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  #1  
Old 08-14-2003, 06:35 PM
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R-12 and FR-12

I recently took delivery of 6 cans of R-12 for my 300SD to convert back from 134. I will be doing the job tommorow hopefully.

I bought 6 just to have some extra. I know it needs 3lbs.

A couple of interesting things:

1. I received cans from one brand(CRC) which was dated in 1999.
The other from Dupont dated in 1992, which leads me to believe that either some people have stockpiles of this stuff, it is, or has been made after the ban, or some people are illegally importing from Mexico, etc... and selling it in the states.

2. I purchased them on ebay with a new 609 license which was a joke to get. I could not find it locally(with the 609) so I had no choice but to go on ebay.

Well actually, I went to a local ac supply house which had something I never heard of, FR-12 which was "supposedly" a drop in replacement for R-12.

3. Larry Bible has often made the point about the r-12 being one of the least expensive elements to repairing an r-12 system and he could not be more correct. If you can get a 609, the cost of refilling your properly repaired, leak free R-12 system is about $60.00. My point is, if you are going to do it, do it right and keep your R-12 system R-12.

Any thoughts?

BTW, thanks to all of the contributors and moderators for all the valuable info.
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2003, 07:31 PM
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Hey ! I have been preaching that also.... Thanks for sharing...
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2003, 07:39 PM
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I purchased some of those "new" cans of CRC R12 off of ebay and wondered about it myself. I called CRC and talked to them about it and they told me that yes that is R12 and they canned it for a "special" order a few years ago. It is legit stuff.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2003, 07:47 PM
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I preach the same thing - keep an R-12 system filled with R-12 at all costs, do NOT convert to R-134a or any other "refrigerant" (and I use the term loosely) that requires PAG/POE oils. People who whine about the "high cost" of R-12 are extremely short sighted, as a huge percentage of 134a conversions die within a few years, requiring exorbitant expenditures to repair. I'll not even get into the whole duct temp issue, where you need R-12 (or R-406a) to get decent temps at high ambients (basically anywhere in the south and west USA). OK, ok, end rant.
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  #5  
Old 08-14-2003, 09:24 PM
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Has anyone heard of the FR-12? As I said earlier, this local shop required a 609 and touts it as a drop in replacement for R-12.

I may buy a can for 7.00 just to see exactly what it is?
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:37 PM
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**sigh** It's an alternative to R-12. It can not be mixed with R-12. It doesn't perform as well as R-12. It may be a blend, which means you can't top it off. And it may be HC based, which is illegal for use in motor vehicles in about a dozen states. Forget it.
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 153kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 140kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 186kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!
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  #7  
Old 08-15-2003, 12:47 AM
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It was not my intent to use it as I have the R-12.

Just being curious as the sales person claimed it was a "drop in".

Thanks again:p
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  #8  
Old 08-15-2003, 08:30 AM
LarryBible
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FR12 is one of the dozens of snake oil refrigerants that are on the market.

In my shop I have two recovery/recycle machines, one for R12, and one for R134a. I will not under any circumstances use any other refrigerant. I also will not use 134 in an R12 system until after losing the argument about why it should not be done.

These snake oil refrigerants are causing more problems than anyone that uses them realize. Not only are people often breaking the law using them, as previously stated in this thread, they are being very shortsighted.

You are wise to stay with R12.

Good luck,
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2003, 08:48 AM
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Larry - in your shop, do you test every AC system to see what kind of coolant is in it or do you just take the word of the owner? Isn't is expensive for the test equipment and more expensive if you contaminant you pure R12 and/or R134 recovery tanks?

Curious.

Len
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  #10  
Old 08-15-2003, 11:06 AM
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A refrigerant identifier is an absolute necessity. There is so much junk refrigerant in systems that you can NEVER take anyones word for it. Even if they are telling the truth, a previous owner or a dishonest shop may have put in snake oil refrigerant.

One recovery of junk will contaminate whatever refrigerant is in the cylinder and by law it is required that it be safely disposed of. This means that you pay a fee PLUS lose whatever clean refrigerant was already in the cylinder.

Have a great day,
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  #11  
Old 08-15-2003, 12:20 PM
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I bought an 87 SDL a few months ago and it has R134 in it. I believe the original was R12. Is that correct? The A/C really sucks with R134 and I'm thinking of converting back to R12 sometime when I have some time. I won't bore everyone with asking everything involved in doing that, since I'm sure I can search for it. But was the 1987 originally R-12? Thanks.

- Ted
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2003, 12:30 PM
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Yes, the '87 was originally R12. These cars are extremely poor candidates for conversion as you've discovered.

I'm sure your search will uncover several threads that have covered reverse conversion. I would recommend it.

Good luck,
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2003, 12:39 PM
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Just remember that a reverse conversion is a MAJOR job and not really a DIY unless you're experienced in AC work. The compressor must come off and you need proper flushing equipment to get all the old oil out - no, you can't just shoot brake cleaner through and blow dry with compressed air, unless you want the system to fail again in a couple of years. I suspect a lot of shops won't do it right either because it's so labor intensive. If you get quotes from various shops for the job, request a detailed explanation of EXACTLY what they are going to do for the money. Walk away from any place that is cutting corners, no matter what they say to convice it "it'll be fine, buddy!" :p

A simpler alternative (which I know Larry doesn't support) is to use an R-134a alternative, like Duracool or Autofrost GHG-X8. These will work with your existing PAG oil and perform much better than R-134a (but not quite as good as R-12). Might be worth a try before ripping things apart for a reverse conversion. Just make sure the system is VERY CLEARLY LABELED in multiple places that it has a non-standard refrigerant installed! And you are REQUIRED to install the refrigerant-specific adapter fittings to avoid accidental recovery contamination, as Larry mentioned above.


Good luck,
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Dave M.
Boise, ID

1997 E420 - 153kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 140kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 186kmi (Stinky Dirty)
Check out my website photos, documents, and movies!

Last edited by gsxr; 08-15-2003 at 03:04 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-15-2003, 02:45 PM
LarryBible
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Should you choose to follow the duracool route and you are lucky enough not to be in one of the 18 states in which it is illegal, you will have to use the specific fitting adapters in order to do it in accordance with Federal law.

I would again urge you to use R12 in an R12 system.

Good luck,
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  #15  
Old 08-15-2003, 11:06 PM
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While we're on the subject, I believe my 124 has been converted to Freeze-12 (it's got some strange adapters), though my A/C doesn't currently work. Is that the FR-12 mentioned earlier in the thread. So, if I wanted to 'convert' back to R-12, would I need to go through the change the oil and flush the system procedure similar to what gsxr (the Reverend ) said too? I'm an A/C newbie, but I'm willing to purchase the vacuum pump and gauges needed to accomplish this task.

I'm worried that I won't be able to remove the Freeze-12 adapters, then I'd need to replace the super expensive A/C hoses. I live in the Pacific NW, so A/C isn't a real big deal, but it would be nice to have the humidifier effect when the defroster vents are on.

TIA
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