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  View original topic: Removing the Evaporator ~ 1986 Westfalia
djkeev Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:28 am

Removing the Evaporator, a How To......
1986 Vanagon Multivan "Weekender" no kitchen but does have a pop top.
This is an Early 86 which is running a mix of 85 and late 86 AC components.

Anyway........

OMG!!!! The horror stories written about this task actually caused me to lose some sleep last night figuring it out. The stories about trash cans and jacks to support the immense weight and the need for Hercules himself to come help!


I am renewing my AC system and part of that is dropping the Evaporator to flush it out and renew the Expansion Valve.

I'm documenting this with photos (of course) but spare the horror stories, this is a neither difficult or daunting task!

I did enlist the help of a buddy to hold the Evaporator as I unbolted it but knowing what I now know..... I could have easily done it by myself.

Updates to come, too busy working right now. Just wanted to say that this task is nothing like you read about.

Dave

VWinVT Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:37 am

Good news...Looking forward...

insyncro Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:20 am

Just as with the Vanagon dash removal...a piece of cake with experience.
Don't believe the hype :wink:

Terry Kay Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:31 am

Dave,
It ain't no big deal, be sure to get sll of the screws, and have a small oil drum under the cabinet.
It's not difficult, be sure to watch the wiring to the blowers as it's coming down and the drain hoses so you don't break the tray drain nipples.

Simple.

I'll tell you what.
You sure do bounce around on this project.
You were on the AC a month ago, why didn't you finish it all, then go to the trans, engine, &wherever else you wandered off to?

Strange working orders you got.

djkeev Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:36 pm

I spent a bit of time searching for clear directions on how to remove the Evaporator on my 86 Westy "weekender". Bentley has some instructions and many touch upon the task but nithing comprehensive.

While it is an 86, it has many features of the 84/85 with some 86 features added.

My Evaporator sits in a wooden box behind the rear seat at ceiling height.

I started by simply examining the set up. How it was constructed, obvious assembly order, fastener locations, etc.

I discovered that the Evaporator it firmly attached to the ceiling by large "L" brackets on either end. There are four large #3 Phillips headed screws that screw into furniture nuts embedded in the top bunk wooden platform,

So, there is zero fear of falling Evaporators.... Unless I'm dumb as a rock.

The wooden box surrounding the Evaporator became my target for primary removal.

A concern are the two Evaporator Drain Hoses that pass through the wooden box. These hoses MUST be removed before attempting box removal.

My hoses were still flexible. By removing the passenger compartment air difusser cover between the speakers I gained access to the hoses where they attach to the drain tray.

Not wanting to break the drain tray I took great care in gently disconnecting them. Each hose had a 90* fitting just off the drain tray and I was able to disconnect the main drain hose from the 90* fitting without too much trouble.

There isn't much working space so I used LONG needle nose pliers with a 45* end bend to grasp and push the hose off the fitting while I held the 90* with my other hand.

Left side, it is already disconnected, you can see I put the 90* fitting where it should be.....



And the right side drain, also disconnected, you can see the drain hole in the wooden box through which the hose passes....


Terry Kay Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:42 pm

And the saga continues next week kiddies.

This reminds me of a Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers serial movie.
Ya only get so much each week.

djkeev Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:09 am

Once the drain hises are disconnected pull them out of the wooden box and let them hang.
The Left side inside the Wardrobe has a plastic retainer that holds it stationary, just pull out the screw.




Next locate the fasteners, you will need a 10mm socket, a #2 and a #3 Phillips screwdriver as well as a few odds and ends as your need dictates, small hammer, bin for hardware, etc.

Jib one is to remove the Evaporator wooden box.
This is held up with two Carriage Bolts in the front, one left, one right, both above the speakers. These are both accessed from reaching insidemthe air discharge hole between the soeakers and removing a 10mm nut, now pull out the lag bolts.
I found to leave in the right one for now just to support things.

While thinking of it,munplug both speakers (spade terminals on each one) and also unhook the AC blower motor wires as well as the thermo sensor plug into the Evaporator itself.





Looking Inside at the 10mm nuts above the speaker.......



At the rear, on either side of the Intake Hole are two large #3 Phillips screws, remove the Left one, only loosen the Right one leaving it in to support the box.





The Right side of the wooden box is now loose and wobbly held up only by the loose carriage bolt in the front and the loose screw in the rear.

On the Wardrobe side are two more carriage bolts. One is accessible from the air intake shelf......


And the other from inside the wardrobe towards the front.
Take off both of the nuts.

Now it gets tricky but not hard, simply a balancing act. A helper would be good but not needed.

One last thing, there are two small screws holding the plastic fan shroud to the wooden box floor, remove them if you can locate them, if you cannot, they will pull out as you lower the wooden box.

Hold up the wooden box while you remove the two carriage bolts into the wardrobe, the rear screw and the front carriage bolt above the speaker you left loose.

Lower the box, it may stick to the wardrobe from years of dirt and old plastic fusing together. Wiggle It,...... It WILL come down.

Be nice to the fan shroud, it is only plastic and will hang precariously once the wood is removed, I used a stick to hold it up.




Dave

djkeev Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:21 am

Now, remove the Wardrobe cabinet.

First locate the fasteners.....
At the rear there is a carriage bolt near the engine cover... 10mm nut, remove it.



Towards the front is an "L" bracket, remove the two screws that hold it to the floor. #2 Phillips.

Inside the wardrobe on the side panel near the front is an "L" bracket, remove the two screws holding it to the Van. #2 Phillips.

The Wardrobe is now loose. You can move it away from the side panel but because of the Evaporator you cannot remove the Wardrobe far from its current location.
The Evaporator needs to be lowered, disconnected and removed first,

Remove the "L" bracket on the ceiling that was above the Left Speaker so it doesn't catch on the wardrobe when the time comes to remove it, the Carriage bolt can push up into the upper bed.




Dave

djkeev Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:35 am

Terry Kay wrote: And the saga continues next week kiddies.

This reminds me of a Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers serial movie.
Ya only get so much each week.

You ever create a "How To" ?

It's a lot of work! It Takes time, time I don't have right now......

Many photos in my Gallery but no words yet.......


Dave

dhaavers Sat Aug 15, 2015 5:44 pm

FWIW...my version...no oil drum required:



Easy in/out, adjustable, easy to work around...handles the cabinet real nicely...all good.

Nice work...keep it up, Dave!

PS: Remember to cut slots in the cabinet for the drain hoses before you re-install! 8)

djkeev Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:25 pm

Dave, I had read about making slots for the drain hoses but looking at the structure of the unit, doing so would greatly compromise the units structural integrity. The hoses came off so easily, I've no qualms about doing it again if the need arises.

Being an all new system..... I certainly hope that I have no need to ever drop that Evaporator again.

Dave

djkeev Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:36 pm

Back to my story......

Evaporator cabinet is removed,
The Wardrobe is loose and flopping around,

Now we need to remove the Evaporator itself.

If you haven't already done so, disconnect all of the wires to the unit.

The Expansion Valve is covered with insulation along with a good bit of pipe to reduce sweating.
You need to remove thus sticky gooey mess to find the fittings you need to disconnect.

Once exposed, unscrew them, pull the four #3 Phillips screws holding the Evaporator to the ceiling and lower it down.
It's not heavy, but it is long and awkward. A helper or prop is called for to be safe. It can be done without either but it was nice having an extra set of hands.

I was installing new hoses so I just cut my hoses and dealt with the gooey fitting in the garage on a bench.



My PO had been in there, the foam is removed along with various tapes being added.
You can see the dirt build up on the evaporator......







This fitting refused to cone apart, turns out it was well rusted together!

djkeev Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:51 pm

Once the Evaporator was out I was able to slide the Wardrobe towards the center if the Van and easily remove it for a good scrubbing, my Van is completely Mouse and mouse poop free now!!! 😊





I was replacing my hoses so
I removed them and fed up my new barrier type hoses.

I also cleaned the ground screw above the wardrobe.....



Passenger side without Evaporator unit......



Using an AC system Flush product (smelled like Oranges!) this was the first and second Evaporator flush, each subsequent flush got lighter but never totally clear.....



To cut my new hoses to length I temporarily mounted the Evaporator and did my fittings, I used straight fittings, factory used 90* fittings ??????
I fed my new Speaker wires up the AC hoses too! :lol: .........




djkeev Sun Aug 16, 2015 2:00 pm

I took this opportunity to lube the blower fan and test run it...... Thing blows like a Hurricane!!!!





Once the hoses and fittings were sized, I removed the Evaporator and reinstalled the wardrobe.....
Then reinstalled the Evaporator and made connections.......







Honestly, i am waiting for the PROPER expansion valve, my supplier sent me the two tube type and I have a single capillary tube style.

Meanwhile, I put my engine in, bled my brakes, adjusted the drums, adjusted the hand brake, installed new shocks, hooked up the trans linkage, hooked up the throttle, properly hung all of the exterior AC hoses, etc, etc, etc........

Dave

dhaavers Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:09 pm

djkeev wrote: ...I had read about making slots for the drain hoses but looking at the structure of the unit, doing so would greatly compromise the units structural integrity...
I'll respectfully disagree...I slotted mine this spring and it was still solid as a rock.
As expected, made reinstall a simple task after verifying good plumbing connections
from the drain tray before reinstalling the completely separate cabinet/plenum unit... 8)

FWIW...I also got the wrong expansion valve from GoWesty. Glitch in the parts catalog, perhaps...???

PS: Anyone need a 2-tube TXV for your 80-90's Saab...??? :roll:

djkeev Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:30 pm

dhaavers wrote: djkeev wrote: ...I had read about making slots for the drain hoses but looking at the structure of the unit, doing so would greatly compromise the units structural integrity...
I'll respectfully disagree...I slotted mine this spring and it was still solid as a rock.
As expected, made reinstall a simple task after verifying good plumbing connections
from the drain tray before reinstalling the completely separate cabinet/plenum unit... 8)

FWIW...I also got the wrong expansion valve from GoWesty. Glitch in the parts catalog, perhaps...???

PS: Anyone need a 2-tube TXV for your 80-90's Saab...??? :roll:


How can you argue with valid reliable first hand experience!?!?

A cutting I will go, a cutting I will go..... Heigh ho the dairy oh....
Oh come On!!
Cut me a break!
I've spent the entire Summer with small children!!!!! :lol:

Dave

fxr Sun Aug 16, 2015 3:51 pm

May I just say - I am hugely appreciative of this thread. My '84 1.9l Westy has duff AC. As an ex-pat Brit, I know eff-all about AC, so off to Buslab it might probably go. However, you are giving me hope I might tackle this myself - after absorbing clue from the likes of TK etc as well. ;) At the very least I'll be able to prep the van so someone else doesn't have to deal with all the bits 'in the way'.

So I proffer my thanks, your 'how-to' is very welcome. :)

jereandjess Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:06 pm

Hi Dave, what did you do to lube up the blower? I have mine out and hadn't thought of doing that.....

Thanks for the pics, it's helping put it all back together.

djkeev Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:36 am

I didn't do anything exotic or invasive.

Because of the construction of the unit removing the squirrel cages didn't seem like a smart move without risking damage.





I Simply stood the unit on one end so one fan was up and dribbled in light oil, sewing machine type as I rotate the fan by hand.

Leaving it on edge I hooked up 12 volts and let it run stopping it to add more oil. I let it run 10 minutes or so.

Flipped it over and repeated on the other end.

Wiped up any excess and set it level, braced it and let it run for about a half hour.

Quite and smooth.

Dave



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