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Timely Topics Archive

A Monthly Article for Vigor Enthusiasts (11/02)

 

Replacing the Vig's Blower Motor (cont.)

Disassemble the Heater-Evaporator (Cont.)

After the components have been removed from from the heater-evaporator (preceding page), disconnect the blower motor connector.

Then, remove the clips that hold the two halves of the housing together, and remove the lower half of the housing. See illustration below. Lift the blower motor (and the two squirrel cages) out of the lower housing.

 

Blower Motor

 

 

Your workbench (or, in Mat's case—his garage floor) will look like this...

 

Disassembled Heater-Evaporator

 

Remove the two squirrel cages from the blower motor, attach them to the new one, and put the whole mess back together (as they so glibly say) "in reverse order of removal."

Some points along the way...

  • Test things as you put them back together. Make sure the squirrel cages spin freely.
  • When re-installing the dashboard, make sure it's lined up on the guide pin first. Check to ensure no wires get pinched.
  • Don't force anything. Use "persuasion" instead. Be firm... but gentle.
  • Torque isn't critical on any of the nuts and bolts. Just tighten them "snugly."
  • When it's all back together, re-charge your cooling system in accordance with last month's article.

Mat said he got his blower motor from www.thepartsbin.com for $55.00. Add to that the $35.00 (or so) for the cooling system conversion, and you can see he did the job for under $100.00! He also said it took him about nine hours from start to finish, but if he had to do it again... he could probably do it in six.

(ED. NOTE: This article was posted in November 2002. We first noticed that the motor and price quoted in this article are no longer available as of September 2003. Since we haven't compared motors and prices from other suppliers, we're sorry to say we can't recommend another source.)

Mat also described one final step that isn't listed in the service manual. Carefully lay ten $100 bills on your workbench. These are the ten $100 bills you didn't give to your Acura dealership. Set aside five of them—to deposit into your savings account. Then, with the other five, do something nice for yourself, your wife, and your kids. You've earned it!

Thanks, again, Mat.

Courtney's Update

In July 2003, one of our members, Courtney Evans (AKA Lustygoat), read this article, printed it, and got to work. After overcoming a few snags, here are his remarks on the job...

  • Make sure you have relatively deep 10mm and 12mm sockets. There are some nuts in difficult positions, on long bolts, etc. Staring at them and trying to psyche them off won't help, as much as my Dad and I tried.
  • If you print out the directions, make sure you have a good printer. My printer is a piece of junk and on one of the diagrams, a bolt was illegible, leading to much profanity, gnashing of teeth, desperate posts to the group, etc.
  • Taking out the seats is unnecesary, but makes it easier to keep the seats from being damaged. I scratched the driver's seat a little. (Near where there's already a huge amount of wear anyways, but if yours are pristine, you probably want to take them out.)
  • Similarly, try to protect the base of the shifter. (Where it says P -R - N - D - etc.) I scratched it pretty badly. I'll have to start telling people a rabid porcupine broke into the car.
  • I found that lowering the steering column was necesary. I couldn't get out the plastic inset around the instrument panel without doing so. Maybe what Mat did was leave the inset in place and take out the dash with it still there?
  • In order to access the last, hidden bolt holding the heater-evaporator assembly inside the car, I had to unbolt the ABS controller and the AT controller from their positions behind the glovebox and lower them to the floor. I didn't need to disconnect them. Without doing this there was literally no way I would have been able to get the heater/evaporator out. (Well, I could have gone at it with an axe; that would have gotten it out, but it wouldn't have yeilded much cool or hot air afterwards. On that note, don't keep an axe nearby, because this option may sound tempting at this point.)
  • Similarly, on the other side we needed to unbolt and move aside the metal support for the left side of the center console portion of the dash. Without moving this we wouldn't have been able to pull the heater/evaporator back far enough to get its heater hose leads back through the firewall.
  • Under the hood, we needed to unbolt and move aside a mysterious black box with three skinny hoses running into it from the front. This was blocking access to the to heater hoses. (Ed. Note: The "mysterious black box" is the EGR Control Box.)
  • Below that mysterious black box was a mysterious silver cylinder on a bracket with a little arm that pushed a little valve or something on the lower heater hose. We had to unbolt/unscrew this also to get access to the lower heater hose. I put it back together but I would be curious as to what exactly it does so I can keep an eye on whether it's working. (Ed. Note: The "mysterious silver cylinder" is the Water Valve Control Diaphragm. It controls flow through the heater hose under direction of the EGR system.)
  • When removing the heater hoses from the heater/evaporator's leaders (the part of the job we found hardest), do not take the tactic of trying to squeeze them with vice grips in order to remove them. I squashed the lower pipe and we had to pound it back into shape. Once again, much vulgar language. However, much thanks to our mysterious neighbor who came over and popped the top one off with a quick yank and a grunt. (Nobody messes with this guy.)
  • When you get the heater/evaporator out, there's still some engine coolant in it. Pour it out into a container like a smart person, instead of tilting the unit over on your floor and spilling it all over the place like us idiots.
  • When taking off the recirculation control motor, look carefully at the illustration. There are two other very similar looking motors on the outside of the heater/evaporator, but taking them off will not do you much good. (I took off one, then the next, then finally said oh, dur, look - it's the third one.)
  • When putting the heater/evaporator back together, proceed slowly and carefully. The edges of the top and bottom are grooved, and the groove needs to fit together correctly in order for the squirrel cages to turn freely. Check the squirrel cages before you screw and clip the thing back together... check them with each screw you put in. (Actual squirrels not required for this process. In fact we had to chase away an eager volunteer who poked his head into the garage at this stage.)
  • Some vaseline helps when getting the blower motor's little rubber nozzle over the corresponding plastic nozzle in the heater/evaporator assembly. However this may produce fatal fumes or an explosion or something, I'm not really sure. We'll see I guess.
  • When putting the heater/evaporator back in the car, make sure you have the blower motor lead and the condensation drain hose out in the passenger side footwell so you can connect them appropriately. Don't bolt the entire assembly back into place without checking this. (This is where we got lucky and everything fell into place, and we didn't have to take the unit out and put it back in 4 times the way the rest of the days' events suggested would happen.)
  • Also, make sure the on the passenger's side of the top of the heater/evaporator that the plastic & foam ring around the vent that blows up into defroster land doesn't come off while you're putting the heater/evaporator back in.

Thanks for the advice, Courtney!

John's Update

A year later, in July 04, John Gruesen (or... Johngruesen)   sent the following email.

"I recently had the pleasure of replacing the heater/AC fan in my Vigor. I found your timely tips directions very useful. I got to do the job twice, because the motor I got was wired backwards (the motor turned backwards when turned on). I took the plug for the motor apart (no return on electrical parts!) to swap the leads and got everything going right. I found that removing the instrument cluster with it's switches and the trim piece on the dash were not necessary. Also, if you have a manual transmission, there is a bracken for the hydraulic line to the clutch slave cylinder hiding the stud from the heater/AC box on the engine side of the firewall. Finally, if you remove a short cross brace under the ashtray, it makes rolling the dashboard back in easier (this gives one more space for the shift lever to fit thru). Keep up the good work with the timely tips."

Thanks, John! Good tips!

 

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