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Thread: Removing your dash and HVAC box to repair your blend door!

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    Removing your dash and HVAC box to repair your blend door!

    Hello everyone,

    I went for a drive to beautiful B.C. down highway 93 last December. As it turns out it was below zero on the day that we were headed out. When attempting to turn up the heat in our Micra the blend door knob was effectively stuck and wouldn't actuate the blend door to create heat in the cabin. I forced the knob all the way to the heat side to attempt to get something out of it and felt/heard a pop noise from something. Alas no heat for the drive out or the return journey.

    I started taking things apart around Christmas to see what I could find. I ended up breaking the nylon gears in the climate control cluster. and stretching the cable to actuate the blend door itself. I suppose the writing was on the wall as I bent the cable back in 2018 when I switched to heat for the winter and bent the cable then. I ended up curling it around a pen and soldering it together so it would no longer pull apart.

    This wasn't a very difficult job as far as technical skills involved, however it required a good time commitment and decent space to layout parts and pieces and put it all back together.

    I didn't document things coming apart this time. I started documenting as I started reassembly. I am going to try to reverse that and post in how it would all be removed from step one onwards.

    Hopefully this helps someone if they are in the same boat. Or maybe if you are bored on a Saturday and want something to read.


    Some tools that you will need,

    standard sockets 8mm,10mm,12mm,13mm,14mm,19mm
    open end wrench specifically a 22mm
    phillips screwdrivers, I believe it is a number 2
    Large and small flathead screwdrivers, mostly for popping clips and airbag connectors.
    Flashlight/headlamp/floodlight ETC Small and portable is better.
    Steering wheel puller ($20 from just about any auto parts store, CT also has them)
    Needle nose pliers

    Optional tools would be;
    panel popping tools, ($10 from Princess auto)
    90degree pliers and long reach pliers (cheap also from princess)
    windshield wiper puller
    OBDII scanner (for maybe resetting codes afterwards)
    battery trickle charger depending on how long your car is disassembled for.


    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 01-31-2021 at 09:32 PM.
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    This may take a few days to get all out and organized. So feel free to check back. For now I have to go help a neighbor move a piano haha
    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 01-31-2021 at 07:07 PM.
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    Starting out with this project requires you to ensure that you have enough space around the vehicle for access. Both doors must be capable of fully opening and you are going to need approximately 4 feet of linear space from one side of the vehicle in which to pull the dash out of the car.

    The wheels must be as straight as possible and unloaded when you park. My wheels were "Loaded" under tension from pulling into my garage and turning them straight on the concrete. This caused my steering wheel to not be accurately straight after removal and caused a TSC light on my dash until I removed the steering wheel for a second time and corrected the condition.

    The next crucially important step is to remove your battery. You could get away with removing the Negative or positive side cable, however with my inability to reset air bag codes at home and really not wanting an airbag to unexpectedly go off... I wasn't willing to chance it. It is a simple 10mm bolt to remove the terminals and place the battery on some wood off to the side of the car.

    ENSURE THE CAR IS COOL BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT STEP
    Check with the back of your hand around the rad cap.

    Following that you must drain the coolant from the vehicle. I can fit underneath the front of our Micra just enough to reach the petcock on the radiator. The petcock is located on the drivers side of the radiator at the bottom. I placed a drain pan underneath the petcock and attached some spare 3/8ths fuel line to the opening. I am a believer that you shouldn't use tools on small plastic parts if you can avoid it and used my fingers to loosen the valve. It rotates counterclockwise to unscrew and open the bleeder valve. After opening the valve I had to remove the rad cap to allow the fluid to flow at a reasonable rate.

    {Insert Picture of petcock}

    There really isn't much coolant in the little rad. It took about 6L to top it all back up afterwards. So a small and standard round catch container was more than enough to hold it all.

    Once the coolant stops flowing out the heater core hoses need to be removed.

    In order to access the heater core hoses the intake assembly from the throttle body must be removed. There are three 10mm bolts to remove and a couple of hose clamps that can be removed with a flathead screwdriver. Be careful removing the MAF clips to ensure that you don't break them.

    {insert picture with intake parts}

    I am not sure which hose is the feed and the return however they held their shape over the course of my work and easily went back into their homes without any issue when I was ready. I removed them with my long needle nose pliers as they are just spring type hose clamps. I then covered the heater core hose openings with electrical tape to ensure that none leaked when I eventually pulled it out of the car.

    Next up is the windshield shroud/drip tray ETC..
    removing the wiper blades is fairly straight forward. There is a small black cap covering the nuts on the arms which can be removed with your finger nails or a small flathead. The nuts themselves are 13mm i believe. I don't have a wiper blade puller and therefore it took some good pressure to remove the wipers from the splines that they sit on. I used a small prybar and lightly pressured while pulling with my other hand to get them off. The long wiper blade is on the drivers side and the short one is on the passenger side.

    There were then 4 push style clips located on the front edge of the drip tray that had to be removed. Standard, pop up the center of the clips with a flap head and wiggle while pulling to remove them all together. I ended up breaking one and losing one. Our closest Nissan dealer had them in stock for less than $1 each.

    The drip tray has a "wing" on either side that kind of snaps into place along the front fenders. With a little bit of pressure and wiggling they pop out and were able to be pushed up towards the top of the windshield. The last step before removing the tray is to disconnect the hose for your windshield washer sprayers. This is located on the passenger side of the drip tray just in front of it. There is conveniently a T fitting there so that it can be removed easily.
    {Picture of wings of drip tray}

    The drip tray has to be removed for one silly bolt. It is located awkwardly on the drivers side of the vehicle right underneath the wiper arm assembly. It is 13mm and I used a flexible ratcheting wrench to give my hands some extra space to operate. This bolt is for the main dash support bar.

    Just like that you have completed the under hood portion of the job!
    Don't forget to change your jacket or wipe yourself off before sitting in your drivers seat for the next part!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 01-31-2021 at 10:20 PM.
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    Starting on the interior removal.

    First thing is to pop the shift knob off or make sure the faux leather boot elastic is stretched over top of the knob. (These aren't threaded and I pulled it off by turning it before so it pops off pretty easily now...) Next is to take out the two push in clips with your Philips screw driver and remove them completely. The console then can be pulled vertically at the rear of the unit until the two push clips release. These clips held quite well and were a bit of a pain to remove. One broke and the other released. prying with tools didn't seem to help but your results may vary.

    Once that is released you will have to remove the cables for the 12v outlet located in the piece. There are three Philips screws that can be accessed from underneath the piece from the back seat. The 12v outlet just pulls out from the top and the electrical connector pulls off from the bottom.

    The foot HVAC pipe needs to be pulled out and set aside now. No hard connections, just a friction fit.

    The next step is to remove the under dash kick panel. There is one philips head push pin on either side of the piece to remove. After that it pulls right out.

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    Moving to remove the center control console bezels is next. Start with the top HVAC bezel that is one piece surrounding the radio and upper vents (the vents come out with the piece and can be snapped back in for replacement). It is held in by standard push clips. Be careful when pulling away as there are two electrical connectors underneath to also remove. One for the Hazard button and one for the seatbelt warning light.

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    In our car the brown male end did not connect to the brown female end. Anyways, next up is the lower HVAC surround. It removes the same way as the upper portion with some flathead pressure to relieve the push clips from their homes.

    You have 8 philips screws to remove in order to release the radio and HVAC controls from their homes. 4 on each unit and two on each side.

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    The radio can then be pulled out gently. Release the three clips from the backside of the radio to remove the unit completely.

    Switching spots a bit, the hood/gas latch can be removed next with two 10mm bolts. The pull it away from the dash and it will unclip and lower itself down a bit under the tension of the cables. The OBDII port can be removed with two philips screws.

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    Next up is removing the whole lower drivers side dash panel. The TSC/Mirror adjustmet panels may need to be removed separately for you. With my S I think I pulled the TSC bezel and removed that clip first. But it is just push clips all the way around and comes out pretty easy once you have it all popped.

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    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 02-01-2021 at 10:41 PM.
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    Starting on the steering wheel.
    There was a bit of a write up here that was helpful:
    https://micra-forum.com/showthread.p...l-emblem-guide

    That is what I used to remove my air bag. fairly straight forward. two flat heads on either side of the wheel. Align them vertically and push in while pulling on the air bag towards you. Just be careful when removing the bottom push clip. That one was mounted way better than the other two and really took some force to remove. There are two clips to remove here. one is the airbag clip and the other is a connector for your horn. I'm not sure if it is a ground or power but that doesn't matter much for this job.

    Once your airbag is out you have to remove the 19mm nut located underneath. Its fairly tight. I was able to remove it with a 3/8ths ratchet. It is time to get out the steering wheel puller. This picture below is the one that I used. Name:  20210117_174253.jpg
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Size:  96.5 KBThe yellow bolts fit into the threaded holes on the wheel in my case. It is a fairly fine metric thread however I didn't take note of the pitch or size. Maybe m6...

    Once the wheel is removed the upper and lower steering column bezels have to be taken apart. There are two screws at the front and it clips top and bottom together. There is also a clip that snaps the bottom onto the steer tube. Name:  20210117_173456.jpg
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    Once the steering wheel shroud is removed you can remove the clock-spring and turn signals. This is done by removing the two screws at the 1100 and 1300 positions on the front. Name:  20210117_171742.jpg
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    There are also Four connectors that clip into this section that you have to undo. There is a yellow and grey connector that attach together outside of the clock-spring itself. I found this difficult to reassemble and had to insert the yellow connector in first and push the grey connector in afterwards. That might help someone.. It took me longer than I'd like to admit and what seemed like too much pressure.

    Up next is the instrument cluster surround. There are two sections that attach together for this. The first and larger of the two takes simple prying around the seam on the dash to pop the push clips and release. Hopefully the second piece comes with it but mine separated when pulling it out. Name:  20210117_170719.jpg
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    There are two philips screws that hold the cluster in place and one ~24 pin connector on the back to remove
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    I removed the weather stripping from each door next. I was able to get it all out by removing the bottom door sill panel and popping the seatbelt cover panel as well. Both coming off fairly easily with some pressure away from their mounts. I didn't remove the B pillar covers completely because I couldn't be bothered too and it wouldn't have been necessary. I did have to be careful closing the doors afterward though as they were adept at getting wedged into the seams.

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    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 02-01-2021 at 10:59 PM.
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    Next up on the list of parts to remove is the A pillar trims! Wow I think that these little green connectors are the toughest part of this entire job. The first part of removal is straight forward.
    Start at the top of the A pillar and pull out towards the inside of the car. There are some push clips that will pop and allow the pillar to come out. There are two green SRS clips that will not allow the trim too go further than about an inch away from the pillar. There is one nib on the bottom of the trim piece that slots into the dash that can easily be lifted up to remove.
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    I couldn't figure out a good way to remove the clips and therefore the trim pieces. So I started googling to see what might be out there. Name:  20210117_165053.jpg
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    After trying a few things that I didn't have any luck with I came across a guide to refinishing your headliner in a PT cruiser. There they were discussing what I think to be similar SRS clips for a curtain airbag and suggested that you need to just pull like crazy and they would come off. I had nothing to lose at this point and figured that I could buy some clips if it came to that. So I pulled as hard as I could thinking that something was absolutely going to break and the pillar covers popped off with no damage

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    When I was replacing the pillar covers I found that I could get just enough leverage with a terminal screwdriver to help push them in. They were still good and strong holding when I was finished so I don't think that I'll have any issues if I am ever in an accident. Fingers crossed that I never have to worry about that anyways.. mounted to the A pillars under the trim is your curtain airbag connectors for each side of the car. In our Micra the passengers side had a specialty SRS connector and the drtivers side was just a standard pin connection. I'm not sure why that is. I can't think of any good reason other than maybe a but of cost savings..?Name:  20210110_190910.jpg
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    You'll have to pop the little side doors for your fuse panel and opposite side trim at this point. Nothing special about this. The drivers side even had an opening for easy screwdriver access to the fuse box. Name:  20210117_160416.jpg
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    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 02-01-2021 at 11:32 PM.
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    Time to start on the glovebox!

    Open your glovebox and the door bottom has to pull off. It pulls towards you if you are sitting in the passenger seat and a little bit up. This is another scenario where it feels like you are going to break the door/hinges/your face when it finally releases but it will.

    Attachment 5840
    The two door supports are removed by applying a little pressure from the outside in and rotating them to "unlatch" the hooks.

    When re-attaching the door start with the hooks and then the hinges.

    There are 10 philips screws holding in the passenger side glovebox insert. Remove them all. I am missing a few J clips and therefore am missing some screws in this picture. I'll maybe replace them eventually... Weight reduction...?
    Attachment 5841

    The insert will then pull out leaving you with access to the passenger side airbag!

    Unfortunately This is the only picture that I took of the airbag. There are two green 10mm bolts that Hold it into the dash support bar. The SRS connector is the yellow one to the right of the two bolts. At the top of the picture you can see the plastic clips that surround the dash pad for the airbag. After removing the bolts and disconnecting the connector I started at one corner and worked my way around pushing the clips towards the inside of the bag and pushing the entire piece up and out of the dash. patience was key here as the position is rather awkward to be working in and it was hard to fit both arms into the dash.

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    Last edited by Bobaganousch; 02-01-2021 at 11:58 PM.
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