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Do yourself a favor and get it retrofitted. Should cost about $130 at most shops. My friend did it himself on his '89 LX. $50 for pep boys to evacuate and draw a vacuum on the system. And another $40 for the "retrofit kit" which included R134a, oil, and the hose and adapters.

I'm going to get mine retrofitted next month.
 

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I am anarchyx34's friend. It has been almost a year since I did the retrofit. Still blows cold as hell :) One thing about the 134a though. When you first turn it on it will blow out cool (not warm, Even in 90+ deg.) for about 4 mins. After that it will start to blow out cold. I have noticed that my car blows out colder then my mother's Daewoo and anarchyx's brother's Grand Am.
 

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Changing over to R134 is not a bad idea, but let me share something.

Kenny, the reason your car takes about 4minutes to start blowing cold air is because R134 is not as efficient as the old R12. You need more pressure with R134 than with R12 to cool So the 4 minutes you're talking about is probably after you get going down the road, rpms at least 2000rpms, then the A/C starts cooling well. R134 is not going to keep you as cool idling in traffic as R12, the compressor needs to spin faster.

What I did to my 1985 Lincoln town car when it all leaked out, put in FREEZE 12. Now, had like 4 different A/C guys say Freeze 12 is a joke, it is an isotope, only good as a leak checker, and all this BS. A couple of guys didn't know it even existed. They said that since it is an isotope (mixture of different gases...something like propane, freon, etc..), that the lightest gas would leak out first, then there would be NO cooling, even if you only lost a few ounces.

Well, my mechanic buddy had some Freeze 12 (someone gave him a case of it), and he said he'd charge it up for free--just to see how well it worked/didn't work.

That A/C blew colder than ever, no retro-fitting. With Freeze 12, you supposedly don't even have to change the refrigerant oil--and we didn't. That A/C would freeze you out on a 108 degree Texas day--without WINDOW TINTING!!

But then another hose leaked, leaked all the "freon" out, now it needs charging again, and a new hose....:(

So now, I suggest everyone give that freeze 12 a chance. It's cheap too. It is meant to be the DIRECT replacement of R12.
 

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Nope. It takes 4 mins to get cold no matter what. I have sat in NYC traffic and it would get too cold on fan speed 1. And I mean COLD! And this was when it was when it was near 100 deg. I didn't have to empty out the oil from the compressor either. I just had the r12 evacuated, and then charged it with the retrofit kit, which came with an oil/134a charge. Sort of like a 2 cycle engine, the oil is mixed in with the charge.
 

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Kenny,

It also depends on your idea of cold. A good running A/C should crank out about 40degree F air, even my car with R12 in it, cranks out 44 or 45 at idle, driving down the highway, it is under 40F.

Also, maybe the A/C system on our cars are "tough" or something. Cause it does take more pressure to cool with R134 than it does with R12, anyone can tell you that.

You see, you can use almost any gas as a refrigerant (propane, natural gas, methane, oxygen, etc..if you ignore safety). Some gases definetly have better cooling capabilities than others. This is why freon is used instead of a different gas--it is more efficient.

This is to anyone who don't know. The cold air comes from the expansion of the freon. When you compress freon (or any other gas), it creates heat, when you expand it, it creates cold. Your compressor pressurizes the freon and then it ends up going through the expansion valve, thus cooling.

A cool little experiment, go out and buy one of those keyboard cleaner things--it uses just compressed air. Spray that air out for a little while, it will actually freeze the can if you hold it long enough. I'm not at all trying to argue or anything, just sharing my experience.

[Edited by jiffy6969 on 05-22-2001 at 01:51 PM]
 

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Hehe.. I know that 134a isn't as efficient as r12 I am also sharing from my experience that 134a works great in our cars. I never actually tried measuring how cold it does get. But I have taken melted chocolate bars (the little ones)and stuck them in between the vents slots and have them rock hard in 5 minutes.
 

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So then you ate the chocolate bars after that? Lol...

That's pretty cold.

For anyone, you can buy like little thermometers, they look kind of like a meat thermometer or whatever, for about $3 or $4 or less. I bought one when I thought maybe my A/C wasn't blowing cold enough.

On another note, I had a 1986 Toyota Camry, 4 banger, it had the coldest dam blowing A/C I've ever felt--108F outside, no prob inside, A/C on Economy mode.
 

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where can you buy this FREEZE 12 at? i have never heard of it. i am not to sure i want to put the 134a in my car. i mean my a/c has never been recharged and it still gets cold. i dont think it gets down to 40 degrees though. will the 134a last 13yrs? at $5 a can from walmart i dont think so. i wouldnt be surprised if every year and a half on avg you would be recharging your system. can you still even get freon? even at $50 a pound i would still buy it.
 

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Yes you can buy r12. It's between 49 and 55 a pound in Raleigh. You ned to have a license to buy it, though. Freeze 12 DOES NOT just "combine" with R12. Don't be fooled. I just got out of an A/C seminar. The instructor showed us what happens to incorrectly retroed systems. Basically, the systems will work for awile. But the oil will be carried out of the compressor by trapped R12. That is followed by compressor failure. Careful jiffy. That is an expensive repair. Smachan, LEt me know about the trim piece. I can charge you A/C at the same time, if you like.
 

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All this talk about icy cold A/C is starting to piss me off, especially when mine is broken. anyway, does anyone know how much an A/C compressor costs? mine has little pin holes in it, and i was told it was about $500 for the part, that sounded a little sketchy...
 

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Check carparts.com I think I rember seeing a rebuilt one for under $200.
 

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Yeah.. my A/C is broken too, the previous owner had the bumper replaced because of an accident, and it crushed some tubing behind the bumper. Also my compressor is shot too. I got an estimate for repairs, it was around $550, which included all parts I needed, labor, and R12. I want to check with them about 134a conversions, since there is no freon in my system, I'm probably paying more for a full charge of R12 than it would cost to do a conversion.


Fortunately, its been a cool spring here in PA =)
 

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I got my a/c compressor replaced about a year and a half ago at my local mazda dealer (who just happens to be out of business now, by the way) after the compressor clutch broke on it and it worked really well up until this summer, when my a/c gave up again. I'm not sure what's wrong this time (don't think it's the compressor), but I'm not sure I want to sink more money into the a/c in an old car with 145,000 miles on it.
 

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jiffy6969 said:
...A cool little experiment, go out and buy one of those keyboard cleaner things--it uses just compressed air. Spray that air out for a little while, it will actually freeze the can if you hold it long enough. I'm not at all trying to argue or anything, just sharing my experience.

[Edited by jiffy6969 on 05-22-2001 at 01:51 PM]
Those keyboard cleaners/dusters in a can are actually R134a..... hahaha NO KIDDING.

They can be used to recharge your A/C system... only thing is they dont have any oil in them.. but if your system is charged well enough, then youre good to go.

R134a is chloroflouroethane or something (forgot)

EDIT: TETRAFLOUROETHANE!!!! THATS IT!
 
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