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Clean that evaporator coil!


Explorer Addict
October 22, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Huntington Beach, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT, OHV, 4D, 4x4, 5M
I felt like the airflow from the vents was weaker than it should have been, and it was nowhere near as good as my departed 2000 Sport (that thing would freeze you out / toast you out in no time). So I decided to check out my evaporator, figuring there was some debris.

To do this is fairly easy, although it won't clean as well as taking the core out.

1. Loosen the radiator and washer reservoirs (2 nuts, 2 bolts) and disconnect the washer pump connector
2. Remove the cruise servo (1 bolt) and disconnect the cruise connector. Set aside
3. Remove the fan blower (3 screws) and fan connector.
4. Pull the radiator and washer reservoir towards the front of the vehicle. I had just enough room to squeeze the blower out.

I think there's an additional component for EATC vehicles, which I do not have. This is a relatively clean version of what you'll see:


Not only was there a couple inches of "mud" in the corner (which I did not get a picture of, unfortunately - I was too eager to clean it out), but the front side of it was packed full of leaves (right side of the picture is vehicle forward):


Disgusting! Where I could contort my hand, I used a small metal pick to clean the mud out from the fins. There's no way to get the corner though. I did get the leaves out using a plastic scraper:


The final result - not perfect but better than before:


After i removed as many leaves and mud as possible, I sprayed some general foam cleaner ("Tough stuff"), let it soak, worked it in by hand, then rinsed with denatured alcohol.

Wait till you see the other side, absolutely disgusting. Remember, you've only won half the battle. Best to just remove the hole evaporator assembly and clean it out correctly, or do what I did and replace the evaporator. Good time to replace the o-rings and flush the system while you're at it. Difference is like night and day.