BJ74 Heater Control Assembly Replacement - Advice Needed!

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Jan 21, 2018
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Southern California
So I broke the internals of my temperature adjustment for the AC/heater when trying to adjust the heat - I'm guessing a combination of difficult operation and brittle old parts in the dash - and can't get the replacement fully installed. It's one of the first things I broke when I got the car but I rarely use the HVAC where I live so it never got addressed.

I purchased the "Heater Control Assembly" (Part #55910-60220) to replace all the internals for the HVAC control panel but ran into an issue with the way the control/adjustment cables (that transfer the inputs to whatever they need to in and around the engine) connect to the new Heater Control Assembly.

Apart from some seemingly upgraded materials, the old and new Heater Control Assembly are almost completely similar EXCEPT for a new connection for 1 of the 4 control cables that connect to the slider adjustments on the panel.
  • Air Distribution - 1 cable - same as old
  • Recirc. - 1 cable - same as old
  • Temp. Adjustment - 2 cables - 1 same as old, 1 changed/updated
The way the old cables (as well as 3 of 4 on the new unit) connected is by inserting the groove on the sleeved control cable into a "slot" on the Heater Control Assembly and then placing a retainer clip to lock it in place. This fixes the cable sleeve in place and allows the cable inside to move back and forth when adjusting the temp/recirc/whatever.

Issue is one of the "slots" changed and does not work with the retainer clips. It also does not hold it by itself, so the final cable cannot be held in place properly and operated. I do not see any new pieces available to order with it that would work with the cable. I also ordered a new cable to see if it would be compatible (Part #55907-90K02) but it looks just like the old cable already in the car (I also broke the cable trying to force a fix, but I'll deal with that later).

Attached are some photos to better explain what I'm talking about. Box marked "A" and "B" are the same location on the Heater Control Assembly - you can see the difference between the old "A" and new "B". Hopefully someone's done this before or is more familiar with this than I am! Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

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Joined
Aug 5, 2014
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Aichi, Japan.....for now
 
Its a little hard to see the difference between the 2 mounting points since the pictures are at different angles. I had some struggle with these cables in a 1st gen 4runner and the looks exactly the same. In you picture with "B" it looks like the cable housing is not pushed in enough for a clip to grab the housing which is also a problem. However, I'm assuming that can be moved and that's not your issue.

Have you checked for an updated clip? You mentioned you tried a new cable, but what about the clip? If the receptacle changed, the clip would need to as well.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Southern California
Its a little hard to see the difference between the 2 mounting points since the pictures are at different angles. I had some struggle with these cables in a 1st gen 4runner and the looks exactly the same. In you picture with "B" it looks like the cable housing is not pushed in enough for a clip to grab the housing which is also a problem. However, I'm assuming that can be moved and that's not your issue.

Have you checked for an updated clip? You mentioned you tried a new cable, but what about the clip? If the receptacle changed, the clip would need to as well.
Not the best photos but, like you said, pushing it in further would not solve the issue as it just falls back out of place.

I’ll check again more thoroughly for an updated clip but it’s hard to tell when they don’t have the part diagram for the small items. I couldn’t find anything when I ordered the replacement cable.

There’s probably a more efficient way to order parts than ordering from Megazip and waiting 3-5 weeks to discover it’s the wrong part, but I haven’t figured it out yet :(
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
202
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Aichi, Japan.....for now
 
Not the best photos but, like you said, pushing it in further would not solve the issue as it just falls back out of place.

I’ll check again more thoroughly for an updated clip but it’s hard to tell when they don’t have the part diagram for the small items. I couldn’t find anything when I ordered the replacement cable.

There’s probably a more efficient way to order parts than ordering from Megazip and waiting 3-5 weeks to discover it’s the wrong part, but I haven’t figured it out yet :(
Totally get it. I would try partsouq. They have actual part photos for many parts. Or search the clip part number on google for a pic. If it looks different than the old/other ones then you can have a little more confidence in your order. Also search around after finding the right part number. You would be surprised what’s available in country. I wouldn’t be surprised if that little clip was.
 

FJBen

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Apr 1, 2004
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Just went through this exact thing. I left that same cable unhooked as I couldn’t figure out how to hold the sheath in place.
there has to be a clip or something on a newer model that shows this connector. I use partsouq.com and get the parts within 3-4 days. I’ll start my search again for this clip now that you reminded me about it.
 
Joined
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Perth Western Australia
 
 
 
Part # 55910-60220 is for 99- on HZJ/FZJ and VDJ models, and even 07- in some markets. It would be all they have now, I doubt anyone will have new old stock 30 year old units available.
 
Joined
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Just went through this exact thing. I left that same cable unhooked as I couldn’t figure out how to hold the sheath in place.
there has to be a clip or something on a newer model that shows this connector. I use partsouq.com and get the parts within 3-4 days. I’ll start my search again for this clip now that you reminded me about it.
Glad to hear I'm not the only one with this issue - not glad you have to deal with it too though. Let me know if you have any luck sourcing it!
 
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Part # 55910-60220 is for 99- on HZJ/FZJ and VDJ models, and even 07- in some markets. It would be all they have now, I doubt anyone will have new old stock 30 year old units available.
It does seem to be an updated part compared to the original - the materials are a lot better and it seems to be more durable.

Maybe I can find the clip by searching for parts for the model years you listed, or maybe there is a completely new cable?

Thanks for the tip!
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2014
Messages
202
Location
Aichi, Japan.....for now
 
It does seem to be an updated part compared to the original - the materials are a lot better and it seems to be more durable.

Maybe I can find the clip by searching for parts for the model years you listed, or maybe there is a completely new cable?

Thanks for the tip!
I checked the cable from old to new according to the diagrams. I believe its the defrost cable, in which case the were no super sessions that I saw. When you ordered a new cable, was a clip included?
 
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I checked the cable from old to new according to the diagrams. I believe its the defrost cable, in which case the were no super sessions that I saw. When you ordered a new cable, was a clip included?
My new cable did not come with a clip. I think I ordered the correct one but I’m not 100%. It looks just like the original ones in the car but with a blue sleeve.

Do you mean the part number I provided is for the defrost cable? The one that won’t clip in for me is temp control on the bottom. It has two cables versus the other two switches that only have one connection.
 
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Messages
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I checked the cable from old to new according to the diagrams. I believe its the defrost cable, in which case the were no super sessions that I saw. When you ordered a new cable, was a clip included?
I think I found where the change occurred. I checked the parts diagram for an FZJ70 and found the "Cable Sub-Assy, Airmix Damper Control" Part # 55909-90K03 looks to match the changed portion perfectly. For a 1988 BJ74 the part is # 55909-90K01 and discontinued.

I also forgot that the changed portion of the new temperature control slider doesn't use the hook at the end of the cable like the others. It just has a metallic pin that something is supposed to loop around - the updated cable 55909-90K03 would match this perfectly. I want to try ordering the updated cable but I need to confirm that whatever it connects to on the other end will be compatible with my older car.

See photo of updated cable below.

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Thanks for offering - I think I found the new cable I need with the proper attachment (see my previous post). Now the issue for me is what the other end of the cable, opposite the heater control, connects to in the engine.
 

SHREDwagon

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Had the whole dash removed for a frame-off, so not sure if you would be able to remove just the heater with dash-in-place. If it does need to come out, it's not too big of a job (compared to an 80 anyways!). Think it was around 6 hrs with taking pics and notes. The A/C had to be removed to pull the heater unit - for a post '99 model fwiw.
 
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Mar 20, 2020
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Japan
Hate to be this guy, but I am going to have the same issues as you guys did as I need to replace my setup as well. I have a 92 HZJ75 (1HZ), unless I read this wrong only one cable has changed. If I get the newer "Heater Control Assembly" (Part #55910-60220) I will then need to order the new cable (Part #55909-90K02) to make it work?
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
14
Location
Southern California
Hate to be this guy, but I am going to have the same issues as you guys did as I need to replace my setup as well. I have a 92 HZJ75 (1HZ), unless I read this wrong only one cable has changed. If I get the newer "Heater Control Assembly" (Part #55910-60220) I will then need to order the new cable (Part #55909-90K02) to make it work?
I haven't ordered the part to verify myself but from the photos and what others have said, it looks like the answer is yes - you will need the new cable. However, I don't know about the connection within the engine itself. If that part was updated too then it looks like additional parts may be needed.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
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I haven't ordered the part to verify myself but from the photos and what others have said, it looks like the answer is yes - you will need the new cable. However, I don't know about the connection within the engine itself. If that part was updated too then it looks like additional parts may be needed.
Thanks, I will be patient and wait to see how that works out...
 
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