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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 4:22 pm 
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Location: santa fe, nm
My poor little Swift sat outside all last winter, and mice moved in. I've cleaned all carpets with de-odorizer and baking soda multiple times, which has MOSTLY worked. But when I'm moving, in wafts more mouse smell from the vents. :cry:

I would like to clean out all the ductwork for the air entering the cabin... but am having a little trouble figuring out where it comes in and how to get to it. Do I have to pull the entire dash to get to the fresh/heat diverter? Would I be better off starting at the intake? Which is where?

Any likely ideas where to start where the mice may have gotten in and build their nests? There was a loose one behind the glove box that was truely nasty, but I suspect more somewhere else inside the ducts somewhere....

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'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 6:06 pm 
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I responded to your other post in the Problems/Fixes area. http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=37595#p449546

The amount of clean up/ dash removal work you need to do will depend on whether any rodents have made it past the fan motor area into the interior air ducts.

One thing you can also do (from outside of your MK4/5 car) is to remove the grey plastic cover located at the base of your windshield under your windshield wipers and then look into the metal cowl opening to see if there is a lot of crap built up on your passenger side near the heater air intake duct. If so, your inner passenger-side cowl water drain may be plugged up with debris as well, which will also stink up the air coming into the heater.


btw, in my project thread next week, I will be posting about my (external) cabin filter design. (it will be for my RHD MK2, but the approach should be still usable for later model MK4/5 cars. The link is http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61318


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 11:08 am 
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suzukitom wrote:
I responded to your other post in the Problems/Fixes area. http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=37595#p449546

One thing you can also do (from outside of your MK4/5 car) is to remove the grey plastic cover located at the base of your windshield under your windshield wipers and then look into the metal cowl opening to see if there is a lot of crap built up on your passenger side near the heater air intake duct. If so, your inner passenger-side cowl water drain may be plugged up with debris as well, which will also stink up the air coming into the heater.

btw, in my project thread next week, I will be posting about my (external) cabin filter design. (it will be for my RHD MK2, but the approach should be still usable for later model MK4/5 cars. The link is http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61318


fabulous, thanks... I will keep future communication on this thread HERE since it is more directly concerning mouse infestations than a pollen filter.

I have removed the fan/blower unit no problems really... just removed the glovebox door for access to three screws, two electrical disconnects, and presto, blower unit full of mouse droppings is out of the car. I'm guessing my chances of finding a working CLEAN one are slim, so mentally preparing myself to disassemble and clean the blower housing and fan... yuck.

I WILL remove the windshield cover cowl to see what I can see from the top. Those fasteners look really delicate, old and one is missing already.... is there a suggested technique for removal to minimize breakage of those fasteners? A source to get some replacements?

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'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 3:52 pm 
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Finding a working blower fan/heater housing assembly is still pretty easy. Appearance may be slightly different, but the MK2-MK5 (1989-2001) assemblies are functionally interchangeable from electrical connector, cable, and attachment perspectives. Clean-up of any used housing/fan (parts that circulate air you breathe) is recommended before installing into your car, so it is your choice to clean up your existing parts or a used part.

Since you have a 97 MK4 Swift, I will describe the fasteners applicable to the windshield cowl cover for that car:


(1) remove the wiper arms. There are some caps over the nuts that hold the arms to the wiper shafts. A little WD-40 lube may be needed to soak and loosen the arms before pulling them off the splined wiper shafts. Raise the wiper arms off the windshield to release arm spring tension before pulling the wiper arms straight off. Take a photo to remember where the wiper arms park when you reinstall them.

(2) There are three push pin style connectors on the cowl cover. One is on each side, and there is one in the center. These are similar to the fasteners that attach the vinyl trim cover to your rear hatch. The center plastic pin is pressed slightly inward, no more than 1/8 inch. It may make a slight click when it reaches this depth. This action contracts little plastic jaws which expand to hold the cover. (These pins work in a similar way to the expanding plug you would use to install a picture hanger into drywall.) These pins are the most delicate of the parts you are removing. I sometimes put a dab of dishwashing fluid on them before removing. This makes it less likely to break the thin plastic jaws.

(3) Open the Hood. There are 9 small rubber push pins that hold the hood to cowl weather strip portion of the windshield cowl cover to the firewall. These rubber pins are pretty sturdy and have a pointed tang that presses down through the strip into small holes in the firewall. There is a special tool to remove them that looks like a screwdriver with a small V-notched fork end. You can also use a flat screwdriver to gently pry up on the pin heads from the underside of each rubber pin head. Alternatively, you can also use a small needle nose pliers, by opening the nose tip slightly, inserting under and pry up on each pin head.

(4) There are two hidden friction pin/tabs that are permanently located on and part of the underside of the cowl cover. These are the last pieces that hold the cowl cover to the car. You just pry up on the whole cover, and these two pin/tabs will release the cover with a 'pop' sound after all other fasteners have been removed or loosened.

(5) Cowl cover is now free to pop up.

Air Intake:
Basically it is C-shaped sheet-metal duct welded onto the base of the cowl as well as to the vertical portion of the firewall. It is about 6 inches in depth, and you would be looking up through this duct when you look at the hole left behind in the passenger side foot well after you removed the fan/blower housing.

You may need an inspection camera to see the outside entrance to the heater air intake.

For cleaning in this hard to see area, spraying disinfectant into the cowl area may be useful prior to cleanup. Then, you can use a true HEPA filter equipped vacuum cleaner with a narrow hose attachment, and/or use a mucking glove (basically hip waders for your arm) to reach in and remove larger leaves and other crap or nesting material built around the base of the air intake duct.

In my project thread, I will be posting pictures of the area as well as other aspects of adding a external cabin filter, but what I have posted here should get you started in your cleanup. I highly recommend that you protect yourself (especially lungs)when doing this type of cleanup, especially if the debris is of unknown age. It may become especially hazardous when it becomes crumbly/dust.

It does look like you may need to also consider removing the dashboard assembly to do a more thorough duct cleaning, but you will need to inspect whether much debris has travelled beyond the heater core/ etc. An inspection camera (flex style) may be helpful to see what your ducts look like on the inside.


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 5:11 pm 
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suzukitom wrote:
Finding a working blower fan/heater housing assembly is still pretty easy. Appearance may be slightly different, but the MK2-MK5 (1989-2001) assemblies are functionally interchangeable from electrical connector, cable, and attachment perspectives. Clean-up of any used housing/fan (parts that circulate air you breathe) is recommended before installing into your car, so it is your choice to clean up your existing parts or a used part.

Since you have a 97 MK4 Swift, I will describe the fasteners applicable to the windshield cowl cover for that car:


(2) There are three push pin style connectors on the cowl cover. One is on each side, and there is one in the center. These are similar to the fasteners that attach the vinyl trim cover to your rear hatch. The center plastic pin is pressed slightly inward, no more than 1/8 inch. It may make a slight click when it reaches this depth. This action contracts little plastic jaws which expand to hold the cover. (These pins work in a similar way to the expanding plug you would use to install a picture hanger into drywall.) These pins are the most delicate of the parts you are removing. I sometimes put a dab of dishwashing fluid on them before removing. This makes it less likely to break the thin plastic jaws.



thanks... you saved me here, I would have pryed them up, breaking them for sure. ;) I'll post what I find along with some pictures probably to help the next poor soul.

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Dan
'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 11:05 pm 
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ok, I removed cowling no problem.... the space under there was not too bad. I rinsed with a hose and it seemed to drain fine. I'm still a bit disturbed that the mice really got in there at all. You can't really access the vent, and I wanted to put a 1/4" screen over it from the outside. I was considering blocking the entire cowl, but there are some gaps right at the hood hinges that would probably make that a waste of time for a determined mouse.

Also.... is there any other intake to that space?

I am wondering what is behind the passenger fender. There is an open rubber hole from the engine bay into the fender.... and it looks like a place the mice would love to get into. But I don't see any way to check. Is it a major deal to pull the fender off? worth checking? It seems like it would be a *really bad* idea for an intake to run from the engine bay directly to cabin air intake.... which makes me wonder what the heck that intake in the engine bay goes to?

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'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 3:44 pm 
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There is only one intake duct to the blower fan air intake. It is the c shaped duct I mentioned inside the cowl space. You cannot really block every gap in the cowl area but the only reason mice want to go in is so they can enter the car interior via the blower duct, so that should be your priority to screen off.

My approach is to add an screened exterior cabin air filter at the air duct entrance. You can also just add 1/4 inch square mesh there if you don't want a filter.

It is awkward to reach the entrance to the blower air duct from the cowl unless you have really skinny arms.

The hole in the passenger fender is not an intake. It is an outlet from the air resonator located behind the front corner of the bumper that muffles air induction sounds as it brings fresh air through a hose to your (former) gas engine's throttle body


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 9:49 am 
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suzukitom wrote:
There is only one intake duct to the blower fan air intake. It is the c shaped duct I mentioned inside the cowl space. You cannot really block every gap in the cowl area but the only reason mice want to go in is so they can enter the car interior via the blower duct, so that should be your priority to screen off.

My approach is to add an screened exterior cabin air filter at the air duct entrance. You can also just add 1/4 inch square mesh there if you don't want a filter.

It is awkward to reach the entrance to the blower air duct from the cowl unless you have really skinny arms.

The hole in the passenger fender is not an intake. It is an outlet from the air resonator located behind the front corner of the bumper that muffles air induction sounds as it brings fresh air through a hose to your (former) gas engine's throttle body


thanks for letting me know what that open hole in the engine bay is leading behind the fender... I was afraid that led up to the cowl area. I think I'll just plug the opening.

hhhmmm, adding a filter/screen at the top of the blower intake would keep them out of the blower, but not prevent a lovely nest sitting on top... and it would be a bit involved to change that filter; requiring re-pulling the blower every time. Not too hard, but some gymnastics involved.

What do you think about cutting a hole in the top of the cowl for access to the TOP of the intake, to add a screen/filter on top that could be changed a little easier, and not provide a cozy nest-able space? Do you recall anyone working up a nice top-mounted screen/filter?

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'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2016 11:14 am 
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Quote:
hhhmmm, adding a filter/screen at the top of the blower intake would keep them out of the blower, but not prevent a lovely nest sitting on top..


There is a triangular space of from 1.5 to 2 inches of clearance between the cowl and the C duct air intake opening. Even mice need headroom! If this is worrisome, the screen's orientation could be vertical or sloped, with a solid cap that touches the underside of the cowl sheet metal.

Quote:
and it would be a bit involved to change that filter; requiring re-pulling the blower every time.


?? No no.. the filter needs to be at the entrance to the air intake duct in the cowl, not located at the base of the air intake duct above the blower housing. (even though most people who have posted about installing a filter have done it this way!)

Quote:
What do you think about cutting a hole in the top of the cowl for access to the TOP of the intake, to add a screen/filter on top that could be changed a little easier, and not provide a cozy nest-able space?


That could be done, but the boxed cowl/firewall area is a critical structural area, especially for MK4/5 cars with passenger side air bags. I suppose one could reinforce the sheet metal in the area to compensate for adding an access hole, but I am not an engineer. The driver and center of the cowl area already have similar, flanged holes in the cowl, and I can reach the c shaped duct if I reach in while lying on top of the hood. The MK4/5 design also has the benefit of the plastic cowl cover having a solid surface on the passenger side (instead of non functional but symmetrically placed vent slots), the MK 4/5 therefore prevents moisture from seeping into an access hole. (MK2/3 designs use symmetrical vents on both the left and right sides to allow for LHD and RHD models.)

Quote:
Do you recall anyone working up a nice top-mounted screen/filter?


That is exactly what I am building right now for my Cultus. I have skinny arms that can reach into the cowl, remember? =)
I will post pictures on Thursday.


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 9:29 am 
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I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.... I'm going to try and spend some time on this project this weekend.... and will post pix of what I come up with!

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'97 Swift, converted to Electric - www.envirokarma.org


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PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2016 11:51 pm 
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I updated my project build to include a cabin filter addition section, which starts at item (5) in the May 20 2016 post.

http://www.teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=61318&p=449672#p449672


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:13 pm 
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not located at the base of the air intake duct above the blower housin
gclub online


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