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Cold air in glove box -OR- No air flow from vents on Max AC - Here's a workaround

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Old 06-24-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
Curtis
Orlando, FL
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Cold air in glove box -OR- No air flow from vents on Max AC - Here's a workaround

A lot of times this problem is mistakenly called a blend door problem. That's not the case here. A blend door does exactly that, blends warm and cold air depending on the temperature selected on the heater controls, that's in another part of the system

This part is called "recirc door duct" - or - "Air Inlet Duct"
This duct closes outside air when you select Max AC and causes the blower motor to sound louder



My Problem
========
What I noticed is that when on Max AC, there is no change in aiflow/blower noise from regular AC. And the blower seems too loud for the amount of air coming out of the vents

If you look where the blower motor is in the 3rd gens, its really easy to get to. Its under the passenger side dash. Three 8mm bolts + 1 holding the wiring will let it drop out.



Lean in with a light and look up, you'll see a mesh that prevents tissues etc from getting blown up into the vents.

Here is the cause
===============
Right on top of that mesh you'll likely see the recirc door, fallen out of position, and resting right on top of the blower motor, blocking the duct, and severely restricting air flow


Now what?
=========
You cannot replace just the door, its in the Max AC Air Inlet Duct
The part is about $49 at the dealer, but requires the dash removal and Ford states 6.9 hrs... that's probably a $700 dollar job

Here's what I did for now
==============
Empty the glove box
squeeze the sides, and lower it to the floor

You'll see the top of the blower motor housing - its the round part.
Above this is the Air Inlet Duct



The duct is kind of tent shaped as can be seen in the exploded diagram above, its #16, and the door is hinged at the top point and swings to each side to allow or stop outside air.

This Air Inlet Duct is in 2 pieces. Remove these four 8mm bolts with a small ratchet.



Then you can split the two pieces with a couple of flat screw drivers. The pieces are not glued so they can be pryed apart easily.

When you've got enough room reach in with a couple fingers and pull out the door.

This is the door


Its much bigger than I thought.
Once its out, replace the 4 bolts of the Air Inlet Duct, and put the glove box back up.

Bolt the blower motor back up too.


After doing this, I now have the air flow on speed 1, that I used to on speed 4.


But wait! What about a permanent fix?
===================
The downfall to this workaround, is that you always have outside air coming into the system (as you would on regular AC)
Here in FL, that can be really hot air, which will not allow the AC to cool as efficiently.
The opposite would be true in colder climates, when driving, you'll have cold air coming in behind the glove box and you wife may have to cover her legs with a blanket


So after I removed the door, I sealed up the intake outside the truck.
1 - open the hood
2 - remove the passenger side cowl grill (its just snapped in)
3 - Just below the windshield, there is triangular plastic cover that's snapped in but does have some sealant on it. gently pry this off.
4 - Then if you look inside, you'll see a scoop shape on the firewall with a gap at the top. This gap is where the outside air comes in.
5 - I sealed it off with clear packing tape for now as I plan to remove it later when I replace the duct.

I dont have time right now to pull the dash so this is just to allow more air so I can feel it on my face. With this door restricting air flow, the AC would not move a hair on my head, but now it does!

In the near future, I will replace the Air Inlet Duct assembly
For Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2005 the part # is 1L2Z18B259AC, list price is $49.60

This site ----> http://www.denlorstools.com/autoblog...t-cold-enough/
has excellent instructions for doing it without removing the whole dash as Ford would have you believe they do.
This guy can replace the part in 45 minutes, so I'll budget a few hrs for me.

Hope this helps someones cool down quicker, or at least offers a way to diagnose a similar problem.








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Last edited by Curtis; 07-02-2010 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
t1j2f3
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Help please....

I just did this on my wife's Explorer. It worked! For the first time ever the A/C blew like it should have (we bought it new in 2003 and were told the air was supposed to suck like this by the dealer). I tried all four levels and the air blew hard out of the A/C vents until...

I wanted to show the wife that I was able to fix her A/C so I turned it off and did a drum-roll for her. When I turned it back on the cold air started coming out the dash and defrost vents.

I checked all of the connections on the "vacuum tank" and they appear to be intact. Can someone please give me some advise on how to fix this?
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:17 AM   #3
t1j2f3
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Originally Posted by t1j2f3 View Post
Help please....

I just did this on my wife's Explorer. It worked! For the first time ever the A/C blew like it should have (we bought it new in 2003 and were told the air was supposed to suck like this by the dealer). I tried all four levels and the air blew hard out of the A/C vents until...

I wanted to show the wife that I was able to fix her A/C so I turned it off and did a drum-roll for her. When I turned it back on the cold air started coming out the dash and defrost vents.

I checked all of the connections on the "vacuum tank" and they appear to be intact. Can someone please give me some advise on how to fix this?
I fixed it! I had a line pinched so there was no suction.
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Old 09-13-2010, 01:53 AM   #4
Curtis
Orlando, FL
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Originally Posted by t1j2f3 View Post
I fixed it! I had a line pinched so there was no suction.




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Old 09-15-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
workman482
Dothan, AL
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US Thanks for the info

Thanks for the extremely useful info! Helped to do a temp. fix on my '04 Explorer. I hope to return the gesture with some useful info of my own.

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Old 09-15-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
xTOM153x
West Islip Long Island
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How is the airflow on the third setting I get airflow but its so bad compared to pretty much every other vehicle I have driven and four is way to loud and is hard to talk over im wondering if it is something to do with my fresh air door
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:32 PM   #7
rhauf
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so wait, i can get one of those fancy air conditioned glove boxes?




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Old 09-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
armysoldier30263
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i just did your remedy curtis and it helped out 100% thanks a bunch. i thought my problem was the blend door. im so happy it isnt. lol but i also had a crap load of leaves and trash in the wire filter between the door and the blower motor. so that could be added as a problem with the airflow. thanks again buddy. maybe a sticky?




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Old 03-15-2011, 01:26 PM   #9
v8 thumper
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THANK YOU CURTIS

My wife's '02 Explorer has had very poor airflow for over a year now. Living in the desert, poor airflow (especially in the summer) sucks HUGE. My 'initial' diagnosis was in fact the dreaded 'blend door' issue, and had put off this project long enough (too long).

Not looking forward to removing the dash assembly, I thought I'd do a little more research before starting. I found this thread, and checked the recirc door first. Sure enough, it was laying flat on the bottom of its plenum.

Needless to say, the Mrs. is a happy gal




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Old 04-13-2011, 10:55 PM   #10
Curtis
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Glad I could help some others out!
I do plan to pull the dash in mine like explained here
http://www.denlorstools.com/autoblog...t-cold-enough/

Just have not done it yet, a 4yr old and a 7 month old tend to take priority LOL




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Old 05-26-2011, 07:02 PM   #11
RKH
Charlotte,NC
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Thanks you soooo much! Was fed up with the poor airflow. Read this post last night and just finished the band-aid job on my '04 earlier.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
Foard48
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Thank U 2!!

I was fed up with the airflow on my 2003 XLT until now. I had been putting up with this for a long time. Performed the quick fix and airflow is where it should be. We'll have to see how this affects things in the winter. May have to tape up the intake as previously pointed out.

Thanks again,

Gary
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:32 PM   #13
Welli
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Thank you. I did the same procedure in my 2004 XLT, I used the very same trapped door I removed wedged in the passenger side under the grill by on the bottom of the windshield instead of a tape. On the 2004 thew gap is huge , hard to tape.
Also you will need to remove the passenger's windshield wiper, lift the little lock on its bottom , wiggle it right up.
Thanks again.




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Old 06-08-2011, 09:38 AM   #14
tcore83
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My regular A/C works fine, but now there is no change when i go to MAX A/C, heard a strange noise the other day when I turned MAX on and now it does not work. Do I have the same problem or is there another issue at hand. All the vents still change position when i change it, floor-vent-defrost-etcm just MAC A/C does not change from regular.

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:52 AM   #15
Curtis
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Originally Posted by tcore83 View Post
My regular A/C works fine, but now there is no change when i go to MAX A/C, heard a strange noise the other day when I turned MAX on and now it does not work. Do I have the same problem or is there another issue at hand. All the vents still change position when i change it, floor-vent-defrost-etcm just MAC A/C does not change from regular.

Thanks!
The air flow in different vents has nothing to do with this recirc door.
The recirc door just opens or closes outside air.

The reason MaxAC is usually louder than normal AC is that the door closes outside air, and opens up directly to the blower for inside air, and we hear it louder. So if there is no change in the blower sound, then this door is likely broken or fallen out of position.

The blower is in the passenger floor area under the dash, lean in and look up though it, you'll most likely see the door laying across the blower, or if its not, its still in position but not moving properly.




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Old 06-10-2011, 10:00 PM   #16
wildcat40cal
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Thumbs up

Can't thank you enough. My a/c wasn't pushing much air on max a/c either and your work around changed everything on my '04 XLS. Huge volume of cold air through the vents now. Thanks for saving us a ton of $ on a repair shop bill.
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:21 PM   #17
s2per
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Thumbs up

Thanks guys! I just did the "quick fix" on our son's '03 Ex and it was amazing the amount of air that wasn't getting through. Here on the west coast of FL, cold air's a great thing to have....lots of it. We may or may not replace the door assembly; blocking off the intake has proved effective.

First time on the board, but with this success, we'll be back.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:27 PM   #18
Culley9
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I just did your quick fix and I have to say wow what a difference. Thank you thank you thank you
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:41 PM   #19
bratton88
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Thanks for the awesome write-up. I just bought a 2003 Explorer EB and the first thing I noticed was very poor air flow from the A/C. Following your instructions, I was able to remove the broken recirc door and a bunch of leaves that had gathered in there on top of the wire mesh. Now, it's blowing like a champ. Plan to replace the Air Inlet Duct assembly in the future, but am glad I could apply a quick fix until I have the time. Thanks again.
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:22 AM   #20
75ohm
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Good stuff, thanks for the write up! I pulled this off last night and am pretty happy that I have airflow again!

I have a new plenum box and will install it in the fall but this is going to work just fine until then!




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