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08+ Evaporator Removal
08+ Evaporator Removal
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Old 08-11-12, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default 08+ Evaporator Removal

I wish I had more pictures, but it's tight and I think you'll get the idea by following the steps I list and looking at it.

First off, I recommend having the factory service manual for removal of the dash panels. There's a lot of screws and clips (some of which are hidden) that have to come out. It's not a hard process, simply tedious. You will be working around the airbag, so I would recommend disconnecting the negative battery terminal. Also, having the service manual is handy for showing you exactly where all the screws are for the evaporator side covers, ECU cover plate, blower motor assembly, etc.

Secondly, you should obviously have the system evacuated already. Either it leaked on its own (most likely) or you took it to a shop and had it properly evacuated. It is illegal to vent R134a to atmosphere on purpose.

You need to remove the following:

The radio trim piece (pries off)
The visor hood (pulls off)
Both of the dash endcaps (just pull off)
The driver's side lower panel (a couple screws, then pull, and watch the connections)
The glove box (unhook the damper, then pull towards seat)
The driver's side ornament panel aka the silver piece (two screws, I think, then pull)
The center console box (two bolts in box, lift up e-brake boot for one screw, then pull to back of the car, not up)
The center console tray/shift trim ring (unsnap back by lifting up, then pull back and watch connection
The center console sides (a few screws and one clip each towards foot wells)
And, finally, the lower dash part (lots of screws, including one hidden behind where HVAC controls sit, and then pull)

Once all of this is removed, we have to get access to the evaporator side cover:

Pull back the passenger side carpet (there's one flat head type clip near the door)
Remove the four nuts/bolts from the ECU cover and remove the cover
Remove the DCCD controller (gray vertical box, one nut holding it to a bracket)
Remove three nuts/bolts that hold entire blower unit assembly (hint, one is way up top behind remaining dash piece)
Unplug all connections you can see around the evaporator side cover and heater and cooling unit. You need all of this as free as possible so it won't interfere with sliding the evaporator out.

Now for the evaporator covers and evaporator itself (you're almost there!):

The upper cover has two screws, one in front and one in back. A typical screwdriver should do it with minimal trouble. Remove upper cover (watch the evaporator sensor wire that is clipped to it, brown connector).
The lower cover has two more screws and a clip at the very bottom towards the firewall side. Remove.
Go to the engine bay and remove the 10mm bolt holding the two lines to the expansion valve plate at the firewall. Pull lines out.
Once you have those out of the way, use an allen bit (I forget the size) to remove the two screws from the lines that secure to the evaporator.
Remove lines from car.
Now, push the wire harnesses out of the way and the evaporator will just pull out of the side of the heater cooling unit. Below is a picture showing it halfway slid out.

Reverse for installation. Have the AC system evacuated and serviced (or do it yourself if you have the equipment).

A few installation notes:

When putting on lower evaporator cover, make sure gasket is seated properly and evaporator sensor wire is not pinched.
Also, when putting on lower evaporator cover, the plastic piece that is on the lines has a hole that a clip on the lower evaporator cover clips through. Make sure this happens.
Go slowly putting everything back together, and make sure you reconnect everything securely.

Please contact me if you have questions. I know it's a lot to visualize without more pictures, but the FSM makes it a lot easier. This is intended to be a guide accompanied by the FSM. The reason for this guide is that the FSM would have you take the dash apart even further, drop part of the steering column, drain your coolant, and entirely remove the heating and cooling unit from the car. This is unnecessary, and this guide shows you how to do it the alternative method.

Last edited by Sabrewings; 08-11-12 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-18-17, 04:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: 08+ Evaporator Removal

Thank you for posting this. Looks like mine took a crap. Been having a musty smell in the car when I first stated the car that went away fast. Know the leak die is being found in my drain tube. My compressor no longer turns on. Going to do this job tomorrow myself. Luckily Napa was able to get the replacement in a day.
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Old 08-16-19, 11:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: 08+ Evaporator Removal

do you think it would be the same for a 2015 wrx? im hoping i dont have to remove the entire dash.
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