I've got a '97 Dakota. The A/C has been out for like 5 years. I finally tackled the unsavory task of pulling out the dash and climate box and replaced the evaporator coil/core (and the heater core while I was in there.) I also installed a new accumulator.
One other thing that I got which was recommended by the parts guy was the orifice tube. I want to replace that BEFORE I take it in to be evacuated and charged, but I am uncertain as to exactly where it is located. If someone can point me in the right direction as to exactly where it is located (which line?) I believe it is supposed to be in one of the lines coming from the condenser near the radiator support on the right side, but I am not sure which...I don't want to be pulling lines apart un-necessarily. A pic of its location would be grand!
Thanks for your help in advance!
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Just did my evaporator today too! PITA but it wasn't that bad. That orfice tube is on the line that runs right around the accumulator. It is the high pressure line I believe. If you look at that line (after taking out air filter box) you will see a connection held by a nut. Loosen that nut and separate the lines. If you take off that line (which you would have had to disconnect from the firewall) it is inside of there, basically where that piece separated. I took mine over to a shop and had them blow compressed air into it and is SHOT right out! I will leave it up to someone else to explain its purpose. I hope this helps a bit!
OK, well, this is a 1997 model. I believe yours is an earlier model? I did locate the orifice tube and it is in the line that leads from the condenser on the right side of the engine compartment radiator support. There is a spring-lok connector there and upon disconnecting the connector, I can see the orifice tube/valve in the tube.
Now, the trick is to get out out. It is well stuck in there. The manual says use a set of needle nose pliers to pull it out, but that was to no avail and it the top end ended-up breaking off. So, now I must go to the auto store and get a broken orifice valve removal tool and try again.
Well, I did find it as mentioned. The problem was it was wedged in there real tight and there was not moving it. I tried needle-nosed pliers and that didn't get me very far. The damn thing broke leaving it wedged in there. I got a removal tool from the auto parts store and tried that and it just wouldn't bite down into the plastic/metal to pull it. So, I found a large wood screw and used that to burrow into the exposed metal tube and it wedged itself into that little tube and, wha-la, a but of upward force and it came out. What a PITA...but it was done. Hope this little home remedy helps someone else who runs into the same difficulties.
In the old days we would use a heat gun on the tube to warm it up and let it expand and it should pull right out. A hair dryer would do the trick as well. The screw trick works but you have to make sure a piece did not flake off and a total flush now to make sure nothing got into the system. Replace the accumulator as well since it only takes 15 minutes of exposure time for the desiccant bag to become totally saturated with moisture.
A/C work is not that hard to do I did a complete rebuild last year and get nice cool air now
New valves low side input and high presser test port
Flush out the system with proper flush
New A/C Receiver Drier / Accumulator
Remove compressor Dump old oil install new oil with proper amount and type
All new O-ring seals
Check or replace all sensors
New orifice tube
It was about $200 total but a shop would be $550 so DIY it.
Almost forgot Damn A/C clutch burned up last Oct. had to replace that not to hard even though everyone said it’s hard and too complicated to do every shop said I was crazy but I thought it was a breeze not sure what they were so excited about?
One tip I picked up is wrap some insulating foam around the A/C Receiver Drier / Accumulator and the low side tubing that gets you some cooler air, but be cautious the foam can catch fire make sure it’s not too close to a Hot exhaust or it could catch fire I was told this causes all to many car fires in Arizona people doing this.
DO NOT wrap the high side tubing as it gets very hot and will catch any foam wrapped on them on fire this is a bad thing DON’T DO IT.