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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

So I have been working installing a new head stereo unit into my '98 900S. I don't know what I did or when I did it, but now my Vent selector knob is jammed. I have one of the manual analog round knob Temperature control units, not the digital one. I looked through where my stereo used to be, and see that the knob turns a long white shaft mechanism, which is then corked into a notch on the rear wall of the chamber. I accidentally knocked this shaft off (I thought it was just jammed by some stray wires.) I got it back on, but still it won't turn. Now the vents are stuck on defrost.

Does anybody have any clue what I did?

Thanks again for any help
 

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That white shaft is affectionately known as the "toilet paper roll holder." It is what transmits the rotary motion of the knob back to the mechanism in the heater control box. The entire contraption is one of the rather lamer feats of engineering in our cars, as many of us have had trouble with one part or another of the mechanism.

What might not be obvious is that this shaft must fit in properly on each end so that the knob position is correct relative to the mechanism. It must be "clocked" correctly, in other words.

I have found it easier to deal with by popping the heater control out of the instrument panel, then inserting the shaft into the heater box properly. Then, you can guide it into the right orientation on the back side of the control panel as you push it back into place. This might not be necessary if you know what you are doing, but it might make it easier to see if this is your first time. In any event, it must be "plugged in" correctly on each end.

Don't force anything, since pretty much all of the pieces involved are an accident waiting to happen and are one step away from being jagged shards of broken plastic on their best day. Other than that, it's actually fairly easy! Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off, Thanks for the reply

Seems like an appropriate name... almost seems like a jerry-rigged solution to something that could be so simple as a knob, but that's what we love these cars for I suppose. It became jammed before I even disconnected this shaft accidentally in the first place. I had my stereo out, and I took off the panel between the heating unit and the glovebox, and i fit in the pieces. It's not completely jammed... I can turn it a centimeter or two, and i can hear the vent move a little bit, but that's as far as it goes. The shaft is in fact correctly installed however. It's quite frustrating!
 

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ohh..i see you are here too..i just replied to your post on saabscene :)

anyway...i think that if it was jammed before then its the bent distributor box problem..if might have surfaced during cold winter days when you had your heater on and then it went to very cold when car was parked....search for bent heater box..or air distributor drum..you should find some info about lubing the drum walls and maybe even fitting some screws to bend it other way ..but the fix is to replace the distributor box..expensive at the shop unfortunately
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for your help! On here and on Saabscene. You scared me about the 900$ labor costs... but I found the problem. I (stupidly) screwed a very small metal screw into the chassis behind the stereo, and I found that the little screw was listerally blocking the mechanism from turning on the other end. I took out the screw and now it turns perfectly, just as before. Thank you for your help, however.
 
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