Pantera Replacement Power Window Motors



The original power window motors in Panteras are now approaching 30 years old and replacement stock motor assemblies are very expensive (the brass drive gears alone are around $30).  Even when in perfect shape the stock motors move the windows slowly and produce a large current draw on an already taxed electrical system. 


Fortunately, there is an alternative.  With a few minor modifications, easily obtained and relatively inexpensive Ford window motors can be adapted to a Pantera.  The Ford motors will raise your windows at about twice the stock speed, are much more quiet running, and draw only 3 amps or so versus the stock 9 amps. The procedure and parts required are listed below.


Step One:

Find the correct motors for the job.  They are out of a 1990 through 1993 Ford Aerostar van, NAPA part #49-8021 (right) and #49-8020 (left).  The cost of new motors is $73.95 each, however, I got mine from a salvage yard for $25 for both sides.  But, be aware that Ford made a change and went to a 3-hole motor in later cars and replaced the old motors in some vehicles as well.  SO YOU HAVE TO FIND THE 4-HOLE MOTORS.  Both 3 and 4 hole motors have the same part numbers at both Ford and NAPA. You'll have to physically open the boxes to check and make sure you have the 4-bolt motors.


Step Two:

Remove the Pantera regulator and then remove the factory gear assembly that is held by four small bolts.  Also remove the two bolts attaching the emergency lift gear and the two nuts holding the motor on.  Now you have a bare regulator.


Step Three:

Now you have to choose between grinding on the Pantera regulator or grinding on the aftermarket window motor.  I did my grinding on the motor so that I can go back to stock if I choose. 


Regulator – not as hard to do.  First grind the three mounts (where the factory gears mount) flush with the regulator.  Second, you have to grind the motor stands (1, 2, and 3) just a very small amount (only around 0.2”), just to let the motor sit flat.




Motor – just a little harder.  The grinding location is as above but the #1 post must be ground down all the way to the base.  Remove the three ribs also.  Post #2 and post #3 require very little grinding (about 0.2”) – just to let the motor sit flat on the regulator.  No grinding is required on the #4 post.  Now, right by the #4 post is a circle with a hole in the center.  The outside half of this circle must be ground down to the base of the motor to clear one of the Pantera welded-in regulator nuts.  Then the ribs running inward and another running across from the #2 post (inside of the motor) must be ground down flush with the base – again for clearance with a factory nut on the regulator.  If you look closely at the picture below, you can see where I painted the required grinding points black. 


Step Four:

Now you have to drill three new holes in your Pantera regulator.  The best way is to set the aftermarket motor down on the regulator and line up the gears.  Then press the gear of the motor into the half moon gear on the Pantera regulator.  Now with your third hand, mark where the stands hit the regulator.  You need to get this part right as it sets up the proper gear lash.  Now drill your new holes in the regulators (I did one at a time just to make sure I was doing OK).  Now find three new bolts that fit the motor and bolt it up to the Pantera regulator.

The newly drilled bolt holes used to mount the Aerostar window motors can be seen in the above picture. The location of the new holes is outside of the stock mounting holes. Now find three new bolts that fit the motor and bolt it up to the Pantera regulator.


Now you are ready to test the motor with a battery.  Remount the regulator in your door (don't attempt to test run the motor without mounting it in the car as the mechanism will move so fast unloaded that you won't be able to hold it).  Then splice the factory wire to the aftermarket motor.  If you get it wrong the motor will just run backwards.  If this happens, then swap the wires.


Step Five:

Now do the other widow motor, replace your door panels, and go find a Viper, 911, or something to race – just to make life interesting.


Note: I mounted my motors around 15 degrees up from horizontal, but in retrospect, the motors can be mounted horizontal (in other words perpendicular to the stock motor position and parallel to mother earth).


I hope this helps clear my name and proves that ‘Yes’ the Ford replacement motors do actually work in a Pantera.


Todd Reid


Oklahoma City, OK.