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'01 Explorer EATC Blend Door Actuator

koda2000

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Last winter the nylon gear inside my EATC blend door actuator stripped, which I know is pretty much the way they fail ('01 Explorer EB). It had started making the clunk, clunk noise when operating, so I knew the gear had stripped. I removed the actuator and took it apart to verify that the gear had stripped, and it had.

As I didn't feel like screwing with replacing the actuator last winter, I wired the blend door open so that I would get heat. When the hot weather rolled around last spring I just wired the blend door closed so I'd get A/C. Good enough.

After considerable research into which replacement actuator to purchase I found that the Dorman 604-201 actuator should work once the plastic base was removed. The current price was $17.07 and I had points available on my Amazon/Chase card so I bought the actuator for $3.80 with free Prime shipping.

Today I decided to install the new actuator. Before bolting it down I decided to test it. Even with the engine up to normal operating temperature moving the EATC temp setting did not move the actuator's shaft in either direction. I then plugged in my old stripped actuator to see if the motor ran. It did not.

WTF? I checked ALL my fuses and they all tested good. I then tested the electrical connector with my VOM and regardless of where I moved the temp setting I don't see any voltage on any wire socket (at one point I thought I saw 5 volts on one wire, but I could not repeat that reading).

After my old actuator's gear stripped last winter I'd just unplugged the actuator's electrical connector and left it hanging there. I don't see why this should have hurt anything. Tomorrow I'm going to test the old and new actuators on my daughter's '00 Mountaineer (w/EATC) and see what happens. I'll also run the EATC self-test after I look up how to do it again.

Anyone have any idea what's going on?
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I believe I figured this out.

If you've used the EATC controls w/out a working blend door actuator being connected, it sets trouble codes (24, 25 and 52) codes 24 and 25 are related to a fault in the blend door actuator. IDK what 52 means.

I then connected my new blend door actuator to its electrical connector and reran the test. I could hear the actuator's motor whirring and I saw the shaft more. I still received error codes 24 and 25 at the completion of the self-test, but not code 52.

Lastly, I turned off the ignition, turned it back to ON, turned off the EATC, reran the self-test (press OFF and FLOOR together, then press DEFROST to begin the self-test) the blend door actuator shaft moved in both directions and then I received the test normal (888) on the EATC display.

The other day someone had asked if the EATC needed to be reset after replacing the blend door actuator. I told him no. I was apparently wrong. My apologies. I will try to locate this thread and edit it.

@kingrancher01 @GLOCKer was it either of you who asked about resetting the EATC?
 


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GLOCKer

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The other day someone had asked if the EATC needed to be reset after replacing the blend door actuator. I told him no. I was apparently wrong. My apologies. I will try to locate this thread and edit it.

@kingrancher01 @GLOCKer was it either of you who asked about resetting the EATC?
I had asked if the EATC could benefit from being reset. The reason I had asked was I wasn't getting heat but I was getting it to switch between defrost, panel, and floor. I pulled the fuse and the truck was off the battery for a minute before I got to visually test the blend door actuator, and it appeared everything was working. And now I have heat again!

Glad you got your situation figured out! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that come the summer my AC blows cold!
 




koda2000

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I had asked if the EATC could benefit from being reset. The reason I had asked was I wasn't getting heat but I was getting it to switch between defrost, panel, and floor. I pulled the fuse and the truck was off the battery for a minute before I got to visually test the blend door actuator, and it appeared everything was working. And now I have heat again!

Glad you got your situation figured out! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that come the summer my AC blows cold!

It may not always be necessary to "reset" the EATC unit, but if you're having an issue, or after installing a new blend door actuator, running the self-test might solve your issue and it can't hurt. I'd wondered how the EATC knew where in its range the blend door was, perhaps the self-test/reset determines that. Never stop learning.
 




3xowner

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Sorry, I am going to piggyback on this tread since it’s recent... I drove through high elevations (4000- 6000 ft) this month and when there, I tried to switch vents and temps on my 2000 eatc and heard the clicking of what I thought was the blend door. I wasn’t able to change vents on demand, some time later they changed. It was hard to change to ac as it was 45’ outside. When I got to lower elevations, ie sealevel and say 2000 ft everything works on demand precisely ...any thoughts?

Thanks for this post, I totally forgot about the self test mode... will try that tomorrow. I will be driving through that same elevation in 2 days.
 




koda2000

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Typically air directional issues are due to vacuum leaks. IDK why this would be effected more by higher elevations (other than when climbing hills, as engine vacuum is lowest when the engine is under a load). When vacuum is low the air defaults to the the defroster vents.

Air direction control issues can also be caused by worn/leaking o-rings inside the EATC module (which is still a vacuum leak).
 




GLOCKer

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Typically air directional issues are due to vacuum leaks. IDK why this would be effected more by higher elevations (other than when climbing hills, as engine vacuum is lowest when the engine is under a load). When vacuum is low the air defaults to the the defroster vents.

Air direction control issues can also be caused by worn/leaking o-rings inside the EATC module (which is still a vacuum leak).
And just in case anybody here is experiencing that, I saw a video on replacing the o-rings in the EATC and it actually looked really easy.
 




koda2000

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And just in case anybody here is experiencing that, I saw a video on replacing the o-rings in the EATC and it actually looked really easy.

Someone here did this not too long ago, it's doable, but I wouldn't call it "easy".
 




3xowner

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I replaced o rings in my 2002 expedition’s EATC. Came out fine however I followed a video in which the guy bent the case in order to gain access. Afterwards, I felt some of the damage done was not necessary.

I still be driving through the mountains again today so I shall see.
 




koda2000

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I replaced o rings in my 2002 expedition’s EATC. Came out fine however I followed a video in which the guy bent the case in order to gain access. Afterwards, I felt some of the damage done was not necessary.

I still be driving through the mountains again today so I shall see.

There's no "bending the case" on the Explorer heater box.
 




GLOCKer

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I think he may have meant flexing the plastic case/case cover to get it apart?
 




koda2000

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I think he may have meant flexing the plastic case/case cover to get it apart?

Maybe. IDK what he's referring to bending.
 




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