XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

R134a conversion

 
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:14 PM
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Default R134a conversion

I am planning to convert one of my Series 3 project cars to R134.
Doing some research, I have gleaned that in order to get the maximum cooling effect of R134, the TX valve has to be changed to one designed for R134, the condenser should be changed for one that has vertical rather than horizontal flow and the hoses should be barrier hoses.
Has anyone done this? and if so, who was the supplier for the TX valve and condenser?
Barrier hoses I can get from my local hose supplier.
 
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:09 PM
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I have done this, but not in my Jaguar.
I had everything professionally done on a previous car, Chrysler, and to say I was disappointed with the result is a gross understatement! I spent several hundred hard earned dollars only to have a system that only got cool on a warm day. Hot days were Miserable! When I complained, they tried to make me happy, but said basically that's how 134 works. It simply isn't capable of cooling like R12. My own research confirmed this.

About that time I met husband who suggested Propane/Butane refrigerant HC-12a, and having nothing to lose I let him put it in the car. The difference was Profound! The system actually got COLD again! On full cold setting one could not sit comfortably in from of the vents! Even the back seat was comfortable when ambient was over 100F.

Nix came to me with R12, but when she needs a recharge she's getting a Propane infusion. It's compatible with all systems and refrigerants, requires no changes in hardware, cools better, leaks less and costs less than R12.
(';')
 
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:32 PM
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:33 PM
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Thanks for that info LnRB. The A/C is next on my list of things to take care of on my VDP. Don't really know much about A/C so I am being a sponge about new info
Thanks again:icon_dri nk: sorry about double post ...fat fingers...wrong button
 

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Old 05-31-2016, 09:03 PM
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I replaced the R134 with propane, had to keep turning it down in Queensland summer. Doesn't compare.
 
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:59 PM
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I'm going to ask the obvious question: Propane/butane sounds awful flammable...

EDIT: Answering my own question -- yeah, it's flammable, and illegal in the United States to install. Dang it.

Jess
 

Last edited by JessN16; 05-31-2016 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:11 AM
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ALL refrigerants are flammable. That's why they can check for leaks with a propane torch. They just don't tell you about the ones that make phosgene gas when they burn.

It is NOT illegal to install this in the US, how do you think I got it? Husband ordered it online, followed the directions and Schazaam, I had a Very Cool car again.
(';')
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by LnrB View Post
ALL refrigerants are flammable. That's why they can check for leaks with a propane torch. They just don't tell you about the ones that make phosgene gas when they burn.

It is NOT illegal to install this in the US, how do you think I got it? Husband ordered it online, followed the directions and Schazaam, I had a Very Cool car again.
(';')
From what I was able to find, it is not illegal to buy or sell, but is illegal to install (as in, a shop cannot be caught installing it -- if you want to do it on your own, there's about a 0 percent chance you'll be found out).

EDIT: This is coming from a Ford truck forum, but it gives some useful background:

A bit more on HC-12. Here is a quote from the EPA website:
"What is the legal status of hydrocarbon refrigerants such as HC-12aŽ and DURACOOLŽ?

It has been illegal since July 13, 1995 to replace CFC-12 with the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review in any refrigeration or A/C application other than industrial process refrigeration. The same prohibition for OZ-12Ž took effect on April 18, 1994. Because DURACOOL 12aŽ has the same chemical composition as the HC-12aŽ formulation that was submitted for SNAP review (i.e., Hydrocarbon Blend B), DURACOOL 12aŽ is also subject to the same restrictions."
Jess
 

Last edited by JessN16; 06-01-2016 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by JessN16 View Post
I'm going to ask the obvious question: Propane/butane sounds awful flammable...
I did a lot of reading up on this before I made the switch, and the small amount of gas you use is more than likely going to dissipate in a second or two if the system is vented in an accident.
Most fires from vehicle accidents take time to start from leaking fuel etc, if the accident causes an explosion you are screwed anyway.
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by o1xjr View Post
I did a lot of reading up on this before I made the switch, and the small amount of gas you use is more than likely going to dissipate in a second or two if the system is vented in an accident.
Most fires from vehicle accidents take time to start from leaking fuel etc, if the accident causes an explosion you are screwed anyway.
If it's underhood, I agree ... lots more things going on under the hood of a 30-year-old British car to worry about (especially what I call "oil napalm").

What the Ford guys are more worried about is a leak into the interior via the evaporator. A couple of guys on their forum had leaks inside the cabin and got a strong smell of propane (I guess that could be helpful in tracing a leak, at least), but I'd be worried about a spark touching off some kind of interior fire.

I'm pretty sure my car has a leak somewhere. Under hood, in the cabin, I don't know. The rest of the system is so jacked up it's hard to know where to start fixing things. But the one thing I'm pretty sure of is that if I know I have a preexisting leak, I don't want to introduce this product into the system. If I could get the leaks stopped, anything that puts more ice in the system where I live (south Alabama) is welcomed. We started getting 90-degree days with 60-70% humidity this week. In May.

Jess
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 01:56 AM
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You need to vacuum the system down before re-gassing anyway, so you will know if you have leaks and can fix them before you charge the system.
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:01 AM
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There is also a dye to put in as a leak tracer. I've seen it work (not on anything of mine) and it leaves No Questions!
(';')
 
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:43 PM
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I understand what you all are saying, but none of the posts have answered my questions.
I posted here because I was of the opinion that some members had done this conversion before, the proper way and I was looking for the vendor/s who sold the correct parts.
The much maligned R134A conversion on Series 1,2 and 3 Jaguars or any other R12 car will result in poor performance, if one just replaced the seals(not really necessary unless disturbed), changed the mineral oil to Ester and use R134A adapters.
The R12 condenser, expansion valve and dryer are the main causes of poor performance of R134A.
Changing the original serpentine condenser for one that is pseudo-parallel (tanks on the side).
Changing the R12 expansion valve for an R134A compatible valve (the orifice is of a different size) same $ cost
R12 Accumulators/Dryers are different from the ones for R134A. same $ cost

Both the expansion valve #207577 and the dryer #208688 for R134A can be found at NAPA $53.64 for both.

Walmart: 12 ozs FLORON 134a @ $4.64. I bought a case of 24 two days ago. That is how much they allowed me to purchase. I will be sending my son to get another case tonight. I also picked up a case of brake cleaner @ $2.88 each. I will be using the brake cleaner to flush the mineral oil out of the system except the compressor
The condenser: I plan to measure the opening on the Jag and go to the breaker yard and find one that is the correct size. The new (used) condenser will come from a later model car that used 134a together with the hoses because I will need the fittings.
I spent most of today researching this and discussing the issue with a few AC technicians who I know and the conclusion (regarding the changing of the parts) is the same.
Cost?
Condenser (U PULL AND PAY ORLANDO) $40.00
Expansion Valve and Dryer (with seals) $53.64
New Seals (2 for compressor) $ 2.16
Ester Oil $ 9.00
Flushing $ 15.00
134a (3 cans) calls for 80% 0f 2.5 lbs $13.92
Total: under $150.00
Labor Cost a pleasure
So for under $150 you can do the conversion the proper way and have it cool the way it should and will also be compatible with the new R1234 which is already on the market.
My Volvo and Equinox use 134a and it really gets cold, so I see no reason why my Jag won't be as cold when I am done.
 

Last edited by sanchez; 06-01-2016 at 05:48 PM. Reason: error
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:33 AM
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I have had several Jags converted to R134A and the results have always been excellent; ice cold air even in the 1966 York compressor system in my 1966 Mk 2. It is all a matter of proper installation. There is no question that R12 cools very well but an R134A conversion, properly done, makes the cabin very comfortable even in 100+ degree heat. Propane? No thanks; not brave enough for that; I save propane for the barbecue.
 
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Old 01-06-2017, 10:48 AM
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The local A/C shop around here advised me to simply swap in a new filter/dryer, ester oil and an 80% fill with 134a. It doesn't get over 25 - 30 Celcius over here in the summertime, so it should be sufficient.

That's what I'll be doing soon. If it prooves to be too little too less, I'll do a proper conversion (maybe even to 1234YF).
 
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:23 AM
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Default I converted two S1 XJ Jags

My cars are like yours, GM V8's with one a LT1 and stock AC compressor and the other a SBC with Sanden compressor and Vintage Air Front Runner accessory system.

All hoses were made new by my AC shop.. R134 was used. The expansion valves for S1 are different from yours... my current car has modern one and the Jag flare connector on the bottom was redone with new tubing and connector to allow the use of the a R134 rated valve. Otherwise you have to adjust the screw on the bottom of the old style valves for R134 flow rate.

This current S1 car has a Trinary switch to control the AC and dual Ford fans. The condenser was replaced with a large modern one of the best modern design.

Mine works fine and I get very cold air at all the vents.. it gets 111-114F here in the So Cal summer and my car is BRG with black interior and I stay very
comfortable.
 
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:18 PM
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The Series 3 has a wonderfully adjustable expansion valve. Degas your unit, remove expansion valve. Inspect carefully in the end that goes into the evaporator unit, You will find a allen head adjuster that you should turn 1 and 1/2 turns in and reinstall with new O-rings. Evacuate and regass unit, and but try first just two lbs. Road test and add small increments if need be. If you need more, There are still companies that make Series 3 condensers. Call them and ask for the same sized as the width but one third larger in height. Check the condenser on your newer cars, You will notice they are the same size as the radiator. Compare that to your Series 3 and follow suit.
 
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:08 AM
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sounds like they got your figured out at that place! Go to the website below and read all about an alternative refrigerant, you don't have to replace anything:

Hydrocarbon Refrigerants
 
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:27 AM
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Jaguar issued RETROFIT KITS for R12 systems. The XJS uses the Harrison Compressor as does the XJ6 and XJ12.

The oil and front compressor seal was the main concern.

Here is a TSB for the XJS.
There were other paper TSBs but I did not convert them to .pdf. I have a 3 ring binder of them somewhere.

bob
 
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:50 PM
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Just convert to R134a, replace the expansion valve and drier and flush the old mineral oil from the system and use PAG oil instead. If you want to get thorough, remove the old hoses and take them to a hydraulic shop to have barrier hoses installed.
Don't bother with propoane or other drop in replacements.
 
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