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HOrnbrod

A/C R12-to-R12a Refrigerant Recharge Results

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:hijack: This question is for Nori. You seem to know your A/C stuff. My rig is still R12 and my A/C is still chugging along - have to add a can about every other year. Unfortunately I'm now out of R12, and this time I'm going to try a substitute, environmental friendly Red Tek R12a refrigerant. The manufacturer claims it's compatible with R12 and there are several positive reviews on it. Maybe throw in a can of stop-leak while I'm at it. Any comments yea or nay?

hornbrod

yea that is a Alkane / Hydrocarbon substitute for r12. I have used that for some old r12 unite that the people don't want converted. It seems to work very well and the molecules are larger, which means they don't seep thru the cracks as much, but good for lower PSI like r12. Red Angel AC Stop Leak & Conditioner works with the r12 and I seen it take a system from 6 month charges to 2 years between charges.

 

So yea give it a Go...

 

Since I hijacked a thread previously regarding A/C R12 refrigerant unavailability and/or exorbitant black market prices, based on Nori's advice above I decided to give the Red Tek R12a refrigerant a try and start a new DIY thread.

 

I ordered the Canadian manufactured Red Tek R12a Refrigerant Recharge Kit with Gauge from Amazon HERE. It comes with two cans of R12a, a can of stop-leak, a hose with a quality pressure gauge and brass fittings, and an R12-to-R12a fitting adapter for the compressor LOW side R12 threaded fitting. It also comes with an oil analyzer to check the oil for contaminants.

51HecdP%2BXHL._SY355_.jpg

My A/C compressor was working, sort-of. It put out semi-cool air just below ambient temperature but was useless when the temp went over 80*. I had not recharged or used my system in over two years, but when I hooked everything up on the LOW side I still had ~15psi reading on the gauge, so I didn't bother with the stop-leak since it held system pressure for that long.

 

Adding R12a refrigerant to the R12 system:

 

It's basically the same procedure as adding R12 except you must screw on the R12-to-R12a quick-connect adapter fitting pictured below (included in the kit) to the LOW suction service port first. The adapter fitting has it's own Schrader valve internally, so no gas will escape. The video below shows the charging procedure. Add refrigerant until the pressure settles out on the pressure gauge GREEN scale (~35psi - ~50psi). DO NOT overcharge; it can ruin your compressor.

 

R12-to-R12a Adapter:

 

s-l225.jpg                              5.jpeg 

 I saw a procedure on one of the other Jeep forums where it showed that on the older A/C systems (Renix of course), you have to do a little grinding with a Dremel tool on the HI side fitting for the adapter valve clearance, or pick up an 90* adapter fitting like above. No problem for the 91's and up as the service valves are on the back head of the compressor and there is plenty of room.

 

Recharging Video:

 

 

It only took one can to get the pressure up to 50psi and took about five minutes to fully evacuate the can. Ideal pressure is 38psi-42psi, but I threw the whole can in so I didn't have to store a punctured can. The results were great; the vents blew ice cold air and it was just over 100* in the garage. Took it for a ride and it got even colder, and it looks like I'll only need it on half fan speed with the temp selector at mid-range on the HVAC controls even on the hottest days to keep it comfortable in the cabin. The wife was happy and now says she will ride with me everywhere since she won't have to sweat to death in my truck anymore. So maybe it wasn't such a good idea to fix it. :(  Just kidding of course dear..............

 

The R12a refrigerant from Red Tek is about $12 a can, and even cheaper from other vendors, so I don't see any mega-$$ R134a conversion on my rig's future anytime soon. The R12a cans use the same taps as the R134a cans and the supplied hose has R134a compatible fittings on both ends, so R12a can be used to recharge R134a systems too.

 

All in all, I'm very happy with the results and see no reason why they won't last. Well worth the money if your A/C system is still in good shape.

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Neat. The 89 is still on R12 so I'll have to keep that in mind when... if I ever get the A/C working in it.

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hornbrod,

Awesome to hear that everything worked out great. Now your have some one to nag you while you drive lol joking......

 

At least I'll be cool while receiving the nagging as long as she doesn't lapse into Tagalog.  :rotfl2:

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That RedTek R12a stuff is great. It's been sold up here for years. Mostly just propane in the can I think, but I've restored more than a couple R12 systems with it, even one that hadn't worked for over ten years.

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Great info Don - glad it worked for you.

 

I had already switched to 134a when we re-worked both the trucks...but If I still had 12 I'd go this route. One lb cans of R-12 (when you can find them) are about $600.00 each down here now :doh:

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I committed a mortal sin last week when I found out my AC system on the green 87 still had a bit of a charge.

 

We evacuated it and charged it with 134a and some Pag 46 oil. 39.5 degrees at the vents sitting still. 

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This is awesome to hear. Might just store my R12 cans and use this for awhile. Thanks for getting back to me over PM and posting up the results!

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hornbrod,

Awesome to hear that everything worked out great. Now your have some one to nag you while you drive lol joking......

 

At least I'll be cool while receiving the nagging as long as she doesn't lapse into Tagalog.  :rotfl2:

 

Booking marking this for future use  should the Comanche I finally get is still running the older stuff - thanks

 

Sounds like your wife must be Filipina?  I'm about 1/4 Filipino myself 

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Booking marking this for future use  should the Comanche I finally get is still running the older stuff - thanks

 

Sounds like your wife must be Filipina?  I'm about 1/4 Filipino myself.

She sure is. Going on thirty years now.

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Don, can you throw together a DIY post?  I'd love to have a thread there for future referencing. :D 

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Don, can you throw together a DIY post?  I'd love to have a thread there for future referencing. :D

Revised and linked to the DIY A/C and Heating forum section.

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Does it give procedures for using the stop leak? Guessing it has to be at a certain psi and only use a certain amount

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THIS is the company line. It goes in the system just like an R12a can. I didn't use it because I had no leakage. I've also heard that it can gum up and clog things too, but I'm far from an A/C expert.

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Will check it out. Not sure what is up with mine yet but like to do my research way ahead of time hahahaha. Thanks again

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What are important steps to take when reviving and old ac system that hasn't worked in a while? (Or one that you don't know the history of)

 

I was thinking something like this:

 

1) Make sure compressor is working properly. (I would like confirmation on the best way to test this)

Be sure clutch is engaging the compressor. It could just be low pressure that prevents compressor from engaging, and a charge will solve this. Or maybe the clutch is not engaging for some other reason, like a poor electrical connection.

However, if the compressor is shot, then it would be a waste of refrigerant to try and fill a system that needs a new compressor (since the system will need to be discharged and evacuated).

 

2) Charge a little and see if it will hold pressure - use some UV leak detector and try to find any leaks in the system (condenser, pressure lines, and especially o-rings at line connections)

 

3) If no leaks and compressor is working correctly, then charge to required amount.

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Switch the a/c controls to on and then jumper the switch on top of the filter/drier with a paper clip. to see if the compressor kicks on , if it does check if the fan turns on too , on my mines the idle also kicked up , not sure if that's normal or not. And one more thing don't leave it on for to long because you can cause damage If their isn't any freon or its low .

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Just a Tip ,I personally would never use UV leak detector. once in the system, you will never be able to remove it with out replacing your drier receiver.  The UV leak detector in your system will lower the performance of most Freon's.

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Just a Tip ,I personally would never use UV leak detector. once in the system, you will never be able to remove it with out replacing your drier receiver.  The UV leak detector in your system will lower the performance of most Freon's.

 

Now you tell me... just kidding, but I wish I'd known this sooner. On another Jeep running 134a, I used some leak detector that was part of a DIY recharge kit, and now it doesn't blow as cold...

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After putting the adapter on did you have to do anything else? I put it on the part I circled, hooked up the line, tilted upside down etc. The line fill line filled up but nothing went into the actual compressor like the valve was shut on the compressor side. 

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Thanks again! Learning on the go

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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i made the same mistake too, so don't feel to bad!

 

 

After putting the adapter on did you have to do anything else? I put it on the part I circled, hooked up the line, tilted upside down etc. The line fill line filled up but nothing went into the actual compressor like the valve was shut on the compressor side. 

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