KK hvac recirculation door actuator problems

KKinTexas

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I have problem that keeps occurring about every 6-9 months. I have to replace the recirculation actuator behind the glove box because it starts to malfunction which sounds like someone knocking when you turn the jeep on or off. I have been getting Dorman brand replacements from Auto Zone under warranty, but I am getting tired of doing that repair as getting the screws out is a pita! One needs tiny monkey hands and a special ratchet tool to even get at the back one!
Anyone have an idea why this keeps happening except poor quality?

Btw- this is my mini schnauzer Monkey and even his tiny paws are challenged!
 

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lfhoward

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The actuator needs to be synced with where the Jeep’s computer thinks the recirc door is at. For example, the actuator might try to drive the door past the seated position, damaging the gears. Those actuators have reduction gearing so can leverage a lot of torque and break internal plastic easily.

You can sync it yourself by having the actuator electrically plugged in without being screwed into place, then turning the dial on the dash to recirc. Then manually move the door to the recirc position and install the actuator. That way, you know the actuator and door will be at the right place without adding any additional stress. If the actuator and door are not physically lining up, you can change the actuator position manually by applying power to it from a 9 volt battery before installation. (Chrysler has an HVAC relearn procedure that does all this, but why spend the $100 at the dealership when you can do it yourself?)
 
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KKinTexas

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The actuator needs to be synced with where the Jeep’s computer thinks the recirc door is at. For example, the actuator might try to drive the door past the seated position, damaging the gears. Those actuators have reduction gearing so can leverage a lot of torque and break internal plastic easily.

You can sync it yourself by having the actuator electrically plugged in without being screwed into place, then turning the dial on the dash to recirc. Then manually move the door to the recirc position and install the actuator. That way, you know the actuator and door will be at the right place without adding any additional stress. If the actuator and door are not physically lining up, you can change the actuator position manually by applying power to it from a 9 volt battery before installation. (Chrysler has an HVAC relearn procedure that does all this, but why spend the $100 at the dealership when you can do it yourself?)
Thanks for answering. I have had good luck getting everything to align during installation multiple times. Then all is fine for many months with new actuator. It seems that it loses its calibration or something. It stopped making the noise the other day, so I will wait to see how long that lasts! I was wondering if other people had this issue or if there was a re-calibration procedure for that. I know on many of my mercedes there are re-cal procedures owners can do for themselves, but that is MB!
It's annoying mostly as these actuators do keep working. It just that someone is always knocking to come in every time you key on and off!
 

lfhoward

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BTW, your KK looks cool with the chrome grill and the silver ATH bumper. :cool:
 

KKinTexas

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BTW, your KK looks cool with the chrome grill and the silver ATH bumper. :cool:
Thanks, it was a side project for work and a way to paint my new bumper with something different than black which you see everywhere! We were developing a new chrome powder coating. This bumper has a powder primer, then powder chrome and then acrylic powder coating. So far holding up good.
 

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