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RE: Blower motor continued..

> Well, I gave the blower motor a shot today (thanks everyone). I think I'm
> close but I 
> can't get the housing up high enough to get the bottom screw off the
> blower duct
> adapter. How do you do that ? I should be home free if I can just get that
> out. I also
> ordered a heater core which I thought I would do at the same time. Is it
> possible
> to get that out w/o removing the center console ? It doesn't "feel" like I
> can remove 
> the whole unit out of the car unless I tear the dash apart...
... it is actually quite easy to pull the airbox out without removing
anything more than the lower cover on the driver's side and the blower ducts
that go to the driver's and front passenger's footwells.  If all you're
doing is the blower motor you don't need THAT much more room ... I used a
"Skewdriver" to access the bottommost screw for the access panel to the
blower.  If you want to do the heater core you need to split the airbox ...
which means you must remove it.  

I will assume that you have disconnected the vacuum line, bowden cable and
hold-down strap for the air box in the shelf under the hood.  You probably
also have pushed the flexible hose that goes from the A/C evaporator to the
blower box back into the evaporator plenum ... I seem to recall that
removing the windshield wiper mechanism helps too ... that should be about
it for under the hood.  Inside the car you need to disconnect the screw that
attaches the plastic footwell ducts, one each on the driver's and
passenger's side.  There is a rubber boot that attaches the airbox to the
duct that goes to the rear seat ... it is best to disconnect this before
attempting to pull out the box.  Once you start lifting the box from under
the hood stop and stick your head back under the dash to disconnect any
vacuum lines ... I think there is a big vacuum connector on the passenger's
side ... you may need to pull the lower cover off the passenger's side to
get at this.  

Once all of this stuff is disconnected (the coolant lines and wiring
harnesses too) it should be possible to tilt the front of the box up and
lift the box out of the car.  The blower swap is trivial at this point, but
you may want to simply remove the old blower now and split the halves of the
box.  The box is held together by clips around the outer periphery and a
handful of screws in the middle.  Some of the screw heads are buried quite a
ways down inside the holes so don't try to force the housing apart ... it
should come apart quite easily once they're all out.  If the replacement
heater core doesn't come with some self-adhesive strips of foam insulation
you might want to stop by a local home improvement store for a roll of open
cell self adhesive weatherstripping.  I think the stuff I used was something
like 5/8" wide by 1/4" tall.  You don't want it to be too tall, it just
needs to fill in the small gaps.  

Perhaps the biggest frustration of the process is getting the HVAC flaps
lined up correctly to allow the halves of the box to go back together when
you are installing the new heater core.  It took me quite a while to find a
setting of the blend doors that kept them in a good position for reassembly.
Audi sells a fixture to hold the flaps in place ... if I could find one for
a couple $$ I'd probably get one!  It took me quite a high percentage of the
total job to simply get the case back together!  Use some sort of lubricant
(WD-40 or equiv) on the rubber rails on the blower to make it easier to
slide the blower into the housing.  Once everything is back together the box
slides back into the shelf and you need to reconnect everything that you
took off to get it out ... while it sounds complicated, it is WORLDS better
than doing the same job on a 4000 quattro!

As you can see there is quite a bit more effort involved with getting the
heater core out ... you really might want to reconsider and just do the
blower for now ... 

While you're messing with the HVAC system you might want to check your
recirculate door in the passenger's footwell to make sure that the return
spring hasn't broken and that the vacuum motor hasn't been ripped from its
moorings ...

Steve Buchholz
San Jose, CA (USA)