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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. 56tburd

    56tburd New Member

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    Thanks for all the help. The pictures were very helpful. I'm in the process of making the blend door repair and yes, a utility knife will cut the plastic if you repeatedly score it. I've epoxied the old door with aluminum reinforcement and hope it will last. If not, I'll pop it open again and replace with an after market one. Thanks again
     
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  3. TMD

    TMD New Member

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    Hey guys...and gals?

    I've got my glove box out, a hole cut, and I can reach in and feel the blend door. With the heat switched to on, I can pry the blend door partially open and I get hot air. My problem is that I can not get the door to open, barely able to open it at all. Is there a solution to this problem?
     
  4. 56tburd

    56tburd New Member

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    Your door should flop in the breeze if it is broken. Mine fell out in pieces when I cut the hole in the bottom including the pivot area. The fact that your's doesn't move suggests either the foam seal has adhered to the plenum or the door may not be broken. Did you check the actuator to see if it was turning? If the blend door is still engaged with the actuator, you wouldn't be able to move it beyond some flexing. Cycle the heat control between max AC and heat while looking under the actuator on the right end with a pen light. The shaft is white and you should be able to see it rotate if the shadows fall correctly. If you don't see it turn, then it could be the actuator itself that has failed. You can remove it from this position, but tape a cord to the ratchet so when it falls down behind the plenum, you can retrieve it more easily (experience talking there). Remove the two screws in the front and one in the center back (forget about putting that one back) and you're in business.
     
    Last edited: November 23, 2008
  5. Bern

    Bern New Member

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    I still think that if you guys really knew how easy it is to remove the heater box the "right way", you wouldn't be going through all the trouble of butchering the box to get at that blend door. I fixed mine the right way this past summer, and now it makes so much heat that I cant hold my hand in front of the registers. Do these will fit repairs do the same job? I doubt it!

    I was quoted 8 hours of labor by the Ford dealer to R&R the heater core before I decided to do it myself. A good friend and former Ford service writer told me that he knew a tech that could do the job in 1.5 hours!
     
  6. TMD

    TMD New Member

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    Thanks 56 TBurd! In my rush to get heat going, I pulled the blend door as far open as I could, then drilled a 3 1/2 inch screw in from underneath to hold. I now have heat. As you stated, the actuator is going to be my problem, but I no longer carry the miniature tools I once had when I was five, thus I'm at a loss for getting the darn thing out of there. But as it stands, the heat works fine and when the warmer weather hits I'll remove the screw.
     
  7. 56tburd

    56tburd New Member

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    Bern, you may be right. I had a Blazer that needed front brakes every 6 weeks. Start to finish I was done in less than .5 hour. But I hope never to have to deal with this blend door again and it took me more than 1.5 hours just reading all the forums to figure out what the problem was.

    TMD, my 1/4" ratchet with 7-8mm socket did the job inspite of a tight fit. And I buy my gloves XL.
     
  8. TMD

    TMD New Member

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    Well the screw didn't work so well in 15 degree weather. So I got back under there and removed the actuator completely, then reached back for the blend door, which turned easily. I now have full heat when the unit is on, and upon installing a new actuator, will have everything working fine again.
     
  9. eXploring aussie

    eXploring aussie New Member

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    Hi Guys,

    Just another problem I'm having with my eX also !!!
    I'm from the famous city that is notoriously known for having 4 seasons in 1 day !!! Just happened to be above 30 last month when mine went, then the following day was below 15 so switched back to hot air... afew days later, yep- back over 30 !!! NO COOL AIR CAME THROUGH !!! I began melting instantly with the air con high on !!! Now coming into summer I have found I have a really bad odor problem and my wife is complaining about my socks...
    WE NEED AIR CON !!!

    I'm just wondering how I would perform such a repair from the other side of the car ??? My arms just aren't quite long enough ???

    If I thought the hole in the box and pin in the accuator would work for ME it would be done by now... but how would you propose I go about it from your passenger side ???

    Look forward to some replies...
    :confused:
     
  10. eXploring aussie

    eXploring aussie New Member

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    By the way, I'm at the arse end of the world, my left is your right, my hot is your cold, my 30+ is your 90+... and is often getts to your 110+ out here !!! I'm not looking forward to driving my eX this summer unless I can get this plastic door repaired !!!:wink
     
  11. gliderman8

    gliderman8 New Member

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    Hello everyone.... here's my story....
    I have a '97 Explorer and had the same problem with the blend door. Sooner or later you all will have it!!!
    I bought a replacement kit from HeaterTreater, took me under 2hrs, did NOT have to remove the heater box or discharge the AC. The door that HeaterTreater sells is made of stainless steel and will outlive the car.
    I am a satisfied customer and it saved me approx. $1,400.
    Here's the link:
    http://heatertreater.net/
     
  12. 56tburd

    56tburd New Member

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    Well, my epoxy repair of the blend door lasted less than 2 weeks. Stopped at NAPA and picked up their repair kit for $12. I tossed the template, etc. since it required removal of the plenum. It took me about 15 minutes to remove the panel I cut out last time and install the new door. If this door lasts as long as the original, I'll be good for another 10 years.
     
  13. 56tburd

    56tburd New Member

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    Aussie, is everything on your car reversed? I would have guessed your plenum to be on the left side and the actuator to still be on the top. There are pictures detailing the process on this site. Give it a search.
     
  14. eXploring aussie

    eXploring aussie New Member

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    Huh!!!
    At $120 a kit ??? :eek:

    I'd prefer the standard plastic one for $10, even if I had to replace it every 5 years for the rest of my life it would still be cheaper... ;)

    I also didn't notice the foam air lock seal on the stainless heater treater kit ???
     
  15. eXploring aussie

    eXploring aussie New Member

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    I'm not sure if the plenum has been changed ??? Perhaps it has been ???

    I'm really hoping someone with right hand drive has solved this problem and can advise me so I don't have to sacrafice mine as an experiment...

    Thanks;)
     
  16. dwt exp spt

    dwt exp spt New Member

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    This is a great thread... I was having the same problem and it helped me out a lot.

    Be sure that you check the blend door motor first. I disconnected the battery (just to be safe with the airbags) and removed the glove box and the three bolts that hold the blend motor in place. The bolt on the backside is a pain in the butt, but you can get it out. Dont drop your ratchet! After removing the motor, I reconnected the battery and turned the ingition to the ON position. You can then control the motor with the temp knob. The shaft should move back and forth smoothly. The blend motor that I removed was acting crazy. Sometimes it would turn, othertimes it would jump around. This made sense, because sometimes my heat would work and other times it would just blow luke warm air. At this point I used a mirror to see that the top of the blend door was not broken. I am glad too, I really did not want to cut into the box and replace the door.

    The moral of this story, check the motor first before you cut anything!!! It could save you a lot of trouble.
     
  17. 96eb96

    96eb96 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the 99+ blend doors are not likely to break. Any issue is most likely the blend door motor.
     
  18. powrhouse

    powrhouse New Member

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    Quick Blend Door fix

    yes, I made the cuts on the plenum to get to the blend door, took some pressure and a a sharp utlity knife(changed to a new blade half way thru), scrapped my wrist pretty good, but it was worth it...only thing, I made the 3 cuts leaving one side uncut and when I went to bend the newly cut tab open so I could get my hand in, the plastic just kind of snapped off into two pieces, it is very brittle...no problem, reached int0 the box found the blend door and then ran the heater to see which way to movethe door to get heat--which was back toward the passenger cabin...I actually used two small pieces of velcro to secure it in position, then just put the puzzle of plastic pieces back together with a heavy black tape and sealed the plenum(you have to do this or the forced blowing warm air will not reach the vents and defroster)...thanks for this quick fix, took less than an hour start to finish.
     
  19. Lloyd10977

    Lloyd10977 Elite Explorer

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    I did the exact same job on my '95 except that I used aluminum duct tape that I got from Home Depot. The aluminum tape is super sticky and maintains its stickiness through the heat and air conditioning. It is easy to smooth out and completely seal all holes and cover imperfections.
     
  20. dwt exp spt

    dwt exp spt New Member

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    If you got that route, i agree use a good quality duct tape. The kind that looks like a thin metal foil instead of the kind that has the fabric in it. It usually cost a few dollars more, but you know how the old saying goes "you get what you pay for". Cheap duct tape is the worst.
     
  21. Lyman

    Lyman New Member

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    For me, the quickest fix was to buy the blend door, and like previously but instead of a dremel, use a roofing hook type utility blade (wear leather gloves) and cut around the blend door hinge point (you can see this on the bottom of the plenum) in sort of a large square, leaving the 4th firwall side in tact. But just cutting 3 sides creates essentially a "flap". Gently pull the flap down, remove the old door and broken bits, put in the new door, flap back up, and mend the plastic cut line with an old soldering iron.

    It takes about 30 minutes
     

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