Question about Jeep Cherokee

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My '96 Cherokee AC vent door is stuck in 1 position. At times it clunks & air actually blows out where I have it selected to blow. Is it a cable problem or broken blend door? If the blend door, can I repair it myself by removing glove compartment door & cutting hole into HVAC to replace the door? I'm a handy female with limited funds. Thanks.

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  • chucknjo2 Jul 30, 2010

    After this discussion, I believe I should take it to a shop for repair. Thanks for the heads up on possible cost.



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Usually it's a blend door problem that is actuated by vacuum tubes. If you remove the radio and heater control panel and possibly the dash, then you can get at it:

My '96 Cherokee AC vent - prev.gif next.gif INTERIOR Instrument Panel and Pad REMOVAL & INSTALLTION Fig. 1: Exploded view of the instrument panel assembly–Cherokee/Wagoneer and Comanche models 86746g41.gif
Fig. 2: Exploded view of the instrument panel assembly–Grand Cherokee/Grand Wagoneer models 86740g64.gif

  1. Disconnect the battery ground.
  2. Remove the following:
    1. parking brake handle Fig. 3: RemoveMy '96 Cherokee AC vent - 91070p33.jpg from the dash board . . . 91070p33.jpg
      My '96 Cherokee AC vent - 91070p35.jpg . then remove the retaining screw located behind it 91070p35.jMy '96 Cherokee AC vent - 91070p06.jpg_mi
      Fig. 5: Remove the lower dash panel retaining screws 91070p06.jpg
      Fig. 6: Disconnect the lower A/C duct hose from the outlet on the lower dash panel 91070p34.jpg

    2. ash tray
    3. lower instrument panel
    4. lower air duct on lower instrument panel, or below steering column
    5. instrument cluster bezel and assembly
    6. clock
    7. radio and heater control panel
    8. instrument panel switches
    9. headlamp switch
    10. antenna connector
    11. blower motor resistors
    12. ground lead
    13. disconnect glove box light
    14. defroster cowl panel
    15. instrument panel attaching bolts
    16. steering column attaching bolts
    17. instrument panel assembly
  3. Pull the panel out and disconnect the wiring harness.
  4. Installation is the reverse of removal.

Posted on Jul 30, 2010

  • 4 more comments 
  • chucknjo2 Jul 30, 2010

    I'm not THAT handy... to remove the entire dash etc. Can't do that. How's my shortcut idea?

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Jul 30, 2010

    The problem with cutting into the hvac is that it might hit the evaporator which is the cold coil and other vital things are behind there, as you can see by the diagram.

    I would rather use a socket on a screwdriver to remove panels one by one until you get at the door.

    It can be deep in there, that's why it takes a professional 4 to 8 to even 12 hours to do the job.

  • chucknjo2 Jul 30, 2010

    I see your point. Is it possible to check if vacuum tube is the problem without removing lots of stuff to get at the blend door? Or does the loud clunk noise which then yields great blowing more a sign of the door as the problem?

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Jul 30, 2010

    Usually the door itself is ok, it's the vacuum motor that is clunking, going back and forth arbitrarily.

    The vacuum motor is made of a rubber diaphragm that can go bad. The plastic door is made pretty sturdily.

  • chucknjo2 Jul 30, 2010

    Ok, so how do i check or fix the vacuum motor. What's a typical cost to do so?

  • Duane Wong
    Duane Wong Jul 30, 2010

    The temperature control assembly is like .5 hours according to my online resource.

    But, I could not find the vacuum motor specifically on the list of things to do to the 1996

    Cherokee, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

    The AC control module was another .5 hours. That sounds like it could be related

    to the door going haywire.

    If the shop charges $70 per hour, it could be that plus parts.



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