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How to disconnect the rear A/C blend door actuator?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by drliu, February 2, 2008.

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    1. drliu

      drliu New Member

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      My 02 Explorer with rear A/C has this infamous clicking noise in the back caused by the failed heater blend door actuator. I really don't need hot air in the back. Is there any easy way to disconnect the wiring to it?

      I pulled out the cover of the door lock switch above the rear blend door area, and saw several harnesses. Here is a picture I found on the internet, in which the rear panel has been removed and the whole black box covering the rear blend door actuator is completely exposed. You can see there are a few harnesses and wirings, etc.

      Can some one tell me which harness/wiring is for the rear heater blend door actuator? I do not want to replace the actuator. I just want to disconnect it and it will never make the noise. As I said I really do not need hot air in the back.
      [​IMG]
       
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    3. rrgone

      rrgone Active Member

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      Man, I wouldn't go to that much effort and not replace the chattering actuator. But, when you get the rear side panel off and the air box out like in that picture it will be obvious how to disconnect the actuators (there are two). They are located on the back side of the air box on the upper right side.
       
    4. drliu

      drliu New Member

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      No, I have not taken off the rear side panel yet. That picture was from another web site. It's not mine. I do not want to put that much effort to take off all the panels. Just trying to see if there is an easy way to disconnect the wiring from the cup holder hold (as you can reach those harnesses from there).

      From your post, it appears that the harness/wiring is located far back behind the air box and there is no way to reach it from the cup holder hole, right?
       
    5. rrgone

      rrgone Active Member

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      I don't know if you can reach the actuators through the cupholder. That might work. EasyRhino might know as he just worked on his rear climate system and replaced an actuator. Maybe he'll chime in here. Good luck, let us know if that works.
       
    6. EasyRhino

      EasyRhino Well-Known Member

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      Perhaps, if you knew which wires went to the actuator(s), you could do this, but you cannot see them snaking behind the plenum without removing it, IMO. Thinking through this, I can perhaps see the value just to get the darned thing to shut up until you can get around to changing it. You might get to it through the cup holder, but I would recommend the little tray aft of the cup holder (pops out very easily) that contains the door look toggle switch.

      So conceivably it could be done, but you will not be able to reach the wiring plug that goes into the actuator module without loosening the plenum from the body inner fender, which requries removing the trim panel, however, there might be another connector in the line you could disconnect, I do not recall.

      However, I must admit that this job was much easier than I had expected, and did not take very long. The panels are not hard to remove or reinstall, and that was the part I dreaded the most. All said, I think that overall effort would be conserved just doing the full replacement job, vice hunting for the right wire in a very tight spot.

      Good Luck.
       
    7. drliu

      drliu New Member

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      One minute temporary 'fix'

      I finally replaced the rear a/c blend door actuator on my '02 XLT. Got the new actuator from O'Reiley for $33.99. Took about 1 hour and half to do it.

      During the process, I tried to find out the answer to my own question -- is there an easy fix (even just temporary) to this by simply disconnect the harness to the rear a/c to get rid of the clicking noice. Here it is:

      Look at the picture I posted on top of this thread. There is a harness on the left side. Just pull out the cup holder cover and you will see that harness on the left side. Pull it out and you will have a temporary 'fix'

      Doing this, you will have no rear a/c at all. But at least the clicking noise will go away. If you do not want to spend much time and money, this is an easy 'fix,' particularly for those who do not need rear a/c.
       
    8. JEFFLEW

      JEFFLEW New Member

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      Guys
      Is there an easy way to "fix" the actuator - I'm in the middle east and don't need a blend of hot and cold just more cold permanently.

      I still want to keep the A/c available but never need a supply of hot air.

      Also - is there an external link to the picture as I can't get the picture visible here for some reason - maybe censorship cos it's just too damn sexy !!!

      Thanks Jeff
       
    9. EasyRhino

      EasyRhino Well-Known Member

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      Yes, it's true - the pictures are far too sexy for you, lots of bare wires, and removed outerpanels, laying bare the naked underbody parts! Very exciting stuff. The 'sexiest' thinkg was probably a picture that showed a greasy, nicked up hand holding a screwdriver. You must have a heck of a filter over there.

      The actuator needs to work for both the heat and the AC. Assuming that you are talking about the rear AC unit (the OP's intent), the repair is easier than a work-around. As previously said, I was dreading the repair unnecessarily, as it was super simple, and now it works great. Just finding a wire bundle somewhere in route and id'ing the right wires I think would suck. If was going to disable it electrically, I would do it at the actuator, by just unplugging it in place and abandoning it (because that's clearly the easiest place to ensure you have the right wiring). But once you are there, it takes another 1-2 minutes to replace the actuator.

      Considering that the non-stop clicking noise drove us nuts for months, I felt like an idiot for not fixing it sooner. Note, we don't use the heat over here either.

      Concerning the front blend door actuator - all bets are off. I have not done this job, but reports are that you have to completly disassemble the engine, transmission, suspension, and the Hubble Telescope to get to it. If that one goes bad I will probably try to find a work around, at least in the short term.
       
    10. dgsloan

      dgsloan New Member

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    11. stig111

      stig111 New Member

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      Rear A/C blend door replacement

      I have the same problem and took off the panels but I don't see anything that looks like I could replace. There is mostly a large black plastic casing. I was afraid to try to remove it because there are some metal pipes going into it that I believe are freon lines.

      BTW, I don't see any pictures either.
       
    12. JEFFLEW

      JEFFLEW New Member

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      Front and rear a/c's fixed

      Thanks for all the help on this folks , the resolution was eventually a long discussion with the dealer's service mananager, we had a long involved chat about modes of failure, value engineering, product quality etc.
      As an Aircraft Engineer I think I bored him so much with statistics and failure curves that he recomended to Ford that they pick up 50% of the bill as a goodwill gesture even though the car was out of warranty. The dealer then picked up half the remaining bill as further goodwill so I only paid 25% - which was actually cheaper than just buying the parts.
      Good result in my book. !!

      To be fair Ford in the UAE is trying to build a good profile having had a dodgy importer for a while and as a consequence they are very receptive to customers .
       
    13. Elk4me

      Elk4me New Member

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      Same problem on my '02 Limited

      I love this site because it seems if it has needed fixin someone has done it already. I have the clicking and no rear heat. The heater hoses are warm but just cold air blowing. Right after I got the rig two weeks ago I heard a loud snap from the rear and I would imagine that I will find a broken actuator and possible a blend door shaft broken. I will post my results when I get into it.:)
       
    14. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Welcome aboard!! :salute:

      Good luck with the fix. Here is a thread to help you along: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199644

      Check out the link in the first post.

      Hope this helps out.
       
    15. Elk4me

      Elk4me New Member

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      Thanks for the link. That is going to be a big help. I will be jumping into it next week.:thumbsup:
       
    16. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Hope all goes well!!
       
    17. Elk4me

      Elk4me New Member

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      Got it done.

      I had time today and got it done. It took about two hours including a trip for parts. I had to have my grandson work the control switch to get the new actuator lined up with the blend door shaft but other than that it was a relatively painless operation.
       
    18. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Nice job. :thumbsup: Thanks for the update.
       
    19. Elk4me

      Elk4me New Member

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      I went with the Dorman brand actuator from OReilly's. It came with a "Limited Lifetime Warranty" which translates to "as long as you own the vehicle". I doubt Ford offers that but I can't say for sure because I didn't get it there. The link above helped me tremendously.
      Thanks wchain for the link to the pictures and BigRondo for pointing me in the right direction.
       
    20. BigRondo

      BigRondo USMC 1371 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      That's what it's all about. Glad to help out.
       
    21. wesalexleft

      wesalexleft Active Member

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      Getting ready to do the rear blend door repair tomorrow. I've looked over removing the panels to gain access. There is a pillar trim panel above the front of the rear quarter holding it in place. Does this panel have to be unclipped? The only reason I ask is because it has an airbag tag on it and I'd prefer not to mess with it if it involves disconnecting the airbag. Thanks! Other than that it seems pretty straightforward.
       
    22. Elk4me

      Elk4me New Member

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      You do have to remove the door pillar trim panel. It is tricky to remove without breaking the pin that it attaches to at the top on the front side. Both sides on mine are now missing that pin. You have to lift up and out at the same time but the bottom holds it in so when you pop the bottom out the upper pin wants to break. It fits back in without it so it isn't too big of a deal. You don't have to mess with the air bag at all, it is not actually attached to the panel and is located above the panel.
      Good luck!
       

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