According to my Haine's manual, the entire dash has to come out. I'm staring at the same problem right now. A friend of mine took his to the local Jeep Stealership and they charged him $1500. They also told him it was a problem with the R-134a that eats throught the condenser after about 6 years.
Originally Posted by jeep40mofo
Has anyone changed out the evaporator core on a 97 or under grandcherokee? I was wondering if you need to remove the entire dash or not.
R134a eating the condenser? Well Chrysler evaps are not known for being 'heavy duty'
They fail after several years in most Chrysler. I thought it was usually crud built up around the evap in the air box that corrodes the aluminum and after several years it springs a pin hole.
Have the same issue with my '94 ZJ. You can charge it and it will stay cold for about a week.
I just did my 98 limited, it took about 4 hrs. Needed some help getting dash out of the front of the cab, other then that it was a snap. The hardest part was removing the trim with out breaking anything. All the conectors are pretty stright forward. Hope this helps.
well the dash is out. Does the hayes manual show you any good pics of how to get the ac box out? I hope I can put that dash back together theres about a thousand screws holding it together. Also do you have to disconnect the heater core to pull out the box?
Just did mine two weeks ago, yes it all has to come out. The heater core and all comes out as one unit. You'll probably want some "form-a-gasket" to replace the crappy foam seals around the various openings and insulation, or maybe even some "Great Stuff" (if you like that sort of thing). I cleaned the box pretty well with some anti-bacterial orange cleaner, usually some mold build up in here and this may help get rid of/prevent it from coming back so soon.
Also, you might want to put an additional screen (like window screen) in place of the cowling screen (the area below the windshield wipers). You can remove the cowling and place the screen under it so it looks nice). The standard screen in there is not sufficient for blocking debris from entering and collecting on the evaporator, which most likely contributes to the leaking evaporator.
When you're re-installing the dash and all of the connectors, it will be a good idea to leave everything loose while you verify everything functions correctly. Check everything out real good to make sure you didn't leave something disconnected that might be trapped behind a panel or something. Luckily I had nothing left undone, but I'm sure if I did button everything up I would.
Here is the official procedure, don't know if this helps or not:
1. Disconnect battery. This must be done to prevent accidental airbag deployment.
2. Using on A/C recovery unit, remove all R-134a refrigerant from the A/C system. See: Service and Repair
3. Remove the shift knob by pulling sharply upward.
4. Place the transfer case in low range. Pry the shift indicator bezel out of the console using a triin stick.
5. Apply the parking brake and place the transfer case in neutral. Remove the parking brake trim insert. Remove the console attaching screws. Lift the console up and disconnect the 4WD indicator lamp hamess. Remove the console.
6. Remove the passenger side knee blocker. Remove the single end screw. Remove the screws below the glove box. Remove the screw at the courtesy lamp. Remove the ash receiver and the screws behind it. Remove the instrument panel armature screw behind the ash receiver. Open the glove box and remove the screws behind it. Lower the panel and disconnect the lamp harnesses. For additional instrument panel service procedures to complete steps 6 thru 25, see Instrument Panel Service Procedures See: Instrument Panel, Gauges and Warning Indicators\Instrument Panel\Service and Repair
7. Remove the pod switch bezels on both sides of the steering column with a trim stick.
8. Remove the drive side knee blocker. Remove the end screw and screws located at the bottom of the knee blocker.
9. Remove the cowl top trim panel by prying it up with a trim stick. Remove the solar sensor if equipped.
10. Remove the "A" post trim panels.
11. Remove the remove the bolts that attach the lower instrument panel reinforcement to the instrument panel armature and remove the reinforcement.
12. Disconnect the park lamp switch.
13. Pull back the carpet at the transmission tunnel from the base of the instrument panel center bezel. Remove the nuts from the upper studs and bolts through the floor that secure the instrument panel center bracket.
14. Remove the bolts that secure the instrument panel center bracket to the drivers side of the transmission tunnel.
15. Remove the screws securing the Vehicle Information Center and remove it. Remove the screw fastening the mounting bracket.
16. Unplug the vacuum harness connector or vent tube on ATC equipped vehicles and the wire harness located under the passenger side of the instrument panel.
17. Remove the screws holding the passenger side kick panel, along with the screw from the kick panel shroud.
18. Unplug the antenna cable near the right cowl side panel.
19. Unplug the instrument panel wire harness connectors from the junction block at the right cowl side panel.
20. Remove the bolts that secure the instrument panel armature to the windshield fence.
21. Remove the nuts that secure the top if the instrument panel armature to the windshield fence.
22. Remove the bolts that secure the ends of the instrument panel to the cowl side panel.
23. Remove the nuts that secure the steering column to the brake pedal support and lower the steering column.
24. Remove the bolts that secure the instrument panel armature to the brake pedal support.
25. Place a protective cover on the seats. Lift the instrument panel off the windshield fence studs and maneuver the instrument panel out and lower it onto the seats.
26. Disconnect the refrigerant lines from the evaporator tubes. Make sure to install plugs or tape the ends of the lines and fittings to ensure that excessive amounts of moisture do not contaminate the A/C system.
27. Remove the vacuum line at the tee from the main vacuum supply harness. This line runs through the body with the upper refrigerant line. (if you have ATC there is no vacuum line, all doors are controlled by motors)
28. Disconnect the heater hoses from the heater core and clamp the ends closed to prevent coolant loss. See: Heater Core\Service and Repair
29. Remove the coolant overflow bottle.
30. Remove the Powertrain Control Module with connectors intact and set aside.
31. Remove the heater A/C housing mounting nuts from the studs on the engine compartment side of the dash.
32. Remove the heater A/C housing from the vehicle.
33. To Install the components, reverse the procedure stated above. Torque Specifications: Instrument panel center bracket to floor transmission tunnel fastener: 28 Nm (250 in. lbs.) Instrument panel to windshield fence bolts and nuts: 12 Nm (105 in. lbs.) Instrument panel to cowl side inner panel bolts: 12 Nm (105 in. lbs.) Instrument panel to steering column support bolts: 12 Nm (105 in. lbs.)
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
5.2L all stock baby...
I've talked to three individuals about this job. The stealership says it'll cost around $1500 and the whole dash needs to come out. Another local AC shop says they have a "cheat" and it'll only cost $795. Then, a radiator shop tells me they have a "cheat" and it'll only cost $450 (parts included).
I'd love to know what their cheat is... I've been in there and there is no way to get to the evaporator (short of cutting into the a/c housing) with out removing that stuff. If that's the case I don't think I'd do it that way.
With the last one, sounds a bit like 4 hours of labor so that's probably what they're doing. It would be possible to do it this way, but I'd rather just pull everything.
You could easily pull the radio trim and the glove box bezel to dremel the side of the evap box and more than likely slide it out, but it would be tight. It will be difficult to clean the crud out of the box, but if you're going to do it that way you probably don't care.
In any case, it's a nice alternative for those who wish to do it that way.
1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
5.2L all stock baby...
is there a trick to disconnecting the ac hoses from the evaporator core? I can't get them to come off.
You need a spring lock coupling tool. They are available at most auto parts stores. You'll need 2 different sizes I believe. You slide them over the coupling and pull them back towards you. I lip on the tool opens a spring on the side you can't see. They pop right off after that. Very clever connection and they go back together easily as well (change the O-rings if you are re-using the parts).
Greetings, I just replaced my evaporator last weekend on my 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I tried doing the short cut way by following a link I found here : http://www.cardomain.com/ride/653235/2 but it did not work out for me. I cut out the hole in the airbox thinking I would be able to remove it but I could not. The heater core was in the way of removing it. I wound up taking the whole dash apart anyway. I bought a Haynes manual and that helped me out, while I was at it I replaced the heater core as well. My mechanic wanted $1000 to replace it for me. I wound up spending $178 on the evaporator and $99 for the heater core. My neighbor had the 134A since he's in the a/c business and charged it up for me. Taking everything apart took some time for me but once the evaporator and heater core were back in place the dash the assembly went alot quicker. It's a doable job you just need to take your time taking things off and unplugging all the connectors and labeling things you might forget.
Wish I had the courage to tackle this. I've drilled a 1/2" hole in the spot to drain the evaporator and it's bone dry in there. No idea where my flood is coming from but the flow of water is impressive wherever it's originating.