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Old 05-15-2009, 11:04 AM   #1
92SC2
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Default Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

My 95SL2 has the typical AC funk that reeks of mold and mildew. I would like to clean it out, as much as possible, but just to point out I'm sensitive to both mold and mildew AND chemicals so dousing it with some foul smelling miracle in a bottle or can isn't going to work.


What is the normal process for accessing the evaporator (pics would help immensely) and is it possible to fully access or remove it without having to tear the car completely apart? I will be redoing the R134 and pulling a vacuum on it so I don't mind if I have to separate it.

It would be nice if you could plug the drain line, fill the reservoir with a cleaning solution and then just pull the plug to drain.

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Old 05-15-2009, 11:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Are you allergic to vinegar?

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Old 05-15-2009, 11:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Are you allergic to vinegar?
No, I might end up using white vinegar. I was going to use carb cleaner and let it air out. Stuff like ozium is horrible and gives me headaches if I have to smell it. Plus it didn't work.

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

I don't think carb cleaner is a fungicide. Vinegar is. After my deer crash, the tarp I had over the broken windshield leaked, and some black mold grew in the passenger front footwell. The guys at the glass shop were sure I'd need to tear out the carpet and start fresh. IIRC, I used 50/50 white vinegar and water, as per some advice I got online. It worked after two applications.

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Direct application of carb cleaner = dead just about anything. If it will "eat" the built up grime and grease off of metal parts, it'll kill mold and funk. My concern with the vinegar mixture is that I won't be able to get good coverage of the evaporator. That's why I said it would be nice to be able to plug the drain and flood the whole thing. It would probably kill the blower motor though.

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Old 05-15-2009, 01:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

BG Frigi-Fresh® is formulated to quickly and effectively eliminate foul, musty odors from automobile air conditioning systems. It kills mold, mildew and other odor-producing organisms that grow in the evaporator core and housing. Powerful deodorizers in BG Frigi-Fresh® keep the automobile interior smelling fresh and clean.
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File Type: gif ff.gif (87.9 KB, 25 views)

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Old 05-15-2009, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

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Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
BG Frigi-Fresh® is formulated to quickly and effectively eliminate foul, musty odors from automobile air conditioning systems. It kills mold, mildew and other odor-producing organisms that grow in the evaporator core and housing. Powerful deodorizers in BG Frigi-Fresh® keep the automobile interior smelling fresh and clean.
What does it smell like?

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Old 05-17-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Bump, any info on the smell?

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Someone has got to have personal experience with this. Does Richpin06 have a video demonstration of how to properly dismantle the dash to access the evaporator?
How tall or more specifically how much volume is in the evap case? I'm wondering if it's possible to introduce some frigi-clean or other cleaner into the case via that drain.

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Old 05-19-2009, 03:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

You're not going to do anything with the drain. The entire dash needs to be removed to access the evap core. Just get yourself some frigi fresh, spray it in through the vents and it will do what it's designed to do and kill all of that crap in your evap housing.

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Thanks for the reply! I'll see if I can find any locally. I've been told it smells like cross between grandma's perfume and lysol.

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Old 05-19-2009, 07:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92SC2 View Post
I've been told it smells like cross between grandma's perfume and lysol.
(Aren't the two the same thing?....)

This is why I suggested the vinegar. Yeah, spray some in the vents, but you're going against the flow. I'm not sure how much will make it back to the evap core. You're just sorta going after the end result, rather than the root cause. It might work to saturate a very thin cloth with some vinegar, and stretch it over the inlet that's on the cowl under the hood. That should the vinegar through the plenum, through the evap core, as you run the A/C.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

If it's really funk on the core itself then, Squareback's right nothing is going to help but, pulling the dash and getting to the core. After going to that much trouble, I might consider replacing the core while I was in there.

That said, I did have a '97 that had a funky smelling A/C. After trying feminine hygiene spray (Stop laughing, it works.), I pulled the blower fan and stuck a digital camera in there to see if I could see what was causing it. There were a bunch of leaves decaying in there. So, I took a shop vac and shoved the hose in there and got out some of it. Took another pic to see how well I did and vacuumed some more as necessary. It did the trick. Richpin has one of his famous videos showing how to see the evaporator. You'll never believe what he found.

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Old 05-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #14
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

The remnants of a mouse?

Someone else suggested this stuff
1Z Einszett Klima-Cleaner
http://www.autogeek.net/1z-einszett-...freshener.html

I'm off to find Richpin's video...

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Old 05-20-2009, 12:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

I found richpin's video. Crazy place to store dolls IMO. Since you can "access" the evaporator by removing the blower motor why can't you just spray your whatever funk killer of choice in through that opening? From the pic Richpin posted in another thread the evaporator is right next to that opening.

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Old 05-21-2009, 07:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

I sprayed into the intake under the hood. If your funk killer will truly kill the funk, that'll probably work. OTOH if there's something in there that needs to come out, spray all day and it ain't gonna help. Besides it isn't exactly a straight shot. Won't hurt to pull the fan motor and find out.

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

No, it's not a straight shot, but close to it.

I was looking at the pic Richpin posted here
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...70&postcount=3


And noticed the close proximity which is what got me wondering. For the frigi-clean stuff the bottom of that Evap case is accessible via the passengers side floor board. Doesn't look too hard to drill a quarter inch hole and introduce the funkicide from there. It alos looks like you could do it from the hole where the blower motor goes. The 1Z Einszett Klima-Cleaner utilizes a tube through the central vent to get down into the evap case. seems like 3 ways of skinning the same cat w/o requiring the removal of the dash to me.

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Old 05-22-2009, 10:01 AM   #18
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Alright, I finally found a BG Frigi-clean kit locally so I didn't have to order anything offline. I did the treatment last night and my initial impressions are that it is okay. They ended up giving me 3 cans of frigi-fresh since they're prone to leaking. Between them I think I had a full cans worth. The real test will come down the road when I drive with the AC on.

I have to wonder though, what's the bottom of the evaporator case look like? The reason I ask is because my car sits lower in the rear than the front and I was wondering if that was causing condensation to stay in the case thereby causing the funk?

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Old 05-27-2009, 09:58 AM   #19
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Default Re: Accessing/cleaning the evaporator?

Well it's been a couple days now and the frigi-clean smell has departed, and I can once again detect a slight smell from the AC system. I think a small fire will be needed to dry this thing out.

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