DIY fix for Jeep Cherokee A/C Blend Door Failure

Picture of 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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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.

Heatertreater is a brand of aftermarket blend door replacement or fix, instead of a Dorman or JGC Parts. That's all.

jimbrody4 months ago

Great instructions. I realize this is an older post, but can anyone comment on the dual zone control? Before cutting anything I manually flipped the outer door by turning the keyway with the motor free from the housing, it sounds like it is flipping open and closed as it should. Is there a second motor for the other door because of the dual climate control? I have the classic symptom of cold air on the passenger side. Also when I move the climate control knobs from lo to hi the motor moves the outer door. Can't tell what's going on with the inner door.

Gregmink (author)  jimbrody4 months ago
Yes, there are two servos - one that you accessed via the key way controls the drivers side. If I remember the research I did prior to cutting anything, the passenger side servo is installed into the heating and air "assembly" prior to it's actual installation in the dash of the vehicle. Accessing it requires removing the assembly from the Jeep, which involves getting past airbags and other stuff I didn't want to tear into while in my driveway.

I will say that with time the weakest point in the new system, the white OEM connector piece, failed and was stripped. So I had to epoxy the drivers side connector to the new door, hinge pin and passenger side door. I now only have control via the Driver's side temp control, but I almost never have passengers so it's not a big deal for me. I love the Jeep, but way too many plastic parts in this system.
AlexA64042 years 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.