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Fixing the Foot/Face HVAC Actuator

foot/face PITA

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#1 scott87star

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Posted 12 August 2016 - 12:57 PM

To those interested I've managed to fix my foot/face HVAC actuator with the help of Mike C's writeup.  The one on my flatty has never worked, I had it out a year or so ago in an effort to fix it with some RTV but of course that only worked until the first time it extended and it broke/ripped in the next pleat up on the bellows.  You can't RTV the entire thing as then it would be too rigid.  Mike suggested something flexible could be fit over the bellows, I jumped on McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster....2/3864/=13p16un) and found this:

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P/N 5298K78.  It's much larger in diameter than the original and much longer too but I splurged for it hoping to make it work.

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So that's what I got.  The rod end is close in size to the rod but not perfect, the flange end is way too big and I couldn't think of a way to seal it.  On my actuator the smaller diameter of every pleat was rotten on the inside EXCEPT for the last one before its flange, I suppose it doesn't get much flex action in operation.  I also noticed that the OD of the big part of each pleat was just a bit larger than the ID of the small part of each pleat on the new bellows.  So, I cut off the old bellows leaving the last pleat and the flange secured to the actuator, then cut the new bellows to what seemed appropriate which ended up being three pleats.  The new bellows was tough to cut, I ended up using a sharp scissors, it's so compliant it stretches instead of holding and cutting and it's really tough material.


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You can also see that the shaft has a groove in it near to end, this will help seal the new bellows.  I test fit the new bellows over the old and it looked pretty good, when you trim the new bellows you do it near the smallest OD but leave a bit of lip behind.  I gave the old bellows a good coat of RTV to help it seal and tried in vain for 1/2 an hour to get it on using every trick and specialty tool I could think of, it just kept slipping off due to the RTV.  So I wiped it off and walked away for awhile to let it dry and clean all that crap off my fingers.  Came back later and it went right back on, then used a short zip tie to hold it in place.

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Note the mandatory fermented malt beverage, key to success.

And the rod end was just a matter of pulling the rod out about 1/2 way in its travel (3/4 total travel), goobering in some rtv and using a another zip tie to clamp the bellows to the rod at the groove.  Full travel in each direction and both ends hold over 20 inches of vacuum which is the most the car can make.  I happen to be changing my dash so removal and installation wasn't as bad as with the dash in place but it's still surprisingly more difficult than it should be.  Now my HVAC flapper valve has full travel in both directions, yippee!
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#2 Killaphil

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 08:17 AM

You should rebuild one of these and send it to me for harsh real world testing.
(88 SHP Figi) magna mpi, ms1 from scott with funk lab harness, hx35, 3inch, wiseco block with o-rings, port work, 4inch intercooler, methanol,  ST springs/sways, Mad Dax Rack swap, ACT extreme, fidanza, so its mostly stock
(99 ws6 Black) AFR205s, Yella Terra's, Fast 90/90, Kooks, Comp cam, Nano N2O, 4l80e 3400 stall w/ Jakes brake, 9inch w/ 4:10s-SOLD 8/12/2014:(

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#3 wrngwae

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 09:30 AM

Good job Scott! i need to do this myself.
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#4 scott87star

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 11:37 AM

Send me  yours Ryan and I'll do the same, you have the hard job of removing and replacing that POS thing.
Now selling true plug and play megasquirt!  Absolutely the best value in stand alone ECU's out there.

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#5 duckheads

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 12:11 PM

Where do we sign up? Lol

Nice work Scott!!
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#6 kev

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Posted 13 August 2016 - 07:26 PM

This is awesome!   I tried and tried to find a fix for this part a few years back.   Great work!

#7 randy

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 07:14 AM

that's great work

#8 Edde

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 01:37 PM

Hope this gets pinned :)
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#9 Skullzaflare

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 05:59 PM

is there a guide to getting this out of the car without removing the dash? lol
Spark plug elimination kit

#10 scott87star

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Posted 14 August 2016 - 07:35 PM

Go to the Heat and AC section in the how-to's, mike's writeup covers how to get it out.  Hope you like lying on your back and you have small girly hands.
Now selling true plug and play megasquirt!  Absolutely the best value in stand alone ECU's out there.

I can upgrade your Fuel Injection Pro firmware

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ECU Vendor link:  http://www.starquest...howtopic=137426

#11 kev

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 10:15 AM

Scott,  

Are you ok if I move this to FAQ?

#12 scott87star

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 11:19 AM

Please do.
Now selling true plug and play megasquirt!  Absolutely the best value in stand alone ECU's out there.

I can upgrade your Fuel Injection Pro firmware

Performance Coatings!  Pistons, manifolds, bearings and more!

Now a graduate of EFI University!  www.efi101.com

ECU Vendor link:  http://www.starquest...howtopic=137426

#13 kev

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:50 AM

Another option to obtain a replacement bellows;

http://www.starquest...howtopic=153207





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