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It is attached to the evaporator (cooling coil) and here are the removal procedures.
Removal & Installation
Disconnect negative battery cable.
Discharge A/C system, using approved refrigerant recovery/recycling equipment.
Disconnect and plug refrigerant lines from evaporator.
Remove instrument panel.
Remove packing from expansion valve.
Using Expansion Valve Wrench Set (07117-61050), separate expansion valve and tube and accessory.
To install, reverse removal procedure.
Evacuate and charge A/C system. Inspect system for leaks.
Yes, the removal procedures indicates the complete instrument panel has to be removed.