DIY fix for Jeep Cherokee A/C Blend Door Failure

Like most DIYers I see a problem and the last thing I think about is "where do I take this to get it fixed?" I instead ‎look at a problem and try to outwit traditional solutions. That being said, when I didn't have heat in my Jeep Grand ‎Cherokee (JGC) during our first cold snap I naturally went online to diagnose and solve the problem. What I ‎discovered was this is a very common problem with my model of JGC (1999-2004). I love my Jeep, but the person that ‎designed this blend door actuator system needs to find new work. The design is inherently weak, and relies on a ‎calibration phase that puts intense pressure on the weakest points in the system. Not wanting to repair the faulty ‎design with the same OEM design, I set out to reverse engineer a long-term solution

This website was among the more helpful sites as it provides Jeep's Repair kit instruction.  Thanks for a well thought out site, and permission to borrow content.

This site does a good job of where and how to cut, so I will not re-invent the wheel.  I'll show you my solution to the kit from Jeep.

Total Cost of Project:
$1.76  Mending plate ($0.88 x 2)
$3.36  Hinges ($1.18 x 2)

Required Materials / Tools:
4  - 1/8" rivets
1  - Rivet gun
hacksaw or rotary tool (the hacksaw requires more patience than I possess)
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AlexA64041 year ago
Thank you for the instructions. This is great info. One concern that I have is to make sure that the combination hinge and the mending plate are not too heavy for the actuator motors to cause them to fail in the long term? How does their weight compare to the original (plastic) door/hinge? I understand that, if the passenger side actuator motor fails, you will need to remove the dash to get to it, which is what we are trying to avoid in the first place.
tallan13 years ago
I just wanted to say thank you for this, it saved me about $160. I spent less than $20 and about 2 hors of my time. If I could just add, the hinge that I used was one that the pin just slid out of , so basically one less step.
jeepbro tallan12 years ago
This is some good info, such a bummer it happens to so many JGCs. If you don't feel like making your own door/hinge, you can do what I did and put in a heatertreater It was cheap and still going strong after 4 years!
Gregmink (author)  jeepbro2 years ago
I'm not sure what a heatertreater is - care to explain?

I agree though - something so "simple" and it leaves such a bad impression on most Jeep owners.