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KP Texan 02-13-2011 06:02 PM

Huge A/C Accumulator Problem!
Right now my TJ sits in my garage, disabled for who knows how long. :banghead:

This all started because the A/C clutch on my new TJ had some broken parts on it. I could either throw $50-100 at it in clutch parts to fix it or I could drop $184 on a brand new, non-rebuilt compressor (one of my friends owns a Carquest so I get a good deal on parts). I figured with the rest of the whole system being 14 years old, that wouldn't be a bad idea even though it was just a bit more than messing with the clutch. My friend also has the vacuum pump and set of gauges, and has done this job about 5 times himself. I'm pretty mechanically inclined and pay attention to detail so I wasn't too scared to jump into A/C work. I also have a copy of the '97 Wrangler factory service manual on PDF (let me know if you want a copy) so I had a fairly good guide which was specific to my Jeep.

I got started on the project last night and things were going well. When I flushed the system I ended up blowing PAR oil all over the engine compartment but that was about the only bad thing that occurred. All connections came apart fairly easily so that wasn't an issue. This morning, I prepped the new compressor for installation and added the proper amount of oil to my accumulator. I installed the new accumulator and everything seemed to fit up fine to the outlet of the evaporator coil and the suction hose to the compressor. Then, when I went to install the new orifice tube line assembly, I noticed something was out of wack...the goosenecked outlet of the accumulator is too high and will not allow a straight shot into the evaporator inlet with the orifice tube hose. I know this sounds like jibberish but wait for the photos.

At this point, I'm thoroughly frustrated... after calling my friend to let him now that his accumulator sucks, I made a call to AutoZone and Oreilly to check for accumulators. Both stores have one in stock within a 20 min drive of me. I head to Autozone first and looked at their accumulator; exact same problem. I then went to Oreilly Auto; they showed me the photo on their computer first and it looked perfect. The gooseneck was lower than the inlet which is what it needs to look like. They brought the box out and I opened it up; much to my dismay, the part in the box did not match the photo in their computer!! It looked just like the Carquest and Auto Zone accumulators. The parts lady asked if I wanted to look in their book and see is one matched up to what I needed. I said sure, and then began flipping through the accumulator catalog. "There it is", I thought! Wait a second... thats the same Murray 33570 that they brought out to me which is made differently than what the computer and catalog show. After figuring that out, I asked if there was someone at corporate who I could alert this issue to so that someone else didn't make the same mistake.... she basically said that they wouldn't care.

Now, I sit at my house with a broken Jeep in the garage and no leads on the correct Accumulator. So much for taking a nice trip to the beach today in my new TJ....

Some pics to show you whats going on:

The original accumulator as installed. Note that the gooseneck just passes under the inlet tube to the evaporator. They are both separated by a clip with about a 1/8" gap.

Another photo of the original as installed.

The original accumulator pulled out. See the outlet gooseneck?

What the photo in Oreilly's book shows. Looks okay right?

The actual part that Oreilly is supplying.

So what should I do guys? Are your Wranglers set up the same way? I think this design is the same for '97 and '98 but may have changed in '99. I'm at my wits end and my wife is yelling at me about a Jeep I just spent money on and is now sitting in the garage. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much,


KP Texan 02-13-2011 06:21 PM

A few possible options I've found on the internet:

None of the other 3 I checked were made by four seasons. The only thing that scares me is that appears to be the exact same photo Auto Zone and Oreilly's website and they were wrong. Not a bad price for it on Amazon: Four Seasons 33570 Accumulator: Automotive

The A/C Delco 15-10116 looks like and option: 15-10116 ACCUMULATOR 98 97 WRANGLER - eBay (item 280606356419 end time Feb-17-11 23:15:19 PST)

Other than that, I suppose there is still Napa and the Jeep Dealer (I'd imagine it would cost as much as I paid for my compressor).



KP Texan 02-13-2011 06:37 PM

Looks like I can get a Mopar one for $140! :eek:


rrich 02-13-2011 10:50 PM

I'd hook it up, test it, if it works fine bend the bracket till it fits. It's not critical.

KP Texan 02-14-2011 10:51 AM

There's nothing there that I would bend in an a/c system...all hard lines. I could bend the evaporator core inlet line but I'm not willing to risk damaging my evaporator core. I've got a call into 4 Seasons about their design flaw and they are very concerned about it.


rrich 02-14-2011 12:04 PM


In your first post you said """""They are both separated by a clip with about a 1/8" gap."""""
I responded with """""I'd hook it up, test it, if it works fine bend the bracket till it fits. It's not critical. """""

Loosen or remove the bracket, hook it up, then bend the bracket to hold it in that position! The lines should flex that 1/8" gap easily, THEN bend the bracket!

Or take it to someone that can do it.

KP Texan 02-14-2011 12:28 PM

There is supposed to be an 1/8" gap and bending something 1/8" would probably not be an issue for me. In the first and second photo you can see the plastic clip I'm referencing, right next to the charging valve on the evaporator inlet line assembly. This 1/8" gap in the plastic clip serves to isolate the accumulator outlet "gooseneck" from the evaporator inlet line which is on top. With the aftermarket accumulator, that "gooseneck" is raised a good 1/2"-3/4" and will not allow that evaporator inlet line to go above it and then enter the evaporator core. The first and second photo are also of the original installation and are correct. With the way the new accumulator is, you would have to bend the line more like 3/4"+ to make it work correctly.


KP Texan 02-15-2011 12:08 PM

Problem solved! I bought an accumulator manufactured by this company and it fit properly: Global Parts Distributors, Inc. . The outlet loop to the accumulator is .5"-.75" lower just like it should be. I spoke to the rep from 4 Seasons and he said the reason that their photo is correct is because that was the first prototype that was made and then they made the others off of that one but there was probably a small mistake in manufacturing. The Chinese factory obviously thought that small height difference would not be an issue. He was pretty nonchalant about the whole deal and admitted that they never personally tested their accumulator in that application which made me a bit irritated.


ethridgela 07-13-2014 12:48 PM

I know this is an old thread, but I just went through this myself and thought I'd add what I learned:

The ill-fitting, incorrectly bent drier/accumulators can be bent to fit. At least that was true in my case. I needed to change the angle of the outlet pipe relative to the inlet pipe by about 30 degrees. I put one end into a piece of PVC pipe and wrestled with the other end until it was roughly the correct shape, and made a few additional minor corrections as I put the part in place.

Another issue, though, was the tightness of the fittings. I was able to twist the accumulator onto the evaporator, but afterwards it was difficult to attach the hose that led to the compressor. I solved this by loosely attaching a pair of vise grips above and below the connector and using a set of large-jaw vise grips to slowly move the two pairs of vise grips toward each other. (Be sure the vise grips are not clamped on in a location that can distort the connector in any way. Pad the jaws with something so that they don't gouge the lines.)

I don't yet know if this worked, though. I may have distorted or displaced the o-rings in the process. I'll find out shortly if the system will hold a vacuum.

KP Texan 09-07-2014 11:06 AM

Just noticed this reply to my old thread; I hoped the fix worked out for you because I certainly know how frustrating it can be! It's a bit disconcerting to hear that these manufacturers still don't have their stuff together. Having to bend hard lines and creating unnecessary stress on pressurized a/c components/fittings is not acceptable to me...

kawzak 09-07-2014 05:38 PM

Too late now -but Rock Auto sells a "kit". New Sanden compressor, accumulator, Hose w/oriface valve installed. About $ 190.00 + shipping.

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