Need options: r-12 in a R134a world... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-02-2006, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Need options: r-12 in a R134a world...

I would like to make this into a definative thread on older A/C systems as ive browsed previous threads and found the answers to my questions to be lacking, and even turn this into a TechInfo article since we get SO MANY questions regarding A/C systems, so I only think it is appropriate, so here we go:

1. Me and a buddy of mine have r-12 refrigerant in our cars. Having a mechanic switch it over to the new formula will cost around $350 dollars. This is everywhere and I shopped around. Even if I have it converted, I read it will never be as cool since the compressor was made for r-12 and can even risk failiure.

2. Now in Autozone, they sell this $40 dollar "retrofitting kit". Is that legit? I know that it will never be as cold without the R-12 stuff or will I just have to pump more of the oil in to make up for the loss in cooling ability? Again I risk compressor failiure, but with the conversion route, this is a much more attractive price.

3. Or I could just stick with r-12, but where could I possibly buy one in this day and age? They ether sell in bulk or in large cylinders at astronomical prices. Anyone know of any sources?

4. Yet they have FR-12, a compatable replacement to R-12. BUT I read it has %80 of R134a!!! Mixing the two as I read is obviously a no-no. They say that the mixture of R-134a , R-124 , and R-600 resembles the properties of r-12 and thus make it compatable, but I am still skeptical. Shouldn't I just fill up with that stuff instead?

So there are my options, none of them are favorable by a long shot. I just dont know what to do at this point, I am in real need of advice. On my 93 we had to spend THOUSANDS to fix it two times. I am in no position whatsoever in risking another failiure and expensive repair again. My dumb *** dealer whom my parents took it to in 2000 put in an r-12 system instead of a modern one, knowing damn well that r-12 was banned ages ago. Thieves! They set us up so they can charge us more money for converting it later down the road! /rant

Please give advice, and lets put in a ton of info so that people with older a/c systems in the future will find this thread useful and answer their questions. There'* alot of info out there and we need to sort them out.
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:37 AM   #2
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I posted in 92-99 section by accident, I meant to post in General chat since this applies to all cars with older A/C'* in general, can this be moved please?
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreas
I posted in 92-99 section by accident, I meant to post in General chat since this applies to all cars with older A/C'* in general, can this be moved please?
I don't know about not being cold, I have a 92 that i converted over, ran a vacuum pump and added 2.4 LBS of R134a into my car and it'* Ice Cold....22 Degrees running at 2000 RPMs is cold......................
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Old 08-02-2006, 01:48 AM   #4
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Used Freeze 12 in my "Burb" and didn't need to go thru all that conversion crap
I got mine on eBay

it'* an option

ken
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Old 08-02-2006, 11:39 AM   #5
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I heard the same stuff about R-134a not running as cold as R-12. It may not run as cold, but R-134a is plenty cold enough! I have converted a bunch of vehicles from R-12 to R-134a using the Interdynamics kit sold at Wal-Mart for $35 and have not been disappointed.

If there is residual R-12 in the system, I take the car to a shop that has a recovery system and ask them to remove the R-12 for the value of the R-12. I have not had to pay yet. I bought a vacuum pump and typically pump the system down for 45 minutes to an hour to remove most of the moisture and to check for leaks. Charge the special oil that mixes with the old oil, charge the R-134a, and good to go. Before I owned the vacuum pump, I converted systems without pumping them down. The results were not typically as good, although you can get cold air that way if you are lucky and the system is clean and without much moisture present.

Sounds like that 80% number might have been referring to the fact that when you change the refrigerant type from R-12 to R-134a, you only charge 85% of the system'* maximum charge weight. For example, if the original maximum charge or R-12 was 3.0 pounds, you would only charge (3.0 x 0.85) 2.55 pounds of R-134a.
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Old 08-02-2006, 02:00 PM   #6
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Well i'll tell ya my story, i had a '89 corsica 2.8 that i picked up years ago and the
pump was bad on it, i picked up a good low mile used one from a guy i know, put
it on replaced the orifice tube evacuated the system to check for leaks put the proper
oil in and then charged with 134a to the proper pressure.

when i was done the car blew nice cold air,maybe not as cold as today'* systems
but it worked good.

i got many years out of that work car,, so in my experience you don't need all that
high price work done there just trying to make money.

you can do this stuff your self with a little bit of knowledge and the right tools.

all my AC work is done by myself
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