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1987 AC Compressor



Alright, this one has got me a little curious. First, let me make sure I remember this right: The 87s came with an R4 freon unit, right? the old stuff. okay, and the new stuff is called R12.. for some reason i remember something called R34; is my head just loopy on the exhaust? Anyway now, my compressor and evap core are shot. in fact, they've never worked. so I'm shopping around for rebuilds, and they're all R4. so far so good. but just now i read the label on the compressor, and it reads that uses R12?! taking closer note at the unit, it looks like it was definitely replaced... never really noticed it before... Damn, it seems everything i've had to replace or fix on this car something the guy that had her b4 me f*cked up trying to fix himself.... or a shady mech... that's why i do everything myself; damn mechs ALWAYS mess something up in my experience... anyway, can someone give me some advice on what system i should get? the blower motor label says R12 too, so I'm really just like, heck, Rwhatever as long as it works... Also, since i'm probably replacing the whole unit, should i just upgrade to the new stuff? compressors can work with all kinds of freon, right?


ok len, so then why is the only re-man compressor I find at corvette america for an 87 listed as R4???



Not so fast!!!

Actually R-134 is not a drop in. The oil and chemical makeup of 134 will not mix with R-12. Plus due to EPA rules and Regs...any shop that has a certified MVAC tech will use an identifier to first acertain just what is in the system anything other then just R-12 or just R-134 you will find themvery reluctent to even touch the system. Now if you go to EBAY and or look around the net you can find stuff like "ENVIRO-SAFE" which can be added to existing R-12 systems without problems. I have used it in my vette and it works great. BTW I am a Certified MVAC by the EPA.


To become a Certified EPA Tech: Mainstream


Where can you get this R-416a. Is it an over the counter item?


Well-known member
Nov 23, 2001
Savannah, GA, USA
87 Silver Coupe Way over 200k miles
The Vette has an R4 type compressor. It orgianlly used R-12 freon.
DO NOT buy a rebuilt compressor unless you know it is a High Quality rebuild. Any you get at a local parts store are junk.
You are better off going to a junk yard and getting a compressor off a late model car. Remember GM uses the same part as often as possible. My old 77 Impala has the same compressor as my 87 Vette a R4. I bet you can find a nice clean one for $100. and it will be much better than a trashy rebuild.
If your system has been open a long time you need to replace the accumlator and orfice tube. clean and flush the condenser.
Enviro-safe is a good way to go. You don't need any certification to get it.
Look at the auto AC website.
Otherwise get about a $1000. to get it done at a shop who knows what they are doing.



thanks guys for the info :) i'm gonna go thru with that and refit the whole system. i have to replace the evap core towhile i'm at it. js - i've never worked on an a/c before (obviously). is it safe to assume that any gm compressor that'll fit will work just fine? also, corvette america has got a reman R4 (pt #34355) for $169, and corvettejunkyards.com has got one for 250; any suggestions, or does the almighty dollar rule here?

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