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E36 /7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 roadster and coupe talk with our gurus here.

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:53 PM
speedratchet speedratchet is offline
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Location: Centennial, Colorado
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2000 Z3
evaporator replacement for Z3

I have just replaced the evaporator in my 2000 Z3 roadster last month, and thanks to the people on this forum for their help and confidence to do the job. We all know how expensive the job is if we use a dealer (approx $2300). Anyway the job is much easier than I imagined. First I bought the evaporator from Rock Auto's website for $67, fit like a glove and it was not the OEM part. I will caution you about the filter drier fitment at the end.
To start the job you must remove the glove box assembly, as a whole. You also need to remove the driver side knee bolster assembly to get access to the temperature probe that is in the left side of the evaporator coil, it slides into the coil about 4 inches thru a hole in the evaporator housing. With the glove box assembly removed you will be able to see the aluminum freon lines going to the coil box. The end cap of the box is held on with 4 torx screws, remove them and the small air duct deflector next to the end cap or it will get broken. It's held with 1 screw and it snaps in place, be gentle it's not very strong. Make sure the A/C system is out of freon before you remove the 2 allen head bolts that hold the freon lines to the evaporator or you will get sprayed.This next part is different than the way I was told in earlier posts, do not bother taking the bolts out of the junction at the firewall in the engine compartment, it isn't necessary unless you think you need to replace the "o" rings in this junction, mine we're fine at 14 yrs old. Remove the passenger side head light and remove the high side line connection at the filter drier and the suction line connection at the compressor. Now if the junction block is free at the evaporator just pull the two lines toward the front of the car about 4 or 5 inches and let them sit. That is all the clearance that is necessary to be able to remove the evaporator from the housing. Don't forget about the temp probe that goes in the left side of the coil.
I ran into trouble with the connectors on the new filter drier that I was going to install, as I said the evaporator fit fine but the drier had a different bevel hole than the original unit has and I almost permanently damaged the "o" ring fittings. It might be best to pay the price for the OEM part so the lines don't get damaged. The filter drier is an important part to replace anytime the system is open to air and should always be replaced for long term health of the a/c system. If you don't have a vacuum pump to process the system you can always take it to a garage and they should do it for you at a reasonable price.
Well, there it is for what it's worth. The job took about 3 hrs to do the evaporator and I'm 59yrs old. Good Luck!!

Last edited by speedratchet; Yesterday at 03:25 AM. Reason: Tehnical corrections
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Old 07-10-2014, 04:03 AM
vintage42's Avatar
vintage42 vintage42 is offline
BMW CCA 1405
Location: Louisville, KY
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,294
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 5MT
How did you know that the evaporator needed replacing?
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Old Yesterday, 03:32 AM
speedratchet speedratchet is offline
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Location: Centennial, Colorado
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2000 Z3
I had a leak, and it was the only part left that couldn't be checked easily. After reading several forum posts it was obvious that the evaporator leak is quite common. When I got the coil out of the housing it was easy to see the area that had the leak.

Last edited by speedratchet; Yesterday at 06:40 AM.
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