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R12 vs R134 (1/26)
 8/6/18 9:59pm
gdefran78
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Hillsborough, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary, red leather interior, 17000 miles, AM/FM/8-track player, L-48, auto, mirrored T-tops, alloy wheels, Goodyear GT Radial tires


Joined: 10/22/2004
Posts: 7

The a/c on my '78 is blowing warm air. Since it's going to need some servicing I was wondering if anyone has some thoughts or opinions whether I should re-charge with r-12 or convert over to r-134. The car is super clean with 17000 miles. Advantages or disadvantages? Would it affect the value of the vehicle if updated?  Thanks for any suggestions.

|UPDATED|8/6/2018 6:59:00 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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Re: R12 vs R134 (2/26)
 8/7/18 12:01am
NorskyLifetime Member
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Twin Lakes, CO - USA

Vette(s):
SOLD - "The Toy" - 1970 Convertible
SOLD - "The Beast" - 1990 ZR-1 (#682)
"BLKBRRD" - 1978 Trans Am, 400ci/225hp, 4 spd, Black w/black interior, Hurst t-tops


Joined: 1/23/2002
Posts: 6823

You will be EXTREMELY lucky to find any R-12 refrigerant within the USofA.  And if you do find any you will most likely have to pay a king's ransom for it.  The conversion of your system to R-134 may actually be less costly.

The downside is the older A/C systems don't cool as well with the R-134.  The newer systems are designed to work with it so they do a better job of cooling.  Several years ago a leaking condensing unit on "The Beast" prompted me to convert it to R-134 as part of the repair.  The A/C didn't work as well after that - it would get cool but never got COLD.

As far as the conversion having any impact on the value of your car I can't really say.  You may lose points in a serious judging situation where "originality" is held at the highest degree.

Good luck!


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Jim Olson 

"The Toys"...!!!  Save the Wave!

Re: R12 vs R134 (3/26)
 8/7/18 1:28am
73shark
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 549

One option would be if you do not care about originality, would be to convert it completely with a Vintage Air system. I don't know how expensive that would be but it would certainly be more efficient than adding R134a to the current system. If you do decide to convert it to R134a, make sure you get somebody that knows what they're doing to do it and does it right. First they need to remove all of the oil because the R134a oil is not compatible with the R12 oil. They should also replace the two charging ports with R134a type charging ports. That way there will not be a question in the future of what's in the system.

|UPDATED|8/6/2018 10:28:00 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (4/26)
 8/7/18 8:17am
manchestersharkLifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1972 conv, 4-speed, 350, 200hp, numbers match, rally wheels, war bonnett yellow w/white top. good condition, nice driver.


Joined: 10/31/2007
Posts: 1981

My 72 has been changed to 134. It was done by a A/C tech.. Nowhere near as good as R12. I kept the old system so it LOOKS correct. It works, but cannot keep up to heat in above 80 temps.
Re: R12 vs R134 (5/26)
 8/7/18 11:46am
nosal1Gold Member
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Dunedin, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1980 Corvette Torch Red with Gold metallic 370HP/350 CU.IN.Turbo 350 w/shift kit.Originally CA.Car with 305 CU.IN.


Joined: 3/21/2006
Posts: 252

I have R 12 in my '80 Vette and works great,however I have a'68 Camaro with OEM condenser etc.,and a Sanden Compressor and it gets cool,however not cold..As it has been stated you will have to pay a Kings ransom for R 12 charge...                Good Luck

Re: R12 vs R134 (6/26)
 8/7/18 11:48am
princered72
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YORK, PA - USA

Vette(s):
72 Convertible 350 base 4spd A/C Milli Miglia Red Black int. Original numbers, 150k miles


Joined: 11/12/2001
Posts: 12

Depending upon what needs to be serviced on your system I would stay with R12.  Price of the R12 has come down in the last couple of years.   Probably comparable to R134 now.  If you do change over you will only need to charge the system to about 75%of r12 charge.  Also some people have change out the POV valve to a new valve to help with efficiency.  I know many mechanics are not "authorized" to use R12 now so you may need to recharge it yourself.

I changed mine over about 15 years ago when R12 was Big $$.  Should you decide to change it, on another forum a gentleman by the name of Swede wrote a post on changing and I followed that.  Mine works well but not quite like the R12
Re: R12 vs R134 (7/26)
 8/7/18 1:47pm
73shark
Standard Member
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 549

I'm glad that I bought a 30-pound tank of R12 for $200 a number of years ago right before they mandated that you had to have a license to even buy it. I'm not even sure where you would go to buy R12 today but I can guarantee you that it will not be close to the price of R134a. Beware of the advertised substitutes for R12 that are out there because some contain flammable gas.

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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (8/26)
 8/9/18 11:40pm
gdefran78
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Hillsborough, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1978 Silver Anniversary, red leather interior, 17000 miles, AM/FM/8-track player, L-48, auto, mirrored T-tops, alloy wheels, Goodyear GT Radial tires


Joined: 10/22/2004
Posts: 7

Thank you all for your opinions and experience. Having weighed it all out and considering the car I have I am going to try to stay with the R12. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone's input.

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Re: R12 vs R134 (9/26)
 8/15/18 8:52pm
eboLifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

Vette(s):
#1 *1980 White, Red interior 14,000 mile #2 *1980 Red, Oyster interior 93,000 miles Resto project car, rebuilt to 383 stroker


Joined: 6/3/2008
Posts: 4401

AC in my 1980 had not worked in 20 years, last year at Carlisle I took a chance and let "Freon Don' check it out and then put his product in......did not have to change a thing.....it's still blowing ice cold this season.
Evil Smileebo


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Re: R12 vs R134 (10/26)
 8/15/18 9:33pm
73shark
Standard Member
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Overland Park, KS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Orange Metallic Coupe (orig owner), L82, 4 spd (WR), PS, (A/C & PW (I installed from wrecked 73)), leather, AM/FM Stereo, ran with '65 FI unit earlier & will again some day.


Joined: 7/9/2003
Posts: 549

Curious as to just what is Don's "product".

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1973 L-82 4 spd