Just completed mode door actuator replacement
Thanks to the knowledge shared in this thread, I felt pretty confident going in. Job was pretty straight forward & went smoothly. It helps if you are not in a hurry and can get yourself off the floor of the vehicle to stretch once and a while!
The actuator was firmly on the mode door shaft and I was reluctant to lever too much on it for fear of bending or breaking the shaft. I ended up fabricating a tool from some 1 1/2 square tube I had in the garage... made the removal really easy.
I also pulled the old actuator apart and couldn't see any visible failure... I presume the motor or cicuit board failed.