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Thanks, that was quick.

Can anybody tell me what is involved in upgrading the system from R12 to R134a?

Has anybody done this and costs involved. I seem to remember advice that it is just the compressor that needs changing, maybe wrong.

Cheers

Jerry

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If you are importing to Australia, that's not your problem!

A 1988, was originally fitted with R12, now an illegal gas in Australia, if, it has already converted to R134, you need a certificate, from a qualified engineer certifying R134, the fine for trying to import an ilegal gas into Australia is HUGE!!

If not the system has to be purged before entry, ie country of origin, and again a certificate to certify it has been purged.

There is potential to end up with your investment stuck in quarentene, refusal to admit it, and a massive fine.

And that's only part of the problem, contact Dotars, and read everything you can, trust me there are 57 seperate nightmares to go through, and that's before you get an engineers report!

Roger :angry:

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Hi,

Yes you are correct, I have studied the paper work. I also contacted "Ozone" the department who issue the import permit along with DOTARS, and they state not only does the gas (R12) have to be removed but the dryer and filler valve also have to be removed and "left in country of origin".

If you have R134a, then it's just about ensuring the system is empty and done by a qualified engineer.

Yesterday, I posed the question to them re "drop in gases" Rs45 etc. They have no answer and are investigating. But I think the only way to do this is get the car converted to R134a before exporting.

You can't live in Queensland and not have A/C in the car!

Next question then: Does anybody know any A/C specialist who can carry out this conversion?

Cheers

Jerry

Edited by USAndretti42 - Mod
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Next question then: Does anybody know any A/C specialist who can carry out this conversion?

Cheers

Jerry

For what its worth, I got my Carlton converted from R12 to R134a at a place in Farnborough Kent.

Aston Garages 01689 602602.

They are very experienced and did a good job (I think) and I was very pleased at the time! Having said that, I've had the car since 1999 and both before the conversion (in 2003) and since, the aircon on the Carlton only works for about 3 months after everytime I get it "fixed"... all components have been replaced over the years by several different so called specialists and none of them seem to be able to get it reliable - the Aston Garages fixes (x2) lasted the longest!

Good luck

Mike

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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  • 11 months later...

Refrigerant Changeover Guidelines. Retrofitting systems that emply compressors manufacture prior to 1973 is not recommended. This is due to the different materials used in motor insulation that have not been evaluated for compatibility with the new refrigerants and lubricants. Failure to heed this advice will violate the U.L. Standard For Field Conversion/Retrofit of Alternate Refrigerants in Refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

R-134a should be used only in systems where the saturated suction temperature is maintained at -10dgF or higher. It should not be mixed with any other refrigerant!

The expansion valve may need to be changed. The existing R-12 valve when used with R-134a will have approximately 15% more capacity. Oversized expansion valves can resultin hunting and refrigerant floodback.

CONSULT WITH THE THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVE MANUFACTURER FOR THE CORRECT VALVE AND SIZE.

Filter driers must be changed at the time of conversion. This is proper air conditioning/refrigeration paractice.

The recommended drier for use with all HFC refrigreants is Alco Ultraflow.

R-134a exhibits marginally higher pressures than R-12 at normal condensing temperatures. This will not require of read justment of safety controls; however, you should verify this with the system manufacturer or component suppliers.

Before starting the changeover, it is suggested that at least the following items be rady:

1. Safety glasses

2. Gloves

3. Refrigerant service gauges

4. Electronic thermometer

5. Vacuum pump capable of pulling 250 microns

6. Thermocouple micron gauge

7. Leak detector

8. Refrigerant recovery unit including refrigerant cylinder

9. Proper container for removed lubricant

10. New liquid control device

11. Replacement liquid line filter-drier

12. New lubricant, oil

13. R-134a temperature chart

14. R-134a refrigerant

15. Convertion Kit

CHANGEOVER PROCEDURE FROM R-12 TO R-134a

1. The system should be thoroughly leak tested

2. Record the operating system conditions with the R-12

3. From the service valves using your gauges on the Refrigerant Recovery System remove oil and refrigerant

4. Replaced the liquid line drier with one that is compatible with R-134a

5. Refill with 134-a that has oil this oil is for your compressor dont forget went you evacuated the system you took all the oil with the pump.

6. Make sure went refilling the system turn the ingene on and the a/c to max let it run for 20 m then go for a check again it should have 3 at max of pnds

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  • 1 month later...

There is a drop in replacement for R12 available, go to www.hychill.com.au for more details. It doesn't require any modifications to your system other than a new reciever/dryer and leak test.

The air-con test gauges, manifold and hose kits are available on ebay for about AU$50, and a vac pump can be bought for about $100. Youtube has heaps of videos showing how to vac evacuate and recharge the system. The way I look at it is, you can't use the system as it is so you might as well have a go yourself. For $150 plus gas you can set yourself up and be able to service your aircon system yourself like many people do in the USA. Just make sure the 'aircon' police don't see you doing it. An aircon guy will try to convince you that you need a new compressor etc.etc. and you will end up with a bill for hundreds of dollars.

I also found some information on 'the net' that suggests that tight-arsed TAXI drivers in Australia use a mixture of propane/butane gas ( LPG ) at around 80% charge. It apparently works very well - do a Google search and you will find heaps of information about it on various forums. Whether I would do it myself, not sure, but I would try it out before I replaced everything at huge expense.

Later this year I will be in a similar situation, I have an Esprit being prepared for import this week and should be here in August. The R12 gas and reciever dryer are being removed from the car to comply with DOTARS and Ozone regs. Fingers crossed.

Too many Toys are never enough !

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I got my Lotus mechanic in the UK to drain the gas and then gave him a letter (that I wrote) to be re-written on his letterhead.

Letter was only 2 lines, stating serial number of car and that the R134a refrigerant had been evacuated from the car's aircon system to comply with the Oz import requirement.

Nothing was actually done / removed from the car as the aircon had never worked - just blew ambient air.

For customs to see the 'official letter' and to turn the system on and not get any cold air was good enough.

Simon  (94 S4)      My Esprit will be for sale in late 2017

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  • 2 weeks later...

My 90 NA motor had ran out of gas. So today, I went to a aircon shop to ask whether my car can re-fill and mix with R134A.

To my surprise,the mechanic told me that I can mix with the gas name 134a (without a R infront and small case behind) without any problem :baby:

Also, without any replacement of reciever/dryer or modifications to my system.

Heard anything like this?

008-1-1.jpgLotuslogo.gif1aeg-logo.jpg
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There are some "quick conversion" kits available that are safe to use in existing R-12 systems which I'm willing to bet is the product that the mechanic was referring to. I have used one in the past to charge up the A/C in an old Honda I had ('89). The kit contained two bottles of 134a refridgerant that also contained suitable lubricant oil mixed in the bottle, two adapter pieces that screwed onto the old R-12 service ports (one for high side, one for low) to convert to the 134a service ports. and a charge hose to attach the 134a bottles to the a/c system. As I recall, I did end up replacing the receiver/dryer but only because the pressure relief fitting had blown which resulted in a loss of the original R12, however the box did specifically state that no replacement of components was required. After the new receiver dryer was installed and the system drawn to a vacuum, it only took a matter of 20 minutes to charge the system and have cool air running again. I will admit that the 134a kit, although providing fairly cold air, just never gave the same "freeze you out of the car" performance that I had before. I do however believe that it was a result of not bothering to readjust the pressure cut-off switch, which I have come to understand can result in very cold A/C performance with these kits.

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I used a drop-in called Duracool. Uses about half of R-12 requires. Go to their site to be better informed.

I did the switch after my engine rebuild. Works great.

Good luck,

Jeff

www.espritturbo.com

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Duracool appears to be a hydrocarbon gas (propane/butane) and will presumably perform OK and be perfectly compatible - but my understanding is that it is probably illegal to use flammable (explosive!) gasses in car air con systems.

There are also other DIY kits available such as 'Freeze 12' however their true compatibility is questionable (search on web for loads of info).

Also it seems to me that another issue of using a 'non-standard' gas is its future recovery from the system. It appears illegal to blend gas on recovery, so unless you know exactly what the gas is, presumably it can't be easily/cheaply (legally?) recovered.

Although there are various 'drop in' gasses available, you don't want one that is molecularly 'too small' as it is more likely to leak, also I think there can be compatibility issues with the dessicant in the receiver/dryer.

Allan, RS24 is probably the gas mentioned as the best, legal, R12 replacemant.

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  • 4 months later...

I went ahead and used a R290/R600 mix ( propane/butane ) and it works really well. Following the hy-chill instructions available at their website, I used a Vac pump and evacuated the system for an hour or so before I charged it with gas. The high compression side runs at 120psi and the low side at just over 30psi, I estimate it took about 450g of gas which is consistent with the hy-chill documentation - a lot less than R134.

Anyway the aircon has been running with this now for over a month and it works very well. There is no sign of any leaks and the air is blowing very cold. The gas I used was purchased at a camping shop, $15 for a 500g can - it was marketed as 'Primus 4 seasons' and is way cheaper than branded Hy-chill for what is essentially the same stuff.

The Hy-chill website (www.hychill.com.au ) has a full technical manual about this gas blend, it makes interesting reading and should put to rest any suggestion that using this gas is any more dangerous than R134 and other refrigerants. I have also read elsewhere that the use of these HC gases is the way forward in the future as R134 is replaced. Having tried it, so far I can only say that it works.

Edited by stevem

Too many Toys are never enough !

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Having driven an Esprit in California and North Carolina in the summer, I would say that air-conditioning is a necessity. Opening a window doesn't help to much when it's over 40 C outside with high humidity. The member who started this topic does live in Australia where it gets a bit hotter than West Sussex.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Interesting video Jim. I wonder if the next demonstration will be on what happens if the fuel line breaks or disconnects onto a hot engine.

Jeff

Well Jeff, that's not quite the same comparison. We all understand there are flammable fluids and danger of fire/explosion however minimal involved in driving a car. The difference is those fuel lines don't run through the cockpit of the car at up to 250 psi, nor would anyone design it that way for obvious reasons.

If an evaporator or pressure line were to have a sudden failure in the cockpit and someone happened to be lighting/smoking a cigarette the results could very well be the same as what is shown on the video.

Believe me, I wanted to use Duracool in my system and was sold on the hype and benefits but after doing the research I decided I just didn't want to take the chance.

I'm glad it's working well for you and more than likely you'll never have a problem, we hope.

Jim

1995 S4s

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I guess the companies who have 'developed' these HC refrigerants and the various testing facilities who have put it through it's paces and approved it safe for use in industrial, domestic and automotive applications must have considered all risks. Here is a chart which compares the three common refrigerants used in automotive aircon systems. R12 and R134a are also inflamable and they are also used in greater quantities and at typically higher pressures, so don't be fooled into thinking that they are 100% safe.

post-5938-1253482890_thumb.jpg

Edited by stevem

Too many Toys are never enough !

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Steve,

Yes they are all volatile chemicals in different ways. R134 when burned is extremely toxic and could kill you. But it won't ignite if you release it into a small space and light a match.

I'm curious as to what testing facilities you are referring to. In the research I did, the only people I found advocating HC refrigerants as being safe in an automotive application were the people selling it. I wasn't able to find any government or automotive regulatory agency that has approved it for automotive use and there are several countries where it is absolutely illegal.

Is it legal for a licensed a/c technician to install it in a vehicle in Australia?

Edited by lotus4s

1995 S4s

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