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Thread: Air Conditioning Refrigerant

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    131

    Air Conditioning Refrigerant

    Hey guys,

    so i took two care and made one and lost all of my original r12.

    Now R12 is no longer legal for sale in Canada so i see three options and look for any input that can be offered.

    1) find somer12 in the states and have it shipped north.

    2) get the system converted with new oils for 134a

    3) stick in a couple cans of12a refrigerant and let it run/

    Please add any input you have about which is the best option?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    102
    Good luck trying to find some r12 in the states I heard it goes for a good price on the black market. Might have better luck shipping it up from Mexico, not sure if their government has banned it yet?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Eastern (nee Western) PA
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    4,993
    You can buy all the R12 you want in the US ... as long as you have the right certification.

    If you can study and take a test and have $20, it can be yours in one day.

    http://www.macsw.org/AM/Template.cfm...on=Section_609

    There is a fair amount of R12 on eBay.

    No new R12 is being manufactured in the US. But whatever is recovered can be recycled and resold.

    ...

    From what I hear, the hydrocarbon refrigerants work about as well as R12. However, they are not necessarily legal. They are flammable (although compressed R134a, mixed with air, is flammable too). Check your country's laws.
    God bless!!!

    Former Birds:
    1990 SC auto ... red outside, gray cloth inside ... ~225,000 miles ... Sold.
    1990 SC auto ... white outside, gray cloth inside ... ~150,000 miles ... wrecked.
    1989 Base auto ... Crystal Blue metallic outside, dark blue inside ... ~160,000 miles ... Sold.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    111
    R12 is still available and the last statement was correct about certification. No retailer will sell you this without it and the test is super easy. If you are wanting to do the conversion, dont be cheap and just replace oil. These are the people that complain that its not as cold. If you are wanting to do the conversion, I would replace the the condensor, accumulator, liquid line (has orfice tube crimped inline and flush the evaporator. I would even go as far as replacing the compressor. If you want something to work right, don't take short cuts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    New Braunfels,Texas
    Posts
    570
    If it is done properly,you can get excellent results with R134a conversion..I did my 91 myself,but as posted earlier,it is worth it to replace everything possible,flush and clean what you can,and don't skimp on the parts...My 91 with black leather interior will freeze you out of it on a 100 degree day here in south Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Eastern (nee Western) PA
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    As far as issues specifically related to the refrigerant swap, I think the condenser and orifice tube (in the liquid line) are the most important things. They are constructed differently for R134a vs R12, so those will definitely affect the system's performance.

    Now as far as the rest of the system goes ... age really beats up the seals in these systems. I am in the middle of replacing most of the system on my car. The o-rings are really flattened out. I think the system was leaking from at least two places. It was completely empty of refrigerant when I started working on it. (The A/C has never worked in the 5 years I have owned the car.) And since the system has been opened, the accumulator's desiccant is saturated. It may be possible to save the desiccant with deep vacuum and heat, but there could be contamination in there, and it's just old, so you should probably replace it. Replacement accumulators are really cheap ... like, $25. The compressor might be okay, but at its age, it might also be on the way out. I haven't opened the compressor yet, but I think it lost some of the internal seals ... because the condenser was full of fine dust. I flushed it out with lots of compressed air and some solvent. I did the same with the evaporator and got a decent amount of old oil and dye out of it.

    I got my certification and found a few NOS cans of R12, so I am almost ready to get the system back together. I am looking forward to testing it out.
    God bless!!!

    Former Birds:
    1990 SC auto ... red outside, gray cloth inside ... ~225,000 miles ... Sold.
    1990 SC auto ... white outside, gray cloth inside ... ~150,000 miles ... wrecked.
    1989 Base auto ... Crystal Blue metallic outside, dark blue inside ... ~160,000 miles ... Sold.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brantford, ON
    Posts
    5,383
    R12a is a good way to go. It will work in either a R12 system or a R134 system. I'd recommend getting the system "vacuum'd" so to speak before switching over.

    I've tried it in my car and it was way colder than the R134, and the compressor wasn't working as hard from what my datalogging shows which means better fuel economy.

    Don't believe the crap out there saying its dangerous blah blah blah.... there isn't enough in the system to cause anything other than a flash if it did some how light off, and you are in more danger having gasoline in your car .

    Fraser

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    34
    My system was changed to Freeze-12. Not sure what it is, but it cost nothing in parts, totally cheap for the fill like less than $50, and I was cruising in the SC yesterday, outside temp was mid 80's, and cool as a (insert your favorite icy beverage here).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    NE, AR
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    Here in the US the Hydro-carbon replacements for R12 legality vary from state to state. Basiclly meaning find a state where you can get it, and get it installed anywhere.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Nor Cal
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_Mazza View Post
    I got my certification and found a few NOS cans of R12, so I am almost ready to get the system back together. I am looking forward to testing it out.
    How long is your certification good for ?? I am taking a class this summer for mobile AC systems.


    - Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Eastern (nee Western) PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ddubb View Post
    How long is your certification good for ?? I am taking a class this summer for mobile AC systems.

    - Dan
    Good for life! It only applies to the purchase and use of the refrigerants.
    God bless!!!

    Former Birds:
    1990 SC auto ... red outside, gray cloth inside ... ~225,000 miles ... Sold.
    1990 SC auto ... white outside, gray cloth inside ... ~150,000 miles ... wrecked.
    1989 Base auto ... Crystal Blue metallic outside, dark blue inside ... ~160,000 miles ... Sold.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Posts
    638
    Having worked in the Refrigeration industry for 27 years go with R12a.

    The changeover is a pain and you will b=have great performance with the subsitute.

    But if you have opened the system a vacuum pump and a new drier / accumulator is important


    Regards

    Sean
    '91 White 5-Speed

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Posts
    131
    Thanks for all the input guys.

    Going to pump in from 12A today

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by fturner View Post
    R12a is a good way to go.

    Don't believe the crap out there saying its dangerous blah blah blah.... there isn't enough in the system to cause anything other than a flash if it did some how light off, and you are in more danger having gasoline in your car
    If you guys can use HC gas as a refrigerant it in Canada, that's great for you. We can't use it legally here in the US. So why keep selling the point? R134a works OK and its legal.

    BTW, you don't even need Rxx anything. You can pull your BBQ tank over and use that; propane works just a well.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NE, AR
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    Quote Originally Posted by TbirdSCFan View Post
    If you guys can use HC gas as a refrigerant it in Canada, that's great for you. We can't use it legally here in the US. So why keep selling the point? R134a works OK and its legal.

    BTW, you don't even need Rxx anything. You can pull your BBQ tank over and use that; propane works just a well.
    Hydrocarbon replacement legality varies by state. They are totally legal in GA for one.

    Last time I checked no one has ever been pulled over for a state DOT official to check your air conditioner refrigerant.

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