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1996 Explorer Heat Problem - Blend Door Actuator Plenum

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by Willndtw, July 23, 2001.

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    1. Willndtw

      Willndtw New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
      1996 Sport
      Been reading the postings on the A/C Heater issues. I have a 1996 Explorer with about 65K miles. In early 2000, I noticed that it was only blowing hot air. I had it checked out and Ford Service told me it was the blend door actuator plentum that was cracked and would cost about $750! I decided not to get it fixed since it was winter time. In the summer, I realized that the Max A/C blew out cool, a/c air, so I used that in the summer. Just a couple days ago, my Max A/C stopped working, and the truck is blowing only hot air (even with the controls set to "off" - hot air is blowing out of my floor and at the windshield). There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) written addressing the issue (#97-24-25), but Ford still will not pay for it. I heard that Ford actually mixed up the doors for the Automatic and the Manual Temp. systems which caused the blend door actuator to fail prematurely. I would think Ford would assist in the repair cost since it sounds like a manufacturing defect. I have written to Ford, and they turned my request down. Has anyone had any experience with this issue and received some assistance? Would love to hear some advice as the repair cost is out of sight, and it's 90 degrees in Michigan right now!! THANKS!!
       
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    3. pmassche

      pmassche New Member

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      Hey,

      My car just started doing the same thing last fall.

      The heater / A/C worked fine, now the heater doesn't cool down, and the A/C does not work in the low setting, only max A/C!

      Any suggesions?

      What happened to you with Ford and the service bulletin?
       
    4. Willndtw

      Willndtw New Member

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      City, State:
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      Year and Model:
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      Seems like a lot of people are having the same trouble with their '96 and '97 Explorers. I have had no luck with Ford and the service bulletin. They told me last summer that the bulletin is not a recall notice and that it is just for dealer techs to reference when making repairs. To me, it seems like they knew (know) of a problem, but won't fess up.

      Meanwhile, my vehicle is still not fixed because of the high cost. Under normal circumstances, I have just heat blowing out of my vents (uncontrollably), but I had a mechanic at a heating and cooling shop help me rig it so that I can have just cool air come out if I want. There is some type of sensor under the hood where you can engage it with a tie strap and the vehicle will blow cool air and A/C will work. I'm not a mechanic, so I don't know what this thing is, but it allows me to have heat in the winter (without the tie strap) and cool in the summer (without it). Kinda sucks when it is "in between" weather because I have to go under the hood and tie strap it up when it gets warmer, but I can't afford the repair, so I'm dealing with it. If you want me to get more specific with that, I can let you know what to do.
       
    5. JerryB

      JerryB Elite Explorer

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      '95 SPORT HEATER PROBLEM

      I was glad to see this thread, although it doesn't appear to have any solutions at the moment.

      MY PROBLEM: My heater sometimes doesn't put out hot air. It appears that if I turn the mode switch to OFF, then turn it back to HEAT, the heater output air remains off. A/C works, as well as the air flow. Its just always cold!

      This has happened several times now. After a few hours to a few days, it returns to normal. I think the problem is an actuator or door sticking, but can't find where it is.

      My Haynes manual doesn't show anything about the heater duct & valving system. Also didn't find anything helpful in the archives. Any suggestion as to where to look would be appreciated. Its still winter-even in N. California!

      Thanks, Jerry
       
    6. 01EB5.0

      01EB5.0 Elite Explorer

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      ESPNFreak's Dad has the same problem in his 98 XLT. they wanted like $1,000 to fix it.


      Also Willndtw,
      I noticed your from michigan. If you'd be interested in meeting up with some other explorer guys on this board and do a little off roading, you can join uo at Silver Lake Dunes (South of Ludington) in April. Visit the "Serious Explorations" forum for details. It'll be a great time!
       
    7. 01EB5.0

      01EB5.0 Elite Explorer

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      Wow! You mean it gets WARM in Michigan??? :D
       
    8. X24

      X24 RAMajama Elite Explorer

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      I got the blend door syndrome in my 98 XLT. It sucks and there is no way in hell I'm gonna pay $1,000 to fix Fords mistake. That is $1,000 worth of mods I could do. :)
       
    9. 01EB5.0

      01EB5.0 Elite Explorer

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      I'm gonna try to look at Jason's dad's truck over spring break and see what I can figure out....it wouldn't be that hard to get to..remove radio and stuff is easy
      i just dunno about under the passanger side of dash..gonna explore that.
      I'll keep ypu all posted..2 weeks till spring break! Woo hoo!
       
    10. Willndtw

      Willndtw New Member

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      City, State:
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      Damn! I posted that original message last summer -- kewl to get some responses. And yes, it was hotter than hell in Michigan :) Thanks for the off-roading invite 95XLT . . .sounds like a blast. I'll check it out. When you figure out a solution to the "blend door fiasco", as I am now referring to it, I'll be ready. I have had my '96 Sport since new and I still love the thing (not to mention it's paid off . :cool: ) It's been flawless except for this. Till later....
       
    11. Arnold D.

      Arnold D. Active Member

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      You could always bypass the heater core in the summer to keep the interior temp down... Could the correct plunum be found at a salvage yard?

      pmassch, is your blower just not working at lower speeds? Maybe you have an electrical problem.
       
    12. phfeldmann

      phfeldmann New Member

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      Blend Door Fiasco

      I have the same problem with my '98 EB.

      Someone on the "problems with 98 Eddie Bauer heater" thread suggested using Dremel tool to cut hole in the plenum and tape/glue the blend door shut to get heat.

      I was thinking of going to the junk yard to do an autopsy on a donor truck to see if I can find a way to force door closed with a smaller hole, a coat hanger and some duct tape.

      Maybe I can find a "Firestone" victim to work on.
       
    13. 01EB5.0

      01EB5.0 Elite Explorer

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      Re: Blend Door Fiasco

      If you find the part at a salvage yard why don;t you just replace it to fix it? I haven;t looked at it yet..maybe it's too time consuming, but was just asking.
       
    14. nosaj122081

      nosaj122081 Active Member

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      Re: Blend Door Fiasco

      My blend door is busted, but I can open and close it manually (I usually wedge it either all open or all closed). I just took the motor off the top of the plenum, and use a stubby screwdriver crammed down in the blend door, and you can turn it back and forth if it isn't too bad. All you have to do is drop the glovebox and you'll see what I'm talking about.
       
    15. phfeldmann

      phfeldmann New Member

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      Thanks for the tip.

      Does the blend door stay by itself once you position it or do you keep something in there to keep it open/closed?
       
    16. nosaj122081

      nosaj122081 Active Member

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      At the extremes, it wedges itself stuck... Yours my be different, depending on the severety/place of the break, but I can get my either all the way open or all the way closed w/o anything olding it. Good luck!
       
    17. X24

      X24 RAMajama Elite Explorer

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      I was talking to a guy at my ford dealer and he said that once a certain % of people have a problem that it automatically becomes a recall. I think he said something very low like 1.5% or something. Does anyone know if that is true? If it is that I wont mind waiting it out.
       
    18. 01EB5.0

      01EB5.0 Elite Explorer

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      You guys should all report it to ford then...maybe people just fix itthemselves like some of you did and ford never adds you to the statistic.
       
    19. Robert

      Robert Well-Known Member

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      Probably not true. The only things that qualify for a recall is safety or emissions related problems. That is where the NHTSA gets involved and mandates a recall if the manufacturer hasn't already issued one. I don't believe there is any certain percentage, just a confirmed problem. I doubt if the NHTSA would consider a broken blend door a safety or emissions issue so you will probably never see a recall. Now the manufacturer can issue an Owner Notification Program where they extend the warranty on problematic items like they did with the SOHC o-rings and camshaft tensioners. What that would do is extend the warranty on the affected item and offer reimbursement for someone that has paid to have it fixed before the program was announced. I for one believe that is what should be done even though I haven't been affected by the blend door problem. I have read of many people who have though. The more complaints Ford receives, the more likely for an ONP.
       
    20. X24

      X24 RAMajama Elite Explorer

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      Ok ill have to bug them about it then. I think they all run away when they see me coming :D I do my homework on here first and then go to them. That way, I know what I'm talking about. They wont pull any fast ones on me :thumbsup:
       
    21. jsgreen

      jsgreen New Member

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      I think it is a saftey issue

      Because the problem with the heater plenum etc. can mean you have no defrost capability - it's not just a comfort issue!

      I have a 96 Eddie Bauer and just paid $900 to have mine fixed. I'm calling Ford tomorrow to see if they will help pay for it.
       

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