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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #1
The left-most air vent in my dash recently started to sag outside of the dash a little, and even though it would stay put for a little while if I pushed it back up in the dash, it's now gotten so bad that it will immediately sag back out just as soon as I release any forward/upward pressure I put on it to reposition:

Falling Down.jpg

Once removed completely from the dash and inspected, it's pretty easy to see what the problem is - the little arrow-shaped clips on the backside that hold it in place in the dash are breaking off, leaving it no way to hold itself in the dash as originally designed. At the time I took all these pictures, the air vent was missing 2 of the 3 little arrow-clips:

Missing Tab 01.jpg

Missing Tab 02.jpg

And that was enough to cause it to sag out of the dash like what is shown in the first pic(s).

But almost immediately after taking this pic of the one remaining arrow-clip on the air vent:

Remaining Tab.jpg

that one also broke off, leaving the insert with 0 of the 3 little arrow-clips it originally had to hold itself in the hole in the dash. So obviously that dash air vent needed to either be repaired or replaced, and since the plastic clips aren't substantial enough to lend themselves to being "fixed", replacement is pretty much the only recourse it would seem. HOWEVER, after searching around to see what one (or a whole set of the dash air vents) would cost me, I was a little surprised at how expensive they are, relatively speaking.

That one vent in the pic would cost me over $80 by itself, and the one in the middle, which I figure will soon follow this one in requiring repair/replacement, is well over $100 (almost $150!!).

:surprise:

:scratchhead:

:confused:

:yikes:

:shock:

:notsigned:

Call me a cheap-skate, skin-flint, whatever, but that just seems waaay too expensive for those danged things! So I figured I would try to repair the ones I have before shelling out that much money for a replacement (set).

Now I'm in luck since I've found (and saved!) the little broken arrow-clips each time they broke off, and thus I can try to reattach them without having to fabricate some little hootus instead that will do their job just as well in their absence. But I can already tell this isn't going to be easy, as the little plastic tabs are meant to be flexible and give just a bit (to allow for removal/reassembly), but also be stiff enough to grab the dash and hold the piece in place. That's not something a little superglue is going to replicate very well, so this "repair" attempt is more likely to end in abject failure than it is to actually work, I readily admit that.

But dangit, I refuse to shell out a couple C-notes for new ones without even trying to make these work for a while longer at least!!

And that is the reason for this thread's creation - I will document my attempt to fix these puppies, and the subsequent success or failure of that jerry-rigged fix, hopefully for the benefit of anyone else that might find themselves in the same boat.
So stay tuned for updates if this is of any interest, as they will be coming soon and often, I promise!

---------------------------------------------------

Oh yeah, in addition to the little broken arrow-clips, it looks like I will need to replace the crushed foam seal that is all around the outside of the vent inserts, as mine is pretty much useless on this vent:

Crushed Foam Seal.jpg

Though it does appear as though the foam seal isn't nearly as integral to how the thing stays up in the dash. It appears to be more about just making a good seal in the vent tube inside the dash and preventing any air from escaping out into the dash before being forced out the directional fins. Nevertheless, since I've got it out, I'm going to try to do something to replace that stuff to make sure it's still going to seal relatively well.

Nuke, OUT!! (for now...)
 
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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #2
(Temporary) Success!

Alright, so my first attempt at reattaching the little arrow-clips and ceasing the vent insert's sag appears to be successful...for now anyway. I'm not optimistic that it will last any significant length of time, but that's fine, as I wasn't pleased with how it turned out anyway and would like to try again. So I will let it do its thing for now, and when/if the little clips break off again, I'll try this again with a different approach to affixing the plastic clips to the vent body.

For this attempt, I used small slivers of foam packing material to give the clips some spring once glued in place. I don't remember where I got the foam stuff, but it's the kind of packing stabilization foam you get in a new TV box or something:

IMG10068.jpg

I cut very small slivers, maybe an 1/8" of an inch thick and super glued them into the recesses of the vent body just beneath where the little arrow-clips normally sit. Then on top of those foam slivers, I affixed the broken off clips using some Ultra Black RTV like you'd use to repair a gasket or something. That yielded quite an ugly result I will say, but I'm more about function over form, and it's going to be behind the dash where I can't see it, so it doesn't bother me too much:

IMG10059.jpg

IMG10065.jpg

IMG10064.jpg

IMG10062.jpg

Sorry for the low quality pics, but the phone I was using to take those is about 10 years old, so the quality of the shots is as about as good as it gets for those.

In hindsight, I am not convinced the RTV was the best adhesive to use for this job. I chose it because I wanted something that would have a little "give" to it but still be quite strong in bonding the plastic material. It did that for the most part, but the amount plastic actually being bonded is so small, I am pretty sure any significant stress (like trying to pull the vent back out of the dash) will break the RTV bonded plastic at the bonding points. That's find though, because like I said, I want to try this again in the future, and the RTV isn't so permanent as to disallow that I believe.

So we'll see...
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #3
Lesson(s) Learned pt. 1

One thing that became apparent after re-inserting the vent insert into the dash, was that the foam seal I removed (and replaced with a single layer of double-sided tape, but without removing the outer layer of tape skin) was more important to keeping the vent insert properly aligned than I thought.

IMG10067.jpg

I say that because after putting the vent back in the dash, it is slightly misaligned, and I can tell a little better seal in that rear square would prevent that. Nevertheless, it is much better than it was before I attempted this, and it is semi-sturdy enough to be usable (the directional fins, that is) that I do not want to pull it back out to put more of a seal on that back part.

So I am going to leave it as-is for now and enjoy not seeing that sagging vent when I look over there and getting mad at it for not doing it's job:

IMG10069.jpg

WP_20171002_21_45_37_Pro.jpg

WP_20171002_21_44_55_Pro.jpg

IMG10070.jpg
 

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Sorry to hear of this failure on behalf of Dodge. The plastic parts on our cars seem so CHEAPLY made and it is very frustrating to say the least.

Dodge knows this I suspect because they refuse to cover most of their cheaply made plastic parts (interior and trim) on their extended warranty. Even their best extended warranty coverage will not cover most plastic and trim pieces! Nice huh? Yea, they know.

For the money we spend on these cars we deserve better. They could, if they wanted to offer better quality....and STAND BEHIND IT, but they don't! Remember that the next time you are prepared to spend a lot of your hard earned cash on a new car. May want to take a good hard look elsewhere first.

In the meantime, thank you for taking the time to figure out and share a way for Dodge customers to deal with these unnecessary problems. This is part of why this forum is so popular! Thanks again!
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #6
Urethra, I Have Fixed It!!

Alright, there has been some action with this puppy, and while it was touch and go there for a while, I think I finally got her cinched down like a baby steer at a calf-roping!

But I don't want to get ahead of myself...let's back up to last night (actually it was the wee hours of this morning), when I looked inside the car at the dash and my handy-work, and I saw that the vent insert had basically slipped out again and was looking no better than when I started this whole ordeal. :disappointed:

I mean, I expected it to eventually go teets up on me again, but I didn't think my repair attempt was so sub-standard that it wouldn't even make it a complete day...but that was the case. :badrazz:

So I extracted the vent from the dash, carefully of course, and inspected what went wrong and what could be done better...The little arrow clip on the right side had completely broken off again, but the other 2 were still in place (as were all 3 slivers of the foam material I'd glued in previously). But the top clip was severely depressed at its base, which seemed odd at first, but then that's when it all made sense....well, that's when things started to make sense, and after a little thinking, pondering, some more thinking, and a dash of imagination, the reason for failure (and what needed to be done to ensure success next time) finally dawned on me - I needed firmer foam shims!!

The squishy, packing-type foam that I had used previously had too much give in it, which allowed the plastic tabs to let go of the backside of the dash after I'd inserted it and started driving around like it was going to stay. What I really needed was something to bolster those clips which had very little give to it, but not 0% mind you! It needed to have just enough give to allow for insertion back into the dash and clipping into place while still being firm enough to NOT let go after being clipped into place...and that packing foam was the exact wrong type of foam for that job, I quickly realized.

So, I used a razor blade to remove the foam shims from underneath the plastic arrows (except for the right side one which had its plastic tab break off again) by just poking the foam out the other side from the opposite side of the tab. It's sponge-like qualities actually worked in my favor there because it soaked up most of the super-glue I used to affix it in the first place and left little for adhering to the plastic above and beneath it. Thus, I was able to remove all the shims very easily with nothing but the edge of a razor blade.

Next I found some suitable foam and cut small shims out of it to replace the ones I had just removed. I inserted them underneath the plastic tabs just like I had removed the old foam - by poking the foam from the other side with the razor blade until it was in place under its tab. Then I simply dobbed a couple of drops of super-glue on each exposed edge of the foam shims to keep them in place (but not glue them to the tab themselves, if I could help it).

(Unfortunately, I did not take any pics during all the action described above. But even if I had, they'd look very similar to the ones I've already posted. So I just photoshopped a few of them to try to illustrate this post a little better.)


out with the old.jpg

in with the new.jpg

clean break.jpg


Oh yeah, as for the seal I tried to mimic with my double-sided tape, I knew it wasn't thick enough when I put it back in the dash after the first repair attempt, and so I beefed it up a little this go-round:

rear main seal.jpg

Like the picture says, I ended up adding 2 more layers of the double-sided foam tape to the existing 1 layer I already had on it (leaving me a total of 3 layers of that tape on the vent insert!), but I had some trouble getting that thing to seat properly in the actual vent inlet behind the dash. As a result, I will say that 3 layers of that tape is a scoche too much, and I should have stopped after adding only 1 layer to the existing one. That would have been pretty near perfect for the danged thing I bet. :badrazz:

Anyway, all in all, this 2nd attempt at repairing the vent insert should be waaaay more successful than my last one. That thing snapped into the dash and is sitting perfectly in the opening, like I would expect from a new one, and has no play in it whatsoever. I believe I go it this time...but we'll see...I'll keep my eye on it, that's for sure!!

Nuke, OUT!!
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #7
Firmer Foam Found on Floor...

Ooops, I forgot about the newer, firmer foam I used for my shims!!

It actually turned out to be just a discarded part of some cheap ear-buds' packaging, and it was literally laying on the floor of my home office next to the trash can.

foam 01 - pedigree.jpg

I can remember chunking it at the trash can (along with those crappy $0.99 ear buds!) shortly after opening the package up to get at its contents. I got everything else in the trash can, but that foam insert (aerodynamics of chunking it were crazy-whacked!), and there it sat on the floor for the next <don't remember> months....


Until last night/this morning, when I noticed it and thought it would be a good candidate for my air vent insert fix. I only used a very small amount of it, literally just 3 cuts and a postage stamp-sized chunk of it in total. But that's all I needed to get the job done, so that's all I took....

I did take some pics of that foam chunk to give reference to how thick the foam shims were, or how thin they needed to be, actually:

foam 02 - top on.jpg

foam 03 - edge on.jpg

And that's it, for now anyway...

I'll update this thread with any subsequent developments on this situation, but hopefully there won't be anything to report except lots of "...still securely in dash and working...", but we'll see I reckon. :eek:ogle:

Nuke, OUT!! (this time for real though)
 

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The Pork Wagon (‘14 Cop Charger)
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Discussion Starter #8
:icon_eek:

Looks like a superb product, really top-notch stuff there! And I'm sure some of it would have been much better for me to use than my Harbor Freight house-brand foam tape...however, at the instant in time when I needed something to perform the task at hand (stick to the insert and seal up the hole at insertion), I did not see any of your fancy-smancy, foam tape, foamy-action, does the cleaning so you don't have to, gold-plated, diamond-encrusted, eye-candy anywhere around!! :confused:

What I did see though, was my trusty old role of HFT tape in the pocket of my road-trip kit, :thinkerg:

,,,and so that's what I went with...

Only time will tell if my approach will fail and how badly. But rest assured, when it is ready to take The Eternal Dirt Nap on me, I will call up Amazon and put the grab on some of that stuff you suggest, so as to prevent any future famine and civil war, you have my word on that!! :bigmouth:

Wait, what were we talking about again?? :scratchhead:
 
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