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Old 04-06-2010, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Earth
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I've heard it said that the old R-12 air conditioners in automobiles were more efficient than the R-134a air conditioners of today's newer cars.

I can't say I've ever been able to compare and contrast since growing up none of our cars had an air conditioner, and if they did it was non operable.

Is there any truth to this? Would an a/c inside of a 1970 Cadillac really be colder than the a/c inside of a new 2010 Honda?
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Northridge/Porter Ranch, Calif.
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From what I've read, R12 is colder.
The A/C on my '69 Cadillac blows very cold. According to the shop manual, the air at the outlet vents is 45 degrees when set at maximum cool. R134 is more like 50-53 degrees.

However, the A/C on my '95 Lincoln Town Car, which has R112, is quite cold, too.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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Efficient? They were not. Air conditioning is not efficient in any way.

R12 was just more robust and blew colder. R134A takes a while to warm up, and it's harder to cool as the ambient temperature got higher.

You can still buy R12, but be prepared to pay a premium. They only come in 20-gal tanks nowadays.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Yes I am aware of the fact R-12 hasn't been made since 1994, and people with unused cans of R-12 are highly capitalizing off of it.

Which is a bummer because I have a 1987 Regal which came factory with R-12. I would like to fix the a/c for this summer but will have to stick with R-134a because I do not have the proper license (required to handle R-12) plus as you mentioned, a can of the stuff is ungodly expensive.

I had another Regal (a 1984 model) once where I did the R-134a conversion and it didn't blow all that cold. Well it did after awhile after it got done cooling down the already heat soaked interior. Someone i talked with informed me the reason why was because the system was set up for R-12 and not R-134a. I originally thought maybe I could upgrade the condenser but not so much the case. Someone else told me something about how R-134a just isn't as efficient as R-12 in terms of cooling capabilities. He even used an example when he was a kid

But I did once own a 1997 S-10 and it seemed like the R-134a system in it was more efficient than the retrofitted R-134a system in the Buick.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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Yo ,you do know that you cant use 134 in a car made to use r12 dont you? The ac will need to be converted first.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:25 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,715 posts, read 9,117,088 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nativechief View Post
Yo ,you do know that you cant use 134 in a car made to use r12 dont you? The ac will need to be converted first.
I don't believe that is the issue here. I take this post as a general inquiry.
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Old 04-06-2010, 07:37 PM
 
1,891 posts, read 2,178,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
Yes I am aware of the fact R-12 hasn't been made since 1994, and people with unused cans of R-12 are highly capitalizing off of it.

Which is a bummer because I have a 1987 Regal which came factory with R-12. I would like to fix the a/c for this summer but will have to stick with R-134a because I do not have the proper license (required to handle R-12) plus as you mentioned, a can of the stuff is ungodly expensive.

I had another Regal (a 1984 model) once where I did the R-134a conversion and it didn't blow all that cold. Well it did after awhile after it got done cooling down the already heat soaked interior. Someone i talked with informed me the reason why was because the system was set up for R-12 and not R-134a. I originally thought maybe I could upgrade the condenser but not so much the case. Someone else told me something about how R-134a just isn't as efficient as R-12 in terms of cooling capabilities. He even used an example when he was a kid

But I did once own a 1997 S-10 and it seemed like the R-134a system in it was more efficient than the retrofitted R-134a system in the Buick.
Did you convert everything required to run R134A? Green o-rings, cleaning out the lines, changed the compressor oil to PAG or Ester oil? Old mineral oil does not pair up good with R134A. Also, doing a conversion half-assed will greatly hamper the system. R134A will work better once you have stripped any trace of usage in the old system. But then it's not as good as R12 still. R12 was just better, period. You just can't win at some things.

Naturally the newer systems designed to run R134A will be better...that's the point.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 20,280,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nativechief View Post
Yo ,you do know that you cant use 134 in a car made to use r12 dont you? The ac will need to be converted first.
Yo, ya I knew that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lariat View Post
Did you convert everything required to run R134A? Green o-rings, cleaning out the lines, changed the compressor oil to PAG or Ester oil? Old mineral oil does not pair up good with R134A. Also, doing a conversion half-assed will greatly hamper the system. R134A will work better once you have stripped any trace of usage in the old system. But then it's not as good as R12 still. R12 was just better, period. You just can't win at some things.
Yes all of this was done. The R-134a cooled well at night or if the car had been garage/out of sunlight. Otherwise it took quite a while but it eventually would cool down to a sufficient level.
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:19 PM
 
Location: U.S.A.
3,306 posts, read 9,006,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lariat View Post
Did you convert everything required to run R134A? Green o-rings, cleaning out the lines, changed the compressor oil to PAG or Ester oil? Old mineral oil does not pair up good with R134A. Also, doing a conversion half-assed will greatly hamper the system. R134A will work better once you have stripped any trace of usage in the old system. But then it's not as good as R12 still. R12 was just better, period..
The most important part of conversion is changing the orifice tubes and expansion valves. Mismatching these components with the different refrigerants means that they are not properly atomizing in the evaporator, as a result heat transfer is hindered and ultimately the system will not operate at it's highest potential.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:00 AM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 17,779,267 times
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I have owned cars with ac dating back to 1965 and i can honestly say that 12 or 134 is compatible. I have seen some COLD R12 and own a new Chevy truck that gets down to mid to low 40's outlet temps. Some ac systems just work better then others. I have owned some cars where the ac was never quite right, others where its like ice.. R12 or 134, it did not matter.
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