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Re: A/C Upgrade?

Sam Letzring wrote:
>             At PEP Boys this morning( its getting bad when you stop by the
> auto parts store on your way to work and on your way home-again) I saw a
> product from a company named QUESTthat purported to be a conversion kit for
> converting your old R12 based A/C system to a R134A system. Seemed to
> consist of valve conversions  and a new oil additive to make the compressor
> lubricant compatible with the new refrigerant. Any one out there seen this,
> used it, know anything about it? Looks like a very good deal if it works.
> Just replaced my compressor and was going to try to bribe PEP boys into
> selling me the cans of R12 I needed, but if this would work- cost would be
> much-much lower?
> Any comments- info?
> Thanks,
> (Still trying to get the 86 4KCSQ ready for the 2000 mile trip to Los Alamos
> N.M. and thought it might be time to get the A/C fixed.)
> Sam
> Samuel A. Letzring
> Senior Scientist
> Laboratory for Laser Energetics
> University of Rochester
> Rochester, NY. 14623
> 716-275-5659
> FAX 275-5960

Last month's issue of European Car magazine detailed the conversion of a 4000 CS Quattro (I think 
it's the same car as yours!) A/C from R-12 to R-134A.  They relied on components from ICE 
Inc.(advertised in the back of E.C.).  The conversion consisted of a new rotary compressor pump 
(more efficient & lighter than the old pump, but not strictly necessary), new hoses and fittings, 
new receiver/drier, new oil, etc. They didn't provide the cost of the whole job, though.  

The kit from ICE (International Conditioning Enterprises, San Diego, (619)-338-9297) apparently 
includes everything you need to do the conversion.  You may not have to replace your hoses if 
they are in good shape, but I guess E.C. tentatively recommends it because the new refrigerant 
has smaller molecules that migrate more readly through the old-type hoses.  The new ones have 
some kind of internal plastic shielding to prevent this.  They don't include any data about how 
fast, etc, so you may be able to get through with the old hoses and an occasional recharge with 
the new refrigerant.  Apparently the Audi AC condenser is sufficiently labyrinthine to handle the 
lower efficiency of the R134A without too much loss of cooling power.  

Also, at the front of the magazine was a company selling a new type of A/C hose fitting that can 
be easily installed so that you can make your own hoses.  I am going to call them to find out 
more about this process and their fittings.  Perhaps you can buy the fittings and the hose stock 
and put them together yourself, saving $.  That company's name is QuikFit, Rockford IL, 

My 4000Q's A/C is in need of some attention, so if I find anything out over the next few weeks 
I'll post it here.

BTW, what do you crazy kids at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics do?  Sounds like a fun place.

Best Wishes,

Alex Kowalski
'84 4KQ