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5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

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Old 03-08-2011, 05:56 PM   #1
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replacing expansion valve

I'm in the process of trying to replace my expansion valve but I'm having a hard time getting to it. I've taken off the glove box, pulled the blower motor and I'm working to get the rest of that plastic housing off. I've removed all visible screws that I can see, and even like 4 or so screws from behind the housing. The bottom half has started to separate a bit but it seems to be attached to something in the rear and I have no clue what's holding it in place. I've looked at all data and the fsm and all I can tell by their instructions and diagrams is that I have to separate the bottom half... not much else in there.

Any tips/help would be appreciated
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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if it is anything like an Altima, you have to evacuate the system and detach it at the firewall on the engine side.

then you remove the evaporator and case at the same time then you can replace the expansion valve
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Old 03-08-2011, 06:05 PM   #3
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I've discharged the system, and disconnected the firewall side. I'm having a hard time removing the evaporator casing.
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amave View Post
if it is anything like an Altima, you have to evacuate the system and detach it at the firewall on the engine side.

then you remove the evaporator and case at the same time then you can replace the expansion valve
Well I finally figured it out, seems I didn't have to do anything on the interior (DOH!). I just had to disconnect the high and low pressure hoses from the firewall, then the expansion valve was right there being held in by two hex screws. Not sure why I couldn't find this in alldata or the fsm, so hopefully my post will prove useful for someone else in the future.
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Old 10-07-2011, 03:45 PM   #5
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Bringing old thread back. Does anyone have pictures of where the expansion valve is? The mechanic wanted to charge me $250 to replace mine so I figured I'd learn something new and buy the expansion valve (~$30) and do the work myself. Thanks in advanced!
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBCobra View Post
Bringing old thread back. Does anyone have pictures of where the expansion valve is? The mechanic wanted to charge me $250 to replace mine so I figured I'd learn something new and buy the expansion valve (~$30) and do the work myself. Thanks in advanced!
Hey man, I don't have my maxima anymore or I'd take some pictures for you. However it's really easy to find. Just follow the A/C lines to the passenger side where they go into the firewall (The part of the car that separates the cabin from the engine bay). The a/c lines there are attached directly to the expansion valve. There are just a few screws if I remember correctly that need to be undone in order for you to easily remove it.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:50 PM   #7
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Hey, thanks for the reply. I have followed the lines but I don't see anything that resembles the pictures of the expansion valves that I have seen. I did however, find this. It is held by two hex screws, as you previously stated and it does appear that there are AC lines running into this (i think I'm not too positive if they're AC lines).

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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I believe that big hose with the insulation is your high pressure power steering hose. The a/c lines will be behind that along the metal wall. You should be able to follow them from the driver side along the wall to the passenger side. The a/c lines will definitely be smaller than the high pressure power steering hose.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #9
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I see the high and low lines going into the firewall. Do I need to unplug them in order to get to the expansion valve? I figured I didn't have to unplug them yet to get to the expansion valve since you said no work had to be done in the cabin of the car. I took off my glove box and everything but I didn't see anything inside. I couldn't get the box apart but I did see the small condenser inside the box. I had all kinds of leafs in there and dirt I still need to evac the system but I am just looking for info so I can order the actual expansion valve.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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It's hard to see since it is inside the firewall but you will be doing this from the engine bay and not from inside your cabin. The expansion valve is a little metal block probably 2in by 3in that the a/c lines plug into. There is a hole in the firewall that the block is resting in. You will definitely need to evacuate the system first. After system has been evacuated you can disconnect the a/c lines from the expansion valve. I believe you will need a hex screw driver to remove two screws holding the expansion valve into place. Hope this helps and don't give up man it's definitely worth doing on your own. Lemme know how you make out.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:17 PM   #11
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Is this what you're talking about? Am I supposed to pull this out? By the way, How did you evac your system completely? Did you take it to a shop or did you do it yourself?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:30 PM   #12
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That's the one! There should be something you can undo like a a screw to a plate or something holding both lines in place, once you get that plate off you just pull each line out (should be a little friction since they have o-rings on them). When installing the new expansion valve make sure you put new o-rings on (they usually come with the new expansion valve).

As for evacuating the system there are several ways to do it. I took mine to a local shop and had them evacuate it for me. I believe you can also buy a cheap pump from autozone to get the job done as well. I've even seen some people just loosen the cap and let all the freon blow out but that is illegal and also bad for the environment. I would try to work out a deal for an evacuation and recharge with a shop so that you can bring it back to them after you complete the work on your vehicle.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:38 PM   #13
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I'm trying to pull it out of the firewall but I can't. I can only get it to go out so much lol do you remember removing the screw in between both lines when you did it in order for it to come out?
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:39 PM   #14
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Yes remove that screw first, that is the only thing holding the lines in place.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:13 PM   #15
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Alright, Thanks. I was out there for about 30 minutes trying to find the right size for the screw but I had no luck lol fail. I will try again later. Is there anything else you changed? What gave you the impression that it was your expansion valve failing, not something else?
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBCobra View Post
Alright, Thanks. I was out there for about 30 minutes trying to find the right size for the screw but I had no luck lol fail. I will try again later. Is there anything else you changed? What gave you the impression that it was your expansion valve failing, not something else?
I actually don't think mine was bad, I was just replacing it since I had already done the drier and compressor. In your case I can see freon leaking from your expansion valve so I would assume that either the expansion valve is bad or the o-rings are bad. Either way replacing it will fix both problems since a new one comes with new o-rings.
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Old 10-07-2011, 06:33 PM   #17
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Oh, okay. I didn't even see that until you pointed it out lol my AC doesn't blow any cold air at all and I already recharged it. I will order it this weekend and I'll slap it on. I hope that fixes the problem. Southern Cali requires you to have AC lol the DMV should demand it. Thanks for all the help. I'll come back with the results as soon as everything gets done.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:00 PM   #18
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I just received my Expansion Valve in the mail and when I was working on getting it put on, I noticed it was a bit different shape than OEM. Question: Was it the same for you or was it the exact same shape? I ordered mine from 4Seasons (4s.com) So much for being excited to get my AC fixed over the weekend
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #19
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No further questions. I was able to install it this morning but it was a huge hassle because of the tiny screw holding in the plate like cover. I dropped so many screw drivers into the engine trying to get it out but I managed. Hopefully that fixes my problem, now to wait to get it recharged to see the final verdict. keeping my fingers crossed.
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Old 10-16-2011, 05:00 PM
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