Picture of Honda Odyssey Rear Window Motor Repair
Honda Odysseys are notorious for having problems with the rear window motors. Fortunately they are fairly easy to repair. The problem is not the motor itself, but the connector to the motor. In this instructable I will show step by step how to remove and repair the passenger side rear window motor of a 2002 Odyssey.

Note: Thanks to member "itworks" at http://www.odyclub.com forums for information about the connector problem.
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Step 1:

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The window motor is behind this panel. To remove it you must remove the weather stripping that seals against the window. You also must loosen the lower panel. There is a hook that is attached with a screw. Use a thin blade as shown to pop the cover so you can unscrew the screw. The panel and the lower panel are snapped into place with panel clips.

Step 2:

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The motor is behind the black duct work. The duct work is held in place by a couple of expanding clips. These may be removed by first removing the plastic screw in the center. The clips may then be pulled out. It isn't necessary to completely remove the duct, but it can be fairly difficult just to get it clear of the motor.

Step 3:

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Unplug the connector for the wiring harness. There is a small tab that must be depressed to release the plug (see the picture with my thumbnail pressing the tab).

Step 4:

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Removing the motor at this point is straight forward. Be careful not to drop the bolts. It won't be fun to retreive them from behind the lower panel. The lever on the motor shaft will pop out of the fixture on the window if you twist it a bit.

Step 5:

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Remove the motor from the bracket. From here on we will be working with just the motor assembly.

Step 6:

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Remove the cover from the motor assembly to expose the motor. Take note of the position of the motor. In this photo you can see the seam of the foam covering on the motor. This is important when it comes to re-assembly. If you get this backwards the motor switch will work in reverse. (Guess how I know.)

Step 7:

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Remove the connector from the motor. Inside the connector there are two metal tabs. Remove the tab that runs across the center of the connector. I found that grasping the tab on the opposite side of the connector with a pair of long nose pliers and pushing worked well.

Step 8:

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The tab is made in two pieces with a mysterous black substance in between the two pieces. This is the culprit. Connecting an ohm meter on each leg of the tab results in an initial reading of 0 ohms which quickly rises to 20 ohms. My guess is that the increasing resistance is intended as a mechanism to protect the circuit when the motor stalls. In practice it reduces the current to the point where the motors cannot function.

My initial fix for this was to simply wrap some bare copper wire around the connector to reduce the resistance. But, not wanting to completely over-ride the safety function, I decided to see if I could make the black layer thinner to reduce the resistance. I found that by heating the tab while squeezing it in the center, the black substance would soften and sqeeze out of the gap. This resulted in a maximum resistance of about 0.5 ohm. It is necessary to trim the excess material before re-assembling the connector.

Re-assembling the motor etc, is the reverse of disassembly.

Put it all back together and enjoy the whir-whir of you newly functional rear windows.
Moosetales16 hours ago

It worked like a charm. Thanks a ton for put the time and brain power into figuring this out and then for posting the instructions.

MarkW291 month ago

worked great thanks!

dsmith352 months ago

Totally worked. Thanks!

raymwiii7 months ago

Hey nice guide. Followed it exactly and everything works now. Thank you for taking the time to help everyone else with this issue.

Erd11141 year ago

actually paid $40 for a pair of vent motors removed from a salvage yard. Replaced drivers side with no success. Upon further research I googled problem and found this post and true to the word the problem was all in the connector? I pulled the connector apart as advertised and did just as the instruction said and true to the instruction, i now have two perfectly running vent windows. Thanks for this instruction!

hpage661 year ago
I found a trick to moving the duct work rearward. Look carefully at the place where the duct attached to the blower housing, Note that the duct includes a sleeve where it attaches; the sleeve is inside the duct.. You can carefully push this sleeve up into the duct allowing the duct to clear the attaching lip, allowing one to move the duct rearward, allowing one to remove the motor.
dpritts11 year ago
I dunno what the goo is, but you can fix this by wiring in a light bulb across the two terminals. This apparently acts as a thermistor, which is what the original goo is supposed to do; as you surmise it is an overload protection. ...Or so says the author of another document i found on a different site for people who like to fix things.
I tried this and the two halves of the tab separated completely. The inside is a silver covering with nothing to stick them back together with. Rats; maybe I heated it too much. Ah, well, thanks for the clear directions! I guess I'll have to buy a new motor after all.
notsoso (author)  sticksnpicks1 year ago
If I were you I would try to use some of the mysterious black material to stick to two pieces of the tab back together. Put the the stuff in between the tabs, hold them with some pliers, and heat.

If that does not work I would just solder the two tab pieces back together. Just be careful not to stall the motor when you use it. Some of the contributors to the odyclub forum spoke of wiring or soldering the pieces together.
Unfortunately, the mysterious black material was mysteriously missing from my tabs; all that was there was a silver lining, similar to aluminum foil, on each piece. I went ahead and bought a new motor, and lo and behold, the geniuses at the overseas factory had put the arm (that attaches to the window mount) on backwards. I don't want to try to reverse it, since it looks fragile. When I am picking up Rear Window Motor Version 2 tomorrow, I'll try to get the shop to divulge the name of the mysterious substance and will try that before opening the new package.
One rear vent motor was dead for a year then the other vent motor died. Because neither rear vent window was working, I was about to order new motors online and saw the link to your video. I just fixed both vent windows. Thanks for posting.