How to Fix a Ticking Blower
How to Fix a Ticking Blower
I finally fixed my blower assembly eliminating that merciless ticking when
the climate control is on. On the way to work this morning, I realized I
had forgotten how wonderfully quiet these cars can be without the blower
noise. Thanks to all who helped with their suggestions. As per request,
here's the how to,( or at least the way I did it, a novice)
HOW TO REMOVE AND DISASSEMBLE THE BLOWER FAN ON AN 86 S3
This is a 20 step guide for removing the blower fan to fix the ticking
sound,clean and/or replace the fan motor or another related component. Car
is an 86 S3, US spec. The S3 is equipped with two of these units. They are
located behind the dash, on the left and right hand sides. This procedure
concerns the RH PASSENGER side unit. Much of this is applicable to the
driver's side, with the addition of differences such as the steering column
and bulb failure unit. Additions, corrections welcome.
- Remove the RH side console trim pad under the fascia. Remove the two
screws on the plastic vent. The pad is held in place by clips on the front;
push forward toward the engine and lift the panel out.
- Remove the black plastic trim piece on the side of the fascia facing the
door. One screw.
- Remove the black underscuttle trim pad, under the glove box. Three
- Remove the glove box door.
- Remove the glove box liner. The liner is held in by screws around the
its opening. Ease the box liner downward and out the bottom of the dash.
Disconnect the glove box light lead as you do this. TIP: There is a small
black electrical component/cannister under the dash; removing this
cannister from its pincher clip and moving it aside makes a world of
difference in ease of withdrawing the liner.
- Remove the big shiny metal bracket holding the fuse box and other
components. This bracket is held in place by three 7/16 inch nuts. Once
you've removed these nuts, swing the bracket and wire harness toward you
just to get it out of the way. (I secured it with a tie down to the fascia
glove box frame).
- You've now exposed the blower fan unit. It is the big black metal unit
with the three mounting posts from which you removed the metal bracket in
step 7. Disconnect the pliable rubber ductwork where it joins the two
openings in the console side.
- The blower unit is held in place at two points. One is a 7/16" bolt head
on the left, easily visible and removable as you sit there in the seat. On
the right of the unit is the other one, a 7/16" nut on a threaded mounting
post. This nut is a bitch to see, in fact impossible, unless you lie on
your back on the door sill with the back of your head on the car floor and
squinting up there. It is recessed up there 4-5 inches. To get this nut
off, I used a socket wrench, with an extender, and a 7/16" socket. The
socket should be DEEP to accommodate the long mounting post. (You also
probably need a light to see what you're doing).
- Next, disconnect the vaccum tube. The vaccum tube is a blue plastic tube
connected to the actuator. The actuator is connected to the blower
assembly on the lower right; it's the size of a thick hamburger patty, in
unpainted metal. To separate, just pull the rubber joiner at the actuator.
- Now you're ready to begin lowering the blower unit down. IMPORTANT:
To withdraw the blower assembly, the fresh air flap on the top of the unit
must be in its CLOSED position. Trouble is, you can't see the position of
this top flap. Don't worry. The flap is similiar to the ventilation flap on
the bottom of the blower assembly, which you can see and easily feel. Is it
open or closed? When the bottom flap is CLOSED, the top one, which you
can't see,is OPEN. And vice versa. If the bottom flap is closed, as it was
when I was doing this, you must therefore open it. I did so with my fingers
and just held it open as I rocked and worked the blower assembly downward.
At this point, you're sitting on the seat, hands and arms under the dash,
lowering the blower unit down onto your feet in the footwell. The unit is
not heavy, just awkward. If you're still having difficulty lowering the
blower unit down, and the top flap IS CLOSED, you haven't cleared the unit
sufficiently from its mounting post on the right.
- Disconnect the two temperature sensor leads from the left side of the
unit. I marked which lead was affixed to the upper terminal and which was
affixed to the lower with a piece of masking tape.
- Disconnect the electrical leads coming from the battery.
- Now, with the blower assembly removed from your car and on the
workbench, remove the three small screws holding the housing together. You
have to open one of the flaps to access one of the screws. Just stick a
screwdriver in there, as you hold the flap open.
- Separate the housing. Now you have to disconnect the two leads inside
on the motor. I took note of where each lead was connected.
- Remove the three bolts that hold the bracket and fan motor to the
flange. The motor and squirrel cage now lift out.
- Remove the squirrel cage from the motor axle with a hex wrench. My axle
had rusted to the squirrel cage and I had to hammer it out using WD-40.
- Motor Cleaning: I squirted contact cleaner/degreaser through the
perforations on each side of the motor housing and used compressed air, all
about three occasions. I let the motor dry thoroughly overnight each time.
Manually spinning the axle made me think I had eliminated (hooray) the
ticking sound, but when I hooked everything up, the noise was, oh damn,
still there. The merry ticking, in my case, was only evident when the fan
motor was running at high, constant speed. Next step was to disassemble the
motor itself and check the brushes. The motor casing is disassembled by
removing the two long throughbolts and unscrewing the two halves of the
casing. But, sumabitch, no matter what I did, I could not unscrew the
motor; my vice wasn't big enough to get a purchase on it.
- Motor Replacement: NO MORE MISTER NICE GUY. Hell with it. I purchased a
new fan motor from Vicarage Jaguar for $90.(www.jagweb.com/vicarage). Tony
Parkinson, the CEO there, read about my plight on jag-lovers and sent me a
fan motor a day and half later; the motor arrived from Florida. Vicarge
sells NEW fan motors independent of the ventilation/flap mechanism/
housing. (I understand the entire blower fan assembly can cost about $700
if you buy the whole thing as a unit.)
- IMPORTANT: If you install a new fan motor as I did, run current to it
before assembly and installation to be sure the motor axle revolves in the
correct direction. It should revolve CLOCKWISE. If it doesn't, reverse the
leads, and begin the refit.
- Reassembly is the reverse order. But first take the opportunity to
clean the ventilation mechanism/housing and linkage of dust and gook,making
sure everything is in good working order; and clean the ductwork. Again,
the top flap must be closed to refit, and allow a little extra time getting
that difficult mounting nut on the right back on the
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