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How to tell if it is the blend door actuator or the blend door itself?

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Old 04-22-2011, 03:16 PM   #1
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How to tell if it is the blend door actuator or the blend door itself?

Does anyone know how to diagnose whether you have a bad HVAC blend door actuator or if the blend door unit itself is bad?
I have a 2005 Ford Explorer with the 4.0l engine. 2 weeks ago when it warmed up here, temps in the 60's, I had switched the temp control knob for the heat over to the cold side for a few days. Once I went to turn the temp control knob back to the heat side when it got cold again outside, I started to hear a "clicking or thumping sound" coming from behind the center-dash console area where the HVAC knobs are located. The clicking or thumping noise I hear happens when knob is moved to the heat side of the control, with no heat coming from the vents, still cold air coming out. I researched this problem on this site, found some info on this blend door-actuator problems other people have discussed, but found no definate answers on how to know which problem I have, bad actuator or bad blend door. Ford Dealership says the actuator is usually the part that goes on these vehicles and it's the cheaper of the two parts. The dealership wants $92.00 for the actuator or $400.00 for the blend door unit, parts only, labor is approx: $580.00 to $620.00 depending which fix is needed.
I found a temporary fix on here called "the 10 second blend door repair" where I was able to reach in behind the dash control knob area through the glove box and flip down the blend door hinge on to the heat side and at least get temporary heat in my vehicle. After the vehicle sits parked over night and I go to start it up the next day, the blend door is usually flipped back to the cold side and the actuator starts clicking again and I have to do the 10 second fix nearly every day. With these symptoms I have mentioned here, does anyone know which problem I have, a bad actuator or bad blend door? Any and all help is appreciated, thanks!
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
not8taxi
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most likely the blend door actuator...heres the write up on how to change it yourself...

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=294140
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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Actuator




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Old 04-23-2011, 04:07 AM   #4
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Thanks for the info "Swetrid and Not8Taxi" and the link on the repair of the actuator.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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I have to agree. It sure sounds like the actuator to me.




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Old 04-23-2011, 04:47 PM   #6
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Thanks BigRondo for the reply and thanks a lot for posting that blend door actuator repair instructions. I've already printed your instructions and just need to print the photos you supplied, they'll come in handy as reference points. I'll most likely be attempting that repair you posted myself sometime during the next few months. I plan on cutting the dashboard lip as in your photo. I'm a big guy and need all the elbow room I can get under there.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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You are welcome. Be careful when cutting the dash. Maybe try it without cutting the dash first.

Good luck and feel free to ask questions.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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>>>>>>>>> Maybe try it without cutting the dash first. >>>>>>>>>>

I'll try and do it that way, depends on how much room I have to get my fingers or tools in there. It looks tight in there from your pictures. I am going to check into something first before I do this repair. I purchased a 3 year extended warranty on this truck when I bought it 4 months ago, it may cover this part and repair costs under a section that covers "manual electrical switches". Hopefully it will be a covered repair, if not, I'm stuck doing it myself or find someone other than the dealership to do it.

>>>>>>>>>>Good luck and feel free to ask questions.>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks, and I do have another question here. If I wind up having to do this repair myself, should I purchase a new OE Ford actuator from a Ford dealership, which is the faulty part I have now in the truck or buy an after market actuator? Which is the better part? I know from reading other posts here, some people have had problems with matching up the right after market actuator to their vehicles.
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:10 PM   #9
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I highly recommend using a Ford actuator as others have had issues with aftermarket actuators. Although replacing the actuator isn't really that bad, you don't want to do it twice because you installed an inferior part.

If you go to your local Ford dealer, they will ask for your VIN to assure you get the correct part. I paid $73.88 including tax at my local Ford dealer. If you want to save a couple of bucks, you can order the part online at several different vendors. Here are a few. Keep in mind that if you don't order a Motorcraft part, you may run into trouble:

www.tousleyford.com is a vendor on our forum and offers parts 10% over cost to forum members.

www.rockauto.com is a vendor on our forum and offers a discount to forum members.

www.fordpartsgiant.com You can enter your VIN they will list parts for your Ex with part numbers.

www.silverstatefordparts.com You can search for parts for your vehicle and ask a question via email before purchasing to ensure you get the correct part. They also require that you include your VIN when ordering.

When you are ready to replace the actuator, Here is the step by step how to.

Good luck!




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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIND on 4-22-13
Don't mess with Boston. They will drop everything, hunt you down, and then go on like you never existed once they are done cleaning up the mess.
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
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when you take out the bad actuator take it apart and you will see some little broken plastic gears.

good luck and read over the posts.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:12 PM   #11
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I had to put an actuator in my 04 everyone who bought an aftermarket 1 said it had broken and would not recommend it to a friend so I went OE
MAKE SURE YOU PLUG IT IN AND MAKE SURE IT'S IN THE RIGHT SPOT BEFORE YOU INSTALL AND HAVE TO REMOVE...
ALL actuators are made with plastic gears....... oe or not..

BTW had exactly same issue definitely actuator...
The fact that you can manually move door and get heat that tells you for sure the door is fine.....
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Old 04-24-2011, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakedrew View Post
when you take out the bad actuator take it apart and you will see some little broken plastic gears.

good luck and read over the posts.
This is what Jake is talking about. The arrows point to the broken gear. There is 3 teeth broken off:



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wills05xlt4x4 View Post
I had to put an actuator in my 04 everyone who bought an aftermarket 1 said it had broken and would not recommend it to a friend so I went OE
MAKE SURE YOU PLUG IT IN AND MAKE SURE IT'S IN THE RIGHT SPOT BEFORE YOU INSTALL AND HAVE TO REMOVE...
ALL actuators are made with plastic gears....... oe or not..

BTW had exactly same issue definitely actuator...
The fact that you can manually move door and get heat that tells you for sure the door is fine.....
Like Wills05xlt4x4 said, make sure you follow step 7. Install New Blend Door Actuator very carefully. It contains instructions to assure the actuator is in the correct position prior to installation!




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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIND on 4-22-13
Don't mess with Boston. They will drop everything, hunt you down, and then go on like you never existed once they are done cleaning up the mess.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:17 AM   #13
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>>>>>>>> you don't want to do it twice because you installed an inferior part.
>>>>>>>>>>>
If you go to your local Ford dealer, they will ask for your VIN to assure you get the correct part. I paid $73.88 including tax at my local Ford dealer. If you want to save a couple of bucks, you can order the part online at several different vendors. Here are a few. Keep in mind that if you don't order a Motorcraft part, you may run into trouble:>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks again for all that info BigRondo, including the web links to order it online and save some money. I'll definately buy the Ford Actuator. The Ford dealership here that I called wants $92.00 +tax for the replacement actuator for my Exp.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:24 AM   #14
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>>>>>>>>>>>>>Like Wills05xlt4x4 said, make sure you follow step 7. Install New Blend Door Actuator very carefully. It contains instructions to assure the actuator is in the correct position prior to installation!
>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks BigRondo, are you referring to the step about plugging in the new actuator into the plug wire and turning it on and testing it prior to mounting it on to the blend door box? If so I read that in your instructions posted here about a week ago. I have printed your written repair instructions, I still just need to print your pictures for this repair.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>I had to put an actuator in my 04 everyone who bought an aftermarket 1 said it had broken and would not recommend it to a friend so I went OE
MAKE SURE YOU PLUG IT IN AND MAKE SURE IT'S IN THE RIGHT SPOT BEFORE YOU INSTALL AND HAVE TO REMOVE...
ALL actuators are made with plastic gears....... oe or not..>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks for the info "Wills05". When you say "make sure it is in the right spot before you install it" do you mean making sure the new actuator arm that moves the blend door back and forth is set to either the cold ot hot side? According to BigRondo's repair instructions, he says to have the dashboard blend door HVAC control knob set to the cold side when installing the new actuator. Right now, my current actuator is failing to the cold side, I get no heat unless I manually flip the blend door by hand through the glove box.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>BTW had exactly same issue definitely actuator
The fact that you can manually move door and get heat that tells you for sure the door is fine...>>>>>>>>>>

That is good news, because that blend door box/unit is $400.00 just for the part. Add another $620.00 in labor if you let the dealership do the repair for you. Thanks again Will05!
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:39 AM   #16
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>>>>>>>>>>]when you take out the bad actuator take it apart and you will see some little broken plastic gears.

good luck and read over the posts.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Thanks JakeDrew!
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:44 PM   #17
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I just replaced by actuator on my 05. I made sure it was set to the cold setting before installing and i am still getting a clicking sound and no heat coming out of vents
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:53 AM   #18
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All things considered I will only use the 10 second fix. It's a little bit of a pain during the change in seasons but my 02 doesn't deserve that kind of investment in my opinion. I just use a piece of cardboard shoved into the blend door side area to catch the little "handle" on the flap to prevent the door from closing during the winter. It will always stay shut in the summer with the AC so you gotta prevent it from closing when you want heat. Ford should have took some bailout money and recalled these vehicles. Their profits from vehicles that truly deserve a recall are ill-earned.




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Old 10-30-2014, 01:00 PM   #19
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please someone help

I have a 2011 ex that blows cold out of the driver side vent and heat out of the passenger side. Ive had it to the dealer in the past for clicking behind the dash and they fixed that. my warranty is up now so im looking for info.
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Old 10-30-2014, 02:15 PM   #20
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I bought an actuator from Heater Treater (with the replacement door) but elected to only install the actuator as the door was way more effort that I wanted to go through.

It is $65 + shipping so you may want to consider that option.

They are located here:

http://www.heatertreater.net/magento...rer-02-08.html

I'm not affiliated with them and get no compensation from this but am simply offering an alternative to the OEM one.
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