Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
The upshot of this conversation seems to be do not change your R12 system. Any kind of change is complicated and some of them are REALLY complicated. Who in their right mind wants to pull the AC hoses in an Esprit unless you happen to have the left side of the interior gutted. In fact I would not want to have a shop do any of that kind of work. If I ever got into a situation where I had to replace the hoses I'd just have the AC shop drain the system, give me the hoses and I'll put them in, then they can do the rest, swage the fittings, etc. So what I have done is just stuck with R12 - my local shop says it added about 30% to my last service (they detected and fixed a leak, flushed and refilled the system). It blows nice and cold even in Florida for the most part. Once it gets up above 95F and high humidity (which is of course all the time) the system struggles somewhat, but it's not big enough to expect it to handle those conditions - it never was designed for those conditions. It is especially difficult if the car has been sitting outside and gotten a lot of sun exposure. If its been in the shade or garaged even in 90+ heat the system will do OK. My understanding is that R12 is no longer legally produced, but the existing stocks are legal provided the service shop is licensed, etc. And there seems to be a fair amount of R12 still out there - and it can be reclaimed. So me, I'll remain an R12 guy.
1989 Esprit Turbo