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  #1  
Old 04-20-2003, 11:34 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
fake r12

I have always been a skeptic of the new fake r12 stuff until recently. I am still a bit skeptical. My brother, the mechanic of the family for 20 years, by accident bought some of this stuff on ebay. He was purchasing NOT for his car BUT for his commercial refrigerator/freezer at his home. He decided to give the stuff a try in the Freezer and Refrigerator and wa lah the sucker is freezing and cooling better than ever..he switched out the old r12 and put the fake stuff in months ago and its still cooling great.

What do you guys(and gals) think..cuz I could use cooler air in my 560sl. I am tempted.

Thanks and Happy Easter!
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Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2003, 11:47 AM
Registered Diesel Burner
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
What was this particular fake R12 called - does it have a brand name?

There were some posts recently about R134 being relabeled in Mexico as R12 and then brought back across the border. The telltale sign is that it is in the standard R134 can that has a different top design. But I think you might be talking about something like Freeze 12.....

Ken300D
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  #3  
Old 04-20-2003, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
Ken,
I just called my brother and asked..the product is called "Enviro Safe"..its and HFC. I also found that he didn't replace the r12 that is in the freezer only in the Refrigerator and it cools at 42 and there is no more icing on the condensor. He has an old Ford truck that needs charging so I think he is going to try the stuff in that car. Will let you know what happens.
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Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #4  
Old 04-20-2003, 04:13 PM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,791
Envirosafe is a mixture of propane and butane. I haven't used it myself -- I choose to convert to HFC 134. But the buzz on the internet is that it's a very good refrigerant... cools well and mixes well with mineral oil (r12 lubricant).

Some automotive people are quick to point out that the 8 oz. mixture is flammable, yet choose to ignore the fact that an automobile can carry up to 20 gallons of highly flammable liquid.

The down side is that should a leak develop, the leak rate for the two components - propane and butane - are different. Plus, I believe it's banned in 17? states. This also means it's legal in many other states!

As with any alternate refrigerant, one has to worry about the long-term effects of the refrigerant on the a/c system.

There's a lot of information on the internet about Envirosafe. Start by looking in aircondition.com.
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2003, 02:13 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: So. Calif.
Posts: 323
If you ask 100 people . . . you'll get 100 DIFFERENT answers . . .

What you really have to consider is LIABILITY ! ! !

There are ONLY 2 APPROVED refrigerants by SAE and vehicle manufacturers . . . R-12 and R-134A . . .
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2003, 03:51 AM
zhandax
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Posts: n/a
At times like this, you really gotta ask yourself,
Do I smoke?

Seriously, the car does carry 20 gals of flammable fuel, but it is liquid and has little risk of leaking into the passenger compartment since the gas lines run under the car and gas fumes are heavier than air.

I understand propane is an excellent refrigerant, but I smoke like a '63 chrysler.
Mostly in the car, where there is a potential for a leak inside the passenger compartment.

For this reason, I have eliminated propane-derived substitutes from my list of acceptable refrigerants.

One of the guys at work tried Freeze12, swore it was not flamable, and was pleased by the results. He sold the car 3 months later; so much for an unbiased long-term test.

I found to my shock that the 300E I recently bought has a working A/C with R12. Freeze12 is probably what I will try before I convert to R134 if it passes the bic test (light my bic, spray some of this stuff on it, if it does not burn, it goes in).

I would not worry too much about the long-term effects of alternative refigerant on the system since, when it craps out, your choices are
1) Rebuild it with that tank of R12 you stashed in the garage 10 years ago, or
2)Convert to R134.

You will replace the expansion valve and drier in any case, and the change in oils means you will probably be rebuilding/replacing the compressor within a year or so after change-over due to seal deterioriation. At least that is the way all the conversions I have driven have turned out.

May the force be with you...
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2003, 08:31 AM
LarryBible
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I would like to add to the above "downside" of this stuff the fact that when using it, most people do not label the system as having this "refrigerant" and they do not change the fittings. This sets up a situation where it is recovered into a vessel of R12. The result is that the other recovered R12 in the vessel is now unrecyclable.

For the sake of those of us who wish to recycle as much R12 as possible, please don't use this stuff.

Additionally, this is real snake oil sales. You could put propane in the system and it will work as well as this "product" with a fancy name. I don't know what they charge for it, but propane is around a $1.50 per GALLON. There are probably at least five pounds in a gallon, but they are probably charging $5 a pound for something that usually costs only about $.25 per pound. Sounds profitable to me.

Good luck,
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2003, 09:08 AM
Fimum Fit
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Zhandak! Don't do the BIC test!!!

Top on the list of the dangers about which HS automechanics students are warned is that when R-12 passes through a flame it becomes phosgene or mustard gas (one of those two WWI poison gases -- I can't remember whether it's the one the British started it all with, or the one with which the Germans responded). People have suffered severe and, in a few cases, fatal lung damage that way -- even by just smoking a cigarette in the presence of a refrigerant leak.

(The other two refrigerant risks are frostbite from being sprayed and the fact that the stuff is heavier than air and will pool on the floor of a garage, causing someone working under a car to suffocate from lack of oxygen.

Last edited by Fimum Fit; 04-21-2003 at 11:09 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-21-2003, 12:28 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: So. Calif.
Posts: 323
Quote:
Originally posted by zhandax
At times like this, you really gotta ask yourself,
Do I smoke?

Seriously, the car does carry 20 gals of flammable fuel, but it is liquid and has little risk of leaking into the passenger compartment since the gas lines run under the car and gas fumes are heavier than air.

I understand propane is an excellent refrigerant, but I smoke like a '63 chrysler.
Mostly in the car, where there is a potential for a leak inside the passenger compartment.

For this reason, I have eliminated propane-derived substitutes from my list of acceptable refrigerants.

One of the guys at work tried Freeze12, swore it was not flamable, and was pleased by the results. He sold the car 3 months later; so much for an unbiased long-term test.

I found to my shock that the 300E I recently bought has a working A/C with R12. Freeze12 is probably what I will try before I convert to R134 if it passes the bic test (light my bic, spray some of this stuff on it, if it does not burn, it goes in).

I would not worry too much about the long-term effects of alternative refigerant on the system since, when it craps out, your choices are
1) Rebuild it with that tank of R12 you stashed in the garage 10 years ago, or
2)Convert to R134.

You will replace the expansion valve and drier in any case, and the change in oils means you will probably be rebuilding/replacing the compressor within a year or so after change-over due to seal deterioriation. At least that is the way all the conversions I have driven have turned out.

May the force be with you...
Hey . . . You can play WHAT IF . . . ALL DAY ! ! !

There are a couple IDIOTS who had a shop about 12 miles fro me that got popped for charging car A/C units with Butane . . . They're now finishing up 10 years in the State Pen for being IDIOTS ! ! !

Some SHADE-TREE DUFUS in Texas was charging car A/C units with a propellant that some friend of his was stealing from the plant where he worked . . . One of the cars he charged with this stuff had a leak which filled their garage with FLAMMABLE fumes, which the hot water heater ignited . . . They found the GARAGE DOOR 3 blocks away ! ! !

Granted, the car does carry gallons of FLAMMABLE liquid . . . but it does so in a FUEL TANK that was ENGINEERED to do so. NOT an A/C SYSTEM that is charged with a substance it was NOT DESIGNED to operate with . . .

Ya . . . you can cure hemorrhoids with dynamite . . . but the damage it does makes it a moot point . . .
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  #10  
Old 04-21-2003, 02:47 PM
zhandax
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Posts: n/a
Fimum,

Thanks for the reminder. I just checked the manual, and it is phosgene.
Freeze12 is not R12, but it could decompose in flame into something nasty.
Guess I do it the boring way and ask for a material safety data sheet.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2003, 12:30 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 571
Freeze-12 is 80% R134A and if my memory serves me right, 20% R142B. The stuff sells for $10-$12 a can. R-134A is 1/3 to 1/2 of that and you know what you bought.

Why put something that's 80% R134A in an R-12 system?
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2003, 07:32 AM
zhandax
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Posts: n/a
The original question behind this post is what we think about using propane as a refrigerant.

I repeat that this is not something I want to do.

I just found out in the last two weeks to my surprise that the A/C on the 300E I recently bought works, and found out last weekend that it has no screw-on R134 fittings, which I assume means it is still charged with R12. I have not yet tested that theory.

I bought this car with the assumption that I would be either converting or rebuilding the A/C system before June.

Since it now appears possible to get another season out of the existing system, I choose Freeze12 as an alternative if the system needs a booster shot.

The day my shirt gets damp, the system gets converted to R134 the following weekend. This will be the second one I have done, and for a stretch goal, I plan to either rebuild or kill this compressor. (whichever comes first)

This is simply a personal battle-plan for dealing with unexpected fortuitous happenstance.
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2003, 08:50 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
You guys seem to be talking only about freeze12. Our experience is with "EnviroSafe" product. Is it the same stuff?
__________________
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2003, 10:14 AM
pfphipps
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Posts: n/a
Look at this site:

http://www.epa.gov/spdpublc/snap/refrigerants/hc-12a.html

From this site:
"May hydrocarbon refrigerants be used to replace CFC-12, commonly referred to as "FreonŽ ," in cars?
No. It is illegal to use hydrocarbon refrigerants like HC-12aŽ and DURACOOL 12aŽ as substitutes for CFC-12 in automobile or truck air conditioning under any circumstances."

Although it is mentioning other brand names, it is illegal to use any of the substitutes. Funny thing is, as I understand it, it is not illegal to buy or sell them, just to use them in your car.
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2003, 10:52 AM
I told you so!
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,791
It is not illegal to use hydrocarbon refrigerants in all cases.

It is illegal to use them in 18 states (Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, and the District of Columbia) for any automotive application.

It is illegal to use them in r12 systems.

It is okay to use them on HFC134 systems or systems properly (legally) converted to HFC134 outside of the 18 states.

This means if you live outside the 18 states you must first convert your old r12 system to HFC134. Only then can you convert to a hydrocarbon system.
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