Ford Expedition /
Lincoln Navigator
Rear A/C Actuator Door


Does your Ford Expedition / Lincoln Navigator make a clicking noise in the back when you turn on the rear A/C? Is it driving you crazy but you don't want to spend the big $'s to have the dealer fix it? It's quite probable that the problem is a faulty air door actuator (sometimes also referred to as a "blend door" actuator). This little device is actually a small motor/gear mechanism that blends the cold air with the warm air to achieve the desired temperature. When it goes bad the gears inside it start to slip, hence the "clicking" noise. Not to worry, this is a relatively easy problem to repair and can be done in about an hour and a half even by a novice. Dealers will charge $250+ for this repair but you can do it for less than $40. If you do decide to take on this procedure yourself please drop us a line and give us some feedback on the content of this site. We're always trying to improve our content and we love getting feedback from fellow Do-It-Yourselfers

Parts and Tools...

For this repair you'll need a new air door actuator, a 17mm socket, an 8mm socket, a T-50 Torx bit, and a flat-blade screwdriver. Prices for the replacement part can vary from about $30 (aftermarket part) to $100+ (Ford OEM part). In our experience the aftermarket replacement part appears to be identical to the OEM part, costs less, and performs the same.

Removal and Replacement Instructions
(steps 1-12 of 12)

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. It's always a good idea to disconnect the battery when working on anything connected to the electrical system of the car (which the A/C actuator door is). We confess we don't always perform this step since it's such a simple and quick repair and presents little risk to the electrical system. That said, do as we say, not as we do.

  2. The air door actuator is located behined the passenger-side rear panel in the cargo area. In order to remove this panel to get at the module, we'll need to remove several interior pieces. Start by removing the plastic covers just above and below the liftgate opening (see pic below). These panels is held in by clips; just genlty pull up starting at one end and working to the other end. To make it easier to remove the lower panel, lift up and remove the floor panel that covers the jack. Just lift it up and pull towards you to remove.

  1. You will need to remove the rear (3rd-row) upper seat belt mount and also the upper and lower seatbelt mounts for the passenger side center seat.

    Remove the rear, upper seatbelt mount first. Flip open the seatbelt mount cover and, using the T-50 Torx bit, remove the rear upper seatbelt mount bolt (see picture below).

  1. Remove both seatbelt mounts for the center, passenger side seat. Remove the upper center seat seatbelt mount nut using a 17mm socket wrench. Remove the lower center seat seatbelt mount bolt using a T-50 Torx bit (see picture below).

  1. Remove the rear C-pillar cover (the panel in the rear corner of the cargo area). Like the others, this panel just clips into place. Pull gently away from the side window starting at the top of the panel working your way down.

  1. Remove the rear B-pillar cover (the passenger side panel next to the center seat). First, remove the round plastic plug covering the upper mounting screw (it's about 1" in diameter and can be removed genlty with a flat-blade screwdriver). Next, using an 8mm socket, remove the upper mounting bolt which is behind the plug you just removed. Lastly, the rest of this panel just clips into place. Pull gently away from the side of the vehicle starting at the top of the panel working your way down in order to remove.

  1. Remove the passenger side rear door sill plate which is at the base of the passenger side rear door. This panel just clips into place like the others but can be stubborn as the clips are quite strong. Pull (relatively) gently starting at one end of the panel working your way across in order to remove. You might beed the flat-blade screwdriver to help you get started. We did.

  1. The next step is to remove the panel that actually covers the part we're trying to get to. All the other crap we removed was just so we could remove the passenger side rear cargo area side panel which covers the rear A/C system. We don't actually need to completely remove this panel which is good since it still has some other stuff connected to it (like the rear power folding seat switch, etc.) We just need to unclip the panel and pull it out far enough to get at the elusive rear air door actuator (it does exist and you're about to actually see it).

    Like with the other panels, gently pull this panel away from the side of the vehicle and out far enough so that you see something that looks a lot like the picture above.

  2. The air door actuator has (1) electrical connection and the unit is held in place with (4) 8mm screws. Unplug the unit from the wiring harness and using the 8mm socket, remove the mounting (4) screws. Once these screws are removed the unit just slides straight out.

    NOTE that there are actually (2) air door actuator devices in the rear. The 2nd one is the "white" box you see in the above picture that sits on top of the rear A/C unit. This upper actuator is used to open and close the air for the vents in the ceiling of the vehicle. This unit can also go bad and cause the clicking noise; it's not as common for this one to fail but it does happen.

  3. To install the new air door actuator line up the shaft so that it slides into place into the A/C unit. NOTE that some units have a round shaft with a flat side and some have a "star" shaft. If you're having trouble inserting the new unit make sure it has the same type of shaft as the unit you just removed. Once the shaft is fully inserted you can gently rotate the unit to line up with the mounting holes and then re-install the (4) mounting screws using an 8mm socket and re-connect the electrical plug to the new unit.

  4. It's a good idea to test the new unit before re-installing the sea of plastic panels. Re-connect the negative battery terminal if you removed it. Crank the vehicle and turn on the rear A/C unit. If you don't hear any clicking that's a good sign. Change the rear temperature setting from "cool" to "heat". The new door actuator unit should rotate and you should not hear any clicking sounds. We took a Sharpie and made a small mark on the shaft of the new unit so that we could confirm that it was indeed rotating as it should when the rear A/C was changed from "cool" to "heat". If it's not, then re-check that you reconnected the electrical connection and that the shaft of the module is fully inserted/

  5. If everything is working as it should it's time to put everything back together. In short, just repeat the steps above in reverse order. Make sure you properly tighten all the seatbelt mounting points and that all panels are securely clipped back in place. This is also a good time to CLEAN things if your vehicle was like our test vehicle. We cleaned all the panels (especially the door sill plate) and vacuumed out areas of the cargo space that hadn't seen the light of day in years. Now we have a clean ride that doesn't click anymore.

Congratulations! You just replaced your rear A/C air door actuator and saved yourself some money (and gained the satisfaction of doing it yourself). After your wash your hands and drink your favorite beverage please drop us a line and give us some feedback on the content of this site. We're always trying to improve our content and we love getting feedback from fellow Do-It-Yourselfers

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