Heater box and broken blend door.... | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Heater box and broken blend door....

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by coonmanx, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    So I recently had a friend install a new stereo in the 1999 Escort ZX2 that I recently bought. I had an old Pioneer unit that I had used in another car and had him install some new speakers. That all went fine but when he got done the temp control was off. Apparently he had disconnected the cable at the top end from the actual knob that turns. And when he put it back together he didn't put it in the same position. So I noticed that it was off and that max heat was when the knob only reached about 3 on the clock instead of 5. So I figured no big deal. I will just take it back to him and he will reclock the two wheels and that will be that. Unfortunately that is not what happened. Somehow he managed to not only break the knob on top but also the shaft that the cable wheel attaches to on the bottom. That is part of the blend door. So now I have no heat because when that is not connected the door simply hangs in the cold position. So it looks like the only way to fix that is to pull the entire dash. I will not go back to him since he managed to break things that I had no idea could be broken. I should have gone to a real installer. He has his own shop but man his work was crappy, to say the least.

    Now I did think of one other possibility instead of pulling the whole dash. What if I could cut the heater box and then get to the blend door that way without taking apart the entire dash? Is it possible? I just don't know what it looks like inside so I'm not sure how big of a cut I would have to make around that blend door shaft or off to the side of it. When I get done with it I could simply use some Gorilla Tape to put it back together or even glue it with epoxy. That would be a whole lot easier than pulling the entire dash. Just thinking how to do this. And I will never ever go back to my friend because apparently he doesn't have a clue what he is doing.

    At least it is going to be fairly warm tomorrow and I have a spare Escort ZX2 that I can drive. But that one has 325,000 miles on it and I am trying to drive it less, not more, at this point. It has a few issues. LOL. But at least the heat works right...
    zzyzzx likes this.
  2. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    That plastic shaft at the bottom where the cable attaches via the "wheel" is broken off almost clean with the heater box as well. There is a tiny tip of it sticking out that I can use to move that blend door. But as soon as I let go of it it falls right back to the cold position. So if I could temporarily find a way to jam the blend door in the hot position that would be OK for now because then I would at least have heat and could always open a window if it got to be too much. I have been doing that for a week or so now since he jammed a wood screw in there somehow. But the surprise came when I took out that wood screw and saw the damage he did and now I have to find a way to fix it. I really don't want to pull the entire dash for this. Or else I have to take it to the mechanic and let them go at it and then be prepared for the big bill.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  3. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    The only other thing I can think of is to use some small metal pin and insert it into both the piece that broke off and the part that is still in the heater box. Use some epoxy to make sure that it is in there tight and strong. Epoxy is fairly strong and maybe the combination of those two things would be enough for it to work properly. Maybe even use some JB Weld. I am just trying to think of ways to fix this without having to spend a few hours at the junkyard pulling the entire dash to get to the heater box. Even if I did that I would probably pay someone else to install it since I really have no place to do any big repair like this. I live in an apartment and we are not supposed to even do oil changes. It sucks. And yeah I have done oil changes at the apartment...
    zzyzzx likes this.
  4. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    We need pictures to better assess the situation. But I do think that you are on the right track. Someone here posted a bunch of pictures when they replaced their A/C evaporator. I think it was on a 2nd gen, but still might be helpful. I was looking at it because I am having an issue with my blend doors (they mostly work, but I am moving them manually as in the control cable is disconnected) and I should probably clean the evaporator since it doesn't have a filter and could be very dirty. In these pics, you can easily see into the box with the blend doors. And at least on a 2nd gen, you can remove the blower motor, then the evaporator without pulling the dash and maybe have all the access to the blend doors to make a fix.

    This thread might be helpful:
    https://www.feoa.net/threads/evaporator-core-replacement.112440/
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  5. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    I think I have a solution that will work. Apparently he drilled throught the center of the broken off shaft and then down into the door shaft that was still attached. So there is a hole there in both places. I can fit a metal roll pin into both sides. I will first fit it into the broken off part and then JB Weld it into place. It does fit in there tight as well. I got the JB Weld which is the strongest but takes about a day to really cure. No problem since it will be in place with the pin once I get it in there and so it will not fall out or move at all. I will try it when it warms up a bit. Too cold today. Here is a photo of exactly what I am using. They had a bin with "metal dowel pins" at Ace Hardware... PLDC0572.JPG
  6. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    I can jam the pin further in there if necessary. I first need to test fit it on the blend door side of things. I'm thinking this is going to work and will be the simplest solution.
  7. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    @zzyzzx I don't think the blower motor and access is the same with the 3rd gen ZX2's.
  8. coonmanx

    coonmanx FEOA Member

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    Well I just wanted to post up that my JB Weld fix worked well. The blend door now operates just fine. I now have adjustable heat once again....

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