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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2003, 12:45 PM
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Using propane in a/c

I was wondering what is the reason you arent supposed to use propane as a referigerant( other than the obvious kaboom reason). Everyone says not to but no one can tell me why. I work for a propane company so its real cheap for me. Thanks

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Old 07-11-2003, 01:27 PM
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KABOOOOOOM
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:38 PM
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If the kaboom reason isn't enough, I don't know what else to tell ya...
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:07 PM
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Propane would be fine but there are commercially available hydrocarbon based R-12 replacements without the negatives of R-134. Dirty little secret is that R-134 is at least as explosive as hydrocarbon gasses such as propane. Here is a quote from a web site talking about refrigerants,

"It's not as clear-cut as you might think, because *all* refrigerants are blended with oil in the actual system, and ALL refrigerants are violently flammable under catastrophic system breach conditions (refrigerant rushes out, creating aerosol mist of oil--BIG flameball whether it's R12, R134a, OZ-12, or whatever). These hydrocarbon blends also are super cheap (about $1.25 for enough to charge a few systems). BUT they aren't approved by the relevant regulatory bodies for use in auto A/C systems."

I use OZ-12 which is not 'approved' (that means politicians haven't gotten the requisite kick back from the manufacturer to have it approved) but is totally legal. It goes right into an R-12 system with no mods and is at least as efficient as R-12. R-134 is much less efficient at moving heat thus the components must be larger.

http://www.oztechnologyinc.com/index.htm

I have been running OZ-12 in my Willys for 7 years w/ zero problems.
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:40 PM
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When I got my chevelle finished, I charged it with R134a, Didn`t like it at all. I am now using freeze 12, and it seems to work good so far. I have an R12 lic. but you don`t need one for R134a or freeze 12.

About 5 or 6 years ago I got a real deal on 2 large tanks of R12. Trey are Just setting in the corner of the paint room. Wonder what its worth now??

Isn`t there some kind of fed. law about useing propane in a AC system?

Troy,
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:58 PM
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There is no law against it. In fact, Green Peace and the tree-hugger bunch have been advocating using hydrocarbon refrigerant for years. Europe and the rest of the world has been using it commercially for quite a while. The OZ Technologies people report 400,000 car-years of operation wiht their product with not a single report of refrigerant caused disaster. They post many technical studies on their web site by third party investigators that conclude hydrocarbon refrigerants have advantages all over R-134.

The only 'sanction' to it's use in the US is that it isn't 'approved'. That has zero impact on it's legality for sale or use. The OZ people have a US patent on their formula (that in itself means next to zero - you can patent just about anything) but there are many other suppliers out there offering their versions.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:52 PM
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Why not just use Freeze 12 in the first place? It's propane based anyway and I beleive Oz12 is too. In Mexico they use butane!

If you have a TXV (thermostatic expansion valve) type metering device, you could use just about anything. However, I would imagine you would run into problems when using a FOT (fixed orifice tube) type metering device. Either the orifice would allow too high a volume of refrigerant causing the evaporator core too freeze, or not enough causing insufficiant cooling regardless of the amount of refrigerant added to the system. Orifice tube type refrigeration systems are designed for the use of a refrigerant with a specific pressure/temperature characteristic. I've noticed very little difference between R-134a and R-12 as far as cooling ability (around 3 degrees). R-134 is cheap enough and works quite well, why not just use R-134a?
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:58 PM
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Good question. I use OZ-12 'cause I know about it. Never heard of Freeze-12 'til this thread but I know there are several such products out there Freeze and OZ being just two. I don't use R-134 'cause I have a system designed for R-12 and am not inclined to do all the arm waving and $$ to convert when I can just use an R-12 substitute. If all systems could use R-134 without modification there wouldn't be a controversy.
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Old 07-11-2003, 05:47 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I have an older vehicle I am restoring and didnt want to do the change over to 134. Looks like I will use a r-12 substitute and keep the propane for the 13:1 big block I am building
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Old 07-11-2003, 06:35 PM
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The i34a works allright, we have two parts stores and a 8 bay repair shop,thats all we use there. And the customers like it.
Yes you are suppost to retrofit the system, and that is the only way we will do it . Some customers just add it to there system with no retrofiting done. There is still a few calls for R12 but not many.

I put every thing new on my 66,when I put the R13a in, ran it about a week. A salesman gave me a case of freeze 12 to try. It got 4* cloder, so I left it in. Adapters are hard to find,had to come from the co. that mfg. the freeze 12. hth.

Troy,
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Old 07-11-2003, 07:15 PM
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I have a friend that runs a radiator shop and does alot of A/C work. When they first started pushing out the R12, we discussed the use of R134. He was realy quick to voice his opinion on that new stuff. It was going to cost him a not so small fortune. We did shortly determine that alot of the complaints about R134, like that it didn't cool as well was the surroundings. The fact that most complaints came from people that had had problems from their systems, prior to the introduction of R134 in to the system. Many times the problem is due to worn or damaged system parts, such as a wornout compressor or plugged condensor or evaporator.

I have a 1993 Dodge Caravan that has R134. The vehicle has 130,000 miles on it and has been very well maintained, specially considering that 2 mechanics live in the house. The A/C works well enough to almost frost the windows in the hot of summer. It's good enough for me.
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Old 07-12-2003, 10:42 AM
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A few yars agoi I converted my 90 Chevy truck to R134 after the compressor went out at 125,000 miles on the clock. While pulling the grill to change the orfice tube I noticed the condenser had about half of it's fins folded over. I surmised this must have happened at assembly as a ham fisted auto worker slid the condenser into place. After obtaining a rake and fixing all the fins I completed the R134 conversion. I cannot be happier with the results. The AC works better than it ever has. This I am quite sure is the result, at least in part of straighrening the fins on the condenser.

Vince
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Old 07-12-2003, 03:17 PM
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That would sure cut of the air flow that is needed to make the AC work to it`s max.
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Old 07-12-2003, 11:42 PM
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I asked neils dad if he could do my a/c as that is his profession. He I believe put in the R-134a and it works just fine (although I don't know how good it can be, because my pump needs replacement, so he just lowered the pressure in the a/c system)
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Old 07-13-2003, 07:13 AM
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If the pressure is not at specs. it should not work at all.

Troy.
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