THE BLEND DOOR FIX... for about ten bucks!
by 2000GrandCherokee - 11/27/10 11:21 AM
In Reply to: I Concur by chappy905
I'd sue the dealer for the expense of having an oil pump replaced that clearly wasn't required. Like I said; oil pumps either work or they don't. And if yours was broken, I can most certainly guarantee that you wouldn't have made it to the dealership. As for "THE FIX" of the blend doors, I'm going to tell you and everyone else who runs across this post how I did it.
First of all, start the car and then hold both the recirc button and ac button down at the same time; then, turn the driver's side temp button one click to the right (clockwise) and let off all buttons. A series of codes will flash and continue to repeat upon the display. I believe broken door codes are 22 or 54 for the driver's blend door, and 24 or 56 for the right. To be sure, however, open your glove box, remove the support arm on the right, and muscle your door the rest of the way down. And no, mine didn't break, in spite of the numerous times I ended up doing this. Remove the two screws that hold the motor located at your left. If you can freely turn the white plastic tab beneath the motor without it stopping, your blend door is broken. The left door, unfortunately, can't be checked this way that I'm aware of; less you're Tom Thumb.
If they're broke, you need discover where to cut the panel behind the glove box. I see no way of posting a picture here, so I recommend clicking on the following link for a picture and procedure of the cut area:
The aforementioned link is where you can buy the repair kit, so I hope the person who sells it doesn't mind. However, and if every penny counts, then I'm going to tell you how to fix this problem for about ten bucks.
In the picture showing where to cut the panel away, you might want to move the vertical cut on the right over towards the left about two to three inches. A large hole is not necessary to remove/install the blend doors, and their illustration has you cutting dangerously close to the A/C evaporator. And if you damage it, you're screwed.
I used a dremil with a very small, circular saw blade at the end of the bit. If you're strapped for cash and don't have a dremil, you can use a power drill and the drimil bit in question. You can get the bit at Walmart for a few bucks. Just remember to cut at an angle, as to give the peace you're removing some backing along the cut to sit against when you reinstall it. A decent quality roll of duct tape works quite well to seal it later.
CAUTION: You'll notice that there's a screw tab in front of the part you're removing, where the motor attaches. If you don't make complete cuts, you might snap this off. Therefore, don't try to force the peace you're removing if it's still attached in some places.
Now that you have that peace removed, you'll need to make one vertical cut within this area to remove the center, plastic divider between the doors. Cut downward until you get to the area where the axis of the doors are held in place, then remove it. It's sitting in a grove along the bottom and need not be cut through this area. Once you've removed that section, you can easily lift out and remove what's left of your blend doors.
CAUTION: If it already hasn't happened, parts of the door may have fallen down inside. Remember that your blend doors are likely not in one peace. Remove them carefully, as to not allow any peaces to fall down within the compartment; you'll be needing them. One peace fell down on mine, but I was able to recover it; therefore, carefully give a search down in there if anything falls.
Now for the really fun parts. You'll notice that the pads on both sides of the blend doors are covered with a nasty, sticky mesh that was once your blend door pads. You can remove most of it with your fingers; however, you'll likely end it with a small, wire brush. Get it all off! Don't worry about scratching up the doors; they'll need to be roughed up pretty good to hold the epoxy you'll use later. Also make sure you've washed them up really good with soap, as to remove any dirt.
Now that you've managed to clean them to bare plastic, examine your broken areas. Test fit these areas to be sure you're able to get them meshed back together tightly. Then, take a generous amount of super glue (I used Locktite super glue), and glue the broken parts back on. Be sure to get a nice, snug fit, hold them together for a spell, then let them set for a while to completely dry. Thereafter, take some 50 grit sand paper and rough up the entire area; from one end of the shaft to the other.
You'll now need some decent epoxy. I used a tube of locktite plastic epoxy I got from Wal-Mart for about three bucks. You'll also need some wire mesh. You should be able to get some at an auto parts store; the type and kind used for automotive body repair, as to hold bondo. It comes with an adhesive backing.
I cut the wire mesh just wide enough to cover the large part of the shaft; the part which likely broke in half or completely off; as it did on mine and likely yours. Cut it so that it is about three inches long, as to assure it goes up both sides of the door at least an inch, once you wrap it around the hollow portion of the shaft. Use some pliers to assure the mesh makes contact over every area upon which it covers. If you don't have the type which adheres, or if the mesh doesn't adhere because the plastic is too rough, then simply use a clamp or your fingers to hold it down while applying the epoxy around one part, then apply more once the previous dries and holds it down for you. You'll need some cheap, water color paint brushes to apply the epoxy (Walmart, $1.50). I also recommend some cheap plastic gloves.
Once you're ready, put the epoxy on a peace of cardboard or the top of a coffee can lid. Mix it quite well with the plastic end of the paint brush, then use the other end of the brush to apply the epoxy over the wire mesh. Use a generous amount of epoxy as to completely fill and cover the wire mesh. Also use a bit of epoxy to fill those two voids along the shaft on each side. Might as well make it stronger while you're at it, right?
The epoxy takes less than seven minutes to set; therefore, try to work quickly. I mixed enough at a time to make a fifty cent peace sized pool of it. If you run out before filling the voids, you can always mix a bit more after the fact. You can also work the epoxy a bit with your fingers after it sets. It takes quite a while for the epoxy to really harden, so make sure it does before taking any steps hereafter. At this point, the repair should be more than strong enough to work. Nevertheless, I took it a couple steps further.
I cut a small peace of fiberglass cloth; also available at the aforementioned retailer, and cut it wide enough to go from one side of the door to the other, further over the area you just repaired. I mixed some epoxy, quickly applied it to both sides of the door and around the length of the shaft, and then quickly placed the cloth first around the shaft and then up both sides of the door about a third of the way. I continued to work the cloth against the doors with the brush, all the while applying more epoxy to build up the amount of it upon the cloth. Don't freak if the cloth doesn't want to stay against the door; it will if you keep working it. Just make sure it conforms to the entire length of the shaft, especially the area where it meets the door panel. Don't be concerned about building up, too much epoxy; there's plenty of room where the door shafts rest within the compartment.
Note: make sure you sanded the first coat of epoxy from the wire mesh application. It will need to be rough for the next coat to properly adhere.
The reason I used the fiberglass is because the shaft area, where you made your mesh repair, tapers down to the smaller diameter of the shaft. The wire mesh simply isn't flexible enough to conform through that taper.
Now it's time to apply some new padding. Once again, Walmart served its purpose. They have some padding used for home ac/heater filters. It's about a quarter inch thick, and it cost a buck! Cut it to the size of your doors, and glue the sucker on; one for each side of the door of course. A tad more epoxy along the edge should do fine to adhere them. Thereafter, just trip the excess with a pair of scissors.
Note: Don't push too hard when gluing the pad on. You might soak the pad and cause it not to be even across it's surface. Simply flip it over and gently hold it down on the table to evenly adhere it.
When you try to put it all back in, you'll likely discover that the back door wont slide over the white plastic insert . You'll have to either adjust the right temperature dial to make it move, or do as I did in the following procedure:
Start the car and turn your dials to automatic on the heater/ac control. Turn off the engine, pop the hood, and open the fuse box next to the battery. Remove the 50 amp fuse #15 for two minutes. Then, reinstall and start the car. Be sure you're ready to install the door by holding it in place over the white plastic shaft before reaching over and starting the car. You should feel the door ultimately slide on the shaft once it starts turning. Then quickly set the doors into the center slot and shut off the car. You might also need to do the same when putting the front motor back on, too. The aforementioned procedure, bye the way, is what you'll have to do to get the motors calibrated once the install is complete. However, let the car run for two minutes to let the cycle process. You can watch your doors functioning during this time, further making sure that your repairs were worth the effort. Thereafter, tape the removed panel back in place, shove the glove box back up and reattach the glove box arm on the right. And yea, I just forced the glove box down to get to the area. It didn't break anything, in spite of having done this several times. Just make sure you disconnect the arm that holds it on the right before doing so.
It's been nearly a month now, and my blend doors are still working like new. Hope this helps you folks out there suffering this problem.