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How to: 2nd Gen Blend Door Quick Fix

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by jdxprs, April 4, 2007.

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    1. jdxprs

      jdxprs New Member

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      for those of you who like me, dont want to shell out 1200$ to fix this blend door issue, you can do this. im writing it in as simple a way as i can for those, who like me, arent very mechanically inclined.

      open glove box, and push the sides in to drop the box down as far as possible. you will see a big black plastic box. inside of that box is the blend door, and your heater core (looks like a miniture radiator).

      take a razor knife and on the farthest left side of that box, cut a square hole big enough to get your hand in (only cut 3 sides of the square though so that you can just bend the plastic down out of your way and put it back in place when finished). now that it's open, you can see the heater core, but not the blend door. the blend door is located around the back left side of the heater core. reach your right hand in, with your thumb down, so the palm of your hand is facing the passenger side of the truck. when you reach behind the heater core, you will feel the blend door, and you can swing it open or closed. if you want your air conditioning to work, open the door all the way. if you want your heat to work, close the door all the way. after you have adjusted the door how you want it, blend the plastic you cut to get your hand in, back to it's normal position and tape it up with some duct or thick masking tape.

      unfortunatley you can only have hot or cold doing it this way, but it saves you 1200$ and a lot of headaches trying to fix this by pulling the dash.

      for where i live, i need only a.c. in the summer, and only heat in the winter, so i just go in and change the door position twice a year. the original job takes about 5 minutes, then at the beginning of summer or winter when i go in to change the door position, it takes me about 3 minutes, and most of that time is spent removing the tape and retaping it.

      i hope this helps someone.
       
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    3. rhyno

      rhyno Active Member

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      Guinness Guys-> Genius!!
       
    4. SkanlaxJMO

      SkanlaxJMO Well-Known Member

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      Brilliant !! :D
       
    5. 97greenmonster

      97greenmonster B

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      HA, i love it. Well, in my case, we just took the motor out and put a pin in there to keep the dorr from closing. I can use heat and AC this way and both blow really cold and really hot!!
       
    6. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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      very nice thread. Thanks :thumbsup:
       
    7. VDub2625

      VDub2625 Member

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      I assume the motors are known to die?
       
    8. geojim

      geojim New Member

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      Blend dorr replacement

      Any photos of exactly how large hole to cut on BOTTOM of plenum to replace door ? Any directions/instructions as to how to remove door thru bottom of plenum?
      Thanks!!!!
       
    9. Brian97V8

      Brian97V8 Active Member

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      What do you mean you 'took the motor out and put a pin in'?
       
    10. RickOTR

      RickOTR Active Member

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      Dorman makes a replacement blend door ($10). Just remove the evaporator housing in the engine compartment and pull the old blenddoor out and put the new and improved one in. Takes about 2 hours if you take your time.
       
    11. rollinstone

      rollinstone Active Member

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      RickOTR...OK, my man...how does one remove the evaporator housing? I looked under the hood up near the firewall and, man, it's a tubular nightmare! I have the 5.0L engine, so do I have something more complex to deal with?

      I just rec'd the blend door kit from rockauto and the first thing is says to do is "Remove the entire HVAC plenum form the vehicle." Geez, easy for them to say!

      I know I can crack this nut, but finding a reasonable starting point is proving to be a beeouch! rs
       
    12. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      What about using one of those Dorman cable kits that they use on a throttle, or to open the hood? You could mount the pull part under the dashboard, then you wouldn't have to manually open, and close the blend door by reaching inside.
       
    13. Dan Whitaker

      Dan Whitaker One fast putty tat Elite Explorer

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      There is an actuator (some call it a servo) that is on top of the HVAC box this is what moves the door. The pin goes through the shaft on the actuator so it can move the blend door.

      This does not always fix the problem. It didn't on mine.

      There is a link with pics on how to do this. I'll post it when I get home.
       
    14. bdmelton4

      bdmelton4 New Member

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      Did this yesterday and it worked like a charm. Wife happy = me happy, thanks for the useful tip!
       
    15. Dan Whitaker

      Dan Whitaker One fast putty tat Elite Explorer

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      Does anyone have a pic of where they cut the box?
       
    16. GYPSIE

      GYPSIE New Member

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      Is there a source for improved replacement blend doors for a 97 Ranger?
       
    17. bdmelton4

      bdmelton4 New Member

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      Here is what I did.

      [​IMG]

      Please keep in mind this is my first use of a new camera, first use of photobucket and first time trying to link a picture to a text thread and I am an old man that doesn't understand most of todays stuff so give me a break if it doesn't work right the first 8 or 9 tries.....
      Brian
       
    18. Dan Whitaker

      Dan Whitaker One fast putty tat Elite Explorer

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      Thank you Brian. That is what I needed.

      I thought that was where jdxprs was talking about cutting the box I was just having a hard time picturing it. I didn't want to cut in the wrong place and dammage something.

      I myslef would consider it the front of the box not the far left side.
       
    19. DavidEBSmith

      DavidEBSmith Elite Explorer

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      I replaced my blend door through the bottom of the plenum. It wasn't 5 minutes, but it works.

      I used the replacement door from the Rock Auto kit. If you look at the bottom of the plenum, you can see a round projection which is where the door sits and pivots. To the outboard side of the plenum, there's a recessed section that runs at an angle. Inboard of that, there's a big flat area that goes toward the center line of the truck. It's pretty obvious, from the bottom, the range of motion that the door swings through.

      I removed the glovebox door entirely (3 screws) and removed the actuator from the top.

      I used a Dremel tool with a right-angle attachment and a roto-zip type cutting bit. I used the new door as a guide to outline the thickness of the section to cut out. I cut out a section of the bottom of the plenum along the edge of the recessed section, around the round projection where the door pivots, about 2" inboard into the flat section, all the way to the edge of the plenum furthest from the pivot.

      The cut-out section dropped out along with the broken piece of the door. Then you can reach in and swing the door and if you made the hole the right size, the door drops out.

      Then I cleaned up the rough edges of the cut-out section and the plenum with some sandpaper. The new door slides in through the hole. The one I got actually fits the top hole snugly enough when I inserted it, it would stay in place.

      The trick is to get the actuator and door aligned. I set the temperature (EATC) to a middle temperature, then set the actuator on the mounting pins, but didn't snap it into place. Then insert the blend door, rotate it back and forth through the bottom, and get the actuator and door to line up by feel where everything snaps together. This part took a while, but it worked eventually. By setting the temp in the middle, when you get everything aligned, the blend door is not over the cut-out part and will stay in place while you get back under the dash.

      Then I just taped the cut-out piece back into place with good sticky duct tape. Stick the tape on the cut-out first, then stick it to the plenum, so you don't push the cut-out too far in and hang up the door. When I get ambitious, I'll get a piece of thin aluminum or plastic, glue it to the cut-out, and trim it slightly larger than the hole so there's an overlap between the cut-out piece and the plenum instead of a gap.

      If you look at the next-to-last picture here, you can see what the bottom of the plenum looks like. The cut I made was roughly the same but extended all the way around the bottom hinge socket.
       
    20. Blue_Oval_Ford

      Blue_Oval_Ford Active Member

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      Nothing personal but this seems like a lot of work to me. I went ahead and ordered the Dorman blend door from Rock Auto and put it in. I had to remove the HVAC housing from inside the engine compartment but it only took me a little over two hours. I had to have the A/C discharged but it only cost me $10 at the automotive college by my house.
       
    21. Heuster

      Heuster Member

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      works for me

      I had "the" problem - had just charged A/C and all of the sudden driving down the road there would be hot air...then it went back to cold...pretty soon, couldn't adjust heat/cold and the cold wouldn't work anymore.

      Used this procedure to cut a hole and close the blend door. Couple of useful notes from when I did it...a utiliy knife works just fine...lots of people talked about using a Dremel etc...and while it does make the job easier, it doens't repair as well. Just cut the 3 sides of the square with your knife slanted at about a 45 degree angle and the hole closes up just fine. I used some duct tape to seal it back up so it can be opened again come Winter. I made my vertical cut on the opposite side of the above pic though. It made it a lot easier to push the piece of cut plastic to the left and slide my arm in there...and you do have to put your arm in, not just your hand. So the 3 cuts I made where along the top, buttom and another right vertical line to connect the two. Lucky for me I live in AZ and only use the hearter about 3 months out of the year if we are lucky.

      The other note is that I put a small piece of duct tape on the blend door itself to secure it against the opening so it won't move around as your turn or hit bumps. If the top piece of your door is broken like mine is...there isn't anything to secure it in place cause the extension on the actuator doesn't fit in the top hole anymore. This way I can use the same tape come Winter to tape the door open.

      It was a pretty easy job and took about an hour with clean up and reattaching the glove box etc.

      Here are a couple links to some other blender door fixes - some pretty good ideas if you have the hardware and tools.

      http://www.conceptualedge.com/blend-door/
      http://www.blenddoorfix.netfirms.com/
       
    22. Shorty65

      Shorty65 New Member

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      Blend Door Problem - Maybe

      I may have a blend door problem. I have not looked very hard yet. I have removed the glove box and read the threads on using the pin in the acturator and cutting the side of the box. But before I act on the door, I would like to find out why I lose vacuum on the heater control value when I select the "vent" button. (hey, the temperature outside is >100 deg. F.)
      I have made some improvement. I would lose vacuum to the heater control value when I switched from max A/C to normal A/C. I cleaned the inside temperature sensor and this cleared this problem.
      I had replaced this week the compressor, accumulator, flushed, and etc.
      I now have coolant until the engine warms up.
      And I have replaced the heater control value.

      I need help on two questions:
      1. How do I know if have a bend door problem?
      2. Why would I get max heat when selecting the vent position?
      Any help would be appreciated.

      Shorty
       
    23. jah81592

      jah81592 Well-Known Member

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      I replaced the servo and the box. I believe I only had around $400.00 in it. But the time (I am very experienced mechanic) is a bitch. I believe I had 6 hours in the removal of the console,dash, and line removal(outside). Did I mention this is a bitch? The little nuts on the firewall were a pia to get to. The SOHC engine is so wide that imposed a little problem. Got mine replaced with new parts and was happy with the results. I also bought all my parts from Ford. One thing to note is that the A/C has to be relieved and recharged after the job is done. I also replaced my heater core as well, because my luck would be it to go out shortly after my job was complete.
       
    24. Esther

      Esther New Member

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      re:quick fix for broken Blend door

      JDXPRS-Thankyou so much for this information. I am a 56 yr old retired female who didnt want to put 700.00 into our 1997 explorer that is used for my husband to drive to work. I wasn't able to cut thru the plastic with a utility knife so I got my handydandy paring knife from the kitchen. We now have heat! In the spring I'll go back in and tape it in the "cool" position. I called my husband at work and told him it's fixed. He is still laughing.
       
    25. B-rad37015

      B-rad37015 New Member

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      Thanks Guys!!!!

      Thanks to all who have posted on this topic. I cut through the plenum and found that the blender door was open....but then glanced over and noticedthat control knob was on the furthest "cool" position. So i turned it to the furthest "warm" position and felt the blend door close on its own....and presto i have heat, i dont kno if it was just stuck or what but something i did fixed the problem, which was "no heat"...........so much thanks for leading me in the right direction! I wouldve never figured it out without ya!!! I just found this site tonight in my desperate attempt to fix this problem, since i have a 4-month old daughter and this is our only means of transportation...so again thanks, and im looking forward to conversing over time -Brad :thumbsup:
       
      Last edited: November 8, 2007
    26. Badspell68

      Badspell68 Active Member

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      Just did it, worked great. But, you have to get a REALLY sticky tape because when it gets hot the tape tends to peel off. Also, a utility knife really did not cut it...the plastic is thick, use a Dremel.
       

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