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Old 21st April 2013
kenny62 kenny62 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013                                                
Location: edinburgh
My Saabs: 9-3 SE 2002
Posts: 11
Default ACC/ AIR Distribution Drum

Trying to trouble shoot my ACC, no matter what setting I have it on the middle vent is always pumping out air, if I set it to the footwell the air comes out in footwell but also middle vent.
So middle vent is not getting cut off when it should so I take it there is a flap or something in air distribution box not moving, anyone had similar and know how to fix it?

An update on this
removed glove box and side vent air duct, this allowed me to view the drum which is turning ok, apart for middle section that controls air to centre vent this is not moving at all when drum moves so i take it something is broke
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Old 21st April 2013
win_k win_k is offline
Saab Lunatic
Join Date: Jul 2010                                                
Location: Tampa, FL USA
My Saabs: 99 S Coupe, 01 SE Vert
Posts: 2,176

The air distribution drum is a fairly complex bit. It's in two pieces with a single gear system to drive both.

On your ACC system, I'd think the stepper motor would be the prime suspect.

It's very common for the dirverter drum to become quite stiff over time, the usual symptom becomes broken knobs or the white spring loaded link. On the ACC system, the motor replaces those two parts but it still has to fight the stiff drum.

On my '99 SE, I found the brass key at the end of the motor was slipping on the motor shaft. The motor would turn, but the slipping key kept the rest of the system stuck in one place.

To remedy, I followed the "screw" trick to ease the drum and after a bit of careful alignment, I filed a flat onto the motor shaft and crimped the brass key onto the shaft. Has worked like a champ for years.
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Old 22nd April 2013
kenny62 kenny62 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013                                                
Location: edinburgh
My Saabs: 9-3 SE 2002
Posts: 11

Thanks for info
its the outer parts of drum are moving fine its just the middle section that is the problem as it wont turn when rest of drum is turning but you can move it by hand and its not sticking.
i may strip it down or i might just use the middle vent on/off leaver to control that vent

i will update when i decide

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Old 23rd April 2013
kenny62 kenny62 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013                                                
Location: edinburgh
My Saabs: 9-3 SE 2002
Posts: 11

Well that's another problem crossed of list

removed centre console and removed front cover of air distribution box,
the flaps that control the centre vents where binding and there was a lot of wear on drum shaft.

filled corners of flaps a little and they now spin without sticking, had to repair the plastic lever that turns them as it had broke, not the best plastic to glue but managed to reinforce the break by adding bits of plastic.

All back together now and working great, hopefully the repair will last

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Old 8th February 2015
kyroush kyroush is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015                                                
Location: Bardstown, KY
My Saabs: 2000 9-5 SE
Posts: 17

if you are still on here.... my drum can be turn easily by hand vie the floor air duck on driverside it just doesn't turn by the stepper motor. The motor is moving the rod fine. So I believe something is broke inside. The arm that you find broke and had to glue sounds like it could be the problem. The center console you talked about, is that where all the gauges are?
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Old 20th January 2016
abf111 abf111 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2013                                                
Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
My Saabs: 96 900 SE 2.0l 95 900 2.5l SE
Posts: 4
Default Air distribution box problems

Well, back to SAAB-land again but with a 2000 9-3 that l bought just before X-Mas/15.........still have my 96 900 SE but top troubles are annoying and not rectified regards to this air distrib box(adb) malady.....
The 9-3 l bought had its air position selector knob already broken. That was fixed by Crazy glueing the piece back in place then a wrap of fine wire then the affected area was 5 minute epoxied----she ah go ah nowhere.
After reading from this site and other SAAB sites and then really getting a grip on this adb situation(screws to push apart the box/warpage/replacement costs, etc), l followed disassembly procedures to the point l could rotate the barrel/drum by hand from either driver's or passenger's side. le. l did not take out the adb but gained access to the drum/barrel with removal of the larger ducting tubes.....mine would rotate easy/no binding as suggested by this "warping" condition of the adb/vents, etc. but occasionally it would hang-up at the extremes, ie. knob all the way down or all the way up positions(feet or defrost).
At this point, going through the entire field of rotation, l liberally spray lubed from either side, any and all moving/sliding parts/area with Castrol Motorcycle Chain lube. This spray penetrates/coats well, does not want to be pushed off, and doesn't react with the plastic.......the smell isn't objectionable( to me but there's no accounting for taste!) and it was gone by the next can use that "toilet paper stick/"loo holder" plastic connecter-thingee to assist in making the drum go through its range of rotation.
Upon manually working the drum to its extremes of travel, when it did hang-up(it felt as if something was catching it/on a edge or protrusion), l basically worked it back and forth in that area for about a half hour. This l repeated at both areas of it "jamming" to the point where l believe it wore away/smoothed-out this interference. To this date(Jan 20/16) it hasn't hung-up or jammed................l'd really like to get an adb in hand to see what is actually causing this jamming but good enough for now.........
l must add that the main reason why l have 3 SAABs( the 96 900, this 00 9-3, and a complete but blown 95 900 with that 2.5l v6 piece of convoluted and highly stressed timing belt malarchy) is because "her ability to take her top off"............neat cars, unique and rare around here(Niagara Falls, Ont), turbo quickness and "fun" but not too impressed with the bs one has to deal with: parts, service, that Tech2 situation, and as far as l have delved into these machines, how they are put together. You know, this "snap-tite model" construction. What kills me is how much these SAABs were brand new! Like, 35-45k!
My 9-3's stereo system(AS1 l believe) is nothing compared to the 900 SE's wrt sound.................say, is there a way to use/install the AM/FM/cassette/single CD radio head unit, that l've seen/l think it's from the AS2 or a 9-5 car in place of my 9-3's AM/FM/single CD radio head? l've read about the marriage/divorce malarchy and about DICE swapping....l'd really like to have that cassette feature in my 9-3..........
Anywho, l hope what worked for me and the adb is worry is that bloody T7/pcv/sludging, how badly did SAAB/GM screw-up things visa vis the 9000 years and even with the T5 years????? Gee-zuss
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