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Yes the 48 ft-lbs did seem a bit excessive now that you mention it :facepalm:
I was trying to fix a leak after I put back on my evaporator after replacing the expansion valve. So the problem was either damaged fins from trying to force out the evaporator before it was totally seperated from the firewall or the allen key bolts not being tight enough. Anyway, evaporators are only $15 at the yard around here so no big loss, except for pride lol. The expansion valve comes as part of the evaporator when you pull it from the yard, so I'm thinking of replacing both together so I don't have to worry about o-rings, etc.

By the way, as a previous poster mentioned, you DO NOT have to remove the a/c lines from the firewall on the engine-side. There are 10 mm bolts that attach the a/c lines to a 1.5 inch thick aluminum disk from inside the cabin and from the engine bay. All you have to do is cut through the 2nd layer of foam that hides the two bolts and you can save yourself some greasemonkeying.
 

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A "heads up", so everyone knows what lies ahead if you eventually move up to the newer model Toyota's, take a look sometime at how to change the evaporator in a 5th Gen. Camry.

You have to take out almost everything from the interior firewall. From the all of the upper and lower dash, instrument panel, to the A pillar trim, center console, even front door weatherstripping... I mean that just gets you to first base. It is a time bomb and shockingly unreal :wtf:

An evaporator (or heater core) leak in most of the next generation Toyota (not just the Camry) will basically mean the end of their life, or the driver will elect to just drive as long as they can endure without heat or A/C.
 
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A "heads up", so everyone knows what lies ahead if you eventually move up to the newer model Toyota's, take a look sometime at how to change the evaporator in a 5th Gen. Camry.

You have to take out almost everything from the interior firewall. From the all of the upper and lower dash, instrument panel, to the A pillar trim, center console, even front door weatherstripping... I mean that just gets you to first base. It is a time bomb and shockingly unreal :wtf:

An evaporator (or heater core) leak in most of the next generation Toyota (not just the Camry) will basically mean the end of their life, or the driver will elect to just drive as long as they can endure without heat or A/C.
yes it is a total bear of a job, heres a sad video
http://youtu.be/9knIfeNgHR0
 

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Ghettosled - Thanks for taking the time for thorough instructions with photos. Hayne's repair manuals don't cover this at all. My son's 94 Camry V6 expansion valve failed and I knew it wasn't going to be fast or easy job but I tackle it yesterday. Although time consuming (~6hrs w/breaks). The air bag was the toughest to remove as I could not see the top right bolt but with the picture I knew it was there. I was forturnate as when I brought a 99 camry that as a insurance total for the engine for my another son's 98 camry I stripped it of other useful components and the HVAC box was something I kept which had the same expansion value. I did replace the O-rings and added the oil before I charge it. Now we'll see if it hold up.

Again Thanks it made a tough job much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
coolness - i'm glad it helped.
 

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Thanks Ghettosled. I just pulled my evap coil out. It's not necessary to mess with the air bag. If you look carefully, you can see and reach that bolt at the top. Caution to anyone doing this for the first time....when all the bolts are out and you're ready to pull out the blower housing, make sure to pull it out to the right a little bit before pulling it down and out. I just pulled mine down and broke a plastic pin that is up near the top left. It holds it in place, instead of using a bolt. I had to super glue it back on. Also, the videos by Scotty Kilmer are great, but in this video he skips A LOT of steps. It's not nearly as fast and easy as he makes it look. Of course, if you watch the video of the newer Toyota expansion valve replacement that Tedmich posted, you'll then be glad that you have an older Camry. Watch that video and you will see how INSANE it is. Toyota engineers should have made it easier to access. Perhaps designed to force you to buy a new car once it gets to that point. Absolutely complicated procedure just to replace the expansion valve, wow, glad I'm not doing that.
 

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Rear Expansion Valve Location

Sorry in advance for Necroing this post but I was wondering if I need to also replace the rear expansion valve at the same time? Does they need to be replaced in pairs? If so, where is the rear expansion valve located?
 

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Sorry in advance for Necroing this post but I was wondering if I need to also replace the rear expansion valve at the same time? Does they need to be replaced in pairs? If so, where is the rear expansion valve located?
There is only one expansion valve.
 

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Ahhh ok sorry. I didn't realize until just now that I am in a forum for 3rd and 4th generation Camrys. A google search for "2004 Sienna expansion valve replacement" brought me here and I did not verify I was in the right model and year. My bad.
 

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I think it's in the back of the vehicle on the right side by the wheel. There should be a panel from inside the vehicle that needs to be removed and the tire/wheel needs to be removed on the outside of the vehicle. That's the general location.
 

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Scotty Kilmer's video only gives 1/10th the information this article gives. I could NOT have done this job without this step-by-step write-up. Saved me $410.00 !!
 

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Yes, Scotty's video definitely skips a lot of steps. I still really enjoy his videos though. I think he likes to disconnect the lines from the engine bay firewall, so that he doesn't have to mess with the foam insulation. I did it from the inside and then had to get new foam to wrap around there, so maybe that's why he does it that way. Again, to anyone reading this: You do not have to remove the air bag.
 

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Sorry man, but you said it: It skipped a lot of steps. So what was the point of it? Really trying not to be argumentative here, but his video was worthless. This write-up is the ONLY way to go for someone wanting to deal with this repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
as a general consensus - should i remove the airbag mention in the original post?
 

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Not sure

I didn't try to see if I could locate and remove the bolt before I removed the airbag so I'm not sure, I guess would just say to try and get at that bolt before removing the airbag, and if you can't get at it then obviously remove the airbag.
 

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If you want, maybe you can put an "Edit" remark and say that others have stated that they have been able to do the job without removing the air bag.
 

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My experience

First off, many thanks for this DIY. It really helped a lot.

My findings:

* Certainly not necessary to remove the airbag. Just use some extentions and maybe a wobble.

* Be careful (more than I was) installing the blower housing. In my shoving and pulling I bent the metal bracket that the blue cable attaches to.

* Careful pulling out the Evap core. Mine was a bit stuck and when it let loose I left some of my knuckle skin in there. (gloves, stupid...:facepalm:)

* I disconnected the a/c lines from the inside of the firewall. Worked just fine. Pull away enough of the black insulating foam to expose the (2) 10mm bolts.

* For me, that black vent cover (photo 3 above) did not easily remove. When it finally did come off, I broke one of the retaining clips.

* In photo 4 above, it's not really needed to remove the 3 electrical plugs, I just removed the 2 screws for the white bracket, and moved it all to the right.

* FWIW, the 3 screws holding the blower motor/fan are Torx.

Thanks again.
 

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additional comments for the record

First off, this thread was invaluable. Thank you!! I had seen the service manual and a video of a Toyota tech doing this service. Both showed complete removal of dashboard but this article and the Scotty Kilmer video made me think there was hope that I could get to the expansion valve without so much demolition.

I have a June 2003 Camry XLE. There were a few differences worth noting for the record.

Blower housing. I had three nuts and 2 bolts holding the assembly to the firewall. The top nut (8 mm) is a pain until you realize that with a 14" extension and a wobble (or in my case, a universal joint and some duct tape) you can get to the nut by passing the extension over the big metal dash support tube. There is just enough room.

It is much easier to remove and reinstall the blower housing if the 2 electronics modules to the right of the blower are removed first. There are 2 nuts...I think 10 mm...that secure the bracket to the firewall. The top nut is difficult but taking this extra step is worth it. The blower housing needs to pull to the right in order to uncouple from the radiator assembly where the evap coil is.

Once I got my blower assembly off, the expansion valve was easily accessible. I just had to cut some packing off with a razor knife.

One other thing worth noting. On my camry, the ac piping has Toyota AC pipe clamps over the couplings. I had a real hard time opening the clamp so I could disconnect the pipes at the firewall. I finally found a video on youtube that showed how to easily open the clamp with a pick. https://youtu.be/EFWOPu-WbwI

Thanks for the help!
 

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What? You were able to replace the expansion valve without the nightmare dismantling of the dash? All I know is on a Gen 3 it is doable. I thought for the Gen 4 and forward it was an insane job like in the video. Yours is a Gen 5 though and I thought the very difficult job continued on through Gen 5 and beyond. I've only actually done this on a Gen 3 and it was a pain, but nothing more than that. I've been hoping I wouldn't ever have to do it on a later Gen, but now you're proof that it can be done, so why are others dismantling the dashboard? We are talking about the I4, right?
 

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My Camry is a 2003 XLE V6 not the I4. I don't know if there is a difference in the blower and radiator units between the two different engine types. The FSM didnt make a distinction so I think it is the same basic setup.

I will confess that I used my 14" extension, u joint and a lot of persistence to get the topmost nut off and didnt see that there was a more direct path over the top of the support tube until I was reassembling. Most definitely easy to access it and get it off if you go that route. I had to take all the plastic trim off under the dash on the passenger side but that was all...nothing on the driver side had to come off.

The other big key is to take out the electronics on the right of the blower assembly.

I did not pull the evap coil. I left it in place and flushed it really well after I removed the expansion valve.
 
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