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I've been driving in increasingly warm weather, and wondering why I can't get any air out of the vents in the dash. I've realized that I don't know what they're for, and I don't know how to turn them on.

If I have the heat on, I can put the console lever on "defrost" and get heat at the windshield vents, but if it's in the down position, the heat is just there under the dash and I can't tell where it's coming from.

Can someone explain what those side vents are for and how to make them work?

Thanks
 

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Do you have A/C?

Those side vents and the 3 vents just above the radio are for A/C.

As you have figured out, the 2 vents at the top and under the dash are for heat.

I will look for a picture for you.

Vin
 

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On a '78? Was A/C even an option back then?
Not sure.

If you don't have A/C then they should be for ambient air.

Mine is a 91, but would imagine they are similar.

Vin
 

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There are two points of control for the round louvered vents at each end of the dash on my 71. I doubt if they are much, if any, different than those in your 78.

The first point of control is on the center console. You have two slide levers which move 'vertically'. One controls the temperature of the air from the heater; the second controls where the air comes through the vents - at your feet or out through the dash side-vents AND the defroster-vents in the top of the dash. They slide up and down to control temp and air flow; the temp lever is marked with red and blue dots; the other redirects the air flow.

The second point of control is a small lever underneath each of the side dash-vents which rotates left or right to open or shut-off the air from the side vents, allowing you to direct all the air to the defroster vents.

So, the first place to look is to see if the side-vents have been closed to direct air to the defroster-vents.

The next is inside the console - you will want to see the base of the air flow slide lever where the cable which runs from the lever to the heater box is attached to the foot of the slide control lever. The cable is like a bicycle shifter cable - a metal cable housed in a protective casing; the cable slides inside the casing. The casing be gripped firmly by the lever mechanism so that the cable slides inside the cable casing without the casing moving when you move the lever. There is a small clamp with bolts which grasps both the airflow and heater cable casings. This is a common point of failure, and the cable casing often moves, making moving the slide lever useless. When the cable casing moves, the cable itself stay stationary.

If the cable casing is moving, try slipping it into the clamp without disassembling it - just loosen the bolts,move the cable casing, and retighten. Completely disassembling the clamp will be tempting - but I recommend against it. Alfa foolishly used some sort of ceramic block (yes, I said ceramic) to grasp the cable
casings. These blocks often crumble into little annoying pieces when you disassemble the clamp. This crumbling is the reason the housing moves. I've had two of lever mechanisms - the original, and a replacement from APE, and both had the ceramic clamp block problem. I ended up making a replacement piece for the block from nylon, but it hasn't been entirely satisfactory.

Perhaps others here have had more success - good luck, and here's hoping your vents are just shut off to route the air to the defroster vent!
 

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They are only obvious to my fingers. I see them only when I am in a uncomfortable position.:devil2:
 

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I think the lower vents on the S2 series just allow the outside air to enter into the cabin. They pick up air from the cowl area beneath the windshield wipers and direct it through a rubber duct to the vent mechanism on the bottom edge of the dash. They frequently get plugged up with leaves and things that get under the grille.

The rubber ducts are a challenge to remove and reinstall.

IMG_1201.jpg

IMG_4821.jpg

Vent 3.jpg
IMG_4838.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I figured out why I didn't see them the first time. The one on the passenger side is sheared off.

I've replaced the broken section with a combination of thick brass tubing, fender washer, JB Weld, cursing, and flawed optimism. I even re-created and soldered in the tab that hits the limit stops on the body of the vent. It actually works as far as opening and closing goes. However, I think getting that horrible little spring back in place is not going to be an option.

And yes, it is a fresh air vent that draws in air from the area below the windshield.

Thanks for all the help (again!!)
 

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How are the top vents secured to the dash? Is there a spring? PO had installed a dash cover which I removed and the vents are just sitting loose on top of the dash
 

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Top vents are secured by a long spring like piece of wire. Each vent has a wire attached at the center of the vent Top....it is longer than the diameter of the vent base in the dash. When you look in the base section you will see 2 slots at 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock or similar. The idea is to insert the wire in each slot and then let vent Top rest in lower base. It's takes a bit of maneuvering to get the wires in the slots.
Cheers, Jon
 

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Thank you Jon
If anybody has a picture of that "spring like wire" holding the vent would be helpful so i can try make one
 

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OC, rather than trying to make one, save yourself some heartache and buy a used one. Those clips are hardened & tensioned to hold position. PM me, I’ll send you one, gratis.
 

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I think the lower vents on the S2 series just allow the outside air to enter into the cabin. They pick up air from the cowl area beneath the windshield wipers and direct it through a rubber duct to the vent mechanism on the bottom edge of the dash. They frequently get plugged up with leaves and things that get under the grille.

The rubber ducts are a challenge to remove and reinstall.

View attachment 780529

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View attachment 780553
I believe your image #1 is the only image of this vent lever/spring that exists on the internet. I've been searching for a long time, as my lever is apparently missing that spring and just flaps around. Now I just need to find a replacement/fix...
 
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