• Hint: Use a descriptive title for your new message
    If you're looking for help and want to draw people in who can assist you, use a descriptive subject title when posting your message. In other words, "2008 LaCrosse" isn't going to indicate to anybody that you need help. However, "Need help with my 2008 LaCrosse" will. Be as descriptive as you can. Please use common sense... This message can be closed by clicking the X in the top right corner.

Air only from floor and defrost. Not Panel vents "Mode Door Actuator"

Finigan

Buick Newbie
2
1
0
Buick Ownership
Buick
I have no air from the panel vents. I have determined it is the "mode door actuator".
The gear was broken and the shaft was tuning in the gear instead of moving the hub.
I have the new part, which includes a motor, a bracket, and cam type hub assembly that operates the levers for 3 different doors at the same time.
I even got the old one out by removing the 4 mounting screws. However, I can't install the new one.
The old one came out in pieces. So I could get to the last screw at the top.
Now with the new part assembled(not broken) I can't get to the last mounting screw. The motor is in the way.
I can't leave it out and I can't get to it. Even tore out 1/2 the dashboard to get in from the top or front. I would have to tear it out down to the firewall to get in there.
I subscribed to alldata specifically to get a replacement procedure and they didn't even show this particular actuator( there are 4 all together)
If any one has a way to do this please let me know.
I even thought about cutting a hole in the lower dash panel, behind the air vent, to get to it.
I hate to do it, but I'm going to start unplugging wiring harnesses under the dash to see if I can make more room down there .
I'm an old fat guy and this under the dash with the hump under my spine is getting to be too much.
 

Finigan

Buick Newbie
2
1
0
Buick Ownership
Buick
I have no air from the panel vents. I have determined it is the "mode door actuator".
The gear was broken and the shaft was tuning in the gear instead of moving the hub.
I have the new part, which includes a motor, a bracket, and cam type hub assembly that operates the levers for 3 different doors at the same time.
I even got the old one out by removing the 4 mounting screws. However, I can't install the new one.
The old one came out in pieces. So I could get to the last screw at the top.
Now with the new part assembled(not broken) I can't get to the last mounting screw. The motor is in the way.
I can't leave it out and I can't get to it. Even tore out 1/2 the dashboard to get in from the top or front. I would have to tear it out down to the firewall to get in there.
I subscribed to alldata specifically to get a replacement procedure and they didn't even show this particular actuator( there are 4 all together)
If any one has a way to do this please let me know.
I even thought about cutting a hole in the lower dash panel, behind the air vent, to get to it.
I hate to do it, but I'm going to start unplugging wiring harnesses under the dash to see if I can make more room down there .
I'm an old fat guy and this under the dash with the hump under my spine is getting to be too much.
Hey if anyone is interested I solved my own problem. I Slotted the ear with the mounting hole that I couldn't reach. I used a small flat washer on the screw for extra support. I screwed it in before mounting the part in place. I made sure to screw it in far enough that it was a tight fit to slide the slotted ear under the screw head and washer. I mounted the part in place sliding the slotted hole under the screw head and installed the other 3 screws. Works good!
I did have to turn the HVAC control to the off position and turn the key to on position to allow the doors to calibrate their stops.
Still gotta put the dash board back together. I didn't really need to tear into that after all. But it started raining and I'm a shade tree mechanic, so it will wait for dry weather.
 

Spriteman

Full Member
1,647
6
38
Central Florida
Buick Ownership
1998 Buick Park Avenue - Base - 132K Miles
That's good news Finigan - sometimes it takes a little noodling to think of how to get it done.

Assuming the air is moving good for you now - defog, vent, bi-level, heater, etc..


Before you put your dash back together take a couple of pics that show the dash apart and the part installed if you can and give us a look at the job.
 

FFarr

Full Member
243
4
18
Buick Ownership
1997 Park Avenue Ultra.
I even thought about cutting a hole in the lower dash panel, behind the air vent, to get to it.
That's exactly what I did on my 97 PAU, I saw no other way to get to get to it.
It's a tough row to hoe!
______________________________
 

HotZ28

Full Member
7,071
332
83
Buick Ownership
1996 Roadmaster Limited Collectors Edition 58k - 1996 PAU
That's exactly what I did on my 97 PAU, I saw no other way to get to get to it.
It's a tough row to hoe!
Sounds like some old MacGyver tricks! :D

His ingenuity is normally put to the test under dire circumstances with little time or specialized resources with which to work. (Though it does seem he frequently has a Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape with him.)
 

copperroad

Buick Newbie
1
0
0
Buick Ownership
Buick
Hey if anyone is interested I solved my own problem. I Slotted the ear with the mounting hole that I couldn't reach. I used a small flat washer on the screw for extra support. I screwed it in before mounting the part in place. I made sure to screw it in far enough that it was a tight fit to slide the slotted ear under the screw head and washer. I mounted the part in place sliding the slotted hole under the screw head and installed the other 3 screws. Works good!
I did have to turn the HVAC control to the off position and turn the key to on position to allow the doors to calibrate their stops.
Still gotta put the dash board back together. I didn't really need to tear into that after all. But it started raining and I'm a shade tree mechanic, so it will wait for dry weather.
Thank you for your post. I am now in a similar situation, I have found 3 of the 4 screws, but cannot see or feel the 4th (upper-closest to the driver, above the actuator motor). Any suggests on finding and removing it?
I have the shop diagrams, but they do not help much.

Thanks,
-CopperRoad

BTW I found this link for a mode actuator puller: forums.trailvoy.com/showthread.php?t=63527
 

wokbelly

Full Member
10
0
0
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue
Is yours the same as a 1999 park Ave i can't get my Mode Door Actuator out mine i'm pretty sure has 3 screws but it won't come out do you have to remove another part some linkage? cause i thought mine should just pull straight out i know the new one it shows only has 3 ears for the mount
 

FFarr

Full Member
243
4
18
Buick Ownership
1997 Park Avenue Ultra.
This entire assembly has to come out;
______________________________
 

wokbelly

Full Member
10
0
0
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue
i could not get the unit out with the bracket as you show in the picture i got top screw only one i could se and one below and it still would not budge3 i have no idea where there would be any others unless there is one attached to the bottom edge just below the ash tray this job stinks please help
 

wokbelly

Full Member
10
0
0
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue
Re: Air only from floor and defrost. Not Panel vents "Mode Door Actuator"

well things aren't working out to well i hope to try the hole saw technique next but where do you saw? i have no idea where to cut any pictures of this process? i don't want to hit any wiring

- - - Updated - - -

well things aren't working out to well i hope to try the hole saw technique next but where do you saw? i have no idea where to cut any pictures of this process? i don't want to hit any wiring

- - - Updated - - -

well things aren't working out to well i hope to try the hole saw technique next but where do you saw? i have no idea where to cut any pictures of this process? i don't want to hit any wiring
 

FFarr

Full Member
243
4
18
Buick Ownership
1997 Park Avenue Ultra.
I wish I had taken some measurements but I didn't.
After you pull the lower dash panel (for the lack of the correct term) you'll see the area is covered by a grey soft metal. I put my finger on the bolt and with a sharpie I made a mark on the opposite side. 2" holesaw and a little finesse' and the bolt is accessible.

The hole is hidden behind the lower dash panel.
______________________________
 

wokbelly

Full Member
10
0
0
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue
I wish I had taken some measurements but I didn't.
After you pull the lower dash panel (for the lack of the correct term) you'll see the area is covered by a grey soft metal. I put my finger on the bolt and with a sharpie I made a mark on the opposite side. 2" holesaw and a little finesse' and the bolt is accessible.

The hole is hidden behind the lower dash panel.
thanks do i have to remove the trim strip on the upper dash then? it sounds like it may be kinda guessing game on the hole position ? can you see the bolt then with the bottom panel out then ? and you then position your finger accordingly? any more info would be appreciated i bought just the actuator and have to press it on the shaft hopfully i can do that i tried this the hard way and pulled the wheel assembly out without the levers suprised i didnt break any thing . then i pressed the old busted actuator off to try to see if i could find the srews up above as you can tell it did not work either so back to the way you did it. i didnt want cut the hole now i know its pobably the best way thanks Roger
 

FFarr

Full Member
243
4
18
Buick Ownership
1997 Park Avenue Ultra.
Yes the trim strip has to come off to access the screws for the lower dash panel. Memory a little fuzzy but the ash tray and glove box come off with the lower panel.
I don't think you can actually see the bolt but with a little contortion you can locate the bolt with your finger(s).
 

wokbelly

Full Member
10
0
0
Buick Ownership
1999 Buick Park Avenue
Yes the trim strip has to come off to access the screws for the lower dash panel. Memory a little fuzzy but the ash tray and glove box come off with the lower panel.
I don't think you can actually see the bolt but with a little contortion you can locate the bolt with your finger(s).
sorry to keep bugging ya but did you find it from the front (the bolt?) if so then is there a specific thing it would be close to? cause i don't know how you'd do it underneath the dash and mark it too I'm getting as much info from you before i go back outside cause right now its 105 degrees here and i want to spend as little time as i can outside
 

FFarr

Full Member
243
4
18
Buick Ownership
1997 Park Avenue Ultra.
sorry to keep bugging ya but did you find it from the front (the bolt?) if so then is there a specific thing it would be close to? cause i don't know how you'd do it underneath the dash and mark it too I'm getting as much info from you before i go back outside cause right now its 105 degrees here and i want to spend as little time as i can outside
I had the new actuator/bracket assembly to help me find all the bolts... And the FSM
 
Top