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Volvo Evaporator Replacement: Step-by-Step guide with photos

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Volvo Evaporator Replacement: Step-by-Step guide with photos

Postby chuckcintron » 04 Sep 2007, 02:51

In case anyone was wondering how I spent my Labor Day :)

Here's the documented results of the recent evaporator replacement I performed on my 1997 850GLT wagon. I went into the job intending to create this "how-to" guide, since almost everything I found out on the 'net was lacking in some aspect. I took around 50 photos, and netted them down to the ones that ended up in this PDF.

The repair took me about 12 hours to complete. I hope these instructions can help others...I have a feeling that most of these cars have already had the evap job done by now, but there may be some stragglers out there (like me) who can benefit from this.

Anyway...enjoy...and let me know what you think.

Click here for the evaporator replacement info


P.S. I went the PDF route because I figure that most people will need to print this and keep it nearby while doing the repair. It should print out looking a lot like a 'repair manual' style layout.
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Postby Ubergeek » 04 Sep 2007, 04:12

AWESOME writeup. :shock:
95 850 T5-R (yellow)

95 850 GLT Killed by the wife

98 V70R AWD replacement for above

97 850 GLT

(Hello, my name is Scott and I have a Volvo addiction)
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Postby akitawagon » 04 Sep 2007, 05:56

Yes, a very thorough and useful writeup. Thanks!
1997 855R 107K
1995 855GTA 281K
1993 850GLTS 201K KIA...
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Postby egornygr » 04 Sep 2007, 13:40

Great guide! I wish I had that last summer when I did the job.

FYI - I recall using many configurations/lengths of torx bits & also several brands of the plastic line disconnection tools as many broke trying to set that connection free.

2000 V70 SE

1995 850 (RIP)
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Postby chuckcintron » 05 Sep 2007, 22:48

Thanks...yeah those plastic spring-lock separators will break if you use them for anything other than moving the circular spring away from the flange. It is tempting to try to use the tool to help pull the union apart, but that's when the cheap plastic tool will break.

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Postby MadeInJapan » 06 Sep 2007, 01:04

Added to the repair database. Thanks, chuckcintron !
'98 S70 T5 Emrld Grn Met/Beige Tons of Upgrades Mobil-1
'04 V70 2.5T Red/Taupe Some Upgrades Mobil-1
94 850 Sedan NA Drk Blue/Tan
'00 V40 Purple/Grey Mobil-1
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Postby volvoaddict007 » 07 Sep 2007, 04:01

Volvo mechanic at the dealership told me they have this procedure down to about 3 hours !!! :shock:


Terrifically thorough instructions... Thanks chuckcintron. :D

'95 850 Turbo, Yellow Cream R clone, 205K

'90 760 Turbo Wagon 304K.
5 speed ( 940 turbo eng. + trans., fr. rotors)
Konis, diesel springs, 2.5" exhst., 850 T5 wheels

'93 300ZX 2+2, 147K
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Postby anadem » 18 Oct 2007, 00:34

Brilliant writeup. Thanks so much!

I'm about to do just the heater core, but having such detail will be a terrific help.
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Postby karageorge2 » 18 Oct 2007, 04:03

:D awesome write-up :D .

:twisted: i think i'll just go mess mine up so i can fix it with with this write-up.

:arrow: :idea: you definitely need to do a class on how to do write-ups.

thanks :!: :!: :!:
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Postby chuckcintron » 18 Oct 2007, 15:03

Wow, thanks everyone for the kind words! My only goal with this was to help someone else who may be facing the same repair. I spent a lot of time even convincing myself I should attempt it, so hopefully it helps someone get over that hurdle.

Yeah, funny thing...the repair took me around 12 hours (including handling the camera)....the write-up took another 10 hours. :roll:

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Postby jtp » 18 Oct 2007, 17:50

Wow, I think there's a whole career in what you did called 'tech writing' or something like that. My evap is still original so I'll use this some day... thanks a ton.
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Postby swm » 19 Oct 2007, 20:13

wow, amazing write up. while my skills would never get me through a project like that, i have much respect for your work in putting that how to together...great job.
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Re: Volvo Evaporator Replacement: Step-by-Step guide with ph

Postby Baie215 » 03 Mar 2011, 06:19

Wow awesome i like your work
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Re: Volvo Evaporator Replacement: Step-by-Step guide with ph

Postby ShagVolvo » 18 Jun 2012, 16:52

Awesome writeup, I am chugging through it currently. I have a turbo 850 with apparently enhanced sound system. I found I needed to take the top of the dash first to pull the vacuum line off the turbo gauge; it looked all but impossible with the top still on (with my limited knowledge).

The insulation/padding is falling apart, especially on the duct connections and wrapped around wire bundles. Does nayone have any advise on replacing it? Any good generic roll or strips that can be used?

Take care.
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