R12 to R134 Conversion

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Art M, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Art M

    Art M Guest

    Has anyone had success with one of those $40 kits to convert from R12 to
    R134 on Acuras ('91 Integra) or Hondas if they use a similar system? My AC
    has slowly faded so that now it doesn't cool at all.

    I used one of those kits to do the conversion on a '79 Toyota Cressida and
    it worked fine, but I don't know if the success varies depending on the
    system being converted.

    I certainly don't need the AC now, but I'm also wondering if it would be
    better to restore it to operation now rather than leave it as is for the


    Art M, Oct 11, 2005
  2. Art M

    I'm Right Guest

    do not shop for auto parts at stores that sell underwear and import
    everything from china
    I'm Right, Oct 11, 2005
  3. Going to 134 with existing components is a waste of time and money. If
    your 12 system leaked down, then you have to find out why before you do
    anything anyhow. When you do, fix it and refill it with Freeze-12 and
    you'll be a happy camper.
    Bob Johnstone, Oct 12, 2005
  4. Art M

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Your car had R12 from new. If you're in the US, you can still have your
    system recharged with the good stuff (once they find and fix any leaks that
    might exist). If you're in Canada, you're SOL.

    Just because your system has faded does not mean you've got a detectable
    leak. 15 years is a long time for AC systems to stay 100% air-tight.

    Apparently there is a new substance called Duracool that is better for
    older systems than R-134A conversions. It can even seal some small leaks.


    They guarantee in writing that no part of your system will be harmed by the
    stuff. This outfit got a write-up in the Toronto Star Wheels section on
    TeGGeR®, Oct 12, 2005
  5. Art M

    Dean Dark Guest

    Yebbut - In the US, Freon is now something like $50/lb.

    I have fixed and converted two old cars' AC systems to R134a at a
    total cost of about $250 each. I figured that each of them only had
    to blow a seal once after conversion, and I'd be ahead in the game,
    not having to spend *another* $150 to $200 on more Freon.

    I agree though that even in those old cars with 'instant on'
    compressors, Freon gets icy cold a lot quicker than R134 does.
    Dean Dark, Oct 12, 2005
  6. Art M

    Howard Guest

    I have literally seen hundreds of Hondas converted to R134a with no effect
    and with no great cost other than repairing the problem the vehicle came in
    for in the first place. All that I have seen have been reliable and no
    detrimental effects. And all this in the wonderfully boiling hot area called
    Central Florida.
    After any problems have been solved, if there are any, all that is needed is
    to replace the high and low side schrader valves which are different size
    (larger) than R12 valves. You can get these valves at most auto parts stores
    such as Napa or Pep Boys, etc. Average price of approximately $5-6 each. Of
    course the complete removal of any old R12 left in the system as well as a
    thorough vacuum drawdown before refilling with R134a is necessary.
    If anyone has doubts as to the simplicity of this conversion, Honda
    themselves provided a conversion kit containing these exact items, but of
    course the price was reasonably higher. The savings in the conversion for
    the long term if any other repairs are needed are easily returned in the
    cost difference between R12 and R134a.
    After you've found the source of your slow leak add a small bottle of A/C
    dye to your system. This will greatly ease the search for any future leaks
    you may get. The dye will show up under ultra-violet light and show up where
    the leak is. Good luck, Howard
    Howard, Oct 12, 2005
  7. Art M

    Art M Guest

    Sounds like it is better, but I just came across this that says it's illegal
    (to use flammable refrigerants in a car) in my state:

    (acceptable according to EPA site
    http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/refrigerants/lists/mvacs.html, but does not
    necessarily mean that the refrigerants on the list work well)

    Art M, Oct 12, 2005
  8. Art M

    TeGGeR® Guest

    Flammable refrigerants = hydrocarbons.

    Duracool is a refined version of propane (also a HC refrigerant), and even
    smells the same as that.

    Your allusion to HC refrigerants prodded my memory, and I found this in a
    Google Groups search:

    Pay particular attention to the part where Daniel J. Stern gets involved.

    Maybe Duracool is not such a good thing.
    TeGGeR®, Oct 13, 2005
  9. Art M

    Art M Guest

    I haven't made a decission yet, but I was in PepBoys today so I thought I'd
    check out their kit. Nothing on the floor so I ask an employee. He has no
    idea what I'm talking about so he attempts to look it up on the computer,
    but he can't find it there. I ask him if he knows where any little cans that
    read "R134a" are. That worked. They are practically right behind him on an
    endcap behind the counter. I see the kit so I tell him "there it is on the
    right" (we're both facing the endcap), but he looks more towards the left. I
    correct him, "on the right". He moves further left. Obviously I had made the
    mistake of not telling him it was on his other right. From there it was
    almost a game of warmer/colder.

    Art M, Oct 18, 2005
  10. Art M

    TeGGeR® Guest

    He was employed by PepBoys. That should have told you something right
    there. $7 per hour. He's clueless and uninterested. Part-time job for him.

    Did you notice the "L" and "R" chalked on his shoes?
    TeGGeR®, Oct 19, 2005
  11. Art M

    Doug McCrary Guest

    But in fairness, I've met a few interested PB employees...

    Oh GAWD, I just admitted I've been PB's.
    Doug McCrary, Oct 19, 2005
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