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How to: My take on the blend door fix for 95+ Explorers (several pics)

jjue

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It sucks! :shoot:

Go ahead and plan two days with a little help with the dash and the ductwork. You will also need to be sure to have plenty of extensions and u-joints for your 1/4" and 3/8" socket sets. Also, take your time. I did, and the only things that still aren't right are that my dash illuminiation doesn't work and that my stereo output is off-center (focused at the left-front speaker) I think that although I did replug the big harness for the dash before remounting the dash, I might have forgotten to tighten the bolt for that harness. I'm pretty sure that it isn't the one of the 3 harnesses for both sides of the firewall.

First, we start with taking out the steering column.
 


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jjue

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steering column removal

Basically, it's not all that bad. After doing the normal battery disconnect, take out the air bag. It's held by two bolts on the side of the wheel. Covers cover the holes. Pull out the airbag, then disconnect the harness for it. Then open up the panel under the steering wheel. Use a T-15 or T-20 (one of the two, I can't remember right now) bit to pull take out the screws for the plastic panel. The metel panel behind it uses 5/16" socket for it's bolts. There are several harnesses to disconnect. Although the service manual said to disconnect the shift cable before undoing the bolts, I found it easier with the column loose. Be careful with the shift indicator cable as it's pretty light. Be sure to disconnect all the harnesses. The column isn't too heavy, but it will require finagling because of the shift mechanism.
 




jjue

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here's another pic


of the dash prior to center console and dash removal.

The secret to the center console isn't complete dissassembly. There are just four (4) bolts that hold it, if you have the high series console. Also, the bolt for the wiring harness is 10mm. Then beprepared to keep jerking the whole thing back over and over until you get tired, and then keep trying again. You have to have the console slid back to pull the dash back.
 








jjue

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none of the dealers were willing to budge on the $925 that they wanted to charge. And this is after calling Ford Customer Service.
 




jjue

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You wil get just this far if you don't pull the console back all the way. Plus there is a bracket and the drivers side that you can't get out because the console is in the way.
 








jjue

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The fun in the engine compartment begins...


This is what it will end up looking like after unbolting stuff. Basically, I had to unbolt the cruise control servo, the washer fluid/coolant overflow tank, the hood switch pin, a bolt that holds the fenderwill to the fender, and the evaperatore core/blower motor housing. Be sure to get the nut under the dash, the nut behind the intake manifold, and the three extra nuts behind the evap/blower housing. Yes, you have three for the housing, and behind that three for the plenum from the engine side.
 




jjue

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Tada! only half-way there


OK, after finally getting the stupid three nuts...
 




jjue

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Oh yeah, don't spill coolant on your interior


I didn't do that, but be careful when pulling the plenum. My dad decided to take a look at my heater core when I was swapping stuff from the old plenum to the new plenum, and he spilled coolant on both. :(

Here are the two plenums.
 




jjue

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This little piece does not transfer over...


since the mount is modified to mount the actuator without it.
 




jjue

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You might be able to tell what broke here


Yeah, the actuator seems to twist the key hole apart.
 




jjue

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hey it's coming back together


It kinda looks like a Mercury Mountaineer once again.

Let's see, 8-9 hours the first day plus 4.5 hours the second day for reassembly. Plus I am still trying to figure out why I don't have illumination in my dash.

I will keep adding info via post edit or new post. Basically, follow the instructions on the Ford Service CD, although I didn't find any mention of the 3 nuts until I looked into my Haynes manual.
 




Robb

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Jeffrey,
THANKS FOR THE INFO!!!

Couple of questions: How much $$ for the new plenum? Difficulty on a 1-10 scale? Was it hard, or just time consuming?

Now go spend the extra cash you saved on something you WANT!

Robb
 




jjue

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I paid $90 plus shipping from FPN. It is really not that difficult of a task, but it does require time, patience, a clear mind, and tools. It's is almost helpful to have two 1/4" socket sets. Naturally, you will find one set of screws, nuts, and bolts to be metric while the next is SAE. I will try to update the previous posts as I get to it. If anyone else wants info to add, it might as well be onto this one thread.

I almost forgot the difficulty scale: 5. If you have a pretty good set of tools and are adept at most home repairs and general vehicle repairs, and are not afraid to accept a challenge, go for it. You will definitely feel more confident afterwards if you complete the task. Mine drives fine and doesn't have any squeeks or rattles now, but I still need to pull the dash to tighten the bolt for the dash harness so that my dash lights will work again.
 




topo4u2

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Great pics Jeffrey! I'm sure it will help a lot of people. I'm not too clear on why you actually had to do all that work..maybe I missed something in the thread. What was the oringinal problem?
Wouldn't it be nice if we all good take great pics like that to show all the work that we have done in the past. The old saying "a picture is worth a thousand words"

Good Job Jeff
 




Robb

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Mike,
Try a search for "blend door". You will find gobs of info on this problem common to the 96-98 Explorers. It causes the heat to come on often when the A/C should be on.

Robb
 




topo4u2

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Thanks Robb, I sure hope it does not happen to my 95!
 






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jjue

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nah, the writeup ain't that good. Sure I gave some hints, but I still could fill in more gaps.
 




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