These are just a few pictures that show just how much has to be removed in order to replace a leaking evaporator core in a 2009 Lexus ES350. This was my first time doing this job on this year,make and model of vehicle so it was a bit of a learning experience. I don’t do a detailed breakdown of such an extensive job until I have done it at least twice. The next picture shows the white HVAC box just before it comes out of the vehicle. The most difficult and time consuming part of this repair was removing and installing the major cross bar that supports the HVAC case and the rest of the dash assembly. The wiring harness is wrapped around the bar and it took two of use to snake it out of the car and back in. In retrospect I should have went ahead and removed the seats, shifter assembly, flipped the carpet further back and pulled all of the harness above the bar to make the job easier. I possibly would not have needed help removing the bar if I had done that. I will have to time it out in order to decide which is the more cost effective way.
The hole in the firewall slightly high and to the right of center is where expansion valve protrudes through into the engine compartment so that the refrigerant lines can be attached. The opening above the gas pedal area is where the heater core lines pass through the firewall.
It took me between 10 and 12 hours to complete the job this time and I learned a few things along the way.
The next time I should have it down to between 6 and 8 hours because I will take pictures along the way. Experience tells me that after one or two times of doing this job it can most likely be done in 4 to 5 hours of steady wrenching.