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aircon refill

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Usually, conversion consists of injecting the contents of a special oil can in the system once totally emptied of R12. Something to do with the gas molecules. It's nothing spectacular in fact. Then you can refill with R134. Some replace pipes and valves (I think the latter is mandatory), but not everyone seems to do that.

Just refilled my S4s. 1.1kg in mine according to Lotus specialist and factory.

It was the 1st time I witnessed such work myself and I could not believe my eyes how easy it was. Ok, I got it for free, but it makes me mad to see how much some garages charge for such basic work: plug the refill machine into one of the system pipes, vacuum suck any gas leftover then refill with programmed volume. Took 30mins!

Edited by RV_ABZ

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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Thanks, my system needs repairing and refilling and I suspect it's still on R12

I'm trying to work out if I can get away with a flush the R12 and refill with R134a

I know it'll not be very efficient but if it's works a bit, it's better than not at all!

I did toy with refilling with propane (Before anyone starts shouting it's R500 and used in commercial HVAC) but it looked a bit heath robinson to fill a car (Not to mention illegal in the UK by the looks of things)

Lotus Esprit S4 - Work in progress

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Hervé, I refilled my 91 SE about a month ago with R134 - it turned out it had had the "conversion" done, and by this, I mean that the previous owner had pretty much just changed the valves. I was told by my AC guy that a leak is more or less inevitable. While he did go around the compressor and around the underside of the car with a leak detector and found nothing, he advised me to expect the worst.

I don't know how much truth there is to this, but what he said sounded logical - that R134a is a far smaller gas than the old R12 and that in addition to being able to leak out of the old rubber piping (designed for R12) it is far more aggressive to O-rings and other system components. Basically he said the best solution if I REALLY wanted a rock solid AC system was to strip it out and replace the entire thing - condenser/evaporator/compressor/piping et al. He quoted me a price that put a lump in my throat. In such a case, I could go 25 years annually filling a leaky AC-system with 134a (if it lasts a summer before leaking out) before it would make financial sense to refurbish the entire system.

Edited by Vanya

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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Basically as above, the newer gas contains smaller particles, and as such our.older spec rubber pipes will leak through inevitably.the seals or.o.rings in the system will also leak through. Ive converted mine, new valves for fillingg and emptying the system along with a new reciever/dryer canister. My compressor is standard as is my rad, new. My system shows no leaks under testing, however it.does bleed out gas.slowly over say six months..resulting in a working but weak aircon by the end of.thr summer. Not much of a problem as it doesnt really get used in the winter. However, at worse I could.get it gassed up twice a year.when freshly gassed, the aircon does work cold, although not as efficient as a modern system.

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Don't know what the laws are in UK but they've been relaxed here in regard to hydrocarbons.

This aussie company has done a lot of development and exploding of the myths about it:

And some more:

Quite a few of us run it now, thanks Steve, with success.

I couldn't keep R134 in the system for more than a couple of months. During that time it would leak out enough gas to stop switching the compressor on and off. With the propane mix and nothing else, no new hoses/seals etc, it works and has for almost two years now!


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I'm with Dan, been using a propane / butane mix for over 3 years in hot Australian weather, and it's working great. These hydrocarbons are known as R290 and R600a in refrigerant terms and are used widely and becoming more popular. In the quantities we use ( approx 450g in an Esprit ) they are a good option and directly replace R12 and R134a without any need to change seals or oil.

I use a 70/30 blend for no other reason that it's available in camping and outdoor stores for little money. The Hychill product is nearer 50/50, but the mix I use works great. ( Primus 4 Seasons :smoke: )

Too many Toys are never enough !

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Thanks for the tips guys - you'll no doubt save me money and headache when my current R134a leaks out. How is that mix from a safety perspective? I've heard some weird stories.

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '97 XK8

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