How To: Sport Electric Rear Wing Windows PICS!! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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How To: Sport Electric Rear Wing Windows PICS!!


June 13, 2014
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City, State
Grand Rapids, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 Ford Explorer Sport
As much as I like to use my rear windows in my sport, I find them to be quite a large pain and very inconvenient. I knew there had to be a better way.

I did some research, looked over the forum only to find it mentioned twice, and never done. This became a mission.

As with all modifications, this is at your own risk. Once this is done, it will be very difficult to go back!!!

Parts Needed:
- 2 Electric Wing Window Motors (can be found in many minivans)
- 4 Door Switch Panel
- 5"x5"X1/8" steel plate
- 4 1/4" 20 Bolts and nuts
- Wire, Zip Ties, and Butt Splices

Tools Used:
- 5.5mm,6mm socket
- 13mm Wrench
- T20, T50 Torx
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Small Flat Screwdriver
- Vice
- Sawsall w/ short blade
- Angle Grinder
- Diagonal Cutter
- Crimping Pliar
- Vise Grips
- Drill, 1/4" Metal Bit
- Multimeter
- Die Grinder
- Hammer
- Chisel or Punch

Time: About 36 man hours, slow pace.

Step One: Junk Yard Shopping Mission!

Go to your local Junk Yard. You are looking for a set of window motors and a master window switch from a 2nd Gen 4 door explorer. Don't forget to get the window button with the motors!

I found a grey switch out of a '96 and a set of motors of a 2002 Mercury Villager:

Don't forget to take the wiring leads too!

My Villager Motor:

4 Door Master Switch:

Step Two: Removing the Interior

Remove the Interior Panels. I didn't get pics of this, but it is pretty self explanatory. First remove the A pillar panels, they simply pop out. Next remove the interior step, which also just pops out. Next, remove the plastic barb fasteners. Then remove the seat belt D rings for the front, and the rear. All use a T50 torx bit. Make sure to save the washers on the back of the rear D rings. Then, with a 5.5mm socket, remove the bolt in the hook. Next remove the carpet, and unscrew the 3 Phillips screws around the wheel well. Finally, remove the 2 T20 torx screws from the window arm. Lift up and pull out. Optionally you can remove the seat belts from the floor to complete remove the panel, or you can just set the panel to the side. My front Seat belt bolts were rusted to the floor (yay rust belt!) so I just set the panel to the side.

Step Three: FAB

Now it is time to fab up the motors. This will be different depending on what motor you used. If you used villager motors, here is what I did: First, use a hammer and a chisel or punch to remove the plate that the window arm bolted to. There are two tabs on the backside that will bend out, releasing the plate. Next, use a sawsall to make 2 cuts up, and 2 cuts down from the holes where the plate was. (NOTE: MAKE SURE THE BLADE DOES NOT CONTACT THE OUTSIDE BODY) Make the cuts about 4" in each direction. Using a vice grips, bend the metal away. Next, bend the metal that is towards the window, down. You can do this with a vise grip, or a hammer. It just needs to move down about 1/2" - 1". Make sure to to have a flat surface to work with when done.


Next, take your plate steel and bend it to span the gap you cut. It should be flat where the motor mounts by the window, then bends up to reach the steel towards the rear of the truck. This is to recover the structural integrity that you lost due to cutting, and give a solid mount for the motor to mount to.


Now remove the window arm from the window if you haven't already, and install the electric motor on the window. With the motor in closed position, rotate and see how the motor lines up. Bend the metal more if necessary. If it looks good, mark and drill holes through the plate and into the pillar using a 1/4" bit. Then bolt together using 1/4" 20 bolts and nuts. Be ready for a real hand cramp trying to get the nuts lined up and tightened in the pillar. You will have access though a hole directly below the mounting location, about 6"x6" big. Next, check for leaks. Pour water from a bucket directly in the upper crack above the window. If leaks, use the claw on the hammer underneath the plate steel under the front of the motor to to bend away from the window. Yow may wish to disconnect the motor from the window while doing this. Reassemble and check for leaks. If there are no leaks, tighten everything up, your done with the metal fab!

Now you can work on the plastic fab! Trace an outline of the other motor onto the plastic. I just eyeballed the position relative to where the old window arm was. Remember to trace the other panel before installing that motor, or you will have a really hard time getting it right! Then, using a die grinder with a drill bit, begin to cut the plastic away until a fit is observed. The motor must be able to pass through the hole. Then fit the interior panel back on, and over the installed motor. trim until a good fit is achieved. Pull the panel back off for wiring.


REPEAT for the other side!

Step 4: Wiring

This one is fun. First remove the driver door panel. Then remove the screws that hold the wiring on the switch panel. Using a small screwdriver, pop the tab on the pins from the switch side of the plug to slide the wires out of the plastic.


Keep track of what wires went to which switch. You will see that both the driver and passenger have a light brown/light blue wire. As far as I know they are NOT interchangeable. You will reuse some of these on the 4 door switch. Next, unpin the 4 door switch plug. Repin using this picture:


You will have a blue/black wire, 4 black wires, and a red/black wire left. These are unnecessary for the new switch. Stagger cutting the blue/Black(12v) Black(Ground) and red/black(12v lights) to avoid backfeeds or shorts. Securely cap and tape.

Now the pin at the very bottom of the switch supplies ignition switched 12v when the window lock switch is in the unlock position. This can be used as a switch for any accessory you like, I used mine through a two position relay to control interior LED lights. They come on with the doors when the switch is in the lock position, or constant when the switch is in the unlocked position.

Now for the door lock, unpin the original plug, and repin the 4 door witch using the same pattern as the 2 door plug.

Now run wiring from your window motors to the door. I used 14 Gauge. I ran mine from the right side across the headliner, down the B pillar, and through the driver's side wire channel. I then removed the driver's kick panel and fed the wires through the boot.


Since there is a large plug in the way, I cut the boot, took the door off, and drilled a 3/8" hole just underneath the plug. (NOTE: you will have to realign the door after you take it off). Don't forget to round the hole edges. Mine were so chamfered and polished as to not even scuff the wire jacket.



Then using butt splices and a crimping pillar, I spliced the leads from the switch into the wire I ran.


Wire the motors directly to the switch. It is wired like that from the factory. The switch will handle alternating ground and hot on each wire. Using wire nuts, make a connection at the motor and test the motor - make sure that they go in the direction that corresponds to the switch. Use your butt spices to finalize the connection there. I used some heat shrink as well to dress up the connection as this may be visible.

Make sure that everything works, and test the window button on the passenger side, as it passes through the master control switch.

Step Five: Close Everything Up

Put back the interior panels, seat belts, kick panels, and everything else you took out to do this project. Clean and polish the interior while you are at it. For me it took about 3 days to complete, all day.

Now it is time for you to enjoy your new power windows. Its only been a week since I installed mine I don't know what I would do without them

Finished PICS:


(The Flash messed with the color on that one the gray matches perfectly)



Happy Modding! :burnout: