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 Post subject: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:52 pm 
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Year and Trim: 1997 SSE
So, here's a weird one. I struggled with weak airflow from my heat and ac for a long time. I looked at every possible solution and even did the evap core cleaning process that I found here. It helped a little, but the airflow was still really weak. On a hot summer day the car would cool down about the time I got to my destination. Not good. The ac was plenty cold, I just couldn't enough air flow even though the fan was cranking. I finally bit the bullet and pulled the dash to examine everything and hopefully figure it out for good. I pulled the dash out years ago to replace the heater core, and it was a bad memory. This time it really wasn't that terrible of a job.
Here's the weird part - the interior side of the evaporator had a foam type filter wired to the core. It was really really clogged up so I ripped it off of the core and my system has worked like a champ ever since. I remember having the entire system replaced about 15 years ago, so the replacement core must have come with the filter installed. Who comes up with these ideas? You can't put a filter where you can't get access to it!
Anyway, I know this is a long diatribe, but I wanted to share because I've never heard of this problem, and it drove me nuts for a couple of years at least before I broke down and pulled the dash out.


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 Post subject: Re: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:26 am 
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Was it maybe part of the packaging that was just left on?

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 Post subject: Re: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:25 am 
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My recollection is that there are two filters on the core, one outside and one inside. The outside one is just a screen to prevent things like pine needles from getting lodged in the core because the vents it draws air from are right below the windscreen and are not filtered either. The inside foam is to catch condensate that builds up in the core so it drains out the bottom instead of getting spit through the vents.

But it's been a while since I messed with one, and a replacement part might be different than factory as well, so what I remember might be slightly incorrect.

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 Post subject: Re: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:51 pm 
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I had the same issue with my 96 ; It was the collapsed nipples - not to hard to repair

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 Post subject: Re: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Right you are, Mattstrike. Foam filter on the inside eventually fills up with dirt and airflow is choked off. Seems like a bad idea to me.


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 Post subject: Re: hvac airflow problem
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:21 pm 
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Well, I don't think it was intended to act as a filter. I'm guessing it gets really dusty in your area, or maybe dirt roads? You could probably add a real filter to the cowl ducts, under the screens, to help with that. Not sure what the long term side effect of removing the foam would be.

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'97 Chevy Camaro - 3800 supercharged, T5, T-tops
'05 Cadillac STS - V8, AWD, her DD
'92 Olds Trofeo - Fair weather DD
'84 GMC Sierra Classic - Twin turbo 3800
'97 Buick LeSabre - L67 winter DD
'92 Pontiac Bonneville SSE future project

Doesn't run:
'87 Buick LeSabre T-type - future victim
'67 Buick LeSabre - future victim


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