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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ugh... it's always something!
So, I get my AC nice and cold with a new compressor and now the upper slide switch won't > > > slide!
I haven't dug into it yet but > > > I'm guessing that top switch is an electric and maybe vacuum operated switch and the lower temp-slider is cable driven? I don't recall what's under that panel.
Are they sold separately or is it one big switch under the panel, and where should I order a new one (for best quality)
Thanks for any info (it's friken HOT here!)
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I’d take it apart and see if I could get the cable IE the solid wire with a loop on the ends to move the blend door over to A/C. Just until I could get a replacement. That way I could drive it without roasting. The days I don’t need A/C I could just use Econ. Just looked Ecklers corvette and Topflight have them $180/160 respectively prices rounded up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I’d take it apart and see if I could get the cable IE the solid wire with a loop on the ends to move the blend door over to A/C. Just until I could get a replacement. That way I could drive it without roasting. The days I don’t need A/C I could just use Econ. Just looked Ecklers corvette and Topflight have them $180/160 respectively prices rounded up.
I believe what you're price quoting is the entire panel with fan, AC and Temp slider knobs.
I'm seeing the below AC switch alone for $35.99
Is Ecklers still relevant for Vette parts, I thought there was another bigger name place people were using?
1979-1982 Corvette Air Conditioning Compressor Switch
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In years past I had to make a kit for an earlier C3 fit and work with 3d printed parts I designed. But today Vintage air makes a specific kit for your 1981.

Vintage Air » Blog Archive VINTAGE AIR RELEASES NEW SUREFIT CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEMS FOR THE C3 CORVETTE - Vintage Air

These kits do not use engine vacuum. They do not have problems with where they direct airflow. They have small thin condensers that do not block airflow to the radiator.
Looks nice and all but since owing the car when it was new and my current age, and as little as I get to use it... all that is a lot more than I want to tackle. And especially for 'me' it's just too late in the game.
I'll replace what's broken (Corvette Paramedics in NJ) seems to think a center rivet that holds the top switch together has failed as that's what my symptom seems to point to.
 

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Looks nice and all but since owing the car when it was new and my current age, and as little as I get to use it... all that is a lot more than I want to tackle. And especially for 'me' it's just too late in the game.
I'll replace what's broken (Corvette Paramedics in NJ) seems to think a center rivet that holds the top switch together has failed as that's what my symptom seems to point to.
There's a chance I might still have the assembly I removed from my 81. I'll check it out in the next few days...
 

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Dang, so you even changed out the OE AC/heat panel controls???
Yes, I installed a complete Vintage Air system and removed all the OEM ductwork. As Autowiz mentioned this was before Vintage Air had a kit for the later model C3's so I did a lot of fabrication. I also repurposed the lighter and ashtray area. That knob that looks like the lighter is actually a dashboard light dimmer for the Dakota Digital HDX gauges. I 3D printed a mount for it to locate it where the lighter used to be. In the area where the ashtray used to be I made a mount for a power antenna switch. Since I seldom listen to the radio I didn't want the antenna buzzing up and down every time I turn the ignition switch on and off. Right beside the switch are 2 USB ports that connect to the Retrosound stereo system. I usually just plug my iphone in one of the USB ports. The Retrosound unit will control the iphone.

I haven't given up yet on the switch assy but I may not have saved it. One other thing I've been meaning to check on is if the control assy was used on any other models besides the Corvette. If so it probably wouldn't be too hard to find a new one. A good used one would probably work ok, I don't think there is much on them to go wrong. In my experience the fan switch and/or circuitry is the most common failure, as you have experienced.

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HamerDown: I went through my last box of old parts and unfortunately no luck finding the HVAC control assembly. Sorry, I should have looked before I posted but I was pretty sure I still had it... I'm blaming old age!! However, I did a search for the AC Control Assembly and found there are quite a few sources. Zip Corvette sells a new reproduction (part # D-846) for about $140. I'm sure the other popular Corvette parts suppliers would have them too. Saw some on eBay for less than that. You might even be able to snag a NOS item, I didn't look too hard for that. Since they seem to be widely available, I probably wouldn't recommend a used one unless you could get it for cheap or know for sure that it works. Changing out the unit shouldn't be too difficult, just getting the console panel off is harder than changing the control unit!

I have a sequence for removing/replacing the console panel should you need it. If you have done that before then you will not need it. Otherwise, there are a couple of things to know to avoid breaking something. This would also be a good time to replace the console trim plate if you have ever considered it. Over the years the plastic stuff often gets some of the mounting tangs broken off or just gets a little tattered looking. I used the repro items from Zip and they seemed to be identical to the OEM. They have different P/N's for the options you may have like rear defogger or power mirrors, around $60. Same thing for the armrest.

Anyway, again I apologize for posting first and looking later. Keep us posted!
 

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While I'm at it, most of the plastic components in the cabin are secured by hex head "Hi-Lo" screws. They are easy to lose so I try and keep an assortment around. They are surprisingly hard to find, in fact, I haven't been able to find the hex head Hi-Lo's in reasonable quantities. Never use anything else on those plastic parts, new or used. A conventional coarse thread screw will almost always crack the hole it goes in to.

Here are some part numbers for the correct size Hi-Lo screws from McMaster-Carr. They are Phillips head instead of hex head but they seem to work just fine.

McMaster-Carr P/N 90627A124, Hi-Lo #8 Round Head 1/2" Black Oxide
McMaster-Carr P/N 90627A125, Hi-Lo #8 Round Head 5/8" Black Oxide
McMaster-Carr P/N 90627A126, Hi-Lo #8 Round Head 3/4" Black Oxide

Each come in packs of 25 for less than $10 per pack and you can buy on line direct from McMaster-Carr. Those 3 sizes will cover almost everything in the cabin area.

Here's one of their engineering drawings of the Hi-Lo screws:
Font Parallel Drawing Circle Diagram

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
HamerDown: I went through my last box of old parts and unfortunately no luck finding the HVAC control assembly. Sorry, I should have looked before I posted but I was pretty sure I still had it... I'm blaming old age!! However, I did a search for the AC Control Assembly and found there are quite a few sources. Zip Corvette sells a new reproduction (part # D-846) for about $140. I'm sure the other popular Corvette parts suppliers would have them too. Saw some on eBay for less than that. You might even be able to snag a NOS item, I didn't look too hard for that. Since they seem to be widely available, I probably wouldn't recommend a used one unless you could get it for cheap or know for sure that it works. Changing out the unit shouldn't be too difficult, just getting the console panel off is harder than changing the control unit!

I have a sequence for removing/replacing the console panel should you need it. If you have done that before then you will not need it. Otherwise, there are a couple of things to know to avoid breaking something. This would also be a good time to replace the console trim plate if you have ever considered it. Over the years the plastic stuff often gets some of the mounting tangs broken off or just gets a little tattered looking. I used the repro items from Zip and they seemed to be identical to the OEM. They have different P/N's for the options you may have like rear defogger or power mirrors, around $60. Same thing for the armrest.

Anyway, again I apologize for posting first and looking later. Keep us posted!
No worries and as usual I appreciate your efforts and grest info.
Many years ago (maybe 20 plus years) I had the entire gauge cluster out and had to resolder a break on one of the trasers for maybe one of the gauges, I forget it's been so long ago.
Can't recall I've ever had the AC/heater panel area off before so I'm not to sure just how to access all that. I just remember working back there from the removable carpeted side panels for some speaker wiring etc.
Been brutally hot here and no AC garage like 'some' are fortunate to have lol.
The car has been sitting but now the weather is giving me a little break and I'll did into it.
BTW... I see the switch offerings on eBay and wonder, is that the same made in China parts Ecklers etc is selling?
Thanks again, very much appreciated!
 

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No worries and as usual I appreciate your efforts and grest info.
Many years ago (maybe 20 plus years) I had the entire gauge cluster out and had to resolder a break on one of the trasers for maybe one of the gauges, I forget it's been so long ago.
Can't recall I've ever had the AC/heater panel area off before so I'm not to sure just how to access all that. I just remember working back there from the removable carpeted side panels for some speaker wiring etc.
Been brutally hot here and no AC garage like 'some' are fortunate to have lol.
The car has been sitting but now the weather is giving me a little break and I'll did into it.
BTW... I see the switch offerings on eBay and wonder, is that the same made in China parts Ecklers etc is selling?
Thanks again, very much appreciated!
Yeah, same thing here in the plains of Oklahoma! I imagine just about any of the reproductions probably come from China. It's always hit or miss on the Chinese stuff. I've had some of it be just fine while other things were 100% crap. I guess maybe ask around on this forum and see if anyone has had good/bad experience with them. I've never gotten deeply into the control assembly itself, but it's possible the one you have can be repaired. Seems like I've heard stories about that. If NOS is a dead end and yours is unfixable then it might be worth taking a chance on a used one. Personally, I try to stay as far away from the Chinese stuff as I can. Sometimes though, there is no other option. Case and point is the window motor fiasco I went through. I'm still analyzing but I'm pretty sure I have found the problem in my Chinese window motors. More to come on that one later!
 

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Need both switches and the clear lens.
Where to buy from, Corvette Paramedics or eBay or ?
(not sure if the clear lens is available. )
If you are looking for a NOS genuine GM part you will probably have to do some digging. I did locate a couple of NOS fan switches but didn't have much luck on the vacuum switch, panel, or complete assembly. If you google GM NOS parts you will get a variety of vendors, I have had good luck with several of them. I recommend getting on the phone but wouldn't get my hopes up for a complete NOS assembly. If you want to stay with GM an alternative might be to purchase a used assembly and a NOS fan switch since that is usually what fails first. Failing all that, you can take a chance on the repro's from Zip, Ecklers, etc. They are all about the same price, around $140. I have no experience with the repro HVAC control assemblies but I would expect they are about like the other repro parts: Probably come from China and may or may not be any good. Perhaps someone here that has bought one of the repro controls can chime in here.
 

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If you are looking for a NOS genuine GM part you will probably have to do some digging. I did locate a couple of NOS fan switches but didn't have much luck on the vacuum switch, panel, or complete assembly. If you google GM NOS parts you will get a variety of vendors, I have had good luck with several of them. I recommend getting on the phone but wouldn't get my hopes up for a complete NOS assembly. If you want to stay with GM an alternative might be to purchase a used assembly and a NOS fan switch since that is usually what fails first. Failing all that, you can take a chance on the repro's from Zip, Ecklers, etc. They are all about the same price, around $140. I have no experience with the repro HVAC control assemblies but I would expect they are about like the other repro parts: Probably come from China and may or may not be any good. Perhaps someone here that has bought one of the repro controls can chime in here.
Gamer down don’t know if this will help any but I’m pretty sure the GM part number for the control assy is 14020093. I’m also pretty sure that PN is for 80 - 82.
 
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