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Old 04-29-2013, 01:16 PM   #1
StarLady
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1992 SC
Default Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Over the last couple of years, the heating and air conditioning control sliders (blender door and temperature) have been getting increasingly difficult to slide from left to right. The reverse is much easier.
What is causing this? And is it something I could easily fix myself?

I've been looking for info about this, but so far haven't found a "how-to" guide.

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Have you tried richpin's videos? In general, most HVAC manual controls are cable operated so a solid hard wire is guided inside a cable housing (sheath) with gentle bends so the hard wire won't kink and jam. Depending on severity, this may be either a corroded/rusted wire inside the cable housing needing a little lithium grease to loosen and allow free wire movement or the control on the HVAC head panel is faulty. Removing the HVAC control panel carefully will allow examining the cables and levers. Once out in the open, you can separate the cable from the control panel and exercise the cable to see if any binding is caused from the cable or if its the control panel lever. There are foam pieces within the HVAC housing that will disintegrate over the years from dry rot and sometimes cause door binding. They're there to help seal off each door and makes the soft sound as doors are opened/closed instead of banging hard against plastic. If binding is felt with cable/door movement and its foam causing it then it will be more difficult to locate the foam for removal. This may require the blower motor removal to have some access to the doors inside the HVAC box. There may be some videos on youtube but not necessarily for Saturns but will give you an idea of what to expect.

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Old 04-29-2013, 02:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

I would bet money (yours, not mine) that all is needed is a bit of lube. Lithium or 'white grease' works well, use sparingly. You will probably have to pull the surrounding (right near the sliders) panels off.
This is intended as a "don't panic, wait" note . I have a 2001 SL2 so not much help.. Some one here will provide the details !
Jack

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:05 PM   #4
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1992 SC
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Yes, I searched Richpin's videos, but I only found one where he shows the proper cable positions. And, I think the Saturn he works on is a '97.
If I have to lubricate anything in there, I'll need to know how to remove the plastic front pieces (console?).
And , fortunately, I do have lithium grease (I bought it for my sunroof).

So, if anyone could please point me to a "how-to" for a '92, I'd really appreciate it. Photos or video would be great.

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Old 04-29-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Use Sil-Glide and apply sparingly to sliding surfaces. Lithium grease may not play well with plastic. Take the left and right side kick panels off and look in there with a flash light while moving the controls. Long q-tip with Sil-Glide on it. If it moves and touches something give it a dab and see if it helps. Problem is usually where a cable enters its sheath.

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Old 04-30-2013, 08:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

I removed, cleaned, and fully re-lubricated HVAC controls a while back (http://saturnseries.net/DIY%20Guides...isassembly.htm), but I didn't make a guide for removing the controls, and I did it on a 2nd gen, not a 3rd. They're very similar controls, though. If I remember right, the hardest part of removing them was getting the cables loose. The ends of the cables have a ring on them, and you have to squeeze the plastic clip the ring goes around and slide the ring off. Then you have to release the cable from the back of the HVAC control assembly. There are also a few small bolts & an electrical plug or two.

I felt a significant difference in how the sliders moved after the clean & re-lube, and have considered doing it to all my cars eventually.

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
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1992 SC
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Thanks, everyone.
I guess I first have to figure out how to remove the plastic panel(s) surrounding the controls. If anyone knows where I can find a step-by-step "how-to" guide and/or video to do this for my '92 SC, I'll really appreciate it.

...
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Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:06 PM   #8
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1992 SC
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
Take the left and right side kick panels off and look in there with a flash light while moving the controls.
I tried, but the view is blocked. The passenger side has the fuses, and the driver's side has a black "panel." This is the first time I removed the driver's side kick panel. All I could see is a bunch of wires. Can't see further inside/above.




...
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:17 PM   #9
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Yep, too far up in there in the Gen-1. This is probably the only way to get at the top of the sliders. http://www.differentracing.com/tech_...1-94radio.html The HAYNES 1991-1996 Saturn manual ISBN 1 56392 195 2 has pictures and access info but what is shown in the different racing link has to be done to start to get at them. This will be quite a project. It looks like you can get at all of the control sliders after the radio is out of the way. I will scan the parts book diagram tomorrow.

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Old 04-30-2013, 10:56 PM   #10
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1992 SC
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

That's what I was afraid of. Removing the front panel seems easy, until you consider that the plastic is old and may be prone to breakage. Scary. There goes my plan to fix the sliders and replace the cigarette lighter.

Maybe if I wait a couple of months until the weather gets really warm, the warm plastic would be more flexible.

But, yes, please do post the diagrams/photos so that the info will be available when the right time comes. Others may also find it useful, as there doesn't seem to be a lot of info for very early first gens.

And, of course, anyone else with info or tips, please post.

...
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Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 05-01-2013, 06:10 AM   #11
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Warm plastic and a heat gun is required.

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Old 05-04-2013, 12:10 AM   #12
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1992 SC
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

These are the videos I found about removing the center panel (and instrument cluster):

Saturn '91 ~ '94 Instrument Cluster Removal (by Richpin)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf65ON1CpEk

1st Gen Dash & Instrument Cluster Removal (by saturncrzy)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6Fbk...Byqheyt87bw35A

These get me halfway there. Now if I could just find videos that continue with the removal of the stock radio and cigarette lighter, I'll be all set.

...
1992 SC - TwinCam (Automagic)
Bought it brand new, and still loving it today.

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Old 05-04-2013, 10:22 AM   #13
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Hard to slide HVAC sliders

Radio is relatively simple after getting the face off and lighter is a matter of getting a hold of the back of it.

Basically carefully pry next to each clip location with a plastic putty knife and work from the bottom up in stages. The radio is held in with 2 screws on the top front corners and a pin in the lower center back.

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