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Old 12-02-2012, 03:19 PM   #15
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Sorry, I guess I didn't mention the reason I'm doing this! The compressor is fried! It doesn't work at all. I had to disconnect the wiring so that the clutch doesn't try to engage and make a racket. It still makes a terrible noise since the belt is still attached. The system lost all the R134...completely empty. So, it doesn't cool at all. Can't leave it be, because I'm going to LA in June (Keyair, are you close to Glendora?), and I'm not going without AC.
I'm going through all the systems again so that I can use them in a pinch, and I don't want to have to if I break down.
I'll recap in a different thread about what all I've done to this baby since I bought her ten years ago. I like the idea of sort of a blog as you go thread like some of you have. I wish I did that from the beginning.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:30 PM   #16
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There are things that can be done to make a 134A system work better. Things like replacing the expansion valve with the correct size. I think they also make condensers that are designed for 134A. It is hard to keep any old system leak free so 134A would be cheaper. I have never noticed a difference in cooling in R12 versus 134A systems. Retrofitting an old system may make it a little less efficient. To do this right you need all the soft components replaced anyway so you might as well get 134A compatible hoses and seals. What you don't want is a leaking old system with R12 in it because of the cost and limited availability not to mention the enviromental concerns.

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:39 PM   #17
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I had a belt drive problem and thought it was the compressor clutch going bad so I picked up a rebuilt unit from O Reilly's to continue the trip. The first compressor was a new old stock. About 12,000 miles later the OReilly compressor failed so I reinstalled the NOS compressor. I made the swap at an RV Park in Bronson, MO. I drive with a pocket thermometer in the vent so I can keep an eye on the A/C. The NOS compressor ran 8 to 10 degrees cooler at the vent with no other changes in the system.

The condition and quality of all the components in the system make a difference.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #18
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All great points!
I love your idea to run with a pocket thermometer in the vent Dan!
I posted a link to a great R134 retrofit PDF... but cant find the link now..

When I get to the time to fix our engine AC, which has retrofit R134 fitting on it, but is empty AND has the clutch energizer wire cut off... I will have to make some choices too. One thing I will look at is adding a 2nd evaporator somewhere in the cabin!
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:15 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
$80/ Lb for R12....
Oh my...

Shame you dont live closer to me....
Look what I have in my Garage...




I bought a virgin 30lb can of it for $200 about a year ago locally...
You can do your EPA 609 licence online for $20 and its an open book test...
EPA 609 Certification

I have used ES12a too....
But last time I mentioned it here, I got into trouble for saying it..
It works great, but if you are worried about having the fire risk of propane based refridgerant onboard, I would not suggest you use it...
Refrigerant - Enviro-Safe Products

I replaced every O ring in my 1990 Mercedes 190E, with HNBR O rings, and recharged it with R12...
85degF in my garage, and I was getting 35F out of the vents at 2000rpm in my garage with just the fans running.

Hi, and I think I have a few loose cans of R 12 in my garage. I also have a 30 lb can of R 12 that has been sitting in my garage for about twenty years.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #20
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Hi, and I think I have a few loose cans of R 12 in my garage. I also have a 30 lb can of R 12 that has been sitting in my garage for about twenty years.
First Dibs!
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:18 PM   #21
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I drive with a pocket thermometer in the vent so I can keep an eye on the A/C. The NOS compressor ran 8 to 10 degrees cooler at the vent with no other changes in the system.

Cheers, Dan
Hi, I used to keep a pocket thermometer in the vents of all of my cars; I don't anymore, but I have two of the larger ones in my trailer. I have one in my refrigerator and the other in my air conditioner.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:21 PM   #22
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I want to clarify that the R12A I mentioned in my post above is NOT the same as R12.

R12 is the original Ozone depleting refrigerant invented in the 1930's and used in Auto refrigeration systems until 1994.

R12A is a propane based refrigerant which is a very good drop in replacement, but it is flammable and thus not used as an OEM refrigerant due to the scare of a fire hazard. I understand that in Germany it is used on cars from the factory sold in Germany, so it can't be too much of a problem. However I am only pointing out that it does exist, and is sold and used a lot by individuals. The GMC motorhome forum group swears by it. I have used it personally. It is inexpensive and has better cooling properties than R12.

I am not going to debate the merits of it one way or the other, just letting you know it does exist, and you can find it with some Google searching.
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #23
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I got ya Robert...
I have some small cans of R12 floats about too!
And some ES12a...
Here is some virgin R12...
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:36 AM   #24
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Do what you will with the R12A, but in my professional capacity, I must say that GM does not approve, due to its flamability.

If you do go to 134A, before you replace the condenser, I would look into installing some electric cooling fans. A good choice would be those complete sets available for police applications. They were designed for long idle times specifically to reduce underhood temps AND improve A/C performance while at investigation scenes for hours at a time.

The Impala PPV (9C1 option code) has a setup with a 320 watt (IIRC) fan set that is very good.

This suggestion probably cost no less than a bigger condenser, but may be easier to find, and cures several thermal issues at one time. It could be switched in a vareity of manners, depending on what you want.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:34 AM   #25
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If your compressor is bad make sure you clean all the debris out of the high pressure line and condenser. An 02 model should have been 134a. Federal law was any vehicle made after 92 be 134a. Anyway if it was made to run 12 then it will run best on 12 gas, there are a few replacements now out that are a drop in gas like the r12a and there are others. But 80 a lb is way to much. Before long 12 systems will be gone and 12 worthless. I would use either 12 or one of the replacements and not 134a, that is if the a/c was designed to run with 12. Make sure you clean the whole system out and replace the oil that is compatible with whatever refrigerant you decide to use.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:20 PM   #26
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Update on dash AC

My P30 is a 1979 with a 1981 coach. It came with R12. I received a brand new compressor and got new R12 fittings among other things to replace the hack job R134a conversion the PO had someone do for him.
It blows way colder than the 134 ever did.
If I ever need charging after the one year warranty expires, I definitely will use the R12a or equivalent. I just wanted to use R12 just this once to know how it's supposed to feel, kind of like a baseline.
The heater and AC fans and switches all work well!
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