So I know that one of Fords electronic actuators is out, so, time to do some exploratory surgery and see whats knocking in the back!
Do this on a Cold Motor, because there are heater hoses running to the back and you could injure yourself on the hot hoses.
- First off, You'll need:
- A Socket Set, Metric 3/8 and 1/4" drives with various extensions. Specifically, 13mm deep, 10mm and 8mm.
- A trim removal tool
- A dropcloth or sheet to keep the interior of your truck clean
- T50 Torx Driver
So here's our 2002 Ford Explorer. Start by Putting down the rear seat if equipped and removing any cargo tray liners, tools, junk etc from the rear of the truck.
First, remove the upper and lower trim from around the cargo area. This can be achieved by using your fingers to gently pry out the panels or you can use the trim removal tool to help.
Next, if equipped, pull the 3rd row Seat Belt "D" ring out of the panel
Now that the D Ring is out of the way, pull the rear hatch weather stripping out of the way and remove the Upper Side trim panel. Use your trim removal tool to help in getting the panel loose. Gently pry AT the clips and pull out. Once one side is loose, pull at the clips, not at the whole panel.
Now that the panel is exposed, we can remove the cupholder and the power lock panel, disconnect the wiring harness to the switch. Use the trim tool to help avoid scratching your interior.
Now that we have this panel removed you're going to need to get to the driver side rear door and remove the upper trim piece, lower scuff plate and lower seat belt anchor. The upper trim panel is VERY tricky. Be gentle and take your time.
Now that the scuff plate and upper panel is removed, pull outwards on the lower panel from the front, and then go to the rear, pull out again, near the clips, use your trim tool to help.
Now move to the back. This duct can be pushed up into the upper duct so you can remove the blower box.
Now, you can remove the upper 10mm bolt on the blower housing
Now loosen the lower bolt near the driver side rear door, 13 mm. You'll need a deep well 13 mm to access this.
Now we can move the blower box out to see whats going on in the back. VERY CAREFULLY slide the box from the long stud and turn the ignition switch on and the AC Fan to isolate the clicking noise.
After turning the key on, I found that the noise is coming from the temperature blend actuator. I unplugged it and the noise went away. Now you have isolated the culprit, turn the key off and replacement of the actuator can begin. I used a 8mm socket and 1/4" drive ratchet to remove the culprit. There are 3 screws on this one.
Heres the new part. It's a dealer item only, and cost around 60 bucks.
Now we can put the new part in, plug it in and turn the key and listen for the sound of....silence! Once you have verified the part is in and working and its quiet, reassemble and pat yourself on the back for saving 2.5 hrs at a dealer rate of 70-100 dollars!