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Old 11-28-2010, 12:24 AM   #1
lhc_focus
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Lightbulb How To: ZETEC AC / Heater Fan Motor Removal

On occasion someone will post a question on the squealing noise coming from the motor. Mine has been making noise for about 18 months or so. Mostly noticed it during the summer with the A/C running and the fan speed at #1 or #2. So it was on my to-do-list this winter to pull it and see if I can add some lube to quiet it down as others have posted to remedy the noise. This is my version of events, yours may vary. If your new at this kind of stuff, get out a digital camera and take notes. I always do this when taking something apart for the first time. My Focus is a 2002 ZETEC ZX5 with 212,600 miles.

Tools needed are minimal at best:
Stubby Phillips screwdriver
Regular length Phillips screwdriver
7mm nut driver or socket
Molding removal tool (optional)

OK, the motor is located behind the glove box on the passenger side. Itís fairly simple and I put it at a 2 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being hardest. I spent 1.5 hours from start to finish. Normally I use zip lock sandwich bags to hold all the nuts and bolts I remove and label for ease of recall. This job is very short in duration and minimal hardware. Remember, life gets in the way and easy jobs can last several weekends. All this is accessed from the passenger side door. Youíre on your knees for the duration. Most of the screws are plastic so be careful.

Letís get going.

Everything is behind the glovebox



There are 3 metal 7mm screws at the bottom of the glove box. With the glove box still latched remove the 3 screws.



I just let them lay on the carpet. 7mm nut driver.



Support the bottom of the glove box and lift the latch. Now with very little pressure you can push in on the side of the box and remove the entire thing.



You can see the canister that holds the fan.


Next is a cardboard insulation piece that is held up with 3 plastic molding screws. Each time I run across these things is slightly different. Not hard just a PITA to remove. Sometimes it takes leverage behind the screw to get them to unscrew. I use a molding removal tool for this but a flat tip screwdriver will work also. Once the 3 plastic screws are removed this piece can be removed and put off to the side.




Remove the electrical plug. Press in on the middle tab while gently wiggling. Put it off to the side.


There are 3 plastic screws that hold the fan in the canister and one of them is blocked by the short section of ducting. Remove this one screw and wiggle the duct out of the way.




OK now remove the 3 plastic screws; hold the motor up with one hand while taking out the last screw. The fan assembly will drop straight down.




I have an air compressor so I used it to blow out all the dirt that has built up over the years.

To lube the shaft I used some lithium spray I use on the dirt bike chains. Use whatever your have. The squirrel cage is pressed onto the motor shaft so itís not coming off. The aerosol can had the typical straw plugged into the nozzle. With a flashlight I stuck the straw thru the cage and pointed to the shaft and gave several brief blasts. I then turned the cage to work the lube in. I could hear the noise after rotating the cage several times and then it went away. Then wiped off and excess lube that was on the cage.



Now just reverse the order to reinstall. I turned on the fan to #2 and no noise. If it happens again, it's fairly simple to take apart. Good luck.


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Old 11-28-2010, 12:56 AM   #2
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'04 had no under dash cover, so the same fix (worked!) was even easier on mine....
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Old 01-30-2011, 01:44 PM   #3
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Why is this not a sticky...or is it?
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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Nice posting very helpfull. Will give it a try when it gets a bit warmer. Thanks
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Old 03-08-2014, 12:57 PM   #5
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I must be really stupid. I've taken out the glove box twice and I see the big round can sitting there, it has a sticker on it that says Focus Heater. But, from there I'm lost.

The tutorial says, "Next is a cardboard insulation piece that is held up with 3 plastic molding screws." I don't see that on my 2003 ZX3. I don't know where I'm supposed to be looking. Is the fan part of that big heater staring me in the face? I pulled the electrical connection on it and the fan still ran, so I figured that is not it.

Should I be looking toward the center of the dash? I know I must be stupid, but the pictures in the tutorials are rather close shots and I just don't get it where exactly is the fan that I need to be looking for the insulation piece and the duct screw.

My fan chirps on low speeds so I want to get it out and lubricate it, but I've attempted this twice already and I just don't understand where the thing is located exactly. Thanks for helping.
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Old 03-08-2014, 01:25 PM   #6
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You may not have the insulation piece, so just ignore it.

The duct screw is just above the part that the glovebox screws into.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:26 PM   #7
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The Fan removal is from underneath the dash, motor can be seen easier once that duct is out of the way (attachment through glovebox opening as just mentioned).

Reaching the rear screw/bolt is the hardest since it's easiest to "feel" for it (getting my head under the dash that far wasn't worth it).

Couple drops of Motor Oil has kept mine squeak free to date, I notice mine was done 11/10 from the old post.

Luck!
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:42 PM   #8
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I'll update this thread with photos from my 2004 since the above photos are confusing some.

Notice that the insulating dash cover was not used, and that the motor screws have been changed to hex head.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:20 PM   #9
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Thank you. Got the job done. Plenty of leaves and debris in the squirrel cage. The updated pics were a big help.

For those others who like me didn't understand what to look for, the big round heater sitting right behind the glove box houses the fan. The fan is accessed through the bottom of this housing.

The reason disconnecting the electrical connector on the left of the round heater didn't disable the fan is because there is another electrical connector for the fan that is on the bottom of the housing.

Runs nice and smooth now. Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #10
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Great to hear!

Now, if you found a bunch of leaves in the squirrel cage, then that means you most likely have a bunch piled up behind the A/C evaporator coil.

To fix that, you have to remove the fan (I know...you just did that) and the blower resistor block. Look at the back of the evaporator with a mirror held in the hole where the resistor block mounts. Use a flashlight stuck up into the housing for the blower. If you see a bunch of crap, then use a vacuum with a piece of 1/2" heater hose duct taped on and snake it up in there to clean the debris.

I speak from experience here. I didn't have a cabin filter and I ended up with a mulch pile behind the evaporator. After cleaning it, my A/C not only worked better, but smelled much better.
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