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Thread: heater/ a/c actuator

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    Aspen and Volare Junior Member
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    heater/ a/c actuator

    Need some help with my heat a/c . It's not blowing air out the floor or defroster , checked actuator and it is opening closing. It only blows out the dash vents sure could use some advice on where to look.

    Thanks, Tommy

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Mine does the exact same thing. I've tested the controls, actuators, proper vacuum routing and signal, etc...............I get about 90% out the vents and the other 10% bleeds from the defrost and floor outlets. When I built the car, had the whole works apart and replaced all the door foam. You're post reminded me I still haven't found a cause. One of the things I was going to dig into over the winter hibernation but,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,forgot.

    Brought my borescope home from work and am going to go into the outlets and ducts to see what I can see. Almost has to be an internal problem. If it is, I'll write a big note and stick it to the garage wall for NEXT winter. I'll let you know what I find, if anything. On the newer vehicles that come in at work with problems like this and all the controls and actuators work it's always a broken door or other fault internal to the HVAC plenum and always a whole bunch of fun to repair, lol.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    AC is a blessed thing. If that was my problem I wouldn't care.
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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    It doesn't bother me that much either, especially since the A/C is used way more than heat but I still like having everything work like it should. Heat is the mode of choice in late fall or spring (especially nights) and it would be nice to have some go on your feet! For that matter, the heat is used on some SUMMER nights around here too. 95 degrees with the A/C cranked in the afternoon, 50 degrees with the heat on a couple hours after sunset.

    I got a chance to look into the air vents and outlets but haven't seen anything bad yet. I'll try later with the car outside and running and work the controls while borescoping the internals and watching the mode door to see what it does.

    Anyone ever figure out that almost inaccessible lever under the dash, right in front of the console (if equipped) that says "FLOOR AIR"? It doesn't seem to make any difference which way it's set, or perhaps that's the actual problem...................Good place they put that control, NOT. It's like anti-ergonomics, lol. Service manual and owners manual don't really give a whole lot of info about it.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Aspen and Volare Senior Member 7T8 Custom's Avatar
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    Chances are if things work out the way they usually do when I work on something is that the problem will be in the most inaccessible component. Good luck.

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Usually the way it goes when I'm working on a car or truck at work. If you can get at (for example) 7 out of 8 ignition coils easily and one is buried so you have to take half the engine apart for access, guess which coil will be the bad one. Never fails.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    [QUOTE=aspen79;8711]It doesn't bother me that much either, especially since the A/C is used way more than heat but I still like having everything work like it should. Heat is the mode of choice in late fall or spring (especially nights) and it would be nice to have some go on your feet! For that matter, the heat is used on some SUMMER nights around here too. 95 degrees with the A/C cranked in the afternoon, 50 degrees with the heat on a couple hours after sunset.

    I got a chance to look into the air vents and outlets but haven't seen anything bad yet. I'll try later with the car outside and running and work the controls while borescoping the internals and watching the mode door to see what it does.

    Anyone ever figure out that almost inaccessible lever under the dash, right in front of the console (if equipped) that says "FLOOR AIR"? It doesn't seem to make any difference which way it's set, or perhaps that's the actual problem...................Good place they put that control, NOT. It's like anti-ergonomics, lol. Service manual and owners manual don't really give a whole lot of info about it.[/QUOTE





    that's the way mine is when I flip the lever it feels like its moving nothing. I don't see a change Maybe you are on to something. Does anyone know what the big actuator with the red vacuum line does???

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    It appears that is what they call the AC-Heat door actuator. I'd call it the vent door actuator but the manual calls the vents AC. It's the one that shuts off the vents and opens the ducts to the floor/defrost ducts. Should have a red line and a brown line. The other actuator is for choosing between floor and defrost.

    Now that I've studied how it works, I'd tend to think something wrong with the AC/heat door or actuator. The other one would make it not switch from heat to defrost only. Ahhhhhhhhhh, now to go out and have a closer look!


    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.
    On the big actuator, the brown line has vacuum in MAX AC, AC and VENT. HEAT and DEFROST have vacuum on the red line. I put my vacuum pump on the brown nipple and it holds. Tried it on the red one and it does not. Since the brown holds, the diaphragm must be good but the seal to the case has to be bad on the red side where the rod comes out.

    Found in the owners manual (and yes, I have read the manual before!) that FLOOR AIR lever is for when the controls are in AC or VENT and you want some of the air to come out the floor outlets too. If you select HEAT or DEFROST it goes back to the off position. I think the vent door must push it shut when you push the heat or defrost buttons. Says "It is functional only in MAX AC, AC or VENT and returns to the neutral position when HEAT or DEFROST are selected". Still say it's a stupid spot to put the darn thing. Almost have to be a contortionist to operate it.

    Since you have to discharge the A/C and take the HAVC plenum out to replace the actuator, mine will stay broken for a few months.

    Next problem, finding a replacement. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...............
    Last edited by aspen79; 05-01-2016 at 07:31 PM.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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    Quote Originally Posted by aspen79 View Post
    It appears that is what they call the AC-Heat door actuator. I'd call it the vent door actuator but the manual calls the vents AC. It's the one that shuts off the vents and opens the ducts to the floor/defrost ducts. Should have a red line and a brown line. The other actuator is for choosing between floor and defrost.

    Now that I've studied how it works, I'd tend to think something wrong with the AC/heat door or actuator. The other one would make it not switch from heat to defrost only. Ahhhhhhhhhh, now to go out and have a closer look!








    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.
    On the big actuator, the brown line has vacuum in MAX AC, AC and VENT. HEAT and DEFROST have vacuum on the red line. I put my vacuum pump on the brown nipple and it holds. Tried it on the red one and it does not. Since the brown holds, the diaphragm must be good but the seal to the case has to be bad on the red side where the rod comes out.

    Found in the owners manual (and yes, I have read the manual before!) that FLOOR AIR lever is for when the controls are in AC or VENT and you want some of the air to come out the floor outlets too. If you select HEAT or DEFROST it goes back to the off position. I think the vent door must push it shut when you push the heat or defrost buttons. Says "It is functional only in MAX AC, AC or VENT and returns to the neutral position when HEAT or DEFROST are selected". Still say it's a stupid spot to put the darn thing. Almost have to be a contortionist to operate it.

    Since you have to discharge the A/C and take the HAVC plenum out to replace the actuator, mine will stay broken for a few months.

    Next problem, finding a replacement. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...............
    I had a thought that was the problem! I did the same vacuum test and got the same results as you, I did not have a diagram at that time to confirm what was what. So you have to drop the whole heater box to replace that part? I searched for that part a while back with no luck. now it sounds like we need to find 2 of them...lol Many Thanks Brother You have been a life saver!

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    Aspen and Volare Super Moderator aspen79's Avatar
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    Yeah, you have to take the whole HVAC plenum assy out of the car and then take it apart to replace the vacuum motor. I did a little searching and the only thing I came up with is Collectors Auto Supply MIGHT have one. It shows they should have at least one, but maybe more so it isn't priced either. Says to call on that one.

    One big problem with NOS parts like these. After 35+ years of sitting on a shelf, is it still good? My dad's '62 Fury has a thermostatically controlled heater temperature valve to control coolant flow through the heater core instead of a blend door. Once you move the temp lever, the valve controls the heat output. It quit working in the late 1960's so you could have full heat or full cold only. Part was NS1. Then around 1980 he mentioned to a guy at the radiator shop and he went back on the shelf and brought one out(!) New part but almost 20 years old. It worked good for about a week and then it failed. No biggie, car hasn't been driven when you'd need heat since the early '80's anyways.
    It was, and still is, one of those radiator shops that's been around forever and they have tons of parts in stock. Think I'll give them a call and check. you never know!
    Some may have heard of them. Glen-Ray Radiators here in Wausau WI. They're the ones that make the exact date coded radiators and oil cooler reproductions and best part is, they are Mopar people big time.
    1979 Aspen Sunrise 500". Bought in 1987 with 72,000 miles and a mighty E24 California emission 90hp leaning tower of power/4-speed
    1996 Dakota with a torque monster (not) 3.9L V-6 and automatic owned since 1998. Now demoted to winter duty
    2008 Ford Mustang V6, the new summer daily driver

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