<VV> AC questions

corvairduval at cox.net corvairduval at cox.net
Thu Jul 18 18:06:10 EDT 2013

I would use R-12. It was designed for R-12, and R-12 works better than
R134a in Corvairs.

The alternate refrigerants may work, but then you have a system that must
be drained and recycled the next time you need to open the system. You need
dedicated recycling systems for that, which most shops do not have.

You have found some shops do still have R-12 equipment, but they will not
touch a mystery filled system. Unless you just release the alternative
refrigerent into the air and go in with an empty system. Now if the shop
uses an alternative refrigerant, then they would work on it filled with
that particular brand.

Now let's talk economics. We know R-12 works, and can be bought (maybe not
in  the middle of July right now) for $20 to $25 a can on "that auction
site". A can is between 12 and 16 ounces, depending on how old it is.
That's maybe $1.56 to $1.78 an ounce. You need about 4 pounds, 64 ounces,
maybe more, just check the lable on that A-6 compressor. I've seen some
that were 5.25 pounds. That's about $100 to $120 for a complete fill of
something that works fine.

Freeze 12 is selling for $15 to $30 a 12 ounce can on "that auction site"
right now. Hmmm, $1.25 to $2.50 an ounce. How is this cheaper than R-12 by
any amount worth considering?

R134a is currently $15 a can at Auto Zone or Advance. Yes, Walmart is only
$10 a 12 ounce can. That's $.833 per ounce. So, you can fill the system for
$53, but first you must drain the system, flush the old oil and add new
oil. And add the cost of the adapters to use the R134a gauge manifolds.
Again, where is the big savings? Oh, and if you still have stock hoses,
count on adding more R134a as time goes by just from R134a leaking through
the unlined hoses. Of course the other usual leaks in the system will
probably be larger than that(compressor shaft seal).

The price of R-12 has not gone up as predicted since that big price
increase in 1995/6. It has stayed steady as the demand has gone down. Oh,
so that's right. Everyone else: do not use R-12 - so I can forever!

Frank DuVal

Chillin in my 66 with R-12


Original email:
From: jim bannister jimster1 at earthlink.net
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2013 10:55:34 -0700
To: aeroned at aol.com, virtualvairs at corvair.org
Subject: Re: <VV> AC questions

If it were me, I'd not even try to find\pay for a refill of R-12.  I'd get
one of the "alternative" refrigerants.  They are on a par with R-12 and much
colder than R-134.

I want to get the AC serviced in my 66 Monza. There aren't too many places
that will touch the R-12 systems anymore. A couple places still have the
equipment but need me to provide the R-12. That's not too difficult to find.

So my first question: How much R12 do I need to completely refill the

There are a couple places that will convert the system over to 134.

My second question is how effective is the stock Corvair AC system with 134?


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