Adding air conditioning to a 2005 Rubicon, need help with connectors


New Member
Feb 27, 2023
Richmond, VA, USA
I'm at the tail end of my project to add air conditioning to our Jeep (It's a 2005 TJ Wrangler Rubicon w 4.0 6 cyl, 6 speed manual).

Not sure I would have done this now that I know it requires notable effort to get the heater box out (terrible design), but with that behind me, I feel like it's almost done.

I would appreciate input from any experts out there on a couple of questions...

I figured out which connector to splice and ground to the compressor, and verified it works by putting in a temporary jumper at the relay. However, there are two other connectors in the system that have me scratching my head.

Regarding the connector on the accumulator, which is on the passenger side, there isnt a spare plug on the firewall or anywhere around it. Is it possible it is not needed on the '05 TJs?

Regarding the connector on the hose that comes off the compressor, there is a green plug that matches the keyed slots on the hose connector, but the pigtail is about 10" too short to reach. Then there is a black plug right next to the hose connector, but it is not keyed to fit. Any suggestions on how to determine which one belongs on the hose connector and whether possibly the other one (green) needs to extend to the accumulator? IThe green one would fit the connector on the accumulator but is about 2.5 feet away from that atea.

Also, is there a way to temporarily jump these plugs so that I can verify the compressor kicks in when I turn on the AC?

Thank you in advance for any thoughts on this.

Interesting. Thank you!!

Your wiring appears to match mine, but my lines (from JeepAir) do not match your lines. In your pics it looks like the green plug is connected to the low side and the black plug is connected to the high side. My lines only have a connector/sensor on the high side and the black plug does not fit it.

The green plug fits the connector on my accumulator but is on the opposite side of the engine compartment.

Does your accumulator have a two wire connector on it?

I'm guessing it does not and suspect that the connection on my accumulator is my low side sensor connection and I will need to extend the green plug over to that area.

I'm also thinking i need a different plug (or sensor) for the high side since my black plug does not fit the sensor connector on that line.

That kinda all makes sense, but sure would like someone to confirm it all. I'll call JeepAir on Monday but in the meantime, what do you think about my assumptions on the accumulator being my low side connection? Almost certain if your accumulator does not have such a connector.
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Yes, the green plug is the low side switch. From the FSM, it shows them on the accumulator, so probably one of the 05, 06 are different things.

You might be able to swap out the high pressure switch for one that matches the harness.
Agreed. Thanks again!

I ended up grinding the key tabs off the high side sensor so the black plug would fit.

Then I extended the green plug over to the accumulator.

With these two changes, the clutch now engages when I turn the ac on at the dash.

Next step will be to pull a vacuum and to charge it. Knock on wood no leaks, but one of the quick connects seem suspect. We will see.
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In case anyone runs across this thread and is a novice at putting in air, as I was, here are some tidbits that experienced installers probably dont think twice about, but slowed me down because I had never done it before.

Heater box removal - if you have never removed a Jeep heater box, as was my case, I didn't really know what I was looking for. The heater box is basically all of the black plastic stuff thats under the dash and behind the glove box. It's about 2' wide going from about the centerline to the passenger side. The 5 nuts that need to be removed in the engine compartment are spread across a good part of the firewall. One is behind the battery, two are near the heater hoses, and two are cleverly hidden behind the valve cover. Oh, and the hardest one to see and get to has two nuts on it, just to add to the fun :)

If the posts start turning instead of the nut, no need to panic... just power thru. They can be removed once the heater box is out of the way.

Steering column - contrary to what many of the videos show, I did not need to remove the steering column to get the heater box out. Don't get me wrong - removing it is still a major effort, but at least the steering wheel stayed in place. After I undid all of the nuts, screws, and bolts, I used a ratchet strap from the grab handle to the roll bar to pull the passenger side of the dash up enough to slide the heater box out the door.

When loosening the dash, in addition to the 3 torx bolts down each side and the 4 bolts along the top, there are two nuts behind the glove box that were initally not obvious to me because they were hidden by the flexible hose/duct that goes across to the side vent. If you lift the duct/hose up, you will see them. Many of the smaller screws do not need to come out.

When putting the heater box back together after installing the evaporator, make sure the diverter doors all move freely before putting the 20 screws all back in place. It is possible to put it together in such a way that one door is stuck. Check that the vacuum lines are in their proper places too.

Compressor - The back brace that came with my compressor looked different from the picture that was provided (the one that goes from the lower, rear left tab on the compressor to the engine block). I had to leave the brace off until the other bolts were in place and seated for correct alignment, then I realized I needed 4 washers (not provided) between the brace and the compressor tab otherwise it would have torqued the compressor out of alignment or worse. They warn about breaking tabs - I'm convinced this would not be a problem if the brace was designed to better specifications.

Anyhow, that's my $0.02, which hopefully will help someone else get this done more quickly.
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UPDATE: Today I pulled the quick connect that concerned me, and put a new spring in. It went back together well, although I'll never know if it was really a problem, or a case of paranoia :).

I pulled a vacuum on the system for an hour and a half, then let it sit for a bit. No loss of vacuum.

Next I started to charge the system. It went well. After some of the freon got into the system, the low pressure sensor must have untripped because the compressor started to cycle as expected. I put one 12 oz can in with the following results;

Air temp was blowing 60 degrees (it was about 100 degrees in the garage).
Compressor off: Low=40 psi, High=240 psi
Compressor on: Low=50 psi, High=200 psi
Cycling slowed way down as more freon got pulled in.

My freon sniffer did not detect any leaks.

Tomorrow I'm going to check that nothing went in the wrong direction overnight, then add another 6 or so ozs of freon to try to lower the air temp a bit more.
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All was good this morning. I added another half a can and everything looks good on the gauges and feels good in the cab. This project is now done!!

sidebar... This Jeep is bright orange so we nicknamed her Jeeto. Now she is a Cool Cat :)

Jeeto was built in Canada. We bought her about a year ago with only 45k miles. Then relocated her to Marathon in the Keys. Probably was the only one on the island with a block heater and no air!! This upgrade will definitely help in a couple of months.

Thank you @JKP for the pics and help. That got me across the finish line!
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