RepairPal is your advocate for car care advice and guidance

Q: Temperature blend door not working on 1998 Ford Ranger

Can I get at this valve assembly without removing the dash ? Where exactly is this thing located ? Chiltons' show only the cable controlled unit. I have the non cable unit. How can I insyall a manualyy controlled temp blend door positioner ? I think the actuator works but the link arm is broke. I need to see what is going on before I commit to removing the dash and plenum.
Get a Repair Estimate
Guaranteed by certified locations nationwide. Learn more
RepairPal estimates are guaranteed at over 1,700 quality certified locations nationwide. Learn more
The blend door actuator is relatively inexpensive, about $50 at a parts store, and although the repair instructions say the instrument panel must be removed I have done a few without taking out the dash.

The actuator is a small black box with an connector. it sits on top of the plenum and attaches directly to the blend door shaft. It is a small electric motor that is controlled by the temperature dial on the dash and turns the blend door to change hot/cold position. the plastic gear inside the unit strips out, thats why you can hear it "doing something" but the door doesn't move.

You may be able to replace it without taking out the dash. Remove the glove box and lower trim panel under the glove box, look through the openning to the left towards the middle of the truck, on top of the plenum for a small black box (about 2 or 3" squre and 1" tall) with a single connector - remove the connector and get a mirror in above it to see the screws.

The toughest part is getting the right tool and your hand into the tight space, but it can be done,

Good luck

Robert Grove

ps just saw your original post date, did you pull the the dash?
In order:
No, you cannot replace the temperature blend door actuator without at least pulling back the dash.

Location: About directly behind the passenger side air bag behind the dash. On the plenum assembly.

Definitely not cable controlled. Electric.

I know of no way to manually control the blend door. Best to just bite the bullet and replace the motor.

Not sure what "link arm" you are referring to. The motor is controlled by wire, not by link.

Good luck!
Thanks for the info. I will pull the dash and just get on with it. I was hoping to avoid an expensive component but probably need to just do it.

When I change the temp valve setting, I can hear a motor moving something and thought it was a solid arm, but don't know. My guess is you know this is some kind of wire controlled device. I will find out when it is apart.

Do you have any tips on dash removal, like not blowing the air bags ?

Thanks again
The good news is the part is fairly cheap. It's the labor that stinks.

The temperature blend door actuator is absolutely electrically operated, no cable or lever attached.

Not blowing air bags -- best tip is to disconnect the battery and let it sit for 5-10 minutes just to be sure. 2 minutes is usually enough, but why risk it? The steering column gets dropped, the passenger side air bag gets removed too, under dash bolts and harnesses get freed up, all the top and bottom bolts come out. Pretty extensive, but unfortunately necessary. Good luck.
Didn't find what you were looking for?