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AIR HEAT VENT Cable, Where does it go?

5559 Views 14 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RickCJ7
I need to know what the Air knob on my dash is supposed to activate. When I got my Jeep the vent on the passenger side was locked shut by the installation of an aftermarket antenna. Now that I have removed the antenna I need to know how the cable is supposed to work. When I pull the Air knob out I can feel it moving near the base of the knob but the end of the cable by the passenger side vent does not move. Are there two cable with an attachement point behind the heater assembly? If you know what I am talking about please offer your advice. It is getting cold in Texas high of only 85 today. I really need to get this thing working before the temp dips into the 70's.


1985 CJ7 4.2L, T-176, Dana 300, 2.73 gears(too high), 2.5" lift, 31" tires, Durabak
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Yeah, Tom, It is a two-step thing. We have our heater out right now but ours is a '79, and I believe 82 and later is different so I can't tell you exactly, but ours is a two-cable setup and is actually stuck right now just like yours is, so we have some work to do once we get this blower motor upgrade back in.

Do you think I have to remove the heater to fix it. Right now my heater works fine, it is just the vent that I can't open because of the cable. If I have to take out the heater I am going to leave it alone. I don't really need the vent anyway.


1985 CJ7 4.2L, T-176, Dana 300, 2.73 gears(too high), 2.5" lift, 31" tires, Durabak
The cable attaches to a lever system that is on the cabin side of the heater box. This is where it changes the position from heater to vent. This lever is just to the passenger side of the radio cut out(up to the right looking at the face of the radio. This is one of those parts that gets very stiff if not greased or used regularly. It gets a film of rust on it that makes it hard to pull. I just greased mine last weekend with spray white litheum grease because I could hardly pull mine out anymore. You may be able to grease it and work it a little and everything will work fine.
I have an 82 and an 83 CJ-8 and both have this system.

Hey Scrambler....

You were right. I got the cable reconnected and greased everything with spray lube and it works fine. I have all my dash knobs except that one and now I know why. That thing has been frozen up for years.


1985 CJ7 4.2L, T-176, Dana 300, 2.73 gears(too high), 2.5" lift, 31" tires, Durabak
More help please...

Thanks for the great advice; the white litheum worked like a charm on my 1980 CJ7. Now a more basic question. I need to replace the old Air/Vent cable but can't get the rivet off off where the wire ends. Any suggestions? I don't want to bugger the mechanism up now that is is moving more smoothly. Once off, do you know what size replacement it is. You can tell these questions are coming from a novice owner. Thanks in advance.
Welcome to the board!

Are you saying that the push/pull wire is riveted to the arm it's actuating? That's not right. Those had a pin on the arm. The end of the wire was wrapped into an eye that went over the pin. Then there was a little spring washer that retained the eye.

The hole in the washer is sllightly smaller than the pin. There are slits cut outward from the hole to near the outer edge. When it's pushed onto the pin the slits allow the center to pooch outwards and open enough to go over the pin.

Once installed they're darn near impossible to get off without destroying them, but it's possible if you grab them across oppsite edges with plliers. Squeezing with the pliers increases to pooch-out enough that you can twist and wiggle them off. Sometimes. Other times you just wind up breaking them or deforming them so badly they're unuseable. In that case go to a good hardware store and look for replacements. They're common items used in lots of applications besides Jeep heater cables.

If your Jeep really has rivets, try to take a picture and post it. Maybe then we can figure out a procedure.

And while there's nothing wrong with dredging up old threads, don't be afraid to start a new one with your specific question. Using an old thread like this is good because it lets everyone know that you've done your homework of searching first, but it also confuses the weaker-minded members. You know who I are! :D
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Thanks for the quick response

I understand what you are talking about. All other areas (fan, defroster, etc) use the cap with the slits in theh side to hold the wire to the nub. For some reason, the one where the heat/vent wire is connected uses a rivet cap to hold the wire against the rubber washer and 2-piece heat/vent slides. The good news (I guess) is that the previous owner cut out the radio slits for a speaker. So I can go directly through the hole in the dash to access the lever system. Can I attach a picture to one of these threads or should I send it to a different email address? Thanks again for your quick response.
Attach it to this thread. Click the "Go Advanced" button. Then pick the paper clip dookie. Browse to the picture on your computer, select it and then Upload. Close that window and hit the paper clip again. Your picture name will be there. Click it and it will insert into the post. Watch the size though. It it's too big it won't upload, and the failure message isn't very prominent.
I figured it out

it wasn't a rivet, it was a locking cap. I dremelled it off, replaced the cable, and then put on new locking cap. So, I can get the heat portion to work, but it is still almost impossible to pull to get the vent open. I have used white liteum grease, but still having a problem somewhere. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
So the knob pulls out a couple of inches fairly easily, and then takes a he-man tug to get it the rest of the way? They're pretty much all like that. Several years ago I had all of the cables out. I hung them from one end and dropped oil down them for several days until it finally came out the other end. They worked great for about six months. Now they're stiff as ever. I think the only real cure would be to replace the cables with modern teflon-lined ones. If there's an easier fix I'd love to here it.
There is an assembly on the fresh air tube that causes that problem. On mine, I can go between off and heat or heat and vent. If I pull it past heat and go to vent, I have to reach under the dash to get it to go back past heat.
Teflon-lined cables?

Thanks again for the great advice. Got any suggestion where to get teflon-lined cables?
I did a Yahoo search for "teflon-lined cable" and came up with 104,000 hits. Several good-looking ones on the first page.
Yup, mine are that way too.
When I bought it the PO had pulled the knob off, so that is one explanation for the pair of pliers sitting on the floor. I replaced the cable and it wasn't long before I pulled the knob off :mad: . I used a gear type small hose clamp to keep the knob on, but for the second half of the pull I use the pliers.
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