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So my "newish" 1992 Legacy Wagon had the AC compressor start clicking in January. I had the shop disconnect the compressor so I could use the rear defogger without the noise of the failing compressor.

 

Well, summer is here and I love road trips and don't really care for back sweat. The girlfriend has given me a choice, fix the AC or get a new car. :)

 

Any recommendations? I've read that converting from a R12 to R134A is about a $1k. Ouch!!!

 

Cheers!

 

-d

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d,

 

Check around. You may well find a replacement compressor online through eBay or through various wreckers. They are out there. You'll just have to find one.

 

As for the cost of changing over the refridgerant, its no where near the cost that you've been quoted. I had my 1990 Nissan 300ZX changed over about 10 years ago at an independent garage and the cost was less than $300 for evacuating the system and recharge with the 134a. That of course was on a system that was in excellent condition to begin with.

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1- I think I saw someone comment on this board that you could basically run r134a in a r12 system with very few changes. (Hopefully someone can chime in to that effect). You should be able to fairly easily change the High/Low fittings, since they're different sizes.

 

2- Even so, if you don't mind getting a bit dirty - http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/2138-legacy-ac-conversion-r12-to-r134a/

 

Just need to buy or have a shop pull a vacuum on the system.

 

Edit: Changed link to Legacy777 USMB write-up post. :)

Edited by nickb21

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they don't fail often so used is a great option - $25 - $40.

www.car-parts.com

 

conversion is easy.  lots of information online about it, people have been doing it for years.  it requires basically nothing.  empty old stuff, fill with 134a.  the only question is one of oils - they say some oils aren't compatible or whatever, it's been awhile since i've done it but lots of folks have converted without doing much of anything. 

 

google will be your friend here. favor the more simple versions.  the internet is generally flooded with commentary and scare talk - look for the simple options, there's not much to it.

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maybe this is silly, however, couldn't I simply get a used compressor and have a certified shop install it with new old stock of R12?

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I'm sure you could. I would throw out a guess that the cost of the compressor + HC-12 fill (or whatever refrigerant they use), would be about the same as the conversion.

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maybe this is silly, however, couldn't I simply get a used compressor and have a certified shop install it with new old stock of R12?

you just asked if you can get a shop to fix your car?  maybe it's 1am and i need to go to bed, but thats funny.  if something breaks on a car, yes you can pay a shop to fix it.  some places install customer supplied parts, some do not, and some say they will but dislike it.

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If you still need a compressor, I've got two. One I know for sure was working great before I had the refrigerant drained and removed it, the other I didn't test first but it was charged up too. I was planning on using them as air compressors, but I'd gladly sell you one or both. I believe the one out of my car was using R12, but the other may have been converted. Not sure what that involves since I don't do AC and as far as I thought, they were more or less interchangeable, but I'm probably wrong on that.

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Hey Nick,

 

Yah, it's probably the 1AM piece that through you off. I suggested a shop b/c R12 purchasing requires an EPA card, which shops have. According to my recent CL research, card is required to buy R12 locally. 

 

I'll research my options and see what can happen.  

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