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TECH : Buick Ventilation Motor Swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by nailheadroadster, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. nailheadroadster
    Joined: Jun 7, 2006
    Posts: 1,523

    nailheadroadster
    Member

    I've been meaning to post this info for quite some time, but never got around to it. With all the Buick threads lately and TECH WEEK, I figured now was a good time to get off my butt and post it up.

    The vent motor on my 1955 Special hadn't worked since I got the car. A few months ago I decided to test it and see what was up. Turns out it had given up the ghost and it wasn't a fuse or wiring issue. I remembered that I had a vent motor assembly from a 93 Cavalier layin around and decided to check out the possibility of using parts from it.

    Here's the cool part... The mounting plate and fan cage were almost identical in shape and size. 2 of the holes on the mounting plate matched up perfectly, but the other 3 holes had to be drilled. The cage was slightly bigger, but it fit in the firewall perfectly with no clearance issues at all.

    The small rubber vent hose attached to the new motor was formed perfectly so all I had to do was drill a 3/4" hole in the original outlet body (the snail-shell-lookin-metal-part that the duct hose attaches to) so the motor will be cooled by the air it is moving... Just like the engineers at Chevy intended.

    After mounting the motor, I ran new 12 AWG wire inside and wired it to the original switch, then ran new 12 AWG wire from the switch to the fuse panel. I also replaced the factory "feed" wire from the fuse panel to the source with 12 AWG wire. (the picture below does not reflect the new "feed" wire so the wire placement can be shown) I then replaced the stock fuse with a 25 amp fuse (as was used in the Cavalier). I know 12 AWG may be a bit of an overkill, but I'd rather be safe than sorry when dealing with an old car and 25 amps of current.

    The whole thing works like a champ! I couldn't believe how similar the motors and cages were. I have listed the vehicles below that have the same vent motor in them so if you are looking in the junkyard, it will be a bit easier than looking for a 93 Cavalier. If you do find one, make sure you get the single wire connector going to the motor as it has a nice rubber boot on it and also the small rubber hose connected to the motor as it acts as a heat vent. If the wire and terminal are MIA, then a new female spade connector will work just fine.

    I do not know for sure if all the cars I listed below have the exact same small rubber vent hose, but the motor cross referenced to all of them. Also, I do not know if this will work on anything other than a 55 Special, but I do not see Buick changing the motors very much from series to series.

    Hope this helps a few folks out.
    Regards, Dave

    Here is the original motor next to the 93 Cavalier motor. Guess which one is which. LOL
    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of the back of the switch with the original wires attached to it. The tan wire comes from the motor and the brown wire goes to the fuse panel. New female spade connectors fit perfectly on the switch.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of the fuse panel. Notice the old brown wire is disconnected and the new gray 12 AWG wire is put to the correct side of the fuse. The pink wire is the "feed" wire for the circuit.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a pic of the new motor installed. Notice the small rubber tube coming off the motor and going into the housing. The Cavalier hose was molded perfectly to make it look like a "factory" install. Directly above the rubber tube is the factory electrical connector with rubber boot. If you do not get this wire, a new female flat blade connector will work also. The other wire is the ground. I did not cover the wires for this picture so you could see how they route.
    [​IMG]

    Here is the list of vehicles that this vent motor was used on.
    BUICK
    CENTURY LIMITED (1978 - 1979)
    BUICK CENTURY SPECIAL (1978 - 1996)
    BUICK CENTURY SPORT (1978 - 1979)
    BUICK SKYHAWK (1988 - 1989)
    BUICK SKYHAWK CUSTOM (1982 - 1987)
    BUICK CENTURY CUSTOM (1978 - 1996)
    BUICK SKYHAWK LIMITED (1982 - 1987)
    BUICK SKYHAWK SPORT (1986 - 1987)
    BUICK SKYHAWK T-TYPE (1983 - 1986)
    BUICK SKYLARK (1990 - 1998)
    BUICK SKYLARK CUSTOM (1986 - 1997)
    BUICK SKYLARK GRAN SPORT (1990 - 1997)
    BUICK SKYLARK LIMITED (1986 - 1997)
    BUICK SKYLARK LUXURY EDITION (1990 - 1991)
    BUICK SOMERSET (1986 - 1987)
    BUICK SOMERSET LIMITED (1986 - 1987)
    BUICK SOMERSET REGAL 1985
    BUICK SOMERSET REGAL LIMITED 1985
    BUICK SOMERSET T-TYPE 1986
    CADILLAC CIMARRON (1986 - 1988)
    CHEVROLET ASTRO (1985 - 2005)
    CHEVROLET BERETTA (1987 - 1996)
    CHEVROLET BERETTA GT (1989 - 1993)
    CHEVROLET BERETTA GTZ (1990 - 1993)
    CHEVROLET BERETTA Z26 (1994 - 1996)
    CHEVROLET CAVALIER (1986 - 1990)
    CHEVROLET CAVALIER CS (1986 - 1987)
    CHEVROLET CAVALIER RS (1986 - 1994)
    CHEVROLET CAVALIER VL (1988 - 1994)
    CHEVROLET CAVALIER Z24 (1986 - 1994)
    CHEVROLET CORSICA (1987 - 1996)
    CHEVROLET CORSICA LT (1990 - 1993)
    CHEVROLET CORSICA LTZ (1989 - 1990)
    CHEVROLET P20 VAN (1981 - 1984)
    CHEVROLET P30 VAN (1981 - 1991)
    GMC P25/P2500 VAN (1981 - 1984)
    GMC P35/P3500 VAN (1981 - 1991)
    GMC SAFARI (1985 - 2005)
    GMC SAFARI XT (1990 - 1997)
    OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA (1996 - 1998)
    OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA S (1992 - 1995)
    OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA SC (1994 - 1997)
    OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA SL (1992 - 1997)
    OLDSMOBILE ACHIEVA W44 (1992 - 1993)
    OLDSMOBILE CALAIS (1986 - 1987)
    OLDSMOBILE CALAIS SUPREME (1986 - 1987)
    OLDSMOBILE CIERA CRUISER SL 1995
    OLDSMOBILE CIERA SL (1995 - 1996)
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CALAIS (1988 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CALAIS INTERNATIONAL (1988 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CALAIS S (1989 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CALAIS SL (1988 - 1991)
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CIERA CRUISER S 1994
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CIERA S 1994
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CIERA SL 1994
    OLDSMOBILE CUTLASS CIERA SPECIAL EDITION 1994
    PONTIAC ACADIAN (1986 - 1987)
    PONTIAC ACADIAN S 1986
    PONTIAC GRAND AM (1985 - 1991)
    PONTIAC GRAND AM GT (1992 - 1998)
    PONTIAC GRAND AM LE (1985 - 1991)
    PONTIAC GRAND AM SE (1986 - 1998)
    PONTIAC LEMANS (1988 - 1992)
    PONTIAC LEMANS AEROCOUPE 1988
    PONTIAC LEMANS AEROCOUPE YL (1988 - 1989)
    PONTIAC LEMANS GSE (1989 - 1990)
    PONTIAC LEMANS LE (1990 - 1991)
    PONTIAC LEMANS LE AEROCOUPE (1990 - 1991)
    PONTIAC LEMANS SE (1988 - 1993)
    PONTIAC LEMANS VALUE LEADER (1990 - 1993)
    PONTIAC SUNBIRD (1985 - 1991)
    PONTIAC SUNBIRD GT (1986 - 1993)
    PONTIAC SUNBIRD LE (1985 - 1994)
    PONTIAC SUNBIRD SE (1985 - 1994)
    PONTIAC T1000 (1986 - 1987)
     
  2. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,418

    Paul
    Editor

    looks like it belongs there, nice job and thanks for the tip!
     
  3. Make sure you use this, I burned up a few blower motors not knowing why.
     
  4. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620

    BuiltFerComfort
    Member

    Word is an 80s Dodge Van heater motor will swap in for most 50s Mopar as well. Never tried it myself.
     
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