Air Cond. convert to new freon, advice? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 02, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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My mechanic asked me whether I wanted to consider changing to the new freon before summer. The current charge isnt putting out very cold air.
What have you folks done in this area?
The old freon is $60 a pound here compared to $8 a pound for the new stuff after going thru some conversion cost. What gets changed as far as parts etc before putting in new freon? What are typical costs related to the conversion?
thanks
click


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 02, 06:22 AM
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I did it myself in my back yard. Luckily my R12 system was empty when I went to do it

They sell a conversion kit which consists of a few new valves, and they give you a hose to charge the system with those 12 oz. cans. You'll probably have to empty the compressor out as much as you can to get the old oil out of it, because the new systems use a different oil.

I would check ALL o-rings, and replace the orifice. If there were major leaks in your old system, you should probably replace the receiver-dryer too.



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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 02, 07:04 AM
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I did a 91 Eagle Talon.It cost $550.00 with a new dryer.The mechanic didn't change to the new kit and it's still working after 3 years.


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 02, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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What a break! My wrench just called, (not wench) and said, " Hey this system was already converted to the new freon". Man what a shock. Something actually ISNT gonna cost me more money for a change.

thanks for the input guys.
click

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 02, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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That was the good news, now the bad... when I picked up my Camaro, he showed me a tiny crack in one of the a/c hoses on the back of the compressor, at the 'L' where the hose comes across the block and then hooks into the aluminum 'L'. Right on the outside of the bend. Can that be welded in place or somehow repaired without removing the whole hose itself? Anyone had good luck trying something like this?
click

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 02, 06:19 PM
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hey Click, Did your mechanic give you a recommended list for things to do in the changeover? My R-12 system is loosing her charge...

Steve

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 02, 06:34 PM
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The freon that's in the system now has to be recovered, then you can remove/repair the cracked fitting.

Then the system will have to be evacuated and recharged.

You wouldn't want to weld it in place... very high pressures...could be dangerous....

Where I'm from, they are strict about who does AC work....must pass tests and have a license.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old May 4th, 02, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Steve, no he didnt say much about the conversion process since it was already done by previous owner. I talked to the alum. welder in town, I have to remove the hose and take it in for welding. He has done many of them. The R134 that was in there has already leaked out now, so I do have to drain the oil before removing the hose. The welder, who used to be a GM a/c tech, said to refill the system one more time but also include some special dye they have, when it leaks out it will be very obvious where any leaks are in case there are more. No sense in fixing one leak, only to have more appear later. Guess thats a good idea.
Ive read about replacing O rings, some valve and evacuating the R12 and oil, drying it out, replacing with new oil, new R134 and presto. Im certainly no expert on this a/c stuff but seems others have done this work in the garage. Here in Minn. law is easier I think. We can buy the R134 at walmart and recharge our own. But any work on R12 seems to be with the license dealers with evac equipment.
So, off for a dye test now.
click

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old May 5th, 02, 02:55 PM
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Doesn't matter whether it's R-12 or R-134a, you can't "recharge" it at home with cans. The system has to be evacuated with a high-vacuum pump, held at high vacuum to check for gross leaks, then charged with the correct weight of refrigerant under pressure while the system is still under high vacuum. The cans are a band-aid to temporarily add refrigerant if you have a (very) slow leak. If you don't evacuate it and hold it there, you won't know if you have a leak until after it's charged and then you lose all the refrigerant and do it all over again after repairing the leak.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old May 5th, 02, 05:21 PM
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I had my 454 truck converted. My compresser was allready shot so a new one was installed. The rest of the system evacuated. All O-rings were replaced since system was down, a no-brainer. A test was done like JohnZ said, that's how it should be anyway. $350 later I was cool, calm, & collected.
Still works well 3 years later.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old May 5th, 02, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again John and you can bet Im not touching this stuff at home. This project goes back to the pro's with the right equipment.
Im glad to just be learning all the things that are different than 20 years ago when I used to do more of my own wrenching. Changed out the plugs today and man was that fun. To most of you, no biggie, but I had not gotten my arms inside a motor under the a/c and knuckles cut,greasy in nearly 25 years. It felt good.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old May 8th, 02, 02:59 PM
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Good for you, Click. What plugs did you end up going with? Sorry I never got back to you... it has been hectic here lately....

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old May 8th, 02, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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LOL Steve I have not bought them yet, was waiting for your advice And with no cap or rotor it wasnt going anywhere very quickly.
My new cap and rotor did arrive today, wait till I take pics of the old cap, gawwwwd the center point was ground down or etched down to being concave up into the top. No wonder it was running rough.
If the new snow melts I might get her on the road again this weekend.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old May 9th, 02, 04:18 PM
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Oh.. in that case, I show that the stock plugs for your heads (350/250hp) are R45S.

The 350/300hp calls for R44S.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old May 12th, 02, 02:06 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JohnZ:
Doesn't matter whether it's R-12 or R-134a, you can't "recharge" it at home with cans. The system has to be evacuated with a high-vacuum pump, held at high vacuum to check for gross leaks, then charged with the correct weight of refrigerant under pressure while the system is still under high vacuum. The cans are a band-aid to temporarily add refrigerant if you have a (very) slow leak. If you don't evacuate it and hold it there, you won't know if you have a leak until after it's charged and then you lose all the refrigerant and do it all over again after repairing the leak.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Just a couple of things about what JohnZ has said here. First off you "can" recharge your system with the small cans. I dont feel that he really understands liquid refrigerants. There is no differance between a 30 pound cylinder of 134a and a 1 pound can. There is a temperature/pressure relationship but it not like dealing with compressed gasses to where as your volume of material drops the press. does as well. Compressed liquids maintain a constant pressure as long as liquid and vapor are in contact. So, on to the other statment that i disagreed with. He said that the systems needed to be pulled down with "high vacuum". Well, 30" is about standard for system evacuation. Not really what I would consider "High Vacuum" This can be easily achived with very inexspensive pumps or even air driven venturi devices that I have seen sell for under $20.00. And unless your worried that you may be introducing alot of moisture into the system pulling it down isn't always necessary to charge it. Throw a pound or so in it so that the safety switch is made and the compresser will run and then charge it in on the low side and let the compressor do the work for you. When the system starts getting to operating pressures the low side of the system is going to be far less than the pressure of the can. I rarely need to evacuate a system to charge it.
Now I wasn't trying to start a big argument here, just trying to clarify a few things.
Hope this info helps.


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[This message has been edited by jrenschler (edited 05-12-2002).]
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