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Climate control, '89 100Q, temp sensing

Hi folks.

I'm still puzzling over why my CC runs hot nearly all the time. The cable 
(Bowdin?) seems to be putting the flaps through all their proper motions, as 
far as I can tell, with my head (way) under the dash.  The valve controlling 
the flow of engine coolant seems to be working (shuts all the way when I put 
system at "low"). I do *sometimes* get the flashing red light at the temp. 
indicator. (I think this may be saying that the freon pressure is low (?).)  
The system seems to work, briefly, if I run it through the extremes of its 
ranges, then bam, full hot.     Questions:

1) a recent post by Steve Buchholz (thanks!) to someone confirmed my guess 
that that little grating on top/center of the dash deals with interior-temp. 
sensing. My suspicion has been that whatever the device is, it's not working, 
so the system defaults to full-heat.  How do I check that spec. item, and 
importantly, how do I get to/remove it??  Some idiot (ok, me, last nite at 
10:00), while carefully (!) trying to pry at it, broke one of the small fins, 
which of course fell down to Neverland.  My wife reports a strange/annoying 
buzzing from the dash this morning, and is not impressed.

2) does that valve that controls coolant-flow to the heater core either sit at 
full open or full closed?  Since it's vacumn actuated, I can't imagine it has 
an intermediate point.  True?

Thanks much for any help.

Frank M. 
'89 100Q
'88 Mazda 323 GTX