So if I leave the old condenser in there, it'll perform better than it would with R134?
Ok. And that's legal, right? ...ish? I do want to do a pressure test under normal operating pressure, since my test with about 80PSI of air and a spray-down with soapy water probably wasn't the most effective.
Now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be better just to buy some freaking R12 off eBay and charge the system with that. I mean, that's what it was originally designed for, and if some EPA bean counter wants to check my system, that's what it would've originally used anyway. But that's probably illegal.
Ok. I'm thinking that using that Envirosafe stuff might be best, since I doubt I can find R12 anywhere in Washington state, unless I buy it from Ebay.Yes, generally the HC blends will work better than a basic r-134a retrofit. Some vehicles take the retrofits better than others mind you, based upon frontal area, fan performance, heat loads, system sizing, etc. There are things to consider if your system slow leaks too.
Indeed you may be better off just getting some R-12. It has come down in price, and some shops still carry it, or at least will still install it, particularly if they tend to repair older vehicles. Anyone can take a test and be an EPA certified buyer of R-12. The question still is the prudence. IMO because it’s convenient to leak check with HC, then if it’s tight, leave it.
I ordered R-134a via ebay and it arrived (Renton, Wa.).Washington state recently banned the sale of AC refrigerant to anyone who doesn't have an AC certification. You'll need to make a road trip if you want to DIY. I doubt if you'll be able to mail order any unless it slips under the radar.
Of course it’s a best practice to recover good r-12. Plus since the HC is a blend, having yet another refrigerant in there at some fraction is tough to say definitely what will happen. Finally, you’re supposed to convert to 134a first, at least in the US. If Canadian rules are similar, then removal of the R-12 is a necessary step anyway.