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Old 10-22-2013, 08:08 PM
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03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

Ok, I just tied up the last loose end on my engine swap, which was to put the A/C system back together. I figured I'd do it right so I could go a long time without having any problems: new compressor, condensor, hoses, accumulator and expansion valve (everything except the evaporator). My friend helped me leak test with nitrogen, pull a vacuum, and charge it back up. When I turned it on to test the A/C, it was blowing hot from the driver's side vent and ice cold on the passenger side. I did a little web sleuthing and found out about the procedure for calibrating the AZC door actuators (turn on ignition, set the A/C to auto, turn off the ignition, pull out IOD fuse, blah blah blah). I tried this and now the A/C works fine on both sides, but the driver's side will not blow hot air no matter what I do. The passenger side will cycle between A/C and heat, but the driver's side will not get hot. I've calibrated it several times (once in a Wal-Mart parking lot, because I wanted to make good use of my time while I was running an errand).

I later discovered a web site that gave a procedure for reading fault codes (Jeep Grand Cherokee WK - Climate controls). [Ignore the fact the web link has "WK" in it, it's a WJ web site.] I just tried it tonight, and I got codes 52 and 54, which correspond to "AI (recirc) door travel range too large" and "Left temperature door travel too large," respectively. What do I need to do to fix this? Is this the blend door(s)? I seem to recall reading about a fix for the blend doors that can be done by cutting a hole in the glove compartment, without taking out the dash. If memory serves me correctly, the only downside of doing this (other than having to cut a hole in your glove compartment) is that you lose the ability to separately adjust temperature for the driver and passenger sides: the driver's side knob controls both sides (which I don't care about).

If it helps any, when I can hear the blend doors moving around, they sound kind of creaky.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:35 PM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

I found a company that sells kits with more robust aluminum blend doors that can be installed as I describe above with no loss of separate temperature controls. Here's a link: grand cherokee heater blend door repair
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:40 PM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

Here's another one. They also sell a kit to replace the recirculation door, which I think I also have problems with (code 54).

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Old 10-22-2013, 11:03 PM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

The code for the left temperature door travel too large is indeed the drivers blend door. The actuator for this door can be seen when you remove the glove compartment. For some of these repairs you have to cut a hole in the HVAC housing, not the glove compartment itself.
Me myself don't like to cut holes in my jeep and would prefer to remove the whole dash and HVAC housing to replace the parts, but if you don't care about that, these repair kits seem to do well.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:16 AM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

I would MUCH rather not cut holes anywhere in the car, ESPECIALLY in the HVAC housing. However, I have been putting off an evaporator replacement in one of my other cars (a 1977 Chrysler New Yorker) for years because of how big a hassle I anticipate it to be. Based on my experience working with WJs, this job would be a whole order of magnitude worse than the New Yorker job which I've been avoiding due to its difficulty. So under those circumstances, I might be able to accept cutting a hole in the HVAC housing.

Plus, being somewhat of a completist, I know that if I ripped apart the HVAC housing, I would feel compelled to replace the heater core and evaporator, and I just got done charging up the A/C system and it would be depressing to have to redo that. If I just cut a hole in the side, that wouldn't be a temptation.

Having said that, it looks like I have no option but to remove at least part of the dash to replace the recirc door (item 4 in the attached diagram). But it looks like I don't have to get into the HVAC housing; it looks like it attaches to the top somehow.

Also, after writing my previous posts, I found Dorman replacements on rockauto.com for the blend doors and recirc door which are a lot less expensive than the other retrofit kits. They are plastic but claim to be better engineered to replace weaknesses in the factory parts, and the blend doors have instructions for installation using the cut-a-hole method.
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Old 10-23-2013, 06:17 AM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

Ok hopefully here's the diagram
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Old 10-24-2013, 06:17 AM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

After thinking about it a while and doing some research, I think I'm now leaning toward taking the dash out and opening up the heater box, to replace the doors. If it was only the blend doors, I think I'd go in through the glove box, but since the recirc door is also bad and there's no way to get to it without dash removal, I might as well go for it.

I would like to hear from people who have done this how hard it was. It can't be as hard as an engine swap, right ?
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:33 AM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

The problem with the AZC system seems to be with the fact that every time you switch the ignition off, after a few minutes the system will put the doors in a fixed position. This fixed position is an end stop position and the actuator will put a lot of stress on the door hinges. This is the reason that the plastic parts finally fail. (the manual AC system has a lot lower failure rate for the blend door because of this). Knowing this, I would prefer aluminum doors or at least a better engineered type of plastic doors, so that they can withstand the high stresses the actuators put on them every ignition off.
It seems that you can do this job in a weekend. You will probably change the heater core andevaporator at the same time?
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Old 10-25-2013, 06:15 AM
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Re: 03 Limited AZC Fault Codes 52 and 54

If I did end up taking the dash out, it would be foolish not to take the opportunity to replace both the heater core and the evaporator. After the blood, sweat, and time I have invested in this vehicle, and how "in tune" with it I am now, I can't foresee ever getting rid of it, so it wouldn't be time wasted. Also, I would replace the blend doors and recirc door with the aluminum replacements available from blendorstore.com.

Since I have a bad recirc door as well as blend doors, and from what I understand a bad recirc door will fail in the open position (in other words, allowing outside air to mix with inside air), I could do the quick-and-dirty through-the-glovebox blend door fix now, during the cold season, because I usually don't set the recirc control to exclude outside air during the winter, then see how much I need that control when it goes back to A/C season again. The blendorstore.com through-the-glovebox blend door kit comes with a part that allows you to lock your recirc door into one position or the other while you're replacing the blend door. Maybe I could use it to make a periodic seasonal adjustment to the recirc door (open in winter, closed in summer) until I actually need to replace the heater or evaporator cores, then go in and do it right.
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