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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

According to the Bentley, that vacuum distributor should have two control levers, one from the vent controls, and another from the heat/AC controls (car has AC) ... but in place of a second lever, there's some kind of electric switch, that activates when the vent controls are moved.. meaning there's 2 sources of feedback on the vent controls, but nothing on the AC controls except the thermostat and the cable to the heater core... is that normal? '88 Best Seller cabriolet, which supposedly had the engine swapped with a newer model jetta (not an exact fit) before i bought it... the heat works, A/C doesn't and it seems like the heat is always coming out of the front defroster vents on the dash (the ones under the windshield and the smaller ones pointing at the side windows). Cold air comes out of the standard side vents as expected and *nothing* comes out of the center vents. I think something's not working vacuum wise but can't find the source (haven't had the time to take the whole dash off...)
 

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Re: Vacuum distributor on the heater controls... not the same as the manual? (kamzcab86)

Did some fooling around this afternoon.
First thing I ran across was that the vacuum lines between the check valve/vacuum tank basically fell apart in my hand when I went to check how secure they were. I replaced those hoses with some new, then found that whoever had this car before me, and presumably the same person that swapped out the engine with this one that doesn't fit perfectly, swapped the two vacuum lines that go into the interior. So the vacuum distributor was being fed vacuum through the port where it was supposed to control the air recirculation flap, and the flap was hooked up to the vacuum input of the distributor. It doesn't stop there... the hoses to control the leg vent servo were backwards. After fixing all that the vacuum distributor is still leaking a lot of air in some positions (at least it will open the center vents after about 2-5 minutes of the engine running) so I need to replace it. Does anyone know where I can get just the distributor?
 

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Re: Vacuum distributor on the heater controls... not the same as the manual? (Legoguy)

Check your local dealer (it was around $75 for mine), sasponline.com, worldimpex.com, 1stvwparts.com.
It's part #161820293B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Vacuum distributor on the heater controls... not the same as the manual? (kamzcab86)

Hmm.. not a cheap part.. lemme get this straight... this is what currently happens in my system...
Position 3 (rightmost "blue zone")
-> applies vacuum to the footwell vents to *close* them
-> applies vacuum to the center vents to *open* them (and eventually when its all the way open the windshield vents are cut off, normal)
-> applies vacuum to the air recirculation vent to *open* it (push it upwards)
Position 4 (leftmost black zone)
-> hissing sounds come from distributor, all activated servos slowly retract, ie. distributor faulty.
Position 5 (middle black zone)
-> Applies vacuum to the footwell vents to *open* them (takes a long time though)
-> releases vacuum from the center vents
-> applies vacuum to the air recirculation vent to *open* it
Position 6 (defrost)
-> A little bit of hissing from the distributor again..
-> center vents closed
-> footwell vents closed
-> air recirculation closed
... Definitely something wrong. Maybe I should run back to that old cabby ('80) that they had at the junkyard and see if I can get one off that...
 

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Re: Vacuum distributor on the heater controls... not the same as the manual? (Legoguy)

Quote, originally posted by Legoguy »
Position 3 (rightmost "blue zone")
-> applies vacuum to the footwell vents to *close* them
-> applies vacuum to the center vents to *open* them (and eventually when its all the way open the windshield vents are cut off, normal)
-> applies vacuum to the air recirculation vent to *open* it (push it upwards)
...
Position 5 (middle black zone)
-> Applies vacuum to the footwell vents to *open* them (takes a long time though)
-> releases vacuum from the center vents
-> applies vacuum to the air recirculation vent to *open* it

Only position 1 (far left blue setting) applies, or should be applying, vacuum to the recirculation vent servo.
Double-check that the vac lines are routed correctly and that there are no leaks in any of the vac lines. If things are still working incorrectly/leaking, try replacing the distributor.
 
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