Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby KADMANDAK [OP] » June 9th 2010, 6:35pm

I only have High Speed on my heater blower, which likely means the resistor pack is bad. Autozone price is $55! Anyone repair the resistor pack by soldering some replacement heavy-duty resistors? (I would think Radio Shack would carry resistors heavy enough to handle the current).
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby Woodweasel » June 9th 2010, 6:54pm

Shop around. I have seen them from 25-50. The time youd spend to find the right resistor, pulling the old one out, soldering it on and reinstalling it would probably take just as long if you were to go get a new one. And who's to say the med or low setting wont be the next to go, then you have to go through all that again.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby rev_les » June 10th 2010, 1:35am

The "high" setting bypasses the resistor pack, so you're more than likely correct.Check the connector for good measure though, and take voltage readings to rule out the blower speed switch.I don't see why you couldn't find compatible resistors and solder them in, if you're feeling industrious.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby Astroplane » June 10th 2010, 7:04am

Consider testing the blower motor to determine start-up amp draw.
The price of paying attention is cheap considering the alternative.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby KADMANDAK [OP] » June 11th 2010, 2:19am

Re: 1998 Astro AWD with only the high-speed front blower working...

I pulled the blower resistor pack and found it to be different looking than the pictures of the after-market replacements the auto parts stores sell, which show resistors (and other stuff) mounted to a ceramic holder.

My resistor pack is a flat circuit board with sine-wave traces on both sides. One side is a single sine wave trace with a small horse-shoe shaped fusible link near the center. The opposite side of the board has a double sine-wave trace (wide and thin parallel traces) with two more small horse-shoe shaped fusible links.

The different resistances (for the different speed settings) appear to be developed by the metallurgy and length of the sine-wave traces.

All three of the tiny links are still in-tact and conducting. All the traces are conducting from end to end except one. Taking some readings with an Ohms meter, I have found an open circuit on the side of the board with the single fusible ink. One of the legs of the link has separated from the trace leaving a small air gap underneath.

I am hoping that these small fusible links melt at a much higher temperature than solder.

Question: If I attempt to close the gap with solder, will the horse-shoe link instantly self destruct from the heat of the soldering iron or is there some cushion? If this is so, can anyone recommend a product to close the air gap that would not involve significant heat. I understand they make a conducting paint for repairing the traces on defroster windows.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby Astroplane » June 11th 2010, 6:29am

Rockauto has pics of the correct style resistor for your year. Scroll down the list. AC Delco brand for $37.00. Updated design, I wouldn't bother trying to fix yours. As I said before, you may want to test your amp draw before connecting a new resistor to the circuit.
The price of paying attention is cheap considering the alternative.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby KADMANDAK [OP] » June 15th 2010, 3:40pm

I am happy to report that I had success re-soldering the link that separated from the circuit board on the original blower motor resistor pack. I achieved a good solder joint without melting the link and now have multiple blower speeds instead of just high speed.

I do plan to replace the resistor pack in the near future as the traces look like they have degraded some. The traces are not much thicker than a gum wrapper. The three traces are of different widths (and different resistances). The thinist trace looks like it could fail at any time as it is only about 1/32" wide.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby DorisTheFunkasaurus » January 20th 2015, 9:51pm

Hoping to jump on to this bandwagon... even though it's a really old bandwagon.

My blower has pooped out. I already had the new resistor pack ready to go, as I've been living with only High on my blower since I got the van. Over the course of a few weeks, my High speed started cutting out. Not altogether, but drop back to what I would expect "low" to feel like (if I'd ever had "low"). I figured out if I turned it off for a few minutes and then back on, more often than not the blower would kick back on. Then one day, it didn't.

Took it to the dealer to switch out my resistor pack for me (it was single digits here at the time, no way I'm trying that in the driveway..) and explained to them that I knew the resistor wasn't the entire issue. Asked them to check/clean my connections to the motor as well. When the motor is getting full power, it blows like a champ. Don't think it's the motor itself, seems like an electrical problem somewhere along the way. When I picked it up, was working fine. Within a day or two, back to the same old tricks. Barely blows at all. Sometimes, kicks off and I can't get any air flow at all. Really sick of being cold. Really sick of the dealership, who's now giving me the runaround and not calling me back.

Anyone have a good picture/diagram of where the blower motor is located? I'd like to get in there and see how the connections look. Maybe I can clean them up myself and get it going again.
Thanks.

Hey... I just found a great post. No reply needed now.. just thought I'd share the link.
http://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=13764&p=610962&hilit=blower+motor+DIY#p610962
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby Meterpig » January 21st 2015, 1:01am

I just went through this. The OEM blower motor design is more or less a wear item. Spend the 35 bucks and get a VDO motor. Much..much better.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby redfury » January 21st 2015, 3:33am

Yes, replace the motor, it's easy enough to do...pull out the overflow and washer reservoirs and you have decent space to get the old one out. usually can do it all with a nut driver set, or a quarter inch socket set. I pulled my old OEM motor out because I was having the same problems....turning it over by hand proved why it was a problem....there was rotational resistance. The replacement spins freely. Put that kind of strain on the resistor pack and it'll eventually fry or give you troubles getting that motor to start running, especially the colder it gets. Once the bearings go, lubing them up will only be a temporary solution. You'll be back in there before you know it pulling it out again. Replacement fan motors are cheap compared to what other components cost to repair. I'd get a new one and never worry about it again.
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Re: Repairing Blower Motor Resistor Pack on 98 Astro

Postby Meterpig » January 21st 2015, 8:58pm

One other note-I left the cover off figuring the motor was not getting the appropriate ventilation. Also, I agree with the above that over time the motor (as it wears) is going to puts additional load on the resistor pack. I don't see why the resistor pack should die under normal circumstances than perhaps vibration.
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