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So, it was determined our 2007 Mazda 6 needed a new actuator. Found it online through a OE parts retailer.

The install SHOULD be straight forward right? I unbolted the old one, compared to the new. I plugged the old one back in while I manipulated the control knob from main vents to floor and to defrost. It didn't move. Plugged in the new one and repeated...it works perfectly...time to install it.

So I go to mate the actuator to the apparatus that it moves. The plastic dowel will not line up with the actuator in order to get the mounting screws back in. Something about that dowel moved. The geometry is off by an inch. I can reach up and move it, turn it, and rotate it and hear the blend doors moving. I just cannot get it in the correct position for the actuator to go back on correctly. BTW, I double checked the old and new and they are in fact identical and the old one won't line up either.

What is the trick in getting the components realigned in order to reinstall the actuator? The angle of how you have to position your body does not help. Anyone done this with easy success?

EDIT: So, the plastic "wheel" the actuator mates with...it has channels/guides in the backside that manipulates the levers that open/close the blend doors within which directs air flow.

This wheel had come off the hub it spins on. Maybe it came off when I detached the actuator? I'm not sure. I ultimately had to remove the plastic housing bracket the actuator motor fastens to. I was able to get the levers into their designated groves and the wheel back on the hub. The geometry was all back corrected.

I turned the fan on and rotated everything to where the air was directed to chest level events and turned the control knob to that position also. I then plugged the new actuator up and watched the mechanism rotate to the position and it stopped exactly where it needed to. Everything went together like a charm.

Everything works smooth as silk now. Just took some patience and observation of how it all works.
 
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