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Old 06-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Default Had to replace the Evap Core in my wife's Durango

Yep, 1.5 years ago I had the AC recharged and it lasted about a day. The shop said the evap core had a leak. So this weekend I replaced it.

I'd like to offer an invitation to the person responsible for designing the way the heater box mounts in this SUV. Come on over and I'll provide you a wonderful steak dinner and for dessert, a complimentary KICK IN THE NUTS!

Seriously. I knew ahead of time that I would have to remove the entire dash assembly, meaning dropping the steering wheel, just to remove the heater box to access the evap core and heater core (I replaced the heater core too because honestly, I knew ahead of time that I did NOT want to dig that box out of there again!

There are 4 nuts that hold the heater box in position. You access them from the engine compartment, then pull the box out once they are loose. Except some dipsht decided it would be an awesome idea to place one of the nuts directly behind the transmission dipstick tube!

At any rate, we got the box out and the evap core had apparently gone bad like the shop said. Found significant amounts of oil and tracing dye in the heater box and all over the old evap core. So crossing my fingers, my wife will had AC this summer.

So if anyone knows the engineer who designed that bolt location, let them know they are welcome to come on over to my place for a steak dinner and don't forget dessert!

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:20 PM   #2
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Thats one reason I don't work on cars for a living anymore, I feel your pain.

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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My wife drives a vw beetle. THe timing belt goes around the motor mount. Yeah, replacing a 27 dollar belt requires an engine hoist.

Brilliant.

That car was designed by a packaging engineer. It was all about cramming everything they could into that piece of crap.

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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I just had a ton of work done on my wife's durango too. Its an 03, w/ 93K on it, so its up there. They had to replace the compessor, and at the same time clean out the condenser and all the lines. Seems to have worked.

Apparently the a/c systems in these things are notorious for going out.

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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durangos are garbage.

parents bought one used with about 50k on it. 2 months later the engine blew. apparently they're known for having their oil journals clog.

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #6
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I was going to change teh plugs in my wife's rendezvous a couple years ago when it started messing up (ended up being a head gasket) until I learned that in order to do that basic maintenance regiment on this car, you have to drop the entire engine forward.

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Old 06-06-2011, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Old_E View Post
I just had a ton of work done on my wife's durango too. Its an 03, w/ 93K on it, so its up there. They had to replace the compessor, and at the same time clean out the condenser and all the lines. Seems to have worked.

Apparently the a/c systems in these things are notorious for going out.
They use a Sanden compressor, which is common in a lot of makes. Bearing went out on my Jeep and I was able to replace just the bearing by hunting down a similar bearing and pressing the old one out and threadlock the new one in. It was $15. A new clutch assembly cost over $200.

I look on the bright side. I am also fixing the indicator lights that burned out inside her factory radio ($1.20 each) and finding all of the squeaks and rattles in her dash.

It's got some rust, but the frame is solid, so I wont' feel terrible about replacing the motor or trans if and when they go. It's got 220,000 miles now, and it's paid for. Frankly, I almost look forward to replacing either of those. Can't be as difficult as replacing the evap core!
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:28 PM   #8
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I was going to change teh plugs in my wife's rendezvous a couple years ago when it started messing up (ended up being a head gasket) until I learned that in order to do that basic maintenance regiment on this car, you have to drop the entire engine forward.
I joked with my friend about rather replacing the spark plugs in his minivan! Last time we did that we had to run the front end up on ramps and fight to access the back plug from behind and underneath! Could just reach with a couple of extensions and swivel joints!
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #9
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I drive a 2000 vw jetta, and its a pain to work on sometimes. Most service requires taking the front end apart, but I am a pro at it now. Gotta save that money from dealer fees somehow!

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Old 06-06-2011, 06:55 PM   #10
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It's probably the son of the guy that designed the entire engine compartment on my 1970 Benz

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