R134 Conversion Kit

Doyt W. Echelberger Doyt at buckeye-express.com
Sat Aug 3 15:10:27 EDT 2002

If you agree that my 87 5ktq is essentially similar to your 200, regarding
the A/C refrigerant system, except in age and mileage, you can consider my
conversion experience.

Two weeks ago I had my 87 5ktq converted from Freon to R-134a. The total
cost to me for the conversion (changing over my functional system) was $250.

Incidental to the conversion was the replacement of the N-Denso compressor
and compressor clutch, due to the lock-up and failure of the original unit
at 246k miles. This event imposed on me the decision to convert at this
time. The lock-up shredded the compressor clutch....nasty bits of rubber
and some smoke.

New or rebuilt compressors with clutch and R-134a compatible seals were
about $550 most places.

The good used working compressor was $213 and the labor to swap
compressor-clutch units was $109, all USD. (Replacing the compressor and
its clutch made the system functional and available for conversion.) And I
was expecting another two or three years from the final result.  The
original lasted 15 years and 246k miles. I don't expect to have the car
much longer than 300k miles, which is another 2 or 3 years the way I travel.

I got a credit of $100 for the Freon that was removed and recycled.

The mechanic who replaced the compressor also drained the used compressor
and installed the ester oil for 134a before he put the used compressor back
into the vehicle. Draining is recommended, to get out most of the
Freon-compatible oil, which does not work well with R-134a.
So, your conversion might have an additional cost for that drainage. I note
here that taking off the old compressor was difficult, due to corroded
anchor bolts that hadn't been touched in 15 years....big potential as labor
cost generator.

I'd say my total cost would have been about $350 without the used
compressor-clutch  replacement cost and the credit for the Freon recovery.

The 134a system has cooled the car adequately in 95 degree humid Ohio
weather since the conversion.

According to the mechanic, he has done 800 successful conversions for all
kinds of American and foreign cars in the past few years, with no returns
due to the conversion itself. Replacing all those seals and accumulator and
hoses has proven not necessary. This is a two man shop in a small town, who
can't afford a rip-off reputation.

I'll report on reliability and lifespan of the converted system in 2005.

Doyt Echelberger

At 09:14 AM 8/3/2002 -0700, you wrote:
>My mechanic recently told me about a R134 conversion kit which allows
>those of us who still have freon based Air Conditioners to upgrade to a
>more enviro friendly system.  Have any of you done this to your 200?
>Did it work out?  How much did it cost?
>TIA for you help and collective wisdom.
>Greg J
>200q20v mailing list
>200q20v at audifans.com

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