well u obviously have a leak. hence ur ogiginal problem. when ur friend "retrofitted" it with R-134a the refridgerant just escaped again.
so detecting and locating the leak is the first step. usually its the front seal on the compressor or a ruptured hose.
next, since ur half way there, convert to R134a. the wal-mart kits half *** it and are a JOKE. to properly convert over u'll need a new reciever drier, exvaporator, hoses and/or compressor. plus the orifice tube and all new o-rings and service fittings.
this **** is expensive so the $600 extimate isnt right around normal. plus theres the labor to evacuate the system, pull a vacuum, and installation. plus refrigerant, proper oil and disposial...
if ur strapped for cash may want to try a vo-tech or technical/trade school. sometimes they take in live outside work...
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93 F-150 XLT 4x4
Modded 300/Bilt E4OD
33x12.50x15 ProComp MTs
15x8 AR Nitros
Cervini's RamAir hood
1988 F350 Custom 4x4
7.3 IDI deezil/5 speed
315/75/16 ProComp Xtreme ATs
16x8 white waggys
04 Sonic Blue Edge SC 4x4
-285/75/16 ProComp ATs
-16x8 ProComp 8089s
-Carrige Works black billet grill
-Black Westin Bullbar
-Various other mods.