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R12 vs R134 (1/26)
 8/6/18 8:59pm
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: 9

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)
 8/6/18 11:01pm
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: 6918

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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Re: R12 vs R134 (3/26)
 8/7/18 12:28am
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: 654

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 7:17am
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: 2047

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 10:46am
nosal1
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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: 261

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 10:48am
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
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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 12:47pm
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: 654

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 10:40pm
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: 9

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 7:52pm
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: 4413

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 8:33pm
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: 654

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

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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (11/26)
 8/16/18 2:25am
nosal1
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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: 261

Yes I too would like to know what product was used???   Sal C    nosal

Re: R12 vs R134 (12/26)
 8/16/18 9:37am
manchestersharkLifetime Member
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Equinunk, PA - USA

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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: 2047

Well Gents, Carlisle is only a week away. Time to check Freon Don and his brew.
Re: R12 vs R134 (13/26)
 8/16/18 6:34pm
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: 4413

Heh I remember you.....
I can show you to the "Don"
Evil Smileebo


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Re: R12 vs R134 (14/26)
 8/16/18 6:47pm
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: 2047

It's a date, pick you up at 8, and don't be late. Chantilly lace, pretty face, a pony tail .............Oh never mind!
Re: R12 vs R134 (15/26)
 8/19/18 4:42pm
eboLifetime Member
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Holland Patent, NY - USA

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


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Posts: 4413

Missed you Crazy Man, what day are you arriving?
Evil Smileebo


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Re: R12 vs R134 (16/26)
 8/27/18 7:01am
vettejackLifetime Member
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Titusville, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1977 Coupe (White), 1982 Coupe (Silver), 2006 Convertible (Victory Red). NCM Life Member #2221.


Joined: 12/19/2007
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73shark said: 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.



Just had my '77 rebuilt (engine redone with Edelbrock intake manifold and .183 aluminum heads, FlowMaster ceramic coated block hugger headers, Johnny Winter 700R4 tranny, custom mod transmission tail bracket, dual electric fan aluminum radiator, stereo, motorized telescoping antenna, analog clock, other goodies too numerous to mention).
Also had Vintage Air installed.
Cost me about $1700 just for the kit, plus labor (my mechanic cuts me a break on labor). With that being said, my mechanic told me that Vintage Air is not really made for C3's younger than 1976. Another words, for my '77, he bought a '76 kit and then did the modifications needed for it to fit (couple of brackets/duct work/center console mods for the control unit). He did the mods while the dash was completely removed (which is needed when Vintage Air is installed).
He has installed Vintage Air kits to all years of C3's (and other classic cars) knowing they would need the mods...that's why tons of people take their cars to him. He even called Vintage Air to let them know that their kits do not 'exactly' fit C3 Corvettes after '77. They told him that in 1978, the A/C unit installed on factory C3's proved to be much better. I guess Vintage Air didn't feel the need to engineer units to fit later model C3's.
Having an '82, I would tend to agree, but who's to say! Knowing my mechanic could put a Vintage Air system in my '82 now, I would do that if I was keeping the car (yes, it's for sale).
 
In the end, Vintage Air should fit any C3 from 1968 to 1976...with little or no major mods. Getting a Vintage Air system into a '77, and later, well, lets say you make sure your mechanic is truly a Corvette/Vintage Air guy. 















|UPDATED|8/27/2018 5:01:21 AM (AZT)|/UPDATED|
Re: R12 vs R134 (17/26)
 8/27/18 10:02am
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: 654

Anyone that went to Carlisle check on what Don's "product" consist of?

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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (18/26)
 8/27/18 12:30pm
atikovi
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Potomac, MD - USA

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1982 CE


Joined: 10/16/2011
Posts: 7

There were a few drop-in replacements that came out right when R12 prices started to rise significantly. I remember Freeze12 and AutoFrost off the top of my head. I still have a 3/4 full 30 pound drum of AutoFrost. Haven't had the need to use it on a car in years but would use that before converting to R134 which works mediocre at best in old systems. It worked great in anything I put it in but don't see that company around anymore. 
Re: R12 vs R134 (19/26)
 8/27/18 12:56pm
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: 654

I found Auto Frost is still in business through a Google search. They claim that they are a non-flammable R12 substitute and are better than R12. They also say they just got a EPA renewal of their license to make the stuff. I also bought a 30-pound tank of R12 in the early 90s when it became apparent that they were not going to sell it to unlicensed professionals. Haven't used any of it yet.

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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (20/26)
 8/28/18 11:55am
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

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1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 1028

I couldn't find Auto Frost.  Link?

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Re: R12 vs R134 (21/26)
 8/28/18 12:47pm
atikovi
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Potomac, MD - USA

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1982 CE


Joined: 10/16/2011
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Like I said, they haven't been around in years.
Re: R12 vs R134 (22/26)
 8/28/18 10:52pm
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: 654

F4Gary said: I couldn't find Auto Frost. Link?



refrigerantsinc.comrefrigerantsinc.com Did this on my phone so this may not be active but it's basically refrigerantsinc.com. Edit: this doesn't take you to the same place that the Google link did. Here's a screenshot of the page that the Google search took me to that also has refrigerants inc.com on it but states that it's Auto Frost products.




|UPDATED|8/28/2018 8:52:15 PM (AZT)|/UPDATED|


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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (23/26)
 8/29/18 8:39pm
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: 9

Glad I opted to keep the R-12. Found a shop fairly local that was able to do the job. A/C dryer, manifold hoses (small leak), drained and flushed the unit getting some crap out of the system, some fresh R-12 and I'm good to go. Correct that it wasn't cheap but the A/C is working better than it has in many years. The car actually stayed cool on a 90 degree day. To me, worth the money, as this was definitely above my skill level. Thanks again for all the opinions and assistance to help me make a decision.

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Re: R12 vs R134 (24/26)
 8/29/18 9:30pm
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: 654

Glad it worked out for you. Another item I have seen on various forums a while back was to increase the performance by swapping out the blower motor for one from a C4 and adding a 3/4 inch spacer between it and the firewall.

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1973 L-82 4 spd

Re: R12 vs R134 (25/26)
 10/16/18 10:20am
RoadKing
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Houston, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1975 Corvette Convertible Steel Blue/Blue L48, A/C, Auto


Joined: 9/23/2018
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For reference, here's another link for a similar replacement product:

http://www.frostycool.com/copy-of-frostycool-12a-refrigerant-18-oz-equivalent-1x-can/
Re: R12 vs R134 (26/26)
 10/16/18 2:26pm
dwright
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Victor, NY - USA

Vette(s):
2004 Commemorative Edition Coupe, Auto w/HUD. 13K miles in 2015. Sold 1982 Red Coupe


Joined: 7/12/2004
Posts: 6800

What ever is done to the system, make sure it is checked for leaks first.
No matter what you use, you don't want it to leak out.


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