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AC Refrigerant Change


Guest Kingsley
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Customer question - when changing from R-12 to R134A, what in line components should also be changed?

 

Thanks..

 

Kingsley

All the o-rings at the various connections must be changed.  R-134a is much smaller molecule and as such required denser seals to prevent leaks.  Also the orifice should be pulled and replaced as it is easily and cheaply replaced.  The condenser is a solid candidate as they tend to get the crap beat out of them sitting at the very front of the engine bay. The accumulator is another solid candidate for replacement.  Doing a thorough flush of the system is also a good idea to eliminate all the old refrigerant oil prior to replacement. 

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Ideally one should also change the O-rings to the green ones that are compatible with R134A at all the connections.  It is also a good idea to replace the drier which after 25+ years of drying the desiccant is pretty well worn out.  The system requires a complete evacuation and then the recharge with compatible oil.

 

Depending upon the miles and the state of components, It might be a good time to replace the compressor as well as the condensor in front of the radiator.  It depends upon how many times this person wants to do the job and how much money they want to spend.

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With respect to the other folks who posted I have converted several cars to R134 and simply put in the correct oil, changed the fittings and put in the new freon.

Some of those cars are still working good after a couple of years.

The AC folks do recommend changing all the parts mentioned as a precaution and to get the most out of the system but I have had good results on simply changing the oil fitting and freon. These three item you get when buying a "kit" at WalMart or ????

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I usually go to a professional but when doing myself the usual job is compressor, dryer, orifice tube (have not noticed any real difference with variable but my idles are set a little higher), and any O-rings on lines I opened.

 

I also use the multi-Freon lubricant.

 

Then pull a vacuum and then let it sit overnight. If still holding in morning I charge with 134A.

 

If replacing the condenser, I'd probably go with a more modern design.

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