• Register Today It's free! This box and some ads will disappear once registered!

Rear Blend Door Actuators, '02 Explorer XLT

BigRondo

USMC 1371
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 15, 2010
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
14
City, State
Worcester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT V6 4x4
Thanks Rick. I hope to get this done soon. :thumbsup:
 


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 per year. Gets rid of the ads! New $5 per month "try out" option.

Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create and save more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.




Dave8338

Active Member
Joined
June 19, 2013
Messages
93
Reaction score
0
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer XLT 4.0L
Seems as though this is the month of the actuator issues. I'm needing to change out the one on the wifes Explorer. Good write-up.
 




mrdarwesh_231

New Member
Joined
August 19, 2012
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
City, State
New york
Year, Model & Trim Level
Ford Exploer 2007
A follow up, in hopes of helping others with this issue.

Problem has been repaired.

Preview: Stuff you'll need.

(1) long flat-head screwdriver
(2) #50 star drive socket
(3) 10-mm socket
(4) 13-mm deep socket
(5) 8-mm socket or small wrench
(6) Blend door actuator (Dorman Part No. 604-202 or equivalent) -- mine was in stock at Napa auto parts
(7) A good, bright flashlight or (preferable for me) an LED headlamp
(8) Patience :p:

For me, the issue was the heater blend door actuator, NOT the air distribution door actuator. They are right next to each other. The heater blend actuator is the one furthest toward the rear of the vehicle. They are behind the rear heater enclosure, sandwiched between the heater enclosure and the steel body quarterpanel.

To get to them, you will need to:

(1) remove all the interior trim covering the drivers side rear interior quarterpanel. It will all pull off -- just go slowly and use a long flat-tipped screw driver to help get the clips to release. Wrap the screwdriver tip with masking tape to keep from scratching things up too badly. Remove the accessory tray that has the door lock switch near the beginning of your quest -- that makes it easy to disconnect the cable that powers the door locks (necessary to remove the big panel). ALSO, you will need a #50 star drive for your socket to remove the seatbelt anchor from just behind the driver's side back door. You have to remove a lot of little trim pieces and panels -- be patient. I managed to get it done without removing the rear seatback, but did have to remove the seat bottom cushion from my 3rd row seats -- easy with two little quick-release clips just under the front edge of the cushion.

(2) once you've got the big trim piece off, you'll see a big black plastic enclosure -- this houses the heater core, blower motor, etc.

(3) The enclosure is secured to the rear quarterpanel at three points. A bolt on the top near the center (10 mm socket), a bolt bottom corner at the rear (toward the back of the vehicle -- 10 mm socket), and a nut in a recessed pocket at the front edge (front of vehicle -- 13 mm deep socket required).

(4) Remove the two mounting bolts and the nut. Now you can pull the entire heater enclosure toward the centerline of the vehicle from inside. You may find it helpful to disconnect some of the wiring connections. Don't pull it too far or too hard, as it still has several coolant hoses and refrigerant tubes connected from the back. You can only move it out a few inches, but that's enough to get to the actuators.

(5) I didn't have to drain coolant or purge/refill refrigerant to get this done -- just be careful not to move the heater enclosure too much or be rough with it, I guess. Do what you think you need to do -- I'm just saying I did it without draining anything.

To diagnose which actuator is at fault, I turned on the car, reconnected all the wiring harnesses, and listened for the click. Move the rear temp control back and forth -- if that changes the volume or nature of the knock, then chances are it's the heater blend door (the rear-most one). Try switching the air distribution from the ceiling vents to the floor and back -- if that causes a click or knock, then it's the other actuator (the front one). For me it was the heater blend motor.

The motors are held on to the back of the heater enclosure with three 8-mm bolts. I squeezed my hand in there with a small 8-mm socket and popped them right out. Pull the actuator straight back to get the D-shaped socket out.

I popped open the old actuator and, as advertised here and elsewhere, one of the little gears inside was missing most of its teeth.

I bought my replacement part at Napa auto parts. The local Ford dealer didn't have on in stock, the Ford part was going to be about $60 after tax, and I figured that one OEM part had already failed -- why not try something else...

So I went with Napa -- in stock for $43.84 including tax. Dorman, Part No. 604-202.

Take the old one with you to the parts store to make sure its a match. I understand that some of these have an "X" shaped socket to engage the blend door, and some have a "D" shaped socket. Mine was a "D".

To put it in, I first checked the position of the blend door socket on the heater enclosure (flashlight and mirror). Then, plug in the new actuator, turn on the car, and adjust the heater controls until the socket is oriented correctly relative to the mounting holes. Then, I put a small dab of light grease on the actuator socket, slipped it into the blend door receiver, and put everything back together.

That's it. Long post, but hopefully someone will find it helpful!

Good luck...

Do you have any photos for this job thanks
 




BigRondo

USMC 1371
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 15, 2010
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
14
City, State
Worcester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT V6 4x4
Do you have any photos for this job thanks

I was able to get this done today thanks to the great company I now work for. This is the first Veterans Day I have had off since getting out 17 years ago.

I will be doing a detailed write up and will let you know when I have it uploaded.
 




BigRondo

USMC 1371
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 15, 2010
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
14
City, State
Worcester, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT V6 4x4
I have been working on the write-up and hope to have it posted by the end of the week.

It is a very time consuming process. But the wait should be well worth it. :thumbsup:

-- Rondo
 




Fordfan03

Member
Joined
March 19, 2017
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
City, State
NC
Year, Model & Trim Level
2003 explorer xlt
Have you tried the heat using both the front & rear controls?

I can send troubleshooting steps. Let me know if it works from either of the controls.

-- Rondo

Rondo, would you be able to share the troubleshooting steps? I have the same issue, nothing but heat in the rear. I can move it cold to hot and hot to cold and not change from all hot. I think it might be the temp actuator, but there is no clicking that i can hear.

thanks
 




OldFart69

New Member
Joined
April 29, 2021
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
City, State
Midland, Michigan
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Explorer Eddie Bauer
A follow up, in hopes of helping others with this issue.

Problem has been repaired.

Preview: Stuff you'll need.

(1) long flat-head screwdriver
(2) #50 star drive socket
(3) 10-mm socket
(4) 13-mm deep socket
(5) 8-mm socket or small wrench
(6) Blend door actuator (Dorman Part No. 604-202 or equivalent) -- mine was in stock at Napa auto parts
(7) A good, bright flashlight or (preferable for me) an LED headlamp
(8) Patience :p:

For me, the issue was the heater blend door actuator, NOT the air distribution door actuator. They are right next to each other. The heater blend actuator is the one furthest toward the rear of the vehicle. They are behind the rear heater enclosure, sandwiched between the heater enclosure and the steel body quarterpanel.

To get to them, you will need to:

(1) remove all the interior trim covering the drivers side rear interior quarterpanel. It will all pull off -- just go slowly and use a long flat-tipped screw driver to help get the clips to release. Wrap the screwdriver tip with masking tape to keep from scratching things up too badly. Remove the accessory tray that has the door lock switch near the beginning of your quest -- that makes it easy to disconnect the cable that powers the door locks (necessary to remove the big panel). ALSO, you will need a #50 star drive for your socket to remove the seatbelt anchor from just behind the driver's side back door. You have to remove a lot of little trim pieces and panels -- be patient. I managed to get it done without removing the rear seatback, but did have to remove the seat bottom cushion from my 3rd row seats -- easy with two little quick-release clips just under the front edge of the cushion.

(2) once you've got the big trim piece off, you'll see a big black plastic enclosure -- this houses the heater core, blower motor, etc.

(3) The enclosure is secured to the rear quarterpanel at three points. A bolt on the top near the center (10 mm socket), a bolt bottom corner at the rear (toward the back of the vehicle -- 10 mm socket), and a nut in a recessed pocket at the front edge (front of vehicle -- 13 mm deep socket required).

(4) Remove the two mounting bolts and the nut. Now you can pull the entire heater enclosure toward the centerline of the vehicle from inside. You may find it helpful to disconnect some of the wiring connections. Don't pull it too far or too hard, as it still has several coolant hoses and refrigerant tubes connected from the back. You can only move it out a few inches, but that's enough to get to the actuators.

(5) I didn't have to drain coolant or purge/refill refrigerant to get this done -- just be careful not to move the heater enclosure too much or be rough with it, I guess. Do what you think you need to do -- I'm just saying I did it without draining anything.

To diagnose which actuator is at fault, I turned on the car, reconnected all the wiring harnesses, and listened for the click. Move the rear temp control back and forth -- if that changes the volume or nature of the knock, then chances are it's the heater blend door (the rear-most one). Try switching the air distribution from the ceiling vents to the floor and back -- if that causes a click or knock, then it's the other actuator (the front one). For me it was the heater blend motor.

The motors are held on to the back of the heater enclosure with three 8-mm bolts. I squeezed my hand in there with a small 8-mm socket and popped them right out. Pull the actuator straight back to get the D-shaped socket out.

I popped open the old actuator and, as advertised here and elsewhere, one of the little gears inside was missing most of its teeth.

I bought my replacement part at Napa auto parts. The local Ford dealer didn't have on in stock, the Ford part was going to be about $60 after tax, and I figured that one OEM part had already failed -- why not try something else...

So I went with Napa -- in stock for $43.84 including tax. Dorman, Part No. 604-202.

Take the old one with you to the parts store to make sure its a match. I understand that some of these have an "X" shaped socket to engage the blend door, and some have a "D" shaped socket. Mine was a "D".

To put it in, I first checked the position of the blend door socket on the heater enclosure (flashlight and mirror). Then, plug in the new actuator, turn on the car, and adjust the heater controls until the socket is oriented correctly relative to the mounting holes. Then, I put a small dab of light grease on the actuator socket, slipped it into the blend door receiver, and put everything back together.

That's it. Long post, but hopefully someone will find it helpful!

Good luck...
Thank you for this thorough explanation. Much appreciated! I have a 2004 Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.6l awd that thumps once loudly upon engine start. Going to have to take it apart and trouble shoot the hvac. In the Air Force we would call that I. R. A. N.
Inspect & Repair As Necessary
Hopefully it's just a SNAFU and not a FUBAR!
 




Top