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Electric window motor has died

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Hi folks, the driver side electric window motor has finally given up the ghost after being very slow for about a year or so. I've checked the switch which is fine and the motor is getting its +/- 12v when the switch is operated but the motor doesn't do anything.

Therefore, I was wondering if anyone can offer me some technical help on how to get the motor out? I've taken a few pictures but there are lots of nuts and bolts inside the door and I don't know which ones to remove? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! I've included two photos of the motor below, if the nuts/bolts you need to remove are pictured then maybe you could draw on the image and post it back?

It's a 1988 Esprit Turbo (Stevens shape)

Many thanks! B)



Sorry for the poor quality, it was taken on my mobile phone camera.

Edited by neilbaker86
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below is what i found in my archives (I picked this up somewhere but where????????)

Window Motors

If your power windows stop working, work intermittently, or work in "ghost-mode" where the go up and down on their own, don't immediately conclude that the window motor is dead. Many Esprit owners have gone through the same experience in the past. It turns out that the more common culprit is the window switch and not the motor itself. So which would you rather try to test and replace first?

If it turns out to be your motors after all, list member Tim Miller rebuilt his window motors and wrote detailed steps on the procedure. Here's what he did:

First, the things you'll need:

1. A Phillips head screwdriver - used to get the door panel off

2. Both a 10mm and a 11mm sockets

3. A star head screwdriver (I don't know what size) - this is to separate the motor from the gear section.

4. Some sort of instant bond or super glue. I used "Instant Bond" from Radio Shack -- $1.59.

5. Some sort of lube oil, like "WD-40". I used "Slick 50: Oil One".

6. (optional) a very fine sandpaper or soft scrub and a toothbrush.

First, I'll assume you know how to take the door panel off. (If not, read that elsewhere on this Fact File.) After this, disconnect the two door panel electrical connectors and the motor lead wires (the latter should be a green wire connected to a slate/light green wire and a red wire connected to a slate/pink wire).

Next, remove the four nuts holding the whole window lift assembly to the door crossbar with your 10mm socket. NOTE: In order to remove the bottom bolt, your socket's inner hole must be big enough to go over the screw (test it on one of the upper screws to make sure that it does). Next carefully remove the assembly from the door and CAREFULLY slip the arm roller from the window holder. Next, remove the four bolts that secure the lift bracket to the lift assembly with the 11mm socket. Now, remove the three bolts that hold the arm assembly to the motor assembly with the 10mm socket.

Now for the rebuild: Remove the two star-headed screws to separate the motor from the gear and CAREFULLY pull the motor out -- you may have to rotate the gear manually to get the motor out clean. Now the fun begins. The plastic housing and set it aside -- out of the way. Now, pull the motor out of the casing. If the two magnets came out with the motor, this is the cause of the motor failure. When the magnets are right up against the motor, it can't move and so it seizes.

All right, you now want to clean the housing and both magnets THOROUGHLY. I used soft scrub and a toothbrush. If there is a lot of rust, you might want to use fine sandpaper to get it off. After these pieces dry, add an appropriate amount of glue to the magnet (i.e.. one drop per square inch) and place them into the housing. Make sure that the magnets are lined up correctly and pushed all the way to the bottom. While you are waiting for the glued to set up (make sure you let it set a little longer than even the glue manufacturers recommend) check the two copper leads on the plastic housing. They are the two small copper blocks that are loaded on either side of the housing's inner circle. If there is any corrosion, clean it off, usually with VERY fine sandpaper.

All right, now that the glued has set up (you did wait long enough, didn't you? Try to pry them off with your fingers to be sure), spray a small spot of the lube onto each magnet. It's o.k. to let the excess stay on the bottom, it'll help lube the bottom part of the mast on the motor. Now push the motor into the casing between the magnets, making sure that it goes ALL the way to the bottom. Try to rotate the motor with your hands. It won't necessarily spin like a top, but it should be possible to crank it gripping the copper ring below the "screws" of the motor. Do this for a little while to let the lube distribute evenly across both magnets.

Now for the hard part: In order to get the plastic/electrical piece back on, you must push the two copper leads outward so that they fit over the copper ring below the "screw" of the motor. This can be tricky, but DO NOT FORCE THE HOUSING, this could ruin the leads, and all your hard work will have become much harder (I found this out first hand). Now slip that rubber "gasket" over the motor casing from the bottom up and place it between the plastic housing and the motor casing upper lip. Next, carefully place the gear assembly back on the top of the motor assembly. Again, you might have to turn the gear manually to get it in correctly. After you screw the two star-headed screws back into place, it is time to check to see if you were successful. First, connect the motor back up to the electrical system -- green to slate/light green and red to slate/pink. Then you have to connect both of the door panel electrical connectors back up. Now for the moment of truth: start the car or turn the key to the on position and try the switch. Your gear should be turning. If not, either the magnets weren't the problem, i.e. the motor is "burned out", or something went wrong in one of the above steps remove the gear again and make sure that the motor still turns freely between the magnets. If it doesn't you'll have to go all the way back to the beginning of the rebuild section (maybe you didn't wait long enough for the glued to set) or, more lube is needed.

Disconnect all the electrical connections, and re-attach first the arm assembly (you may have to shift the arm a little to get it to match up with the gear) and then the lift holding bracket. If you can't remember which bolts go where, the 10mm heads hold the motor assembly to the arm assembly, and the 11mm heads hold the lift assembly to the lift holding bracket. Reinsert the arm roller back into the window holder and replace the whole lift assemble onto the three bolts on the door cross-bar. This is another of those tricky jobs, but be careful -- you wouldn't want to damage your hard work, would you? Replace the nuts that hold the lift assembly to the door cross bar not forgetting to re-attach the grounding terminal to the forward, top bolt. I recommend that you close the door while tightening these down, else you might not be able to close it later (again, I'm speaking from first hand experience). Reconnect all of the electrical connectors and try the window again. If it doesn't work, something may have caused the magnets to come loose and you'll have to try again, or there is something wrong with the arm (I'm sorry that I can't be any help in that situation). If everything checks out, make sure that the electrical connectors are inside the door and put the door panel back on. If everything has gone as planned, you now have a workable window and CONGRATULATIONS, you've just saved yourself a bundle of money. If not, I'm sorry, but I tried.

Steve Brightman added the following points:

1. Before removing the motor assembly get the window glass into the desired position and clamp it there. On the newer Esprits (Steven's body) this seems best in or near the fully "up" position. On the older Esprits, if I recall correctly, there is a cutout in the bottom side of the glass carrier piece to allow egress of the roller on the end of the actuator arm. Position the glass so the roller is near here. Now take some vise-grips and clamp them to the aluminum runner just underneath the point where the glass carrier and its four plastic rollers are located. This will stop the window from dropping as you remove the motor assembly. (Be careful not to deform the runner!).

2. Once the motor is out of the way, you may want to move the glass up and down and check there is no binding. If there is binding you have the delightful task of fiddling with the door frame and spacer washers until you get it right. If you've ever had to do this I know you'll never lean on an Esprit door frame again - and will probably inflict grievous bodily harm on anyone you catch doing this!

3. Once you have removed the lift bracket and BEFORE you take out the three bolts securing the motor - clamp the lift arm to the motor support

bracket (use a second pair of vice grips in a suitable location which will not deform anything). Otherwise once the motor is removed the spring in the

mechanism is free to swing the lift arm around.

4. When reassembling do not over-tighten the three bolts, they are screwing into really wimpy metal in the motor casing.

Now some notes on my specific problem: The problem was not binding or the motor itself. Nor did I have any broken teeth on the inner gear wheel as I suspected. I did find there was a clutch of sorts embedded in the gear wheel but it wasn't that either. In fact when I cranked up the motor everything was fine in both directions. Only when I re-attached the lift arm did the problem become evident. At certain points of the travel the worm gear was actually disengaging from the plastic (bevel?) gear producing the nasty rasping sound. I can only conclude this is due to wear on the plastic teeth. So, before you put it back in the car check this sub-assembly first.

I also figured out the purpose of the screw on the top of the gear unit. On other units I have seen this screw with a lock nut. Mine is too short for that - no idea why. Anyway it seems to function to stop the worm gear from lifting itself off the motor spindle. It should be snugged down but not too tight or it will load down the motor. It also is a convenient way to introduce some lubrication into the mechanism - judging by what was in there I guess this would be grease.

If you're interested in having your window motors professionally rebuilt, you can send them to South Florida Window Lift. They usually charge about $90 to rebuilt one motor, which is far cheaper than buying a new one.

Hope this helps.


Esprit Freak

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  • 4 weeks later...


Mine died today too. Just pulled the panel off and am fine with voltage on

the motor up and down wires, and fine with earth at the motor too.

Funny as i drove with perspex for a year rather than get a door glass mended,

i have a terrible gut feeling as this does not make the car go, i'll still be 'thinking'

of doing it months on from now, after the summer, like last time.

Excellent write up though, many thanks. :lol:

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  • 7 months later...

Hi guys,

I have a problem too with the windows. I have a GT3 98 model.

Whenever the weather is wet is more obvious and constant. When I push either one of the door switches, the windows move for 1-2 seconds and then I loose power to both the switches (green light off), and the windows stop. I have to wait for some 15 to 60 minutes and then I usually see the green lights on again, so I can use them for 1-2 more seconds. Some times it lasts days instead of minutes.


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did you try and lube the worm gear by removing the worm set screw on the top and oiling it up?

The grease has been known to dry up in that gear assembly. Just make sure you don't over tighten the set screw of it will bind up the worm drive.

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did you try and lube the worm gear by removing the worm set screw on the top and oiling it up?

The grease has been known to dry up in that gear assembly. Just make sure you don't over tighten the set screw of it will bind up the worm drive.

Hi thanks for the reply, could it be possible to tell me where is the worm gear?


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Do not over tighten the set screw when putting it back. Also do not run motor with the set screw removed.

Drop oil into hole and after it seeps in repeat this a few times. Replace set screw to proper tension and run window up and down a few times. Do not run motor too much or it will over heat. The motor is marginal and was never meant to be used repeatedly without rest. It must be allowed to cool between uses.

Good Luck,


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:D not to worry. just do a little research here in the forum and you will find what your looking for.

i replaced one of my motors and the other i saved. however it needs to be replaced as its slower than

my 86 yr old grandfather. the motors are actually gm's i believe. i ended up cross referencing mine and

found them online from advance auto parts for like $40. the gear isn't exactly correct but it works.

as far as removing them its pretty simple. take the door panel off and the window motor is right there.

you will have to remove the four screws from the bracket that holds it on. take it off as one piece. then there

are 3 screws securing the motor to the bracket. once you take that off the motor is free.

the way lotus put it together seems to me like the water from the window falls down into the motor casing and

lays there causing the windings and brushes to rust. just replace the whole motor. its easier. youll never have to worry about it again. believe me there are much bigger problems with the esprit.

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I had also problem with window motor

what I did as follow:

1. Connect 12 v battery direct to the motor cables(just short sec. !!) to see motor run or Not, if motor work then some ground connection/swtich may bad !

(GT3 has another type motor + el. circuits !! so I don't think good id

Edited by esp88
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I had a load of grief with one of my window motors back in the summer it was making an awful noise and stopping frequently. If anyone is still trying to get their motor out I'll just point out a few extra points which aid removal.

1) Once the door trim is removed, carefuly ease up the wiring loom jammed down the front of the door behind the motor, once this is free ease out the two wires which go to the motor from the two bullet connectors. At this point its worth trying a 12v battery across the two motor wires to see if the motor is really at fault, you'll find reversing the wires on the battery will reverse the direction of the door glass from up to down or down to up. A thermal trip is built in to the brush gear assembly on the motor to protect it when the glass reaches the end of its travel in either direction this will take from 30 seconds to a minute to reset if triped.

2) The window regulator bracket to which the motor is attached is secured by three bolts the heads of which slide backward and forward in t-slots cut in the door cross brace and three nyloc nuts and one additional nyloc nut which secures the earth strap. To remove unscrew the nyloc nut on top of the earth strap and loosen the top two nyloc nuts, then follow the front window guide in the door frame down to the bottom of the door where its secured by a nut and bolt, immediately in front of this nut is the one that secures the regulator bracket which you can access through a hole in the inner door skin with a deep 10mm 1/4" drive socket. The bottom bolt hole is slotted so its only neccessary to lossen the bottom nyloc nut rather than remove it completely, once this is done remove the top two nyloc nuts. At this point the bracket should be free to remove but make sure the glass is all the way up and clamped before removing the whole unit.

3) Once everythings removed check the glass goes up and down easily, mine stuck quite badly but I found loosening the allen bolts on the rear guide rail on which the four nylon wheels run up and down cured this problem after a bit of trial and error gently moving the bar back and forth and testing after re-tightening the screws.

4) The most common motor problem seems to be the magnets comming un-stuck from the casing. The guide sugests using super glue to re-stick them but I would recommend an epoxy resin such as Araldite as this will be much longer lasting.

5) Getting the whole unit back in the door was quite difficult but I found that sliding the fixing bolts out of the way in the t-slots made enough room to refit the bracket, I then slid the bolts back to the correct position to refit the bracket. One final point is that the upper two bolts also secure the door check strap so you'll either have to leave these slack and gently close the door and jump in the passenger side to do the final tightening of the nuts or just leave them slightly slack and again gently shut the door and get the postion by trial an error otherwise you'll never be able to close the door again !!!!.

Martyn B)

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  • 1 month later...
Hi , for those who might are interested in, the problem was at relay A which has to do with the window voltage.

Thank you all who spend time truing to help me.


So did replacing the relay fix it.....clarify what "the problem was at relay A" or was there an actual shorted wire?

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I had a similar problem on my 98 GT3.

When you pressed the drivers window switch, all you got was a clicking noise coming from the drivers door relay(s).

I first replaced the window switch (which on my GT3 is from a Ford focus - seat switch), this I thought solved it, but after a day or so, it kept doing it again so I took it to my local lotus man, who confirmed the problem was the male/female cable connectors in the door, they had just become corroded and was not always making a good connection. These were taken out of the system and the cables soldered together.

The windows have worked trouble free for about 6 months now.

I hope this helps


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  • 8 months later...


anyone have a part number for the Advance Auto Parts unit?

mine is seized up and cannot be fixed, and the only one Advance has found, is one from a 1990 Jaguar (Bosch) and its $250.00 !

the one that i took out is an old Delco, with no part number on it.

car is an 89 SE.


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  • 1 year later...
Do not over tighten the set screw when putting it back. Also do not run motor with the set screw removed.

Drop oil into hole and after it seeps in repeat this a few times. Replace set screw to proper tension and run window up and down a few times. Do not run motor too much or it will over heat. The motor is marginal and was never meant to be used repeatedly without rest. It must be allowed to cool between uses.

I'm not sure if it's a good idea putting oil in this hole. The gears have grease (ex-factory) on them. If you put oil in the hole, you run the risk of flushing the grease and oil into the motor assembly, gumming up the brushes and commutators (especially if the seal is not so good between the gearbox and the motor). Mine was so filthy, I was surprised it worked at all.

I have a winder assembly which only requires the removal of three nuts. However, the nuts are so close the bracket, it's impossible to get a socket onto them, so you have to undo them with a spanner... What a pain! At least the bottom one only needs to be loosened.



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Slowly putting my car back together again. Seems the hardest part is refitting the clear plastic membrane on the door (the old one disintegrated). The inner door handle linkages and some of the wiring has to go through the plastic. When repositioning the harnesses, I found some damaged wires. The harnesses are not protected very well from the large serrated quadrant of the window winder mechanism.


Edited by Qavion
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