2007 Mustang - A/c Blows Through Defrost Fix

Dogwood

New Member
Apr 29, 2017
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Hello All,

I'll start with my problem was the Panel(Dash)/Floor actuator.

I wanted to post how I fixed my 2007 mustang when the A/C would only blow through the defrost no matter where I turned the dial on the A/C, no knocking or clicking sound. I searched the web to figure out what the problem was. Most common mention was an A/C actuator, the defrost actuator was most often mentioned. There were a lot of examples of how to fix defrost actuator and I used those as a guide. Another cause could be the Panel(Dash)/Floor actuator. I found several mentions about this one and always people saying it was a big pain to replace. I never found anyone who gave very specific details about how to tackle it.

I called a repair shop and they said it would be $90 to determine what was the issue then the cost of the labor and parts to fix what ever it was. I found the defrost and the panel/floor actuators were $20 each so I decided to spend $40, bought both, and see if I could replace myself. I'm not a mechanic but I have made repairs to vehicles on more straight forward stuff. Anyone who has some common sense, patients, and a few tools can make these repairs.

When I started I chose to replace the Defroster actuator first as it was most often referenced as a problem and the easiest of the two to get at. The Defroster actuator is located under the dash on the passenger side, up near the top of the dash next to the center console. It is located above the Temperature Blend Actuator. Remove the four 7mm (I think) hex head screws that hold the bottom of the glove compartment door on. With the glove compartment door open, push in the sides near the back to release the two "ears" that are holding it in. This will release glove compartment.

Lay on your back, head under dash, butt on passenger seat, feet over head rest and you will be able to have a better view of the actuator. Unplug the cable from the bottom of the actuator. There is a 8mm screw on the top side nearest dash and one on the bottom side nearest engine. Unscrew and remove the actuator. Replace with new one, making sure to get the actuator arm pin seated into the A/C defrost lever slot. Screw bottom screw in first hand tight. Adjust actuator to line up with top screw hole and screw top screw hand tight. Then use 8mm socket and tighten screws. Its cramped and slow going but it can be done fairly easy if you lay in the seat. I tried for an hour or more doing it just looking under dash hanging out door and it just wouldn't work for me.

For me, that wasn't the fix. But the my old defrost actuator had a broken tooth so I replaced with the new actuator I had ordered.

Next, the panel/floor actuator. My problem and my fix.
The panel/floor actuator is located behind the speedometer area. The front of the speedometer area is covered by a plastic molded cover. Lower your steering wheel. With a small flat head, butter knife, etc. carefully pry up on the left side of the plastic panel that covers the instrument cluster. You can pop the faster clips loose with a gentle tug. On the right side do the same. Tilt the top of the plastic panel out first and you should be able to wiggle it out and remove it. Four hex screws (I think 7mm) hold the instrument cluster in place. Remove them and pull the instrument cluster out toward you. The instrument cluster has one electrical connecter. There is a small grey latch that swings over the connecter to hold it in place. You will see a tiny black lip holding the grey latch in place. Pry up gently on the grey latch to get it over the little black lip. Once over the lip the grey latch swings down to the right side of the connector, getting out of the way so the connector can be removed. With the instrument cluster disconnected slide it up and out of the way.

You will see the Panel/Floor Actuator on the right side behind where the speedometer was. You can easily see, and access the bottom 8mm hex screw through the dash. The top, opposite, hex screw is right behind the plastic molded A/C tube that sends air to the left side of the dash. This screw is the pain that every one talks about. And it must be because I found that this screw was missing on my actuator. So the previous owners must have had it replaced and the person doing it gave up on the top screw and left it out. Which then caused the actuator arm to pop out of the Panel/Floor lever which caused the defrost malfunction.

For me, I reconnected the actuator arm to the Panel/Floor lever and replaced the missing screw. Once back on the A/C worked as normal.

Here is how you replace the panel/floor actuator if yours is bad. First do all of the steps above to remove the instrument cluster. You will easily see the actuator behind where the speedometer was. You can reach in through the dash and unplug the actuator and use an 8mm socket to remove the bottom screw holding the actuator.
For the top screw... drum roll please....
The top screw is right up against the plastic air duct with no room to get at it. Here is what I did. I used an 8mm socket on a 1/4" universal joint attached to a 3" extension with small ratchet. My father-in-law wedged a pry bar through the dash in between the metal steering bracket and the plastic A/C duct to lift the duct higher, it maybe moved 1/4"-1/2". He also pulled the a/c/ duct out toward him. I turned upside down, with body and legs hanging out the door, reaching up with one arm, I held the socket onto the hex head with the little bit of room we managed to make. My father-in-law, through the dash turned the ratchet while I held the socket onto the hex screw with my fingers. It was slow going with it only turning about 1/8 of a turn each crank on the racket but it finally came out.

To put on the new actuator: reach through dash, place new actuator and screw bottom actuator screw in. Make sure the actuator arm pin is put into the panel/floor lever slot. The actuator can now pivot on the bottom screw. The person reaching through the dash pushes up on the actuator to line it up with the top screw hole. Gently push it up until it won't go any farther - it should be lined up. Hold it there.Then a person under the dash reaches up with the screw and places the screw in the hole and tightens as far as there hand can get it. The pry bar wedge in the dash pushing the A/C duct must be in place to help give you room to get your hand in and screw the screw back in place. The person under the dash now holds the socket, with universal joint, onto the hex head while the person upside reaches in through the dash and tightens the the screw with the ratchet. Again, it is slow going making only miner turns each time but it will get there. Once the screw is tightened turn on the A/C and test out. If all works put everything back together the opposite you took it apart. Be careful to line up the hole slots for the faster clips on the back of the plastic mold cover. Easy to bend if they are slightly off.

I hope the above saves someone a ton of time. I would say the above probably takes less than an hour for each actuator if you follow the suggestions. I spent about 6 hours figuring out the above.

Here are some helpful links.
Diagrams: http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=336&viewfile=Temperature Blend Door Actuator.pdf
(I donated $5, well worth it)
Part (works for both actuators): https://lmr.com/item/LRS-19616B/Mustang-Air-Door-Actuator-Motor-Defrost-Panel-Floor-05-09

Good luck.
 
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