Evaporator core replacement - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Evaporator core replacement

I've done dash removal on other vehicles in the past, but never a Commander. I've had my A/C system serviced about 2 months ago and it's back down to barely cooling on the driver's side, and not at all on the passenger side. All of my research indicates a leaky evap core, since my mechanic couldn't find a leak under the hood with his sniffer. I've been trying to find how to's in order to familiarize myself, but the only thing I came across was this video regarding a 2007 Grand Cherokee dash removal. I know the two vehicles are mechanically the same, but out of paranoia I want to make sure I get it done correctly. Does anyone know of a Commander specific video floating around anywhere? Here's the video I found of the Cherokee. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj3P1YEYE6Y

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 11:08 AM
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I've done the job, its pretty straight forward, but its also a long job with many things to be removed, it is NOT for the faint of heart or someone without some experience with big mechanical jobs.


Keep in mind a couple of things.
*Take pictures with a camera phone as you take it apart as a reference.
*Especially wire routing, you need photos to refer to on those.
*Have a roll of masking tape and a lot of plastic sandwich bags, as you remove each component, put the fasteners in a plastic sandwich bag and tape it to the component. (if you throw all the fasteners into a bucket, you'll waste a lot of time figuring it out and likely won't get it right)
*Put a big piece of masking tape over the steering wheel before removing it, it would be smart to have the steering centered before removing it. The clockspring in the steering column needs to at the right position, if you don't do something to keep the steering wheel in position while it is out of the vehicle, it could turn a full turn and you could be off and after install you'll break the clockspring and the EPS/BAS/Roll Mitigation won't work with warning lights, because you'll have the steering wheel (it has a sensor in it) off.
*Do NOT power on the vehicle, turn the key with the steering column out. I did and blew fuses that took a while to figure out why had stuff NOT working when I put it all back together.


Now is the time to check out all your HVAC doors and actuators, if any need replaced or repaired, you need to do it while the HVAC box is out of the car. There are several that can only be replaced/repaired by removing the HVAC box.


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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to check all the blend doors and anything else in the area for sure. Thanks for the tips!

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 02:37 PM
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I elected to re-use the old heater core, I haven't regretted it. Some won't risk it and just buy a new heater core as well.




Do NOT operate the AC till you fix it, disable it by pulling the connector for the AC compressor clutch. Oil will leak from evaporator leak. I kept recharging and NOT adding oil, when I decided I would have to do an evaporator replacement, I waited to do it, and did NOT disable the AC compressor like I should. One day I forgot and put it on defrost, and it ended up seizing the compressor because of lack of AC oil from the leak. Which just made my repair so much more expensive and time consuming.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-22-2016, 07:54 PM
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I pulled my heater core recently. The videos for the cherokee are very helpful.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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So, when I call around to my local stores, I get price quotes anywhere from $120 to $140. I look online and find them for much much cheaper. Rock auto has them for around $50, but I'm not sure which to get. Thoughts? 2006 JEEP COMMANDER 5.7L V8 A/C Evaporator Core | RockAuto

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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I think this is the one I need - More Information for FOUR SEASONS 54948

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 10:38 AM
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The OEM evaporator from the Dealer is more than $300, but none of the aftermarket items look nearly as quality as the OEM part. A lot of the AC aftermarket sells a lot of junk that does NOT last or work well, I ran into that repairing AC on an old mini-van, wasted money trying to save money going with cheap parts.


4 Seasons is the only brand I could find positive reviews about for quality, so I went with a 4 seasons evaporator. Even the 4 seasons evaporator, the lines were NOT bent to the exact shape they should have been, I had to some forcing to get everything to fit together properly. Its been 2 years and the AC is still working good without a leak.


Only the OEM evaporator will come with all the seals attached to it, the 4 seasons, nor any of the aftermarket come with the seals. I carefully peeled the seals off the OEM evaporator, I had to use a little contact cement for spots that had no adhesive left and stuck all the old seals on the new evaporator.


I'm talking about the seals for air flow around the evaporator, foam that is stuck to the edges to air seal the evaporator in the HVAC box, so all air is forced to flow through it and NOT around the edges. NOT O-rings and other Hi-Pressure seals, you should get those with the components and use the new ones.


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Four Seasons is the one I'm going with. Thank you!

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-02-2016, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Here's where I'm at now. Wasn't terrible, just tedious.

Does anyone have a diagram for the distribution housing? I'm not sure what the best way to get the evaporator core out is.

Also, what would be the best way to check my blend doors?



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