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Re: R12 vs R134 (16/26)
 8/27/18 8:01am
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
Posts: 153

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 11:02am
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: 549

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 1:30pm
atikovi
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Potomac, MD - USA

Vette(s):
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 1:56pm
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: 549

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 12:55pm
F4Gary
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Grapevine, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1972 LT-1 convertible with factory air.


Joined: 8/26/2006
Posts: 962

I couldn't find Auto Frost.  Link?

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Re: R12 vs R134 (21/26)
 8/28/18 1:47pm
atikovi
Former Member

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Potomac, MD - USA

Vette(s):
1982 CE


Joined: 10/16/2011
Posts: 7

Like I said, they haven't been around in years.
Re: R12 vs R134 (22/26)
 8/28/18 11:52pm
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: 549

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 9:39pm
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: 7

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 10:30pm
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: 549

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 11:20am
RoadKing
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Houston, TX - USA

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


Joined: 9/23/2018
Posts: 3

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 3:26pm
dwright
Former Member

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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: 6787

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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