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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all -
I have condensation leaking behind my HVAC box. It is coming from the seal where the AC lines go through the firewall into the HVAC plenum. I have the dash out already, and the HVAC box is ready to come out except for the AC lines that go to the evaporator. I have the disconnect tools.

The question is this: Obviously once I disconnect those lines, the system will be open to atmosphere. How do I make sure I don't damage my condenser? I need to replace the seal behind the box, reconnect the evaporator, re-install the dash, then either take it somewhere to be recharged or recharge it myself.

Any suggestions or help is appreciated. I'm going to post a step by step how-to with pics on dash removal when I'm all finished up (I didn't take pics during removal, but I will during assembly).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Well, I think the problem has been found. The holes in the HVAC box that the mounting studs go through are slotted (for easy installation at the factory I assume). When installing the HVAC box, you must push the box toward the firewall so the seal around the AC lines is compressed. If someone installed the box without doing that, or if it worked itself loose, the box would tip towards the back of the car. This would expose the metal AC lines to air behind the box. When cold, they would drip condensate behind the box onto the hump between the drivers and passengers footwell. This is what was happening.

I loosened the nuts up, had a friend put a board under the HVAC box and pry it towards the front, and I tightened it up. Threw the dash back in well enough to start the car, and ran the AC on full blast for 45 minutes. Nothing leaking in the passenger well anymore!!! I'm glad I don't have to disconnect my AC, because my air is ice cold.

Is there any interest in a detailed dash removal how to? I have the dash half way in now, but if it would be really useful I wouldn't be opposed to pulling it back out quickly to get a step by step with pics.
 

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I gotta pull my dash to replace evap and im not looking forward to it. It's an 01 zx3. Any tricks you learned would be helpful. Thanks. Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
What's wrong with your evap?

I'm going to do a full write up this weekend if you can hang on a few days. It is fairly simple if you can follow it.
 

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That will be very helpful. My evap coil is leaking freon into the car and the air smells very bad and the charge only lasted two days. Ac shop wanted 1025$ to put a new coil in it. I think I will try it myself before I spend more on the ac than I paid for the car.lol
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can you buy the evaporator seperately? I'm in the process of putting the dash in now, and I'm getting my pics from my re-install, so hang tight :)
 

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There's already a write-up on dash removal. and you need a special bolt to remove some clips accessed through the vents...

The caveat I want to mention, is that the NORMAL drain for condensation water is in the area of the A/C tubes to the interior, and when plugged up water typically leaks onto the floorboard area...

SO - check the drain FIRST! - B4 going through the PITA of dash removal if water in the interior is the issue.

If you need to replace the evaporator coil in the dash, - it's a PITA, and you need to be VERY careful to note how everything goes together during dis-assembly so you don't damage anything or need to tear it down TWICE!!

Luck!
 

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There's already a write-up on dash removal. and you need a special bolt to remove some clips accessed through the vents...

The caveat I want to mention, is that the NORMAL drain for condensation water is in the area of the A/C tubes to the interior, and when plugged up water typically leaks onto the floorboard area...

SO - check the drain FIRST! - B4 going through the PITA of dash removal if water in the interior is the issue.

If you need to replace the evaporator coil in the dash, - it's a PITA, and you need to be VERY careful to note how everything goes together during dis-assembly so you don't damage anything or need to tear it down TWICE!!

Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sailor - Believe me, I went through all the troubleshooting before removing the dash. The Evap housing had actually pulled away from the firewall a bit. Enough that the seal was not completely covering the metal lines.

None of the dash removal write-ups I could find were very good, so I plan to do my own. If you know of a good one, I'd love to see a link to it because I searched pretty hard.

Honestly, I don't think removing it is all that difficult now that I know how. If you have the tools lined up ahead of time, I bet I could have my dash out in 2 hours now that I know how.

The 3 special clips in the defrost area just popped out on mine, no sweat at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You're right though - if you're not mechanically inclined, get a friend to help. This is not a job for someone that has trouble removing a tail light.
 

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rgonyer - the comment on the drain was meant for others jumping into or viewing the thread, so they wouldn't tear into things TOO deep B4 finishing their diagnostics....

You "done good" finding a way to fix your rather unusual issue WITHOUT loosing all your hair in the process..... (grin)

Cheers!
 
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