R134 AC conversion success!

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Klunky Chris, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. Klunky Chris

    Klunky Chris

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    just wanted to let anyone considering this know that the AC in my 93 is now cold! cold! cold! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

    I was D Y I N G at CMCC w/o any AC and the lack of carpet makes for a great bread oven... :rolleyes:

    I stuck the walmart adapter things on and stuck 2 cans of R134a PLUS in. No problems so far...
     
  2. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Not to rain on your parade....but you may experience problems in the near future. If you can tell me exactly what you did to "convert" to 134a, I can tell you what your chances are for either success, or a large repair bill .

    Hope it keeps working for ya!

    cheers.
     
  3. Klunky Chris

    Klunky Chris

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    new *valves* that screw onto the old R12 valves enabling you to attach R134 equipment.

    2 cans R134a PLUS: has "refrigerant, PAG oil to lubricate and quiet noisey compressors, *Cool Down* to improve cooling up to 10 deg, O-ring conditioner, stop leak, and red dye to mark leaks"

    it was a *conversion kit*


    what's going to explode?!?

    (my dad did this 3 years ago on his 87 pickup and hasn't had an issue yet :confused: )
     
  4. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Okie Dokie! your dad was lucky.


    Good luck with it.

    134a and mineral oil (what you have in your system unless you flushed it) do not do well together, now you have PAG and mineral oil mixed and probably too much oil as well. 134a requires different O-rings (for reliability). Most stop leak products cause more problems than they fix. How much 134a did you put in...(you need to start at about 70% of R-12 capacity). Did you pump down the system first or is there moisture in there now. Replace the reciever/dryer?

    I can't tell you the number of people I know who put the "death kits" on their vehcles and ended up with an all new system. I hope it works out for you...but don't be surprised if in a few months you learn about "black death" compressor failure.

    Keeping my fingers crossed for ya!
     
  5. Klunky Chris

    Klunky Chris

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    well....
    the system was empty enough that the compressor wasn't kicking on.

    I put 2 full 14 oz cans in (11oz R134a, 2 oz PAG, 1oz *Cool Down*)

    I didn't do anything to *prep* the system so to speak.

    should I go to a AC service place and have them *do* something?

    edit: the gauge read 45 psi when done which is supposed to be right.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2005
  6. Tentsontop

    Tentsontop

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    Email


    Sent you an email bro. Let me know what you think. Thanks!
     
  7. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    The gauge reading indicated the low side only (worthless in terms of diagnosing the system). Go to a professional shop, tell them what you did and seek their advice. It shouldn't cost anything to get their recommendation.

    I am sure they have seen many cases such as yours.

    Chris, I am not trying to "admonish" you, I want to make that clear. Its just that there is much misinformation out there about doing a 134a retrofit, and the hype put out by the manufacturers of the "death kits" is unbelievable.

    You have two different oils mixed, you don't know the amount of oil in the system, mineral oil and 134a don't mix well, you didn't replace the drier, there is air and moisture in the system now, moisture if not captured by the desiccant in the drier will eventually combine with the chemicals in the refrigerant to produce acid, etc....

    I know you didn't know this, and most people don't. Alot of people think they can evacuate the r-12 system (illegal without capturing it) put on the new service valves, add the refrigerant (and God knows what else) and be "good to go". Well, you'll probably get some cool air for a little while....but I'd be willing to bet you're going to have whole new system pretty soon.

    The swap can be made successfully using many of the original components...BUT, you need to flush the system, change the O-rings, use the proper type and amount of oil, install a new drier/receiver, probably change the orifice, and pump down the system before recharging.

    Just trying to save you some trouble.

    Let us know what you find out so it can be of benefit to others.

    Thanks.
     
  8. Russ in California

    Russ in California

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    I agree....however...
    a mechanic that is extremly knowledgeabel comes in to my NAPA store quite often and we talk about AC alot. I piddle with it myself but have learned quite a bit from him.
    While converting the system properly is the right course, he has had great success on several vehicles by doing nothing more than throwing the 134 fittings on and shoving in the freon(80% of R12 capacity). No vaccuum, no new orings, no flush, nothing. This may not work for every car but his success is encouraging.
    I agree with you, and this is the course I've tried to take but I do not believe this is true for all cases.
    We have shop air at work so it's easy for me to hook up my vac pump and suck it down I know Harbour Freight has had a vac pump for about $10.
    FWIW, I think the kits can work but now in all cases without the proper prep.
    Good luck all,
    Russ :cool:
     
  9. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Oh man! All I can say about this is: You were warned!

    If by "great success" you mean the vehicle was blowing cold air when it left his shop then NO DOUBT.

    Hey, anybody that wants to do it this way.........knock yourself out. Just be man enough to post back here in a few months what your results were.
     
  10. cary

    cary

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    That's not a mechanic, that is a hack.

    I am often shocked that with all the regulation that the EPA does of A/C products that they continue to allow the sale of kits that are worthless and will destroy the system. Saying it works okay is like saying that ATF works fine in the engine. Yes it will work for a while, but it will destroy the motor. Finally, setting your A/C pressure using a low side guage is like deciding where your truck is headed on the freeway by looking in the rear view mirror.

    Cary
     
  11. 97 FZJ80

    97 FZJ80

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  12. Klunky Chris

    Klunky Chris

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    well....
    I guess I'll go talk to a shop.

    as I said, my dad did this on his 87 Toy mini truck a couple years ago and it's still working great. That's why I decided to do mine. I also know other people who have done this on 60's with success.

    hopefully I won't have a problem, but now I'm scared

    thanks for the input!
     
  13. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    ya, getting other people scared is what we do best here... :)
     
  14. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Not trying to spread doom and gloom.........just don't want 'ya to have problems down the line.

    If you're not satisfied with what the shop tells you, seek out another and see if what they say is in line with the first.

    Good luck Chris.
     
  15. LandCruiserPhil

    LandCruiserPhil Peter Pan Syndrome Supporting Vendor

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    Why would you change to 134a?
     
  16. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    If this is a general question, then I'll answer by saying...because its eaisier to obtain and less expensive. It does not cool as well IMO...especially at slow speeds.

    If this question was for the other gentleman.....then I can't say.
     
  17. Vlad

    Vlad The Impaler SILVER Star

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    I had a leak in my 91 so I had the repair done and the sytem completely evacuated, recharged, blah blah blah. I had them convert during the process.

    I can once again hang meat in the 80 :).
     
  18. flintknapper

    flintknapper

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    Yeah, if R-12 wasn't so expensive I'd consider retrofitting my 134a to it. I have the certification...so I can buy it. Heck, I've got 3 one pound cans just sitting in my shop right now.

    Hopefully... they will come up with an alternative refrigerant to replace 134a that ACTUALLY performs as well as R-12.
     
  19. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    well, I've driven many 134 systems, including in hot deserts and I can't think of any occasion where I thought they were seriously insufficient to handle the job. Yes, it may perhaps take a few minutes more at first (guessing) but in steady-state I never thought they were not good enough...
    It may well be that the fluid is inherently less effective (don't know the temps) but I would think that the designers would simply compensate for that with bigger hardware?
     
  20. cary

    cary

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    The newer systems are designed around 134a and more than adequate. The problem with the inefficiency of R134a comes into play when converting from R-12. The R-12 system is designed to work at different pressures and sized for R-12. The native R-134a systems are actually much better in design with double wall hoses, better o-rings, and have over the past 10 years shown themselves to be more reliable in the long term.
     
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