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96 Jeep Grand Cherokee evap drain clogged - revisited Pages: 12Last

BIG on Mon September 15, 2003 11:51 AM User is offline

Year: 96
Make: Jeep
Model: Grand Cherokee

Thanks to this forum, I have been able to analyze pressures on this 96 Jeep GC and properly add refrigerant to the system (it was simply 3/4 can low) and now my a/c is cold and works great. While doing this, I commented that my evap. didn't drip under the Jeep as I have seen other vehicles do. I learned that the evap. drains into the framerail on this vehicle and didn't think my carpet was wet so I didn't worry about it. I have never heard a "sloshing" sound as if the evap case is full of water and, again, my a/c performs great. Problem is, my carpet is getting wet, and I didn't notice it until the other day. I pulled it back on the front pass. side and the pad is soaked all the way back to the rear pass. side. The carpet has a rubber type backing on it and it just didn't feel wet when I initially checked it. Chick posted a link about a Technical Service Bulletin on this that said drill a 1/4 hole in the evap. case down low where it goes through the firewall, use a coathanger to clean it out then Chrysler sells a rubber plug to fill the hole. I did all this but the drain didn't "feel" clogged. I just wasn't convinced I did anything by cleaning it out. And, I assure you, it has been leaking badly on my carpet. I currently have the carpet pulled back where I can watch it but what else could be my problem? Should I take my air compressor and blow air through the hole I drilled in the evap. case?

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It takes all kinds of people in this world, just less of some than others.

Chick on Mon September 15, 2003 9:09 PM User is offlineView users profile

Remove the plug and re-snake it. Far as it will go in the drain. Could be the clog is at the bottom of the tube where it goes into the frame rail..Hope this helps...

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

BIG on Tue September 16, 2003 10:19 AM User is offline

Hey Chick, currently I have drilled the 1/4" hole and I can snake 2-3 feet of a coathanger through the hole, nothing felt clogged but I guess it could have been. You can push this much coathanger through the hole and you still can't see it hanging out from under the hood - it is in the framerail I guess. I went to my local Jeep dealer and talked to a mechanic - he told me to drill the hole (which I had already done) and blow it out with compressed air - I did that last night also. I then plugged the hole with blue RTV silicon per the mechanics advice - he said it would be better than the plug. My wife is driving it today still with the carpet pulled back and I'll see if I have drainage outside or still on my carpet later when she gets home. At the Jeep dealership, I was disappointed to see that the mechanic I talked to showed me a later model Grand Cherokee (newer body style than mine) that he had pulled the entire dash out of the fix the evap. drain. He says someone had broken the plastic drain in that area pushing stereo wires through the firewall. But it showed me first hand how hard this evap/drain is to fix or replace - what a nightmare. I can't believe this terrible design and yet Jeep continued to use it on later model Grand Cherokees... I hope my floorboard is dry when my wife gets home later...

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It takes all kinds of people in this world, just less of some than others.

BIG on Wed September 17, 2003 9:41 AM User is offline

Bad news, the evap. is still dripping inside the vehicle. My silicon plug was dry and worked fine, its leaking right where the plastic case meets the firewall. The Jeep mechanic at the dealer told me there was a big round grommet at the firewall and then a hose attached to the plastic evap. case and went out into the framerail. Unfortunately, you can't see any of this with it installed and since this is our only vehicle, there is NO WAY I can take it out of service long enough to pull all the dash and fix it. I am going to try something else... Last night I pulled the silicon plug out off the hole I drilled in the back of the evap. case. When like this, the water quits draining from around the grommet at the firewall and starts draining out the hole I drilled. I think I can secure a 90 degree 1/4" plastic vacuum fitting in this hole I drilled, drill another hole in the floorboard close by and simply run 1/3" clear tygon tubing from the fitting through the floor and thus, "reroute" the draining. You think this will work. The only thing that I'm concerned about is in situations where the evap is putting out more water than normal, will there be so much water that it will drain out my new hose AND spill through the leaking grommet also? If this does happen, obviously I haven't fixed a thing. I guess I could try blowing out the factory passage again but it simply doesn't feel or sound blocked. I have used a coathanger and compressed air. It must be leaking where the mechanic said the factory hose attaches to the nipple on the evap case, then leaking down past the grommet at the firewall, etc. Man, this is a big problem especially since I cannot afford the downtime to pull the dash and fix it right... You got any ideas or know anyone that has faced this problem with a Jeep GC? Thanks.

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It takes all kinds of people in this world, just less of some than others.

Anonymous on Thu October 16, 2003 12:29 AM User is offline

I'm having the same problem.

Anonymous on Thu October 16, 2003 12:35 AM User is offline

...but I have a '97. Same story, floorboards getting flooded every time I use the AC. I'm glad I found this site; I suspected that the drainage system from the air conditioner could be blocked somewhere, and it would appear that's certainly the problem. I searched through the older pages on this forum and found the link to the service bulletin that tells how to drill into the drainage system and clear it with a wire, which I'm going to do very soon. I have a question about this though: the bulletin for this fix is for a '96 Jeep; I have a '97. I would think that it should be the same for my vehicle, I can't imagine that the design of the car changed between model years so that it would be different, but I'm sort of wary about drilling a hole in my car and potentially creating more problems for myself. Can someone reassure me that drilling into the hose is a good idea?

Gary Harrison on Sat October 25, 2003 1:28 PM User is offline

I had a 94 Jeep GC and had to access the evaporator to repair a leaking (refrigerant) evaporator. "Nasty piece of business" is all I can say. I sold the Jeep for that reason. I couldn't bear the thought of having to repeat that exercise.

BIG, Regarding your condensation drain problem. You say the drain works to the point where you opened the hole, but will not drain below that point. This implies a blockage below that point somehow, even though you rodded several times. Have you tried pouring water into the hole you opened to see if water indeed backs up to the entry point?

If yes, then somehow your drain tube is blocked. I would suggest introducing a 1/4" PE tube as your "roto-rooter". With this relatively stiff tube you can inject air at any point to bring the blast to bear on the blockage. Also, although I've never seen the tube below that entry point, it may be a rubber tube that's somehow pinched. You might also try permanently installing a hard plastic tube 1/4"-5/16" OD to "stiffen" any pinch points and enable draining.

It's sad that Chrysler still markets this same feeble design that has caused so much grief and wasted effort. Bean counters must have decided the cost of repairs was less than a new design, but what about the cost of "good will". I will never own a Jeep GC for this reason.

Regards

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See you down the ROW.

Anonymous on Fri May 21, 2004 10:28 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: BIG
Hey Chick, currently I have drilled the 1/4" hole and I can snake 2-3 feet of a coathanger through the hole, nothing felt clogged but I guess it could have been. You can push this much coathanger through the hole and you still can't see it hanging out from under the hood - it is in the framerail I guess. I went to my local Jeep dealer and talked to a mechanic - he told me to drill the hole (which I had already done) and blow it out with compressed air - I did that last night also. I then plugged the hole with blue RTV silicon per the mechanics advice - he said it would be better than the plug. My wife is driving it today still with the carpet pulled back and I'll see if I have drainage outside or still on my carpet later when she gets home. At the Jeep dealership, I was disappointed to see that the mechanic I talked to showed me a later model Grand Cherokee (newer body style than mine) that he had pulled the entire dash out of the fix the evap. drain. He says someone had broken the plastic drain in that area pushing stereo wires through the firewall. But it showed me first hand how hard this evap/drain is to fix or replace - what a nightmare. I can't believe this terrible design and yet Jeep continued to use it on later model Grand Cherokees... I hope my floorboard is dry when my wife gets home later...

Chick on Fri May 21, 2004 11:18 PM User is offlineView users profile

Jeep does have a TSB on this problem, but I have seen some guys that used the hole in the bottom, and new hole out the firewall.But, if you do that, you should glue a 90 degree nipple facing down,(firewall side) so air doesn't stop it from draining while driving at certain sppeds..Hope this helps..

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

jyjackson8246 on Wed August 25, 2004 10:58 AM User is offlineView users profile

Hello All
I have the same problem, I guess the seal has fallen off.
The water is dripping out of the evaporator drain tube and then back inside.
I do not have a hose on the drain tube. Just 1 inch plastic tube on the outside of the firewall.
The seal part number that was given to me is 5012696AA

Hope this helps

2003 Grand Cherokee 4.0L

Chick on Wed August 25, 2004 1:37 PM User is offlineView users profile

Yours may be a Cherrokee, and not the GC, as they drip into the frame rail and cannot be seen from under the hood. If the GC, here's a link to a pick of where to drill and snake..Hope this helps..
GC drain

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

LonAllen on Wed August 25, 2004 2:43 PM User is offline

The Grand Cherokee drains through the firewall into the RH frame rail (this explains why 2-3 feet of coat hanger can be pushed through the drain manifold inside of the vehicle and never be seen inside the engine compartment). The Cherokee drains into a rubber drain tube through the firewall. Check out the exploded parts catalogs at your dealership and you will see that the GC has no drain tube and the Cherokee does.

The drain itself is just a 1-1/2" straight nipple that sticks through the firewall and is sealed with a foam rubber ring. I have had the same problem and seem to have fixed it this past weekend. It seems that since there is no rubber tube attached to the nipple (it would be unserviceable being inside the frame rail) the condensate can dribble off the end of the nipple and travel back towards the foam rubber seal. The seal gets old and porous and starts to act like a sponge. Once full of water, it drains inside the vehicle. I have read many posts on Jeep forums where gobs and gobs of silicone have been used on the foam seal to keep the water out and many have done so successfully.

Here is what I did.

I had to pull the air box out to replace the evap. So when I got ready to reinstall, I put a section of a Cherokee rubber drain tube (removed 1/2" at the attachment end, and 1-1/2" off the exit end) over the nipple followed by the foam rubber seal. I used a plastic tie-wrap to secure the tube to the nipple in the event I need to run a snake through it in the future and not push it off. This effectively increases the length of the drain and angles the water down so that it can't travel back up to the foam seal. If you stick your finger inside the hole in the firewall, you can touch the bottom of the frame rail, so there isn't a great deal of room to work with if you add a rubber tube. The hole that the nipple fits through is only about 1/2" in diameter; not large enough for the nipple with a rubber tube attached. So I used my dremel tool to round out the hole to the size of a quarter (25 cents). This allowed my modification to the nipple to fit through. As of today, 3 days so far, I have not had any water dripping down the inside of my firewall at the drain.

This is not a job for the mechanically challenged, to pull the dash back and remove the airbox. If you want a step by step procedure to pull the dash and airbox I can supply one to you that I got off another forum. It was very detailed and didn't skip a single screw/fastener (at least for the 1994-95 model). You have to drain your A/C system to get the air box out so if you are not wanting to go that far then you might have to use the silicone method instead.

Hope that helps...

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Lon Allen

Edited: Wed August 25, 2004 at 2:51 PM by LonAllen

tony1963 on Thu August 26, 2004 12:21 AM User is offline

Perhaps the vehicle should be crushed.

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Grove Automotive Group, Inc.

An Alabama Corporation

Turbonut on Thu August 26, 2004 11:46 AM User is offline

Here's the fix I posted a while back:
The drain can clog, but more than likely the seal around the drain/firewall has deteriorated and has become useless. The condensate drain goes STRAIGHT through the firewall about 2" into the frame. If the car is on an incline the water that exits the drain will run back along the pipe through the firewall into the pass compartmet. Fix-Remove the front tire and cut a 2" x 3" hole between the abs/brake line and firewall about 3" above the oval cut out. You'll see the drain. I placed silicone around the drain at the firewall, then slid a plastic washer (ID same as OD of drain) over the pipe, up against the firewall to divert the water. You can always place a hose with a downward bend over the drain. Cover hole with sheet metal and 4 screws, then spray with undercoating. I did this five year ago, as floors were soaked. No problems sice.
You can test if seal is bad by putting car on incline. With a pump sprayer, put water into the plastic housing in the car using the hole that was drilled for debris removal, and you'll see the water run in.

TRB on Thu August 26, 2004 11:50 AM User is offlineView users profile

There is the TSB information and an image which was supplied by Chick.

Jeep Drain Tube TSB

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
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Turbonut on Thu August 26, 2004 11:59 AM User is offline

That TSB is great for a clogged drain tube, but some will find the tube is open, not clogged, and seal is bad.

Anonymous on Thu August 26, 2004 3:03 PM User is offline

Quote
Originally posted by: tony1963
Perhaps the vehicle should be crushed.

Man, you continually amaze me with your insight.

TRB on Thu August 26, 2004 3:18 PM User is offlineView users profile

Positive information is what is needed! Lets do our best to help others with their A/C questions!

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

tony1963 on Thu August 26, 2004 6:23 PM User is offline

I am always looking for solutions to problems.

I have a 91 Rolls Royce with an AC issue. Going to look into this one over the weekend.

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Grove Automotive Group, Inc.

An Alabama Corporation

trickle26 on Mon September 20, 2004 10:34 AM User is offline

I have a 97' GC Ltd. with the similar draining problem on the front passenger floor board.
Also, I have water draining out the rear floor vent on the passenger side that comes out of the console. Currently, I am catching the water with a 1 gallon ziploc freezer bag to keep the carpet dry, but plan on drilling the hole and try to snake out the clog as described in earlier posts tonight.
Has anyone else actually had water drain out of the rear passenger side vents??? Any thoughts on this?
Could this be a different problem or does it still sound like a clog evap drain?

Thanks for all of the feedback!

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97' Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd.

Gary Harrison on Mon September 20, 2004 7:56 PM User is offline

If it has a second evaporator for the rear AC vents, then it's drain must also must be blocked.

If only one evaporator, water accumulating in the evaporator housing must somehow be picked up by the air stream and carried through the ducts.

Good Luck

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See you down the ROW.

Karl Hofmann on Tue September 21, 2004 3:49 AM User is offlineView users profile

Quote
Originally posted by: tony1963
I am always looking for solutions to problems.



I have a 91 Rolls Royce with an AC issue. Going to look into this one over the weekend.


Rollers aren't too challenging, and most parts are easy enough to get to. remember that some cars will have both a reciever drier and an accumulator, which was a RR fix for liquid slugging the compressor

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Never knock on deaths door... Ring the doorbell and run away, death really hates that!

jyjackson8246 on Tue October 12, 2004 12:17 PM User is offlineView users profile

OK, the drain seal is bad or missing, Where do I get this part?

TRB on Tue October 12, 2004 12:29 PM User is offlineView users profile

Dealer would be the best place or a wrecking if you can find one in good shape.

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When considering your next auto A/C purchase, please consider the site that supports you: ACkits.com
Contact: ACKits.com

iceman2555 on Tue October 12, 2004 10:24 PM User is offlineView users profile

Another aspect for this leak is a busted evap case. Have seen this on several models in the Chry line. The case cracks at the bottom of the drain recess. It may be possible to visually check for the break..however, on the units that we have serviced it was only evident upon removal of the case. Try a small mirror...slide the carpet back...and check for the crack.
Sebrings/Stratus seem to have this problem also.
TRB...could not access the service bulletin....got an error message.....HELP....


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The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
Thomas Jefferson

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