Replacing AC Orifice Tube 2008 Chev Suburban

Dec 31, 2017
SE British Columbia, Canada
I did some repair work on my AC system of my 2008 Suburban. It lost 100% of its R134A. I found the leak using dye and it was at the seal where the high pressure line bolts up to the evaporator. As part of the maintenance I replaced the accumulator and the orifice tube.

The orifice tube was a bit of work. You disconnect a horizontal line which comes from the compressor and has the orifice tube inside a section of the horizontal line. It’s easy to disconnect but the access to the orifice tube is tight as the line is pointed to the firewall and there is about 8 inches of space to get a tool in there to pull the tube out.

Firstly I tried twice to acquire the correct removal tool but neither were correct for the 2008 Chev. I posted a picture of the new orifice tube beside the old one. They had different ends from most of the You Tube videos I have seen. The orifice tube is sealed inside the high pressure line with two O rings. After 14 years the two O rings were absolutely planted. Some you tube videos show the mechanic easily plucking the orifice tube with needle nose pliers. I tried that and it would not budge.

I then got a stubby set of pliers that was a little more broad than needle nose pliers. It was 4-1/2 inches long and gave me room to maneuver. I took a photo using the selfie mode of my I phone and could clearly see the orientation of the end of the original orifice tube. I used a syringe to inject some PAG 46 AC lube into the pipe. I then applied heat to the outside of the line with a hot air gun and the tried to rotate the tube as I pulled. I had to heat the line two more times and got rotation. I took a few more camera shots to confirm it. I then heated it again and gave it a good pull while turning and it came out in one piece. I lubed the O rings on the new orifice tube with PAG 46 and it slipped into the line easily. I pushed it in with the pliers and could feel it bottom. While routine for AC mechanics, it was challenging for this shadetree mechanic. Enjoy.

#1 looking at the end of the original orifice tube. #2 seeing that I was able to turn the tube after applying lubricant and heat. # 3 The old tube beside the white new tube. #4 The stubby pliers. #5 The new orifice tube installed.

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