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Propane as R-12 Replacement?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by El Caballo, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. Mike Moreau
    Joined: Sep 16, 2011
    Posts: 286

    Mike Moreau
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From Bobwop "ok, I will try again. The little bottle of LP on my torch is more than the A/C system would hold. How big of a fire will that little bottle turn into?"

    Propane expands at the rate of 270 to 1 when it changes from a liquid (pressurized) state to its natual gas state, as would occur with a leak. Visualize 270 of those 2lb little bottles. That is how much gas you would have. A leak would not result in a fire from a spark or flame, it would result in an explosion.
    <!-- / message -->
     
  2. archied1067
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 425

    archied1067
    Member

    Safety first that's all I think about on the waterfront


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  3. y3
    Joined: Jul 2, 2012
    Posts: 34

    y3
    Member
    from Terrell Tx

    Ice cold ......but make sure NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG

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  4. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 561

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

  5. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    My 30lb freeze12 bottle cost like $150 10 years ago and now i see stores saying you need to have a license to buy it. !!!! I would just go with whatever you can get without a blasted license.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  6. castirondude
    Joined: Jan 26, 2012
    Posts: 496

    castirondude
    Member

    I don't think freeze12 requires a license. I think some dealers just put it on all listings to avoid being accused of terrorism by the epa.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone
     
  7. when took a/c in school...we watched videos of cars that blew up...propane had been used to replace r12...is why r134 came out..
    You used to be able to get retrofit kit to change fittings...i know our local canadian tire carries refill kit with a refrigerant...
     
  8. OLDSMAN
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,057

    OLDSMAN
    Member

    Like most everyhone here has said, this is a very dangerous substitute foe R12. Convert to R134A and be done with it. I have converted quite a few cars to 134A, and they work great. Do it right
     
  9. G'day, My brother and a friend were working in my garage and accidentally vented the ac system on a car we had just purchased. It was cooler out but not cold so the heat was not on. The car had been owned by a farmer and he had charged the system with proprane. It didn't explode but vented so fast it knocked both of them to the ground. If there had been an ignition source, they would both be gone.

    Ammonia is also used occasionally around here is as a refridgerant. At one time I worked at a large potato processing plant that strictly used ammonia. We had a small leak at one of the compressors while venting oil. The entire roof was blown off the packaging area of the plant. It was bad but we had gotten everyone out before it went. We were just damn lucky.

    I have been selling automotive parts for quite a while and have never had an issue come up with using r134a. It works and it is safe when used as designed. Just because you can be stupid and cut corners doesn't mean you have to.

    ms
     
  10. Do you have an ex wife that needs some ac work done on a car ..... :confused:

    Maybe ...... ;)




    Jim
     
  11. LOW LID DUDE
    Joined: Aug 16, 2007
    Posts: 1,222

    LOW LID DUDE
    Member
    from Colorado

    LOL when we were in high school a buddy of mine used anti freeze to fill his tranny,because it leeked so bad and he had access to old anti freeze.LOL.It actually worked but that is ridiculous to even try it. Propane sounds like a accident waiting to happen if there is a leek. "FIRE "get the extinguisher,what do you mean it's empty?
     
  12. bald_and_grumpy
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 117

    bald_and_grumpy
    Member

    You're my new hero!
     
  13. archied1067
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 425

    archied1067
    Member

  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,498

    gimpyshotrods
    Member

    Here's the shop sign:
     

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  15. Jack E/NJ
    Joined: Mar 5, 2011
    Posts: 561

    Jack E/NJ
    Member
    from NJ

  16. archied1067
    Joined: Aug 5, 2007
    Posts: 425

    archied1067
    Member

    We are talking about propane exploding in automotive units well here's an article on exploding refrigerant. Just an FYI


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  17. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,890

    El Caballo
    Member

    I'm glad I never said I was going to do this; just wanted to know.

    The '58 has no A/C, everything else I own is R-134a.
     
  18. Ice man
    Joined: Mar 12, 2008
    Posts: 968

    Ice man
    Member

    There is a R12 replacement available. We used it in the Islands on boats, as a lot of the older ones still needed R12. It actually worked better then 12. We were able to get it from United Refrigeration, but bought it direct from a wholesale gas distributor and got a better price because we bought mixed quantity pallet loads. Iceman
     
  19. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,310

    R Pope
    Member

    Those non-freon charging kits are just propane/butane and oil. Back in the day, when we had to drive a hundred miles to find an AC guy, we used propane all the time. Never had a problem with fires or explosions.
     
  20. reefer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2001
    Posts: 735

    reefer
    Member

    R12 has been banned over here for a long time, it was a fantastic refrigerant.The interim drop in replacement was R409....it was a straight drop in and worked quite well....the time period for that gas expired a few years ago.There is a drop in that is available and I carry a keg in my van along with seven other assorted refrigerants, it's RS24......duty is down over R12 but it gets the old equipment going for a few years longer.

    R134a is a fine refrigerant but is a smaller molecule that the CFCs and can leak a lot easier, hence the new fittings required when retro fitting car ac systems....the new fittings have neoprene o rings as opposed to conventional flare fittings......Im not sure about the shaft seals on the compressors, but we found that on the old R12 systems if they were not used regularly they would leak at the shaft seal.Also the mineral oil in an R12 system is not compatible with the Polyester oils used with R134a, and needs to be thoroughly cleaned out of the system being changed over.

    Nearly all domestic refrigeration now has R600 etc, which is the Isobutane product mentioned in other posts.These fridges and freezers hold very small charges ,say 150/200 grams, and there have been reported cases of leaks inside being ignited by a thermostat or interior light arcing and destroying whole kitchens.So putting around 2 lbs of Propane into a car system sounds quite reckless to me.Two Australian fridge mechanics have been killed in explosions where they have been blown to bits by gas leaking in the back of their service vans and igniting via th electronic door locks being operated.

    I believe that even R134a is being phased out and replaced with yet another new gas in the automotive industry.
     
  21. papastoyss
    Joined: Apr 9, 2009
    Posts: 195

    papastoyss
    Member

    'Cause the A/C condenser is right behind the grille in most apps. & very seldom survives a frontal collision.
     
  22. Hey nrgwizard here ya go

    Mineral oil is not compatible with R152A. You need to use either PAG or ester oil when using R152A (just like R134A). It doesn't matter which one, it's up to you, but don't use mineral oil. This A/C system happens to be running PAG 100.

    This guinea pig was originally an R12 system but had been previosly converted to R134A. It really doesn't matter as long as you evacuate the system including making sure to get any old remaining mineral oil out. Then make sure you take your factory charge amount in eitehr R12 or R134A and use the conversion factor to calculate the proper amount of R152A. Don't forget the PAG/ester oil!

    The Chevy has a bone stock tube and fin condenser with a small pusher fan mounted on the front. The tube and fin condenser is definitely the least efficient design, but nonetheless performs well in this case.

    This is a good and informative video on YouTube that explains the process of implementing R152A in a little more detail. I learned much from watching it before I did the conversion.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wkBnhcyO3Y


    R134A and R152A are both HFCs.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1-Difluoroethane

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Here's some notes I made for my own study.


    1990 CHEVROLET C/K AC SPECIFICATIONS
    REFRIGERANT TYPE: R12
    REFRIGERANT CAP: 44 OZ.
    REFRIG OIL: MINERAL
    REFRIG OIL CAP: 8 OZ

    ***NOTE: MINERAL OIL IS FOR USE ONLY IN OLDER SYSTEMS USING R12 STILL. USE PAG OR ESTER OIL FOR EVERY OTHER REFRIGERANT

    ***USE AIRDUSTER CONTAINING DIFLUORETHANE (R152A) DIFLUORETHANE IS THE REFRIGERANT.

    ***THE MOLECULAR WEIGHT OF R152A IS DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF R12 OR R134A (SEE BELOW)

    *** A SIDE CAN TAP THAT FITS R12 CANS WILL ALSO FIT AIR DUSTER CANS

    Molecular weight of R12 = 120
    Molecular weight of R134A = 102
    Molecular weight of R152A = 68


    ***CONVERSION FACTOR FOR R12 TO R152A(DIFLUORETHANE)

    R12 CHARGE AMOUNT IN OZ X .56 = NEW CHARGE AMOUNT IN R152A
    EXAMPLE: 44 OZ. X .56 = 24.64 OZ.




    FOR CONVERTING FROM R134A TO R152A SEE BELOW:
    The molecular weight of R134A is 102 and the molecular weight of R152A is 68.
    68/102=.64% So multiply your 134A factory charge by .64 and you have the theoretical correct charge for 152A.



    CONVERTING FROM R12 TO R152A:
    The molecular weight of R12 is 120. The molecular weight of R152A is 68. 68/120=.56%
    So, multiply your factory R12 charge by .56 and you have the theoretical correct charge for 152A.

    -No. 1 Son
     
  23. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,123

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, RD;

    Thanks for the info. It *never* hurts to know. :) . When his system was converted, did they change the expansion valve to the 134a type, or was it left as r12? & can I assume that the condenser was the oem style/sized for r12?

    Know well about evacuations, cleanliness, & sealing issues. Gotta admit, the 134a & now-expensive-r12(ain't touching the why), have resulted in *much* better seals all the way around. Costs the moon, but I like the no-leaks deal.

    If I was to do conversions, I'd check out the particulars, but I do prefer to hear it from those that have/are doing it - & what problems, if any, & what they'd do different - if anything. Been working w/ r22 & 134a for awhile, but in a rather odd situation, so no experience w/the other #s or mixes. Yet. Curiosity is like a drug at times... :D .

    Marcus...
     
  24. Hey Marcus,

    No problem. This particular system uses an orifice tube instead of a thermal expansion valve. I did change the orifice tube because it also has a screen built into it to catch debris from a failed compressor, and it was covered in muck from the prior compressor failure......

    And yes, the condenser is still the OEM tube and fin style that was originally used with R12. The condenser itself is only a couple years old as I did replace it b/c the old one was pretty beat down and not allowing airflow after some 20+ years and untold hundreds of thousands of miles of service.

    I think in theory, the R12 is the best in terms of sealing ability. That is, in terms of comparing R12, R134A and R152A. R12 has the highest molecular weight and is therefore the most dense gas, it should resist leaking past seals and whatnot better than R134A and R152A. Having said that, still holding a seal here with the R152A just fine. While the A/C is not needed in the winter obviously for cooling, it is still used to dry the air for the defrost function in this vehicle regularly during the winter months.

    I say run whatever works best for you. For me, the R152A has exceeded my expectations so it will be a standby refrigerant gas in future A/C projects for me.

    R744 (CO2) is the next refrigerant gas I would like to experiment with. Perhaps in time I will. Curiousity is an oh so intoxicating drug :)

    - No. 1 Son (Chase)
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2014
  25. yruhot
    Joined: Dec 17, 2009
    Posts: 564

    yruhot
    Member

    Interesting article, but it never amazes my the number of people that inspite of what they have been told are willing to turn their pride and joy into a BBQ. Had a guy that worked for the county garage here in vegas putting propane into county cars and fortunately nothing happened except he lost his job. I've been work hvac work for like 30 years and Some of this shit scares me and Joe shade tree wants to reinvent the bomb. "I know nucular power plants are dangerous but my buddy told me that I could adapt one to my rides a/c with fittings from Home Depot". Come on don't be an idiot. Don't put propane or anything flamable in you cars a/c. Funny thing when r-12 first got the axe everyone was hoarding the stuff. Now I got people begging me to take their stuff cause time has passed and there aren't many cars or appliances useing the stuff anymore. I had an 82 dodge van service truck that had a bad Comp. seal leak that I just didn't want to get into and I recharges with Horshot as an experiment and that stuff froze me out of the van. It ran a lot colder than the 12 did. Yes it had to take a shot once maybe twice towards the end of the season but worked good. Replaced the compressor at the end of summer and recharges with some 12 I had gotten and it worked but not as good as the hot shot. Just don't ovver charge the hotshot. About 80% of the r-12 charge. Start charging as a liquid slowly. thermometer in the dash vent and feel the suction line and when everything cools down stop and enjoy. !34-a conversions work good if you have a good size condenser. If small to begin with you won't be happy. ok later,yruhot....doug
     
  26. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,123

    nrgwizard
    Member
    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, rd;

    Thanks for the info.

    Keep me in mind, & this thread, when you do the R744. That one I haven't heard of. It is interesting. :) .

    Marcus...
     
  27. adamshumard
    Joined: Jan 18, 2007
    Posts: 1,380

    adamshumard
    Member

    I work in transport refrigeration. A couple of years ago some mechanics in Vietnam used propane in some over seas shipping containers. When servicing the systems later on, the containers would explode. The explosions were big enough to blow apart the crank cases of the compressors(300lbs or so). And blow off the steel doors 43 ft away on the other end of the containers. The techs were all killed. So what I would say, AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS! Ain't worth dying over a few more dollars for the correct refrigerant.


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