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Old 05-08-2015, 11:57 AM
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Vent actuator plastic linkages!

Hi guys,
The other day, I work on fixing my vent actuator plastic linkages on my 97TJ. My center dash and defrost linkages broke so I ordered the parts hoping that it would be a quick fix.

Well, for the life of me, I couldnít get the broken piece out. I took out dental tools (after all, they are for extraction) and worked on it for around 1 hours. Eventually, I decided that I had to fix the parts in-place.

+ Took out the middle actuator (there are three, under dash driver side, looking up), this gave me more working room. This middle actuators controls the defrost linkage (the top linkage)

+ Took the broken middle plastic linkage out (this linkage connected to the top actuator Ė this is the center vent linkage).

Fix the linkage by:

+ Get a large screw, slightly larger than a deck screw.

+ Cut a plastic drywall insert to about 0.5Ē or so

+ Cut a strip of electrical tape, fold it length wise so the sticky part is facing out both sides, and put this around the plastic dry wall insert (Locktile would be great but I donít have any on hand)

+ Insert the dry all insert into the broken linkage hole, install the screw, it will force the dry wall insert to expand and make a tight fit with the linkage outer wall.

+ Screw the linkage back onto the broken piece inside the vehicle. Donít completely tighten it yet.

+ Turn on the vehicle, put the slider in the position to open the center vent to get the actuator to move to the open position. This is when the actuator pulls the linkage to the most forward position.

+ Hook the plastic linkage to the actuator metal arm. Continue to tighten the screw. Clockwise turning naturally open the center vent.

Use similar procedure for the defroster vent. In this linkage, I use a short deck screw.

Everything seems fine so far. If yours is broken, try to see if you can remove the broken parts first, if not, don't bother buy the new linkages.

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Old 05-08-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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Old 05-08-2015, 01:26 PM   #3
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I was actually excited for this because I can't find a good write up for 2012+ blend doors anywhere.
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Old 08-13-2016, 04:16 PM   #4
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I know this is an old forum but the problem is the same. I have a 97 wrangler also with the broken leavers that attach to the metal arms of the actuators. Air will only blow at the floor and the side window defrost. I can hear the air blowing at the vents of the dash but air does not come out because the door for the dash does not open and the windshield defrost does not blow air out.

I purchased new leavers but part of the leavers are broken off inside and I have tried all suggestions to get them out. Tried connecting the pieces with the screw which was impossible, I am tempted to use super glue to reattach the broken pieces but if I get the glue in the wrong place I may cause further damage that can not be fixed.

I called the Jeep headquarters and filed a complaint in hopes to get the makers of Jeep to do a recall on this very common problem; it is a very big safety issue when you do not have any air, heat, or can't defrost you windshield. According to Jeep, I am the only one that has filed a complaint regarding this; also stated if they get enough people calling with complaints they could possible do a recall on certain models, years, or even certain vin numbers.

If you have had a similar type problem please, please, call 1-877-426-5337 open 24 hrs. a day and file a complaint. Have your vin. # ready they will ask for it and be sure to ask for a case number for your records. If we get them to do a recall you will receive something in the mail. We should not have to pay $500-$1000 labor to replace a $15 dollar part; or we should not have to lay on our backs practically standing on our heads for two days trying to fix these things, after all if were not for you and I they would not even be in business. Please make that call. Thanks
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