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10 Second Temporary Fix for Blend Door Actuator Problem...

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by eqppwqqep, February 1, 2008.

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    1. eqppwqqep

      eqppwqqep Member

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      I got sick of driving in the cold today, so I decided I would figure out this blend door garbage. Mine is stuck blowing cold air, and knocking under the dash (front end HVAC only). This basically helps it shut either way so you get all cold or all hot air. But it will sure fix me until I get the part ordered next week.

      Unhinge glove box
      [​IMG]

      Swing glove box all the way out
      [​IMG]

      Turn off the blower and set the temp gauge to where it is clicking. You want the blower off so you can feel the thumps as those will lead you to the door hinge.

      Reach directly into this spot and try to go STRAIGHT down from there. Basically I was wrist deep into this cavity before I hit the door hinge.
      [​IMG]

      There is the blend door hinge opposite of the actuator. If it is clicking when you try to get to it, you WILL feel this thing bouncing up and down on that sensor. Just push it the appropriate way to get HEAT/COOL.
      [​IMG]

      This is obviously on the passenger side of the car. If you were to access the driver side similar to this, you would have your hand on that piece of crap actuator.

      This should get you by until you get that part ordered. If you have an Oreilly's Auto, you can get part #604202, which is the correct actuator for the front HVAC on the 2002-2005 Explorers. I also think it fits the 01 as well???
       
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    3. eqppwqqep

      eqppwqqep Member

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      For those of you wanting to know where this POS actuator is, here is a pic from the outside:

      [​IMG]

      It's a ghostly white (think glow in the dark plastic), so you should be able to spot it if you pry back the bottom console cover by the gas pedal (long lower plastic of console, no screw down there). You will also be able to hear it as it was apparently designed in the Borean by diseased orangutans that lack dexterity...
       
    4. dr0pthehammer

      dr0pthehammer New Member

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      Thanks for this great post! My blend air door has been going on the fritz for the past few weeks. Started out with the annoying clicking sound (but still yielding heat), then progressed to other more pronounced bad sounds.

      For awhile it would blow cold air then after a while if i played with all 3 knobs enough I would hear that hollow thunk and get some heat.

      As of last Friday I haven't been able to get any heat at all... All the cold, frigid air I wanted from any vent or at any fan speed. The clicking is constant, the only way to get it to stop is to turn the center (blend air) knob all the way cold.

      Today was the last straw... I was froze on my 26 mile drive home from work. When i pulled into my 50 degree garage, all the windows instantly fogged!

      So i started researching on here and found your post...

      So i went for your temp fix with a twist. Dropped the glove box and felt around in the area you indicated looking for the blend air hinge. Also removed the trim/panel around the stereo. In there i could see the right hand AC knob control doing its thing... upon turning it, i could see its actuator doing what it was supposed to.

      Could not find the blend air door actuator hinge so i turned it from cold to hot to get it clicking. Then i found it by feel and flipped it back for heat. It kept trying to close back up on me. The linkage must still be somewhat intact because turned all the way to cold i cannot manipulate the door. Turn it to hot and it clicks and can be flipped open.

      I'm not sure if my twist will work or not, but what i did was turned it to hot, flipped it door to heat position then while holding it, turned off the ignition. It seemed to hold in place, we'll see. Then, I unplugged the center/blend air control knob wire harness. (Wanted to unplug the actuator but could not get to it easily enough without the complete tear down.)

      When i turned the ignition back on i still heard the clicking for a little bit. Didn't hear the door flip back shut, but it may have...
       
    5. dr0pthehammer

      dr0pthehammer New Member

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      UPDATE:

      Shortly after the above post I found out that the door flips back shut upon turning the car off.

      I had removed most of the center console at that time in an effort to change out the actuator. I was able to get in there and attach a long zip tie around the door lever, the tag end of the zip tie hung out in the console where the forward storage bin had been removed.

      So when i turn the car on, i could turn the knobs to heat and reach down to pull the zip tie and actuate the door to allow heat to flow. The fan had to be turned up to at least 2 to provide the suction or whatever to hold the door to heat position. If I turned the fan back to 1 or minimum, the door would flip all the way back to close off the hot air.

      So that got me thru the rest of winter satisfactorily, and i was somewhat content to leave the center console half torn out until this past weekend! Now going back into winter again, I am getting around to fixing it correctly.

      I removed all of the console screws and bolts, as per the manuals posted on here elsewhere, but something else was holding it firmly in place. I gave up on the project once i got the zip tie workaround in place. Over this past weekend i cleaned out the vehicle and decided to finish the job. I found 2 more screws that were not called out in the manual and removed them. Then the console came out completely.

      Today at lunch i picked up the new actuator for $70 at the local dealer. Now i just need to come up with a plan of attack for removing the 4 actuator screws and changing out hte module. Looks like a very tight space to work in... hopefully i'll be able to get to some of them with a 12pt 8mm wrench. Perhaps a gear wrench with a slight offset would be best.

      I'll update on how the battle goes.

      Any advice/tips/tricks on how to perform the change out will be most welcomed.
       
    6. Sleb

      Sleb Active Member

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    7. texanbred

      texanbred New Member

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      I know this thread is old but I just want to say thanks for posting this temporary fix. My air conditioner has been clicking for a couple of years now and I just learned to ignore it until I lost heat a few weeks ago (just in time for fall in Texas) and needless to say I don't do well in the cold. Just to let you know I am a girl and I can fix pretty much anything as long as I have enough information and determination to do it, and the 44 degree forecast was determination enough! Anyway, I temporarily fixed my actuator door hinge until I can get the motor replaced and it's wonderful to have heat again. Thanks again, you were a great help! ;)
       
    8. D Hook

      D Hook Elite Explorer

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      I had to do the same on my '98 Mark VIII to get heat because changing the blend door involves pulling the entire dashboard 6" away from the windshield and I just haven't worked up the guts to do it yet. So, after 5 years, I still have a piece of black sash cord hanging from the bottom of the dash to pull when I need heat. Classy! Fortunately, it seldom leaves the garage except on nice days.
       
    9. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome to the forum! :salute:

      Here is a step-by-step, with pictures, for replacing the blend door actuator: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=294140

      Hope this helps out!! Good luck with the fix. :biggthump
       
    10. texanbred

      texanbred New Member

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      Just looked at your pictures...umm, that's a lot of fix for such a small part. Oh well, guess I know what my first project will be once the weather warms up. ;) Thanks for the detailed information and great pics!
       
    11. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      You're welcome. Good luck with the fix. Keep us posted. :biggthump
       
    12. isobarzo

      isobarzo New Member

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      Thanks for your post!!!!!!! I closed the blend door in little more than 10 seconds. (maybe 20 sec.) 'till I feel on my finger wich way to push the handle.
      The clicking noise still there but if you move the selector back to little bit before the hottest range, it will stop.
      I found the actuator by rockauto.com at $ 41.00 including postal fees.
      2005 ford explorer with manual controls use part Number 604-209
      Maybe you not understand but here in southern arizona is very cold this winter.

      Thanks again.
       
    13. texanbred

      texanbred New Member

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      It's me again, the girl from Texas with the broken actuator motor. Well I spent the past winter flipping the door hinge every time I got in my Explorer - which got very old, very fast. So today, in 80 degree weather, I did what I said I was going to do and I replaced my actuator motor! It took me twice as long as it took BigRondo, but that's probably cause I really didn't know what I was doing. However I must say, BigRondo, that the instructions and pictures were perfect - thanks again! I now have heat and it feels so good. :notworthy
       
    14. tk1251k

      tk1251k Member

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      Same problem here with 05 blend door. I found a way to keep the door in the position you want it cold or hot until you change. AS others have stated quite well and shown pics of the pass. side handle which you can feel trying to move. When I get it in the position I want for hot or cold I take a piece of aluminum foil wadded up about the size of a baseball or just alittle smaller.Reach your hand the wadded foil with heat or a/c on and push down inside where the handle is trying to move. By placing it onto the handle with a small amount of pressure it will stay until removed. Mine has been there all summer and last winter. I think I will soon replace my acutator but this has been a good fix for now.
       
    15. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      When you are ready to replace the actuator, here is a step-by-step, with pictures, for replacing the blend door actuator: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//showthread.php?t=294140

      Hope this helps out!! Good luck with the fix. :biggthump
       
    16. 26fan

      26fan New Member

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      Hey everyone. I have been reading these threads on this blend door for almost 24 hours and am hoping to have maybe a little more specific help.

      Last night, after turning on my car, I heard a few loud sounds and then a constant, quieter, clicking....and no heat. My boyfriend and I (neither of us being very mechanically inclined), went out and tried to do this quick fix. And we are stumped. We thought we found the hinge to flip to heat, but nothing. Then he reached his hand in even farther and did something to where the clicking got quieter, but still, no heat.

      Those pictures up top were helpful, but we're just wondering what exactly the hinge we're looking for looks/feels like. Does the silver bar that moves when you turn the blowers on and off have any bearing on it? Is this hinge deep in the cavity?

      I think I can replace the actuator, but right now I am really just wanting a quick fix until I can get the replacement actuator, and the time to replace it.

      Its gonna be a cold winter here in KC for my six year old daughter and I! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

      Monica
       
    17. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      When you gently reach in behind the center dashboard area with your right hand/fingers thru the glove box opening, reach in at a slightly downward angle and feel for the hinge lever flipping up and down. The lever is trying to go upward, but you want to flip it downward for the heat side of the system. Get your finger (preferrably the infamous middle one and the longest) in behind the hinge lever and push it downward with a little bit of force and you can actually feel the weight of the blend door itself, rolling over to the hot side of the system, almost like pushing open a weighted door. Once you flip the hinge downward, it should stay there, but if it bounces back up, just flip it down again till it stays down. You do this with the vehicle turned on and the temp knob set to the hot temp side. The clicking or clunking noise starts up when you spin the temp knob to the hot side. The noise will stop when the blend door has been flipped over to the hot temp side and you will hear a distinct difference in sound coming out of your defroster vents when the heat starts to flow thru them. Once you get this done, don't adjust the temp setting knob, leave it be. Another tip, when you start the vehicle up each and every time, turn your blower fan speed to it's highest setting #4, prior to starting the vehicle. This should help keep the blend door from falling back over to the cold side. The force of blower air keeps the blend door from flipping back to the cold side during start up. It worked for me. Below is the repair post web link for the blend door actuator, when ordering the new actuator from Ford (approx $80-$90), use your VIN number, good luck.

      Blend Door Actuator repair link below, give thanks to "BigRondo" for the repair post!

      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=294140
       
      Last edited: November 21, 2011
    18. 26fan

      26fan New Member

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      Thanks for your reply! I went and messed around for it for an hour or so tonight. I can feel what I believe is this hinge (I can feel the vibrating of the clicking), however it doesnt feel like a hinge. It feels like some kind of bolt with a hole on the end of it. I was using my fingers and the leverage of a screw driver, and when I put a lot of pressure on the screw driver, against the very tiny width of the "hinge", the clicking would almost stop, then the screw driver would slip and I could hear the door flap, then itd go back to clicking. At one point the clicking stopped....but no hot air.

      Is this what the "hinge" is supposed to feel like? Any other ideas (besides replacing the actuator, at this time)? Being able to see my breathe while driving to work this morning was no fun!
       
    19. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      It's not exactly a "hinge" for lack of a better word, but close enough. It rotates up and down like a hinge. You can call it a lever, arm, post, tab etc. You can feel it moving up and down with your finger. Do not use a screwdriver! You may break something back there or short out some other electronics. Just use your fingers, that is all you need to do this. Slide all four fingers in of your right hand at the same time and use your middle finger to feel for it, it is the longest finger. Just like in the photos of the temp fix, up to your wrist your hand should go, depending on the length of your fingers. Get your finger behind the arm that is flipping up and down and push/flick it downward with a little force, it should flip downward and stay in the other position. Do this while the engine is running and the temp control knob is set to heat and defroster, but keep the fan speed on low at this time. Once you do this, you should get heat thru the defroster vents, if still no heat after doing this and the clicking sound has stopped, you may have another heat related problem going on besides the blend door actuator issue. Some Ex's have heater core valves on the passenger side valve cover area under the hood that go bad blocking coolant flow to the heater core. I did this temp heat fix on my Ex so many times prior to repairing the actuator I could do this temp fix in less than 30 seconds. It took me longer to un-hinge the glove box and roll it out of the way than it takes to flip this blend door tab.
       
      Last edited: November 22, 2011
    20. D Ryan

      D Ryan New Member

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      The part that rotates up and down! Could this be part of the blend door or maybe its axel?

      The door that actually moves from open and closed position! Does it swing direction simulate that of a door in your home( virtical), or a trap door ? (horazontal)

      The part that moves up and down is it doing this because its broken?

      Does a heater in working order also go up and down?
       
      Last edited: November 25, 2011
    21. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    22. D Ryan

      D Ryan New Member

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      In the first post, the 3rd picture, there is a red circile, in that picture there is a part that has some Blue paint on it! Is this what needs to be turned?

      Thanks for the info

      We are looking for a quick (cheat) fix , if we can get the door to heat position we will try stuffing some alumin foil in there to hold it in place. until we can get time to fix it.
       
      Last edited: November 26, 2011
    23. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    24. D Ryan

      D Ryan New Member

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      [​IMG]I tryed lightening up the picture abit still hard to see! It looks like there is a hole in the top of it. Was thinking a dowel rod might just fit in it, perhaps glued! I have a broken door from a 99 f150 and its axel does have a hole in it. Just abit of brainstorming !!!!

      I have read afew posts where there reports of having to reset every time you shut the car off (stepper moter moving to rest position), for a cheat fix I was thinking remove the fuse that powers the moter, or just the moter plug its- self or the moter.

      If anyone has a picture of one of these doors please post!

      [​IMG]

      http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7033/6408018233_dae7625381_m.jpg
       
      Last edited: November 26, 2011
    25. Exproblems

      Exproblems Well-Known Member

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    26. zone 6

      zone 6 New Member

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      10 second fix worked great, now I can use the gas guzzler again:D
       

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