I also have a father-in-law with the same year Ford F-150 who has experienced the same issues. These windows unexpectedly going down can result in an accident. I have both original Ford parts that came out of the door panels. Each time its a 300 dollar fix so when I replace this last one I'll be about 1200 dollars out. I am having to have Parts Geek ship me a new one but this now means we have to take the door apart again.
The first 2 window regulators broke quietly while the 3rd one made 2 loud pops and the window fell down. I don't know it this is a design flaw by Ford or the supplier to Ford that makes the window regulator but I do know there has been no recall and that you cannot buy the parts you need except at Ford parts dealers only. I advised Ford this was unsafe and how can anyone secure a vehicle with faulty window regulators. Each of the past 3 years I've had 3 window regulators break. Over the last two years I have had to replace three of the four power window regulators. Just two months ago we had same problem with front passenger window when on our way to vacation destination. Someone could lose control of their vehicle if this occurs during driving and this issue should be addressed.
These plastic pieces are under too much stress and then either begin cracking or break altogether. This week my 4th window regulator broke causing the window to fall again while in a shopping center parking lot. It now works intermittantly and now the drivers side window will not go up. I have talked with the head mechanic at the local Ford dealership and he says he is replacing them all the time and that Ford should have issued a recall on them, but has not done so. Ford needs to replace these before someone else gets hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the 3rd to fail within 8 months last 2 on the same day in July 2012.
I believe if a recall was offered on these regulators the fix would be the removable alternative part. After doing some research, I've found hundreds of other cases where the 2004 F-150 model had window regulator failures. Besides the high cost and slow travel of shipping out West, I am very satisfied. He has replaced three of the four, and knows it is just a matter of time before his fourth goes out. I removed the original and compair the to regulators and found very little differences in them.
If a recall is offered ,dealers will want the small removable part as the fix I'm almost sure of. The first is to redesign the part without the use of plastic. Put spark plug back in, and vehicle started fine after that. There is still no recall on the spark plug problem, and the regulator assembly problems, although hundreds, if not thousands, have had the same problem. In the mean time I will have to search for the complete regulator with or without motor which is becoming difficult because most parts companies want to sell the complete assembly or in my case don't offer the rear window regulator which forces us too have to go too Ford and pay in excess of 200 dollars for the part and labor for those who are not mechanically inclined.
I have had two bad regulators go out now in an 8 week period and have a four door truck. They immediately determined that one of my spark plugs had backed-out. The motors don't go bad, the plastic piece in the track breaks. What breaks is the plastic part that the cable is connected to. It made a clicking sound and window came crashing down.
Recently, my driver's side window made a load popping sound, then fell into the door. The part of the window that secures glass is a combination of metal and plastic the plastic piece secures the cables that are attached to the power window motor. Driving down the highway, the window just fell into the door panel. . This will and has already helped in my future discussions on purchasing another Ford vehicle.
Over the past several years three of the four window in my Ford f150 have fallin at different times window regulator. This left my vehicle vulnerable to rain or theft all weekend. No way to secure truck that night. Too keep from having continuing recalls the part should be all metal or upgrade the plastic somehow although all metal would be better. Thank you for this link. They took the cover off and determined it was the 1st spark plug, and luckily the threads were in good shape.
I have own my 2004 F150 from day one , I Replaced the left front and rear window regulators with original Ford parts. I have read in some cases the window breaks. Unable to roll up rear window. Each time one failed I was driving down the highway at 65 mph and the window slams down scaring the heck out of me. Now, today the fourth one failed. The Ford service department told me they are sold as a whole unit,motor,track and cable.