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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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5,847 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It seems that my air inlet door actuator is dead. I have purchased a new one, but I have problem in removing the old one since there is zero clearance, zero visibility and zero accessibility to this actuator. FSM does not help because it simply says remove the actuator, but how the hell am I supposed to remove the retaining screws while I can not reach them? I really need to have a serious talk with the designer of the car!
 

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1996 Eldorado
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2,814 Posts
Did you pull the glove box? 4 or 6 torx screws & three connectors & the air bag relay unclips off the back. & its out. It's kinda back in there & the three screws fastening it down are not all visible but its doable.
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I removed the glove box and I removed the DIM module and its bracket. I could remove one of three screws of the actuator, but could not remove two remaining screws. Which tool did you use?
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
Been there...and someone had been there before and never replaced the very back screw.

A mirror and flashlight allow you to see them. You can get a socket on them, but not the ratchet. Use a wrench on the socket for the first little bit, then turn the socket by hand. There is also a star-like wheel that can be used with 1/4" sockets to get good leverage by hand.

I replaced the two difficult screws with thumb screws.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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Something worth adding:

The problem with mine was (probably) not the actuator itself. The linkage connecting to the actuator had broken and had been previously repaired.

You might want to check for this problem. With the actuator still installed, manually operate the door. The door is a half dome on top of the blower unit. The door rotates up and back into the fixed half of the dome. Lift the rim at the front--if it moves then the linkage is broken. The broken linkage will probably be lying on the little rim around the blower--use a mirror to find it.

Repair of the broken piece seems the only viable option as otherwise you have to replace the entire unit!

I tried many different adhesives--only one worked: Loctite Plastix Bonder You'll still have to remove the actuator to make the repair as it's impossible (at least without a Tech-II) to get the actuator into the proper position so that you can glue the linkage.

I was a bit surprised that the system was able to detect the problem until I watched it in operation. As the door nears the closed position, its movement slows and you can see it move in small, distinct steps as it searches for true "closed" position before the actuator reaches the limit of its travel.

I had already ordered a replacement actuator and used the new one in case the old had some sort of problem that caused the linkage to break. I did try it with the old actuator and it seemed to work perfectly.
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #6
Been there...and someone had been there before and never replaced the very back screw.

A mirror and flashlight allow you to see them. You can get a socket on them, but not the ratchet. Use a wrench on the socket for the first little bit, then turn the socket by hand. There is also a star-like wheel that can be used with 1/4" sockets to get good leverage by hand.

I replaced the two difficult screws with thumb screws.
Well, I have done it.... I aimed a flashlight at the operation point and fixed the flashlight by use of duct tape so that I can use my both hand during the operation. Then broke a little hand held mirror that I had purchased from the Goodwill for 1$ and use a piece of mirror to look at the screws! I have built my own tool too! I used glue and tape to attach the socket to a tiny gear wrench..... Yesterday I spent couple of hours for removing the screws and finally I lost my patience and gave up! I guess I need to try again...... ahhhh
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #7
Something worth adding:

The problem with mine was (probably) not the actuator itself. The linkage connecting to the actuator had broken and had been previously repaired.

You might want to check for this problem. With the actuator still installed, manually operate the door. The door is a half dome on top of the blower unit. The door rotates up and back into the fixed half of the dome. Lift the rim at the front--if it moves then the linkage is broken. The broken linkage will probably be lying on the little rim around the blower--use a mirror to find it.

Repair of the broken piece seems the only viable option as otherwise you have to replace the entire unit!

I tried many different adhesives--only one worked: Loctite Plastix Bonder You'll still have to remove the actuator to make the repair as it's impossible (at least without a Tech-II) to get the actuator into the proper position so that you can glue the linkage.

I was a bit surprised that the system was able to detect the problem until I watched it in operation. As the door nears the closed position, its movement slows and you can see it move in small, distinct steps as it searches for true "closed" position before the actuator reaches the limit of its travel.

I had already ordered a replacement actuator and used the new one in case the old had some sort of problem that caused the linkage to break. I did try it with the old actuator and it seemed to work perfectly.
My inlet door is stuck at wide open to the outside and I am unable to switch it to circulate the air from the cabin. Therefore when I drive behind a truck the smoke is sucked into the car and that is awful! Or when I drive on the highway at high speeds and the AC is off, I can feel the air blowing from my vents. Also this stuck actuator puts too much load on the AC system since it should always condition the outside air. There is a B1343 trouble code which refers to air inlet actuator. Even if I can somehow move the door to the opposite side so that the air circulates from the cabin I will give up replacing the actuator and it will work for me... How do you move the door by hand? I don't see it, and I guess since my actuator is in place I will not be able to move the door by hand too! :(
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
If the linkage is intact you won't be able to move the door with the actuator attached. With the actuator removed, it should move freely.

Remember the Black and Decker "Snake Light" that was all the rage as a Christmas gift a few years ago? I hardly used it until I got the Seville then I found is VERY handy!
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, I see... lets try one more time. Yesterday it made me so frustrated that I was really going to use a pry bar!!!!
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #10
Today I removed one more screw and one more is remaining... Here is my performance, one screw a day! And at the end of the day I have pain in all of my fingers.... :(
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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They're hex head, not Torx and I could not fit a 1/4" drive socket and ratchet. The actuator body is back and around so the ratchet handle is obstructed on the right side.
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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792 Posts
That will work! I also seem to remember seeing a non-ratcheting version that looks like a wheel with deep, rounded recesses.
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #15
OH, yeah! I did it.. this morning I could remove the last screw (the very back one) with my custom made tool! I will take a photo of the tool that I built to remove the screw and will post it! :D
I still do not have installed the new actuator, I just pushed the dome like door all the way back so that the air circulates from inside the cabin. My AC system was already ice cold, but after rotating the inlet door to circulate the air from the cabin, the AC system blows so cold that I really can not stand it! :D That is wonderful, and also no smoke in the cabin afterward!
 

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99 STS, White Diamond
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OH, yeah! I did it.. this morning I could remove the last screw (the very back one) with my custom made tool! I will take a photo of the tool that I built to remove the screw and will post it! :D
I still do not have installed the new actuator, I just pushed the dome like door all the way back so that the air circulates from inside the cabin. My AC system was already ice cold, but after rotating the inlet door to circulate the air from the cabin, the AC system blows so cold that I really can not stand it! :D That is wonderful, and also no smoke in the cabin afterward!
Congratulations! I felt the same say when on the fourth attempt, I FINALLY found an adhesive that would work to repair the linkage.
 

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'14 ATS Premium with 3 pedals | Past: '13 ATS Performance & '99 Seville STS
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Discussion Starter #17
Here is my custom-made tool I built for removing the screws! :D

Can you recognize the parts that I used for building the tool? :D

 
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