no heat but I rigged it to work - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:13 AM   #1
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Hello all, I have a 1996 ssei that has intermittent heat. The heat works & works great, about 10% of the time, then the rest it only blows cold air. Ice cold below zero air as I live & shiver my butt off in Iowa. Sometimes after I restart the car it works, but usually not. I looked at other posts with great pics & all about the vacuum block with the violet hose & how the inside of that block gets aged hoses, mine all look GREAT. That block does have an open connection with no loose hose around to attach to it, so I put a vacuum plug over the end of it just in case. After I removed the glove box liner, there was still no way to see the actuator arm at all. I used an angle grinder to cut out a healthy slot from that steel part, without damaging anything but my right ear when hot slag bounced into it. You should have heard the noises I made. My nephews who were holding the light are still laughing now I am sure. The actuator arm moves to allow the warm stuff to circulate, then it goes the other way. Sometimes the climate temp will blink when this happens, sometimes it wont. When I disconnected that arm, the flap made a strong thump to the heat option, and it stays there very well. I have left it like this so I will not freeze my tuckus off any more. Does anyone have any real advice I can use to fix this issue? I don't know if it is tied to the issue that started last spring with my a/c not working also causing my cooling fans not to come on ever -until I put in a switch to turn them on. I would really just like to fix the whole mess at once since it all seems connected somehow. Now, I imagine some of you may ask about these things, so I will clear the air now. I replaced my radiator recently & bled the air out very well, also added new thermostat at that time as insurance. The hoses on both top & bottom (too & from) of the heater core get warm, so it is not clogged at all. I did take pics of the mess, but I can not figure out how to post them here. Someone please help!
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994sseiwow View Post
Hello all, I have a 1996 ssei that has intermittent heat. The heat works & works great, about 10% of the time, then the rest it only blows cold air. Ice cold below zero air as I live & shiver my butt off in Iowa. Sometimes after I restart the car it works, but usually not. I looked at other posts with great pics & all about the vacuum block with the violet hose & how the inside of that block gets aged hoses, mine all look GREAT. That block does have an open connection with no loose hose around to attach to it, so I put a vacuum !
You problem is not with the vacuum diaphragms. Those control which direction the air flows through the box.

Your problem is the actuator that'* electric that sits on top of the heater box. One poster rigged what he called "redneck fix" with a coathanger through a hole in a support piece that allows view of the arm for the blend door that you found. He could move the coat hanger to modulate the position of the door. I cannot find that but I see references to it on this forum when I search for those two words.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k1...17f925-1-1.gif

The actuator gear is likely split so that it slips on the hub. I glued mine back to the hub with 5-min epoxy. I slipped it up slightly, glued, and pressed down. Be sure the index tab that sticks out of the hub on the outside of the case that moves in a groove about 180 deg stays in that groove.

http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k1...uator015-1.jpg
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:35 PM   #3
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That is an interesting thought. What baffles me, is that when I undid the arm from the actuator, it moves around with what seems like no problem but it does it'* own thing without me telling it to change anything. Could a cracked gear cause that? If not, what do you think would? I am okay for now with the arm off it, the heat flows freely. I still wonder if this issue is also what caused my a/c & cooling fans to simultaniously fail last spring?
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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Okay, that box is making grinding noises & I am no longer in denial that i need to repair that gear or replace the unit. Do you have any good advice for removing the old 1 as simply as possible please?
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