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Converting to R134A

1218 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  ewill3rd
I have a nice 1993 Sedan deVille, 138,200 miles. The AC compressor has gone bad. My repair guy is recommending converting to R134, with new (GM) compressor, condenser, dryer, hoses... estimating $800.00. I plan on keeping the car forever (was my deceased wife's car).. so don't have a problem with the money, but wanted some opinions.. I'm in GA so need the air. I can get a small parts discount from the Cadillac dealer (retired Navy).
Thanks, Denny
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Denny, why don't you ask about a product called Duracool, or R12a, if you are used to having a nice cool car then r134a will be a disappointment to you, it will be only about 80 percent as efficient as r12 and it will run at a higher pressure, the reliability of the system has been spotty and for the life of me, I do not know why auto makers went with it, other than it is eviromentally friendly. Understand the above is only my opinion, but I have had three cars converted from R134a to R12a Duracool, and they all have turned into mobile meatlockers, my last car was a 98 deville and its very cold, being in Georgia you may need all the cooling you can get. Some people may say that you are putting propane into the system, but it is a hydrocarbon base and it is totally non toxic and does not have CFC's. I hope some of *************** members will speak to this subject and I would like to see what they have to say on the subject. Good Luck Denny and go Navy.....
Get Freeze12. Open the yellow pages and call around your local auto parts stores. One is sure to carry it. Otherwise, you can find it on ebay. Usually its $9-$15 per 12 oz can, and another $10 for the oil.
screw all that. your in GEORGIA. awesome. so am i. i have VIRGIN R12 readily available in cans. im sure your mechanic would have no problem using them. it'll also last longer then R134a which is HARD on older compressors. hit me up. i can DEFINATELY give you a good price on 2 or three cans, which is plenty to do the job right the first time. [email protected]
The only problem I have with drop in refrigerants other than 134 is that they can really screw up the machines at service places if the system is not properly labeled or the service fittings were not replaced as required.

I'd stay away from hydro-carbon based products. That means they will more than likely burn.
Here is an EPA list of Acceptable refrigerant substitutes.

Here is a list of UNacceptable substitutes
And I see Duracool 12a listed quite prominently on that list.

The key to a 134 retrofit is to make sure any faulty components are replaced, the system is clean, and the proper level of oil and refrigerant is installed. I have done a few quite successfully with happy customers.
The condensor is an option but if the compressor really came apart internally it would be a good idea. I have seen debris get stuck inside condensors.
800 sounds like a pretty reasonable price for that many components.

Make sure they back it up with a nice warranty. At least a year would be what I would expect.
Sometimes labor is only 90 days.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Also of note (by clicking the duracool link on that page)

What is the legal status of hydrocarbon refrigerants such as HC-12a® and DURACOOL®?
It has been illegal since July 13, 1995 to replace CFC-12 with the HC-12a® formulation that was submitted for SNAP review in any refrigeration or A/C application other than industrial process refrigeration. The same prohibition for OZ-12® took effect on April 18, 1994. Because DURACOOL 12a® has the same chemical composition as the HC-12a® formulation that was submitted for SNAP review (i.e., Hydrocarbon Blend B), DURACOOL 12a® is also subject to the same restrictions.
HC-12a®, as reformulated to meet DOT requirements, is not the same as Hydrocarbon Blend B and has not been submitted for SNAP review. OZ Technology is therefore prohibited from marketing this blend as a substitute for any ozone-depleting substance. In addition, any use of this blend as a substitute for CFC-12 or any other ozone-depleting chemical, in industrial process refrigeration or any other refrigeration or A/C end use, is prohibited under the Clean Air Act.
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