WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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  #1  
Old 07-05-2016, 11:42 AM
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WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool

This is a known problem with Jeeps of all models for several years. Typically, the passenger side is much easier to access than the driver's side - pop out the glove box, remove the box support panel and unsnap the vent extension and you have good access to the actuator.

The driver's side is a bit more of a PITA but worth doing (versus paying someone) with a simple tool that you can put together for about $9. Access is a little more involved

1. Remove the dash side panel (facing the door) held in by 5 snaps.
2. Free up the steering column trim ring (all snaps)
3. Remove the lower dash panel (3 lower bolts, 1 bolt left of the steering column and the rest snaps). Unplug the light switch, gas door switch and unsnap and slide off the hood release. This will completely free up that panel.
4. Remove the crush plate (4 bolts) and the right side crush plate mount. This is a metal piece with 2 oval loops (2 bolts below and one to the right of the steering column).
5. Remove the vent extention (tab with a push pin and unsnap)

You will now have (semi) access to the actuator. One T-15 screws will be accessible but the other has only a couple of cm's between the screw and the upper vent. Removal of this vent would require major dash disassembly but I came up with a DIY tool that gets around this.

Attached are two pics of the tool. It is simply a cheap ratcheting 1/4" box end wrench ($9 for a set of 4 at harbor freight) and a T15 bit. I wrapped the end with duck tape and punched a whole in one side to insert the bit. This keeps the bit from pushing out the back or falling out. The ratchet is free to set to tighten or loosen and will access the second screw.

Once the new actuators are installed and everything reassembled you will need to get them to go through their calibration routine by (Thx GoPlzGo!!):
1. Turning on the ignition and setting your Automatic Zone Control to "Auto" and turning off the ignition.
2. Pulling the IOD fuse for a minute and reinstalling (J13 in my 2011 WK2)
3. Turning on the ignition and allowing the routine to run (about a minute)

Hope this helps save everyone $$.

P
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Actuator Tool.jpg (439.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Actuator Tool profile.jpg (462.4 KB, 22 views)

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  #2  
Old 07-12-2016, 02:36 PM
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Re: WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool

replacing the actuator this weekend. Great idea
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Old 07-14-2016, 01:41 PM
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Re: WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool

I didn't even know what an actuator was. So I Googled. Anyway, you will know when your actuators are broken if you are not getting the proper temperature (i.e. Cold setting, but blowing hot air I guess).

How long does Jeep's defective actuator last before a replacement is typically needed? And once replaced, it still won't last?
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Old 07-18-2016, 10:02 AM
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Re: WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool

So following these instructions and others I replaced the drivers side actuator motor and gear Friday night/Saturday morning. Mostly everything was straight forward as explained. A couple of notes.

It is extremely tight in there (see picture) and I don't see how one could do it without a cut in half t-15 bit and the ratchet wrench with tape.

I had some felt panel covering a lot of the under dash that needed to be removed via two push pins

My vent extender had a clip attached to a metal brace. The clip broke so I used a zip tie to secure. It was out of sight.

Trying to get to the top screws to the left and right of steering wheel (I did remove the start button and wood trim as my dash panel did not release) involves moving the steering wheel up/down etc to gain easier access.

Make sure you have a 3/8 extender to get to the 5/16 bolts that hold the loop thing in the top bolt does not have much clearance behind it but they do provide holes in the metal loop for an extender.

Putting the top screw of the actuator motor back in is a pain, had to use fingers then needle nose to get it in far enough to get ratchet wrench and T-15 back on.

The blend door moved freely when I had the motor and gear off so that was good. I also new it was the gear as a plastic piece fell out when I removed the felt panel.

Now it works like a charm. Overall not too hard just crammed and an awkward position of working on the car.
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Old 12-04-2016, 04:44 PM
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This thread was a big help today! I rushed and and skipped step #4 but still got it done. Definitely would have been easier if i pulled that loop section out though.

I bought that tool and a t15 bit at harbor freight. Ran over to the bolt cutter section and cut the t15 in half at the store.

I had 4) 7mm bolts below the dash and then the 1 left of the steering column. That push pin on the vent entension has a Phillips tip on it. You can get it started with a screw driver and then pop it out.

I cut about 1/4" off the length of the top actuator screw. I dont see a reason it would have to be so long and it certainly made installing it easier

Need to do the passenger side now but it sounds like it's really easy compared to the driver side.
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Old 12-07-2016, 06:02 PM
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Re: WK2 Driver's side vent actuator replacement tool

I did the same repair. I used a tool called a Skew driver. It is a geared almost 90 degree. Without that tool it would be almost impossible.

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