Many thanks to Dodge Tech for posting the steps to replace the AC evaporator on a 1996-2000 Dodge Grand Caravan. I replaced the AC evap. on my 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan a few weeks ago using the instructions from Dodge Tech posted here: (original post)
I took pictures along the way so I could know how it went back together and to share with others.
I thank the Good Lord for answered prayers. I was talking to him a lot during this repair. Right when I was at my breaking point, I asked God for help and HE would guide through the tough spot. I tell people that I have never seen a wrench floating through the air, but I know I could not have done this job with the help of a higher power.
Here is the link for the complete article and pictures: http://www.gearheadgospel.com/vanfix/
Below are a few samples. It was quite a chore. It took me about 12 hours to complete this job. If you decide to do this yourself, I highly recommend to pray to God and ask for help. When you get stuck, talk to God and tell him you need help. He is faithful and does answer prayers. Best of luck!
This ad is not displayed to registered and logged-in members. Register your free account today and become a member on Dodge Forums!
Last edited by mr_mahoney; 03-30-2009 at 11:56 PM..
hi, great pics!...i am planning on replacing the front expansion valve on my 96 GC. can i do it without tearing down the dashboard? on the engine bay, loosening the center bolt on the expansion valve would release the aluminum retainer plate and so does the two a/c lines. once you have those out of the way, you will find two more hidden bolts that fastens the expansion valve from another retainer on the rear of it... how do you remove those two other bolts? from the engine bay? or from the inside of the evaporator housing, which in this case, it is a must to let go off the dashboard? thanks...
Hello, I'm new to the forum. I also have a 2000 Dodge Caravan with this same problem, and I'm very interested in the repair process and pictures to accomplish this task. I could not pull the pics/info. from this site, though I tried numerous times. I'm asking if someone could republish this how-to-help for me please, along with a professional opinion on whether the repair is a do-it-yourself repair or should it be left to the pros? Also, I've seen postings for the average cost of this repair! I just about stroked!
If possible, could someone also tell me the REAL WORLD and REASONABLE cost for such a repair. Thanks in advance...HELP!!!
i was able to replace the expansion valve without tearing down the dashboard. the two other hidden bolts are accessible after removing the a/c lines retaining plate held by a nut. since i am there i also replaced the a/c drier. it is now blowing cold air. a slight improvement from before. though i think it is not the optimum coldness because sometimes at idle, the a/c compressor is not disengaging. sometimes it does. and the odd thing is that the bigger a/c line that connects to the expansion valve on the engine bay is freezing up. you can see thick ice formation on that tube from the expansion valve end up to the tube end meeting the rubber hose line. if it freezes that much, there is not enough cold air blowing in the cabin. i have to turn off the a/c switch and turn it back on after a minute then it will start blowing slightly colder air. until the a/c line freezes that much again.... i already relocated the thermostat/thermoswitch wand that you poke on the evaporator fins at the bottom where the bigger line exits into.... same effect... any ideas!!!
I recently replaced the evaporator core on my 1999 Grand Caravan Sport 3.8L (188,000 miles and still going strong). I could not have completed the job without the instructions and photographs provided by mr_mahoney. However, if l ever had to do this again there are a few things I would add/alter in these instructions. I've put together a detailed set of instructions for the removal of the instrument panel here: https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=dd8cb9f9a29cbe4a&resid=DD8CB9F9A29C BE4A!103. This is a Microsoft Word document complete with pictures. As I'm not a professional mechanic use at your own risk but I will tell you that there are a few steps in here that will prevent you from breaking items missed in the existing instructions.
For the removal of the HVAC unit mr_mahoney’s instructions are great and therefore I did not duplicate that effort in the file above. I will suggest though that if you’re going to tackle this job make sure you have a ratcheting 10mm box-end wrench for the HVAC studs at the firewall. I also removed the alternator bracket (not the alternator itself) to give me more room.
One more thing, pick up some foam weather stripping to wrap around your new evaporator core. The foam from my old core was soaked in oil from the leak and needed to be replaced.
Last edited by CaravanHomer; 09-14-2011 at 09:53 AM..
There is no need to remove the seats, just make sure you recline them all the way back before you start the job if you have electric seats as I do (driver's side anyway).
The steering wheel and upper column is attached to the instrument panel so when you remove it that all comes with it. If you open the Word file it shows this in the last picture of the instrument panel with the steering wheel resting on the driver's seat. The HVAC unit is fully exposed just as it was in mr_mahoney's pictures. There is no way to get to the evaporator core without removing the entire HVAC unit. I didnt' repeat the HVAC instructions because mr_mahoney's covered everything but I can add them to the document if anyone asks.
This job is time consuming but it is not difficult.
Last edited by CaravanHomer; 07-10-2010 at 02:37 PM..
Thanks for the additions to the well documented procedure. The bolt/screw locations and numbers are especially welcome.
I also had the parking brake wire come off and now it just looks like a loose wire attached to a copper colored metal clip. I'm not sure how or where to re-attach. Could you provide any details/photos on this?
I'm in the midst of reassembly now and I didn't see your post until today so I removed the steering wheel per Mr. Mahoney's directions. It wasn't too difficult to remove but as you are probably aware, there are about 8 electrical connections to make. All different so hopefully it's easy to get them all back in the right places.
Also, I was considering replacing the heater core but when I removed it, it looked pristeen and it was flowing well so I just bench flushed and put it back in.
I found it last night and got it installed properly. Once I knew it was for the parking brake, I was able to take a close look and determine where it fits in. Threre is a white plastic fitting with some slots in it and I found where the piece with the wire slides in. It appears to make contact when the parking brake is released so it must tell the computer when the brake is engaged so it can illuinate the dash light for the brake.
I just got all of the interior trim back together but still need to replace the A/C drier evac the system and charge it. I also need to put the wiper tray, trim and arms back in place. I did take it for a test drive last night and everything is working fine.
One more tip for anyone doing this job. With the wiper tray removed, it is a good time to go ahead and replace those difficult to access spark plugs in the back. I don't know what everyone else's experiences are with the spark plugs but I tried some of the new style long lasting spark plugs and the van ran a lot worse than with the OEM style. Until this job, I had replaced all but the middle rear plug with OEM style plugs and it was back to running good. Now I have all six OEM style plugs and with 180K on this vehicle, it may be the last time I have to replace them. If you have big forearms, it would be difficult to replace the rear three even with the wiper tub removed.
I'm glad it all worked out. I also contemplated replacing the heater core while I had everything appart but mine too looked pristeen. I do know that replacing the heater core does not require the entire removal of the dash like the evap core does so I decided it wasn't worth the $$s to replace what looked to be a good heater core.
Does anyone have a saved copy of mr_mahoneys document? It seems to be down or removed. I fear my evaporator is leaking in my 99 T&C. It doesn't even last a cpl days between charges before the hissing starts. Any way to check to see if its really the front evap? Also thanks to CaravanHomer for your document cause it looks like it will be really helpful if I do the job.
Edit: I was able to get mr_mahoneys article from google cache and manually changed the picture number in the URL based on the pictures in the first post. Would the haynes manual be a worthy purchase for this repair or is the information here better.
Yes I did download your document CaravanHomer, it looks great but just wanted to see how easy it was to remove the evap after the dash was removed. I was able to see the pictures and text from the original article via google cache. Now I need to hunt around and find this a/c leak.