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A/C R-12 / R-134A Conversion

Mark

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Oct 11, 2005
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Naperville, IL
Anybody done this? The A/C in galant isnt as cold as it should be would like to have it converted.. Anybody who had this done or did it themselves care to shed some light on how the A/C worked afterwards?
 

marvinmadman

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Nov 10, 2003
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Lafayette, Louisiana
Did it in a few Hondas without changing anything other than the connections. Not even the oil. Just vacuum and fill. Worked fine.
 
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evo8ya

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Jul 7, 2006
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351
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PA/MD
I've done it too. You just evac the R12 (if there's any left in the system) replace the fittings for 134A, recharge and you're done. Now the issue that you might run into is that the 134A runs at a higher pressure then the R12 so if there was a slow leak or no leak there might leak/faster leak now from the higher pressure. GL
 
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spoulson

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Feb 5, 2003
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Worton, MD
Take heed that you may run into problems if you don't properly flush out the R12 and its oil before putting in R134a and PAG oil. It'll work for a while (year or two) but will ultimately shorten the life of the compressor. Compressors are not cheap to replace.

As for vacuum testing, holding a vacuum is important, but so is holding pressure. Put in the UV dye so you can find the leaks if they ever happen.

This has been discussed several times. I'd read this thread.
 

ercp98

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Aug 5, 2003
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northlake in illinois
just want to add... getting to the cold side intake is very difficult. it is on top of the compressor next to the hard lines. good luck.
 

Rausch

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Dec 21, 2004
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Cleveland, OH
Quote:
Take heed that you may run into problems if you don't properly flush out the R12 and its oil before putting in R134a and PAG oil.

+1 PAG oil, nothing else.....some get confused as to which oil to use, and i have heard people suggest others for conversions. PAG only. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

slugsgomoo

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Oct 16, 2003
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Tacoma, WA
it's probably not that cold because your system is low on refridgerant. If you can take it to a qualified shop that does A/C you're better off having them tell you if the system is solid and topping it up. R12 when properly charged will blow ice cold within seconds of turning it on. R134a gets "pretty cool" after being on for five or ten minutes.

If you ever drive two cars back to back with the different systems, it's instantly obvious which is R12, and why it's so much better.

I'd rather run 4x60 a/c than 134a. At least you get the cooling without wasting the gas. 134a is worthless.
 

Lonewolf64

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May 17, 2006
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Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Maybe I don't understand your post slugsgomoo but are you saying that a shop that does A/C would be able to fill up our system with more R12? I was under the impression that one cannot get R12 on the market anymore.

I'm interested in this also as my A/C works fine but it isn't as cold as it used to be. I feel that it is time to get my refrigerant topped off without switching systems.
 

Rausch

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Dec 21, 2004
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Cleveland, OH
^^ you can still get it, but it is no longer manufactured. it's pricey, but accessable. alot of people find that it's cheaper in the long run to make the conversion, but it all depends on you. personally, if i still had my a/c i'd keep the r12. it works much better, and lasts longer (at least it seems that way) and it pisses off the hippies! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
 

i knew a guy who had a couple bid tanks of r12 and would fill up his friends systems with it
 

slugsgomoo

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Tacoma, WA
you can still buy R12, but you have to be licensed. It used to be that you could get R12 refill kits at your local auto parts store, which is no longer the case.

Unless they have some incredibly vast supplies, i'm guessing someone's still producing it, albiet in smaller quantities. It doesn't have the same degradation issue over time that R134a has either.

I've got all the r12 from the a/c from the talon sitting in the machine at a friend's shop. I should have them charge it back up. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
 

Rausch

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Quote:
Unless they have some incredibly vast supplies, i'm guessing someone's still producing it, albiet in smaller quantities

from what i was lead to understand, the minute the company that indroduced it (i think dow or someone) got the patents for R134a, they stopped making the R12, citing the envoirnmental studies and effects that just happened to come out at the same time.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif i was lead, also to understand, that it was some sort of federal mandate to produce everything new to use R134a by whatever date, and discontinue the manufacture of R12 by another whatever date. it's been a long time, so i may be off a bit, but htats my understanding. the preice keeps going up because supplies are going down. there was a HUGE excess initally because they were producing enough to use in everything even after the switchover, and did so until the date specified to quit.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
 

JNR

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Apr 23, 2004
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ca
Do you guys remember that thing on the news a few years ago, where the 'converted' systems could be prone to being inflammable gas inside the vehicle? I don't recall the details, but some sort of warning on the generic conversion kits...I guess the point is to not take any shortcuts.

I'd like to find a good way on my 'velle to retain as much of my original, oem A/C equipment as possible, but use 134...I think I'd have to replace the compressor, which is probably good (those old Delco things are huge!)...However, the aftermarket systems are attractive, 'cause they are complete and get rid of a lot of stuff (blower) on the firewall, cleaning it up...However, I don't like the 'added' look on the inside (vents) and such...hmmm.
 

Nijasan

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Sep 3, 2004
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724
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Gravette, AR
Any number of the "European car specialty shops" local to you will be able to recharge the R12 system.

Find a Volvo shop instead of an Audi/Porsche shop, they'll usually charge you less.
 

Dialcaliper

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Jun 22, 2007
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Mountain View, CA
R-12 isn't made anymore, but every time a shop recovers some (and R-134a for that matter) it gets run through a recover/recycle machine which filters out all the oil and other crud so it can be reused, or else its sold to a recycler. A lot of cars still get refilled with recycled R-12. Used R-12 is apparently worth quite a bit. Also, since they weren't designed for it, R-12 systems don't cool as well with R-134a.

Has anyone had any luck with any of the EPA approved R-12 substitutes or blend refrigerants?
 

Quote:
Do you guys remember that thing on the news a few years ago, where the 'converted' systems could be prone to being inflammable gas inside the vehicle? I don't recall the details, but some sort of warning on the generic conversion kits...I guess the point is to not take any shortcuts.





About the time R-12 was taken off the market, there was a lot of experimentation with other gasses to see if something else would work in an "unprepared" R-12 system. The thing that had the best performance, closest to R-12 and not needing any additives to make the oil compatible was good ol' propane. Plentiful, cheap, naturally occurring. Maybe that's what was on the news that you saw, they just said "converted R-12 systems" without specifying it had been filled with propane.

As far as R-12 not being made anymore, that's not entirely accurate. It's not being made here anymore, nor in any country that agreed R-12 is a bad thing (I believe this is the Kyoto Protocol?). But it's still being made. There was an article in the LA Times just a couple of years ago, where they were talking about how the number one seized contraband item coming into Miami from South America was cocaine, the number two seized contraband item was R-12.
 

Okay, thanks, I stand corrected.

Back on topic, I've done this conversion a few times and never had a problem. The people who have mentioned that R-134a isn't quite as cold as R-12 are correct, in my experience, but I've never seen a compressor go bad or anything unfortunate/expensive happen as a result of converting an old system. The first one I did was almost 10 years ago and it's still working fine.
 

Lonewolf64

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May 17, 2006
Messages
1,197
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
So if I did find a shop with some R12 how much would it cost to just get a recharge?
 
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