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Old 01-09-2005, 01:21 AM
Saint's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 119
Vent system help...what a

Ok...This is a 1990 300TE...I have been messing with this stupid problem since I got this car...about 3 months now. When you remove the glove box, you can see a vacuum diaphragm module (whatever it is called) mounted to the center vent structure. Looking in from the glove box area, this is mounted on the left. You can see that it is attached to a lever that runs inside this vent structure, and that its purpose is to open an internal vent door or something. Now, when you press a vent or ac button, you can see this module suck in, pulling this lever with it, and all is well. When you press the O button, you can see this module release out. Periodically, or intermittantly, when you press a vent or ac button, you hear this "thump, thump" sound coming from inside this center vent structure. You also see that the side module has not sucked in like it should. If I apply a little force to this module, I can get it to suck in, but the "thump" noise is still happening. Then the next time I start the car, no just fine. Now, when this happens, I tried to vary the fan speed to see if it altered the timing of the thump thump, and the speed made no difference whatsoever, so I believe we can rule out the fan. I think it must be some kind of vacuum leak, or possibly a bad vacuum module located inside this vent structure. This thump, to me, sounds like one of this modules getting stuck trying to suck in, but that does not explain why this outter one that I can see does not work when I hear this thump noise.

The only thing I have noticed, and I am not sure if this is 100% accurate...but when I start the car, and the vent does not make any thump noise, it will continue to work fine the whole time. If I start the car, and there is this thump noise, it will continue to thump until I start the car again. Now, I have not yet tried to kill and start, kill and start, to see if it will go away doing this, but I will try it the next time it happens. So far, it happens about once in 5 starts.

Any ideas, or suggestions for troubleshooting this problem. I plan on selling this car with EVERYTHING working properly in the next couple of months.

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Old 01-15-2005, 04:00 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 119 is getting worse....but here is a little more info.

It is thumping just about everytime I start the car now. Turning the engine on and off makes no difference. That diaphragm module on the side of the vent structure...well it is sucking in and releasing fine, even though the thumping sound continues.

I just purchased the 5 cd set...and I have also purchased the complete 5 book manuals (the real factory service manuals) so I am hoping to get all the info I need to fix this problem. Please NOT make me tear the dash apart....PLEASE
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Old 01-16-2005, 09:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097

Sorry to hear of your troubles .... sounds like leaking vacuum modules. The CD set has HVAC diagnostic section for the 124 series I believe. Do you have a Mityvac or other way of checking each of the vacuum modules.

With the age of your car it wouldn't be unusual to be needing replacement.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 01-17-2005, 02:37 AM
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yes, I have a mightyvac. I have not revamped my computer system yet to install the 5 cd set....and my new used manuals have not arrived yet. There really is no rush at the moment, just that annoying sound. I do not think it is affecting the vent doors at all, as everything still seems to blow where it should, even while it is thumping.

One interesting note....that actuator that is accessed through the glove box, that is mounted on the right side of the center structure...I was actuating it over and over, and sometimes around the middle of sucking in, it would hang up for just a second a little cockeyed, and make a little thump sound of its own....but it would continue on its way fine.
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Old 07-17-2005, 01:13 AM
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Posts: 119
ac and vent thump related

About a month ago.....temps rising...time to tune up the a/c. Hooked up my gauge set, and see that I have only a couple of pounds of pressure. I charge up the system, and the thumping vent thing disappeared. Cool...didnt have to take the dash apart. It was as if there was a vacuum issue going on, and charging up the a/c equalized the vacuum.....I dont know...but its gone.

1990 300TE....all comments are about this case I forget in the actual post
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