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wierd sticker on accumulator--HELP!!!

steve121 on Wed November 14, 2007 12:41 AM User is offline

Year: 1990
Make: chevy
Model: astro van
Engine Size: v6
Refrigerant Type: ?
Country of Origin: United States

1990 chevy astrovan. Bought this used. A/C has been great for 4 years. Now not so good. There is a blue aftermarket sticker on the top of the accumulator that reads " this product is compatable with R-12 and R-134a" then LZ-3820.
I want to top out the system but am unable to figure out what"s inside? Or maybe I can top out with r-134a?
The high and low ports are still r-12 types. So makes me think it's not r-134. Any ideas?????
Thanks for the help.-Steve

Chick on Wed November 14, 2007 4:48 AM User is offlineView users profile

That means it is OK to use it with R12 OR R134a, it will be fine..Make sure if you do a retrofit that you use the proper oil, flush the old oil from the system, pull a good vacuum and recharge into the vacuum. Follow the vac/charge procedures, along with flush procedures here on the Tips and FAQ page of the furum..Hope this helps..

PS: Be sure to use retrofit fittings, and label the system when done so future owners, mechanics etc know whats inside...

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

NickD on Wed November 14, 2007 7:16 AM User is offline

So you don't know whether your system was converted or not, apparently the accumulator was changed to a later model, but what about the service ports? R-12 or R-134a? A refrigerant identifier would help, maybe you have a shop around that won't charge too much to test it or maybe there is some kind of blend in there. Or you can flush the system and start from scratch, a PITA when a job isn't done right. Have to look twice when buying any pre-1994 vehicle and even some 1994 years.

steve121 on Wed November 14, 2007 5:46 PM User is offline

Thanks for the replys!!
I suppose the "product" the sticker is refering to is the accumulator. That is, someone bought a new accumulator and the accumulator can be used with r-12 or r-134? Maybe the parts department at the chevy dealer could answer that. I'll try.
It would then make sense that the system has been converted to r-134. Why replace the accumulator and then refill with r-12? BUT --The ports for filling is still r-12 type. But i suppose it could have r-134a and the port was not permanantly replaced.
Also the a/c compressor is turning itself on and of about every 5 seconds. I suppose that is an indication of not enough refridgerant. I'm going to put a r-134a fitting on the low pressure port and see if I can get a reading, but I'm afraid its time to call in the pros or go without cold air.
Thank for any imput you may have. steve

Chick on Wed November 14, 2007 6:02 PM User is offlineView users profile

I would try as Nick suggested, see if there is a shop in yiour area with a refrigerant identifier. Worth a shot...

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

steve121 on Wed November 14, 2007 8:56 PM User is offline

Spent the day talking to a/c shops. I'm in Hawaii that is why my post times may seem wierd. According to the chevy dealership the a/c system in the 1990 astro was built to take r-12 or r-134a. But really i think he just made that up to get me out, since they won't work on cars older than 1996.
Another shop said that since the a/c compresor was turning on and off that the system is probably close to empty. And that I should open the shrader valve to see if it hissed. I did that . It hissed for about 10 seconds then nothing. High pressure shrader valve hissed for about 10 seconds then nothing. The car was not running. Does that mean that the system is empty , or do I have to open the shrader valve with the car running a/c in max air?
The problem started when I left the car parked for 4 months while i was in the Mainland.
Thanks --------steve

PS they are selling r-12 for $170 per pound here.

TRB on Wed November 14, 2007 9:06 PM User is offlineView users profile

Many OEM's started using components that were compatible with both refrigerants well before 1994. Need to remember that a component may be compatible with both refrigerants. But not at the same time. meaning if R12 was used you cannot use R134a in that accumulator. I new accumulator would need to be installed and then a different refrigerant. That just an example, many more things are needed to change a refrigerant type.

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Chick on Wed November 14, 2007 9:13 PM User is offlineView users profile

Can't believe they told you to vent, guess the EPA laws are really slacking off.. But anyway, yes, appears empty and you need to find and fix the leak, then do a proper retrofit. Since you don't know what refrigerant was in there, I would suggest flushuing the system, changing as many O rings as you can, adding back the proper amount of oil BVA Auto 100 would be my choice, followed by double end capped PAG 150.(second choice) Then pull deep vacuum and recharge with R134a. Start with about 80% of the R12 amount and then finish off by pressures and "feel" of the lines. They should be around the same temp, after the O tube, and the suction line back to the compressor. You can follow the vac/charge and flush procedures on the GFAQ and tips forum on this site. But you should find and fix the leak first. If you don't have the equipement, then either have a shop do it, or check out the DIY'er kits available at AcKits.com along with their retrofit items.. If you need a pic of the O tube location, I have one I can post..You should change that of course, and I suggest using the "ford" blue O tube in your van..Hope this helps.

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

Chick on Wed November 14, 2007 9:15 PM User is offlineView users profile

Yes, New Accumulator also...Cheap insurance..
Accumulator 90 Astro

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Chick
Email: Chick

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Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose

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