Replacing the Power Window Motor of an Early Model Toyota SiennaEdit
After 9 years of use my driver's side window started having problems moving up. I did my research on google and found out that a load sensor goes bad in the motors. The problem is worse in warm weather. So I went to the dealer and paid $500 to get the motor repaired. About a year later my passenger window started having the same problem. I decided this time to look at doing the repair myself. So I purchased a motor from autopartswarehouse.com. They shipped quickly and charged me $44 for a core charge. Unfortunately I didn't realize there was a difference in driver vs. passenger motors. So it went back (with an RMA number) and I ordered the correct part.
My Sienna is a 1998 and I hope the following helps someone save a bunch of $. Please let me know if these instructions were helpful, and feel free to update them.
Steps to Replace MotorEdit
Unscrew the door opener. Notice a little notch on the LHS of the piece I'm removing. Make sure you pull out on the RHS first.
Note: be careful when removing the trim plate (and door panel in subsequent steps). The plastic sub-assembly for the door handle is not very strong, To remove the trim plate easily, you need to prey up with a flat screwdriver right above the center of the lock handle, and prey down below the door opener handle.
and will not be well supported. I cracked mine during this step. (JF)
Now pull off the inside door cover. There is a plastic sheet that will need to come off too. Keep it in good condition, since it's easy to put back on.
This is where I noticed that there's a shell that's welded onto the door and no way to easily get to the motor.
Now is a good time to put a few pieces of duck tape to the top to keep the window up. Get ready for a big surprise if you forget. :-)
Next disconnect the motor quick connects.
It's now time to improvise and hunt down a small mirror. I used a mirror from one of my daughter's old make-up kits. It was oval (about 2"x3"). I stuck some duck tape to the back side of it and positioned it so that I could see the bolts holding the motor on. I also put a light in the outer hole to provide light. Here's a picture of the bolts holding the motor on looking through the mirror taped to the inside of the door.
Now whenever I start admiring myself as being extra clever, the all mighty reminds me of my less than divine attributes, such as my memory, and so I still have, to this day, a small mirror taped to the inside of my door. :-)
Anyhow, see the strange bolts? Well the only tool that worked was an Allan wrench. I had to make my own out of a crescent wrench and socket. Also found that a socket type screw driver works as well with star driver bit.
Note: It is much easier if you remove the entire motor. It is easily done by removing the four (4) SCREWS in the middle of the door panel, they are the only screws on there. the whole assembly comes off, then you can replace the motor, or the whole assembly. In my case, I am helping a friend to replace the whole assembly. The shop had told her the motor she'd bought online wasn't good, but I tested it and it works perfectly. There is an open circuit and no power is getting to the switch. If possible and practical, you may want to try and remove the motor to make sure it doesn't work. Then, all you need to do is connect the two terminals on the connector momentarily to the positive and negative of the battery (I used tiny aligator clips) . If you reverse the connections, it will travel in the opposite direction (up or down.)
And there's that little mirror, too.
And with a little bit more of that all important duck tape, I get my little tool.
Now put both hands in each hole and start trying to loosen the bolts. I found that an extendable magnet was pretty handy in this phase of the project since I dropped the bolts a few times (and when putting them back).
Now I did loosen a bold in the middle of the door to enable me to lift the plate covering the motor in order for me to remove it.
Now my motor didn't have a quick connect on it, so I had to use the one from the broken core. Here's a picture of that.
Notice the shrink insulation? After I soldered them and shot them with a heat gun it looked like this.
Not my best work, but it worked. I then wrapped them with electrical tape for the warm fuzzy effect.
I next put the motor back. This took a bit of patience and I used some nails in the bolt holes to help with the first bolt.
Now I pretty much did everything in reverse, but you might try the motor right after you connect it. Don't forget to take the duck tape off and remove the mirror!! :-)
Good luck! Mark Schaffroth
Thanks, Mark, for posting this. Too bad I didn't see it before doing the same repair on my 2000 Sienna, but everything went for the most part as you describe. I got my passenger-side motor/regulator from ePartPal.com for $56.07. Besides the screw on the door latch handle cover, on the 2000 Sienna you have to pop up the armrest in order to access the two screws underneath. It is difficult to pop up these old plastic parts without breaking some, especially when you have never seen how it actually attaches, and unfortunately I broke some of the tabs on the armrest. It might be possible to avoid breaking stuff if you first study the photo and try to slide something thin under the armrest so you can push back the locking tabs one at a time until the armrest releases. Anyway, with no evident source for a replacement armrest I am attempting to epoxy back on the completely broken tab and reinforce
the remaining cracked ones and we'll see what happens.
The door panel itself popped off with no problem. On my 2000 Sienna, the window is attached to the motor assembly with two bolts that have to be removed. It seemed to me that it was necessary to lower the window to the point where the bolt heads were accessible in the door cutouts, but I don't know how you'd do this if the motor was completely broken (mine was not, just very wimpy). The duct tape to hold up the window is a good idea. I didn't think of that, but I did use a couple of paint stirrers jammed through the door cutouts under the window. I didn't have any need to access bolts from inside the door -- I just took off five brass-colored bolts from the outside and then the one remaining bolt from the outside that slides into a cutout slot in the door, evidently for ease of locating the part when installing. After taking the old motor assembly out of the large door cutout, the new one inserted pretty easily and the bolts went back in the way they came out. Then I carefully lowered the window down so that the mounting tabs dropped into the slots on the mounting arm and bolted it back in. Everything else was fine, except it seems that whoever made the replacement motor part got the polarity wrong, so now the switch works the opposite of the one on the driver's side. Oh, well, I don't think I am going to take it apart again to fiddle with that.
The $500 Mark said the dealer charged him is not a surprise. I've been driving around for a few years with a broken motor because I was afraid of the same thing. But it is not such a big deal to do this job, and it costs less than $60 and an hour or so of time.
Mark's pictures are good - I started down his cookbook, but ran aground when it came to getting the old motor off and the new motor on via mirrow and allen wrench - you need good manual dexterity and experience working with a mirrow to work in the cramp space between the outer and inner welded door. Also, the small allen bolts holding the motor to the assembly were tight - I needed a way to get sufficient torque to loosen the motor.
I went to Gene's method of taking the whole assembly out, replacing the motor, then reinstall the assembly, and got it done that way.
Mark, great photos and great tips for using the mirror and duct taping the star point to the box wrench. I also taped a small LED headlamp inside the door panel so I could see what I was doing. I left the window up, duct taped it to the door and followed Mark's steps. My replacement motor came with three different wiring harnesses and one of them fit my harness so it was easy to make the electrical connections. The only complication I had was that the replacement motor mounting holes were unthreaded, if you can believe that!!! I only discovered this when I could not get any of the screws to thread into the holes. So, I removed the motor, saw the problem, and then tapped them with a 10/24 tap I had on hand. I went to Ace Hardware and for 97 cents bought three 3/8 inch 10/24 allen head steel screws. Using an Allen wrench inside this tight space was far easier than using the star point duct taped to a 1/4 inch box wrench. The only caution is to not overtighten these steel screws since the mounting holes were aluminum. Thanks again for posting pictures and steps. This gave me the confidence to do this job and save some bucks. It took me two hours to do the job including the time to run over to the hardware store.
Mark, great photos I too decided to remove the entire regulator with motor. I purchase my motor at A1AUTO ($55.00 free shipping no core) parts and it came with correct connector. I ran into a few issues not mentioned in the above. First to get door handle cover off you must pry with small flat screw driver to release each tab to get it out. [Jim G: Pry *exactly* where Bill's arrows indicate in his photo (click on the JPG link at the end of this paragraph to see the photo). For the top pry point slide the screwdriver in about 1/2" and lift the handle of the screwdriver up so the tip presses down on the pry point. For the bottom pry point press the screwdriver handle down so the tip lifts up on the pry point. What you're doing is releasing two tabs that hold the cover in place.]
This link shows a nice photo of what to do.
Second to the regulator you must detach the window this is easy if the motor still moves down. Move it down until you have access to the two 10mm bolts remove them slide the window up and tape it shut in the up position.
I used painters tape to secure window in the closed position. Lots of painters tape so it does not fall.
Finally, the screws are self taping but you need to secure the regulator so spring does not pop out. Get either a 12volt battery or small dc power pack and align the regulator so that the two screw holes partially line up. Insert two bolts with nuts to hold it in place. If this doesn't give you the warm fuzzy feeling use a vice grip to secure it before motor removal.Remove the motor. Now it is good time to grease the sprockets on motor and regulator. Use the 12volt source also to align the sprockets from the new motor so they match the old. Insert new motor and attach with self taping screws.
Install everything you removed. Good time to clean your car while you are at it. If you lose any of the nylon standoffs go to advance auto and select nissan altima they seem to work fine. Also check the condition of you door speaker. Now is also a good time to change it or do any lock or door repairs.
P.S. Arm rest should be removed at the outer bottom end to avoid seperating it to pieces.
I just replaced the driver-side motor on my 2000 Sienna, thanks to all that contributed, it saved a lot of time and possibly broken components. The only thing I found differently is on removing the door handle cover. I inserted the screwdriver about 1/2 inch as indicated, but I had to pry in the opposite direction. The cover has holes and the handle has short pins that go inside the holes, so you have to pry the cover off and away from these pins.
Looking at the top pry location in the picture above, I moved the screwdriver handle down in order to lift the cover off the pin. You will feel the cover pop off the pin immediately (see attached attempted drawing of cross-section). Do the opposite on the bottom pry point.
The cover on my van was already cracked so I thought for sure it would break. To my surprise, the crack did not get any larger after removing it and putting it back on.
Las note, the plastic rollers in the slider that attaches to the window seemed worn out, I wish I had replaced the whole bracket.
The internet is a wonderful resource and this procedure saved me time and money! Taking the whole assembly out of the door is the way to go on this repair. Couldn't imagine doing it from the inside. My replacement motor had green and yellow wires. The original motor had red and green. Splicing green-green and yellow-red resulted in a motor that ran backwards! With this redo, the entire job took less than two hours. Thanks everyone.
Notes on the motor
I ordered mine online from NAPA. The electrical connector was perfect, but the metal inserts were untapped (as mentioned above). Tapping them could be a bit of a challenge, because other features would block a standard tap. Basically, it would need to be tapped like a blind hole (one that does not go all the way through the thickness of a part). I took it in for exchange at the local store, but the parts in stock were the same way. They offered to have the on-site machine shop tap it and mail it to me. So, we'll see how it goes. (They did comp me some wiper blades for my trouble, so all in all, it's not so bad...) For reference, the screws in my 98 Sienna are M5 x 0.8 and the matching bit is a number 25 star-type.
Additional notes on the motor:
I ordered it from AutoZone. Dorman 742-601 for 2000 Sienna passenger door. It came with the correct power connection. Also although the metal inserts were untapped, the provided 3 screws are self tapping and once started, tightens the motor well. I removed the assembly from the door, everything went well. It may have been very difficult to mount the new motor in the door (without removing the assemblyt from the door) because the screws needed to tap the bushing.
Getting Ready to Start --- SAME STORY ON MY 1999 TOYOTA SIENNA. I REALLY want to thank you for posting this 'blow by blow' description. I am fixing the AC, the passenger side exterior handle, the fan belt, the rear suspension AND the driver's electric window motor. The internet and your effort to document your own experience is SO helpful. Thank-you, Thank-you.
Lars in Omaha.
Thanks for all of the great contributions. I’ll add my two cents. Mine is a 98 Sienna. I ordered the Cardone “select” motor from one of the internet businesses for about $60….. worked fine and the holes were pre-tapped. No core return necessary. I looked up inside of the cutout (or, rather, felt around inside of the cutout) and decided to go the route of removing the window regulator assembly as a unit rather than using the mirror trick. Probably using the mirror would take about the same amount of time…. Everything seemed more accessible by removing the assembly. As noted, the window needs to be lowered to the cutout so that you can see BOTH bolts holding the window to the regulator. I lowered it only enough to see the left hand bolt (on the driver’s side) through the large cutout above and had to reach up inside the cutout to remove the other bolt (with an open end wrench) that holds the window to the regulator. It’s easier if you lower it a little more so that you can see the right hand bolt also in the small cutout hole in the panel and remove it that way. Replacing the motor, soldering, etc. was quite easy. It turned out to be easy also to put the regulator back in upside down (at least, it was easy for me) and I ended up scratching my head for about 10 minutes wondering why things didn’t line up as easily until I figured this out. Finally, replacing the door panel was a nuisance. You have to hang the top part of the door panel into the recess that the window comes up from, push down slightly, and then line up the holes with the plastic fasteners. Usually, at least one or two of the fasteners falls out in the process and the process has to be repeated. This was a nuisance, but finally went in.
This took me a couple of hours to do…. When I do the passenger side eventually, it should take about 45 minutes.
-M.S in Santa Fe
You are my newest hero!
I was not looking forward to this task. Even the directions that came with the motor said to remove the regulator ughh!!!
So I saw your posting and tried it exactly, even the duct tape to the wrench and it was perfect. Your pics are fabulous too.
Rick in St. Louis
To everyone that contributed,
thanks for all of the advice and the pictures. I just replaced the passenger window motor and regulator on my 1999 Sienna yesterday in 1.5 hours. My estimate from the dealer - $581.88. My cost for the new motor/regulator - $48.75. Assuming your old motor works a little (mine did) and you can get the window to go down, this is a fairly easy repair if you replace both the motor and regulator (the regulator is the part that actually holds the window). There was one step missing between removing the door cover and removing the protective plastic sheet that sticks to the metal door. As you pop off the plastic door cover, do it carefully because there are 3 wire connectors that are attached to the door cover and are fairly short. Two connectors go to the window motor switch and one is for the little courtesy light at the bottom of the door. The courtesy light was easy to get to and quick to disconnect. The two connectors to the window switch were a little difficult to get to until I turned the door cover upside down so the connectors were facing up. Figuring out that simple step took up 20 minutes of the 1.5 hours. The actually removing of the old motor/regulator and installing the new one took only about 15 mintes.
184.108.40.206 12:46, September 21, 2010 (UTC) Dave R, Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for posting this article. I purchased my motor from Autozone for about $50. It took me longer to remove the door panels than it did to remove the motor. However, since the new motor did not want to line up and it took me about 3hrs from start to finish. If you have a problem getting your motor to line up, I suggest using a small allen wrench and poke it through the center bolt hole to line up the remaining two holes. Once I figured this out the process went a lot smoother.
September 12, 2012. Thanks to everyone above. Thanks for the pictures. Thanks for the two approaches, fixing in door, and taking motor out. Armed with your expertise and experience I did $ 1,550 in repairs on my 1998 Sienna Van. It is not worth that much now!!!! I did BOTH front window motors and the driver's mirror in one afternoon. I'm a senior so try for rigid discipline to keep track of tools and parts. My motors wouldn't move at all after ignition. I had to disengage the glass in the door by peek and feel, but the photo's showed me where everything should be. It only goes together one way so you can't put it together wrong. Remember screws are self tapping, close the scissors when attaching the new motor and remove the armrest as gently as possible. I snapped the forward one; they are old and brittle. I sprayed some oil on the register. Should I have added grease? It passed inspection!! Muchisimas gracias!
I just replaced my window motor tooEdit
Seeing this article gave me the motivation, and confidence, to tackle replacing my defective window motor, whereas last time that it needed replacing, I took it to my mechanic.
I concur with all the others who posted that you should remove the regulator before replacing the motor, don't try to replace the motor with the regulator still in the door, like Mark did, because not only is it much more difficult to do it that way, but when the motor is released the spring mechanism in the regulator will activate, possibly causing injury. When I released the motor from the regulator, it did suddenly spring open.
I've got some pics of my repair that I thought I'd share. The first step was to wind the window down to the point where the two screws that attach the window to the regulator are visible through the openings in the door frame. My defective motor worked enough to wind the window down, but it didn't work to wind it back up to get the position exactly right, but I found that if I assisted the motor by pushing the window up by hand, it worked. Your mileage may vary.
Once the screws are removed, push the window up by hand and tape it into place. (It's a good idea to have an assistant do the taping). I used regular packing tape, and I used some sheets of paper to prevent the tape from marking the paintwork.
There are 6 screws that hold the regulator in place. You need to remove 5 of them and loosen the 6th screw, this screw doesn't need to be removed because there is a whole allowing the regulator to be removed with the screw still in place.
The regulator can now be removed through the opening in the door frame.
You can now remove the motor from the regulator. Ensure when putting on new motor thta you position it with the scissors closed, otherwise it will not install correctly.
Regarding buying a replacement motor, I wanted to do my repair immediately, so I bought mine at NAPA . NAPA has 2 options, you can by a new motor for $61.49 or you can buy a re-manufactured motor for $62.95 but you'll get $11.46 back when you give them your bad motor. If you don't mind waiting for the motor to come in the mail, you can get one from JC Whitney for $27. (left/driver motor:  / right/passenger motor: ). [UPDATE: JC Whitney has discontinued these parts].
Hope this is helpful.
Rob Crowe Robman94 00:09, May 1, 2011 (UTC)
Many thanks to all of you for posting pictures and instructions. I just replaced my 2000 Sienna window motors on both side of the van. I bought new Dorman motors from Amazon.com (part # 742-600 and 742-601). The two motors cost me a total of $80.42 including shipping. Three connecting cables came with the motor and one of them fits Sienna perfectly. Some tips that were not obvious to me:
- To pop open the arm rest, you should start from the front side and work to the back. (I haven’t figured out a way not to damage the plastic hook on the very back.)
- To remove the door cover as well as put it back, the window has to be all the way down.
- Top and bottom door covers are actually connected. They should be removed together.
-Tie the scissor assembly before removing the motor. Also be very careful when removing the motor. The scissor is spring loaded and will pop open once the motor gear is disengaged.
Good luck to your fix! -JC
I agree. Thanks to everyone for posting the photos and instructions -- I wouldn't have been able to tackle this by myself. For me, a picture is everything. It was easy enough to follow, even for someone like me with basic skill and knowledge. I would definitely agree that removing the regulator is the way to go.
Thanks again to everyone.
These instructions were on the money, but I have something to add. My window was in the fully lowered position when the motor died, so I couldn't raise it enough (at all) to line up the two bolts that held the window to the actuator. I could get to the one in the lower left with a 10mm wrench, but the right one was buried inside the door. I eventually figured out that if I removed the speaker, it left a huge hole where I could get at the bolt from the right. Doh! After that, everything else was a breeze.
Was quite easy if you know where everthing isEdit
I just finished this repair on my 2000 Sienna. It took me about 2 hours to do the entire repair because I didn't quite know what I was doing. I think I could now do that whole thing in 30 minutes now that I know where everything is. I have included an abbreviated list of the steps that I used:
1. Take off the door cover
- Roll the window all the way down
- Unscrew the plastic cover/cup where the inside door latch is, push towards the front of the car, then use a screwdriver to pop the back end of the cup off
- Pop off the top of the arm rest and remove the 2 screws there
- Although you can pop off the little console with the electric switches in it, you don't need to. You can leave it on then after you get the cover off unhook the wires going to it at the quick connect
- Starting at the bottom of the door, you can either pry the door off of the little plastic connectors or lift the whole cover up
2. Remove the entire scissor arm (regulator) assembly
- Roll the window down so you can see the 2 screws holding the scissor arms to the window. It should be visible in the bottom door cutouts when the window is about 3/4 of the way down. (You will need to reattach the window controls to so this. If you didn't remove the switches from the door panel you can flip the door panel over, remove the screw holding the switches in place, and pop with switch assembly out)
- Remove the 2 screws that hold the scissor arms to the window tabs (don't drop the screws!)
- Pull the window up and tape it to in the up position using blue painters tape (don't use anything that will leave a residue on the door jamb or the car)
- Unscrew the 5 bolts as shown above and loosen the 6th bolt
- Pull the entire scissor arm assembly out through the bottom cutout in the door
3. Replace the motor
- Using a 6 star screwdriver head, unscrew the 3 bolts holding the motor to the scissor assembly
- Screw the new motor into place with the old screws (note that the screws are self tapping and your replacement motor probably won't have any threads in the receiving end so don't over tighten it)
- Make sure that the wire on the new motor matches the quick connector from your door. The motor I purchased came with 3 connectors. One of them fit perfectly. If they don't, you will need to snip off the connector from the old connection and wire then solder it back to the new motor.
4. Reassemble the scissor arm assembly
- Put the whole assembly back through the door cutout and line up the 1 screw that you left in the assembly
- Reattach the assembly with the remaining 5 bolts
- Carefully lower the window so it is resting on the bottom ledge of the scissor arms and line the 2 bolt tabs in the window up with the receptacles for them in the scissor arms then reattach the 2 bolts
- Test the window to make sure it works correctly. Leave the window down
5. Reattach the door cover
- Put any of the little white connector tabs that might have fallen off back into the slots on the door cover
- Reconnect the 2 electrical quick connects
- Slide the top of the door cover onto the top lip of the door and align the rest of the connectors
- Put the 2 bolts holding the arm rest back in the put the arm rest cover back in place
- Pop the rest of the door back in tightening around the door edge
- Slide the plastic handle surround back on and screw in the screw
That was it! With these instructions you should be able to fix the motor in about 1 hr.
Excellent post: Thanks to everyone who took the time to write this! I do have one suggestion, described below.
I purchased a regulator and motor assembly, removed the old regulator and motor assembly, and installed the new. When I tested the window, on being raised, there was a mechanical popping sound that was the result of one of the bars in the scissor assembly moving on one of its pins by about 1/8 inch at one point while being raised, if the window was first lowered completely. If the window was only lowered to no closer than about one inch from the lowest point possible, the popping sound did not occur when I raised the window. I finally decided that the regulator that I had purchased was inferior to the Toyota original regulator. So, I removed the new regulator and motor assembly and then installed the new motor on the original Toyota regulator. Be sure to clamp the regulator "gear" piece or teeth that engage the motor gear so that it cannot move before removing the motor. Upon reinstallation of the old regulator with the new motor, the popping sound did not occur on raising the window, even if I lowered it to its lowest point and then raised it.
Thanks for the great post!
I did this on my Sienna trying to chase down why my motor keeps stopping when bringing the window up. I've changed the regulator, motor, and switch. At this time I have an aftermarket switch, aftermarket motor, and OEM regulator. AND IT STILL STOPS occasionally when bringing the window up. To top it off, I hear this clunking sound as the window goes up and down. Almost like the gears don't mesh well or there are pebbles in the tracks or something. it's a brand new regulator by he way so no pebbles. :) Do you guys have any tips on mounting? Maybe I mounted it wrong somehow? I mounted it with the scissors closed and the motor gears against the middle of the regulator gear area.
Great WIKI. I found nearly everything I needed here. I bought a whole new regulator/motor assembly and went the route of replacing both as a unit. My motor had died with window in full down position, and was frozen in that position, so the idea of "rolling" the window up or down was moot. Both of the window mounting bolts were too low to access. So I removed all 6 mounting bolts of the regulator, and then manipulated the window (with regulator/motor assembly attached), around to get access with my socket wrench to the two bolts that mount regulator to the bottom of the window. Once I got those off, I was able to push the window up and secure with tape as shown above. I had also removed the window switch during disassembly of the door panel, which turned out to be handy. I mounted the new regulator/motor assembly with the six bolts to the inner door panel. By connecting the switch assembly, I could operate the motor to bring the bottom part of the regulator down so the two bottom bolt holes were in line with access areas of the inner door panel. Then it was easy to manually bring the window down to be bolted back to the regulator. -Jeff P., Seattle August 2014