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A/C Compressor Oil.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default A/C Compressor Oil.

I'll post this up and see what kind of feedback I get, I've been searching around but can't find anything that's exactly my situation.

I just pulled out all the R12 A/C components out of my 93 Civic. Then replaced them with R134a components. This includes everything, all the lines, evaporator, Compressor, Condenser, etc. I got all the parts from one guy that came off a 95 Civic EX, only parts he didn't have were the Condenser and High Pressure hose that runs from the Condenser to the Compressor.

I cleaned the lines up and now have everything installed. The compressor was turned upside down and all the oil drained out and the ports were plugged to prevent contamination of debris. Problem is I don't have any idea how much oil came out. So I don't know how much to put in.

Everything is used except for a new Expansion Valve and Drier. I was hoping to add oil today and pull a vacuum on the system.

Any idea how many Ounces of PAG 46 oil I need to add? I know if I add to much or to little that the compressor will be ruined. I just don't know how much to use.

Following my search it seems you need to know how much oil came out of the old compressor and subtract that amount from how much the total system holds which makes some sense, but I don't know how much came out.

I know A/C help is hard to get around here sometimes but its worth a shot.

Thanks in advance for any insight/help.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

about 4 oz of oil is good. a little more (like an ounce) isn't going to kill the compressor, as it will just lie in your condensor or dryer...

also add a little uv dye- in case you get a leak in the future...
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Cynical, Thanks for the help. So even though the Condenser and Evaporator I am using are used and most likely still contain some oil, it will still be ok to put 4oz of oil into the compressor? Just checking to make sure I understand you. Also I have read where when you install the new drier you need to add oil to the drier, any insight on this. Thanks a bunch man, much appreciated.

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Old 04-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Yeah i know what you mean. Honda is vague on how much to add to the compressor when replacing it. Here is a bit of a chart for component capacities.
Refrigerant Oil Capacity:
Condenser: 20 ml (2/3 fl.oz, 0.7 imp.oz)
Evaporator: 45 ml (1 1/2 fl.oz, 1.6 imp.oz)
Line or hose: 10 ml (1/3 fl.oz, 0.4 imp.oz)
Receiver/Dryer: 10 ml (1/3 fl.oz, 0.4 imp.oz)
Leakage repair: 25 ml (5/6 fl.oz, 0.9 imp.oz)
Compressor: For compressor replacement, subtract the volume of oil drained from the removed compressor from 120 ml (4 fl.oz, 4.2 imp.oz), and drain the calculated volume of oil from the new compressor. 120 ml (4 fl.oz, 4.2 imp.oz) - Volume of removed compressor = Volume to drain from new compressor.

I also highly recmommend replacing the drier. The drier has a desiccant in it which absorbs moisture. I also would recommend using Ester oil with UV dye in it. Ester oil will mix with the R12 oil that could be left in the sytem where as PAG oil will not mix.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

97twodoor, Thanks for the response and info. Nice to see a breakdown on the oil. I did replace the drier with a new unit and also replaced the expansion valve. No need for me to use Esther oil as I am using all R134a A/C parts now. I ripped all the R12 stuff out.

I vacuumed the system down yesterday for an hour and got it to 28InHg. Let it hold that over night until noon-ish today and it still was sitting on 28InHg, no vacuum leaks. So I charged her up. Very happy with the result. Drove around for a awhile and she was putting out nice 38 degree air at the Vents. Very much enjoying the A/C.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Is the AC compressor oil the actual freon or is it something totally different? sorry if this is a noob question. trying to do a compressor project. 1st time.

Did some research and im thinking its an oil and different then the r12 or r134a stuff. ( im using r134a)

Last edited by 1 Civic I; 07-12-2010 at 10:35 AM. Reason: researched
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

I'm dealing with this very issue currently in my 96 EK. My compressor is completely dry - so I'll probably be adding 4oz. However, I replaced the dryer as well so I guess I'll be adding more?

However, my question is this:
Do I add the oil directly to the dryer somehow? If so where (I'd imagine where either of the hard lines connect)? If it's not to be added to the dryer directly, do you add it to the compressor and the system eventually moves 'X' amount of oil through the system to the dryer?

As for the compressor - which opening does the oil go in (right or left)?
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turismoviper View Post
I'm dealing with this very issue currently in my 96 EK. My compressor is completely dry - so I'll probably be adding 4oz. However, I replaced the dryer as well so I guess I'll be adding more?

However, my question is this:
Do I add the oil directly to the dryer somehow? If so where (I'd imagine where either of the hard lines connect)? If it's not to be added to the dryer directly, do you add it to the compressor and the system eventually moves 'X' amount of oil through the system to the dryer?

As for the compressor - which opening does the oil go in (right or left)?
BUMP
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:49 AM   #9
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Icon6 Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Hi all,

Pretty sure I have all the answers for the questions posed in this thread so far. I just completed a complete A/C retrofit and I struggled for a long time with very similar questions. The questions posed in this thread are essentially they are as follows:
  1. How much / what kind / where to add oil for a total R134a A/C retrofit?
  2. How much oil to add if you are replacing a component?
  3. Do you add oil to the component directly, or do you add it to the compressor? Which port/opening? What if the compressor is being replaced too?

Honda really is vague on a few of these points, and the first one in particular.

Answers:
  1. The oil capacity of an R134a compressor is 120 to 140 ml. This info is hidden well in the 94-95 service manual. If you read the original A/C install instructions (available online) you'll also see that at no time do they ADD the oil to the system in a separate step. This is because it is already pre-loaded in the compressor. There is no other sealed unit in the install components, and since the oil cannot be exposed to air, that means all the oil is located in the compressor originally. The oil then travels through the lines and to the various other components on its own once you turn it on. I figured these details out on my own through deduction. Still, I wish I had found this thread earlier - it would have saved me a lot of grief.

    The oil used on a 92-95 Civic is PAG46. This info is not found at all in the service manual, but if you look up what oil to use in the NAPA parts finder (or other such databases) you come up with this answer.

    If you're doing a complete retrofit of all replacement components, you don't need to bother measuring how much oil is removed from the compressor. Just remove it ALL. Tip it upside down to drain for a long time. Then, when everything's ready to go and installed, add the 120 to 140 ml, dividing the amount equally between the high and low side ports, before hooking on the hoses. Should be the last thing you do before you close the system and pull a vacuum.

  2. The list above in post #4 is correct when replacing a single or multiple components (but not a whole system). If you have done a cabin filter retrofit and replaced the evap component, reduce the added oil from recommended 45 to 40 ml (more compact system).

  3. You can add the oil to the component directly OR you can add it to the compressor. I really don't think it matters. If I had the compressor open, I would add it all there just for ease of access, once again, dividing the amount between high and low ports.

    The user in post #7 says they will add 4oz/120 ml to a completely dry compressor, and then more to the dryer. Without getting into the issues that would cause a dry compressor (ie., this shouldn't happen and may be indicative of a larger problem), if I was refilling an empty compressor AND replacing a dryer, I still wouldn't add MORE than 120 ml to the system, since I probably still have oil in the lines and I wouldn't want to overfill. This can go all in the compressor, or the amount listed above in post #4 could be added directly to the dryer, and I would reduce the amount added to the compressor by the same.

Last edited by deschlong; 07-21-2011 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

well i'm just reinstalling the system. i've cleaned out all the a/c lines, evap, condenser, installing a new thermal valve, and drier. I then need to button everything up and install the oil directly to the compressor. The compressor has been drained, not an ounce of oil left in it.

So i guess i'll i need to do is button everything up and divid the 4 oz into the compressor. 2 oz on the high and 2oz on the low. Then take it into a show to have it pressure tested and charged. Also replacing all o-rings with new ones. Lube with ester or PAG46 oil. I've heard 5oz will work too.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

^ Yes, sounds about right. You can also do the vacuuming and re-charge at home. I *really* want to encourage the use of Duracool or another R12a-type hydrocarbon refrigerant product as an alternative. They are *really* easy to work with, it's quite safe, and blows colder than R134a. I am *very* happy with it.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

I'm stuck with the R134A system so there is no converting to R12. As long as it's better than my current system, which is 80 mph with the windows rolled down.

NO places around me rent the vac. So i'll take it in to get charged.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Not R12 ... it's "R12a" ... ie, hydrocarbon refrigerant replacement for R134a. Duracool is an example, and here's a DIY install for a similar product on a Toyota.

But ... if you can't get a vac, I guess you should just go get it charged with the regular stuff.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Yeah you need a really good vac and a set of gauges, so for me buying everything would cost me more in the long run. Now if i did this sh** every week then it would be logical to buying the stuff.

I thought you want zero Hydrocarbons....

Last edited by dem0nk1d; 07-21-2011 at 11:02 AM. Reason: dddd
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #15
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

oh damn you pulled up Yota-tech link! Propz i used that site a long time ago to do my 5vz swap into my old 3vz yota. Best mod ever.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

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Old 07-21-2011, 11:37 AM   #17
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

^ Yeah, there isn't really a lot of intelligent discussion of R12a in that thread; plenty of typical fear-mongering, though, mostly borne of ignorance. Will edit this post later with some better links.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deschlong View Post
^ Yeah, there isn't really a lot of intelligent discussion of R12a in that thread; plenty of typical fear-mongering, though, mostly borne of ignorance. Will edit this post later with some better links.
The concern in that thread regarding potential problems with servicing R12a charged systems seems highly relevant. Or has something changed since that thread was posted?
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Old 06-24-2013, 07:19 PM   #19
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

I've read this thread and from what I gather I'll need to add 1oz of oil to my system. I have a 96 ex with a busted condenser. Going to change that and the drier. There is no 134a in there at all. The condenser had a hole in it. I have all the tools just never done this before. Any additional advice would be appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

So is there any clear cut and definitive answer about how much TOTAL oil should be in the system at any given time? New Honda compressors come with 4oz already in them. So going by the list of oil capacities for individual components, it would seem to be 7 2/3 fl.oz? Is that correct? Always kind of wondered.
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Old 03-27-2017, 07:16 AM   #21
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Hello everyone!
I need an advice on my car ac (1993 4dr civic) originally came with R12 system. Now I want to replace the ac system with R134a, I have got all the R134a components along with new O-rings and new receiver/drier. I got these parts from a donor car fitted with R134a system. I cleaned the evaporator coil (detaching the TxV) and the condensor with acetone and blew pressurized air through them and put them for 2 days in direct sunlight.
Now got stuck with the oil thing, after a long search got hold of this oil sanden SP-10 as mentioned on the compressor, the compressor is kiehin TRS090L same as rotary sanden.

sanden SP-10



The problem is the oil I got is SP-10 but not the regular PAG 46, on the label it says Daphne hermetic oil PS. After a little search over the internet i found that it is improved PAG with same viscosity number i.e, 46 but i am still doubtful whether should I use this oil or not.
The second problem is about the capacity of oil and where exactly to add it. Official documents says it is 4 fl oz but some websites suggest 5 fl oz. But I am sure 1 fl oz wont make much difference as some oil may evaporate during deep and continuous vacuum process before filling of refrigerent. Some experts says to fill half the quantity of total oil to compressor (discharge port only written on the oil bottle) and distribute the rest in defined ratios in the rest of components even inside hoses and then rotate the compressor. But still there is confusion as the experts here say to add all oil to compressor (distributing oil in equal amount between discharge and suction ports).
please share your valuable suggestions here.

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Old 03-27-2017, 07:26 AM   #22
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

I think that SP-10 is for all intents and purposes, identical to PAG 46. It would be suitable for your system.

The compressor is the only part that actually needs oil. Everywhere else it is just a foreign material that gets in the way of heat transfer. New cars are usually made with all the oil starting in the compressor. An important point is to have nearly a full charge of refrigerant in before starting the compressor the first time, this way as the oil leaves, the refrigerant will be able to push it around back to the compressor.

If you have a used compressor, clear the old oil out of it. PAG oil absorbs moisture from the air and becomes ineffective as oil if it sits around in a part with the ports open, This is done by setting up on a bench so you can turn the compressor shaft (counterclockwise always!) with an electric drill with both ports open. Put a little new oil in the intake at a time and spin it clear it out the discharge. Never put solvent into a compressor, flush them with new oil.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:04 AM   #23
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mk378 View Post
I think that SP-10 is for all intents and purposes, identical to PAG 46. It would be suitable for your system.

The compressor is the only part that actually needs oil. Everywhere else it is just a foreign material that gets in the way of heat transfer. New cars are usually made with all the oil starting in the compressor. An important point is to have nearly a full charge of refrigerant in before starting the compressor the first time, this way as the oil leaves, the refrigerant will be able to push it around back to the compressor.

If you have a used compressor, clear the old oil out of it. PAG oil absorbs moisture from the air and becomes ineffective as oil if it sits around in a part with the ports open, This is done by setting up on a bench so you can turn the compressor shaft (counterclockwise always!) with an electric drill with both ports open. Put a little new oil in the intake at a time and spin it clear it out the discharge. Never put solvent into a compressor, flush them with new oil.
Thank you so much for the prompt reply. What I have in my mind is to properly drain out all the old oil from my used compressor ( in fact the new R134a one) and then flush it with this new oil (not solvent/acetone) and then keep it inverted and rotating its shaft till the last drop of oil.
Then i will connect the whole system without oil and refrigerant and will vacuum it so that i can remove any residue of solvent or foreign matter this way new oil will have the least chance to get contaminated. Then I will detach the suction port of compressor and will add the required 4 to 5 fl oz of new oil while keep on turning the compressor shaft slowly (ac belt removed) so that oil can pass on to other side i.e., discharge port and do no spill out. Then i will close the suction line and will turn the shaft of the compressor for at least 10 times, so that the oil can have a chance to circulate through whole system. Afterwards i will vacuum it again properly and only then I shall start adding the refrigerant.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:25 AM   #24
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Just drain the old oil and add the new oil directly to the compressor. This is how a new system is installed. No reason to do all that other silly stuff.

BTW: PAG oil in it's typical form is a really crappy oil that absorbs moisture and can easily freeze solid. The SP10 is a more advanced type of PAG that is called "Double End-Capped". It has something to do with how chemical compound is arranged making it more stable and less hydroscopic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by internet
The double end capped PAG is a chemical structure term. PAG lubricant is an ether based polymer made from ethylene oxide and propylene oxide. The polymer can be started (initiated) from water or an alcohol. If it is started from water and no further post polymerization treatment is performed, you will make a PAG diol (no end capping at all, both ends of the polymer are alcohols). The diols are less stable and take up more water than other types of PAG.

If you start the PAG polymer from an alcohol (butanol for example) and do no post polymerization processing, you will get a single end capped PAG (one end is the terminal alcohol and one is the butane / alkyl end of the butanol initiator). The GM PAG is single end capped.

If you take a single end capped PAG and react it with methyl chloride, you can 'cap' the terminal alcohol and make a double end capped PAG, one with no alcohol groups on the ends of the polymer chain. This is the most stable and least water uptaking PAG available. It is also the most expensive due to the extra processing to cap the terminal alcohol group. The Ford PAG is double end capped.
BTW: You can buy double-end-capped PAG 46 for much cheaper than Honda/Sanden SP10 these days. I used Suprcool brand PAG 46 in the small 8oz bottle. Worked great on my 1989 134a retrofit (using an R12 compressor & parallel flow condenser) and worked great in my stock 1994 134a system.

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Old 03-27-2017, 04:59 PM   #25
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Default Re: A/C Compressor Oil.

Quote:
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Just drain the old oil and add the new oil directly to the compressor. This is how a new system is installed. No reason to do all that other silly stuff.

BTW: PAG oil in it's typical form is a really crappy oil that absorbs moisture and can easily freeze solid. The SP10 is a more advanced type of PAG that is called "Double End-Capped". It has something to do with how chemical compound is arranged making it more stable and less hydroscopic...



BTW: You can buy double-end-capped PAG 46 for much cheaper than Honda/Sanden SP10 these days. I used Suprcool brand PAG 46 in the small 8oz bottle. Worked great on my 1989 134a retrofit (using an R12 compressor & parallel flow condenser) and worked great in my stock 1994 134a system.

Thanks @94eg!
My system is not brand new, I removed all the components from a junked car including compressor. The compressor was filled with oil, since I had no proper rubber caps to cover the ports of the compressor so what I did was to roll small pieces of plastic sheets and put them in the discharge and suction ports of the compressor just to avoid entry of any foreign particle. All these stuff was lying with me for than a year just waiting for the right time. Now as the time has come, I properly flushed the evaporator (with the TxV removed) using acetone as a solvent and compressed air (i used my portable tire inflator for this purpose). I shall also flush the lines with no rubber hoses as i fear acetone may destroy the rubber parts. The lines containing rubber hoses will be flushed with soapy water. The TxV will be replaced with a new one. Now coming towards the compressor I will first remove all the old oil in it and then I shall wash the internals with the new oil while rotating it with my hands so that new oil can reach every corner of it during the wash. And then I will drain completely this oil too.
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