS DOWN before it stops. Like a toy that's battery is running low. Now I know it's not the car battery. The passenger seat motor works like a charm. I also know it's not the switch. Already put in a new switch. Didn't effect the problem at all. I squirted some white lithium grease into the tracks, but, didn't dismantle to see if anything is in the way. The fact that the seat travels the full distance in both directions seems to say that the tracks are okay.
 






Could be the switches on the seat might be going bad or the contacts are dirty. The later was my problem. Took the switch apart and cleaned all the contacts and what do ya know, all is well again...
 






Thanks, Rick, but I just put in a new switch assembly.
 






I'd pull the seat out, flip it over and see what can be seen, and have better access to lube it.
It could be that the track is in a partial bind and there is some thermal breaker that trips, then once it cools down, works again.

If the old grease has hardened after all these years, it could be helpful to put it back upright (suspended like straddling a couple sawhorses), spray some brake cleaner being careful not to get it into the upholstery, wait and spray again to try to get all the old grease off, then let that dry and put fresh new grease on. Then again if something has severely worn, grease probably isn't worth the bother.
 






Now, that sounds like a plan. Thank you so much. I'll post the results.
 






Sadly, that didn't work. Took the seat out. Hooked it up to another battery. Ran it back and forth while spraying brake leaner. Lubricated the tracks. Ran it back and forth. Brake cleaner again. Then lubrication again. No change at all in the performance. Researched 12 parts houses on the internet. No seat motors for a 97 Explorer. Still looking for ideas if anyone has a thought. Thanks.
 






It's hard for me to advise without having it in my hand, but I might strip the motor down and see if the brushes are shot or there's a bad spot on the commutator or it just needs touched up with fine grit sandpaper. By strip it I mean there might not be bolts holding it together but rather bent tabs, or welds or rivets that you have to drill out then put it back together with bolts or a metal strap or something. While it's open I'd also lube the bushings, assuming they are sintered bronze then a couple drops of very light machine oil, or more oil if there is a *felt* reservoir to hold more.

Another thing I'd do is search for one from a junkyard, maybe research whether any newer vehicles use the same one so the *odds* are you get a newer one with less wear on it. I'd take a cordless drill with me, with a few sizes of cobalt drill bits in case there are rivets that have to be removed... or really you'll know by looking at yours, what you're going to need to take just the motor, assuming the junkyard is okay with that.

I'm assuming that you can tell that there are no worn or bent external parts causing excessive resistance.
 












Thanks, JC, but, I'm not comfortable dismantling the motor. A little above my pay grade. Yours and Rick's suggestions about trying to find a good used assembly sounds doable. My car has consistently had two drivers which means the seat went back and forth all the time. And that's over a span of 250,000 miles. For now, I've banned Gordon from driving this one so the seat doesn't have to move. He can drive his 98 Explorer Steelermobile. All of your help is greatly appreciated.
 






I can't believe you can't easily find a good used seat motor at a JY or on eBay. You could just replace the complete lower seat frame (comes off with 4 bolts) if you don't want to mess with R&R'ing just the motor. I'd imagine a motor from the passenger seat would be interchangeable with one from the driver's seat and have much less wear on it.

If you seat frame looks like this I'd guess the 3 motors may be interchangeable with one another, though you might need to change a shaft.
1595163437186.png
 



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Just bought a used seat mechanism on eBay for $97. This guy is very helpful and has bunches of Explorer stuff. Check it out. His eBay name is summajet. He has 6017 feedbacks with 100% satisfaction. The seat mechanism won't arrive until next week. I won't install it until I change out the shift tube and plunger. But, I'll report back with my outcomes. You guys are great!
 






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