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r12 recharge in Austin TX

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kbhstrick's picture
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Does anyone know someone in Austin Texas or the central Texas area that will recharge my r12 system once we get the new compressor, dryer, etc. replaced.

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merrill's picture
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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

I bet you will have a hard time finding r12 at an Auto AC shop.

The last time I had my car serviced the shop had converted over to R134.
They did not ever have r12

Home AC techs still use the r12, not sure if you could get them to re fill your a/c.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

kbhstrick;172265 wrote:
Does anyone know someone in Austin Texas or the central Texas area that will recharge my r12 system once we get the new compressor, dryer, etc. replaced.

Finding R-12 was not an issue in Athens, Texas. Went to a shop randomly picked from the phonebook. R-12 is available, but requires a liscence to purchase, so it has to be done at a shop. They will give you the choice of
'Freeze 12' that is a blend of Freeze 12 and 134a or the expensive R-12. From what I understand from this forum, Freeze 12 would not be an option to consider. So pay the money and get R-12. My point is R-12 should not be a problem to find in a large town like Austin.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

If you'd like the certification to purchase refrigerants, do a search for 609 EPA certification. Training information and test is available online. There's usually a small fee.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

If you go to your search engine and type in "Freeze 12", you'll get all the info. you need to help you make a decision on which way to go. Personally, I use Freeze 12 with no problems.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

Once you get your certification, check out craigslist, under auto parts, and enter "R12" as a search. Typically you can find a 30lb tank for anywhere from $100 to $400. Then you have a lifetime supply and you can refill or you can have your shop refill the system.

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nhdoc (not verified)
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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

I have a 609 cert and buy R12 on ebay in 12oz cans all the time. Not a single seller has ever asked for proof I am certified though, FYI.

The myth that R12 is "super expensive" is propagated by those who are ignorant or just don't want to bother with it and make more money converting systems over to R134a which does not work as well as R12 in our older cars. Call around and you will find a shop who will do it right with R12, accept no substitutions. Overall, you need about 1 kg or 2.2 lbs of R12 which might cost about $50-$60...not super expensive compared to the cost of sitting in a hot car or one which cools poorly after conversion. BTW, in order to do the conversion correctly (which few shops do) it would cost many times the cost of an R12 recharge.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

I just found out that my shade tree mechanic may have put r134 into my r12 system about a year ago to "top it off". Probably why I have compressor problems now. I am about to replace the compressor, dryer, and expansion valve. What other problems might I encounter as the after effects of the r134 mixed in with the r12?

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

Merrill

You said that you converted to r134a. I do a lot of in town driving--stop and go stuff. You know how hellishisly hot and humid it is in Austin this summer, what is your experience with the effectiveness of the r134 in our fair city in the depths of August?

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

kbhstrick;172322 wrote:
I just found out that my shade tree mechanic may have put r134 into my r12 system about a year ago to "top it off". Probably why I have compressor problems now. I am about to replace the compressor, dryer, and expansion valve. What other problems might I encounter as the after effects of the r134 mixed in with the r12?

Well, it is hard but not impossible to do what he did because the fittings for R134a and R12 are different...did he also put the R134a fitting adapters onto the fittings for you? If he simply put refrigerant and no oil in then you can probably just evacuate it and recharge it with R12, but if he added pag oil then you have a mess on your hands and need to get it all flushed out, replace the receiver-drier and evacuate and recharge. And, tell your shadetree mechanic he's an idiot.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

kbhstrick;172322 wrote:
I just found out that my shade tree mechanic may have put r134 into my r12 system about a year ago to "top it off". Probably why I have compressor problems now. I am about to replace the compressor, dryer, and expansion valve. What other problems might I encounter as the after effects of the r134 mixed in with the r12?

If you are replacing items in your system, compressor, dryer, etc, then you are just about done sorting out everything necessary to rehabilitate your system and correct any lingering affects of shoddy work done in the past. If you also replace hoses and seals you are home free. You should ensure the dryer is compatible with either R12 or 134a, there is a green tag or label you should look for on the dryer. If you have components off the car then using a compressor to blow through the condenser and evaporator fittings should remove the bulk of any old oil left in those areas; opinions vary on the issue of flushing the system, and I have not done it on any of mine. Your system should be evacuated after all the replacements. This ensures it is completely tight and the refrigerant will remain in the system. Once you have evacuated the system and it holds vacuum (29.9" Hg for at least 3-4 hours) you can charge with either R12 or 134a. Use the appropriate amount of ester oil to lube the system because it is fine with either R12 or 134a. R12 will give optimum cooling and any competent shop should be able to perform this service for you.

I do not recommend buying R12 for a home supply unless you have access to all the related equipment for working on AC systems. It's simply too expensive to charge a system with R12 and then "hope" it is leak free; you must go through every step of repair to ensure it is a tight system or you will quickly waste a 30# cylinder of expensive R12. If you are converting to 134a, you might justify the haphazard approach because 134a is pretty cheap and available over the counter.

If you are converting to 134a, about the only additional thing you will need to do is change over the fill fittings to the 134a style. Then charge it with about 75% - 80% of the R12 amount. Do not over-charge the system with 134a or you will adversely affect the performance...it will not cool properly, and this gets worse as you increase the amount of 134a in the system. You do not say what model you have so you will need to look up the original R12 amount specified and calculate 75%-80% of that amount in ounces. One can of R12 or 134a is 12 ounces so you can quickly determine the proper amount of either refrigerant and then relate it to the number of cans (if you use the small cans) of refrigerant you need.

Finally, at the end of the day, a conversion to 134a may or may not work as well as the original system operating on R12. My cars do fine, others have indicated likewise while still others have marginal to poor performance.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

I have a 1985 300cd. Any experience with r134a in this vehicle?

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

kbhstrick;172345 wrote:
I have a 1985 300cd. Any experience with r134a in this vehicle?

If this is a question for me, the answer is no. Search the forum to see whether others have done this on their cars. Results vary depending on which model is converted and the condition of the system components, and the general climatic conditions it operates in...if you live in hot humid Houston you may see a big difference in performance than someone with the same car and condition in Seattle.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

kbhstrick;172345 wrote:
I have a 1985 300cd. Any experience with r134a in this vehicle?

All of the W123 ACC systems from about 1980 until 1985 are about the same, none give better than mediocre cooling with R134a, period. The CD is a bit smaller so it would require less cooling capacity but I don't think the difference is great enough to make it work. There are work-arounds such as tinting windows and the like but I have said this before and will say it again...if you have a vintage mercedes designed to work with R12 it will NEVER work as well with R134a or any substitute refrigerant, never. Even in a climate like mine (NH) I was not satisfied with the cooling from any converted car and I can only imagine how it would be in a warmer climate.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

There is one guy that goes by LarryBible at MercedesShop, who is an expert with Mercedes a/c systems. He's a big Mercedes fanatic anad I believe he operates an a/c business. He lives in Texas, but not in Austin. It may be worthwhile to contact him:

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/member.php?u=1020

He's owned a number of 240D's, so he should be quite familiar with the older Benz's of your vintage.

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Re: r12 recharge in Austin TX

Expect a system retrofitted with R134a to provide about 80 percent of the cooling that you got with R-12. My 300SDL typically has 60 degree air coming out the vents as opposed to 50 degree with R-12. My numbers are all based on 80 degree OAT and are approximate.

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