29 August 2018

Nickels And Dimes

The mode actuator has failed on The Precious, on the plus side, it's not a very expensive part.

On the down side, it's very awkwardly placed.

The service manual thinks the entire dash needs to come out.

A single write-up on a forum says you can get at it by dropping the glove box.


It's not like taking the whole dash out is particularly hard, it's just an awkward task that needs lots of space.  A bit more space than I think I have to make it easy.

I strongly suspect that no matter which way works, there will be cussing and Navy veterans crying in the corner from the level of language.

NOTAMs will be issued!


  1. Have been wrenching almost non-stop since 1973. WTF is a "mode actuator" in the queen's English? American English too if that is an option. GM just loves to name shit without assigning intelligence to the descriptor, as opposed to the Krauts who go to a whole other dimension.

    1. It's the electric motor that runs a fragile plastic gear-set which moves the flapper door that makes the air come out the floor/vents/defroster holes.

  2. I think your Precious was designed by the same guy who designed my Porsche 928. (Before you comment, I already know of the Tony Lapine link.)

    Almost every time I have to fix something, I have to remove stuff that I can't even name, just to get to what's broken.

    I am eternally thankful for modern 'phone cameras, because, if I take enough pictures, I can now at least tell what it looked like before I messed with it.

  3. Heh! To replace the heat exchanger in the cabin of the MK4 Jetta I had to dismantle the entire dash down to the firewall and remove some items from the engine compartment side too. The Benz (which sold last Sunday PTL) had a bad A/C evaporator, same deal, would have had to dismantle the entire center console and dash to get to it. Happy it sold as is, was not keen to do that job.

    Now the Jetta decided to kak the head gasket, after looking at what I have to do to get to that item (and lacking special timing tools) decided to ask my local indie what he would charge to do both the head gasket and the timing belt.water pump etc. at the same time. Both require almost the same amount of disassembly of the same items. There are times when one has to avoid aggravation and pay others to do it.


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