a/c Refrigerant R134a replacement

Messages
9,365
Location
USA
Not sure if I posted this in the right forum. but I need some R134a for the 96 sunfire. I was looking around the net and found some websites that sell environmentally friendly drop in replacement. I don't know squat about refrigerant. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with the environmentally friendly replacements. Is it okay to use? I found this on ebay. MACFREEZE REFRIGERANT "Colder than R-12 or 134a"
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
r134A already is environmentally friendly. There are many alternative refrigerants out there, but cross-compatibility is suspect as is system compatibility, safety and other issues. I would just stay with r134a.
 
Messages
22,446
Location
Apple Valley, California
If you did want to use the other stuff besides R-134-a you would need to remove whats left in your system, evacuate it etc. If you don't have a vacuum pump and a recycling machine this will cost atleast $65 + the new stuff. You can't dump the replacement refrigerant on top of what 134 is still in the system. I recomend that you stay with 134 which you can still buy for about $10 a lb in small cans.
 
Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
you may not think it safe however propane is a very good substitute for r12 and 134a. i persoanly own multipule 12 and 134a vehicles that have been converted to propane use. one vehicle that i converted a few years ago and subsiquently sold is still tooling around today with its propane charged a/c system, working beautifully i might add. the reason is that to fill a car costs around a dollar with propane, compared to 134a or (gasp) r12 propane is so cheap that a/c leaks are not worth fixing so long as they are small ones, and external at that.
 

rcy

Messages
1,600
Location
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Check out www.duracool.com for an HC replacement refrigerant. I would also suggest, however, that you check with your local state laws regarding HC refrigerants. Some states allow them, some states ban them. R134 is ozone friendly, but it is not global warming friendly.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
quote:
Originally posted by cryptokid: you may not think it safe however propane is a very good substitute for r12 and 134a. i persoanly own multipule 12 and 134a vehicles that have been converted to propane use. one vehicle that i converted a few years ago and subsiquently sold is still tooling around today with its propane charged a/c system, working beautifully i might add. the reason is that to fill a car costs around a dollar with propane, compared to 134a or (gasp) r12 propane is so cheap that a/c leaks are not worth fixing so long as they are small ones, and external at that.
.....until the small leaks accumulate (propane is heavier than air so it does NOT disperse), and along comes a hot water heater pilot light, a tossed cigarette, etc... poof! not one of the better choices out there. [No no]
 

Kestas

Staff member
Messages
13,958
Location
The Motor City
I've read many threads discussing the 'danger' of hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerants. This has been discussed to death a number of times on the popular automotive a/c web sites: aircondition.com ackits.com I invite people new to the subject of HC refrigerants to spend some time on these sites. Everybody points to the worst-case scenarios, but looking at this on a practical level, there are many cars running around with HC refrigerants (mainly in Australia), and a terrble incident has yet to happen that would support this fear. It is simply very difficult to put yourself or your car in a position where the HC refrigerant is an explosion hazard. By fact that we are talking about automotive use, it is difficult for HC refrigerants to leak out and concentrate to the level that it is an explosion hazard. As Gary pointed out, these nay-sayers often ignore the fact that most cars are running around with 10-20 gallons of very volatile and flammable fuel, which has a higher danger and risk to the driving public. I just can't get excited over 8 oz of HC refrigerant, which is the typical fill for automotive a/c. HC refrigerants also use a lower head pressure than r134 or even r12. There is just something in our American culture that is resistant to HC refrigerants. If you check the r134 MSDS sheets, you'll find that it is flammable. Cryptokid, you mentioned that you converted to propane. Was this 100% propane? The popularly available HC refrigerants are chiefly a propane/butane blend. I forget the exact issue, but there's something about pure propane that makes it undesireable for a/c use.
 
Messages
1,979
Location
Houston
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Allan: How would propane be any more hazardous than gasoline?? I mean from just plain hazard?? We're all driving around in very large molotov cocktails??
I'm not talking about "regular" use, we're talking about a system that is admittedly a leaker. A sealed system is totally different and I have no problem with that. leaking gasoline isn't something most people "accept". Propane is heavier than air and collects in low lying areas, corners of garages and basements.
 
Messages
1,855
Location
Australia
quote:
.... there are many cars running around with HC refrigerants (mainly in Australia),...
Wrong. HC refrigerants are illegal to use in any automotive aplication here, and have been for years. Why is it dangerous ? The condenser is right at the front of the vehicle and is going to be damaged in any impact, small or large. I wouldn't even use the stuff in any domestic, commercial or industrial system. My public liability policy isn't large enough. [Wink]
 
Messages
1,855
Location
Australia
quote:
If you check the r134 MSDS sheets, you'll find that it is flammable.
not in any normal situation, up to and including brazing with oxy-acetylene. Try that with an HC. (it's not always expedient to evacuate and purge with dry nitrogen prior to brazing)
 
Messages
10,898
Location
Nokesville, VA
quote:
Originally posted by kenw: leaking gasoline isn't something most people "accept".
I don't know about most people, but some people would, if their car continually smelled like gas, wonder "Why does it always smell like gas wherever I park?". As far as fire goes, upon exposure to flame, R12 decomposes into phosgene gas. R134a decomposes into hydrogen flouride gas upon exposure to flame. Neither are chemicals you want to breathe or come into contact with.
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
[Off Topic!]
quote:
As far as fire goes, upon exposure to flame, R12 decomposes into phosgene gas.
I was taught that in a/c class in 1973 ..and when I said it to the chemical/process engineer at my last real job ..he kinda looked at the string of letters and "reasoned" that it might be possible (one of thos hmmmm...weeeel ...I guess type responses). I thought it was surely common knowledge. [Confused] The odd thing was ..he was one of the engineers chiefly responsible for our phosgenation (is that the proper term?) processes [Eek!]
 

Al

Messages
19,248
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
quote:
Originally posted by cryptokid: you may not think it safe however propane is a very good substitute for r12 and 134a. i persoanly own multipule 12 and 134a vehicles that have been converted to propane use. one vehicle that i converted a few years ago and subsiquently sold is still tooling around today with its propane charged a/c system, working beautifully i might add. the reason is that to fill a car costs around a dollar with propane, compared to 134a or (gasp) r12 propane is so cheap that a/c leaks are not worth fixing so long as they are small ones, and external at that.
Not a flame..but you got to be kidding.....KA-BOOM
 
Messages
39,805
Location
Pottstown, PA
cryptokid Alright, give us the particulars here. I'm sure I can't just tap off my grill tank without jumping through some hoops here. I get frustrated by technological road blocks. Most the propane systems (industrial, consumer, commercial) all have their own ba$tard threads to stiffle the average consumer from adapting anything to them. That is, what's the ante for doing this??
 
Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
there isnt enough refrigerant in a typical system to cause some huge explosion if it leaked out into a pilot light. it is not like we are talking about pounds of propane here, more like OUNCES. also because a/c systems contain no oxygen it is impossible for one to explode. at the worst case you would have a blow torth under the hood if you got into a wreck and started a fire. for a few seconds untill the pressure went away anyways. normally a/c systems leak outide the cab too. i use 100% propane in a/c systems and it works beautifully, its cheaper than dirt too.
 
Messages
1,855
Location
Australia
quote:
What about compressor lube with Propane systems?
HC's carry the lubes really well, particularly mineral oils. Propane is pretty much a standard additive, to the tune of approx 3-5%, often along with an alcohol, to ensure miscibility with the base R134A in drop in replacement refrigerants. It is at a level that isn't considered dangerous. Yep, a lot (most) drop in replacements are R134A with an oil carrier additive. The brew does benefit with the addition of the small amount of propane by lowering discharge pressure/temps.
 
Messages
1,565
Location
palm beach
the praticulars are basically you bring a bbq grill tank outlet hose down to the hardware store and get enough adapters to hook it up to a r12 or 134 line kit. you know the kind of kit with high and low pressure gauges. its about $5 in parts. if you dont have a spare tank outlet hose laying around you can buy generic ones anywhere for $5-$10.
 
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