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Potential Fire Risk - Check-out Your A/C Blower Motor Resistor ASAP! by canfirst
Started on: 07-14-2012 09:37 PM
Replies: 31 (2864 views)
Last post by: theogre on 04-19-2015 10:40 PM
canfirst
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Report this Post07-14-2012 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for canfirstClick Here to Email canfirstSend a Private Message to canfirstEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I cleaned out my a/c blower motor resistor located on the firewall of the front trunk compartment and found it was completely filled with debris that looked like the contents of a birds nest (or perhaps a mouse nest). It's a miracle that when these elements heated-up my Fiero didn't catch on fire!

For PFF members that don't know what the a/c blower motor resistor looks like there's one for sale on eBay complete with pictures as per following link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMP...xp=mtr#ht_1217wt _931

If you've never cleaned-out your a/c resistor, I would highly recommend you do it ASAP! We certainly don't need anymore Fiero Fires.

------------------
Now new owner of a Black TTop 88 Fiero GT and owner of a Silver 88 Fiero GT. Also a second time owner of an 85 Fiero GT. Bought my first fully loaded Red Fiero GT new in 1985. Fiero's are Fabulous, Fix'em and have Fun! Note, Avatar picture is Mr. Bean (not me, ha ha).

[This message has been edited by canfirst (edited 07-14-2012).]

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canfirst
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Report this Post07-15-2012 01:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for canfirstClick Here to Email canfirstSend a Private Message to canfirstEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Here's some more information and photo's on the subject from the Archives.

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/A...100421-2-099340.html
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urbex
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Report this Post07-15-2012 01:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for urbexClick Here to visit urbex's HomePageClick Here to Email urbexSend a Private Message to urbexEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Is it possible to get just the gasket for that resistor pack? I've gotten into the habit of replacing any gasket/seal I can when disassembling stuff like this.
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Stickerguy
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Report this Post07-15-2012 08:24 PM Click Here to See the Profile for StickerguyClick Here to Email StickerguySend a Private Message to StickerguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
No gasket is used for the resistor.

I checked my resistor and found leaves (previous owner's tree), glad I saw a previous thread about this !! Thanks !!
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Spoon
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Report this Post07-15-2012 09:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SpoonSend a Private Message to SpoonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I was just about to post the same topic. I decided to check my heater resistor just to see what all the hype was about and sure enough there was "kindling" stuck in the resistor coils.
While I was in there I poked my finger back towards the heater core and there was lots of debris stuck there too. To be sure I got it all, I removed the heater blower for better access and fabricated a wire coat hangar into a hook that could reach back into the crevice by the heater core. Pulled a good handful of crap out of there.

This is now going to be an annual checkup!!

Spoon

------------------
"Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne." - Kurt Vonnegut

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SE85
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Report this Post07-15-2012 09:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for SE85Click Here to Email SE85Send a Private Message to SE85Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
WOW, great call......mine was full of leaves and twigs.....absolutely amazing that there was no fire. Maybe because I rarely use a low fan setting....but thanks for the tip. Could have just saved another Fiero.
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canfirst
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Report this Post07-18-2012 04:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for canfirstClick Here to Email canfirstSend a Private Message to canfirstEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just one BUMP for the weekday Fiero crowd (better to be cautious than cooked.....by a Fiero fire).
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Gall757
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Report this Post07-18-2012 05:41 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post07-19-2012 10:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you find debris on the resistor wire it would benefit you to also look in there real good to see as much of the evaporator as you can.
I pulled my resistor piece to see if I could see any debris and after seeing some and pulling the evaporator coil this is what I found.
Mike

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BV MotorSports
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Report this Post07-19-2012 11:36 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BV MotorSportsClick Here to Email BV MotorSportsSend a Private Message to BV MotorSportsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TXGOOD:

If you find debris on the resistor wire it would benefit you to also look in there real good to see as much of the evaporator as you can.
I pulled my resistor piece to see if I could see any debris and after seeing some and pulling the evaporator coil this is what I found.
Mike




This type of thread usually gets posted every spring (and it should be a sticky warning). Pulling the resistor is a good start. You should really pull the housing to get all the crap out of there. Plus your A/C & Heat will work much better. I mean seriously... just look at the above pic.


------------------
Whodeanie built 1988 Fiero GT, loaded, 14k original miles, F23, built L67 swap, ST2 cam and matching valvetrain, PT67 bb turbo, w2a charge-cooled ----400-500whp?????? More mods when I get it back (interior, suspension, lighting etc). Stay tuned!
1987 Fiero GT Road Racer. 1st documented 3.4TDC swap- built in 1994. 5MT Isuzu, Quaife prototype LSD, HT Tubular A-arms, Fully poly & Heim jointed suspension, Custom 3 way adjustible sway bars, HT Bump Steer kit, Koin's, 320# springs, GA brakes, ZEX N20 and more! Under full restoration.
2007 Toyota Tacoma Double cab Prerunner SR5 Stock, and staying that way.
2009 KTM 250SX motocross bike. Modded and fun as hell!
2012 Can-Am Commander 1000 XT For the redneck in all of us! SideXSide's are sooooo fun!

[This message has been edited by BV MotorSports (edited 07-19-2012).]

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TXGOOD
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Report this Post07-19-2012 03:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
One of the members in my club brought up a point about my evaporator getting so clogged up and I didn`t even think about this.
Since there is no control, like in newer cars, for choosing recirculating air or fresh air is the Fiero system defaulted to one way?
If it recirculates air and you had a dog with a shedding problem, as light as hair is, I`m sure quite a bit could be drawn in over a period of time.
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Report this Post07-19-2012 10:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I just took mine out and took a picture, not bad after almost 30 years. I've cleaned out the duct before by removing the blower motor, but this is the first time I've actually taken the evaporator out of the car.

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Report this Post07-19-2012 10:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Riceburner98Click Here to Email Riceburner98Send a Private Message to Riceburner98Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by TXGOOD:

One of the members in my club brought up a point about my evaporator getting so clogged up and I didn`t even think about this.
Since there is no control, like in newer cars, for choosing recirculating air or fresh air is the Fiero system defaulted to one way?
If it recirculates air and you had a dog with a shedding problem, as light as hair is, I`m sure quite a bit could be drawn in over a period of time.


"Max AC" = recirculate, all other modes = outside air with a stock AC control head.
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Report this Post07-19-2012 10:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TXGOODClick Here to visit TXGOOD's HomePageSend a Private Message to TXGOODEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks Riceburner
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theogre
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Report this Post07-21-2012 10:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
See http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F.../HTML/123258.html#p8

------------------
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.
(Jurassic Park)


The Ogre's Fiero Cave (It's also at the top and bottom of every forum page...)

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Report this Post08-12-2012 06:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for OneSlowFieroSend a Private Message to OneSlowFieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My resistor went bad so I pulled it the other day and found it stuffed with pine needles. I cleaned what I could but after seeing this thread I think I will pull out the entire housing and clean it thoroughly. This should definitely be a sticky thread.
-Josh
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Report this Post08-13-2012 02:32 AM Click Here to See the Profile for gmctyphoon1992Click Here to Email gmctyphoon1992Send a Private Message to gmctyphoon1992Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I had a pack of dead mice and a house of twigs in mine..definitely good to check in there.. I also ended up finding dead mice in my center console and underneath my carpet...

why do mice like our cars so much??

------------------
1988 Pontiac Fiero Gt (fully optioned, factory leather, 5-speed, CJB T-Tops: Black w/ gray interior and blk wheels)
1992 GMC Typhoon #0203
1971Chevorlet Corvette 454cu/ LS5/ 4-speed/ convertible
1993 BMW 850 Ci 6-speed V-12

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Report this Post05-19-2013 02:59 PM Click Here to See the Profile for sricka01Send a Private Message to sricka01Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
bumping this for new Fiero owners to investigate. This should be a yearly part of Fiero checklists.
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Report this Post05-19-2013 04:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for FFIEROFREDClick Here to Email FFIEROFREDSend a Private Message to FFIEROFREDEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
this is were the fire starts. I was close to home. I saved it. I would, if it did it again, use the tire tool/jack handle to beat my why in to the fire to get it out. And save the car.
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Report this Post05-19-2013 04:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for deceler8Click Here to Email deceler8Send a Private Message to deceler8Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Just how hard is it to take the evaporator out ?

Any tricks to know in advance ?

------------------

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Report this Post05-19-2013 05:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RWDPLZClick Here to visit RWDPLZ's HomePageSend a Private Message to RWDPLZEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Removing the evaporator requires having the AC system empty. If that's done, it's not that hard.

-Remove blower motor
-Remove heater core hoses
-Remove blower motor resistor
-Remove Relays and relay bracket
-Remove accumulator
-Disconnect AC line
-Remove housing cover
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Report this Post04-19-2015 12:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nothing like bringing back a dead thread but it's not archived yet so here goes.

My "new" Fiero should be home in about a week. I think this will be the first thing I do. I figure I can completely remove everything (including the condensor), clean it all and reinstall in a few hours (and that's even without having seen a Fiero in 10 years). My A/C is already dead (needs a new compressor) so I don't have a problem removing the condensor. Better to do it now than to wait until I fix the A/C (which will be my first "task"). I'll take my time and write up a good tutorial (with the required pics) that Cliff can (hopefully) sticky for everyone to see.
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Report this Post04-19-2015 12:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Monkeyman

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Member since Nov 1999
 
quote
Originally posted by RWDPLZ:

Removing the evaporator requires having the AC system empty. If that's done, it's not that hard.

-Remove blower motor
-Remove heater core hoses
-Remove blower motor resistor
-Remove Relays and relay bracket
-Remove accumulator
-Disconnect AC line
-Remove housing cover


Do you have to remove the heater core hoses to get everything else out of there or can you wiggle things loose with those in place? I want to do a full service on this area ASAP but don't want to have to mess with the coolant (since it's a bugger in a Fiero).

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Patrick
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Report this Post04-19-2015 02:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

...but don't want to have to mess with the coolant (since it's a bugger in a Fiero).


Seriously, it's not a big deal. Follow the steps and it's not an issue.
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Report this Post04-19-2015 05:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
In 4 Fieros, I've never changed it. Still, the first thing I'm going to do is clean out the heater area.

Got a link to the steps? I've got a 3800 n/a in an '87 GT, if it matters.

[This message has been edited by Monkeyman (edited 04-19-2015).]

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Report this Post04-19-2015 05:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for PatrickClick Here to Email PatrickSend a Private Message to PatrickEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Monkeyman:

Got a link to the steps? I've got a 3800 n/a in an '87 GT, if it matters.


Here's a list of my steps. Has worked just fine on half a dozen of my Fieros over the years... dukes and 2.8's. I've never had a problem with air in the cooling system.

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:

* Make sure rad cap is the proper one for Fiero use. The catalogs are wrong! You want a non-vented one,
* Check that the overflow tank and the small hose to the rad are both in good shape. Otherwise air gets sucked in.
* Ensure that coolant level in overflow tank is at the "Cold" level.
* Position rear end of Fiero higher than the front.
* Remove thermostat housing cap and thermostat... and then add coolant to thermostat housing with rad cap also removed until coolant runs out the top of the radiator.
* Re-install rad cap.

* Continue to add coolant until you see the level come up to where the thermostat normally sits.
* Put thermostat cap on and turn just barely enough to hold cap on.
* Start engine and run for about 30 seconds.
* Remove thermostat cap and check coolant level.
* Repeat last four steps until coolant level no longer drops.

* Re-install thermostat and thermostat housing cap.

As long as there are no blockages anywhere in the cooling system and the water pump is circulating coolant, you should be good to go.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-19-2015).]

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Report this Post04-19-2015 11:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Use a mirror(s) or small USB camera and light to look in resistor hole to see condition of AC.
Or HF Digital Inspection Camera Cen-Tech is very handy (on sale often)

You can often just loosen a lot of crap w/ a stick and suck out w/ a shop vac.
Be careful you don't bend AC fins.
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Report this Post04-19-2015 11:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for coltonandrewClick Here to Email coltonandrewSend a Private Message to coltonandrewEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Mine religiously spews leafs at me. After seeing this, I'm getting in there today and cleaning it!
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Report this Post04-19-2015 12:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ninjayogiClick Here to Email ninjayogiSend a Private Message to ninjayogiEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Wow this is scary I wonder what is in mine. I found the following youtube video on the subject.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9fImCPDQ_0

[This message has been edited by ninjayogi (edited 04-19-2015).]

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Report this Post04-19-2015 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MonkeymanSend a Private Message to MonkeymanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That's FFieroFred (posted about 1/2 way up the page with the melted cover).
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Report this Post04-19-2015 05:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ninjayogiClick Here to Email ninjayogiSend a Private Message to ninjayogiEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yep, full of leaves. What a horrible design. Something like that would start a massive recall these days.

[This message has been edited by ninjayogi (edited 04-19-2015).]

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Report this Post04-19-2015 10:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for theogreClick Here to visit theogre's HomePageSend a Private Message to theogreEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ninjayogi:
Yep, full of leaves. What a horrible design. Something like that would start a massive recall these days.

Not likely as you think and similar designs are still in use, including resistor coil(s).

Only thing added now is many have thermal fuse/cutout that blows temp above X° and kills power to the blower etc. Some have a "cage" etc to try to stop crap getting in the coils. Examples, Google Image: car blower resistor

Many 2 speed radiator fans work same way as 84 Fiero w/ AC too... High watt resistor somewhere fan blows air to cool it but now w/ thermal fuse.
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