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First Gen A/C Vent Repair

Guest dwhiteside64

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Guest dwhiteside64


Does anyone know a way to fix 'floppy' a/c vents without removing the dash? I'd like to repair them, but I don't want to remove the dash if at all possible. Any ideas are welcome.


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I just did this when I was installing the AC system on Bill's 64. I wish I had taken pictures...

You don't have to remove the dash. You DO need to be flexible (as with any underdash work).

There is a small Allen head screw (bottom of assembly) that will seperate the two halves of the vent assembly. Don't be tempted to try and only remove the back half. There are two 3/8" hex head screws at the bottom and a Phillips head screw upper and outer that holds the back half from falling off.

Honestly, I don't know if you can remove the duct from the backside in one piece. I did that on my Wildcat, but Bill's Riv seemed to be glued.

Skip ahead. I am going to assume that you are now very uncomfortable from your time upside down getting the entire assembly out in one piece and you successfully removed the ducting.

Once the assembly is out, there are two halves that are jammed together and held in place with that aforementioned hex head screw. I wanna say it's a 1/8", but I have a bunch that I just stuck in there until one fit. ;)

Ok. Now you have three parts. Front half (silver part that you see in the car). Back half (duct hose fits over this). Chrome ball ( currently jangly).

The key is that originally, Buick had a small piece of felt that held the ball in place in front and back. You need to replace this!

One problem that I encountered was that after I had glued a piece (really about a 1/4" strip) on the vent side piece, the ball wanted to rip it back out. On Bill's car, I used a piece of 1955 Buick Special trunk fabric I had laying around (go figure). I used super glue to secure it. You need a strip on inside and outside pieces of the assembly.

DO NOT glue your ball in place, or you get to start over...

I then cleaned up the vent with my brass wheel on my bench grinder to remove any schmutzies.

Reinstall the two halves with freshly glued (but dry) fabric (felt, moleskin, 55 Buick trunklining, etc) until slight drag is felt.

Tighten the Allen head screw.

Install vent assembly. It helps to have the vent closed, i.e. longer wire exposed.

Reinstall vent ducts, and tape if necessary.

Resecure assemblies with the 3/8" hex head screws, and if you are lucky, the Phillips head screw. (Bill's drivers side no longer has this...)

Enjoy your sturdy balls :D

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Guest dwhiteside64

Enjoy your sturdy balls :D

Great info! Looks pretty straight forward. There is a piece of felt that wants to 'pop out' every once in a while. I will try this tonight and see how it goes.


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I don't know what you're using to fix the "wobble" but I know the wobble comes from worn out or missing felt strips that run around the circumference of the ball.

You can easily replace the strips by rotating the ball so that the groove is perpendicular to the dash. Start placing your replacement felt/fuzzy on the ball then just rotate it as you continue to stick the fuzzy in the groove. Pretty soon you'll be back at the beginning and you're finished except for returning the ball to its original position.


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Mike's approach allows you to replace both felt strips, if that's what's needed. Ed's approach lets you get to the front one only.

Mike's way allows you to adjust the 2 halves nearer or further from each other to compensate for the thickness of the NEW felt strip you just added.

If you are glueing the original front strip back in, because that's what came loose, then Ed's way works just fine.

Edited by Jim_Cannon (see edit history)
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