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  1. #1
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    Default 1984 AC Question

    What is the best way to evalute the AC system on an 84. This is an 80,000 mile car, that I have owned for about 2 weeks. Everything looks to be physically intact, but no cool air -so I assume that it needs charging. I have never had a car converted to run the new coolants -but it has been done long enough now that there must be a "best" way.
    What is the best way or kit and what is a rough cost to have it done -I don't believe that I could do this at home right?
    Thanks, Glen

  2. #2
    Member gmjunkie's Avatar
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    It's got so it seems to me that the Internet has created a lot more Horses A$$'s than we have Horses!
    junk!~!!
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  3. #3
    Member rch105's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glava2876 View Post
    What is the best way to evalute the AC system on an 84. This is an 80,000 mile car, that I have owned for about 2 weeks. Everything looks to be physically intact, but no cool air -so I assume that it needs charging. I have never had a car converted to run the new coolants -but it has been done long enough now that there must be a "best" way.
    What is the best way or kit and what is a rough cost to have it done -I don't believe that I could do this at home right?
    Thanks, Glen
    Glen,

    I'd guess there are a few ways to approach it. If you are certain there are no leaks, a cheap kit might be the way to go. Following the instructions, you can do this at home. This worked for me. Aside from a few parts to convert it to the new gas, it was a piece of cake...and very cost effective. I only had my C4 for 5 years and did this the very first summer. The next summer it needed to be topped off. Never touched it again!

    If you have a leak, you'll know it. You will most likely need to visit a reputable and dependable a/c shop, get a diagnosis, and go from there. A good shop would give you an idea of what needs replacing. Then you can either have them fix it, or DIY. Just remember if you DIY, there's no warranty, so if you screw something up...it's your wallet.

    Good luck,
    Rick
    2000 Magnetic Red II Coupe
    Light Oak interior, A4, with lots of options!

    What a difference from our 1987 Bright Red Coupe!!

  4. #4
    MBDiagMan
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    The problem with a car that has no history is that you have NO IDEA what refrigerant is in the system or has been in the system. You can go to a shop that has a refrigerant identifier, but that still doesn't tell the whole story.

    A shop will not recover the refrigerant without first identifying it. If it's bone dry you don't know what refrigerant has been in it, so you don't know what oil is present.

    For this reason, junkies advice is pretty good. If you don't have a recovery machine and the refrigerant leaks out, you are THEN in a situation where you can flush the complete system, replace the accumulator, put in the correct amount of oil and recharge.

    For me, I wouldn't convert the system to anything besides R12 after all the cleanout work. Refrigerant choice, however, will bring with it more opinions than an oil thread. The difference is that there is no law that covers which oil you choose. There are strict EPA laws involving refrigerant and how it is converted.

    If you are not experienced in refrigeration, finding a reputable auto air shop near you would be your best bet.

  5. #5
    Member gmjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post

    For me, I wouldn't convert the system to anything besides R12 after all the cleanout work. Refrigerant choice, however, will bring with it more opinions than an oil thread..
    You got that right!!!! R-12 is a easier choice to work with,and it's allot more forgiving than 134a!It's just that around here you can't hardly get it and if you can they'll Rape you on the price!!! Besides by the time they bring them to me,every wanna be A/C specialist has screwed with them,Crammed them full of AC stop leak and God only knows what else,the system is usually Killed and I have to Guarantee my work!!
    But the truth is a properly retrofitted system will perform ever bit as good as a R-12 system!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post
    If you are not experienced in refrigeration, finding a reputable auto air shop near you would be your best bet.
    It's got so it seems to me that the Internet has created a lot more Horses A$$'s than we have Horses!
    junk!~!!
    Founding Member: 10 Corvettes Anonymous


  6. #6
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    Default THANK YOU!

    He guys, thanks for the response, you have given me some great options. I'm going to call the guy that i bought it from and see if he knows any history on the AC. It was actually cold when I bought the car and stupid me never tried out or asked about the ac.
    I'm sure I'll have more questions as I try to figure out which way to go. Thanks again,
    Glen

  7. #7
    MBDiagMan
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    Junkie brought up a point that I try to remember to point out in these situations. WHATEVER YOU DO DON'T PUT IN STOP LEAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Once stop leak is in the system NO ONE will recover the refrigerant from the system. The stop leak will destroy their recovery machine. I have two machines, one set up for R12 and the other for R134a. Both of them are used and didn't cost a whole lot, but I STILL don't want to destroy them. If I am presented with a car that I am not 100% sure is stop leak free, I will NOT recover into my machine.

    I also will not recover unless I KNOW what refrigerant is in the system to prevent contaminating my entire tankful of recovered refrigerant.

    I don't have a Sealant Detector and I don't have a Refrigerant Identifier, so my use of the machines is limited and I REFUSE to break the law and release refrigerant risking violation of FEDERAL law. The last thing I want is Al Gores Goon Squad showing up at my front door.

    There are so many systems out there full of illegally installed refrigerant OR stop leak, that it makes doing refrigeration work these days a VERY expensive and risky proposition.

    End of rant!!!!!!

  8. #8
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    Before I hit the panic button on a changeover, I would want to know if the system was still under pressure and then verify that the clutch will engauge. You might have a Machanical problem.
    I just went through all of this on my 90. My first thought was low on R12 but it turned out to be the clutch was not engauging. I fixed that and it turned out I was fine on the level of R12.

    I paid a little over $20.00 per pound several weeks ago when I thought it was the problem. I have the permit to buy R12 and was the Mfg Rep for Evap and Clip Light in the mid 90's

    I used all of the correct parts on my 69 GTX for R134A then loaded it with R12. I used Ester oil which is compatible with all refridgerants.

    I have converted quite a few Mopars and they work fine.

    While I agree not to use any stop leak, if you must, the only one I ever saw work in a demonstration was the Clip Light version. You wont find it in a parts store you would have to go to a HVAC supply store and the Contractors price is $56.00 a can.

    so it works ,but its expensive.

  9. #9
    MBDiagMan
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlg View Post
    Before I hit the panic button on a changeover, I would want to know if the system was still under pressure and then verify that the clutch will engauge. You might have a Machanical problem.
    I just went through all of this on my 90. My first thought was low on R12 but it turned out to be the clutch was not engauging. I fixed that and it turned out I was fine on the level of R12.

    I paid a little over $20.00 per pound several weeks ago when I thought it was the problem. I have the permit to buy R12 and was the Mfg Rep for Evap and Clip Light in the mid 90's

    I used all of the correct parts on my 69 GTX for R134A then loaded it with R12. I used Ester oil which is compatible with all refridgerants.

    I have converted quite a few Mopars and they work fine.

    While I agree not to use any stop leak, if you must, the only one I ever saw work in a demonstration was the Clip Light version. You wont find it in a parts store you would have to go to a HVAC supply store and the Contractors price is $56.00 a can.

    so it works ,but its expensive.

    Maybe I wasn't clear about why not to use stop leak. Once you do, the charge can not be recovered into anyones recovery machine because it will DESTROY the machine. That cuts your future options considerably.

    I'm not saying that the stop leaks won't work, although I've always been skeptic of a miracle in a can as opposed to replacing bad parts. It's the consequences for the poor guy who puts his expensive equipment at risk. That guy has to put food on the table and buy shoes for the baby just like everybody else. Give him a chance.

  10. #10
    Member BADRACR's Avatar
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    I've converted at least 10 cars, and if done right it works fine. My 84 was done before I got it, but at the first time for repair I would have done it too.

  11. #11
    MBDiagMan
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    My Vette is also 134. It is one of the very first cars I converted, probably about 1996 or so. It has done pretty well although the condensor is now rotted out and I have one on the way to me as we speak.

    I have done quite a few other 134 conversions that always have done well in the short term. I would say, though, that the average time before problems arise is probably two or three years. My Vette has been the lucky exception to this.

    The cars that I have kept on R12 over the years have faired much better. Some systems respond better both long and short term than others, but given what I know now, when the rare car comes up that has never been converted from R12, I KEEP IT on R12. I have even gone through the hassle of reverse converting a few cars.

    Now that everyone is now getting used to the 134 vs. 12 issues, now 134 will be done away with starting with European cars in 2012 and will soon hit the US. Here we go again!

    I wish Al Gore had all the R134 ever made blown up his A$$. Of course he's so puffed up looking now from all the donuts, you probably couldn't tell the difference.

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    MBDiag,

    I understood what you meant and I agree. None of the stop leak you buy in the parts store works in my opinion. I would have been skeptical with this other stuff had I not seen the demo, and even it had limitations.

    But I still wont use it because I have the ability and the equipment to do this stuff myself.

    I don't do this for a living, but I wont use any of my equipment on a car unless it's a friend and I know the car.

    I don't want to ruin my Tools either.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MBDiagMan View Post
    My Vette is also 134. It is one of the very first cars I converted, probably about 1996 or so. It has done pretty well although the condensor is now rotted out and I have one on the way to me as we speak.

    I have done quite a few other 134 conversions that always have done well in the short term. I would say, though, that the average time before problems arise is probably two or three years. My Vette has been the lucky exception to this.

    The cars that I have kept on R12 over the years have faired much better. Some systems respond better both long and short term than others, but given what I know now, when the rare car comes up that has never been converted from R12, I KEEP IT on R12. I have even gone through the hassle of reverse converting a few cars.

    Now that everyone is now getting used to the 134 vs. 12 issues, now 134 will be done away with starting with European cars in 2012 and will soon hit the US. Here we go again!

    I wish Al Gore had all the R134 ever made blown up his A$$. Of course he's so puffed up looking now from all the donuts, you probably couldn't tell the difference.

    I agree, If there were any R12 left we could shove that up there too.

    But I am not giving up my stash , I still have 2 cars that use it.

  14. #14
    MBDiagMan
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    Yes, I still have a pretty good bit. It looked like the price was headed down as the demand went down due to the older cars hitting the junk yards. About 5 years or so ago, I bought a 30 lb cannister for a little over $300. It looks like it's back to over $500 now.

    I have kept my R12 machine up in the event that I need to recover from one of my own cars and I have a few friends with classic cars still with R12. These are people I trust enough that I could recover from their cars without contaminating what's in the recovery tank. All told, including a few rogue cans that I've come across here and there, I probably have about 30 pounds total.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlg View Post
    Before I hit the panic button on a changeover, I would want to know if the system was still under pressure and then verify that the clutch will engauge. You might have a Machanical problem.
    I have been working on several other items on my car, but was kooking at the AC again and am not sure if the it is engaging. The fuse is in and looks good, but when I turn on the air, I don't see or hear anything change -if it engages will I see the front part spinning ?
    Thanks, Glen

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