Floorboard flooding and dirty evaporator fix write-up, with pictures IN COLOR! - JeepForum.com
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Unread 06-20-2012, 07:18 PM   #1
ElTejano
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1997 FSJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: round rock, Texas
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Floorboard flooding and dirty evaporator fix write-up, with pictures IN COLOR!

First off I apologize for any typos, I have a 4 year old and 1 year old all over me as I write this up.

OK, after dealing with my floorboard getting flooded all the time and drilling the hole on the bottom of the AC box didnt always work. Also, I never realized how weak my AC was blowing out til I bought a second ZJ and it was much stronger than my other one.

One way to get in there and clean the crap out of the evaporator housing was to pull it out and that meant removing the entire dash. Well, that was not going to happen.

I, instead, cut into the box to access the evaporator area so I can clean it which worked just fine.

If you have had this ongoing problem and wanna take on this like I did, read on. Just note that this means cutting around a VERY delicate part that it very easily punctured and ruined. So use common sense, be careful and take your time.

****CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!****
Dont come crying to me if you ruin your evaporator cause you werent careful or you didnt take your time. It insnt going to look super pretty when its done, either but this part of the car doesnt get seen much. So if you are OK with all this, continue.

I did both my jeeps this way and both ACs kick *** now. No more flooded floorboard and I have future access to that compartment when it gets clogged up again.

You will need at least the following tools. Utility knife, shop vac, hack saw
(not a mush but helps) few feet of garden hose, wire hanger, a good light, clear silicone, clear piece of plastic, small mirror, duck tape, zip ties, drill and small drill bit, spray bottle with water. I think thats it, I might remember a few things as we go along.



For the first step, you need a utility knife that can be retracted once have scored the lines into the plastic so you dont accidentally cut in too deep and hit the evaporator.

First of all, you want to make the first cut 7/8 of an inch away from the ledge along the red line. This is so you dont cut up directly under the evaporator.

Next, make another cut along where the pink line shows. I made this cut about an inch up but I would have gone about a half inch higher for better access. The last where the green one is I used a hacksaw because the plastic is pretty thick there.If you are going to use the hacksaw, only barely cut til it just barely goes through. Go VERY SLOW, you dont want to cut the evaporator.

Lastly, I cut across the back about half inch away from the very back. There is a rib inside the box in this part that you will have to just twist and snap off once you have cut through the wall, so make note of that.



Once you have taken your time to cut all around and have the piece off, it should look something like this.




Note all the crap in there. This is on my newer ZJ, the other one that spent most of its life in DC and West Virginia was just caked with dirt and leaves. It was BAD. So if you live in an area with lost of trees, yours will be pretty bad as well.

OK, now you want to remove the blower fan. This is done by removing three screws and unplugging it. You will want to remove the following relays int he next picture to give you room to get it off.



I used a mirror to look inside from the motor housing and saw the following:


My other jeep was much much worse.


Last edited by ElTejano; 06-20-2012 at 07:31 PM..
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Unread 06-20-2012, 07:19 PM   #2
ElTejano
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Now you want to take a piece of old hose and cut it like the following pictures:





Now you want to take the shop vac and tape the hose to your vacuum hose. I just used regular old painter tape and it worked fine. Duck tape would work better but I was out.



Now you can get it up along the cut you made and lay it flat against the evaporator and suck out all the dirt. You will need to spray down the evaporator thoroughly a few times from below and from he blower housing. Just stick the spray bottle up where the motor was and spray from there.

See how the cut end lies nice and flat against a surface:



When you vacuum the evaporator, you want to press the hose lightly against the surface of the evap, hold it for a little while, pull it away, scoot it over and press again. Dont be sliding it all over the place cause you can easily damage the fins and bend them in.
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Unread 06-20-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
ElTejano
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Here you can see a section that has been vacuumed with a dirty section right next to it. See the big difference?



Now what you want to do is take a wire hanger and arc it but put a a half inch hook at the end hooked inwardm like a fish hook. You want to stick that into the circled area and downward and fish out all the leaves and crap that are stuck down there.



You also want to drill at lease a 2/3 inch hole where see the red cap:



You will see crap coming out of that hole when you start digging with the hanger. You can vacuum most of this stuff out through the hole. Also make the hanger nice and long so you can push through any stuff that might not come out.

When you take the piece off, you will notice this white stuff:


Its a liner or insulator of some kind for the evap. It eventually crumbles and clogs up the drain hole. On my older jeep it was all in pieces at the bottom where I drilled the hole. I just tore mine off but you can choose to leave it be if its not breaking apart.
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Unread 06-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
ElTejano
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Now for the reassembly.

This is what I did. I drilled holes around the hole I cut about 2 inches apart. Make sure to put something between the plastic and the evap to make sure you dont drill through and drill into it. I used a chunk of phenolic I had laying around.



I then put the piece I cut off and placed it up to the hole and marked it to match holes in it.



Now I put zip ties in each hole. I should have use smaller ones than the ones I did, they would have been more manageable. You might need a pair of needle nose pliers to help you pull them out between the plastic and evap. Once I had them all in place, I put the ties through the matching holes on the cover.



Before tightening them, I put clear silicone in between the joint all around so it would squeeze on both sides when I tied it all together. Once I tie them all up, I go ahead and silicone the heck out of everything, Get plenty in each hole and push it in. Around all the zip ties and along the cuts.

I then pit a clear cover over the hole so I can see whats going on if needed. I just made it out of a plastic packing from some tool.




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Unread 06-21-2012, 05:14 AM   #5
coralman
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Good writeup!
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Unread 06-21-2012, 05:43 AM   #6
hdsport
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Unread 06-21-2012, 01:48 PM   #7
cootertwo
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Good job! I especially like the clear window thing, so you can see what's going on. I thought I had mine fixed, but found wet carpet again on the pass side, after a rain. I had left the carpet pulled back from the evap drain thing, and it was dry. Seemed to be coming in from the molding on the bottom of the door opening? Ran the garden hose all over the roof, hood, doors etc. and couldn't find anything. Opened the pass door to look at the weather strip, seemed OK, then looked at the opening at the bottom of the fender, below the lower hinge, and that whole pocket was full of leaves and dirt, I mean right up to the level that it could fill up and run into the lower door molding. Dug a bunch of wet stuff out, but will have to do more with the vacuum and a hose attachment like the post above. There is probably a weep hole at the bottom of that area that is no doubt clogged with dirt. I believe this is another location for the wet carpet thing. Will post results after cleaning up, and a good rain.
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Unread 06-21-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
ElTejano
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cootertwo View Post
Good job! I especially like the clear window thing, so you can see what's going on. I thought I had mine fixed, but found wet carpet again on the pass side, after a rain. I had left the carpet pulled back from the evap drain thing, and it was dry. Seemed to be coming in from the molding on the bottom of the door opening? Ran the garden hose all over the roof, hood, doors etc. and couldn't find anything. Opened the pass door to look at the weather strip, seemed OK, then looked at the opening at the bottom of the fender, below the lower hinge, and that whole pocket was full of leaves and dirt, I mean right up to the level that it could fill up and run into the lower door molding. Dug a bunch of wet stuff out, but will have to do more with the vacuum and a hose attachment like the post above. There is probably a weep hole at the bottom of that area that is no doubt clogged with dirt. I believe this is another location for the wet carpet thing. Will post results after cleaning up, and a good rain.
These things have just too many nooks and crannys that leaves can collect. I wish I would have put pictures from my other jeep. It was just caked with leaves. So if you live where there are a lot of trees, you will have problems.

A thing to do that's a good idea is to put window screen material over the intake for the air fit below the windshield. I will post pictures of that soon.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 04:11 PM   #9
Mad-Duke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElTejano View Post
I will post pictures of that soon.
Your Idea of Soon is not in line with mine... That's for sure.
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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:38 AM   #10
loodi
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for that particular area, i thought of fabricating a housing for a filter like the WJ has in that particular place.
do you guys think that could solve the ZJ a/c issue once cleaned properly? i mean.... thats the only air inlet, right? if i put a filter in there, no more crap should be building up into the system... (?)

i made a larger hole so i can reach on both sides of the evaporator. i wasnt a bad idea at all because there is crap on both sides.

once opened, cleaned it good, desinfected, blew out a ton more crap with compressed air, and sealed everything back in.

it worked.
finally it worked.

Last edited by loodi; 07-19-2013 at 02:47 PM..
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Unread 07-21-2013, 11:15 AM   #11
jac9f
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I just did this a couple of days ago.. used a toothbrush to reach up and scrub the evaporator which helped move the mud around and blew compressed air through were I could, removed a mulch forest from the front of the evaporator. it works amazingly well. My 96 (new to me in Jan) now has real and effective a/c. no more wheezing.
Thanks for sharing this!
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Unread 07-28-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
Dumpy
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In the middle of doing this now and man! Can't believe how much came out. Thanks for the writeup! I'll post my results.
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