RE: how to remove door panel
Hello, my wife's van just developed a window issue as well. I just joined this site to tell you a general answer as well as start learning more about the van myself.
Tools required: Philips screwdriver (medium length #2), Philips screwdriver (short #2 (for the front-most screw)), door panel removing tool (or like wedging product), star-bit #(forgot) nut-driver (you can also use a ratchet with short extension to star-bit).
If the 1997 and your van are in a relative generation, then the should be close in construction or the exact same. But, here you go. First thing to do is remove the one screw in the door pull part (you do NOT have to remove this part like most vehicles, it stays). Next 4 screws are in the latch and electrical section of the panel. You have to open the door to get one screw that is hidden near the upper part of the vent. The other 2 are in the latch area, and the last screw is a short screw behind the latch panel. This equals 5 screws total. After all of those are removed, disconnect the electric connections to the lock/windows, and remove that panel. Go to the bottom of the door panel with a wedge like tool and pull the bottom outward. Easily pop these retainters one by one until the panel is lose. Lift the panel upward as to remove the top of the panel out of the window channel. (The window sill is not part of the door panel (Yay Dodge!)) Now, be careful starting here because you can bend the door latch's rod. Hold the panel as close to the door as possible while you turn/move the rod clip. After the clip is turned, the rod drops downward out of the clip and THEN your free. A large piece of sound deadening/gasketing media is stuck to the metal door skin, remove it easily (luckily its cool weather here right now, heat will make it stretch out of shape and require total replacement (dont use heat to help remove this stuff)). NOTE: dont completely remove it, I left the bottom in tact in which will keep its adhesion integrity for re-applying it. This point, you can see everything. Starpoint screws is what secures the whole window motor/regulator and all to the door skin.
...have fun! Its not that bad to replace at all. As with most things, just reverse this operation for replacing the tracks and all.