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How to: Replace Front Blend Door Actuator in 3rd Gen Ex.

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by BigRondo, October 6, 2010.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Goga

    Goga New Member

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    Заменил. Работает! Спасибо.
     
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  3. dochollidaydds

    dochollidaydds New Member

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    Great step by step instructions, excellent imaging. (*) See my footnote below after reading.

    One thought. You used your finger to locate the bottom actuator bolt in Fig 6.g.2. Since you had an excellent reference point to access this bolt, simply measuring the distance with a tape measure, you could have used a hole saw, about a 3/8 - 1/2", drilled out an access hole, and used a plastic hole plug to cover the new pilot hole.

    Lots of colors are available for the hole plug at dealerships or aftermarket. One could probably find a matching colored hole plug from Ford, albeit maybe a different size, which could be drilled out to match the new colored plug. See if they have one that matches, size up your hole saw before cutting your dash. A mismatched hole plug really sucks.


    Once drilled out, you'd have straight visual access to this hard to reach bolt with a 1/4" drive ratchet. Its an 8mm, not 10mm.

    This would eliminate cutting the edge of the dashboard trim, and remove the risk of cracking the plastic trim due to vibration of the dash later down the road.

    (*) Before you decide, out of frustration impatience, to cut drill or crack pieces of the dash off covering this bolt, try my method first, covered in my next blog.
    Page 25.

    Damaging the dash is easily avoidable. The dealers do this all the time without messing up the dash. Don't think for a minute that they're going to pull the entire dash to get access to the BDA. Time is money.

    However, if you are an itinerate speed demon, impatient, or just want a quick and dirty, and just have fewer skill sets to tackle this project, drill out the dash, get a hole plug. Problem solved.

    Thank you for this excellent tutorial, I imagine there really isn't a much easier way to tackle this varmint. Regards, Doc
     
    Last edited: December 6, 2016
  4. vzepol

    vzepol New Member

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    Wow!!! I will doing this repair this coming weekend. Only work in the Max Air setting and just makes a clicking noise when either the function or temp setting is changed. It makes sense that there are some broken teeth on the gear.
    Thank you for the informative post.
     
  5. dochollidaydds

    dochollidaydds New Member

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    Okay, I did this repair. It went far easier than I thought. Number one thing is to remove the faceplate air vent panel covering the radio. You still have to pull the console, the driver side dash base panel. No easy way around this, unless your version allows you to pop the Velcro retained side panels off the center console. If you just don't have the skill sets, simply drill that 1/2" hole I discussed.

    Take care not to ram the drill or manhandle it with a lot of force while drilling the access hole. Just slowly penetrate to the point of cutting , but don't allow the drill to push past the panel. Let the drill do the work.
    There's a quick disconnect plug and wiring attached to the blend actuator, and you don't want to add insult to injury by cutting or nicking the wiring harness.

    Try avoid drilling or cutting the dash. Take out the vent panel covering the radio. Once removed, put your hand up into the dash access and feel for the blend actuator top end. Your hand will fit up there, I have big hands, so you can do it too.
    Shine a flashlight into the lower left of the opening of the front dash vent/radio cover opening you removed so y
    ou can actually see the elusive third bolt through the aur vent panel opening. There you will see the top blend actuator bolt. Get your hand up there where you think that bolt is hiding, and your fingers will be visible through the vent panel facing opening. Use a flashlight.

    You can see the top of the bolt on the lower left of the access opening. Once you visualize, you can put an 8 mm speed wrench on it underneath the bottom dash opening on the left near steering column with just a little finesse. Getting the two lower bolts out is a snap, easily done from the side. Once you see the top bolt, get that 8mm speedwrench on it. Its not quick to spin out, but will take only a minute or two. Really. Once actuator is loose, remove electric 2-wire connector, rotate and pull back to remove under the dash. You might have to press up a bit to clear the driveshaft on the actuator from the keyway in the vent door.

    My recommendation is seat the new blend actuator, top bolt first, inserting the assembly in reverse order of removal. Spin, twist and reorient the new actuator in place. Only goes in one way. Working from both sides top and bottom with good light, seat that top bolt gently. And I mean gently. The actuator being plastic, well, that should be a no brainer.


    Remember that gently seating the bolts is good enough. Don't over tighten these bolts, or you'll strip the thread holding the bolt down against the blend actuator, or worse, crack the actuator assembly recess holes that hold the bolt.

    Bottom line... If you do it this way, you don't have to drill, crack, break or cut the dash.

    This is the only way to do it like the dealership does. No one tells you to remove the radio/vent panel to visualize the top bolt.
    That's how they do it without removing the entire dashboard. Good luck, Doc.

    PS. Plug in your new actuator first to check function with car turned on. Imagine your surprise if you put it all back together, and the damn thing is defective or wrong part number!!!
     
    Last edited: December 4, 2016
  6. dochollidaydds

    dochollidaydds New Member

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    English dude..... English. This is an American post.
     
  7. dochollidaydds

    dochollidaydds New Member

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    Last edited: December 4, 2016
    • Like Like x 1
  8. wayver

    wayver New Member

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    Just looked at your post "AWESOME" with all the pics and info. I'm convinced this is what is wrong with my 02 Eddie Bauer. I have heat and can feel it around the console by legs. The fan blows and I can switch through all the modes and air blows out all vents but the heat is nil to just comfortable. The rear heater is fine and puts out lots of heat so that ruled out other issues. This is the only other thing it could be......... I'm hoping! At close to 40 degrees below zero today I had enough heat but no where near what it should be.
     
  9. vzepol

    vzepol New Member

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    My kit came in early this week.
    I followed the instructions at the beginning of this thread. They were perfect.
    One note on the blender the tabs are on all four sides. I found that if I slid a feeler gauge under the tab, I was able to get the lid off with no damage.
    The whole job took about 3 hours, including a break for lunch.
    Thank you for the info.
    V.
     
  10. PinballScottExplorer

    PinballScottExplorer New Member

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    Rondo,
    Your detailed instruction are exactly what I'm looking for! However, the pictures no longer seem to be available for viewing. Can you repost the pictures OR send them to me (I can send you my email account).
    Thanks,
    Scott
     
  11. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    I'm about to start the assembly phase of this process on the 2004. I got the kit from Amazon, and was able to replace the stripped gear with no issues. I also did it without cutting the dash, and just now saw Big Al's tip about removing the captive nuts from the support brace. Reassembly in the morning.
     
  12. steveatthebeach

    steveatthebeach Member

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    Started this journey about 2 hours ago, it's still a work in progress. I managed to remove the old actuator, and decided to open it up to see where the problem was. The first pic shows the actuator after opening it up. the red line points to the gear in question with one of the teeth off at the other end. The second pic show the other "missing" teeth. Doing this in an 02 XLT isn't as easy as I hoped, I've had to become a 62 y.o. contortionist. I wonder how much Ford actually saved by using cheap plastic gears over conventional brass gears?. The last pic shows the culprit gear in question, the missing teeth are at approximately 1:00 o'clock in the gear.

    Yes, I know, I need to paint my front porch.

    IMG_2482-sm.jpg IMG_2483-sm.jpg IMG_2480-sm.jpg
     
  13. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    Yeah, one of the hardest parts is figuring out the yoga poses you need to get into so you can reach the thing. I almost pulled the driver's seat out so I could lay on the floor.
     
  14. steveatthebeach

    steveatthebeach Member

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    I considered that, but came to the conclusion that it wouldn't have helped that much. The best part is, I have heat now! And a big thanks to everyone that contributed to this post, otherwise I never would have attempted it.
     
  15. JeffD11N

    JeffD11N New Member

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    Big Rondo,

    I have an 04 that seems to have a blend door problem. I have heat but it's just not hot enough. I was able to fisha bore scope down the center vents and could see the door move. When it goes over to the heat side it just barley touches the foam seal. It appears to be leaking cold air around the seal as I can move the door with the tab behind the glove box. Just doesn't seem to go shut far enough. I have flushed the core, replaced a broken recirc door, blew air through the vents, and even scoped the fan vent to make sure nothing from the recirc door made it into the evaporator.

    Your pictures are telling me to go to my account and allow third party hosting. Can you give me a kick as I can not find that anywhere in the account tabs?
     
  16. Frank Martini

    Frank Martini New Member

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    Yeah Boy! I could not get to the pictures either. But I struggled through replacing the actuator.
     
  17. dsprint2000

    dsprint2000 New Member

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    So, quick question. Have an 02 Eddie Bauer that has dual zone. Is it the same instructions?

    David
     
  18. LoKo498

    LoKo498 Active Member

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    What happened to all the pictures?
    I did this 2 times in my explorer, 02 xlt & I never had to cut any part of the dash.
    Hardest part was getting under there to the right position to get out then get the new one back in.
     
  19. JW

    JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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    Photobucket changed their TOS and killed remote linking unless you pay $400/year.

    I also did mine without cutting the dash. I only had to remove the captive nuts from the brace between the dash structure and the trans tunnel. After that, the trickiest part was determining how to orient the module as it snakes in or out of the dash. Took me over an hour to get it out, two minutes to swap out the stripped gear, and less than fifteen minutes to put it all back together.
     
  20. steveatthebeach

    steveatthebeach Member

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    I realize I'm late to this parade, but I'm certain I bought the wrong actuator as the new one did not have the circuit board inside and all I'm getting is heat regardless of what I set the the temp to. Does anyone have the correct part number for the front actuator? FYI, I do not have the automatic climate control.

    A big THANK-YOU in advance for anyone that can solve this riddle
     

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