Replacing blower motor in 460

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Jdring's picture
Joined: 12.04.2004
Location: South of Oxford, UK. 87' 230GE SWB Manual, 89' 230GE SWB Auto, 2012 G350Bluetec LWB
GWOA Groups: Committee, Members

Along with fixing and changing wiper spindles, changing a broken blower motor is another certainty with 460 ownership, and equally as much of a pita - if you can do both jobs at the same time, do so, because it's a full dash out job.

That said, my 230ge blower stopped for the 2nd time in my 30year ownership. 15years ago I took the whole dash out, in winter, and fixed the failure with new motor brushes that cost all of about 1.50. That fix has obviously now failed.Not bad, because it was a bit of a bodge at the time to get the heater working and involved melting some plastic to hold the brush fixing!

So I bought the new blower, a Bosch one, not a Behr original, but identical. And as it was a warm dry weekend I tackled it again.

A full day. Knackered. But success.

I really should have done the slightly leaky wiper spindles, but didn't have a kit and needed to put the car back together!

So here is the sequence.

First, I considered hard if I could change the motor from the air box side, to avoid the dash removal. Apparently it can be done. But it's a hack. You have to heat up the spindle that the fan is on until the plastic fan will pull off. Then you need spindly fingers and a screw driver to release 2 clips that are holding the blower in then pull it out and somehow disconnect the wiring which only has about 2 inches play in it. Then reverse the procedure.

Frankly I decided I had about as much chance of pulling that off as winning that G on Omaze

So back to plan A.  But even with a plan I spent a lot of time just looking at how to tackle it, again, because I couldn't recall how it all went together the first time I did this.

Take out the glove box.

Take off the top dash shelf.. 2 bolts for the grab rail (easy) and 4 small nuts holding it down at the front (along the windscreen edge). You should be able to get a socket on them, but not a wrench, and hopefully turn with your fingers. You will lose some skin.

Take the centre air vent out (2 screws)

Take out the right-hand side of the split heating control panel off, so that you can free the sliders. The panel pops off after pulling the blower knob straight off its spindle. Use a spade screw driver top bottom and right. Don't prise the centre .. it's slotted into the left side.

Note: the plastic on the light and blower dials gets very brittle over the years and the central part gave way on mine. I spend some time fettling replacement discs of plastic to be stuck in and it turned out great.

Undo the centre main dash... Two bolts at the bottom and 2 bastard ones at the top.

It helps to take any radio out, and the cigarette tray.

Now you can see the blower box and find the screws to detach the left and right distribution ducts. You can't move them far. Now you should be able to disconnect the flow and return water pipes from down in the footwell. Just pray they put the jubilee clips where a long screwdriver will reach. There will be a cup full of spillage so have a container ready.

Next you can detach the big plastic blower unit from the bulkhead with 4 screws either with a very long philips or a very short one. With it loose, you should be able to drop it down and focus on separating the actual blower tray, from the heat exchanger unit. Warm up the plastic lugs so they don't break off. Use a screwdriver to apply some prising force and another to work around the lugs.

There is just enough space to slide out the blower tray, and hey presto you finally get proper access to disconnect the wires and replace the blower motor (2 retaining clips).  This was the satisfying part.

My 3 speed fan has 2 resistors, and in my case were almost still like new. Now you get to do the reverse. Or do the wiper spindles while you have access (sort of) to those.

I made the annoying mistake of putting everything back and thinking the centre air grill would screw in after, only to realise that it actually sits under the top dash and I had to take 2/3 of it off again to fit that back earlier!! Attached are the pics of the work. Took all day.

Hope this helps.   I wouldn't says its the best german engineering or design. But twice in 30yrs isn't so bad.

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markhowes's picture
Joined: 15.01.2014
GWOA Groups: Members
Re: Replacing blower motor in 460


I think you should add similar photos/description of the process for an early 463 for the benefit of members with a more modern version.

I have a candidate if you need onewink

Having said that, mine probably isn't the motor as it works on speeds 2 and 4 but no doubt similar procedure to get to the problem part.

bigblock's picture
Joined: 27.05.2009
GWOA Groups: Committee, Members
Re: Replacing blower motor in 460

Good work John and a nice photgraphic record to help lots of other owners when they embark on the dreaded blower replacement .