Fixing a broken plastic dash vent louver

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
... The knob is a very complex part, save them if you can they just snap off. ...
I used a toothpick bit glued on to the handle assembly to replace one of the little fork tabs. Works ok so far, but gentle operation helps. That said, my K9 copilot doesn't apply gentle. :rolleyes:

vic
 

Garandman

Member
I looked at the new replacement panels with the idea of modeling it in CAD and 3D printing a one piece assembly. We have a printer that prints ABS.

The design doesn’t lend itself to that.
 
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Right side vent closet to the passenger window. I tried to recover a couple of the broken and missing louvers today, and messed whole the thing up. Some louvers had slid down the chute out of reach. Now it is open without any louvers. I would have been better off leaving it alone. Another lesson learned. Hopefully.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
The watch band pins are in the mail.

I experimented with cutting the longer pins in 1/2. The long pins can be cut. The spring ends still work. Cutting does leave the dead end a bit bigger from the crushing, but the pin should still insert into the plastic.

:cheers: vic
 

Garandman

Member
My plan is to offer up my good louvers from the old panels once I get the new ones installed.
 

Kbonk

Member
I removed the full panel, less the air bag. Then used a vacuum cleaner in the vent hole to recover a louver. I have disassembled this panel and have 3d modeled only the louvers....
 

Kbonk

Member
I looked at the new replacement panels with the idea of modeling it in CAD and 3D printing a one piece assembly. We have a printer that prints ABS.

The design doesn’t lend itself to that.
I got the disassembly figured out and the louvers are a simple print
 

Sprinter2go

Sprinter 2 Go
I ordered the Driver Side and Passenger Side Assemblies from AliExpress, about $30US each side delivered (you need to search a few sellers as the shipping price varies greatly. Mercedes Sprinter Dash Vent is what I searched on). The Passenger Side is not available with An airbag option. So I removed the Vent Assembly from the New Piece by Drilling out the Melted Studs. I will install in the Existing Passenger Side assembly.

I will add some photos when I can.
 
Thanks for trying Kbonk.

All in good time. These vent louvers are weak and break so easily. Saying that, my drivers vents have held up fine. Not one broken louver in 16 years time! The passenger side, not so much.

I know who to blame, and it is not this driver. A thought came to mind about coming up with a protective wire cage of sorts, once the louvers are fixed, to protect the design from clueless passengers might be a good way to prevent future failures.

Either that, or put a few words on the passenger side dash area stating no shoes, no feet, take care adjusting the vents. They will break if mishandled. 06 T1N 2500 158"wb.
 

Kim_Marcus

Kim Possible
The plastic dash vent louver pieces pop up too easily and I seem to break off one (or both) of the tabs, so I can't get them back in.

Here is how I fix it once I've broken off a tab (in this case 2 of them - one on each end).

I ordered some 10mm long watch band spring units (on eBay, with free shipping, that amounted to 99 cents). These are 1.5 mm in diameter (1/16 of an inch drill bit is slightly wider, so it works).

I drill out approx 8 mm deep into the plastic louver on the side that I'll ease into place (so it only sticks out as far as I can compress it all the way). The other side sticks out further (I put that end into the assembly first), so I don't drill it out that deep. If you are only replacing the one tab, its simpler.

I used a short length of metal coat hanger to get behind the snap on so I could pull the louver snap on piece together and then slide reattach the louver (like you do with a watch band).

I was never fond of how this part goes together (it's too easy for it to come apart during disassembly and reassembly). I have 3 louvers repaired in this way on my dashboard. I recently had this one pop out, so I captured a few photos of how I addressed it
One of the first things I did was break one trying to dust it...appreciate your post.
 

Kbonk

Member
HI guys well the printer went Brrrrrrrr. after some tests I modified the part by increasing the wall thickness to the maximun around a 1/16" stainless rod thru the full length of the louver, should increase strength. Stand By, will try to get to assembly soon, and run thru some testing to see if more tweeks are needed.
 

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Kim_Marcus

Kim Possible
HI guys well the printer went Brrrrrrrr. after some tests I modified the part by increasing the wall thickness to the maximun around a 1/16" stainless rod thru the full length of the louver, should increase strength. Stand By, will try to get to assembly soon, and run thru some testing to see if more tweeks are needed.
So cool, 3D printers ... you're in business!
 

Kbonk

Member
So cool, 3D printers ... you're in business!
haha have a pretty big tool box/shop just started playing with this, I dont know about that. most T1N owners are pretty hands on DYIers. Then you can buy a whole assembly from a CCP manufacture for 24 fiat bucks. thought I would try and consider another option for a few of my friends and my self.
 

Kbonk

Member
Here the update: The louvers are held in place by a "clamshell" design, the rear assembly has the vertical louvers attached to it, the horizontal louvers are held in place by the front cover and the rear assembly. The rear assembly is het welded in place by a number of ABS rivets. I drilled out these rivets with a bullet bit and disassembled the rear assembly from the front. This walks you thru what I did. After I got all the louvers in place I used the rubber bands as clamps, fired up my hot glue gun and replace the factory welds. Snapped in the knob I made and bobs your uncle.
 

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Kbonk

Member
Kbonk, did you have success printing louvers and repairing your vents?
If so, I would be interested...
I think I have the fix, color can not be matched with base material. I am in search of matching paint for the louvers. DM with your requirements,
 

kkanuck

LUV my T1N
Great effort Kbonk,

These louver breakages are probably the most common failure one sees on a T1N!

I too need a fix for both sides, driver and passenger. I recently bought a T1N with about 4-5 total missing louvers, combined on both the drivers side as well as passenger side, plus I think at least one of the holes that the pins of the louvers go into on one side is broken out, so even with a pin repair of louver I would still have an issue on at least one.

Buying each side from Ali Express is the first step to start the repair?
 

kkanuck

LUV my T1N

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