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No Heat/Defrost in 2002 Explorer XLT ???

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Old 11-01-2007, 09:37 AM   #1
Squilax
Holtwood, PA
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Question No Heat/Defrost in 2002 Explorer XLT ???

I have a 2002 Explorer XLT. No rear heater or A/C. No individual climate controls for driver/passenger. Currently I have a little over 113,000 miles logged on this vehicle. I bought it used in January 2004.

This past summer, I noticed when I turned the temperature control to the highest heat setting, there was a noisy clicking sound coming from behind the heater control panel in the dash. If I backed off the highest temperature setting, this clicking would stop. It sounded like something may have fallen into the defroster vent and was banging against the fan blades, but the noise continued even if the fan was turned off. There was no problem switching over from AC to Heat at that time. There was, and is, no problem with the fan running on all settings from 1 to 4.

Recently, in the past month or so, when I depressed the A/C button (light goes off behind the switch) to switch over to heat, I would hear a fairly loud “thunk” behind the controls in the dash, after a slight delay, and the heat would come out.

Now when I push the A/C button to the off position and turn the temperature setting to high heat, there is no longer a “thunk” nor do I get any warm or hot air at all. The continuous clicking sound has gone away, but I now get a click about once every second like something is trying to switch over, but cannot. This is why I think it may be a blend door issue.

I Googled “Explorer Blend Door” after a friend suggested what might be my problem, and found the fix on this site, however it appears that what has been posted was for models older than the 2002. Also, it appears that the Plenum (?) may not be located in the same place in the 2002 as it was in the 1997 to 2001 models.

I had my mechanic look into the problem and he told me that he would need my vehicle for a day or two as the entire dash needs to be removed to find out what the problem might be. Not being too mechanically inclined, I thought that the labor charges for this might end up being high.

I searched this forum for blend door fixes for 2002 and newer models and found a link to http://www.chrisfransen.com/Ford_Ble...Fix/index.html, which I clicked on and read through the instructions. These were very detailed, but as I said, not being mechanically inclined, I still was not able to locate the plenum so I could check it out. I did remove the control panel cover around the radio and heater controls, but still could not get to the plenum. I have no idea at all how to take the dash apart to get to the part that I need to work on.

I was able to get in from the passenger side after pulling the glove box away from the dash. I can put my hand in through all the wires and feel a plastic box where the clicking is coming from, but can’t get to it to try and open it.

I really would like to be able to fix this myself if I can as it’s now November and I really need heat and defrosters to keep the windshield clear. Right now, I’m using a portable propane catalytic heater to provide heat in the mornings, but this definitely won’t help when we get into 20 degree and lower temperatures or if I come out in the morning and find ice on the windshield.

Do any of you have suggestions as to what I can do myself to remedy this problem?

Please feel free to post your thoughts and suggestions or you can PM or email me directly.

Thanks for your help!

Steve
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
montetate
Plano, Texas
2002 XLT
 
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2002 Explorer - HVAC MOSTLY DASH VENTS ONLY

I have a the same or simlar problem. Have a 2002 Explorer XLT (69,000 mi. – 6 yrs & 5 mos. In service) with manual climate control. It seems that regardless of whether the AC is one on or off, regardless of the temperature setting, regardless of the manual vent control setting, the air vents MOSTLY through the panel vents with a little air coming out of the floor vents and some through the defrost. The air seems to be cold with the AC on and hot when the hear is on.

The problem is that the vents seem to be stuck with most air coming through the dash panel vents. Also, when switching between the just the floor vents and floor/defrost vents, there is a “pop” behind the dash, but, very little change in the air flow between the vents.

The dealer said I need a new EVAP CASE for $1,500 ($200 part and $1,300 labor). I am selling this car and don’t want to pay so much. Any ideas?

(FYI, also has rear HVAC system, but, there is no problem with that).

Monte
Plano, Texas
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Old 11-01-2007, 05:55 PM   #3
Squilax
Holtwood, PA
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(Original Poster)
Monte

I noticed when I removed the panel surrounding the radio and heater/AC controls there is a door that opens and closes when you switch from "dash" to "floor" or "defrost".

Behind the dash, there is a small silver colored cylinder that has an arm on it the opens and closes the door to the dash vents. You can see it right inside when you drop the glove box cover all the way out.

Open the glove box and push the tabs on the sides inward to release the cover, letting it drop all the way open.

You can also pop the cover off the radio/heater/AC controls (gently pry this off so you don't break it) and see the door working inside when you move the air flow selector switch.

Look immediately inside behind the dash and with your engine turned on, switch between dash and floor air flow settings. You should see this arm move. It may not be closing the door to the dash vents all the way when you switch between dash and floor. I'm not sure exactly what the problem may be, but it's a start.

Hope this helps you.

Steve
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:44 PM   #4
montetate
Plano, Texas
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Little Defrost/Floor Air

Thanks Squilax. I'll check 'er out.

Monte
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:22 AM   #5
diatonic
Boise, ID
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I have the same problem, where air blows out the main front vents, regardless of where the selector is.

Thanks for the tips. I'll post back any progress I make.

Do you think this would be the failed part?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-...spagenameZWD1V

Last edited by diatonic; 11-02-2007 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Added ebay link
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:09 AM   #6
Squilax
Holtwood, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diatonic View Post
I have the same problem, where air blows out the main front vents, regardless of where the selector is.

Thanks for the tips. I'll post back any progress I make.

Do you think this would be the failed part?
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2002-...spagenameZWD1V
That part looks like the actuator control for the blend door that switches from heat to AC. So, No I don't think that's the one.

This one is like a cylinder maybe 2" across by 3 or 3 1/2" high, silver, and has a metal arm that moves the door (by vacuum maybe?) directly behind the heater controls. When you get past the glove box, it's right there behind the dash panel. I'll be working under my dash this weekend - I'll try to photograph this part and post it here so you can see what it looks like, OK? The part may be called a vacuum actuator or vacuum motor.

Also - read this posting and see if it describes your problem - http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...21&postcount=6

Steve

Last edited by Squilax; 11-02-2007 at 11:50 AM.
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Old 11-03-2007, 01:11 AM   #7
montetate
Plano, Texas
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Panel/Defrost Door Lever Broken Where it Attaches to Vacumm Motor

I found the problem and more on that below. I don't know how I will fix it yet. I took pictures, but, I am not an elite member, so, I can't post. email me at montate32@msn.com if you want me to send a pic.

There is a lever attached to the Panel/Defrost Door that is broken. This lever gets pushed and pulled by a 2.5" or so long metal shaft that is attached to a vacuum motor that is mostly silver and about 2" or 3" in diameter. All of this is just behind the center panel vents and is accessed by unhooking the glove box and letting it swing down out of the way.

I know this is the the problem because with the AC running I pushed and pulled that broken lever and the air went between defrost and the panel vetns like it should. Also, when switching the manual control between AC, Floor and Defrost vents I saw the vacuum motor working by pushing and puling that small metal shaft.

So, I am searching for a way to fix this.

I find it disturbing that the dealership wanted to charge me $1,500!!! Ford should have an easy fix for this and all the other problems with its HVAC system. Instead, they want their dealerships to be able to charge us over $1,000 in just labor. I equate this to theft and it is dishonest.
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Old 11-03-2007, 01:18 AM   #8
diatonic
Boise, ID
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That sounds like the problem I'm having. I'm hoping to confirm with the help of the pics from montetate.
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Old 11-03-2007, 01:33 AM   #9
montetate
Plano, Texas
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diatonic,

I cannot post the picture here because I am not an Elite Member. If you email me at montate32@msn.com I can send you the pic.

By the way, here is how one person fixed this problem:

charlieb
Wannabe Elite Explorer
dothan, al
2002 xls

Join Date: Aug 2007
I repaired mine by removing the glove box to gain easy access. I then drilled a 1/8" hole in what was left of the plastice lever.
I then took a small flat piece of metal appx. 1/2" wide x 1" long and drilled 1/8" holes appx 1/4" from each end. I then fastened the metal strip to the remaining plastic lever and to the vacuum actuator with small screws and doubled the nuts tightening them against each other while leaving the screws loose enough so the lever can move. Total time 30 minutes. Total price $1.98


Diatronic, I will be interested to find out if this is the same problem. Ford should be raked over the coals. How well do you know your state attorney general?

Monte Tate
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:29 PM   #10
diatonic
Boise, ID
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My issue is a little different

Okay, I looked a Monte's picture and my issue is a little different...

Here is Monte's pic:


Mere's a video I made of mine (with my cell phone... sorry):
http://linus.webboise.com/my-broken-vent.3gp

Mine is a different issue... I think the black plastic shaft is broken, that actually moves the vent.

I don't know my state's attorney general, but I did by an extended warranty with the vehicle that covers the HVAC system. I'm pretty sure that this was pre-existing and should not be covered... though I doubt they would know if it was a pre-existing issue...

.:diatonic:.

Last edited by diatonic; 11-03-2007 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:00 PM   #11
montetate
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Panel/Defrost Door Lever Broken Where it Attaches to Vacumm Motor

Diatronic,

After viewing your video it seems that we have a difference problem, but, the same piece is broken. Mine is broken at the very end where it attaches to the metal shaft of the vacuum motor.

It appears yours is broken inside the unit and, I THINK, you will have to do the "blend door fix" or pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars ($1,500 if I wanted to pay for mine).

You can search this sight for "Blend Door Fix".
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:54 PM   #12
phil12357
Richmond, VA
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This is awesome! I think you guys just saved me because my car wasn't going to pass inspection because it wouldn't defrost. I literally was throwing in the towel when I revisited this thread. I'm not sure why it didn't click the 1st time, but glad I double checked this one.

Does anyone have a photo of this properly functioning? I ask because my lever (#1) and shaft (#2) are not as obviously broken as the one in the photo, but they are definitely not connected.

The good news for the time being is that I'm able to manually move the lever so that the air flows through the defrost vents. I should be able to pass inspection which will buy me enough time for a proper fix (and/or get a fair quote from a mechanic that doesn't include $800 in labor to disassemble my dashboard).
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:04 PM   #13
dmon
Fort Smith, Arkansas
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Easier way to fix it.

I followed diatonic's method and was able to fix mine. I found that trying to thread small bolts and nuts into a very tight space was very difficult. I was able to get my metal plate attached to the plastic piece but found it difficult to attach the metal plate to the rod with bolts and nuts. I ended up attaching it with zip ties and it worked like a charm.

I suspect that you could drill a small hole in the plastic piece and then zip tie the rod through the hole in the plastic piece. You can leave a little play but I don't think that the small difference in the height of the rod would make any difference.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:44 PM   #14
mmartin8888
Asheville North Carolina
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I saw this post and the picture of Montes, does any know if the lower value in the picture that has the metal arm is attached to anything, not the top one but the bottom one. thanks Mike
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #15
dmon
Fort Smith, Arkansas
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There is only one metal arm (item 2) coming off of item 3 and it should be attached to item 1. There is nothing else that comes into play. If the plastic piece (item 1) is not attached to the metal arm (item 2) then the air will come out of the AC vents instead of the floor or defrost vents. Attaching those two items will fix it, assuming nothing else is wrong.
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:46 PM   #16
mmartin8888
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My question from the picture refers to item 4 it also has a moving metal arm does it attach to anything
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:55 AM   #17
rrgone
Tucson, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin8888 View Post
My question from the picture refers to item 4 it also has a moving metal arm does it attach to anything
That lower vacuum motor, item 4 in the above pic, controls the floor door on your HVAC. If the long arm on that motor is not attached to anything then your floor vent is not working.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #18
mmartin8888
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thanks rrgone that is it. the motor is working and the arm moves but where it connects is broken. How do I get to it, take the center console out
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