My present system is R12. If I want to get a set of manifold gauges and use for both R12 and R134, should I get a set of R12 gauges and R134 adapters or R134a manifold with R12 adapters? It seems to me, get an R12 manifold and then get R134a adapters. I know that you are not supposed to do this, but I want a manifold and wont use it enough to buy two.
The inexpensive dual-purpose manifolds are typically a R-12 manifold and hoses provided with a set of adapters to put on the car end of the hoses for use with R-134a cars. They are OK for occasional use. The main issue with swapping refrigerants is that the PAG oil used in R-134a cars will chemically react with R-12 to form sludge. So once the manifold has been used on a factory R-134a / PAG system, it should be flushed out before going back to R-12.
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