A/C- Honda R134a retrofit?

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  #1  
Old 03-28-05, 11:57 AM
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A/C- Honda R134a retrofit?

I am looking to getting my A/C going again in my 92 Accord, and am wondering about these retrofit kits that they claim will work on all vehicles ( http://www.id-usa.com/ ). Has anyone here done this? If so, how were the results? Is there any reason that it won't work on my car?

My car is currently at a Firestone Service Center where they want $1300 to do a retrofit, which includes replacing the compressor (they claim mandatory on these Accords, despite it's current condition). The car isn't worth that, but Texas does get hot... They said some vehicles don't require much for the retrofit, but the Accord does...

Any other creative solutions you guys have tried?
 
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  #2  
Old 03-28-05, 12:56 PM
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you probably want to have it done at a shop however I would get several quotes from different shops chances are they will all be different in whats required to retrofit the vehicle over to r134 I never have heard of any vehicle needing the compressor changed for retrofitting to r134a, if the compressor is locked up or leaking then obviously it would need changed to get the system working again.
 
  #3  
Old 03-28-05, 04:12 PM
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you dont need all of that, just the connections which you can get for about 10 bucks at your local auto parts shop, Change the connections, and drain all of the old oil out of the system. put it on a vacuum pump for an hour or so and add r-134a, using 80% of the weight of the original r-12. and about 4 ounces of ester oil.

Good luck,
Bill
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-05, 07:52 AM
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Sorry, but I'm a purist when it comes to a/c repair. Anything less than a perfect job will result in either... 1) a/c that doesn't work or works only marginally, 2) a/c that works for only a short while, 3) a damaged a/c system that becomes much more expensive to repair the second time around.

First, you have to determine why the refrigerant charge was lost and repair the problem.

To convert, you really should flush all the old lubricant and any possible debris from the system. The drier must be replaced with a r134-compatible drier. Proper lubricant must be added in the proper amount. O-ring connections must be replaced with r134-compatible o-rings.

After buttoning up the system, vacuum must be pulled, then refrigerant must be added to the proper level.

A lot has been written on conversions. A bit of time spent on searching this information will give more detail on the subject.
 
  #5  
Old 03-30-05, 09:56 AM
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If Firestone says a new compressor is mandatory, I strongly suspect it is only mandatory to warranty their work.

DIY kits are popular, but have one serious drawback, that is, most DIY'ers do not have a vacuum pump. Without a pump, you simply cannot do it yourself.

Successful retrofits have another drawback. They cool the car in the 70's and 80's, but when the temps hit the 90's, retrofit owners will tell you that they open their windows. This is because the retrofit cannot duplicate the cooling power of the original system.

Also be advised that your retro fit kit may not be commonly available for your year, make, model, compressor style. Just because it says, 'Imports' does not mean all imports. Read the fine print before you buy.

If you want maximum cooling from the retrofit, then you should consider a new r-134 compressor, along with other components, i.e. $1300. If you do this, then insist on a 'complete' warranty of the entire a/c system.

One big problem for shops doing retrofits, is that customers want a full warranty on their old compressor and parts which simply is unreasonable. Some shops do quickie low priced retrofits with no warranties. Others will only perform a full system ($1300) retrofit with a warranty.

The worst that can happen with a quickie low price retrofit is that the compressor may quickly become ruined if the system is not flushed out in an effort to keep your retrofit cost down, etc. When that happens, you are left with nothing.

The best that can happen with a quickie is that your a/c works wonderfully up to about outdoor temps of 90 degrees. And you may still leak refrigerant if all the seals where not changed out. (It happens all the time) If so, you can buy a can of r-134 anywhere and top it off yourself, if you know exactly what you are doing. Many people do not know how to add refrigerent, so you should find someone who can do it for you. And, just for the record, it is against EPA laws to add refrigerent to a leaking system.

$1300 verses $100. You decide.
 
  #6  
Old 03-30-05, 12:06 PM
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how well the r134a works in a vehicle designed for r12 varys alot from different vehicles and their a/c system some do not cool very good when the temps get above 90 at idle or slow speeds as mentioned above, and may require more work to get good performance out of the system and in most cases it is adding a better condensor or increasing airflow through the condensor by adding an additional fan or larger fan to bring down the high side pressures.
all the honda accords that I have retrofitted have worked good with r134a without needing to replace the stock a/c components.
 
  #7  
Old 03-31-05, 07:32 AM
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In order for me to troubleshoot the system, it needs to operate. If I do this with R12, I have to pay to have it done, with labor and $70/lb for freon. This can get very pricey, then I have to pay them to fix the problem, including the price of components. If I do a DIY retro R134a for $35 (after having it evac'd), then I can troubleshoot it myself with a die kit ($30), and replace defective components myself; much cheaper. Then, if it ruins any components, what am I out? I wouldn't loose anything, the shop wants to repalce them anyway...

The guys on the Honda forums have have good luck with the DIY kits. Here's a quote from a dealer:
We do some retrofits at the dealer and all we do is dump a special Pag oil in the system, loc-tite the new fittings on and recharge it. we never replaced a compressor to do it unless it was physically bad.

Actually there is a S/B 05-020 issued by honda that only says to add oil install valves and recharge.

The honda part number is
38020-Sm4-A1AH

So to answer the question i think, the compressor does not need to be replaced in order to do a retrofit.

So my suggestion is go to the dealer with the part number , buy the kit and give it to the shop and tell them to read the instructions in side and do it!!!
 
  #8  
Old 03-31-05, 08:46 AM
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Your plan is sensible as long as you stay away from the r134 formulated with stop leak.
 
  #9  
Old 04-02-05, 06:30 PM
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Just an update -
Got the retro kit, put the adapters on, opened the valve, put the system would only take about a 1/3lb; compressor wouldn't cycle. Checked the fuse, relay, jumped the clutch, everything good, so it had to be a blockage (not likely), or a bad leak on the hi side before the switch. Put the gauge back on, which showed the pressure had dropped. I topped it back off and shut it down. I thought I heard hissing from the pressure switch, unplugged the wire connector, and viola! The pressure bled off within a minute! Luckily Van's had one in stock; put it on, charged it up compressor came on and now our 7 mo old kiddo has cold air... $65 total. $1300 my a$$!

Thanks to everyone for your input!
 
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