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Tips or Tricks to stiffening up the pivoting air vents?

Posted by Earendil 
Title pretty much says it all.
I'm a firm believe in Artificial Summer*, so the consistent direction of my air vents is important to me.
It also serves as a good training tool for making sure my hands are correctly positioned on the steering wheel, as if they aren't, they get cold ;-)

So does anyone have any tips or tricks to stiffening these things back up? I'm tempted to dump some epoxy and then after it starts to set up break it loose.
I'm open to more suave techniques smiling smiley



*Artificial Summer - The act of driving, especially in sub freezing temperatures, with the windows down and the heat blasting, thus creating the illusion of a summertime drive.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2009 09:17PM by Earendil.
Quote
Earendil
Title pretty much says it all.
I'm a firm believe in Artificial Summer*, so the consistent direction of my air vents is important to me.
It also serves as a good training tool for making sure my hands are correctly positioned on the steering wheel, as if they aren't, they get cold ;-)

So does anyone have any tips or tricks to stiffening these things back up? I'm tempted to dump some epoxy and then after it starts to set up break it loose.
I'm open to more suave techniques smiling smiley



*Artificial Summer - The act of driving, especially in sub freezing temperatures, with the windows down and the heat blasting, thus creating the illusion of a summertime drive.

Sand is the only solution!

Ship your car to the Sahara, then drive it around for a few hours, then ship it home.
Your vents should be nice and 'stiff' winking smiley
Thin plastic shims cut to fit. Just shove em in. The top clear spacer of a new stack of cd's comes to mind.

alan
Never really had issues with this, though I usually roll down the window below 90 kph. I hardly ever use the heater, even around freezing temperatures - I just like the cold. Actually the dash vents are almost exclusively used in the summertime, to put outside air into the car. When I need heating, I direct it toward the feet (as hot air raises by itself), or to the windscreen, to defog.

@ Alan
Do you mean using the shims at the side of the vents? I don't know how the vents are assembled, might sound strange, but thick grease could help as well.
Would not suggest grease. The heat from the sun while parked will make a mess of the grease. The plastic shim idea is a good one. On my Chevy I snipped a piece off the end of a soda straw and squeezed it in. Made a good springy shim.

Bob
on an old Fiat 124 a folded McD straw snippet did the job.
anyone have any idea how much these vents cost to replace?

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto
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alanrw
Thin plastic shims cut to fit. Just shove em in. The top clear spacer of a new stack of cd's comes to mind.

alan

I have also heard of the CD spacer technique being used. My vents are floppy, too, I've been meaning to try this myself for a while...
Ugh... Didn't I say really thick grease? No, you're right, it might mess up things. Didn't think of it, it just doesn't get that hot here that often...
ugh. $80. I think the CD spacer sounds like a winner.

[www.realoem.com]

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto
rkj
I used a thin piece of 320 grit wetordry sandpaper folded over a few times. Finished size about 1/4x1 inch. If a few folds is not enough give yourself a few more. Its black and blends right in smiling smiley

Rick
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alanrw
The top clear spacer of a new stack of cd's comes to mind.

alan

this is what i did on my first e30! worked perfectly.


last deck of CDs i bought had a cd-sized spacer. that'd look kinda funny.

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto
Thanks for all the tips guys :-)
I knew there would be a bunch of things that wouldn't come to mind. I have sandpaper readily available, so I'll give that a try first.

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Michiel 318iS
Never really had issues with this, though I usually roll down the window below 90 kph. I hardly ever use the heater, even around freezing temperatures - I just like the cold.

Same. But I went to college in a northern dessert (Spokane, WA). There are plenty of worse places on earth, but it was not uncommon to have beautifully clear, sunny, dry, 20° F (-6.7C) days. Even more regular are 10-20F nights, when I do most of my driving. Without driving gloves, my hands start to impede my ability to keep the car going smoothly around corners smiling smiley

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

rkj
I used a longer one for the middle two registers, made it a U shaped (folded sandpaper shim) thing that fit into both; one end in one and the other end into its neighbor. The outer two registers get their own shims. Ove used to say these registers come right out if you push on one side, but I never had any luck with that.

Rick
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ducatipaso
last deck of CDs i bought had a cd-sized spacer. that'd look kinda funny.

you can't see it once it is shoved in there.




also, i wouldn't recommend sandpaper. all you need is one of those cd spindle things. it will probably slide a lot nicer compared to sandpaper.


I would think the sandpaper would make it worse over time due to the abrasion factor.

Ductaipaso, yes, use the spacer full size, no one will see it because it is clear.smileys with beer

alan
what? now I'm lost. how the hell would you stick a full-size CD into that vent?
can someone take a pic or whip up a mspaint to 'splain? thanks.
i have FVS myself.

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto
rkj
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daniel
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ducatipaso
last deck of CDs i bought had a cd-sized spacer. that'd look kinda funny.

you can't see it once it is shoved in there.




also, i wouldn't recommend sandpaper. all you need is one of those cd spindle things. it will probably slide a lot nicer compared to sandpaper.

Wetordry isn't like regular sandpaper, and the 320 grit is just enough to make things tight without having them too tight. But to each his own smiling smiley
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ducatipaso
what? now I'm lost. how the hell would you stick a full-size CD into that vent?
can someone take a pic or whip up a mspaint to 'splain? thanks.
i have FVS myself.

no no, you break the cd into pieces so they fit into the spaces on the sides of the vents. when i did it i broke it into 4 pieces (with scissors) and then had to cut them down a bit, but once i did you couldn't tell i had jammed them into the vents.




i guess you'll have to do this to the cabrio next time ur at my place smiling smiley
we can do a writeup lol

'93 190E 2.6 » days
'92 318ic » weekends
'85 280TE » resto




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/28/2009 02:29PM by ducatipaso.
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ducatipaso


i guess you'll have to do this to the cabrio next time ur at my place smiling smiley
we can do a writeup lol

haha sure, i can do that.


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daniel
no no, you break the cd into pieces so they fit into the spaces on the sides of the vents. when i did it i broke it into 4 pieces (with scissors) and then had to cut them down a bit, but once i did you couldn't tell i had jammed them into the vents.

Cheapest mod ever! Thanks heaps, not my vents stay put.
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nomis3613
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daniel
no no, you break the cd into pieces so they fit into the spaces on the sides of the vents. when i did it i broke it into 4 pieces (with scissors) and then had to cut them down a bit, but once i did you couldn't tell i had jammed them into the vents.

Cheapest mod ever! Thanks heaps, not my vents stay put.

So very true. I have at least 15 more hp, maybe 20.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

i used a dime. just insert in the gap like you would an old school video game.
works perfect for the center vents.
now i need to do the end vents too.

costs...a dime each.smiling smiley
I read somewhere a while back that you can take the vents out and go to the local hardware store and get rubber O Rings and put them on the posts on each end. I too need to do this. The last time I was at a local yard here in Germany I mean to grab a center one, but forgot. The cars in yards here are in very pristine condition.
rkj
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longtallsally
I read somewhere a while back that you can take the vents out and go to the local hardware store and get rubber O Rings and put them on the posts on each end. I too need to do this. The last time I was at a local yard here in Germany I mean to grab a center one, but forgot. The cars in yards here are in very pristine condition.

Ove used to say they pop right out, hasn't been my experience but maybe I'm missing the trick to unhooking them. I'm using a folded over match book cover but the cd case material sounds better, until I learn how to pull them out that is B) then the Oring will be adopted... Wear glass' when you're cutting plastic though- safety first!
You shouldn't need to cut any plastic at all. To make it easier, you need to pull the entire vent assembly and after some research, it is pretty straightforward with a screwdriver and pulling it out. From there, you can find out how the individual vents kind of come up and out. You simply slide the O Rings over the posts on the ends and pop the vent back into the assembly and re-install. I tried to find some pics but failed. I'll take some if I do this myself.

Now after doing a touch of research, it looks like Tischer sells the center vent for $45. That is almost worth it I think to me and not quite as much hassle. If anyone is interested, the PN is 64221381147
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