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Thread: ****Easy blend door fix, without removing the dash****

  1. #1
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    Icon313 ****Easy blend door fix, without removing the dash****

    Easy fix for broken blend doors on the WJ with AZC (automatic zone control) without removing the dash. I only needed to remove 2 screws!!!!!!!!!

    My 2001 WJ passenger side was not producing heat, diagnostic code was 56, “right temperature door travel too large.” This told me the actuator was rotating but not the blend door. O, sh@#!!!! I know what this could mean.

    The Jeep dealer wanted $1200 to remove the dash to fix the broken blend door, replace other parts that are not broken and I would have loss of vehicle use for 2 days. To do the job myself, remove the dash and make the repair would cost $132 for the blend door sub-assembly, $100 for a R134 recharge and 8-12 hours of my time and loss of vehicle use for 2 days. Both of these options were nuts and winter was approaching.
    Removing the dash to replace a blend door is like holding onto a light bulb and then having your home rotated to unscrew the bulb. Some creativity was needed here.

    I studied the pictures in my service manual and decided to go where no one has yet gone, “open HVAC blend door surgery.” All I had to remove was the glove compartment door and the driver blend door actuator (motor.) Can you believe that, only 2 screws? Next I used a 2.5” diameter hole-saw and carefully cut an access/inspection hole into the HVAC housing to the right of the driver blend door actuator motor in a large open flat area between the heater core and evaporator core.
    “There they were,” the blend doors, and I did not have to remove the dash. No stopping me now as I enlarged the opening with a hacksaw blade. The plastic HVAC housing cuts very easy, so I cut cautiously so I would not damage the heater or evaporator cores or I would be removing the dash. I made the opening only large enough to allow hand access. Next I turned on the climate control and adjusted the driver and passenger controls and watched the driver blend door functioning properly, the passenger blend door was not moving. I then reached in and easily lifted out the broken blend door, saying to myself 30 minutes after I started, “why is this so easy.”

    There are two directions you can go from here.
    The no-cost direction that got me through the cold is to fabricate a removable panel and position it in the up position, where the blend door would be for heat only or in the down position for cold. For my 2001 WJ, the panel was 4.5” x 4.25” with a notch in the lower corner to clear the door pivot shaft bushing and made from .010” think aluminum. The panel is slightly oversize for the cavity it fits into so it locks into place. I also attached a handle, something as simple as a drawer knob or 2” screw with a nut, onto the panel to make it easier to install and remove as climate changed. Finally I fabricated a panel to cover the access hole I cut into the HVAC housing. For this I also used .010” thick aluminum. I attached thin foam strips around the perimeter of the panel to make a seal against the HVAC housing. “This is almost too easy.”

    The second direction and complete fix required the purchase of the blend door sub-assembly, yep, I had to spend $132, and use only the blend door from the sub-assembly. I started by prying out the driver side white plastic door pivot shaft bushing to release the driver side blend door from the sub-assembly. I studied how the door pivot shaft bushings are held into the blend door sub-assembly as this helped me later. Next I removed the passenger blend door by rotating the blend door to the almost upright position and then sliding it away from its door pivot shaft bushings. I then re-installed and removed the blend door from the sub-assembly as practice at this helped me later.



    Driver side blend door fix.
    The driver blend door has to be removed to replace the passenger blend door. This is the blend door closest to the opening I cut in the HVAC housing. After glove box and blend door actuator removal, pry/pull out the white, door pivot shaft bushing, remove the broken blend door, drop in the new blend door, press the new or old bushing back in with the bushing stop tab oriented correctly by aligning the grooves in the bushing with those in the door, re-install the blend door actuator and your done. The blend door actuator motor had rotated before I realigned it with the white bushing. By applying 12 volts to the blend door actuator connector pins the keys on the blend door actuator output door shaft realigned to the mating keys on the white door pivot shaft bushings. I then fabricated an HVAC cover as described previously. Total cost and time to fix the broken driver blend door is $132 and 1-2 hours. Could it be any simpler?

    Passenger side blend door fix.
    The passenger blend door was a little more difficult to replace but can be done. There is a partition wall between the two blend doors that needs to be partially removed and replaced later. Removal requires the use of the hacksaw blade. I made a horizontal cut, right to left. This cut is critical, the piece removed needs to be put back in place and secure the blend door center pivot. After glove box and blend door actuator removal, I removed the drivers door pivot shaft bushing, then the drivers blend door, the patrician as described above and finally the broken passenger blend door pieces.
    I then placed the new passenger blend door in its position. Before doing so, I noted the position of the grooves on the door pivot shaft bushing. They were rotated out of position and I had to realign by turning on the AZC and hope the motor stopped in the right position, approximately 1-2 o’clock, it did. Alternately I could have run the calibration. It was a good idea to play with the blend doors in the blend door sub-assembly I purchased to get a feel for how the blend doors have to align with the door pivot shaft bushing and how they fit together. I positioned the new blend door onto the door pivot shaft bushing and applied enough pressure for the blend door to slide into place. This was a little tricky as I did not want to break anything. I put the piece of partition back in place and secured it with adhesive backed aluminum tape. Finally I replaced the drivers blend door, door pivot shaft bushing and blend door actuator motor. Before covering the HVAC opening I turned on the AZC, adjusted the temperature controls and watched those happy blend doors open and close. Wow, I am done, a passenger blend door replacement in 2+ hours.

    If there is sufficient interest in this easy blend door fix I could make cutting templates, cover panel, and small piece of aluminum tape available. This could save you considerable time. Cost of these parts would be based on the demand and interest I receive.

    Disclaimer: The above repair is done at your own risk. You should be mechanically inclined. Be aware of the dangers of your vehicle airbags and power system. Take proper safety precautions as outlined in your Service Manual.

    Towvehicle (see notes below)





    Below are additional tips if you wish to attempt this easy blend door fix yourself.

    The passenger side door pivot shaft bushing or actuator motor cannot be removed for replacement with the above surgery, at least not yet. I am working on a solution for their replacement. You can actually touch the passenger blend door actuator motor by using the secret passage way. More on this later.

    You may have to calibrate the door actuators to get the blend doors moving. Turn ignition on, set AZC to automatic, turn ignition off, remove IOD fuse, wait a few seconds, install IOD fuse, turn ignition on. Do not touch any controls for 60 seconds while the thing calibrates itself.

    See the service manual for directions on removing the glove box, it’s a little tricky.

    This blend door fix is not limited to a 2001 WJ with AZC, should easily work on 1999-2004.

    With this blend door repair method you can do a little at a time and continue using your vehicle.

    When the blend door breaks a second time (do they ever), repair is so easy now that you have the access panel installed and ready to open and replace the blend door. If the stop tab was broken from the passenger door pivot shaft bushing (which can not be replaced at this time) the blend door may have a reduced life.

    Don’t bother trying to epoxy a broken blend door back together, it won’t last.

    It is important to cut the 2.5” diameter hole first as this will allow you to watch the hack-saw blade and make sure it does not damage the heater or evaporator cores. When changing direction of the cut with the hack-saw blade you will need to drill a series of small 1/8” holes in line to allow you to force the blade thru to start the cut.

    http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g2...VACsurgery.jpg
    2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, 4.7
    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 201,000 (sold)

  2. #2

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    nice write-up.
    '99 Taupe WJ Limited, akebono upgrade, tom woods front ds, kenwood excelon/infinity kappa system

    Next mods: 245/75/16s + IROR 3" lift

  3. #3

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    Very nice write-up indeed

  4. #4
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    Reminds me of a story a guy told me how to replace a heater core on a ford fairmont/granada...Instead of taking the whole dash out, he cut the firewall and pulled it...replaced it....didn't ask if he mig'd the opening closed..

  5. #5

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    My solution is a bit cheaper. In the winter I shove a huge piece of styrofoam in the floor vent on the passenger side so I dont freeze my wife's precious toes. To provide heat to the passenger, I drilled a small hole near the heater radiator (use your hand to feel the for the hot part and drill a small hole.)

    In the summer, I remove the styrofoam and duct tape the hole I drilled. to let cool air in for the passengers feet.

    It works for me, but it took me a winter to figure it out.
    WJ photos - http://jeepgrandcherokeelimited.blogspot.com/

    2000 WJ Limited, V8, rear limited slip, BFG AT KO, 2 inch BB, BMG Roof Rack, CB radio, Fire Ext., Compressor, front tow hooks, rear recovery shackle]

  6. #6

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    What about your recirc door? Its just as likely to break to, you could have taken care of it while you had the dash back.

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    Question

    cbrseadude
    What about your recirc door? Its just as likely to break to, you could have taken care of it while you had the dash back.


    I am not sure of your question "while you had the dash back". If you mean while I had the dash out, well I never had the dash out when I replaced the passenger blend door.
    Also, you asked about taking care of (replacing) the "recirc door". Well my recirc door works fine, why replace it? When it does fail I will work out a creative way, if possible, to replace or repair it without removing the dash, if it even has to be removed.
    2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, 4.7
    1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 201,000 (sold)

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    Thumbs up

    WTG Towvehicle. I love to see this kind of DIY ingenuity.

    Too bad the engineers who designed the vehicle weren't ingenious enough to come up with a more service friendly design in the first place. But of course they didn't know that components like the blend doors and fuel pump o-rings were going to be so failure prone.

  9. #9
    Registered T.A.'s Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip. When mine goes I will surely try this method.

  10. #10

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    Sorry towvehicle I must have missed the part of not having the dash back, I can have the dash out and on the floor in less than thirty minutes. I would like to see pics of your work. You wont be able to replace the recirc door with out removing the dash. You can replace it though with out removing the A/C box. Not to sound like im bashing you, cuz im not, but I just have this image in my head of a butchered and hacked up A/C box. The recirc doors break as frequently as the blend door, its just people dont notice because its not as obvious as the blend doors. When they are broken, they creak and groan.

  11. #11
    Registered DRyanWilson's Avatar
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    Regardless, you really should do a full writeup with pictures for us! Can't take too long to pictorally retrace your steps?
    2002 WJ Limited 4.7, Stock, Red Garnet Pearl Coat, Rogue Chrome, RB4 Nav, 101,000 Miles
    2012 KK Liberty Sport, 3.7, Stock, SelectTrak 4WD
    RETIRED 11/2010: 2007 WK Laredo Light Khaki Pearl Coat, Pecca Leather Seating (Puddy Color), 3.7L, QuadraTrak I 4WD, Sirius Satellite Radio, Viper 3000 Security, 30% tint, heated mirror upgrade. 157,000 MILES[/B]
    RETIRED 6/2007: 1999 WJ Laredo 4.0 w/Rusty's 2.5" Suspension Lift, Stillens, 245/75/R16 Bridgestone Dueler Revos, Racho 5409 SS, K&N Drop-In Filter, 148K. RB4, Blaupunkt 3.5" Tweeter/Midrange Upgrade.
    RETIRED 2002: 1993 ZJ Limited 5.2, stock w/oversized tires, 155K

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    Registered Stone White 99's Avatar
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    Well done. This is right up my alley. I would really apreciate a location and dimentions for your access panel. Can we get some more pics too?
    99 Lim. V8, RB1 nav, Quadradrive, factory tow pkg, Up country, ARB bullbar, Warn M8000, Optima YellowTop, IronRock 4"FRONTsprings, kevins 2.5 spacers in the back, Bilstien shocks, JKS QD, OME SS, iron rk dual SS, Kevins sliderz, 275/75/16 BFG A/T, Water proofing, TomWoods custom front Ujoint DS, , Engine rebuilt at 173k, heater treater PRO w Recirc., thrush turbo muff w/Jegs exhaust cutout (uh... LOUD)and a whole lot of aviation grade ingenuity.

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    You have come up with an exceptional blend door repair method. I have a friend who may be interested in your template, door and aluminum tape you said you may make available for a fee if there was sufficient interest. Your method of only having to remove the glove box and 2 screws to replace broken blend doors seems like something worthwhile to try out. The alternative TSB or service manual blend door repair method of having to drain the coolant, reclaim the R134, remove the dash, steering column and HVAC and a few dozen fasteners and other parts really sucks.
    1997 Grand Cherokee limited, V8, black

  14. #14

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    the ac evap is most likely to be leaking also ,just pull the dash
    owned,89xj/93zj/94xj/96xj
    now 2000 WJ 4.7 limited, + 97xj,97zj
    black on black,
    upcountry,2"budget lift,EdelB shocks,swaybar
    3" y pipe back,carsound cat,70 flowmaster,mopar afe cold air ,poweraid spacer,HO intake,HO cams,Superchips,Optima Batt,
    69 GTO ,street/strip 11.10/120

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    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    Has anyone else tried this yet? The 02 wj I picked up has the blend door issues, and the warranty they offered on it didn't cover it anyway. I'm going to call the salesman I got it off of, but I'm sure they won't be able to do anything. I even asked him if had any problems with it, and he said no. That was before I knew how to check the codes on the azc. This definitely looks like a better plan than removing the whole dash, and I would have an access hole for when it broke again.
    Kevin
    '84 CJ-7 Renegade- 258 GM TBI with spark control and HEI, t-5, d300, d30 w/aussie locker, amc20 w/ trac loc, 33" Swamper SSR's, 2.5" BDS, 1" BL, MORE shackles, Superwinch hubs, Superior shafts, tie-rod flip, Taurus Fan, YJ brake booster, Full cage, A to Z rocker guards, A to Z rear cage, lots of other stuff...
    '05 Tahoe LS 5.3 flex fuel, Z55, Cooper AT3's, K&N fipk, G80 locker, HD Hood, z71 fogs daily, driver/kid hauler
    Sold: 98 TJ, 96 ZJ, 00 WJ, 02 WJ
    My Junkyard TBI writeup: http://www.viciouscustoms.com/TBI/junkyardtbi.asp.htm

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    im in the same boat, i just picked up an 02 and get no heat from the passenger side. however i am only getting code 56 from the climate control unit. It seems that the new parts are a permanent fix so taking the dash apart will only be done once. I will personally just do that when I get around to it.
    HEMI LTD

  17. #17

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    This blend door issue seems like it only affects the Auto climate control... am I correct?

    I gotta do my heater core, too. I'm just putting that off as long as I can, as the leak is very minimal.

  18. #18
    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    These blend doors are such pieces of crap! If the new ones are a permanent fix I'd rip the dash out, but if theres a chance it would happen again, I'm gonna make the access panel. Also, since I don't have to disrupt the ac or cooling system by doing the access panel I may just do that.
    Kevin
    '84 CJ-7 Renegade- 258 GM TBI with spark control and HEI, t-5, d300, d30 w/aussie locker, amc20 w/ trac loc, 33" Swamper SSR's, 2.5" BDS, 1" BL, MORE shackles, Superwinch hubs, Superior shafts, tie-rod flip, Taurus Fan, YJ brake booster, Full cage, A to Z rocker guards, A to Z rear cage, lots of other stuff...
    '05 Tahoe LS 5.3 flex fuel, Z55, Cooper AT3's, K&N fipk, G80 locker, HD Hood, z71 fogs daily, driver/kid hauler
    Sold: 98 TJ, 96 ZJ, 00 WJ, 02 WJ
    My Junkyard TBI writeup: http://www.viciouscustoms.com/TBI/junkyardtbi.asp.htm

  19. #19
    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doppleganger
    This blend door issue seems like it only affects the Auto climate control... am I correct?

    I gotta do my heater core, too. I'm just putting that off as long as I can, as the leak is very minimal.
    I think you are correct. The laredo's and special editions that only have the single knob for the heater in the center don't have the 2 blend doors, and shouldn't have this problem. I believe they have actuators that can go bad though.
    Kevin
    '84 CJ-7 Renegade- 258 GM TBI with spark control and HEI, t-5, d300, d30 w/aussie locker, amc20 w/ trac loc, 33" Swamper SSR's, 2.5" BDS, 1" BL, MORE shackles, Superwinch hubs, Superior shafts, tie-rod flip, Taurus Fan, YJ brake booster, Full cage, A to Z rocker guards, A to Z rear cage, lots of other stuff...
    '05 Tahoe LS 5.3 flex fuel, Z55, Cooper AT3's, K&N fipk, G80 locker, HD Hood, z71 fogs daily, driver/kid hauler
    Sold: 98 TJ, 96 ZJ, 00 WJ, 02 WJ
    My Junkyard TBI writeup: http://www.viciouscustoms.com/TBI/junkyardtbi.asp.htm

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiliPepperTJ
    I think you are correct. The laredo's and special editions that only have the single knob for the heater in the center don't have the 2 blend doors, and shouldn't have this problem. I believe they have actuators that can go bad though.
    Kevin
    Ah ok, cool. I do notice that sometimes the temp of the air out of the vents varies from vent to vent, but not enough to warrant taking anything apart. I still get heat, and cold, and warm, and... luke warm... and luke cold... and... i'm done.

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