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Old 01-01-2008, 09:51 AM   #1
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Found my defrost problem

Thanks for all the posts concerning defrost problems, etc. After disassembling half the inside of my 1997 wrangler, I found the defrost actuator arm broken. With a long skinny wood screw, I was able to remove the broken part that was invisible (inside the hole). Does the replacement have to be purchased from a dealer or does any of the "parts stores" carry it. Also, this is the most fragile little piece of ???? of have ever seen. Seems to be a common piece to break. Has any improvements been made to the replacements (metal, etc.) With the heavy frost, ice and snow coming soon (yes, even in S.C. we get an inch or so) I need my defrost working!

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Old 01-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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Yours must have gotten something stuck in it at one point, I'm in Ohio, I'm on my 4th TJ, and I've never seen that particular issue. Must just be a fluke.

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Old 01-01-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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It was common on 97 and 98TJ's. Mine does it but I've been too lazy to dig into the dash and see if it's the arm or a vac line. My door slams if I put the fan on anything over the first click. My understanding is the replacement part is metal and costs about $15 with $600 in labor at the dealer.. I think it should be covered under the category of a safety item and should be repaired as such and covered. Jeep uses cheap assed parts in that whole hvac assembly, from heater cores, evaporators and parts and thats in an area that requires long labor to fix, IMO, thats flat out wrong and they need to eat that cost to repair them, might teach them a lesson about low bidders...
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Old 01-01-2008, 08:30 PM   #4
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It was common on 97 and 98TJ's. Mine does it but I've been too lazy to dig into the dash and see if it's the arm or a vac line. My door slams if I put the fan on anything over the first click. My understanding is the replacement part is metal and costs about $15 with $600 in labor at the dealer.. I think it should be covered under the category of a safety item and should be repaired as such and covered. Jeep uses cheap assed parts in that whole hvac assembly, from heater cores, evaporators and parts and thats in an area that requires long labor to fix, IMO, thats flat out wrong and they need to eat that cost to repair them, might teach them a lesson about low bidders...
Just go for it.. Should take you less than an hour.. Remove the plastic and metal cover under the steering column. Next, put your feet on top of the driver's seat and your head in the floor. Then turn your head back upwards and look at about a 2 o'clock angle. Have someone start the jeep (hand brake on!!) and work the dash control for vent, feet, defrost , etc. You should be able to see which actuator has a small plastic arm dangling loose. Then, take a long skinny wood screw, turn it into the vacant hole several rounds. Then take a pair of pliers and pull outward firmly to remove the remaining broken part from the duct work. Next, go to a Chiroprator to get your neck fixed. Sorry I got so wordy, but I hope this will help some agravated jeepster.....I do love jeeps, but wonder why there are some many little fragile parts! ... Yes, I also, think things like this should be replaced free by the dealer!
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:07 PM   #5
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I have this exact same problem in my 97 rich p

was your problem the same as rich p's ,genemarsh?




the flap also moves when I get to certain speeds
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Old 01-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #6
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I have this exact same problem in my 97 rich p

was your problem the same as rich p's ,genemarsh?




the flap also moves when I get to certain speeds
Yes, same problem.. I was a little afraid to tackle it, but once I got started, it wasn't so bad after all. Just a little hard to get to. But, if you're determined, it's just a matter of getting started. I look forward to picking up my new part. (I have removed the broken part, but need to get to a dealer to purchase a new one) Hopefully, they don't have to "order" it! and... hopefully, it's made of a much more durable material! (and yes, I'm tired of hearing the darn flap popping and carrying on!!
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:30 PM   #7
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Next, put your feet on top of the driver's seat and your head in the floor.
In all my years, and that is a lot, I have yet to have ever been as uncomfortable and in as much pain after a while as I am when working in that position. The next time I have much to do under that area I'm taking the friggin' seat out.

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