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Discussion Starter #1
What type of A/C Refrigerant is used in my 87 Alfa Spider. R134A or R12. Not that I need it this time of year. But what would it have left the factory with?
 

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R12 was outlawed in 1993. So you probably have R134 in your car. R12 is still around but it really coast a lot. The smart guys bought all R12 they could find a while ago. I'm not even sure they can make it any more. (Maybe just China mislabeled shipments) They have equipment now that recover the gas when you/they recondition A/C systems. I would call around to the A/C repair shops and ask if they have any. Licensed A/C shops can still buy and sell the "good" stuff. But be prepared to open your wallet wide. :sick:
 

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There should be a label on the car under the hood which lists the answer but I would expect R12 in a 1987 car. "Google says" R134a did not come in to widespread use until 1992. My 1984 Volvo was the leakiest system ever using R12.
 

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I would call around to the A/C repair shops and ask if they have any. Licensed A/C shops can still buy and sell the "good" stuff. But be prepared to open your wallet wide.
I disagree somewhat. Yes, R12 is much more costly than R134 - I forget whether it's 2X or 5X as much on a per volume basis - but samakijoe is right, it's definitely more. However, as my mechanic explained to me, you don't need all that much, so the difference in the cost of the "juice" will be a small item on your total bill. And if you stick with the same type of refrigerant, you save the cost of doing a conversion, so you may end up spending less.

Of course, if you system is leaky, needs to be recharged every year and you plan on keeping the car forever, the economics may favor biting the bullet and paying for the R134 conversion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK thanks for the info. I looked at the 2 labels on the under hood and around compressor area but no sign of " juice" use. If I remember right the fill fittings on the R134 are larger than the R12. That was to keep from filling with wrong "juice". I bought some gauges/hoses 3-4 yrs ago. See if I can find them then see if they will hook up. They are 134A.:rolleyes:
 

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If I remember right the fill fittings on the R134 are larger than the R12. That was to keep from filling with wrong "juice".
Yes exactly, the fittings are different. That was my point in post #4: switching from one refrigerant to the other isn't like changing your lubricant from Penzoil to Valvoline; you need to swap out those fittings, as well as replace the dryer and thoroughly purge the old refrigerant. So by the time you buy the conversion fittings and pay your shop to purge the old stuff, you've "given back" the lower cost of the R134.
 

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R12 was outlawed in 1993. So you probably have R134 in your car. R12 is still around but it really coast a lot. The smart guys bought all R12 they could find a while ago. I'm not even sure they can make it any more. (Maybe just China mislabeled shipments) They have equipment now that recover the gas when you/they recondition A/C systems. I would call around to the A/C repair shops and ask if they have any. Licensed A/C shops can still buy and sell the "good" stuff. But be prepared to open your wallet wide. :sick:
The manufacture of R12 was outlawed, but there is still a pretty good stock of new and recycled R12 available. Anyone with an HVAC license can legally buy and install it. However, HVAC techs are also required to test for and repair leaks before refilling a system. This is where the "cost" can come in.

R12 currently sells for about $30/can retail. So the gas itself isn't really expensive, considering.
 

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So by the time you buy the conversion fittings and pay your shop to purge the old stuff, you've "given back" the lower cost of the R134.
But that is a one-time cost. Future refills will be less expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I remember when the government decided that R12 & things like hair spray were poking holes in the atmosphere. When the gases were released. I was a shop manager for a big school buss company.
We had one 1989 Ford 250 Van with R134 that didn't cool as well as those with R12. But changes have been made since then. What I was getting at, we had about 12 Apollo missions that made a hellva big hole in the atmosphere. And one even complained about it? Huumm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Putting holes in the Ozone Layer. I knew there was a $0.35 word. Just couldn't think of it.
 
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