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Refrigerant What do I need to do to change from using R12 to 134?

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I need to do the same thing to mine and it's currently being converted by a mechanic. I've been told that it's easy to do and fairly cheap. I can let you know what it requires when I get my car back...that is if someone doesn't answer this question before I get back to you.

Posted on Jul 11, 2008

  • zagitazz Jul 14, 2008

    OK, I'm back. It turns out that my 1993 BMW 318i was already converted to use R134a refrigerant. I was able to find a Pelican Technical article that may be helpful. The portion of the article that I copied and pasted below is toward the end of the original article. See this site for the original article:

    Figure 1

    great starter A/C kit from Interdynamics contains three cans of R134a
    refrigerant and oil and is specifically designed to replenish older
    cars that may have a few small leaks in the O-rings of the air
    conditioning system. The kit is available for about $35 at most general
    automotive stores and has everything you need to recharge your R134a
    air conditioning system. It includes a can adapter valve, an in-line
    pressure gauge, and several adapters used for converting old R12
    systems to the newer R134a fittings.

    Figure 2

    photo shows the location and orientation of the A/C ports on the 1993
    and later E36 cars. (Earlier E36 cars may have R12-based or other
    systems.) The A/C ports normally have black plastic covers that simply
    screw off (inset). The low side (the side where you attach the gauge
    and refrigerant) has the smaller port adapter and is attached to the
    larger pipe (yellow arrow). The high side (used primarily for checking
    the compressor during diagnostic testing) has the larger adapter (green
    arrow) and a smaller diameter pipe.

    Figure 3

    the engine running, connect the gauge to the low-pressure port on the
    A/C system. The high side has a larger adapter, so you can’t
    accidentally attach the gauge to the wrong port. With the gauge
    attached, you can now turn the valve to add more refrigerant to the
    system. In the photo inset, you can see the pressure for this A/C
    system is exactly where it should be—in the middle of the white range.
    Remember to use heavy-duty leather gloves and eye protection when
    working around A/C components. It’s possible that a fitting or a valve
    may break or otherwise leak refrigerant on your hands.

    Figure 4

    hand is a pretty poor indicator of relative temperature. Use a digital
    thermometer and probe, like the one here, to get an accurate reading. A
    number of factors can affect the final temperature performance of your
    A/C system—age, quantity of refrigerant, the condition of the
    compressor or associated components, and whether the system was
    designed to use R134a, as was this 1995 325ic. During this reading, the
    outside temperature was probably around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you
    achieve temperatures in the mid-30s, your A/C system is working in top



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