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No airflow from dash vents

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by bleoh, July 17, 2009.

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    1. bleoh

      bleoh New Member

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      City, State:
      Maryland
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '03 Explorer
      So the other day my wife says she adjusted the AC and something went snap and cold air stopped blowing out the vents. I searched on here and decided to check the operation of the blend door, the blower resister and the vacuum lines that control the doors.

      Well, I was able to make it blow warm and cold, so the blend door seemed okay, I could adjust the speed of the blower and hear it change, so the resisters were okay. All the vacuum lines were attached and looked to be in good order, but only the feet seemed to be getting good airflow. Then, with the glove box out of the way I noticed this:

      [​IMG]

      That arm is supposed to be attached to the vacuum motor. The arm can easily be moved (with the fan on low/off) by hand and allowed air to flow from the dash vents. I am not sure what caused it to break. If it got jammed or just the force of the fan on high over time caused it to break.

      I could not find the part that fell off anywhere. If someone could snap a picture of it I would appreciate it.

      So, what can I do about it? It looks like it would be a real pain to get to that part of the system and replace the door, or to even cut it out and patch it like the blend door work-around fixes.

      For a temporary fix I cut out a piece of sheet metal about 1" wide by 1.5" long. Then cut a slot in it to fit over the broken piece. I slid it on and bent the edges around to the back to keep it from sliding off. Any better ideas would be great. Thanks.

      [​IMG]
       
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    3. srk22

      srk22 New Member

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      If your fix worked, pat yourself on the back and call it a day.
      I have the DATC and mine snapped off inside the airbox on the drivers side.
      I have just taken my dash apart (from the front) and realized that I still cant reach it.

      If I want it fixed I will have to pull the whole dash out.

      For anyone out there with the same problem as mine (DATC-Drivers Side), I thought I might be able to reach it after removing the speedo---No luck...
       
    4. cmcdani

      cmcdani New Member

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      I bought my 03 Mountaineer with an a/c problem and found the same thing you did.

      My sister has an 03 Explorer and I was able to snap some pics to compare hers to mine.

      hers...
      [​IMG]

      mine...
      [​IMG]

      Anyway, I need to rig something up myself unless there is someone out there that has the arm that I am missing and would like to sell it. :)

      Hope that helps,
      Chris
       
    5. bleoh

      bleoh New Member

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      Thanks for the pictures.
       
    6. OTB

      OTB New Member

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      Has anyone come up with a fix for this? Mine looks exactly like the pic in the first post.

      I have avoided doing anything about this for a year of so, but with winter approaching, I need to fix this. I wndered about trying to drill a small hole and attach with a zip tie, but it looks like I am not the only one this has happened to.

      thanks in advance.
       
    7. bleoh

      bleoh New Member

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      My "temp" fix is still working so I have not done anything else with it.
       
    8. OTB

      OTB New Member

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      thanks for the reply. I really wish I could see better how you made that. I have some sheet metal but not sure how you got it to hold or connect.
       
    9. OTB

      OTB New Member

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      One more question. It has been quite a while since I was reaching through my glove box to look at this. Is the arm spring loaded so it just needs to be pushed and that will spring the other way, or is it a push/pull mechanism?
       
    10. bleoh

      bleoh New Member

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      There is no spring load on the door. The vacuum motor pushes and pulls the arm.

      If you look at how mine broke there was some of the arm left, including a little ridge. I cut a slot out of sheet metal to match that ridge as best I could. I cut my piece wider then what was needed so I could bend it around the edges to increase the strength and hold it on. I drilled a hole in it for a sheet metal screw and was done. The angle on the vacuum motor arm is not great, but it works.
       
    11. pw1981

      pw1981 New Member

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      OK, so I found this post after much searching... I have this issue on my Explorer.

      Is that part something I can get at the stealership? What is it called? Or is it part of a larger part that I need to order? What the bloody heck is it called?
       
    12. Dharan2005

      Dharan2005 New Member

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      missing photo

      Hi CMCDANI,

      The photo showing the good linkage is now missing. can you repost the photo as I need to make a part to repair mine and seeing what it should look like will be a big help.

      Thanks in advance.

      Andrew.
       
    13. wvchipper

      wvchipper New Member

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      Hi all, I had the same problem with my 04 explorer. I came up with a fix to get the blend door to work. I drilled a small hole in the plastic lever where the piece broke off and then used a #6 size bolt and washers to fasten the vacuum arm back to the blender lever. My big question now is... does the floor vents always blow or are they supposed to shut? I always noticed that they blew a little when I had the a/c vents on but not so much with the defroster running. Seems like it could be a separate problem. At any rate, at least I can switch my air from a/c vents to defrost. thanks to you guys for the pics and descriptions!
       
    14. fentos

      fentos New Member

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      I did about the same thing. I drilled a hole in what was left and used some safety wire (from my race bikes) and connected the arm back to the door. It seems to work just fine, but like you, I always seem to have some air coming from the floor vents. The defrost works, but not quite full power like it should. I'm going to do some more tweaking tomorrow and see what I find. I'm just glad to have vent/floor/defrost again WITH heat and A/C without the clicking. (replaced the blend door actuator today too!)
       
    15. josherni

      josherni New Member

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      Hey Explorer enthusiasts!
      Add me to the list. Found that the front passenger floor mat (during many years) crimped the vacuum line going to the fire wall and no more air was flowing. This was kind of weird, because the tube was not visibly broken, but internally after cutting it away I noticed that no air was flowing. Bought 1ft of tube ($0.50) and joined the two half’s and no more problems.
      Thanks you all!!!
       
    16. billybish

      billybish New Member

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      Many many thanks bleoh - I had this same exact problem and marked this post well over a year ago meaning to try and replicate your fix. I took it to the dealership and they quoted $2000+ !!! I followed your lead and it took maybe an hour and it works great!

      [​IMG]

      [​IMG]
       
    17. Provokr

      Provokr Active Member

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      LMAO
      I have the same problem here, now I know where to start digging. I had the defroster vent off and saw that another one of them vacuum things had the arm hanging off it and I reinstalled that one (which was a pain in the ASS to do by myself)
       
    18. twheeless

      twheeless New Member

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      Add me to the list too! I have been looking at these forums for a while, trying to determine how to fix the plastic lever and attach it to the arm that moves in and out. I am not good with sheet metal but started looking around for what I might have handy that would work. I found an antique brass light switch plate and decided that since it already had the slot cut out for a light switch that it work well. It was also easy to bend and cut. I cut around the long slot and then drilled a hole just below it. I was able to fit it on the remaining part of the plastic arm and used needle nosed plyers to fold the edges down. I used a zip tie and put it through the hole I drilled in the metal piece and then through the hole in the arm that moves in and out. It seems to be working great for now.

      Just a word of advice, before trying to attach anything to the arm, you should lay some newspaper or something below where you are working. On my first attempt, I dropped the metal piece I had made and it fell down to where I couldn't get to it, so I had to make another one.
       
    19. thebraves

      thebraves New Member

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      Mine was a very similar fix except I did not have to fabricate anything. I drilled into the black plastic (what was left of the broken arm) and put a zip tie through the vacuum arm and the new hole. Works great. This has saved me approx $1500 from the dealer. If the zip tie breaks I will replace it.

      It was hard to get my hand up past the metal brace though so you have to be persistent.
       
    20. wvchipper

      wvchipper New Member

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      follow up on my original fix

      After roughly two years of no problems from my original fix, I heard a snap followed by no air. Another small amount of plastic had broken around where I had drilled. So once again I was faced with this dilemma. This time I decided to try JB Weld and JB Quick Plastik.
      I started by using a small strip of metal that was originally a bracket for a closet door. I measured the strip and drilled a hole to attach the actuator lever. I then attached the metal strip using JB Weld (I did try to rough up the area a little bit before attaching. I used a dremel tool as it was easiest to get in the small space.) After allowing my weld to dry I reinforced the metal and plastic area by adding quick plastik... LOTS OF IT all around the area front and back. I let this cure over night and then applied one last round of Weld.

      Be sure to give your weld time to cure out. After curing, I used a dremel tool to smooth out the area where the actuator lever attaches.
      I have had 0 problems since making the fix!
      I planned to insert pics but for some reason the forum won't let me, but I hope my info might be useful to someone out there!
       
    21. tk1251k

      tk1251k Member

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      Same problem here on my 05.I cannot locate the arm anywhere it came off and fell somewhere trying to find with a magnet. I may need to find the size and make that arm also.
       
    22. icepickjazz

      icepickjazz Active Member

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      I have same problem. Did you ever figure out pics? I'd like to see theml
       
    23. ecrotzer

      ecrotzer New Member

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      Blend door

      This is my first attempt at using a forum so please be patient with me. My wife's '02 Explorer isn't changing air direction, it's stuck on defrost. I checked the electronics and they all seem OK. I opened the glove box all the way and I see that the plastic arms that attach to the actuators are still intact so does that mean that I have a vacuum leak? If that is the case how do I find out and fix that?

      Thanks,
       
    24. icepickjazz

      icepickjazz Active Member

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      If you take the glove box out you will notice a vacuum tank. Check the connections on it and check for kinked lines. I addition to the broken actuator I also had broken recirculation vent door. Check out these threads for other considerations:
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284042&highlight=vent+door
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=249624
       
    25. ecrotzer

      ecrotzer New Member

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      vacuum trouble

      So I found that the actuator arm is OK but the vacuum hose is dry rotted and broken. It's the black vacuum hose on the engine bay side and I can't seem get the connector the penetrates through the firewall out. Is there a way to get this out without destroying the whole thing? The connector has both the black and a grey hose.
       
    26. ecrotzer

      ecrotzer New Member

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      I fixed this by getting a 1 foot piece of 5/32" vacuum hose from PepBoys for $1.39 and bridging the gap where the original piece had dry rotted. It saved me over $200 for the replacement harness and I didn't have to pull the dash off. Total time 10 min, cost $1.39.
       

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