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Heat and A/C only coming out top vents - Successful Repair

Chrysler Aspen This new SUV adds a luxury touch to the performance and quality that you would expect from a Chrysler Corp. SUV.

Heat and A/C only coming out top vents - Successful Repair

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  #1  
Old 11-06-2018, 07:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 8
Default Heat and A/C only coming out top vents - Successful Repair

Hello all -

I recently acquired a 2007 Aspen. I've posted my problem and my fix on www.dodgedurango.net under the Dodge Durango 2nd Generation 2004-2009 section. I'll include some of the verbiage here, but you can go to that post to see some photos, if you're interested. My user name is LizzR on that forum as well.

I'm new to this forum and am trying to find a fix for my 2007 Aspen (which is the sister car to the Durango) HVAC issue. I have seen the problem listed, but have not found any solution other than to take it to a dealer for a fix that costs more than $1000. I'm too cheap for that and think that I (and my hubbie and son) are handy enough to tackle fixing it ourselves.

Problem: The heat and a/c only come out the top vents, no matter what the setting. In my research, it seems to be an issue with the mode door that is located at the bottom of the dash, above the driver's feet. There is an actuator that turns the mode door which will change where the air is directed - to the floor, upper vents, and/or the defrost vents. The problem seems to be with the piece that connects the door to the actuator - it is made of plastic and tends to break and so the connection is lost between the actuator and the door.

The Official Fix: What I've found is that the HVAC Case is a huge black plastic box that contains 5 or so mode and blend doors. That is the part that the dealer is replacing - the whole big box. It is not considered serviceable, so there are no replacement parts to be had if something internal breaks. In my case, the part number for the whole AC & Heater Case (PN 68057728AA for auto temp control and dual zone). They are available for purchase and costs anywhere from $300 - $500 w/shipping. So when you go to the dealer to get it fixed, that is what they are replacing.

Our Fix: Repair the "unserviceable" broken mode door that in internal to the HVAC Case -AND- repair the "unserviceable" broken plastic stop on the outside of the HVAC Case. Remove the dash to get down to the HVAC Case and repair the broken mode door with a metal spacer, a long skinny screw and epoxy. The reason it failed is because there is a plastic stop on the outside of the box that failed. Because there was no stop (it was sheared off), the actuator kept spinning and the corner of the mode door broke off, leaving the door hanging in place - the position of directing the air to come out the top vents. Replace the broken stop with a piece of metal stock. Put it all back together and you are back in business.

Time: 4 hours to take apart. 2-3 hours to repair. 4 hours to put back together. We took our time with all phases of the repairs, so you may be able to do it faster. That included lunch breaks and stretching out breaks. We did it over 3 days.
Day 1 - (Sunday afternoon) get dash ready to remove (take off many panels, unhook harnesses, get everything loose)
Day 2 - (following Saturday afternoon) remove dash (rolled it onto the front seats), remove and repair mode door
Day 3 - (Sunday late morning) repair broken stop and reassemble everything

Tools needed: nylon panel tools, screwdriver - Philips, Torx bits, hex wrenches, flashlight. We have some swivel heads and long extensions which were helpful.

Here is the link to my other post:
https://www.dodgedurango.net/forums/...top-vents.html

These are links to youtube videos (part 1 and part 2) that show how to remove the dash that were helpful:

I hope this information helps.

-LizzR
 
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2018, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
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Wow. Nice job figuring it out. Bet pulling that dash out was fun. I've done it on my Ranger once when I had to replace the heater core. Hope I never have to do that again.
 
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2018, 10:56 PM
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Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 3
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Great info. I have the same problem, but heat is only blowing out the center vents. Would my issue be the same as yours?
 
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  #4  
Old 11-14-2018, 08:48 AM
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Location: Northern NJ
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Hi DrveJeepDrnkBeer -

In my case the heat or cold air (depending on what the temp was set to) was only coming out of the vents on the dashboard - there are 4 dash vents. The temperature settings were correct (blend working). When I set the mode to defrost or to feet, you could hear the actuator, but the airflow direction never changed - it still only came out the front dash vents.

If you click on the link to the Durango forum, in #1 of this thread, it has the write up of the fix with pictures that could be helpful. It's a time-consuming tedious job. We did ours in the driveway, so we had to time it around good weather and sunlight.

Calamity Coyote - It certainly was a crazy experience for me! I was in the house when my husband dismantled most of the dash. When I came out and asked him if he had taken pictures along the way, he said "what for?", LOL. Thankfully, the following weekend it was all buttoned up and ready to go. It has been at the freezing mark recently here in NJ and I am happy to say that it is now working perfectly. I had a hand in gluing the door back together and the re-assembling of the dashboard, but my husband pretty much did the job himself.

-LizzR
 
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  #5  
Old 11-14-2018, 07:35 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Olympia, WA
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Originally Posted by LizzR View Post
Hi DrveJeepDrnkBeer -

In my case the heat or cold air (depending on what the temp was set to) was only coming out of the vents on the dashboard - there are 4 dash vents. The temperature settings were correct (blend working). When I set the mode to defrost or to feet, you could hear the actuator, but the airflow direction never changed - it still only came out the front dash vents.

If you click on the link to the Durango forum, in #1 of this thread, it has the write up of the fix with pictures that could be helpful. It's a time-consuming tedious job. We did ours in the driveway, so we had to time it around good weather and sunlight.

-LizzR
I can hear something moving when I change from defrost/floor/vents, but the airflow doesn't change. Is the broken door the common problem, or is there no way to really know until you tear into it?
It just sucks that you can see the entire unit, but just cant work on it without taking the entire car apart.
 
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2018, 12:31 PM
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Location: Northern NJ
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Yup, DrveJeepDrnkBeer - It sounds like the same problem. It is a pain, but it is a do-able job. I was happy to have mine done before the weather got cold and I would actually need the defroster.

There was a thread that I read somewhere of a temporary work-around. It involved cutting into the the black plastic housing and propping the mode door up. This diverts the airflow to the defroster. Not the route we chose to take, but it's another option.

Good luck with whichever route you take, and be sure to update us on the outcome!

-LizzR
 
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