Chrysler 300M Enthusiasts Club
  • Evaporator Job - Parts to replace - Notes for 2002 vehicles

  • Repair Questions and Answers.
Membership Banner

Repair Questions and Answers.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
 #379506  by LUNAT1C
 June 24th, 2019, 5:18 pm
UPDATED PARTS LIST 08/21/19

*****

8/7/2019 Update: NOTES FOR 2002 VEHICLES
Previous version of this post was asking questions about parts to use. Post modified to show the parts that went into the car, and a note for 2002 vehicles.

*****

All,

Like many of us, my car is due for an evaporator replacement in order to get the A/C fully functioning once more. I am not sure exactly when I will do the job, but I am purchasing the parts now.

The question I have is, exactly what parts are necessary? Initial plan was to buy the evaporator, drier, expansion valve from the Four Seasons brand from RockAuto and call it a day. I've been searching and noted others also recommending the heater core and a seal/foam tray kit. Below I've listed out the parts on RockAuto, with part numbers, and some general notes. Hoping someone can confirm that I have everything straight and can hit "order"


# - <ITEM. - <BRAND> - <PART NUMBER> - <COST> - <NOTES>
1. Evaporator - Four Seasons - 54917 - $64.79 - SEE NOTES FOR 2002
2. Exp'n Valve - Four Seasons - 39080 - $21.79 - SEE NOTES FOR 2002
3. Receiver/Drier - Four Seasons - 83104 - $8.57
4. Seal Kit - Four Seasons - 26807 - $10.69 - Appears to be generic assortment of o-rings, not many are needed. Expansion valve, drier, evap all come with necessary o-rings.
5.Suction Line - Four Seasons - 55384 - $23.79 - SEE NOTES FOR 2002
--> Not everyone replaces this line, however I did need to. Reason is because the line had rotted where it is clamped to the chassis of the car, sitting in 17 years of collected yuck. I am not the first to need to do it. To replace the line when already replacing the above is simply one 6mm allen-key bolt on the compressor and some gentle routing under the engine ground strap and tie rod. Be sure to clean the chassis as well. I also found the replacement line was longer than the original and reinstalling the chassis bolt was too difficult. I've left it unbolted for now. Clamp still on to isolate hardline from the chassis.



TL;DR:
Vehicles built BEFORE 1/20/2002 - Search for EVAP, Suction Line, and Expansion Valve for 2001 MY or older.
Vehicles built AFTER 1/20/2002 - Search for EVAP, Suction Line, and Expansion Valve for 2003 MY or older.

At the time of writing, no parts houses show the newer style expansion valve when searching for a 2002. They are hit and miss on showing the correct evaporator and can be confusing. Older style 2002s might be OK searching for 2002 parts, however it's best for later 2002 vehicles if you search for 2003 or 2004 parts, as they are carryover.

Vehicle build date is on the driver door jamb sticker. The number you are looking for is called MDH (Month, Day, Hour). My car is 040411, or the 11th hour of the 4th day of the 4th month of the year of manufacture. Build date will show only month and year, which won't be helpful for cars built January 2002.

DETAILS:
It appears Chrysler had a running change in the 2002 MY for the expansion valve design, which affected the evaporator core. Exactly what the change was, I can't say, but parts cannot be mixed.

If you have a 2002 MY vehicle, it's important to know the build date of the vehicle. If the vehicle was assembled before 1/20/2002, you must purchase the evaporator and expansion valve leading up to that date. RockAuto lists the evaporator core as two part numbers depending on that build date. I am unsure of the other parts houses. Build date is printed on the driver's door jamb sticker. Mine was assembled 04/04/02.

If your vehicle was assembled AFTER 1/20/2002, you will need the updated version. Again RockAuto lists the evaporator for 2002 with two part numbers depending on that date, I am unsure of the other parts houses. Look at the images. The newer style should not have a block on the end of the tubes, whereas the older style does appear to have some kind of block on the evap tubes. Additionally, the older style expansion valve is a simple rectangle with 13mm nut on the stud that mounts the crush plate facing the engine. The newer style expansion valve has a compound curve on one end (rather than a true rectangle) and the engine-side crush plate mounts to a stud that uses a 10mm nut.
Easy tell tale sign is the NUT on the expansion valve holding the suction & accumulator line in place.
Early system 13MM nut, Later 10MM nut (wrench size)
Different evap, ex valve, suction line & evap to accumulator line (along with some bolts & nuts.)


When I searched ALL parts houses (Rock Auto, Napa, Advance Auto, AutoZone, O'Reilly) for an expansion valve for a 2002 300M Special, they ALL showed ONLY the older style. I did not realize this until I had the old evap sitting on my garage floor, HVAC box and dash out of the car and torn apart, and comparing the old part to the new and realizing there was no way the new part would fit the factory crush plate and nut. If this was my only car, I'd be in a pickle and begging my neighbor for a ride (or calling a Lyft). When I searched for a 2003 300M Special, suddenly ALL parts houses were showing the correct part. Further, in my area (Metro Detroit, SE Michigan suburbs 3.5 miles north of Detroit), only ONE auto parts store had the correct expansion valve in stock. An Advance Auto Parts in a sketchy neighborhood on Grand River Avenue in Detroit. It was only 15 minutes away, but it was not comfortable driving my high dollar flashy color Jeep with high dollar mods around that area for too long... Downtown Detroit has made a fantastic comeback and I head there once every couple of months, but the neighborhoods are still in dire straights.

Point is, the Motor City area had just one part. Your area might not have it at all, and if it's your only car you might be SOL and have to do the job twice to drive the car until you have the correct part.

*** Back to original post ***

I've read the How-To in the knowledgebase for the evaporator job. Seems fairly straightforward, just a whole lot of bolts and connectors to keep track of and some muscle to help ease the dash out without damage. Presently, of the 56 steps involved leading up to EVAP replacement, I have done at least 20 of them in my quest to take a look at the EVAP and confirm it's got "X's" on its eyes, and to remove all the dash pieces that I'm changing the wrap on. Just need to remove the center console, drop the steering wheel, remove the radio to get my amp wiring out of the way, disconnect my front speaker crossover wiring, remove the kick plates and A-pillars/front dash trim, and all the bolts and connectors holding the thing in.

I wasn't going to do this before Carlisle, but knowing Carlisle will be hot and the car has a distinct refrigerant smell to it, I think it might be best to sideline some mods and do the evap instead. One less major headache done for (hopefully) the life of the car. Just need to get it evacuated and finish another hour of disassembly on a dry day off. I'd like to order all the parts now and evaluate.

TIA!
User avatar
 #379507  by Null
 June 24th, 2019, 5:24 pm
I left the original heater core in even though when I did the swap I bought a heater core to replace it. After getting it out and realizing how clean it was and being made in France I put it back and tossed out the noticeably lighter Chinese one. Still have really good heat in the winter now and at the time I didn't want to risk having less heat especially where I live. About the foam tray mine didn't come with one so I had to reuse.

Good luck would with the install.
User avatar
 #379513  by In-trepid
 June 24th, 2019, 10:51 pm
When I did the evaporator in the silver Special, I also bought a heater core. Same situation as above. The core I got from Rock Auto looked worse than the one that was in there. I left the original in. Be aware that its not just the evap that is date sensitive, it is also the expansion valve.
User avatar
 #379514  by ggariepy
 June 24th, 2019, 10:54 pm
Honestly if you're going to go to all the trouble anyway I would swap out the compressor, hoses and the condenser, too. I don't know if you have done these repairs recently or not, but on a 19 year old car I would expect compressor seals to be on their way out. The clutches don't last forever. And being that you're with me here in the land of salt, the condenser has gotten its fair share of salt spray over the years and will begin to slowly corrode over time. Being aluminum, it doesn't happen fast, but there's not a lot of work involved in changing the condenser, and you're already going to have the refrigerant discharged.

That way you start all over from a known condition with all the parts. Depending on how long you plan to keep the car the stuff is cheap spread out over time. You've got a show winning car, not a beater like mine, so it's probably worth doing.

It looks like you can do the compressor, condenser and hoses for under $300 more at RockAuto.com.
User avatar
 #379520  by FIREM
 June 25th, 2019, 7:26 am
I would recommend NOT doing this job until after Carlisle. May be less cost effective but save some aggravation to charge it before you leave and bring a can or two to top up as needed for the weekend in comfort. An air freshener to mask the odor, crack a window now and then for fresh air.
You are going to want to take your time doing this job as it is meticulous in detail but not difficult.
Easy way to positively identify evaporator in your car is to access the nut in the center of the expansion valve block.
Socket size, 13 mm early production. 10 mm late production.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23155&start=75
The Styrofoam tray that the evaporator seats in to the housing on will be trashed and is no longer available. You may have to creatively create one or piece together the one that is there.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=35827
You definitely want to get the 5010977AA seal kit for the job. All the foam seals and weatherstrips will be dust at this age.
Four Seasons id usually good quality stuff. Evap, Exp Valve, oring kit with the "figure 8" exp valve seal is also needed.
Heater Core : Your choice: I reused mine as it appeared to be better quality than the replacements. Knowing the cooling system maintenance history it is a reasonable gamble to reuse.
Condenser: Reuse: I suspect yous has already been replaced(?)
Compressor: Its old and seals are aged but it works, I have reused mine so far no issue, just change the oil in it.
Defiantly want to get fresh oil for the system, capacities and additions are on the site somewhere........
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=35838
User avatar
 #379524  by adu1982
 June 25th, 2019, 1:48 pm
I second reusing the compressor and heater core. Trying to diagnose a squel, I replaced the compressor in the LHS in Jan 2016. Now almost everything, other than ac hoses, in the LHS is new or newer, 3-4 years old, compared to the base and special. However for some reason I can not get the LHS to cool as much as the special. The special now has the original compressor from the LHS (the compressor in the special had the clutch seize last year, after a bad wobble in the crank wheel ruined it) and cools the best , all stock pieces in it.....And yes I have evacuated and charged all 3 cars for different reasons in the past few years.

Still plenty of time if you can devote 2-3 days with 2 hrs a day or so. On my last dash pull managed around 30 min or so with my battery powered ratchet. This was at the yards too.


Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk


User avatar
 #379526  by LUNAT1C
 June 25th, 2019, 2:01 pm
ggariepy wrote: June 24th, 2019, 10:54 pm Honestly if you're going to go to all the trouble anyway I would swap out the compressor, hoses and the condenser, too. I don't know if you have done these repairs recently or not, but on a 19 year old car I would expect compressor seals to be on their way out. The clutches don't last forever. And being that you're with me here in the land of salt, the condenser has gotten its fair share of salt spray over the years and will begin to slowly corrode over time. Being aluminum, it doesn't happen fast, but there's not a lot of work involved in changing the condenser, and you're already going to have the refrigerant discharged.

That way you start all over from a known condition with all the parts. Depending on how long you plan to keep the car the stuff is cheap spread out over time. You've got a show winning car, not a beater like mine, so it's probably worth doing.

It looks like you can do the compressor, condenser and hoses for under $300 more at RockAuto.com.
Condenser was replaced January 2011, following the wreck. Compressor still works well and doesn't have any odd behavior. Car hasn't seen salt since early 2010. Lived it's life driving locally in SE PA and was fairly well cared for before I got it.
User avatar
 #379528  by LUNAT1C
 June 25th, 2019, 2:09 pm
FIREM wrote: June 25th, 2019, 7:26 am I would recommend NOT doing this job until after Carlisle. May be less cost effective but save some aggravation to charge it before you leave and bring a can or two to top up as needed for the weekend in comfort. An air freshener to mask the odor, crack a window now and then for fresh air.
You are going to want to take your time doing this job as it is meticulous in detail but not difficult.
Easy way to positively identify evaporator in your car is to access the nut in the center of the expansion valve block.
Socket size, 13 mm early production. 10 mm late production.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=23155&start=75
The Styrofoam tray that the evaporator seats in to the housing on will be trashed and is no longer available. You may have to creatively create one or piece together the one that is there.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=35827
You definitely want to get the 5010977AA seal kit for the job. All the foam seals and weatherstrips will be dust at this age.
Four Seasons id usually good quality stuff. Evap, Exp Valve, oring kit with the "figure 8" exp valve seal is also needed.
Heater Core : Your choice: I reused mine as it appeared to be better quality than the replacements. Knowing the cooling system maintenance history it is a reasonable gamble to reuse.
Condenser: Reuse: I suspect yous has already been replaced(?)
Compressor: Its old and seals are aged but it works, I have reused mine so far no issue, just change the oil in it.
Defiantly want to get fresh oil for the system, capacities and additions are on the site somewhere........
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=35838
I would be dedicating a Saturday to the job with the car sitting outside and working on the dash and HVAC box in its spot in the garage. Reassemble the next day. I have a vacuum pump and gauge set for recharging on my own. About 30% of the disassembly is done already, so that's why I started considering it. I'm expecting it to still take at least 7-8 hours on a reasonably dry Saturday. Would it take more time than that? Of course that's assuming I even get the parts in time. If they aren't in my hands by this coming Saturday, then it's a no-go. Not sure I want the car in pieces as late as the fourth, other than having the front fascia off for other work.
User avatar
 #379531  by FIREM
 June 26th, 2019, 5:07 am
First one took me over 12 hours to do. Be sure to get the seal kit I listed. Has all the foam and firewall seal that you will want to replace.
User avatar
 #379532  by Null
 June 26th, 2019, 5:26 am
Not sure if you have upgraded your center channel speaker yet or if you still use it but now's a good time to do it. I wish I had it was really hard with the windshield there.

It also took me an entire day and then the next morning for buttoning up last few things. My compressor was pretty loud before and after the evaporator change and not long later the compressor seals or something went and I had to get a new one. Luckily Rock auto had a Denso to replace it and I also had my condenser and radiator replaced by a shop. Still have great ac.

P.s keep note of the door actuators positions. Might be a good idea to take pics along the way
User avatar
 #379533  by LUNAT1C
 June 26th, 2019, 10:55 am
FIREM wrote: June 26th, 2019, 5:07 am First one took me over 12 hours to do. Be sure to get the seal kit I listed. Has all the foam and firewall seal that you will want to replace.
I get the feeling that's a dealer item and additional to the o-ring kit on RA?
Null wrote:Not sure if you have upgraded your center channel speaker yet or if you still use it but now's a good time to do it. I wish I had it was really hard with the windshield there.

It also took me an entire day and then the next morning for buttoning up last few things. My compressor was pretty loud before and after the evaporator change and not long later the compressor seals or something went and I had to get a new one. Luckily Rock auto had a Denso to replace it and I also had my condenser and radiator replaced by a shop. Still have great ac.

P.s keep note of the door actuators positions. Might be a good idea to take pics along the way
I plan on taking pics where I feel necessary. Some things I've had out in the past (floor console coming out soon anyway if I can find my bag full of deep slate seat belts, to do the front latches without pulling the seats).

Center dash speaker was replaced with GPS and Sirius antennas long long ago in a galaxy far far away. Wasn't too bad to remove it, just a bit trickier than the other sail and rear door speakers. Stubby got it out.
User avatar
 #379537  by Null
 June 26th, 2019, 3:20 pm
What did you replace it with? I had to get a flex Dremel tool to cut out the area bigger for a Pacific center channel speaker. Its magnet is about twice the size and had a rubber surrounded vs foam. Sounds great. I took pictures along th way as well but didn't really end up needing them because I had ripped out two dashes in yard cars on seperate occasions to make it easier on myself when I did mine. Hopefully everything works out for you. Nothing worse than having a bum ac
User avatar
 #379542  by LUNAT1C
 June 26th, 2019, 5:06 pm
Null wrote: June 26th, 2019, 3:20 pm What did you replace it with? I had to get a flex Dremel tool to cut out the area bigger for a Pacific center channel speaker. Its magnet is about twice the size and had a rubber surrounded vs foam.
The dash speaker? GPS and Sirius satellite antennas. My entire audio system has gone aftermarket (Infinity Kappa component for all four seating positions, Kappa Perfect 10" bass drivers, Kenwood and Infinity Reference amplifiers and AudioControl DSP, Kenwood 2DIN media receiver), and has no dedicated channel for the center dash position. Currently investigating replacing my 1" tweeters with 2.75" Memphis midrange speakers for better depth. Not sure yet since I lose the crisp highs from the textile dome tweeters Infinity paired with my woofers. I'll be playing with my tuning to figure that out.
Null liked this
User avatar
 #379543  by Null
 June 26th, 2019, 5:08 pm
Now that's a humble brag if I ever saw one. Nice system tho
LUNAT1C liked this
User avatar
 #379547  by FIREM
 June 26th, 2019, 8:18 pm
5010977AA Dealer, Amazon, Ebay etc