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A/C Swap to R134a

StephanieP3 on Fri July 15, 2011 11:25 AM User is offlineView users profile

Year: 1993
Make: Saturn
Model: SC1
Engine Size: 1.9
Refrigerant Type: R12
Country of Origin: United States

We have an old r12 system which doesn't work, may need new compressor, but definitely needs the system converted. How much are we looking at most likely to convert the system? The AC fuse keeps blowing. We're wondering if it's worth the money to fix, the rest of the car is in pretty good shape considering.

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93 Manual Transmission Saturn SC1 130k+miles

HECAT on Fri July 15, 2011 12:20 PM User is offline

Here is the minimum requirements to convert from the procedures page.

Here are the results of doing it wrong

I would try and find out why it is blowing the fuse, and would keep it R12 (not convert).

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HECAT: www.hecatinc.com You support the Forum when you consider www.ackits.com for your a/c parts.

FLUSHING TECHNICAL PAPER vs2.pdf 

bohica2xo on Fri July 15, 2011 3:25 PM User is offline

Actually, you definitely do NOT want that system converted..

Find the leaks, make the appropriate repairs and recharge with R12.

The only thing 134a will do for you is provide the misery of crappy performance, on top of the cost of repair.

B.

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"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

mk378 on Fri July 15, 2011 4:45 PM User is offline

Unplug the compressor clutch. Put a new fuse in, start the engine and turn the A/C on see if the fuse holds. If the fuse doesn't blow, it's probably a short in the clutch coil. If the fuse still blows its something else. Resistance of the clutch coil should be 3 to 4 ohms. Closer to zero will blow fuses.

Then assuming you need a new coil, confirm that the compressor turns OK by hand (not seized). Use gauges to see if there is any R-12 left in the lines. If compressor internals are OK and refrigerant hasn't all leaked out you can likely replace clutch coil, maybe top up with R-12 and be done.

StephanieP3 on Fri July 15, 2011 11:59 PM User is offlineView users profile

Is that good to leave it R12? I thought that type of freon is like illegal or something now?

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93 Manual Transmission Saturn SC1 130k+miles

mk378 on Sat July 16, 2011 12:07 AM User is offline

It is still legal to charge R-12 into old cars that were originally designed for it. No new R-12 can be made or imported into the USA but there is plenty of old stock and recycled that is legal to buy.

StephanieP3 on Sat July 16, 2011 11:23 AM User is offlineView users profile

Ah, okay. I just want to get the AC working because we live in Florida and it's hot.

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93 Manual Transmission Saturn SC1 130k+miles

Tzagi on Fri July 22, 2011 9:49 PM User is offline

You know,
There are other options other then converting (that is tons of work and they rarely work right, if at all)
You can use a drop in such as freeze 12 (hard to find these days) or better yet, "HC based refrigerant" its a drop in, its not regulated, any one can buy it, it works great, it doesn't leak as much, its cheap and more, one down side, once you add it AND want a AC shop to work on your system, forget about it. they don't have the recovery equipment.

TRB on Fri July 22, 2011 9:55 PM User is offlineView users profile

The only reason is because they don't have an HC recovery system? It was about time the HC is the greatest product since H2O post to showed up.

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Contact: ACKits.com

DaveMcKenz on Fri July 22, 2011 10:02 PM User is offline

I would evaluate system. Static pressure 0? Compressor seized? If not, evacuate and recharge with r12, leak check, repair as needed. Depending on specifics you could approach the car's value or your tolerance for spending.
Good luck,
John

StephanieP3 on Thu July 28, 2011 10:04 AM User is offlineView users profile

We don't want to spend a ton of money but at the same time we want A/C we only need the car to last a few years so if swaping the system to an r134a will be a cheaper, easier solution, we'd go with that.

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93 Manual Transmission Saturn SC1 130k+miles

bohica2xo on Thu July 28, 2011 1:50 PM User is offline

As a Saturn owner, I can tell you the only logical solution is to roll the windows down, while they still work.

The platform is a complete orphan, with no support. Drive the remaining life out of it, and throw it away. It has less resale value than a three day old Big Mac.

If you really really love the car for some reason, then you must be prepared to act like the rest of the car cultists. Fiat / Alfa Romeo / SAAB / MG / and other orphaned brand owners rely on small networks, rebuilt parts, message boards etc. to preserve their cars.

If you plan to hang on to the Saturn, and want A/C - you will need to troubleshoot the system, fix the leaks, replace some parts and make it cool again. Regardless of the refrigerant used. Using 134a will mean that all of that work will leave you with a system with poor performance.

There is no 20 dollar fix.

B.

-------------------------
"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest."
~ Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, An Autobiography, M. K. Gandhi, page 446.

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