Changing The Recirculation / Fresh Air Door Actuator Part 2

This 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche came in with multiple a/c problems including a code B0268, fault in fresh air /recirculation actuator assembly. This procedure applies to full sized Chevrolet and GMC trucks from 2003 to 2007 Classic. Avalanche, Sierra, Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe and Yukon. 1999 through 2002 Trucks would also be very similar. This post is starting after the dash cover is removed and all upper brackets are loosened and the lower corner bolts are removed. This allows the duct work to be moved around enough to work without having to remove the entire instrument cluster carrier assembly. The rest of the pictures , I hope are only temporarily lost in a failed hard drive. Now that everything is about out of the way, we are finally about to actually remove the The problem actuator. The bracket that I am pointing to needs to be bent over into the position shown.

This is a sideways view of the fresh air / recirculation actuator.

Normal view of the same actuator. You can only see where the wires go in this picture.

The screw heads are 5.5 mm.

I used a long 1/4″ extension and a swivel socket to remove the screws. It is also good to have a magnet to grab the screw before it falls. For the rear screw I went between the two plastic duct work tubes.

For the closer screw, I came in below the duct work.

I then had to wiggle my hand in to remove the actuator from the mount and door rod.

After maneuvering the actuator to a resting position to the left side, I had to switch hands to remove the actuator from the dash.

As you should be able to see buy the blood on my hand there is something sharp in there. To order this actuator please click here.

As mentioned earlier, I have lost the rest of the pictures that would have shown how to remove all of the components up until the beginning of this post. The lost pictures also contain the ones that I need to show how to change the passenger side blend air door actuator as well. Good news I have had the opportunity to replace those actuators on other vehicles and you can see them by clicking here. 

I have had to change several of these actuators now and wanted to add some information. It seems that the actuator is difficult to remove and install on the door shaft on some trucks. I have found that using a long pry bar to the left of the opening to lift up on the duct work helps considerably.

This is the specific piece of duct work that is in the way.  There is also an insulator pad against the inside of the firewall that is in the way.

Sliding the pry bar under the duct work and the leading edge of the insulating panel then using the crossbar as a fulcrum gives just enough room to make the job much easier.

By this time you should have already removed the screws in the next two pictures but I just wanted to post them again as a reminder. Once those two screws are removed the duct work will move back and away from the alignment pin.

3 discussions on “Changing The Recirculation / Fresh Air Door Actuator Part 2”

  1. You might be able to if your arms are small and you have a very good range of motion in your hands. I have to remove the dash cover and upper braces in order to lift the duct work out of my way. Also one of the screws requires using a long extension and swivel socket going down through the duct work from the top of the dash. Again it is just a matter of if you can fit and work in such a tight area.

  2. I am in the process of working to remove the fresh air door on my ’03 Silverado, and I’ve been using these steps as I go. They are very helpful…thanks for posting them. I do have one question in regards to removing the top dash cover. From what I can tell, I don’t see where you are accessing anything from above. Is it necessary to remove it for getting the fresh air actuator out?

  3. Thanks for the great pictures and instructions. I was able to do this without much headache, though a lot of patience is required. One thing I did in anticipation of this project is to purchase a 5.5mm magnetic socket from ebay and a swivel extension from Autozone. Both of which were inexpensive. I was able to complete the job without having to remove the airbag, nor loosen any of the ductwork or other pieces. I only removed the dash cover. One note, it seemed to be easier to get the dash cover removed by starting on the driver’s side of the vehicle and slowly pulling forward and up. Be careful though, the clips at the windshield portion of the dash are very fragile and weak. Also,slowly pry the A-pillar covers with a screwdriver or trim removal tool at the top of the A-pillar. There is a metal clip that can come off of the trim piece and break the plastic!

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