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View Full Version : Ice Cold R134 conversion claim - St Petersburg, FL



SBL
10-07-2013, 07:28 AM
I recently noticed that my AC is alittle less cool that it should be.

Stopped by this chain called Ice Cold that does ACs in St. Petersburg, FL. He said that nobody can get R12 anymore, and that he recommended the conversion to R134. He said "I did a conversion on a Delorean last week", and, he charges $175 with the freon. He does not change O rings or anything.

So,
1) Is there anyone on the list that in fact took their car to this place? How is it working?
2) Seems like this could be a cheapie approach that could lead to problems since the pressures are higher with R134. Yes?

Bitsyncmaster
10-07-2013, 07:56 AM
You can get R12 but it's $30 a pound if not more. His $175 charge sounds cheap. Does he do a flush, replace the accumulator and replace the orifice?

SBL
10-12-2013, 01:26 AM
Dave,

I guess you can see that I moved from Baltimore. I left my parts (or service) notebook in your garage. You can keep it. It is an original and has a number of pages in it that I have never seen in the reproductions.

aenglish87
10-14-2013, 05:36 PM
I recently noticed that my AC is alittle less cool that it should be.

Stopped by this chain called Ice Cold that does ACs in St. Petersburg, FL. He said that nobody can get R12 anymore, and that he recommended the conversion to R134. He said "I did a conversion on a Delorean last week", and, he charges $175 with the freon. He does not change O rings or anything.

So,
1) Is there anyone on the list that in fact took their car to this place? How is it working?
2) Seems like this could be a cheapie approach that could lead to problems since the pressures are higher with R134. Yes?

Hi Steve,

I recently took the time to get some opinions and feedback on what the best route was to get my AC running cold again on my 83. I was told by many that finding anyone to do R12 would be next to impossible but I was also advised (by Mike at DMC FLorida... who has always given sound advice and technical info to me as a relatively novice D owner) that converting the Ds to 134 has typically proven to be a bad idea due to a number of factors including what you mentioned. As I understand it from talking to a few "experts" including Mike, some cars just dont convert to 134 well based on the engineering of the AC system and components in the car. After deciding that I wanted to exhaust all efforts to stick with R12 I foound a local shop here int he Tampa Bay area (just on the St.Pete side of the bridge in Pinellas Park) that came very highly reccomended and does a lot of custom and complex AC work on high end and classic cars. The shop is called Jerry Ostow's Automotive and Jerry took the time to discuss my issue and the pros & cons of my struggle with the decision of which direction to go on getting my AC system back up and running cold again. In the end he agreed with Mike at DMC that the best route would be to start with recharging the system, checking for leaks and sticking with R12. He got the system recharged, leak tested (no leaks!) and re-filled with R12 for $220 and had the car back to me in 2 days with the AC blowing colder than any of my brand new vehicles. I highly reccomend him and am very glad that I found him and took the time to talk to some people about converting to R134 vs sticking with R12 before doing anything. Jerry's number at the shop is 727.527.3893. It is located at 3540 64th Ave N. Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Hope that experience I had helps you with your decision.

-Alex

SBL
10-21-2013, 04:30 AM
That is just what I was looking for Alex, thank you.

DMCVegas
10-23-2013, 07:58 PM
R134a has two big problems:


Smaller molecues resulting in more frequent leaks.
Heat Absorbsion rate resulting in different pressures that throw the efficiency of the system off.



A proper system flush and vacuum test on any old system that's being brought up to snuff should be considered normal practice, so the contamination issue when switching over is a moot point. However the leaks from the R134a is a concern since the price of the stuff is going up and up. A proper, full conversion should include Barrier Hose. R12 molecules are large enough so that they don't seep through the rubber hoses as easily, but R134a can slowly make it through and cause more frequent servicing, and will become more expensive. Barrier Hose has a Neoprene liner inside that prevents this.

The higher pressures that R134a operates at doesn't affect the lifespan of the equipment. However it does intact diminish the cooling capacity if you simply drop it in with no modifications... Reason being is that R134a doesn't absorb heat as quickly as R12, so you've got to move more through the system to get the same capacity. As such the default setting on the Low Pressure Switch will cut out before too soon at idle. The original fix was to adjust the Low Pressure switch about a quarter of a turn per EPA recommendations. This would allow prolonged compressor engagement at lower RPMs, so when stopped you could still keep cool. The later option is the VOV, or Variable Orifice Valve. Normally the Orifice Tube that vaporizes the liquid would need a minimal pressure before it could allow refrigerant to pass through. The VOV will open up at lower pressures while closing at higher ones to maintain a steady flow of refrigerant to ensure optimal, and consistent cooling.

In the long run, R134a will most likely have a longer serviceability than R12, but it's not quite as simple as swapping out just the refrigerant.

Ron
10-24-2013, 12:18 AM
...
Normally the Orifice Tube that vaporizes the liquid would need a minimal pressure before it could allow refrigerant to pass through.$.02

If I understand what you are saying??-
Actually, "normal" orifice tubes are just simple, accurately sized, tubes.. ie they allow flow freely at any pressure.

I'd say after reading years of debates, reported experiences and watching real world results (for several makes/systems), IF the system is flushed and charged correctly (including oil type) and isn't used in extremely hot areas, the only down side is the molecule size/leaks (which the significance of, when comparing new hose to new hose, is about nothing -- You'd loose more dis/connecting a set of gauges to check it with... ;-)