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How to remove the dash to fix a temperature blend door problem on a 1996-1999 Ford Taurus - Mercury Sable?

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2010-01-05 16:15:18
2010-01-05 16:15:18
AnswerThe temp blend door is not controlled by cable or vacuum. It is electric.

I'd bet the farm that you have one of two problems.

  • Either the heater core is stopped up due to rust in the cooling system, or
  • There is a problem with the blend door/blend door actuator.

Either case, the dash has got to come out to fix. How big is the job? For somebody like me who has removed hundreds of those dashes, I can have it out in 45 minutes. Somebody who has never had one out, it could take all day.

  • Disconnect the battery and wait five minutes to power down the airbags.
  • Pull the steering column out.(make sure you lock the column and index the steering shaft, so you do not put it back together 360 degrees out and damage your airbag clockspring).
  • Remove the trim down both windshield pillars, both ends of the dash, and kick panels.
  • Remove the big trim piece running across the top of the dash below the windshield. There are three 7mm screws across the top of the dash, remove them.
  • There are two 13mm bolts on each end of the dash under the end trim panels, remove them.
  • Tug on the dash and see if there is any more bolts in the middle, but that should be it.
  • Get some help, because as you pull the dash away from the firewall, there will be some electrical connectors at both ends you will have to disconnect as they become visible. There may also be one or two connectors in the middle.

Here is something you may want to know to help you figure out what is wrong. There is not just one temp blend door in the box, but there are two that work together. One of them is called a secondary stratification door. Ford has had so much trouble with that secondary door warping and binding against the other door, causing heat and AC problems, that they have revised a new door to replace the old one. The part number is 3F1Z-19D842-AA just in case you get somebody at the Ford parts counter who doesn't have a clue.

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