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Thread: What Are These Things Falling Out Of My Vent??

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    Default What Are These Things Falling Out Of My Vent??

    ever since i got the car, i've had these "things" falling out of my heater vent from time to time - usually land on my left foot and roll around on the carpet. they look like big cheerios, sort of a hardened oatmeal consistency, crumble to dust if you aren't careful picking them up. they are about 3/4" or so in diameter, and there have been probably 8 or 10 of them that have plunked out over the past few months, more at first, now only rarely. one fell out this afternoon and i have no idea what they are. could a mysterious gremlin be living in my hvac system and pooping out these things?? or are they dead tribbles??

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    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    It's awesome bartsscooterservice's Avatar
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    Remove the cowl and take a look, there's usually alot of stuff lying around there, blocking also rain water flow to the exits.
    HLS30 32581, 5/71 Matching numbers

    Jay Leno : You know one week after the Americans have walked on the moon, the Japanese introduced this sports car, and…if you’re a car guy pretty equal. I mean walking on the moon was pretty good, but how many times you’d gonna walk on the moon? But here was an affordable sports car that had real performance and looked like it cost a lot more than it did.

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Default Time for a nibble

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    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    HA!!
    i have looked, touched, sniffed and listened to no avail, but even though they look delicious i'm reticent to ingest anything that is randomly excreted from my vehicle...
    call me squeamish, i'm good.
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's safe to say they're not OEM. I think you can remove them and any of their companions without fear.

    FAIW, if you're not brave enough to nibble them yourself (I wouldn't be that brave either), just set them out on your back patio and see if the birds eat them.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

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    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
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    '72 240Z(G) 3.2L
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    Desiccated cheerios? Put a vacuum tip up to the vent and see if you can remove more.

    I had little bits of seat foam fly out after I turned the blower motor on high, soon followed by 2 baby mice and then mom.
    if a little knowledge can make you dangerous, I'm a little dangerous

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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    If the birds don't croak you are safe to munch away, sorta like the old canary in a coal mine routine.
    I swear I now remember seeing one of those in my car on the floor. No clue about what it might be.
    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 05-02-2014 at 10:49 AM.

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Without a taste test I'd have to say they're breath mints. Probably was a smokers car, I've heard that was Kool back in the 70s.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User Big sam's Avatar
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    A z that makes food?

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    Z Manna?

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Z rrios?
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Registered User grannyknot's Avatar
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    That is sooo bad it's good.
    Quote Originally Posted by mjr45 View Post
    Z rrios?
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    Default Another Offering Of Z-Manna

    another one fell out - got a better picture this time.

    they are odorless and all look like they were meant to have a fastener go through them?? are there some kind of body panel or trim panel spacers that are used in a location that could find its way into the hvac system?

    i haven't nibbled the kibble yet, but i'm about to see if my cats will take a taste test...

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    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Registered User ZCurves's Avatar
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    Default Here's Your Sign...

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    Andrew (ZCurves)
    1978 Coupe - HLS30-440105
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    pro deo et patria
    My Albumz

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    If the cat won't go for it, you may want to try them with milk & sugar. it's a possiblity that the PO's kids dropped cereal down the defroster vents. I've found some interesting things that were lodged in the blower fan that had to have come from the vents.

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    Put it in water and see if it dissolves, you may have some old Quaaludes. Don't kill the cat.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User tlorber's Avatar
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    I don't know if you have a leaf blower at home, but if so, I would try the combination of running the car's fan on high, while putting the blower up to the vent intake just behind the grill. This may cause everything to be flushed out at one time.
    Tlorber
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    Registered User ZCurves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siteunseen View Post
    ...you may have some old Quaaludes....
    Ha ha ha!!! ahhh goodtimes.
    Andrew (ZCurves)
    1978 Coupe - HLS30-440105
    Spring, Texas USA

    pro deo et patria
    My Albumz

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    another offering from the z - but this time a NEW SHAPE!! same drill: driving along and something falls from the lower left air vent and bounces off my left foot.Click image for larger version. 

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    i'm expecting the whole lucky charms variety pack to come down one piece at a time now...
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    That is a great close up picture! No hole in that one. I wonder if there was some sort of seal on that little round door that opens and closes when you pull open the vent that could be coming off? Doesn't make sense it would come off in round pieces though. I wonder if Mr. K would know.

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    Registered User grannyknot's Avatar
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    What do they taste like? You gotta try it sometime.
    1970 240Z HLS30 01955 March/70

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    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    I think before trying it, he's trying to collect an entire bowl full.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    i'm up to a good spoonfull at this point - another offering today.
    left it on the porch railing to see if the raccoons would eat it...

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    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

  24. #24
    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    That's so bizarre. I've been thinking all along that they were not food, but were some sort of dried out foam bushing or washer from somewhere inside the HVAC system. I'm not so sure anymore...

    Are they crispy? All the way through? Have you cut or cracked one in half?

    Seen any fur coming out of the vents? Haha!

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    ha! no fur, teeth or claws have come out so far...
    they are like cereal, in that they are dried, crumbly things, but i feel like if they actually WERE 30 yr. old food, they'd be mouldy or stinky. maybe they have hit the first stage of petrification??
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Gotta remember that food that old that got poured down the vents probably has a 30 year shelf life, might be some good eats.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    another offering...
    high-speed run, slightly uphill, couple of bumps in the road and "plop-plop" 2 little taps on my left ankle.

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    Registered User siteunseen's Avatar
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    They're doughnut seeds.
    1972 240Z #918 New Sight Orange
    1977 280Z #305 Light Blue Metallic
    1972 240Z #110 Persimmons Red

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    Registered User rossiz's Avatar
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    Maha Prasad today - a bulk offering!

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    at least it doesn't happen on the passenger's side (yet) - just a quiet little dump on my left ankle from time to time and nobody else in the car has to know...
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Boat Anchor Repairman Captain Obvious's Avatar
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    Weird.

    Do they burn? And if so, does it smell like burning wheat, sugar, or plastic?

    That last pic looks like some of them are moldy, lending credence to a food based origin.

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    another one popped out going through the car wash - at the end there's a strong fan and it blows hard through the vent.
    no need for a pic, you know what they look like.

    there's a collection of them on the porch railing and so far the squirrels, raccoons and birds have all taken a pass.

    the mold does point towards food - but i'm not nibbling.

    is it easy to take out the vent system? where is the intake anyway?
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Walmart greeter Mikes Z car's Avatar
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    Air vent intake location:

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    I wonder if a leaf blower could be aimed at the duct inside the car with a nylon stocking over the vent intake at the radiator to catch them as they exit. Should get a bowl full that way.
    Last edited by Mikes Z car; 06-02-2014 at 10:10 PM.

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    Re-reading you first post, you said they usually hit your LEFT foot. Are we talking about your heater vent or fresh air vent? If it's the fresh air vent, I'd use a shop vac to clear it out, then if possible with your vac, blow back into the vent.

    If it's truly coming from the heater vent, all air comes from the fan and must pass the heater core which would filter out the larger pieces. The only way for large particles to get beyond the heater core would be if they entered through the defroster vents - as if done by a small child amazed by the car eating his Cheerios.
    1971 240Z HLS30A 17574 L24-021025

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    i'm pretty sure it is the fresh air vent, i'll try the shop vac.

    i would not be surprised if they were deposited into the defroster vents, would've been like a coin in a slot - fun for little fingers!
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Registered User mjr45's Avatar
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    Maybe a blast from an air compressor at about 125psi thru the air intake in the left front. That stuff is just weird.
    75 280Z almost done
    49 Chevy 3100 p/u next project
    96 Dodge 2500 4X4 tows my 5th wheel

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    HLS30-454423 3/78 Virto's Avatar
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    Bit of a zombie post here, but I'm pretty sure what you're looking at is bulk-feed dog food.

    I know growing up that Moor-mans used to sell dog food that was essentially identical to the pieces you're getting here. Another thing I remember is that both tree and ground squirrels and some mice would swipe it from the dog feeders and HIDE it.

    Specifically, they would hide it in the 77 LTD and the 79 F150. Being on the farm, especially in winter, you would occasionally start one of the cars or trucks and get a shudder and some thumping while you discovered small critters had (unwisely) decided to nest in a warm engine bay, right in the path of the radiator fan.

    Long story short, you're likely looking at dog food that woodland creatures were stashing. We all know how mice are easily capable of getting up into these S30s.
    Kelly R. Johnson
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    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    HLS30A 17574 djwarner's Avatar
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    Good follow-up Blue,
    but tell me how did you teach your dog to use a spoon?
    1971 240Z HLS30A 17574 L24-021025

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    funny!

    these things are STILL dribbling out one at a time every so often. high speed, fan on high, hit some rough road and plop!.
    odd thing is that now they're almost always the little round "hole" pieces, vs. the "donut" ones. perhaps the critter had his stash organized by size, shape and color? or maybe the big ones were on top as the little ones vibrated down to the bottom... anyway, i'm gonna see if i can do some investigation this weekend while i'm tearing apart the front of the engine - i'll let ya know what i find.
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Nova Scotia,Canada,Earth Blue's Avatar
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    Maybe a thick wall vinyl hose taped to a vacuum can be pushed into the passage like a procto-scope... or even your cool camera.... hmmm
    I think you can do exams now that you have the tools and experience.
    Last edited by Blue; 08-29-2014 at 02:47 AM.
    There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply.
    The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.


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    This is kinda fun, I like checking this thread every so often to see if the "mystery" O's have been solved. As far as my opinion, looks like a mouse or rat deposited these in the chamber for the winter. You can remove your fender to find out for sure.
    Mike

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    Reminds me of the time I went to change the air filter on my mom's circa 1990 chevy cavalier and found that the mice had been storing dog food in it.

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