Author Topic: Automotive AC Experiment --  (Read 11404 times)

Offline goodfellow

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Automotive AC Experiment --
« on: August 08, 2015, 06:51:57 PM »
First -- don't try this with your new car or daily driver. This experiment is being done on my junk truck and I will attempt to document the results over the next few weeks as to the effectiveness of this alternative method. Let me take the risks before you ruin your own vehicle. PLEAAAASE!!!!

This is my old '88 Mazda B2600 4x4 with the 2.6L Mitsubishi carbureted engine. I converted it to a Weber several years ago and really want to get this back on the road as an everyday driver. To do that I had to fix the AC system. The original R12 charge had leaked out years ago due to a faulty Schrader valve, and since R12 is so hard to come by these days, and R134a is not compatible with the old mineral oil based R12 systems, I decided to try the following --- Electronic Keyboard Duster!!

That's right -- the electronic keboard duster kits are nothing more than a refrigerant -- namely difluoroethane; which is R152A -- it's cheap enough at Wallmart $11 for three 10oz cans. That's quite a savings over the cost of R12. BUT what's even better is that the R152A has most all of the heat transfer and compression characteristics of old R12.

First thing to do is purchase a side-tap can dispenser because the Duster cans don't have a standard R12 or R134a Schrader fitting. Also, you must tap these cans at the strongest point -- about 1/2" up from the bottom, or you'll crush the can and get a massive leak. Be gentle when tapping and don't force it.



You will also need an R12 gauge set -- or a modern set that read multiple refrigerant types. I attached my set as usual -- low side on the compressor -- high side by the receiver/dryer. Then I replaced the faulty Schrader valve on the low side and pulled a vacuum for an hour.





After the vacuum, the system held 30 inHG vacuum for 1 hour and I was pretty confident that it was air tight.



I then tapped my can and proceeded to fill the system with the 152a air duster refrigerant. First without the engine running, and then after the system equalized a bit, I turned the AC on high and recirculation on internal (no external air flow).  I put a thermometer in the vent and proceeded to turn on the AC switch. The compressor instantly kicked in and the pressure dropped to 22psi on the low side. I opened up the gauge and added the 152A slowly to increase pressure 10psi at a clip and then shut the gauge valve off to let high side pressure stabilize and to check internal temps.

I did this procedure about three/four times until the low side had stabilized on 42-45 psi and the high side at 200-235 psi. I used about 1.5 cans -- or about 1lb of refrigerant to get the inside temp down to about 54F. Then I revved the engine for a few minutes and the gauge dropped just below 50F. I thought that was enough and unhooked all my gauges and took the car for a spin around the block. Within minutes the temp was in the 44-46F range -- PERFECT!!



At this point I would have to say that we have a success, BUT only time will tell. I'm not recommending anyone to do this to their car. This is an experiment to see what works and what pressures are viable for this type of refrigerant. One thing is for sure, it definitely does not behave exactly the same (pressure and volume wise) as standard R12. My system required less R152a than R12 -- I filled the original Mazda system back in the day with 20-22oz of R12 (a bit less than 1.5lbs.). This 152A takes less -- about four-six ounces less.

Let's wait and see what the long term implications are in this experiment -- I'll keep you posted.

BTW -- I'll debunk the myth right off the bat. This stuff is NOT flammable to any high degree. I tried spraying it across an open propane torch flame and it did not ignite -- in fact it extinguished my propane flame every time I tried to do this experiment. That doesn't mean it will never flame -- but it doesn't seem to be explosive.

If this works in the long term, the I will use this in my Jaguar E-Type due to the fact that it has a vintage OEM piston style Tecumseh AC compressor system.

Onward


Addendum -- Here is a Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report about the efficacy of using R152a as an automotive refrigerant. Very interesting conclusions.

http://www.sae.org/events/aars/presentations/2008/manhoekim.pdf


UPDATE 8/11/15: There is ALWAYS a downside to what seemingly is a "good to be true" product.

Bottom line is that R152a doesn't require any system mods to work in R12 or R134a systems, BUT (and here's the dangerous aspect of it) it is flammable at very low pressure. Under pressure it's hard to ignite, but once it's airborne and has saturated the air in sufficient quantity, it can be ignited and in that capacity it behaves much like propane and butane.

HOWEVER, that's not the half of it. When R152a does ignite it separates into several toxic compounds, and one compound especially (Hydrogen Fluoride) turns into hydrofluoric acid when it contacts moisture on, and in the human body. The research has shown that R152a is a good refrigerant, BUT because in the aftermath of an accident a potential leak could ignite the stuff and flood the cabin with dangerous hydroflouric acid, car engineers are struggling to develop emergency purge systems to dump the charge before it has a chance to fill the cabin with toxic acid fumes.

On the whole -- it's a good idea and it does work very well, but the risks are very high when compared to less volatile alternatives -- R134a, R12, and newer compatible blends that are hitting the market.

With that information in hand, I would suggest that although the outcome of this experiment is excellent (I got lots of cold air), this particular solution is NOT as good of an alternative to traditional R12 or R134a

« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 02:35:29 PM by goodfellow »

Offline mrchuck

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 08:13:52 PM »
Well,,,I'll be dipped!
I have several cans of that stuff to blow off dust when I'm working on something that needs a cleaning.
I know the can gets super cold when spraying.

I'm taking my 2010 Mazda 6, with 60,000 miles on it into the dealer on Monday to have the A/C system fixed.
It quit blowing cold air, took it to our "local" garage and he put his a/c evacuator/re-charge on it and it took 11/2 lbs and started blowing cold at idle.
But later that day, the cold air quit at idle again. I added some of my own refrigerant this time, and the cold air came back, but later in the day at idle, it started blowing warm again.
Must be a leak somewhere in the system.
This a/c has been bullet proof until now.
So Monday, off to Tyler,TX to the selling dealer that I bought from back in Sept 2009.
This car has made 7 round trips to the West Coast since we bought it new w/o any problems.
Got to be ready for another one this coming October.
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Offline Fins/413

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 08:17:33 PM »
To borrow a term from across the pond Brilliant.
Eric Corse
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Offline slip knot

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 09:10:12 PM »
 thumbsup2 thumbsup2

Started with nothing and still have most of it left.

When did the American Dream become an entitlement program?

Offline brslk

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 10:12:04 PM »
Genius!
I'm just a guy in a garage with some tools...

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Offline TWX

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 03:36:17 AM »
I'm interested to see how this plays out too.  My Cordoba is an R12 car and while I've used an alternate product called "Freeze 12", it's still expensive.

The only caution I would mention on flammability is that some things react differently at different pressures.  Consider diesel fuel.  You can damn near pour it on a fire to put the fire out, but you pressurize it far enough and it spontaneously ignites.

I've read on some people experimenting with propane despite its combustion characteristics, and others have experimented with good old-fashioned Carbon Dioxide, which was popular before R12 was originally discovered.

Offline walrus

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 09:30:38 AM »
Awesome, like to see what Bonney man thinks of this. GF, you rule :)
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 07:26:16 PM »
I drove this truck all day today -- both in moving highway traffic and city "stop and go" situations. The temps were in the high 80's and the humidity was relatively high. The AC system maintained a comfortable 40-44F at the vents and never went above 44F -- even at idle. This performance is in line with the R12 system charge that was in the system previously. I'm quite impressed with this gas -- so far the compressor hasn't shown any difficult or unusual performance issues. It just keeps up with the requirements of the job.

Next week we are expected to get some high 90s temps and very high humidity conditions. That will be the ultimate test of this system. We'll see how it performs in those extreme conditions.

Offline TWX

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2015, 03:24:44 AM »
I've heard that humidity can actually be advantageous as it can help carry heat away from the condenser coil more effectively than dry air.

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2015, 09:04:46 AM »
Wow that's interesting!! 

You aren't kidding about R12 being expensive.  I was at a sale and bought 2 NOS cases of R12, paid $55 a case for them (12 cans to a case) and wasn't sure what it was worth.  Checked ebay and they were asking anywhere from $45 to $70 for 3 cans.  Thought that was steep.  Sold a case to a good customer for $100 and a week later he came back and bought the other case.  Both were for his dad who has several old cars. 
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Offline Barks

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2015, 11:00:40 AM »
Side tap can dispenser is not seen every day in the average guy's tool chest.  Who commonly uses these things?

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2015, 11:27:19 AM »
I have gotten a several of the side taps out of mechanics tool boxes I have bought or in box lots of mechanics tools. 
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Offline john k

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2015, 02:23:07 PM »
This sounds like something I can use!   But one thing bugs me, with the EPA clamping down on automotive AC recovery, checking the shops equipment,etc.   Then they allow this product to be used by the general public, just to spray into the atmosphere, anyone else see a problem here?

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2015, 03:39:31 PM »
This sounds like something I can use!   But one thing bugs me, with the EPA clamping down on automotive AC recovery, checking the shops equipment,etc.   Then they allow this product to be used by the general public, just to spray into the atmosphere, anyone else see a problem here?

I'm not an expert on this -- just what I gleaned from reading some of the reports and online posts. It's actually not in the same family as R12 (Dichlorodifluoromethane) or R134a (Tetrafluoroethane)

R152a -- As an alternative to chlorofluorocarbons, it has an ozone depletion potential of zero, a lower global warming potential (120) and a shorter atmospheric lifetime (1.4 years). It has recently been approved for use in automobile applications as an alternative to R-134a."

This last quote came from Wiki --


Offline bonneyman

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2015, 03:52:59 PM »
Awesome, like to see what Bonney man thinks of this. GF, you rule :)


Hmmm. Very interesting! I'll have to do some research and see what I can find.

But I gotta say two thumbs way up thumbsup2 thumbsup2 on the ingenuity and execution. If it works, I suspect  computer cleaner is gonna take a price jump!

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2015, 06:44:40 PM »

 If it works, I suspect  computer cleaner is gonna take a price jump!

The way my mind thinks is computer cleaner will be repackaged as R12 replacement and then the price will jump.  I can't help but see the marketing possibilities of ingenious solutions to problems.  Repackage in standard R12 type cans.  Catchy name and a XX.99 price tag along with the environmental benefits.  Green label.  Not to mention the extreme cooling effect.  Problem is the market isn't huge and marketing costs would be high to get the word out.  Why does my mind always think of ways to make money? shrugx panicx
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 12:01:10 AM »
UPDATE: There is ALWAYS a downside to what seemingly is a "good to be true" product.

Bottom line is that R152a doesn't require any system mods to work in R12 or R134a systems, BUT (and here's the dangerous aspect of it) it is flammable at very low pressure. Under pressure it's hard to ignite, but once it's airborne and has saturated the air in sufficient quantity, it can be ignited and in that capacity it behaves much like propane and butane.

HOWEVER, that's not the half of it. When R152a does ignite it separates into several toxic compounds, and one compound especially (Hydrogen Fluoride) turns into hydrofluoric acid when it contacts moisture on, and in the human body. The research has shown that R152a is a good refrigerant, BUT because in the aftermath of an accident a potential leak could ignite the stuff and flood the cabin with dangerous hydroflouric acid, car engineers are struggling to develop emergency purge systems to dump the charge before it has a chance to fill the cabin with toxic acid fumes.

On the whole -- it's a good idea and it does work very well, but the risks are very high when compared to less volatile alternatives -- R134a, R12, and newer compatible blends that are hitting the market.

With that information in hand, I would suggest that although the outcome of this experiment is excellent (I got lots of cold air), this particular solution is NOT a good alternative to traditional R12 or R134a


Offline bonneyman

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 12:21:36 AM »
Virtually all halogenated hydrocarbons are flammable/combustible under the right conditions, and - since they all contain chlorine and/or fluorine -  the by-products are the usually nasty compounds. Yet newer blends require propane or butane as a component (to facilitate oil miscibility and circulation), and those components are flammable. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
This is one of the possible cause of the debilitating terminal diseases associated with ground zero workers. The World Trade Center had HUGE chillers with TONS of freon. When the towers fell and pulverized all the piping, compressors, and chillers, microscopic freon particles were exposed to intense pressures and heat, and also flames. So workers were working hard, breathing deep for days on end, and inhaling who knows what lethal by-products. Asbestos residue is probably also a big factor.
When working with R-12 and R-22, exposure to an open flame (like when soldering) will create nasty noxious compounds, one of which is phosgene. (Think WW1 nerve gas). But it's so pungent, you can't stay in the area, so you'll be forced to leave way before you get a lethal dose. However, R-12 and R-22 are thermally stable to about 700 degrees F, so - as long as they aren't exposed to an open flame - they are pretty safe. Considering R-12 was used in cars for decades, and cars get into wrecks all the time - sometimes catching on fire and exploding - and yet I've never heard once of a freon by-product related injury. It really is the best refrigerant going.
That's one of the biggest problems with refrigerant alternatives - their safety. Which is kind of ironic, since the older gases are being phased out because they "hurt" the ozone. Yet virtually all of the workable replacements are less safe to people. Go figure.

Offline pepi

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- don't try this yet -- PLEASE!!
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2015, 09:38:32 AM »
UPDATE: There is ALWAYS a downside to what seemingly is a "good to be true" product.

Bottom line is that R152a doesn't require any system mods to work in R12 or R134a systems, BUT (and here's the dangerous aspect of it) it is flammable at very low pressure. Under pressure it's hard to ignite, but once it's airborne and has saturated the air in sufficient quantity, it can be ignited and in that capacity it behaves much like propane and butane.

HOWEVER, that's not the half of it. When R152a does ignite it separates into several toxic compounds, and one compound especially (Hydrogen Fluoride) turns into hydrofluoric acid when it contacts moisture on, and in the human body. The research has shown that R152a is a good refrigerant, BUT because in the aftermath of an accident a potential leak could ignite the stuff and flood the cabin with dangerous hydroflouric acid, car engineers are struggling to develop emergency purge systems to dump the charge before it has a chance to fill the cabin with toxic acid fumes.

On the whole -- it's a good idea and it does work very well, but the risks are very high when compared to less volatile alternatives -- R134a, R12, and newer compatible blends that are hitting the market.

With that information in hand, I would suggest that although the outcome of this experiment is excellent (I got lots of cold air), this particular solution is NOT a good alternative to traditional R12 or R134a

Correct me if I am wrong but the I believe R12 & R134a have a lubricant for the compressor in the mix..That was the first  thing that ran across my mind reading the experiment.
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2015, 11:06:21 AM »
UPDATE: There is ALWAYS a downside to what seemingly is a "good to be true" product.

Bottom line is that R152a doesn't require any system mods to work in R12 or R134a systems, BUT (and here's the dangerous aspect of it) it is flammable at very low pressure. Under pressure it's hard to ignite, but once it's airborne and has saturated the air in sufficient quantity, it can be ignited and in that capacity it behaves much like propane and butane.

HOWEVER, that's not the half of it. When R152a does ignite it separates into several toxic compounds, and one compound especially (Hydrogen Fluoride) turns into hydrofluoric acid when it contacts moisture on, and in the human body. The research has shown that R152a is a good refrigerant, BUT because in the aftermath of an accident a potential leak could ignite the stuff and flood the cabin with dangerous hydroflouric acid, car engineers are struggling to develop emergency purge systems to dump the charge before it has a chance to fill the cabin with toxic acid fumes.

On the whole -- it's a good idea and it does work very well, but the risks are very high when compared to less volatile alternatives -- R134a, R12, and newer compatible blends that are hitting the market.

With that information in hand, I would suggest that although the outcome of this experiment is excellent (I got lots of cold air), this particular solution is NOT a good alternative to traditional R12 or R134a

Correct me if I am wrong but the I believe R12 & R134a have a lubricant for the compressor in the mix..That was the first  thing that ran across my mind reading the experiment.

From what I understand, oil is not a requirement in the charge, but there are refrigerant charges that include oil to replenish the oil supply. R12 used plain mineral oil as a compressor lubricant. Plain mineral oil was sufficient because the high pressure temps in the system weren't high enough to "cook" the oil and make it fail. R134a runs at a higher system pressure and much higher temperatures. Hence mineral oil would degrade very quickly, and PAG oil must be used to cope with the higher system temps.

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2015, 11:15:08 AM »
Virtually all halogenated hydrocarbons are flammable/combustible under the right conditions, and - since they all contain chlorine and/or fluorine -  the by-products are the usually nasty compounds. Yet newer blends require propane or butane as a component (to facilitate oil miscibility and circulation), and those components are flammable. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
This is one of the possible cause of the debilitating terminal diseases associated with ground zero workers. The World Trade Center had HUGE chillers with TONS of freon. When the towers fell and pulverized all the piping, compressors, and chillers, microscopic freon particles were exposed to intense pressures and heat, and also flames. So workers were working hard, breathing deep for days on end, and inhaling who knows what lethal by-products. Asbestos residue is probably also a big factor.
When working with R-12 and R-22, exposure to an open flame (like when soldering) will create nasty noxious compounds, one of which is phosgene. (Think WW1 nerve gas). But it's so pungent, you can't stay in the area, so you'll be forced to leave way before you get a lethal dose. However, R-12 and R-22 are thermally stable to about 700 degrees F, so - as long as they aren't exposed to an open flame - they are pretty safe. Considering R-12 was used in cars for decades, and cars get into wrecks all the time - sometimes catching on fire and exploding - and yet I've never heard once of a freon by-product related injury. It really is the best refrigerant going.
That's one of the biggest problems with refrigerant alternatives - their safety. Which is kind of ironic, since the older gases are being phased out because they "hurt" the ozone. Yet virtually all of the workable replacements are less safe to people. Go figure.


Yes, it's kind of ironic that the best refrigerants are usually the most flammable or the most toxic. Propane is a great refrigerant, but I wouldn't necessarily use it in my car (for obvious reasons). R152a -- is less volatile than many of the others, but it seems that the industry hasn't tested this product to the degree that other products have been. I'm certain that they will eventually find a blend of additives that will make difluororethane more stable in automotive systems.

Offline bonneyman

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2015, 11:26:06 AM »
UPDATE: There is ALWAYS a downside to what seemingly is a "good to be true" product.

Bottom line is that R152a doesn't require any system mods to work in R12 or R134a systems, BUT (and here's the dangerous aspect of it) it is flammable at very low pressure. Under pressure it's hard to ignite, but once it's airborne and has saturated the air in sufficient quantity, it can be ignited and in that capacity it behaves much like propane and butane.

HOWEVER, that's not the half of it. When R152a does ignite it separates into several toxic compounds, and one compound especially (Hydrogen Fluoride) turns into hydrofluoric acid when it contacts moisture on, and in the human body. The research has shown that R152a is a good refrigerant, BUT because in the aftermath of an accident a potential leak could ignite the stuff and flood the cabin with dangerous hydroflouric acid, car engineers are struggling to develop emergency purge systems to dump the charge before it has a chance to fill the cabin with toxic acid fumes.

On the whole -- it's a good idea and it does work very well, but the risks are very high when compared to less volatile alternatives -- R134a, R12, and newer compatible blends that are hitting the market.

With that information in hand, I would suggest that although the outcome of this experiment is excellent (I got lots of cold air), this particular solution is NOT a good alternative to traditional R12 or R134a

Correct me if I am wrong but the I believe R12 & R134a have a lubricant for the compressor in the mix..That was the first  thing that ran across my mind reading the experiment.

From what I understand, oil is not a requirement in the charge, but there are refrigerant charges that include oil to replenish the oil supply. R12 used plain mineral oil as a compressor lubricant. Plain mineral oil was sufficient because the high pressure temps in the system weren't high enough to "cook" the oil and make it fail. R134a runs at a higher system pressure and much higher temperatures. Hence mineral oil would degrade very quickly, and PAG oil must be used to cope with the higher system temps.

Correct. Mineral oil starts to degrade and carbonize at around 300 deg F. Synthetic oils can go to 400.
Also, mineral oil and alternative refrigerants like R-134a aren't miscible - i.e. they don't mix with each other. So, the oil tends to glob up and not travel through the system well. This affects heat transfer in the evap coil (being colder, the oil thickens there and sticks to the inner walls of the tubing and prevents good heat transfer). This also tends to starve the compressor of oil, as very little oil returns to it. On a auto compressor the effects aren't quite as bad as on a home AC, because the auto compressor is run from outside (i.e. the engine). The home AC has the electric motor inside the compressor, and when they get low on oil, it's big time problems.
Mind you low temp systems using R-12 can have oil return problems under certain conditions, but R-12 is especially good at dissolving and carrying oil. In fact, in older R22 home systems that were showing signs of poor oil return, we'd sometimes add 10% of the charge R-12 to "boost" the oil carrying capacity. Worked every time! :P

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2015, 12:15:32 PM »
So GF, are you going to evacuate or let it ride?

Hydroflouric acid is one nasty chemical because it is a calcium seeker.  It really doesn't burn your skin, it penetrates and goes for the bones.  Get it under you finger nail and the pain is so bad for about 3 days you want to cut your finger off.  I have sold aluminum cleaners for years that contained it because it worked better then anything else.  I have finally gotten away from it and have no intentions of going back.  I know of an owner of a chemical plant that had a valve break in a tank and he got doused with it.  He immediately rinsed himself thoroughly, went to the hospital and told them what had happened and he died a few days later. 
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Offline mrchuck

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2015, 12:21:37 PM »
Hydrofluoric Acid is what you use to "etch" glass with. Yes,,,,nasty stuff.
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2015, 12:57:10 PM »
So GF, are you going to evacuate or let it ride?

Hydroflouric acid is one nasty chemical because it is a calcium seeker.  It really doesn't burn your skin, it penetrates and goes for the bones.  Get it under you finger nail and the pain is so bad for about 3 days you want to cut your finger off.  I have sold aluminum cleaners for years that contained it because it worked better then anything else.  I have finally gotten away from it and have no intentions of going back.  I know of an owner of a chemical plant that had a valve break in a tank and he got doused with it.  He immediately rinsed himself thoroughly, went to the hospital and told them what had happened and he died a few days later. 

The acid only manifests itself when the stuff burns in mass quantity, AND only presents a danger if it gets trapped inside the cabin of the car/truck. The worst case scenario is a massive evaporator leak that somehow ignites and dumps the stuff into the cabin. This is not my daily drive and I'm still looking to finish this experiment on a very high temperature and high humidity day to see how it performs. I'm taking copious notes on that data, and will compare it to R12 when I evacuate and refill later on in a few weeks. One thing is certain; I don't plan on doing a R134a conversion on this truck because of the oil compatibility issues. I'd rather put R12 back into it.

Like you Phil, I also have a few cans of 80's vintage R12 in my stash -- somewhere. I just need to find it and then do the switch.

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2015, 12:31:31 AM »
Virtually all halogenated hydrocarbons are flammable/combustible under the right conditions, and - since they all contain chlorine and/or fluorine -  the by-products are the usually nasty compounds. Yet newer blends require propane or butane as a component (to facilitate oil miscibility and circulation), and those components are flammable. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
This is one of the possible cause of the debilitating terminal diseases associated with ground zero workers. The World Trade Center had HUGE chillers with TONS of freon. When the towers fell and pulverized all the piping, compressors, and chillers, microscopic freon particles were exposed to intense pressures and heat, and also flames. So workers were working hard, breathing deep for days on end, and inhaling who knows what lethal by-products. Asbestos residue is probably also a big factor.
When working with R-12 and R-22, exposure to an open flame (like when soldering) will create nasty noxious compounds, one of which is phosgene. (Think WW1 nerve gas). But it's so pungent, you can't stay in the area, so you'll be forced to leave way before you get a lethal dose. However, R-12 and R-22 are thermally stable to about 700 degrees F, so - as long as they aren't exposed to an open flame - they are pretty safe. Considering R-12 was used in cars for decades, and cars get into wrecks all the time - sometimes catching on fire and exploding - and yet I've never heard once of a freon by-product related injury. It really is the best refrigerant going.
That's one of the biggest problems with refrigerant alternatives - their safety. Which is kind of ironic, since the older gases are being phased out because they "hurt" the ozone. Yet virtually all of the workable replacements are less safe to people. Go figure.


Looks like WTC cancer-related deaths hit a new high today.

http://www.infowars.com/number-of-ground-zero-responders-with-911-linked-cancers-hits-3700/

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2015, 08:18:36 AM »
I'm not sure I would consider this a failure. It works dont it. The effects of a possible fire/gas inhalation are pretty far out on the risk scale. I would run it long term and see what happens.

When I worked the petro-chems I was probably exposed to more fugitive emissions than what the exposure would be if the dust off leaked out into the cab.
Started with nothing and still have most of it left.

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2015, 08:42:14 AM »
I'm not sure I would consider this a failure. It works dont it. The effects of a possible fire/gas inhalation are pretty far out on the risk scale. I would run it long term and see what happens.

When I worked the petro-chems I was probably exposed to more fugitive emissions than what the exposure would be if the dust off leaked out into the cab.

Agreed -- it works, and since this is not a daily driver, I will attempt to keep this experiment going for a few weeks (while we still have staggering summer heat and humidity). As far as the "failure" is concerned, my intention is not to gloss over the risks of this refrigerant gas. All refrigerants have risks, but R152a (in Duster form) isn't necessarily the "safe alternative gas" that others on the web have advocated. The risks are real -- hence my warnings.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2015, 10:32:53 PM by goodfellow »

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2015, 12:02:30 AM »
One week into this experiment and have to admit that today was a very high heat and humidity day. By comparison, my old junk Mazda truck now has the coldest AC unit in our family fleet of five cars. Steady output at idle was 40F in "stop and go" city traffic.

Although I can't recommend this stuff for new vehicles, also due to some of the safety concerns mentioned above), on the whole it provides some amazing cooling properties in older R12 car systems.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 12:48:14 AM by goodfellow »

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #29 on: August 16, 2015, 12:31:42 AM »
My boss and I were discussing this last week. He's got an old Pontiac that we're gonna try to get his AC working again using the dust off. The 100+ degree days we've been having have convinced him he needs AC in the old heap so we're gonna try this out. thumbsup2
Started with nothing and still have most of it left.

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment -- This one is a failure!!
« Reply #30 on: August 16, 2015, 12:46:40 AM »
My boss and I were discussing this last week. He's got an old Pontiac that we're gonna try to get his AC working again using the dust off. The 100+ degree days we've been having have convinced him he needs AC in the old heap so we're gonna try this out. thumbsup2

Good luck! -- post up the results please --

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2015, 10:31:11 PM »
Here is an excerpt from a website that has some very good info on the refrigerant situation. It also points out the logical flaws with regard to the environmental laws that are currently in place. For instance -- Some Air Duster cans use R134a as a propellant -- which is freely vented into the air when used as directed, yet there is no EPA penalty for this venting. On the other hand if one vents R134a from an automotive AC system; it's considered an Environmental Hazard under penalty of law.

Doing my research, I have concluded that the EPA and most of the government regulations are nothing more than a sham system designed to take control away from individuals and place it in the control of large corporations and government bureaucrats.

You decide for yourself!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/diesel-discussion/339271-quest-100-percent-diy-c-setup.html

What About Other Refrigerants?

There are literally scores of refrigerants. An interested reader is directed to this page for a partial list -

In fact, the types of refrigerants is myriad - CFC, CFO, HCFC, HCFO, HFC, HFO, HCC, HCO, HC, HO, PFC, PFO, PFC, PFO, PCC, PCO and H among others.

Not all, in fact most, refrigerants are not appropriate for automotive use - either because of physical attributes or because of undesirable characteristics or because of cost.

But there are some fascinating alternatives to R12 and R134a that can be used with varying degrees of legality and desirability and effectiveness.

Making no value judgements, recommendations or assertions, the reader is directed to the following options as interesting subjects for research and consideration.


R-290 (Propane) - Propane is a refrigerant that is cheap, highly efficient and easily used within automotive system. Persons considering propane are cautioned against using propane fuel that is readily available in camping bottles or in heating cannisters or as vehicle fuel. This "propane" is quite impure with water and other hydrocarbons present in significant concentrations that can seriously degrade AC systems. Refrigerant grade propane should be used if this is considered. Propane can be vented so no recovery issues exist.

EnviroSafe (propane/isobutane) - EnviroSafe is a proprietary mix of hydrocarbons that is optimized for automotive use. It is legal for conversion from 134a systems but not from R12 systems. This is a legal technicality not grounded in any practical or physical reality. Some say that an R12 system that has been converted to 134a can be legally converted. Envirosafe can be vented so no recovery issues exist. While not legal, EnvoroSafe is entirely compatible to be added to an existing R-12 or R-134a system (topping off).

DuraCool (propane/isobutane??) - DuraCool is a proprietary refrigerant predomanintly or entirely hydrocarbon based. DuraCool can be vented so no recovery issues exist.

R-152a (1,1-Difluroethane) - This is a fascinating material that is a potential replacement for 134a when that is ultimately phased out. Amazingly, this product is what is contained in dusters as well. In fact a quick YouTube search for "Duster as Refrigerant" will yield some fascinating videos about how to charge an A/C system with duster propellant. R-152 has one undesirable characteristic and that is if it does catch fire, the byproduct is HF a very poisionous acid gas that is quite nasty. Future systems will likely be double loop systems that can keep the R-152a outside the cabin.

R-1234yf (2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene) - Another potential replacement for R134a. There are some undesirable properties of this refrigerant that have caused MB to have come out against adopting this refrigerant.

R-600a (butane) - Like propane, butane is a good refrigerant option. Can be vented so no recovery issues exist. Some modification to the system may be necessary because of pressure differences.

R-414a (mixture of HCFCs) - Brands such as GHG-X4, Autofrost, Chill-It

R-414b (mixture of HCFCs) - Brands inlcude HotShot, KarKool

Freeze 12 (mixture of 134a and R-142) - Freeze 12 is one of many 134a blends

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2015, 10:59:39 PM »
Today was 92F -- high humidity. I made it a point to drive this beat up old truck all day -- the vent temps never were above 42-44F. This is by far cooler than my new R134a AC system that I put in my Rodeo last year. Those Rodeo vent temps were at 47-50F today.

Offline Altec

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #33 on: August 19, 2015, 08:29:21 PM »
Incidentally I was testing a 2011 Impala Police Package A/C today, and was getting 42* air.  lolx
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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2015, 08:14:06 AM »
Incidentally I was testing a 2011 Impala Police Package A/C today, and was getting 42* air.  lolx

Holy crap,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I can see Altec test driving a cop car after repairing it. panicx  Pulling his buddies over,,,,,,,,,burnouts and such :D
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Offline K5blazer83

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2015, 08:52:15 AM »
Incidentally I was testing a 2011 Impala Police Package A/C today, and was getting 42* air.  lolx

Holy crap,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I can see Altec test driving a cop car after repairing it. panicx  Pulling his buddies over,,,,,,,,,burnouts and such :D

Altec is THAT guy  ;D
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Offline Altec

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2015, 12:21:20 PM »
I am given permission to drive in similar manor as officers to test the vehicles.
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Offline TWX

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2015, 04:15:56 PM »
I am given permission to drive in similar manor as officers to test the vehicles.

Please-don't-PIT-anyone-please-don't-PIT-anyone-please-don't-PIT-anyone

Offline mrchuck

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2015, 04:42:07 PM »
Many "patrol cars" today have an inside camera in them and show both the "perp" in the back seat, AND also the front seat!!!!
The Dallas PD has them and have caught some of the mechanics in the motor pool doing things they shouldn't of been doing. Also caught officers "interviewing" street walkers in the front seat".
And that my friends,,,, is very difficult to defend and/or refute.
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Offline Altec

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2015, 04:50:35 PM »
TWX- You mean don't pit you?  lolx

Chuck- Frankly, our county is so fiscally irresponsible they could not afford such equipment if they tried. And when they do get a couple dollars extra, they waste it on tag readers...
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Offline fatfillup

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2015, 05:53:42 PM »
I can see Altec pitting someone :)) 


Altec, you work for AA county or Calvert?
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Offline Uncle Buck

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2015, 08:15:54 PM »
We use to have the old retired Crown Victoria's the Kansas Hiway Patrol replaced when I worked for the state. I loved those cars. When they gave them to us they removed all the markings, whip antennas  push bars, spotlights and light bars but they did not de tune them so they would still fly low if you stomped on it. I loved the rate of acceleration, feeling of total stability north of 100 and the positive brakes with no fade when you shut them down.

In fact, I loved them so much that after my first few months on the job I had to make myself set the cruise control as soon as I got the car up on the highway and at highway speed. If I didn't the temptation to open them up was too great and I am sure would have likely cost me my job if I had not started putting them on cruise. Those cars handled phenomenally for big cars too. 
You boys better hold on cause i'm gonna have to stand on it!

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Offline bonneyman

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2015, 10:16:59 PM »
Here is an excerpt from a website that has some very good info on the refrigerant situation. It also points out the logical flaws with regard to the environmental laws that are currently in place. For instance -- Some Air Duster cans use R134a as a propellant -- which is freely vented into the air when used as directed, yet there is no EPA penalty for this venting. On the other hand if one vents R134a from an automotive AC system; it's considered an Environmental Hazard under penalty of law.

Doing my research, I have concluded that the EPA and most of the government regulations are nothing more than a sham system designed to take control away from individuals and place it in the control of large corporations and government bureaucrats.

You decide for yourself!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

R-152a (1,1-Difluroethane) - This is a fascinating material that is a potential replacement for 134a when that is ultimately phased out. Amazingly, this product is what is contained in dusters as well. In fact a quick YouTube search for "Duster as Refrigerant" will yield some fascinating videos about how to charge an A/C system with duster propellant. R-152 has one undesirable characteristic and that is if it does catch fire, the byproduct is HF a very poisionous acid gas that is quite nasty. Future systems will likely be double loop systems that can keep the R-152a outside the cabin.


Bingo! You hit the nail on the head!
The ozone depletion/global warming/climate change baloney is about control and money - nothing else.

Oh, and about the double loop idea? Already been done - with ammonia back in the 20's and 30's. Ammonia is a great refrigerant, but has some of the same "bad" qualities (toxic, corrosive, flammable), so, they used ammonia to chill water which was circulated thru the evap coils.

Offline mrchuck

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2015, 10:00:21 AM »
Ahhh yes, the "pit" maneuver.

Our Agency sent us to the Academy periodically for brush-up training.
To pass, one had to successfully do a felony car stop using a pit maneuver.
I was an instructor.
Done right, it is a wonderful technique.
However it does take practice to do it correctly.
Most who graduate do not use it, as the need does not come up repeatedly.
I see the chases on tv like everyone else, and have to hold back my comments as my wife gives me a look I do not like.
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2016, 04:07:54 PM »
Just an update on this experiment. I left the refrigerant in the truck AC system all winter long and didn't really use the truck very much until last week when my Rodeo was being repaired. Long story short, it was really hot and humid (mid-90's) during those days and I used to truck to make salvage yard runs. The AC worked flawlessly. The AC system has remained cooler and more efficient than I ever expected. It definitely rivals the old R12 system.

For an old truck with a 28 year old R12 AC system, this was the way to go. I'm leaving this installed and calling it a success. It has lasted over a year and there have been no problems with this install. With full fan blast at idle I'm getting 42F at the vents -- with outside ambient air temps in the high 90's.

Offline fatfillup

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2016, 08:33:59 AM »
Just reread the whole thread, great read and glad you staying cool!
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Offline stokester

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2016, 09:44:43 AM »

R-1234yf (2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoropropene) - Another potential replacement for R134a. There are some undesirable properties of this refrigerant that have caused MB to have come out against adopting this refrigerant.

It's already here on some 2017 models.

Mildly flammable and naturally requiring new and specific equipment for service.

So for environmental reasons a mildly flammable compound under high pressure is being added to our cars. 
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Offline fordtoy1

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2016, 12:35:34 PM »
YOU CAN GET R12 ON EBAY ALL DAY LONG angryguyx

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #48 on: August 05, 2016, 02:53:55 PM »
I look for a valve in the ac line tied to the airbag system to dump the refrigerant in case of an accident.    In the 70s, when we topped off the R-12 using the sight gauge, plus a little more,  we could get vent temps down to 33 degrees.  Car closed up, idling in the shop, hot humid days, and the windows would sweat.   This all kind of proves that old Kettering, the engineer that developed fluorocarbon refrigerants in the 1930s was pretty much a genius. 

Offline TexasT

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #49 on: May 06, 2017, 12:02:59 PM »
One thing I'd like to add is where you pierce the can with the side tap, take and scrape the paint off the can. You don't want little paint chips in the ac system .

Rich

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Offline DeadNutz

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #50 on: May 29, 2017, 04:21:24 PM »
When they declared R-12 was to be no longer sold a good friend who let me fly his pristine 450 Stearman, also was a chemist and owned a chemical company told me that was all about the patent expiring. He said the company that held the patent convinced everybody the R-12 was bad and the new stuff better for the environment for which they held the patent on. It is probably about time for the patent to expire again so there is the "need" for a new refrigerant.

Offline john k

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #51 on: May 29, 2017, 07:35:27 PM »
Don't know anything about the patent, but this all came about after discovering the hole in the ozone.   Refrigerant has been around since the 30s, and in cars since 1941.   The newer R-134a was introduced in the 94 Model year for the most part.  Two years ago newer R-1234 was starting to be introduced.  I can go on about the carbon footprint as it was presented to us, but it all comes down to which story you will believe. 

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #52 on: May 30, 2017, 08:47:05 AM »
^^^^^^^^follow the money


Could be some truth on both sides but I am betting on patent running out and then finding some science to justify they switch.
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Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2017, 09:13:52 AM »
The hypocrisy is that tetrafluoroethane (R134a) and difluoroethane (R152A) are used in most keyboard dusters and many industrial cleaners. The gas is vented into the atmosphere in hundreds of ways, yet only when it is used as a refrigerant in cars does the EPA step in and control the entire process -- and as a consequence drive up all costs associated with the process. I don't have to have an EPA license to use a keyboard duster, but I do to charge my AC system. It does seem like a rigged system that is dominated by a very powerful industry lobby.

As an aside, I have run this keyboard duster in my Mazda R12 AC system for two years now. It is a marvelous refrigerant and is very efficient. It's amazing that an almost 30 year old AC system has the coldest air temperature in our entire family fleet.

Offline krusty the clown

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2017, 01:20:57 PM »
DuPont held the patent for R12. I don't know who holds the patent for R134a but i remember the scuttlebutt and suspect it is true. Someone spent a lot of money to get the royalties on R134a.

Ray you don't need to be epa certified to handle R134a only R12.

Offline DeadNutz

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #55 on: May 30, 2017, 03:39:08 PM »
DuPont did hold the R-12 patent. I was at a Navy supply depot after all this happened and was amazed at the banks of gas bottles filled with R-12. I asked one of the guys about it and he said they could get all the R-12 they needed as that is what the Navy used and they weren't changing anytime soon.

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #56 on: May 30, 2017, 04:58:46 PM »
^^^^^^^^^^^^well that makes sense,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the Navy R12 doesn't hurt the ozone layer :))
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Offline TexasT

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #57 on: September 20, 2017, 11:35:16 AM »
The hypocrisy is that tetrafluoroethane (R134a) and difluoroethane (R152A) are used in most keyboard dusters and many industrial cleaners. The gas is vented into the atmosphere in hundreds of ways, yet only when it is used as a refrigerant in cars does the EPA step in and control the entire process -- and as a consequence drive up all costs associated with the process. I don't have to have an EPA license to use a keyboard duster, but I do to charge my AC system. It does seem like a rigged system that is dominated by a very powerful industry lobby.

As an aside, I have run this keyboard duster in my Mazda R12 AC system for two years now. It is a marvelous refrigerant and is very efficient. It's amazing that an almost 30 year old AC system has the coldest air temperature in our entire family fleet.

When you put it in did you change the oil to the pag or just continue on with the mineral oil?
Rich

with the right tool, every job is easy. - sprintveloce's dad

Offline goodfellow

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Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2017, 12:24:51 PM »
Stayed with mineral oil -- still working and going strong after two very hot summers.

The Garage Gazette

Re: Automotive AC Experiment --
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2017, 12:24:51 PM »