Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 70

Thread: Charging Air Conditioning System

  1. #1
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1985 LE auto 300k, 1988 5spd 4wd 140k.
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    50
    Rep Power
    1

    Charging Air Conditioning System

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1985 Toyota Van 2WD 3YEC Auto Trans. Silver (Toofus) 1987 Toyota Van 4WD 4YEC Manual Trans. White (Doofus)
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    199
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I want my air conditioner charged with R12, lol. I can't find any shops here in Texas that use it, nor in California where I live. But if Austin doesn't want it, I'll sell it to you.

  3. #3
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1989 4x4 manual DX
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Taos, New Mexico
    Posts
    48
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Rufus, I think you have to buy the r12 from eBay and then find someone to service it. HAven't looked lately, but I did see that it was available. I'm in the same boat and trying to decide weather to junk the working AC or not. I hear the conversion to r134 is expensive and cool at best.

  4. #4
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    I want my air conditioner charged with R12, lol. I can't find any shops here in Texas that use it, nor in California where I live. But if Austin doesn't want it, I'll sell it to you.
    You can still get r-12, but it will cost you. If yours is just low, buy a couple cans off of eBay or craigslist and use a cheap piercing tool to put it in. That's what I did before I had the fancy equipment and it worked well. Just clean the sight glass on the drier/receiver, turn the AC on, fan on high, set RPMs to about 2k, then get under and while watching the sight glass add the freon to the inlet port. Watch the sight glass for bubbles & stop adding when the bubbles go away. When you get back inside the van it should be blowing cold. Tim

    http://www.onecraigs.com/craigslist-...3985j5093957j9

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...erant&_sacat=0

    Some of the eBay sellers will say you need to verify you're licensed, so I usually avoid purchasing from there. I have chanced it before though and nobody ever pressed the issue (even the ones that said they would). I think they list that way to avoid scrutiny. Tim

    PS: If pressure in your system is really low, compressor won't initially come on (there's a pressure switch in the system that prevents compressor when low). Assuming it's only that, the compressor will come on when pressure starts coming up, then it will suck it in quicker. That's what my 89 did when I got it. It was too low for the compressor to run. Half way through the 1st can it took off & system was full & working buy the end of the 2nd can. After charging that once, I used that AC for years without another need for freon. Tim

  5. #5
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    1988 4WD LE auto dual range t-case 1988 4WD LE auto(the donut van)
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Tacoma, Wa
    Posts
    423
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    You can also use a jumper wire to bypass the pressure switch. I helped with a few a/c services at a shop I worked at as a teen and I remember doing it that way when the pressure was too low. This was when you could still get r12 at the local Kmart.

  6. #6
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Lol, one of the old 14 oz cans I found in a box of stuff from ~30 years ago still had a K-mart price sticker on it..........$1.77

  7. #7
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1985 Toyota Van 2WD 3YEC Auto Trans. Silver (Toofus) 1987 Toyota Van 4WD 4YEC Manual Trans. White (Doofus)
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    199
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Ok, so if my system is low, how many cans should I buy to fill up one van? I have two vans that need a recharge.

  8. #8
    Van Enthusiast tbkilb01's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    92 previa
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    159
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Ok, so if my system is low, how many cans should I buy to fill up one van? I have two vans that need a recharge.
    The Sight glass is a good indicator of refrig volume in system.
    3 cans charged my system really good last year and its still cooling. I did put a couple of cans of sealer conditioner first to rejuvenate the o ring seals etc...i really dont use A/c too much and let the system run really low, I even thought it had leaked out.. I actually couldnt remember the last time I had checked it. When I did finally use it, it felt really weak at best... When I started the system the compressor would not cycle until past the first can, then it started doing it's thing. I "guessed" 3 cans, actually only used 2 1/2...
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by tbkilb01; 04-10-2016 at 12:29 AM.

  9. #9
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Ok, so if my system is low, how many cans should I buy to fill up one van? I have two vans that need a recharge.
    Regarding volume, that will depend on what options you have & how low the system is. The service manual lays it all out, so if you don't already have one, get one and read the AC section. If serviced properly, the system should be evacuated and held at vacuum until nothing remains. Drier/receiver should be replaced, then vacuum reestablished. Once it is determined how much freon/oil the system requires, that exact amount is put back in (usually by weight). Pressure gauges should also be used to verify correct system pressure (high & low sides). Topping off or charging without pressure gauges (sight glass only) works, but there's no real way to know how much oil is in the system and/or how much freon you'll need. I've always been pretty lucky with the low tech/low budget approach, and if that's all I had available I wouldn't hesitate to give it a shot. For our vans, I would probably want ~36 oz present before attempting, but 24 would likely do the job. If you run out you can always get another can and top off later. If you lose the freon again right away, then I'd get some dye and chase it down that way.

    FYI, it's very possible for a system to lose freon and not have anything wrong with it. A common reason is long periods of non-use. Rubber hoses are porous and will allow freon to permeate through them. If the AC is used frequently the oil circulates & coats. Once coated the oil plugs the pores and helps seal the hoses. When the AC doesn't get used, the oil eventually settles and the pores begin to open. This allows the freon to permeate out. I've seen perfectly good AC systems lose their charges over a 3 or 4 year period of non-use. This is why it's a good idea to turn on and run your AC for a few minutes each month (even when its cold outside). Tim

  10. #10
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    1985 Toyota Van 2WD 3YEC Auto Trans. Silver (Toofus) 1987 Toyota Van 4WD 4YEC Manual Trans. White (Doofus)
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    199
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Thanks you guys. I will be looking into this as soon as I get home.

  11. #11
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1989 4x4 manual DX
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Taos, New Mexico
    Posts
    48
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Just turned mine on to see today driving around... blows nice and cold still, though I have what must be the bubble (?) in the gas passing the sight glass every few seconds or so when the van is off. Probably needs a top off, and probably a good idea to go ahead and buy a few cans of the R12 now while there are a few to be had still.

  12. #12
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1985 Toyota LE 1987 Toyota 4WD Auto 1976 Ford Econoline 1978 Ford Econoline 1978 Dodge B200
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Centralia, WA
    Posts
    63
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I've used Enviro-Safe/RedTek in my van last year and using the front and rear AC about froze me out of there. I believe Enviro-Safe used to be called Freeze12. I've used this stuff in just about every car I've had that uses R12 for like the past 10 years and have never had a problem. Works well and claims to be compatible with R12 refrigerant and oils. My experience has been good.

    I ordered a case of the stuff a few days ago. I'm excited to top off my van and cruise cool!

  13. #13
    Van Fan
    My Van(s):
    1989 4x4 manual DX
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Taos, New Mexico
    Posts
    48
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I haven't been able to find anyone in New Mexico yet who will deal with the R12 any longer. Mine is still blowing cold but I know is going to need some love this spring before things heat up too much. I was thinking of using the Redtek (?) R12 replacement in mine as the reviews I've been reading mostly sound positive... and cold. Let us know what you decide to do. -Harv

  14. #14
    Van Addict
    My Van(s):
    88 4WD DLX 5spd
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    464
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I was skeptical at first, but after much research I did give it a go on our old Jag.
    We drove it for years without the AC working and on a whim I tried Redtek one day.
    Results were very satisfactory.
    Ice cold air and no leaks (it has a heavy Pine sent, that is unmistakable).

    A conversion would have meant new receiver/dryer at the very least and I didn't want to spend gobs of money, only to find a failed evaporator or condenser (both common failure points)
    Repair quotes were all over the place with the cheapest interrogation being over $100, the Redtek experiment only cost $60.
    The charging parts that come in the kit are a little on the cheap side and I did have to heat the cans to fully empty them (wrapped with a hot/wet towel)
    But the price was right, as was the outcome.

    Just remember, it is Propane based, so all appropriate safety precautions should be exercised.

    BB

  15. #15
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    1989 A/T Vanwagon - 2 WD
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    117
    Blog Entries
    6
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Was reading through this and thinking about going the RedTek route but searched my local craigslist for R12 just to see and I found someone with seven 14 ounce cans. My system is intact so with any luck I can get it charged up and I'll be set for years. Just picked up a can of Toyota OEM charge oil on e-bay too.

    I bought a charge adapter off ebay a while back. Should I try this myself or find a shop that is certified in R12?
    Last edited by brentlehr; 04-21-2016 at 03:10 PM.

  16. #16
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Quote Originally Posted by brentlehr View Post
    Was reading through this and thinking about going the RedTek route but searched my local craigslist for R12 just to see and I found someone with seven 14 ounce cans. My system is intact so with any luck I can get it charged up and I'll be set for years. Just picked up a can of Toyota OEM charge oil on e-bay too.

    I bought a charge adapter off ebay a while back. Should I try this myself or find a shop that is certified in R12?
    Assuming the system was properly charged before it lost freon, I would not add oil. Freon will permeate out (go away) over time, but the oil should still be in there. If you're going to do a complete evac and/or replace components, only then would I add oil. Tim

  17. #17
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    1989 A/T Vanwagon - 2 WD
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    117
    Blog Entries
    6
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    I happy to report that after 2 cans of R12 my AC is blowing cold! Only took 6 years and 90K miles to get around to it. It took about 30 minutes to take both cans, and about 10 minutes or so before the compressor kicked in on the first can. Seems much longer than when I've charged new vehicles. Could this be a sign of a worn compressor or just a result of it sitting so long?

  18. #18
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Not sure, but if it only took 20 minutes to compensate for 6 years of neglect, then I'd say you did good .............success even! If it blows cold, the compressor must be fine. Now the real test is to see how long it works. Watch your temp gauge! The van will heat up faster & have more tendency to overheat with the AC running. Tim

  19. #19
    Van Enthusiast
    My Van(s):
    A 1984 2WD and an 87 4WD
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    108
    Blog Entries
    3
    Rep Power
    1

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    Greetings from Mexico, where R12 is also not readily available. After spending nearly countless hours researching on the internet, I decided to charge my working, but somewhat undercharged R12 system by adding a propane/butane combination. It cost me less than $15 for everything and works excellently. As an engineer, I am skeptical by nature, but having read in a multitude of sites that these are compatible with R12, and the lubricant for R12, and that the head pressure required is less than that of R12 (so easier on compressor), I decided to try it. Yes, it is flammable but so is R12. I am a risk taker. Fine, you can call me crazy if you like.

    Anyhow, I found a camp stove canister with the propane/butane and connected it to a torch head I had cut the flame nozzle off, cut an R12 charge house, coupled them with a hose clamp, and set the can in a bath of warm water. The system charged in about 30 minutes, not all the bubbles in the site glass disappeared, nor do you want them to. The system is efficient with some bubbling.

    Now on to my perplexity. My fridge cools even when AC it turned off and rocker switch on fridge is in off position. Hmmm. Compressor engaged obviously, but cycles a lot. Is this normal? I doubt it. But when I turn climate AC on, I can feel the compressor kicking in as if the system was calling for more cooling. Can someone please describe in detail how a normally operating AC system with fridge is suppose to work? Should I be able to chill the fridge without having the interior AC on? Should I be able to have the interior AC on and not the fridge? Thanks!

  20. #20
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
    My Van(s):
    Lots of them
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    SW WA ST
    Posts
    5,507
    Blog Entries
    14
    Rep Power
    10

    Re: Charging Air Conditioning System

    That's interesting. I had heard that some of the newer "greener" AC Freon substitutes were based in butane/propane, so it makes sense. Even though R-12 is flammable, since it was originally intended, as long as I have easy access I'm sticking with that........but it's nice to know there are other alternatives available. I'm not worried too much about contents of the system being flammable. It's inside a sealed system and requires oxygen before it can ignite. If a leak occurs, it's a very well ventilated area & unlikely a spark will occur at the right place & time (any such leak would dissipate quickly, leaving a very narrow window for combustion).

    I heard they were experimenting with some additive in Germany that makes the propane based Freon non-flammable, but it was extremely toxic to humans and if inhaled it would stop your heart. Personally I'd rather take my chances with the flammable stuff. I work on ammonia absorption systems for a living and these use hydrogen (even more flammable). It's kind of funny because that system uses heat to circulate coolant. And how is the heat generated? By burning a propane flame under the boiler of course . The only thing separating the hydrogen from the flame is the steel tube the boiler is constructed of (which due to constant expansion/contraction cycling has a tendency to fatique & crack). Over my career (over 20 years now) I've had personal experience with fires on 3 separate occasions. Fortunately, on each occasion I was working on/testing the units at the time and was able to extinguish before things got out of hand. In my opinion, using a mechanical pump to circulate a propane based coolant, inside a sealed system, in a well ventilated area, is much safer than burning a flame under a steel tube full of hydrogen . Tim

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •