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Old 12-21-2002, 08:24 PM
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Question 420SEL Heater vent/center console issue

1986 420SEL w/104K on the Odo.

Got both engine and chassis service manuals...can't find any info on the AC/Heater flow paths.

Problem: The vent on the rear of the center console is stuck in the middle of the open/close position. Heater is on, cold air (outside air?) blows through the heat? Took a bore light and looked insided the vent assembly, can't really see any place in which to access the vent order that I might be able to spray some "liquid wrench"...possibly free it up?

I found, in the service manual, where and how to remove the center console....what a pain in the ass!

1st Question: How do I fix the vent (open/close) without having to remove the entire center console?

2nd Question: Is this ventway strictly for outside air only or is it (should it be) the heat vent for the rear seat area?

TIA for any and all help!

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Old 12-21-2002, 08:29 PM
420benz's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 961
To answer your second question, that vent is only for a/c and outside air NO HEAT the heat for the rear is under the front seats.
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Old 12-21-2002, 08:40 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
To get the vent working you will have to pull the entire center console. The slider on the vent is connected to a lever at the heater box in the center of the dashboard, via a two piece cable. Either the lever is stuck or the cable is kinked and that is causing the slider to stick at the midpoint.

Yes, as 420 stated, the air isn't heated as it is ouitside air (that might receive some cooling benefit from the A/C). The heater vents for the rear seat are under the front seats.

Try doing a search on "center console removal", there is a question by Mattman about the same issue and I have some pictures and tips there.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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Old 12-21-2002, 09:32 PM
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Damn, you guys are good!

I just love this site! Can't say enough good things.........keep up the good work! Thanks for all the kind replys!
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Old 12-21-2002, 10:35 PM
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Mike Tangas is the W126 guru, every time I have had a problem Mike has had the answer and he is always happy to help.

Thanks a lot Mike.

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Old 12-22-2002, 08:38 PM
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Good Lord...I did it!

Spent the day methodically removing and replacing the center console as per ya'lls instructions............fixed that SOB vent cable...a little silicon spray, a little of this and that....viola!

Only had to R&R twice, first time I had the window rocker switch trapped under the console, second time notice that I had pulled the plastic hoses off the main air box after I had it all back together!

For future DIYer's, I used my girls fingernail polishes to mark each individual connector so I had a matched color code when I put it back together!

Gentlemen, I very sincere thanks and wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

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Old 01-01-2003, 01:12 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15
Me too!

Mine also is stuck mid way. uggh. By the way could you helpwith my recent post about my new /used 420 in need of customizing.
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