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Anyone running Duracool (R12a)?

Anyone put this stuff in there car?

Results?

Pressures... etc?

TIA
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Nick
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Old 07-08-2003, 03:30 PM
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Not yet... Just ordered 5 cans and a can tap on Monday. I've got some blower fan maintenance to do first (this weekend, hopefully) then I'll charge her up. Talked with Don at Duracool USA for quite a while before ordering. Real nice guy, and knowledgeable. Raised my comfort level considerably. I'll post some results when done, although this is going to be just a "top off" of the system. No replacing hoses, extra condensers, etc. That'll come later (after I get a garage!). I'm just trying to get through another HOT Richmond, Virginia summer without sweating to death in commuter traffic!
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Old 07-08-2003, 03:41 PM
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US EPA Legal status of HC-12a, DURACOOL 12a, and OZ-12
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Old 07-08-2003, 03:50 PM
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Interesting information Chris. According to this information, as long as your not in the 18 States that outright ban HC-12a, AND the car has previously been converted to HFC-134a, you can legally use HC's in your car.

Tim
Old 07-09-2003, 06:45 AM
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I wonder how a sham conversion to R-134a is defined? Not running a minimum amount of time with R-134a? Not changing over to PAG or Ester oil? Not having the proper fittings, pressure limiting switch and conversion label installed? After all that was done, would it be worth going to Duracool? It seems the appeal of Duracool is the simplicity and to say money; those are lost if one follows the regulations and makes a real conversion first. Jim
Old 07-09-2003, 07:23 AM
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The way A/C repair shops are currently set up, they probably couldn't (won't) touch a car that contains anything other than R-12 or HC134a due to contamination with their testing, evacuation, recycling machines and recycled refrigerant tanks.

Thus, you're left to find a shop that'll perform these steps (maybe the place that sells Duracool or equiv.) or purchase your own refrigerant-compatible service equipment and DIY.

Sherwood Lee
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
refrigerant-compatible service equipment...
1) atmosphere
2) appropriately sized wrench

System now ready for vacuum pump and recharge...
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Old 07-09-2003, 10:02 AM
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From what I've read, the propane/butane mixes are used in thousands, if not millions, of A/C and refrigeration systems worldwide. You can buy refrigerators that use the blend, but not in the states, I believe. The specs for Duracool and other blends surpasses R-134a, even with regards to safety. So I really wonder why we are still using freon???

I do agree the biggest complaint against Duracool is the fact you resort to DIY.

Jurgen
Old 07-09-2003, 11:48 AM
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Thanks for everyone's replies.
My biggest reason for trying this stuff is not changing the oil or the drier/accumulator. We don't have to change the non-barrier hoses as R12a will not "leak" through these hoses.

BTW: If your A/C mechanic KNOWS your hoses are non-barrier hoses - BY LAW - the A/C mechanic must CHANGE the hoses to the BARRIER type no matter the refrigerant used.

I was hoping to find someone who is already using this in a 911 successfully.

6 oz of R12a = 17 oz of R12
Hence, my 39 oz system will only use ~ 2 1/2 cans of R12a.


David - My system only uses 39 oz. That's 2 1/2 cans total after an evacuation. My problem is getting it evacuated.

CHRIS - Basically it's illegal in ANY motor vehicle. Yet it can be used in a motor vehicle if it previously had R-134a. Gotta' love the government!

JIM - I read where a R134a conversion using proper fittings, pressure limiting switch and conversion label installed is adequate.

The largest appeal to me for using R12a is how (the manufacturer claims) it will NOT "leak" past non-barrier hoses!!!


911pcars - You are correct. Everyshop I talked to said they won't do an evacuation on my car, as I tried adding a little R12a.

BGCarrera - I just need an vacuum pump.

Turbo - Yep R134a is also FLAMMABLE/combustable. BUT R134a went through the rigourous testing that the EPA required for it to meet the Freon replacement category where as R12a did not. I forget where I found that at.
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Old 07-09-2003, 12:45 PM
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If one wants an R-12 compressor to "live" very long with R-134a the oil must be changed to PAG or ester type. Also, the receiver/drier likely will need to be changed as there is a compatibilty problem (right off I can't recall if it's the oil or R-134a) with the older type of dessicant. Jim
Old 07-09-2003, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nhromyak
rigourous testing that the EPA required for it to meet the Freon replacement category where as R12a did not. I forget where I found that at.
rigorous testing + EPA = oxymoron
incompetent + EPA = the truth

my limited experience with the EPA and the government tends to support those equations.

Old 07-09-2003, 03:11 PM
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From the EPA web site, "Unacceptable Substitutes":
Quote:
Flammable blend of hydrocarbons; insufficient data to demonstrate safety
Personally I am less concerned with 15 oz of a flamable gas spread through 30-odd feet of hoses throughout my car, than the gasoline pumping at 65 to 75 psi.

Not very.

Tom
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Old 07-09-2003, 04:09 PM
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I don't run DuraCool but I am running basically the same thing in my Toyota truck. I made the cocktail myself with a $2 bottle of torch propane and a $4 can of isobutane camping fuel from a sporting goods store. It's worked well and my system blows ice cubes. I am not really concerned about the flammability of the gas, as a 36 oz R12 system only requires a 14 oz of the mix. If the system was ruptured, such as in an accident, the gas/liquid would just whoosh out so fast and vaporize, that it would not have much time to do any damage. I'd be more concerned about the 75 lbs of gasoline running through your fuel system, which unlike propane/isobutane, does not vaporize and lingers around potentially waiting to be ignited for a long slow burn. For some discussion on freon alternatives, take a look at an old thread:

R12 Substitutes? Any one using them?
Old 07-09-2003, 04:57 PM
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Now I just need to get a vacuum pump...

Thanks for the info.
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:09 PM
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I am sure it has been mentioned in another thread, but in place of a true vacuum pump/old compressor, can one of those systems that hook up to an air compressor work well enough to evacuate a system? I know harbor freight has them for about $20.
Brian
Old 07-09-2003, 08:38 PM
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I hear those can't pull enough of a vacuum to "boil" out the water.

They might work in a small system "OK". But not in our long-hosed system...

I imagine it would be better than nothing.
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Old 07-09-2003, 11:14 PM
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I do not know the reasoning behind the recommendation, but the makers of Enviro-Safe, competitor to Duracool, do not recommend a deep vacuum of the system. In fact, they say charging into a deep vacuum can result in an overcharge. They claim that moisture in the system does not affect performance or reliability as it would in a system using freon.

As long as the vacuum pump can pull a good vacuum, it doesn't matter how much hose length you have. Long hoses will only mean you have to pump for a longer period of time. It should not affect the degree of vacuum pulled. I have never used the air compressor-style pumps, but I have a feeling you need one monster of a compressor to provide the air.

Jurgen
Old 07-10-2003, 04:17 AM
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The hydocarbon mixes probably do not make hydrochloric acid in the presence of water like R-12 does but water in the system will still freeze in the expansion valve and evaporator causing operation and performance problems. The longer one pumps and bakes out the system (car sitting in the hot sun) the better, up to a couple of hours or so. One a side note: at higher vacuums (lower pressures) the length and diameter of the line (it's conductance) one is pumping through affects the ultimate vacuum obtainable at the far end of the line from the pump. This however is not an issue with the vacuum levels required in A/C systems. Overcharging with the hydrocarbon mix replacements probably comes about because it likely most often done without the benefit of pressure gages or a weight scale. Cheers, Jim
Old 07-10-2003, 05:26 AM
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Hi, Jim. I think you are correct about the corrosivity of the freon/moisture vs. hydrocarbon/moisture. I do not think moisture is the system is good. It does nothing to help with cooling, as far as I know.

Here is the page that describes the installation procedure.
http://befreetech.com/esinfo.htm
It specifically states that charging under a high vacuum CAN result in an overcharge. I charge by weight, so I really don't understand their statement. I guess the important word to consider is CAN.

Any ideas?

Jurgen
Old 07-10-2003, 05:33 AM
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Two seconds after beginning charging one no longer has a high vacuum so I too do not understand their statement. Jim

Last edited by Jim Sims; 07-10-2003 at 07:42 AM..
Old 07-10-2003, 05:38 AM
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