A/C Question

Yes, I searched.

I bought a $30 conversion kit from wal-mart, it had the fittings, etc etc in it to convert from R12 to R134. So I just replaced the fittings, nothing else. Then I charged it with R134 and it worked for a short period of time. Now I’m going back to recharge it.

Here is the question. Would it be likely that I didn’t have the fittings tight enough and it leaked from there? (it never leaked any R12) And also, I’m assuming that during the conversion process I don’t need to replace anything BUT the fittings, no compressor, etc. Would I be correct in that assumption? And lastly, how many cans of R134 coolant does it take to charge our systems and do I need oil everytime?

I didnt know that could be done. Please post pics or provide details how u did it.

Well, considering the o-rings in your lines are almost 14 years old, its a good possibility that they’re leaking or that your compressor is leaking. Usually when you convert to 134a it’s good to cycle PAG oil through the system. Capacity is ~32oz.

I cycled the oil when I first converted it. I drained it completely, then cycled the oil, then filled it. And it worked fine. But now I’m just starting to wonder where else it could be leaking from.

There really aren’t any pics required. You just replace the old R12 fittings with the new R134 fittings. I heard someone talking about replacing a compressor when they converted, confused and disturbed me. Did I convert it wrong? Did I need a new compressor?

I’m tempted to take the blow and take it to an A/C shop and let them charge me out the ass to inspect it.

Can you take a pic of what it looks like? i’ve never seen one done. I"m new to this.


no need for a new compressor

check all of your o-rings…most likely would be the problem…you can also put dye into your system and run the a/c then get a black light and look under the hood…check all the high/low lines and sometimes it can leak from the quick release valves because you dont put the caps back on.

the oil that is used with the 12 and the 134a are different. If there is oil still left any where in the system (including the comp.) The new oil will eat any seals with the old oil on them. You have to drain and flush the compressor with the new oil. It usually takes few times of draining and filling to clean out a compressor. And you have to test the new oil and make sure ther is a certain percentage of theold oil in the system(very small amount).

same problem here

I did a R-134 conversion like 3 years ago and every year for the past three has been a pain in the a$$. everytime i do a recharge, it either goes away with in a month or doesnt even work, so i have to drain the system, and do it again, sometimes after 24oz of charge, there is too much pressure in the system and it read danger on the pressure guages. had my friend (mechanic) look at it and he couldn’t figure it out. we added leak detector, but we couldnt find a leak. so basically i left the system underchanged all the time until the compressor kicked off, and added another 12oz, so my a/c would work. Finally i decided to take it to another mechanic, he took a look at it charged it, added leak detector, everything seemed to work for three months and the problem returns, compressor wont kick on, same boat as you buddy. Someone please help. Btw do i have to use a black light to detect the leak, the mechanic put some green stuff in the system, does that stuff require a black light to see it?

p.s. if this topic has already been discussed, someone please direct me, i couldn’t find anything.

Some dyes require a black light, some don’t. Did you guys who converted to R-134a put your systems under vacuum before you charged with R-134a? You are supposed to but the system under vacuum with a vacuum pump for 15-20 minutes in order to remove all of the old refrigerant from the dessicant and the rest of the system. When I converted the system in my Pontiac in summer of 99 I did this, and the system worked fine after the recharge as long as I owned the car (through this past november). As Spitfire said, bad things can happen if the oils interact.

the molecules of 134a are smaller than the molecules of r-12. If you lost all the R-12 it’s going to loose the R-134a even faster. There is a company that makes a replacement for R-12 that is called R-12a. Many people on this board have tryied it and rave about it. The molecules are larger and easier to compress than Normal R-12. Do a search it was talked about alot last summer. I will probably convert to it soon. It is compatable with R-12 systems. To replace r-12 with r-134a you should change your compressor and all your seals, drain the oil and basically start over from the begining.

Im really new to this as well. Can someone explain what are the advantages of changing your A/C system from R-12 to R-134?

the name of the refrigerant was the key, typing in r-12, r-12a, or r-134 into the search returned better results, duh, i’m an idiot sometimes.
strikeback03: i think the problem is that my system was not vacuumed properly the first time, good point, i think they guy vacuumed it the second time(too late i guess), thanks for the info.
93Teg44444: thanks for the information, i did not know the properties of of refrigerants, and i will look into using r-12a, only problem is there any places that will recover it if i am having problems, i dont wanna do anymore damage to ozone.
surge2k: type r-12a, or r-12, or r-135 into search engine and you will get some very helpful information.

looks like the orings are the problem i gonna replace those. but then my brother tell me i need to replace the txv valve and the receiver/dryer whenever o-rings are replaced, is this really necessary?

Anyone who still has R-12 systems, I encourage you to check out the autorefrigereants website mentioned above, and look at the enviro-safe stuff. Loofs like a really easy conversion. Here is an e-mail I sent them, and their answers to my questions (the response is in bold)

Hello, my name is Stephen Robinson and I own a 1991 Acura Integra, which came stock with an R-12 air conditioning system. I purchased the car
six months ago, and the air conditioning compressor does not turn on when the button is pressed, which I am assuming is due to the low
pressure switch protecting the system, since the previous owner told me the system would have to be recharged. I was thinking of going with the
Enviro-Safe Quick-charge kit that comes with the ES-12a dyecharge. Does the system have to be put under vacuum to clean out the old refrigerant,
or can the new stuff go right in? New stuff right in…no vacuum at all required. In fact a deep vacuum is not nearly as good as no vacuum. That’s one reason why do it yourselfers like it. Since the system is empty, should I
use some stopleak, or wait and see if it holds pressure?This is a much larger molecule refrigerant. So large it may not leak anymore. Do I need any oil charge?I would order one can of enviro oilcharge. Assuming I need to know the pressure while charging, are there any gauges available other than the 82 dollar set?Just charge it by weight. Ignore the pressures and
ignore the sight glass. The pressures will be about 30-40 on the lowside and about 180 on the high side (just for your info) Whatever the original system held…divide by three. 1 lb equals 3 lbs of Freon. order everything you need here:
http://autorefrigerants.com/co00033.htm (Randy)

Thanks for the info,

I plan on ordering this stuff, and I’ll tell you how it comes out after I get it in.

surke2k: the reason for using anything other than R-12 is that R-12 is EPA regulated, so it is very hard for individuals to obtain some, and shops are expensive. Going with R-134a is relatively cheap and easy, but there are other alternatives that appear to be better.

My bad, the stuff I was talking about was the ES-12a, not r-12a. I did alot of research into this stuff last summer but my AC still worked OK last summer. I’ll probably recharge with this stuff this spring.

es-12a isn’t the same as r-12a??? i guess i may have read wrong but i got the impression they were the same thing.

My ES-12a kit from autorefrigerants.com arrived today, so I went ahead and recharged the system with it. It isn’t too warm here right now, but the a/c definitely cools the air down a fair amount, though I can’t compare it with stock since I never had the stock system working. The required amount of ES-12a for the Integra is 11.67-12.33 ounces, which is 2 full cans of refrigerant, or 1 can of oil charge, one full can of refrigerant, and 2/3 of another can. I used a digital scale to measure how much I was putting in. Adding the refrigerant was easy - just turn the a/c on, and follow the instructions on the cans, which is to attach the hose, invert the can, and open the valve. Even though my compressor wasen’t running when I started adding, the fluid started it up once it drained in (it is added as a liquid, so it will just drain in). Here is another e-mail I sent autorefrigerants.com asking some more questions.

I ordered one of the quick charge kits and one of the cans of Oil Charge. Do I count the weight of the oil charge in the total weight I am adding, or is the mass only for refrigerant?consider that for each can of oil you are adding 2 ounces of refrigerant so, yes include that 2 ounces in your calculations Do I add the oil and refrigerant with the can upright or inverted? Inverted always to insure it is charged as a liquid How do I get refrigerant into the sysem if the low pressure switch is keeping the compressor off - will some of it drain in with the can inverted, or do I have to disable the switch?Start the first can, empty the first can if possible, then kick the AC on Max to suck in the rest of it. The addition of refrigerant should start the compressor working if it is a functioning compressor. Some folks do disconnect that switch w/ this product but it may freeze over or get way too cold if you do that. A smaller sized orifice will keep it from prematurly kicking in too.

Where does the ES-12a liquid refrigerant get added into the AC system? In another thread I, asked why when I get to try and recharge my AC using a R134 retrofit kit, when it comes time to invert the refrigerant can, the AC doesn’t suck it in.

Can anyone lay out specific steps I need to go through in order to properly retrofit my AC if the lines are all evacuated previously. Thanks.

The ES-12a is added through the low pressure port, the larger one of the 2. Did you put your system under vacuum when you evacuated it, or did you just drain it? The retrofit kit should have included instructions, and I haven’t done a retrofit in like 4 years, so I don’t remember exactly, but I think it went something like this:

AFTER the system has been under vacuum for a little while:

  1. Screw on R-134a low and high port adapters.
  2. Start car, turn A/C on, open windows, put air supply on recirculate and fan to full.
  3. Screw can onto hose, connect hose to adapter fitting.
  4. Screw valve all the way down to pierce seal on can. Invert can. Screw valve back all the way open.
  5. Let one can drain in as a liquid (inverted), remove can, put another one on (upright) and allow it to fill the system as a gas. Putting the can in warm water or wrapping a warm washcloth around it or something can help keep the gas expanding and moving into the system.

How did you do an engine swap without removing the a/c compressor? And are you sure the compressor clutch is still good?

Ok, here is the scan of the instructions that came with my kit, from Wal-Mart