New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

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TheGoldenCheetah
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New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby TheGoldenCheetah » Sat Jun 20, 2020 3:57 pm

Hi everyone, hope you're all doing well. I need to replace the AC system in my 1990 Mazda Miata and would like some guidance. My apologies for the wall of text. :D

Ok so my AC stopped working in my car a while back. I took it to a place that specializes in older vehicles that use R12, since no normal AC shops would touch it. They went over the entire system and said the compressor was bad. Since I want to switch the car to 134 in addition to fixing the system, they recommended they install a remanufactured compressor, as well as a new, larger condensor for better cooling, and a new receiver dryer. The bill was gonna be around $1,400 assuming nothing else was wrong.

I paid for their diagnostic but declined having them do the work because I've read again and again that reman compressors never last more than a few months, and are generally a bad idea. So I thought maybe instead I could have my car's bad compressor rebuilt, and have the AC shop install it instead of a reman unit. I contacted an AC shop online that says a new compressor would be around $414, or they can (possibly) rebuild my factory unit. I'm trying to decide what to do and would like some advice. My questions are:

* Is rebuilding my compressor a good idea? I thought having the actual one that came with the car would be better than even a new one. Is that correct or should I buy a new one?

* What in your opinions is the most economical route for me to go to have reliable, cold AC in my car?

I'm open to all advice and appreciate everyone's input. Thank you!
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bohica2xo
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby bohica2xo » Sat Jun 20, 2020 9:48 pm

Why switch to 134a? R12 is still available.

A new aftermarket compressor is available. The replacement condenser for that car is a Serpentine style, and those work very well.

The site sponsor should be able to help you with both of those items. Call AC Kits on Monday and ask for Tim 602-233-0090

AC Kits does sell remanufactured compressors as well, and several of us here have had good service from the remanufactured product that AC Kits sells.

I would replace the condenser at the same time as the compressor, it is a $134 part from Tim.
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Cusser
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby Cusser » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:31 am

bohica2xo wrote:Why switch to 134a? R12 is still available.

A new aftermarket compressor is available. The replacement condenser for that car is a Serpentine style, and those work very well.

The site sponsor should be able to help you with both of those items. Call AC Kits on Monday and ask for Tim 602-233-0090

AC Kits does sell remanufactured compressors as well, and several of us here have had good service from the remanufactured product that AC Kits sells.

I would replace the condenser at the same time as the compressor, it is a $134 part from Tim.


I have a 1988 Mazda B2200 still on R-12. My co-worker had a 1990 Mazda Protege still on R-12. We each got new parts from Tim at ACkits.com, we're local and they had in-town inventory. So I agree with everything in the above post. R-12 is legal to use and available; if a system doesn't leak (leaks need to be fixed), then R-12 is much more straightforward.
TheGoldenCheetah
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby TheGoldenCheetah » Sun Jun 21, 2020 1:34 pm

bohica2xo wrote:Why switch to 134a? R12 is still available.

A new aftermarket compressor is available. The replacement condenser for that car is a Serpentine style, and those work very well.

The site sponsor should be able to help you with both of those items. Call AC Kits on Monday and ask for Tim 602-233-0090

AC Kits does sell remanufactured compressors as well, and several of us here have had good service from the remanufactured product that AC Kits sells.

I would replace the condenser at the same time as the compressor, it is a $134 part from Tim.


Thanks for the info. Yes I would prefer to stick with R12 but.. it's being phased out almost everywhere in the US. I've lived in 4 mid to large size cities in the last few years (Greensboro NC right now) and no shops in any of them will touch R12 systems. They can't evacuate the R12 into their 134 systems, and even if the could, R12 costs a fotune now and is hard to come by. Maybe in Las Vegas its still fine, but not many other places. So having a refrigerant in my system nobody can work on isn't the way I want to go.

I also wanted to ask, does Tim's shop actually do the rebuild on the reman compressors you mentioned? And when you say several other members have been happy with their reman usnits, how long a time are talking about? 2 years? 2 months? Thanks!
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bohica2xo
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby bohica2xo » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:12 pm

Remanufactured compressors seem to last as long as aftermarket replacements here where A/C systems run 10+ months of the year.

How long a replacement compressor lasts generally has everything to do with how it was installed & maintained. Slap a reman on a leaky system, run it & recharge it every time it loses too much refrigerant... All the while depending on the 20+ year old oil in the system. Boom.

Replace a compressor, replace the condenser, receiver/drier, flush all of the old refrigerant oil from the evaporator and lines. Replace all of the system O rings. Add the correct oil charge for the system. Evacuate properly, and charge. The system can last longer than the OEM did in some cases.

In your case, you will need to change the dryer for a 134a compatible part. The condenser should be replaced. Current replacement parts are Serpentine designs. All of your O rings need to be changed to 134a compatible material. A new or remanufactured compressor should have the shipping oil flushed with the PAG oil you need to run with 134a. Once the balance of the system is flushed to bare metal, you can add the correct oil charge and assemble the system.

Your best chance of success is to do most of this work yourself. It is not difficult. Break the system down, clean things carefully and install the new components. You can still take it to a shop for evacuation and charging if you like.
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Cusser
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby Cusser » Mon Jun 22, 2020 5:48 am

TheGoldenCheetah wrote:I would prefer to stick with R12 but.. it's being phased out almost everywhere in the US. I've lived in 4 mid to large size cities in the last few years (Greensboro NC right now) and no shops in any of them will touch R12 systems.


I understand that, as separate, dedicated equipment is required (by regulation) for each refrigerant type. Myself, I use same vacuum pump, and same service gauges but different hoses.

Here in Phoenix, more shops handle R-12 still. The local ASE independent mechanic I use once a year, and the radio guy who's owned a large shop for 4 decades still service R-12, I just don't know how prevalent that is for other shops here.

Very few places in Arizona can even turn an old VW drum anymore, their newer equipment doesn't have adapters that fit.
tourmax
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby tourmax » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:03 pm

Not to pop your bubble, but r134 is also coming to "end of life".

R1234yf is being phased in to replace r134.

I wouldn't worry about too much about it though, unless you plan to keep that Miata for another ten years or more....
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Tim
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby Tim » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:14 pm

tourmax wrote:Not to pop your bubble, but r134 is also coming to "end of life".

R1234yf is being phased in to replace r134.

I wouldn't worry about too much about it though, unless you plan to keep that Miata for another ten years or more....



R1234yf is a newer refrigerant for new production vehicles. Not a replacement refrigerant for R134a.
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tourmax
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby tourmax » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:55 pm

Tim wrote:
tourmax wrote:Not to pop your bubble, but r134 is also coming to "end of life".

R1234yf is being phased in to replace r134.

I wouldn't worry about too much about it though, unless you plan to keep that Miata for another ten years or more....



R1234yf is a newer refrigerant for new production vehicles. Not a replacement refrigerant for R134a.


Yep, this is true. Well, mostly.

2020/21 new vehicles are slated to transfer over to r1234yf. It's not a replacement for r12 or 134a.

Unlike r12, whose main offense was ozone depletion, r134 is "only" considered a "global warming" gas.

The big diff I see between r12 to 134 and 134 to 1234yf is that when they went to 134, r12 production pretty much ceased. As I understand the 1234yf r134 issues is that even though 1234yf is going to take over NEW vehicles, there is nt rules or orders to ramp down or cease r134 production.

But, if nothing but 1234yf is put into cars for the next 10-15 years, it's doesn't take a clairvoyant to see that demand for 134 will drop and eventually it won't be profitable to market it. But we're probably talking more on the lines of 15-20 years from now when the only vehicles still using 134 will be old, like my 30 year old corvette which originally came with r12.

Still, my comments hold true for the OP; if they plan to keep that Miata for another 10 or so years, I wouldn't worry about it. There will be 134 around for quite a while yet.....
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bohica2xo
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Re: New member needs advice from the AC experts. :)

Postby bohica2xo » Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:53 pm

Well here in the US we still have R12 on the shelf. 134a will be in inventory for a LONG time.

This is not canuckistan, where the eco weenies always get their way. I can still buy R500 if I want it.

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