Replacing the Vig's Blower Motor
One of the great things about this club is... we all know what's going to go wrong with our Vigssooner or later. We can all expect the same problems others have had, whether it's a rattling heat shield or a failed Main Relay. And... forewarned is forearmed.
One of these "pattern failures" is the Heater/AC Blower Motor. When it fails to come on, we know that we can "thump" the dash a few times with a fist and it'll come back onfor a while. But eventually, one day, it's gonna go. And when it does, we can expect a repair bill in the neighborhood of $1000-1300 from the local Acura dealership. Most of realize that the AC system has to be drained of refrigerant (R-12 or R-134a) to do this job, so it may also entail a refrigerant conversion.
Well, there's no way around itwhen it fails, the blower motor has to be replaced and the AC system has to be drained in order to do that. That's the bad news But the good news is... it can be done for less than $100including the AC conversion! Okay... it'll take some time... and the blower motor won't be a genuine Honda/Acura part... but the savings are undeniable.
This month, we'll continue to learn from a fellow named "Mat," who is now a club member, even though he seldom posts... preferring to "lurk in the background." Mat is the guy who showed us how to convert from R-12 to R-134a last month. This month, we'll see... the rest of the story. Mat, you are... the MAN!
Before you dismiss this project as "too difficult," think again. It is a big job. It will take a lot of time. But it isn't difficult. If you can adjust your Vig's valves, you've already done work that's far trickier. If you've ever diagnosed a problem with a voltmeter, you've already done work that requires far more gray matter. So... yes, this is a big job, but it's not a difficult one. It just involves a heckuva lot of simple steps.
Although having a Service Manual is always recommended for work like this, one member even did the job using only this article! His comments are at the end.
Let's get started.
Remove the Refrigerant from the Cooling System
As we saw last month, this must be done by a certified AC tech using approved recovery equipment. Have the system purged before you begin.
Make Room To Work
Since the blower motor is located behind the dashboard, you'll have to remove the entire dashboard to get at it. You'll be taking a lot of things out of the passenger compartment, so make sure you have space in your work area.
First, remove the center console. See illustration at right. There are four screws holding it in. There's one on either side of the console, under a pair of trim caps. The other two are inside the console binhiding under the bin liner. Empty out the bin, lift the piece of felt and you'll see the two screws. (NOTE: the author has dibs on any spare change, old lost roaches, etc. that you may find in the console bin. Send him an email and he'll reply with his mailing address.)
If you have an A/T, you can lift the console out once the four screws are removed. Take it out of the car and set it aside someplace where you won't trip over it.
If you have a 5-speed, you'll have to remove the shift knob first. You'll notice a chrome trim ring at the base of the shift knob, where it connects to the rubber boot. Grab the trim ring and push it down firmly until it separates from the knobit's a friction fit. Once the ring separates, you can unscrew the knob by turning it counter-clockwise. Outside of the US, you'll have to turn it anti-clockwise instead.
When the shift knob is off, you can lift the console out of the car. The boot comes with the console.
Next, we'll remove the front seats. There are a few electrical connectors under the seats (for the seat motor, seat heaters on Canadian Vigs, etc.), so this is a good time to disconnect the negative terminal of the battery. Then, disconnect the positive terminal. Make sure you have the stereo code! Otherwise, you'll have to get it from your local Acura dealership (more about this below).
Remove the three seat track covers shown in the illustration at right (driver's side shown). Then, remove the eight bolts that hold the seat to the seat track. Disconnect the electrical connectors. Remove the seat from the car and set it asideagain, put it someplace where it'll be out of the way.
Repeat the process for the passenger-side seat.
This should give you plenty of room to work inside the car. As above, the author has dibs on...
Remove the Center Console Panel
To get to the dashboard, the center console panel comes off first. It's held in place by five screws.
First, remove the ashtray. When that's out, you'll see the first two screws.
The third screw is sneaky. See the Heater Control Panel, with the two sliders? The slider on the left is for temperature and the one on the right controls the now-defunct blower motor. Got 'em? Between the two sliders is a small trim piece. Grasp it with your fingers and pull it straight out. There's the third screw!
With that screw removed, pull out the Heater Control Panel. It'll come right out.
Behind the control panel, you'll see the last two screws. Remove them, and the center console panel will come loose.
But first, you'll have to reach behind it and disconnect the connectors for the stereo, cigarette lighter, etc.
When all the connectors have been disconnected, remove the center console panel with the stereo.
If you don't have the code for your stereo, this is a good time to get it. Note the serial number of the stereo. If you give this number to your local Acura dealership, they can look up the code for you. There is usually no charge for this.
Now we're ready to remove the dashboard. We'll begin by removing the components that are mounted to the dashboard.
Remove the Lower Cover and Knee Bolster
Remove the Lower Cover (two screws), the Dashboard Stay (two 10mm bolts), and the Knee Bolster (four 10mm bolts) as shown in the illustration at right.
Remove the Upper and Lower Steering Column Covers
Next, remove the upper and lower covers from the steering column. Refer to the illustration at left.
Remove the screws and the two pieces will come apart.
NOTE: Mat says this step isn't necessary, even though the shop manual lists it.