AC/Heater & Panel Vents - 1989 Tempo

I have a 1989 Tempo that started having a new problem today. My AC/Heater will work fine, but no matter what option I have chosen (Defrost, Floor, Panel) the air will not come out of the front panels,
only the other outputs. I unsuccessfully tried to look through my Chilton's guide and try to see what the problem is, but I wasn't able to.
What should I look into? It seems like those vents simply won't "open" internally. Everything else works as it is supposed to.
Thanks
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IceWizard opined in

Just so i understand:
It works with the floor, most comes out to the floor.. some defrost.
Mixed = floor & defrost
defrost - most defrost - - - - - - - So the first thing I would look for is the vents themselves are closed
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On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 02:47:33 GMT, Backyard Mechanic

Correct. It seems as if the vents themselves are closed, but the part I can actually open/close is open. It's like there is an internal vent which is shut.
From reading various postings about other types of cars, I know some cars have a vacuum line which "opens" an internal vent. I've been unable to confirm if my 89 Ford tempo does or does not. It seems as if that internal vent is what is causing the problem, but I'm at a loss as to how it is controlled.
Thanks :)
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IceWizard opined in wrote:

So you see nothing on the front of the heater box under the dash, which is moving with the control?
Would be vac operated as you say, listewn close for a vacuum leak. Is your engine idling high?
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my '98 Club Wagon, so see an extreme example of what can happen, although I seriously doubt that your floor-air door has the actuator that is needed for a temperature blender door. Nevertheless, my problem was caused by breakage of plastic. For some reason, my blender door didn't want to move, and the powerful impeller moved anyway; something had to break, and that was the plastic sheath formed by the molded plastic door itself. I started out hoping to find a failed vacuum line, but that was not the case, at all. Your floor door is probably vacuum-motor actuated. You can get a vacuum gun, and attach it to the motor, once you find it. Then you simulate the actions of your system, to produce vacuum at the motor (diaphragm). No movement indicates failed motor. Conversely, put vacuum gauge on the controlling tube, and observe; presence of vacuum at appropriate time exonerates controlling mechanism upstream. So you buy another vacuum actuator ("motor") and be done with it.
Good luck. Divide and conquer; classic t/s.
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IceWizard wrote:

Going on old recollections, I recall a vacuum line on the Tempo\Topaz that would get pulled off of the mode door actuator easily and cause this problem. I'm thinking behind the glovebox. Pull the glovebox down, there are 2 tabs to release it. Check for a vacuum actuator back there, over to the left. Or, pull the radio out and look back toward the heater box for an actuator. The really easy one to get to is the blend door, way over on the right side of the heater box. The blend door is not your problem though. Sorry, best I could do. It's been a while since I've worked on a Tempo.             Tom
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