Replacing Rear Windshield Wiper Motor on a ‘99 | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Replacing Rear Windshield Wiper Motor on a ‘99

New wiper arm totally fixed my problem. However, the link to seems to be dead. Wound up buying a new arm at the dealer, kinda pricey at $49.95.

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I hope that this is in the correct place ( I hate the new catagories ).

The rear windshield wiper on my ’99 has a devious mind of its own; it functions only when it wants to. I have long suspected poltergeist infestation and even considered an exorcism.

The rear wiper has been an adversary the entire life of my truck. First it had the infamous wipe pattern problem ( but after researching I found …TSB 15406 BACK GLASS WIPER SKIPS GLASS
APR 17, 2002 and ordered the new arm – see post # 6 ) and it has had the non-functioning wiper motor issue ( a common Explorer issue ).

I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a new rear wiper motor ( F87Z17508AD ). I ordered the motor from one of our sponsors, Ford Parts Network ( ). The price was $117.31 with a refundable core charge of $35.00 ( minus return shipping ).

To access the wiper motor the liftgate door trim panel must be removed. To accomplish this remove the two screws under the lift handle and then with a panel removal tool, unsnap the trim and lift it up and out of the way. Prior to removing the motor, the pivot arm must be removed. This is accomplished by lifting the cover on the arm and removing the 14 mm nut and pulling the arm off.

I found than closing the liftgate and opening the rear window made it very easy to access the motor.

To remove the motor, first move the black plastic water shield out of the way to access the wiper motor, then take out the three 8 mm attaching bolts and disconnect the electrical connector.

The motor has a "made in Mexico" sticker on it ( both the new as well as the original ).

Installation is simply the reverse of the above procedure.

The total time for this project was about 30 minutes, with the removal/replacement of the liftgate trim panel was the most difficult part; those snap connectors are tougher than they look.

After buttoning up the liftgate, the wiper was checked; alas, a functioning ( at least for now ) rear wiper.


I found this in search. Hope it works for a '98 Sport. My wiper motor shaft seeks to move around while wiping..maybe something loose or shot. I shall find out.......


I found this in search. Hope it works for a '98 Sport. My wiper motor shaft seeks to move around while wiping..maybe something loose or shot. I shall find out.......

Might be loose. Mine was a month or so ago (lots of movement too). I tightened it down and did a few of the "wiper arm mods" recommended on the site (search around) and my rear wiper is "better". Not great, but not as bad as it can be. The rear wiper is a joke on 2nd gens. :thumbdwn:

How do you really know?

Hey guys, these are really great posts, and really informative! My question is, How do you know that it's really the motor that has gone bad, and not something else (like one of the several breakers / relays I see under the hood and elsewhere)? I would hate to go buy a new motor and go thru all the trouble of putting it in, and the new one still not work. Is there any way to run a test / check just to make sure?

Unplug the connector at the motor. With the rear wiper control switch set to high/constant, check for alternating voltage between the two pins that send power to the wiper. You should show +12V and -12V alternately. (I forget which colors they are... can someone check for me??)

If you're getting the alternating voltage, the system is working fine, and the motor is shot. If you're only getting voltage one way, one of the relays may be stuck.


So I am on my third motor. Can it be another problem. I got about four wipes out of the second motor and three wipes out of the third motor that was replaced two weeks ago and now nothing.

A couple of findings while changing my wife's Rear Wiper Motor today...
4 snap-in tabs across top of interior trim panel and 2 (1 on each side mid-window).
4 slide-in tabs across the bottom and 4 slide-in tabs that are staggered midway below the window.
Also, need to open the rear window in order to get interior trim panel to slide up after the snap-in tabs have been freed up/popped out. Otherwise the trim panel will not slide due to the window latch.
Replacement of the trim panel can be tricky when doing it by yourself because the panel wants to flop all over the place. Another person can be helpful during this replacement step.
One more important tip. If you want to make sure the new/replacement motor functions before putting everything back together, the window has to be latched closed and the liftgate/trunk also has to be closed or the electrical circuit will be open due to latching interlocks that shut off power. Design intent, so that the motor would never run if the liftgate is open or the window is flipped up. This caused me about an hour of fuse/relay checking until my 'lightbulb' went off and I realized why I had no power. Good luck. And thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. It helped me out tremendously.

lol. i went through the same thing with my new rear wiper motor. finally figured out the window had to be closed for it to work. spend at least an hour checking electrical, fuses, relays, switches and wiring before it dawned on me that the window had to be shut. i have a few additional tips:

1. before you start pulling out clips, there are 3 screws to remove. 2 on the pull-down handle and one hidden one under the plastic cover where the latch is.

2. you're right about the trim panel being tough to get back in place by yourself, but i found that sitting in the cargo area with the hatch down (not latched) made it very easy to get all the hooks to line up.

3. you can get some additional life out of your weak wiper arm (wiper not contacting glass fully) by bending the arm at the point where the existing bend is. do not bend the arm before the existing bend, or it won't line up with the holder on the tailgate when fully down. the reason the wiper doesn't contact the glass fully is three-fold; weak arm spring, soft rubber motor mount bushings and a bad design.

Some ford parts last longer than others and the rear wiper motor is one of those that do not last long. The rear wiper moter and entire rear wiper design is faulty. Ii have replaced several with junk yard parts, and finally have altered the mount so the wiper does not get hung between the window and body and this seems to keep them running longer.

Thank you all for your insightful information. I am planing on tackling this task very soon to my vehicle.
So in my search, of course I aimed for a vid on YouTube first and bumped into this nice tip. Thought I would share.
Thanks again and being a new comer here, I hope to post my successful outcome.
~Connie V.

Thanks guys! Brand new to this forum. Based on the info I read here I was able to replace my '99 Explorer's rear wiper motor pretty easily yesterday. I hadn't used my rear wiper in about 2 years and I'd finally had enough. (Tough driving up here in the CT winters when you can't see out your rear window.)

I bought a replacement motor at my local auto parts store for $45 ($60 with a $15 core return.) Took me about 40 minutes start to finish...but I have to say most of that time was spent wrestling with the inside trim panel. That was kind of a pain. Took it off with my fingers - no tools required. Great tips above on removing the 3 screws. You also need to unlatch/open the window a bit so the trim doesn't get hung up on the window latch.

Replacing the motor was very easy. Much simpler and quicker fix than I thought. Motor works great now! Wiper is streaking a little bit and not wiping the whole thing perfectly clean - missing a couple inches here and there. But I think I just need to get a new wiper blade and it should be working like new again.

Wish I'd done this fix 2 years ago when the motor went. Thanks all!


I need to replace mine as well , but mine goes trough the glass, any tips so I don't crack the glass?

Thanks CC