How to: Replace HVAC blend door actuator

Discussion in 'How To' started by ltd02, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    Surprised this hasn't been covered before but had to do this a couple weeks back in my 02 limited and thought I'd add a brief description of what I did. I'd recommend getting the FSM for your respective year but I only followed the first few parts for the disassembly.

    My symptom was absolutely no heat. Direction dial (vacuum actuated) and fan and speed settings were fine. Coolant was fine, heater lines showing proper temps. Just no heat. AC was great all summer but it started getting a bit cool here this fall. I distinctly remember hearing a faint buzz when the temperature was changed prior to my loss of heat. I could no longer hear this so suspected the doors were stuck or the motor had quit. I had read somewhere that the default position for the actuator motor is to set the blend doors to full cold. I noticed partial heat one day when fiddling with the temp switch but when I restarted the vehicle it had gone back to full cold. Assuming the motor doesn't hold position and goes to cold when the vehicle is shut off. Upon restarting it must re-establish the temp as set on the dial. Mine could not do this upon failure. This is an assumption from my symptoms.

    I'll try to remember all the bits and pieces that I removed but basically you start as if you are removing the entire dash but really only need it loose to pivot for access. No need to remove the steering wheel or column.

    The actuator motor sits atop the HVAC unit behind the passenger side airbag and glovebox. Can only be accessed from the top so dash must pivot. Borrowed the following image from spedyp (http://www.jeepkj.com/forum/f202/heating-problems-52959/index2.html) Here it is:

    location.jpg

    This is a really nice image of a complete dash removal but shows exactly where the motor is.

    So what I did was:
    Important!!! remove negative battery cable and isolate. Let sit a few minutes so airbags are inactivated and any capacitance has discharged.

    IMAG0084.jpg

    Many many small Phillips head screws holding all sorts of things in place. Think I chose to use an 8mm driver for almost all of them.
    Remove the A pillar/grab handle moldings
    Glovebox (can see wires and a white connector to actuator behind glovebox)

    wires.jpg

    Center console
    All trim pieces on the dash (under and in front)
    Radio and associated bezel (HVAC control area-one screw behind ashtray and pry out)
    Side and kickpanel pieces in foot wells of both sides
    Top cowl near the windshield (pry up)
    Four bolts across top of dash mounting it to firewall (15mm I believe)
    Center brace below bezel near front of where the console was in front of shifter (bolts on studs)
    Panel under steering column (pull out and up) and column surround (2- T20 Torx)

    Then there are 8 or 10 (I believe) bolts with attached washers (12 or 13 mm) scattered across the front that connect the dash to the firewall structure or the HVAC assembly. They are quite easily seen when all the molding and panels are removed. There are four that are beneath the steering column and attach the dash to the column brace. two straight in on each side of the column and two back underneath that go up through the bracket.

    Last, remove the dash lock bolts and pivot bolts on both sides on the footwells near the floor. They are 15mm I believe and only at this point should you be able to move the dash gently. Now go back to the passenger side and look in where the glovebox was. Unplug the heater resistor, and the vacuum line going to the vent direction actuator. I'd pull the tube off the vac reservoir mounted to the dash and toward the passenger side door. There is another connector down there that I never did id that must be disconnected. Nothing really appeared hidden. I would also unplug the dash speaker or at least remove the attachment point of the wires to give some play. I should say that I removed the cover over the passenger side airbag out of curiosity. It is not necessary to remove it to perform this procedure.

    pivot.jpg

    Now the hardest part. Move the dash straight out on the passenger side only. Slowly so you can tell if anything is binding or still attached. I could pivot mine out far enough to see the actuator and remove the electrical connector on the drivers side of the motor but removal and installation was relatively blind. The motor is right on top as shown above and attached to the HVAC unit with three small bolts. I removed mine and took a picture of the position of the gear to compare with the new one which I hadn't received at that time.

    motor1.jpg

    I then waited 1 week before I received my new motor (05066519AA). I immediately realized the new motor's gear was in the identical position as the failed one. Again, I believe it defaults to the full cold setting upon shutting off vehicle and mine failed there. This made me feel very good about being able to reinstall the new one in the proper orientation to the doors. With a few attempts and a few choice words I was able to seat the new motor. A few extensions and a 1/4 in drive 8 or 9 mm socket and I was able to attach the three bolts. Then I had to remember what went where but fortunately almost all the screws were the same size and there really weren't many different size bolts either. I tried to keep all fasteners with the panel or grouped by location. Assembly was the opposite of the tear down. I immediately fired my KJ up and almost immediately had heat. Just like the old days.

    This is sort of a rough draft and I will try to edit this with a few pictures as soon as I can. I am not a mechanic or even a very good DIYer but I'm not afraid to break things to try to save a bunch of money. The take home lesson is stay organized along the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
    Blessed likes this.
  2. uss2defiant

    uss2defiant Full Access Member

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    bookmarked!

    I think there are a two attachment issues.
    Can you please fix 'em?

    Thanks!
     
  3. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I diagnosed the failed motor prior to installing the new one. The cover of the motor is released by prying open the clips on the sides and lifting off. The small cylinder motor just slides out. It has two contacts that are spaced perfectly for a 9 volt battery. I simply touched the battery to the motor contacts and it spun. Initially I thought, crap, it works. I then switched polarity by flipping the motor contacts on the battery and it did not spin without help in the opposite direction. I tried it a few times quickly and it would spin but sporadically. Always worked in the other direction. Made me feel pretty confident the motor was malfunctioning and since all is well upon replacement I'll assume I was correct. :party52:

    Gear side of motor:

    motor2.jpg IMAG0111.jpg IMAG0112.jpg IMAG0113.jpg


    Finished:

    before.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  4. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I've tried a few times but for some reason the images are not embedding properly. :shrug:

    All are identical in source so not sure what's up. I'll keep working on it.

    Edit: Think I've got it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  5. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    Very well done How-To! :waytogo:

    I hope I don't have to tear apart my dash for a long time - seems more complicated that a lot of other mods I've done to mine. Lots of small parts to keep track of.

    Thanks for posting!

    Bob
     
  6. Leeann

    Leeann Full Access Member

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    The GM design is,very similar. On my GM, the large grear cracked and jammed; there was no movement in any direction.

    Plastic gears in a heat/cool/heat....situation.
     
  7. Kimmer

    Kimmer New Member

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    Great post. I have lurked on this site for quite some time and have read hours of how to's. I will be adding a 2.5" Ironman lift and have pretty much copied all of TomMudd's posts and photos into a long word document. I also have to fix the front propeller CV joint and boot.

    Most importantly though is getting my heater working for these cold Toronto winters. I have diagnosed my 2004 Jeep Liberty Renegade heating issues as the Blend Door actuator as well. I will attempt it in two weeks when I get home in New Brunswick and back in my garage. Your post should help me quite a bit as a previous post had the steering column being dropped and the HVAC box coming out. I didn't want to go that far to access the actuator. I hope mine is in the same spot as the 2002.
     
  8. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    You can't go wrong listening to Tom. He's the KJ lift guru! :gr_grin:

    Guess you know about "Driveshaft & CV Joint Components" for the shaft parts.

    I believe it is in the same spot. Should be the same part number for the actuator. The one I got was good up to 12/06/04 build dates. I had a heck of a time finding the right one for mine. Finally found one online from a dealer in Tampa. Took a while to get it so plan accordingly.

    Here's a link to one of the places I researched that gave the compatibility date (although the link included 02-12???):

    ACTUATOR. Blend Door. A/C and Heater for JEEP LIBERTY (2002 - 2011). #05066519AA

    I bought it here to save a few bucks (actually 70ish bucks):

    05066519AA Mopar A/C AND HEATER ACTUATOR $67.26

    Keep us posted on your progress or if you need any help. :party52:
     
  9. Kimmer

    Kimmer New Member

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    Finally done. Blend door actuator took me about six hours in total but it did the trick and I have heat once again. I was not looking forward to a cold Jan-Feb here in Toronto with just my small 12V plug in heater. Luckily I got the part off a wrecked 04 Jeep Liberty from the pick-n-find car wreckers which allowed me to dismantle the dash, locate the part and at the same time see how things came apart before tackling it on my own jeep.

    the Ironman 2" lift kit is now installed and I got a great deal at Ironman Calgary for $450 Canadian as the kit was on sale. The jeep feels very stable after the front end alignment. I figure I got just over 3" of lift from the Ironman as the old suspension had about 160K on them and had dropped to 18 1/2 or so.

    I also took the time to replace the rear CV joint off the front propeller shaft which had a large cut in the boot. The new CV joint was really stiff and I almost contemplated leaving the old one in and just using the new boot. I figure it will loosen up after a while so I changed the entire CV joint packing it well with the supplied grease.
     
  10. cheapjeep

    cheapjeep New Member

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    Awesome job and thread..I have to perform the same job on mine. Thanks for the thread.
     
  11. tommyjness

    tommyjness New Member

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    Sorry for re-upping an old thread, but does this same process apply to the 2012 Liberty?

    All heat/AC temp and fan speed settings work appropriately, but the fan only blows from the defroster. The vacuum lines all appear to be in great shape. No fuse issues either.
     
  12. Muddedprairie

    Muddedprairie New Member

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    Well im about ready to tackle the blend door on mine. Not looking forward to it... but it is what it is.
     
  13. Aceofspades

    Aceofspades Full Access Member

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    I too have an 02 and 03. My 02 motor stopped.
    I did spend about an hour but I cheated and cut access holes to right side of the radio and glove box area. It's a job for a small hand from that point on. But hey it worked
     
  14. gagechapman92

    gagechapman92 New Member

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    By any chance did you take any photos of where you cut in the radio port?
     
  15. Shanecrabtree

    Shanecrabtree New Member

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    Thanks for this thread, it really helped me get mine changed out. Anyone doing this, it's an all day project, even for competent folks.
     
  16. 2002jeepkj

    2002jeepkj New Member

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    I just took the dash apart trying to see if i could reach inside and change out my actuator last weekend. Didn't take long. I did not know that we could tilt the dash forward. Going to re-discover the dash this weekend and get that thing changed out.
     
  17. 2002jeepkj

    2002jeepkj New Member

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    Where did you purchase the part? I looked at Napa and they didn't have it. Neither did O'Reilly. Autozone has one but it does not match your pricing identified in your thread. Thanks for the help!
     
  18. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I ordered it form that on line Mopar parts site linked in the earlier post. The price has gone up in the three years since.
     
  19. Shanecrabtree

    Shanecrabtree New Member

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  20. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    Probably okay but I stuck with the Mopar.