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VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old April 25th, 2014, 14:29   #1
Shizzell
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Post DIY: How to fix air blend door MK4 TDI no cabin heat problem

DIY: How to fix air blend door MK4 TDI no cabin heat problem

Problem:
I was not experiencing cabin heat at any point during my commute. This was becoming a serious concern not only because I was freezing, but also because I couldn’t defrost.

The coolant temp sensor said a solid 190. I knew my temp sensor was good as I replaced it recently, and the thermostat was also fairly new. I had installed 2 plastic sheets in front of my radiator to reduce air flow. The bottom cover of the engine was intact, and I re-insulated my top engine cover as the foam was not present.

I was not seeing any foam coming out of the vents, but since heater cores aren’t typically faulty, and my directional heating/cooling was not functioning, I decided to attempt a blend door repair without removing the dash.

I followed this on VWVortex, but hopefully I can clarify a few things in the procedure that may help others: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...oam-repair-diy

Parts:
Aluminum insulation tape
Cleaning solvent
Miscellaneous torx, phillips, and flat-head drivers
Dremel

Procedure:
1. Remove plastic paneling under the driver’s side.

2. Remove the center console.

3. I got away with not fully removing the glove box, but it would probably be easier to just get it out of the way when you take the center console out.

4. Remove the center trim around the radio and HVAC controls.

5. Remove the controls and push them into the driver’s side foot bay.

6. Remove the radio and connections.

7. There are multiple hex head 8mm screws that hold down the vent casing behind the radio and controls. I could not get any sort of tool in there with a plastic corner that holds a radio wire bundle clip. I used a Dremel to cut the plastic out so I could get a straight angle on the screw.

8. I didn’t fully remove the vent case, so I just pushed it down far enough so I could reach inside the heat exchange.



9.
To access the doors, you must move your HVAC direction controls. I used a solvent to clean off the doors. Cutting length size pieces of tape, I was able to get one hand in there to attach them to the 3 doors. I used approximately 4 strips per side, per door. I was careful to make sure the tape didn’t rub on the door pathway when I moved the HVAC controls.

10. I cleaned the center piping going out to the cabin, and noticed that the piping was not attaching well to the airway. I taped the two plastic pieces together as I was re-assembling.

11. Install HVAC controls, radio, and trim. Install the center console and glove box. Install the rest of plastic.

The car begins heating immediately. I can tell the air recycling button does a lot more, and I can successfully direct air to my feet or my dash.


Cheers
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Last edited by Shizzell; April 28th, 2014 at 15:03.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 05:00   #2
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I need to do this as well, about how long did the whole procedure take?
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Old April 28th, 2014, 06:07   #3
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Subscribing for info
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Old April 28th, 2014, 10:39   #4
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Wow, I'm really excited about possibly being able to fix this. I've had foam blowing in my face for 3 years now, and worse, I've found if it blows out the defrost and lands on the dash on a hot day and I don't get it off immediately it becomes a permanent part of the dash

Does anyone know if this is doable for a Beetle? I read both this and the original thread and it only talks about Jetta.

Call me suspicious but I have to wonder why VW decided to put holes in the doors, and why they chose to cover the holes in foam. I guess the answer to the first question could be to make the door lighter so that it wouldn't put extra stress on the operating mechanism...maybe. But why cover it with non air tight foam? As porous as that stuff is, even with two layers as it appears to be, it would still let some small amount of air pass through.

I'm wondering whether this was a conscious design decision to prevent excess pressure which might cause the blower to prematurely fail, or to prevent excess sound from escaping air as it could blow the door open slightly and cause wind around the door? It also seems like it would cause more stress on the door flap mechanism if you changed the setting with the fan on high.

I'm just thinking out loud here, and wondering whether fully enclosing the door with aluminum tape is necessarily the best idea. Could anyone who has done this comment on any changes in sound or operation that might indicate a problem?

Also, yes, I have really anemic heat, but also I've never really felt like my AC was quite as cold as it should ideally be. Will this fix both problems or is the AC issue completely separate? Every other aspect of my AC operation has been checked out already.

Last edited by ericas_beetle; April 28th, 2014 at 10:41.
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Old April 28th, 2014, 15:02   #5
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4-6 hours seems reasonable.

If you have the manual HVAC cable controls, you may just want to check ETKA and see if your exchange is the same part (or similar).

I'm not worried about stress on the door flap at all. I tested my A/C and it dramatically improved. I've also noticed that the car is *slightly* quieter when recycling is on, and outside fumes can be kept better at bay.
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Old July 2nd, 2014, 05:00   #6
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My guess is the foam is meant to allow ventilation. I notice that if i leave the vent selector on floor, the car has a slight mildew smell on some days. If I leave it on defrost, there is no smell since the moisture can evaporate unimpeded.




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Old July 10th, 2014, 10:12   #7
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Just so you know, this fix (a disgusting one, EXTREMELY poor design choice on VW's part) helped my air conditioning blow a whole lot colder.

Win win win. Hot air in winter, cold air in summer,... and best of all, no foam projectiles into your mouth, eyes, hair, etc.
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Old July 10th, 2014, 10:32   #8
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By the way, I used high quality HVAC aluminium tape which has adhesive that resists heat and cold changes, so it doesn't unstick itself.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 03:47   #9
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Old September 22nd, 2014, 19:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyzeal View Post
I need to do this as well, about how long did the whole procedure take?
If anything like the MkIII Cabrio I did this on a day or two.
The wires... oh the wires.
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Old September 25th, 2014, 10:13   #11
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Is this the same for the NB? 2000 has been blowing foam bits for a year now, A/C is meh, nearly no heat except on recirculate, so this needs doing. What I'm seeing are all Jetta or Golf models in the pictures and descriptions, and haven't looked at Bentley yet. The 2000 needs some love put into it, it's been the workhorse for a long time, but sits a lot more now that there are others newer around.

EDIT: Found a youtube video showing the procedure, looks similar enough to proceed cautiously.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 14:24   #12
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http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/120/3574/=twr0ip

I ordered this foam from McMastercarr adhesive backed, 1/8 thick extra firm foam

Extreme-Temperature Textured Silicone Foam, Adhesive-Backed, 1/8" Thick, 12" x 12"
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Old September 27th, 2014, 17:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tongsli View Post
http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/120/3574/=twr0ip

I ordered this foam from McMastercarr adhesive backed, 1/8 thick extra firm foam

Extreme-Temperature Textured Silicone Foam, Adhesive-Backed, 1/8" Thick, 12" x 12"
looks like good stuff. did you read the fine print?:
"Foam only (not adhesive) meets ASTM D1056 2A3. Material has a skin on all sides. Adhesive is acrylic and has a temperature range of –20 to 180 F. Width tolerance is 0.15". Length tolerance is 3" for 3-ft. lengths and 6" for 15-ft. lengths."
i think i have a few things i can use in the shop, when, if, i get to it.
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Old September 27th, 2014, 20:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deejaaa View Post
looks like good stuff. did you read the fine print?:
"Foam only (not adhesive) meets ASTM D1056 2A3. Material has a skin on all sides. Adhesive is acrylic and has a temperature range of –20 to 180 F. Width tolerance is 0.15". Length tolerance is 3" for 3-ft. lengths and 6" for 15-ft. lengths."
i think i have a few things i can use in the shop, when, if, i get to it.
I did see that and was thinking that i'd supplement the adhesive. I'm not sure my heater box gets to 180F. I doubt the OEM adhesive goes much above that temperature. So I think it'll be ok

Here's a 3m product that might work, at 550degs

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...4274447&rt=rud

UPDATE: I ended up returning the foam above and re-ordered a less dense Silicone Foam. Much better stuff. I may go with the aluminum tape and foam on the edges combo like I've seen guys do on the Vortex.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/120/3574/=tyxqfh



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Last edited by tongsli; October 2nd, 2014 at 11:39.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 19:15   #15
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Hi, I just did this and wanted to offer my notes for anyone that may take a stab at this.

First it took me start to finish about 4 hours, I am not a mechanic but I know my way around a bit.

After all the controls/radio etc. were removed I got to the box. I didn't remove any screws or nuts like people mentioned, I just started prying and working the tabs and just worked my way from the sides/bottom and up. Took some careful prying but I got it. I didn't remove the back half, that's what the screws/nuts hold but I didn't see it necessary. I then cleaned the doors and applied the aluminum tape that was mentioned. It was mostly blind application because most of the doors are out of sight but I put a lot on trying to work my way from the top to the bottom, lots of overlap, I figured a little more may go a long way.

Snapped and assembled all back together and sure enough heat!

Not that I am an expert but if anyone ever has any questions feel free to contact me via PM and I would be more than happy to answer questions via phone or email.

Last edited by psulik1; February 19th, 2015 at 19:19.
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