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Clicking from under the dash of my wife's 164S has somewhat increased this summer so I will probably have to tackle the stepper job sooner rather than later. :( Might as well start collecting some parts ... Good source to get stepper motors and reinforcing ring? Also what is the thickness of that disintegrating black foam around the air distribution box so I can look around for some insulating foam sheets. Anything else that I may need?

Simeon
1991 164S getting close to 100K
 

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Probably the plastic gears are toast. The brass aftermarket one that were made down under are no longer available. I think the stepper motor assemblies are still available, but pricey
 

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So there is no option to simply replace the gears if they go bad?
I'm looking at a 91 s and the guy says they are fine, but I'd like to know I could replace them if needed.
Is there a way to tell if they are bad by checking?
 

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Checking 164 stepper motors operation.

So there is no option to simply replace the gears if they go bad?
I'm looking at a 91 s and the guy says they are fine, but I'd like to know I could replace them if needed.
Is there a way to tell if they are bad by checking?
If moving temp button up to HI retracts temp door lever on blower motor box as viewed from under hood looking down below passenger wiper arm pivot point at lever and pushing button back to LO moves lever full forward then rear stepper motor good. [Remove plastic cover over A/C system behind false firewall to see lever].Also check for proper operation of air recirculatoin motor by pushing recir button a/c panel bottom row and see if A/C air door under hood below passenger wiper blade area in evaporator box closes.


Now if pushing defrost button directs air flow to vents at base of windshield and pushing a/c button for dash air directs air flow to dash vents air drum stepper good. [Do this test with blower motor on 3-or 4 speed].
 

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Also, just to clarify, it's normal to have a regular pulsing sound "Shunch Shunch Shunch..." a little more than once a second when the air distribution is set to face-level vents. With time and wear, this may become a regular "Kerklick Kerklick Kerklick..." but is still nothing to worry about. Changing the air distribution between its positions should silence the click.

On the other hand, my old '89 164 has been making a clacking noise "ClackClackClackClackClack..." when I attempt to change the air distribution or even just when I turn on the ignition and it tries to change itself. This is not correct behaviour but the thing is, it still gets to the right setting after a while and the noise stops. It's been doing this for years and is still functioning acceptably. As long as it does what Alfisto Steve describes, that's good enough for me. Three other 164s I've owned have all had no stepper problems.

Now that these cars are old, there are other issues in the dash besides the stepper motors to think about. I have found the distribution drum seals fall apart with age, meaning air comes out of all vents all the time, and also the centre of the drum can crack. In the old days, these other problems were less common and there were various shortcuts to replace stepper motors only. But now, I think the only way to properly fix is to take the dash out as one big unit, then disassemble and do it properly, which also gives the opportunity to fix squeaks/other broken bits along the way. Big job but not all that difficult and certainly easier than working in situ; the difficult part is getting the gears, as you have identified.

-Alex
 
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