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Air conditioner Repair - Refrigerant R152A - Duster Spray

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    Air conditioner Repair - Refrigerant R152A - Duster Spray

    OK, this could be significant.

    I have just got the A/C going in my 86 Park Avenue Coupe. The exciting part is, it is not using R12 and it is not using R134A refrigerant gas. I am using R152A, which is also commonly known as DUST-OFF or Duster Spray.

    I got this idea from a member of the RX7 club forums. Here is his original thread.

    I made this video showing the modification of my refrigerant can tap, and the charging of the system.

    This is very significant because the cost of the Duster Spray R152A is about $4 per can, versus $18 for R134A. Furthermore, the government is in the process of banning R134A, just like they did R12. We'll go through that whole fiasco again soon. Now is the time to explore alternatives.

    The Park Avenue has the same basic A/C that the A-body cars with the 3.8 do. It has the HR6 / DA6 compressor, with orifice tube and accumulator.

    This car was one I got headed to the junkyard. It appears to have had a reman compressor recently installed. I had never tried to run the system before this because the pulley was bad and the belt bypassed. I did find the A/C only blows out the defrost, but that is another day's job.

    Here is the video:
    http://youtu.be/3wkBnhcyO3Y

    I'll continue to update this thread, if there are any concerns with the A/C system, as well as performance as the weather gets hotter.

    Sincerely,
    David

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    #2
    That's pretty darn neat. I'm looking forward to hearing how it continues to work over time, and if you have any issues with components at all.

    My only question would be, what kind of oil would/did you use in your system?

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by SilentWing View Post
      That's pretty darn neat. I'm looking forward to hearing how it continues to work over time, and if you have any issues with components at all.

      My only question would be, what kind of oil would/did you use in your system?
      According to the original thread, the R152A is compatible with all the conventional PAG and ester oils. In other words, treat it exactly like R134A.

      The PA has an unknown oil charge. I am assuming it has been flushed and filled with proper amount of ester oil, due to the new compressor. It cools very well and appears to NOT be overcharged with oil.

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        #4
        Hmm, very interesting. Wonder if the 152A will work in Camilla? Wonder why the govt want to ban 134a all of a sudden....not like its a CFC like R12 was. Before long we'll be using ice blocks for A/C lol.
        My A-Body Cars (past and present), meet the family:

        Car With No Name: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera w/Iron Duke (My first car, R.I.P.)
        Camilla: 1985 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport 2.8L V6 MPFI Iron Head (My new road cruiser)
        Jeanette: 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE Wagon 2.8L V6 (The daily driver)
        Danielle: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 4.3L V6 Diesel (Finally getting overhauled)

        Comment


          #5
          Ok, thanks David, I'll definitely be following this thread.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by AVTechMan View Post
            Wonder why the govt want to ban 134a all of a sudden....not like its a CFC like R12 was. ...
            LOL. it's all about MONEY in that big companies want to force upgrades to new peoducts that they are the sole supplier of. The R12 debacle started just before DuPont's patent on R12 expired. Then, they had a good run with R134A, now it's time has also come. The parts guys want to sell parts to convert car A/C's to sell more highly-overpriced conversion parts. Lobbyists ply the government with trumped-up studies on how R12 and now R134A are bad for the environment. The government is, always has been, and always will be FOR SALE. Expect this kind of shit to continue - it's just the nature of our corrupt government. Until the people go totally broke and there is a revolution, this will be the norm.

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              #7
              Originally posted by turbokinetic View Post
              LOL. it's all about MONEY in that big companies want to force upgrades to new peoducts that they are the sole supplier of. The R12 debacle started just before DuPont's patent on R12 expired. Then, they had a good run with R134A, now it's time has also come. The parts guys want to sell parts to convert car A/C's to sell more highly-overpriced conversion parts. Lobbyists ply the government with trumped-up studies on how R12 and now R134A are bad for the environment. The government is, always has been, and always will be FOR SALE. Expect this kind of shit to continue - it's just the nature of our corrupt government. Until the people go totally broke and there is a revolution, this will be the norm.
              Govt...the bane of all existence.

              Enjoyed watching the full video on the AC operation....being at 40 degrees is very cold....should be no issues in the hot summers! If the 152a is indeed cheap as it is and works well over time with no ill effects, then I think Camilla would definitely benefit from that (would future-proof it, somewhat).

              I'll be following this thread as well.
              My A-Body Cars (past and present), meet the family:

              Car With No Name: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera w/Iron Duke (My first car, R.I.P.)
              Camilla: 1985 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport 2.8L V6 MPFI Iron Head (My new road cruiser)
              Jeanette: 1987 Pontiac 6000 LE Wagon 2.8L V6 (The daily driver)
              Danielle: 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera 4.3L V6 Diesel (Finally getting overhauled)

              Comment


                #8
                Time to buy this stuff in bulk I suppose. 3 cans to a vehicle roughly, 3 vehicles, even if I had to recharge from empty once a year that's cheaper than 3 cans of R134a for ONE vehicle. It'll be good to see how long it can last. I once bought a Dodge Diplomat from a used car dealer in Columbus, Ohio and that car had cold AC when I got it, but the second day I went driving I turned it on and something popped and it smelled like propane or something. I never fixed that car's AC (Ohio didn't have brutal summers in 98-99) but using nonstandard gases can be dangerous. Testing with a blowtorch like that was actually a really good idea.

                Some of the new refrigerants are more flammable than that. Mercedes is retrofitting all vehicles with hfo-1234yf with the old r-134a. Dupont and Honeywell continue to say it's safe but when it makes fireballs under the hood of your car after a wreck, who cares what they say...

                http://www.auto-ac-reporter.com/cms/...=62&Itemid=235

                "This corresponds to a serious head-on collision in which the refrigerant line is severed and the reproducible results demonstrate that refrigerant which is otherwise difficult to ignite under laboratory conditions can indeed prove to be flammable in a hot engine compartment"
                Alan Moore - Lawton, OK
                RIP Cobalt February 2020
                08 Uplander LS van, maroon, 259K and counting

                Comment


                  #9
                  Here is another video, charging my Rusty the Duke with HFC-152a

                  Watch at the end, I cut up and explain how the accumulator works.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4uAXDyICsA

                  Sincerely,
                  David

                  Look me up on Facebook

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by occupant View Post
                    Time to buy this stuff in bulk I suppose. 3 cans to a vehicle roughly, 3 vehicles, even if I had to recharge from empty once a year that's cheaper than 3 cans of R134a for ONE vehicle. It'll be good to see how long it can last. I once bought a Dodge Diplomat from a used car dealer in Columbus, Ohio and that car had cold AC when I got it, but the second day I went driving I turned it on and something popped and it smelled like propane or something. I never fixed that car's AC (Ohio didn't have brutal summers in 98-99) but using nonstandard gases can be dangerous. Testing with a blowtorch like that was actually a really good idea.

                    Some of the new refrigerants are more flammable than that. Mercedes is retrofitting all vehicles with hfo-1234yf with the old r-134a. Dupont and Honeywell continue to say it's safe but when it makes fireballs under the hood of your car after a wreck, who cares what they say...

                    http://www.auto-ac-reporter.com/cms/...=62&Itemid=235

                    "This corresponds to a serious head-on collision in which the refrigerant line is severed and the reproducible results demonstrate that refrigerant which is otherwise difficult to ignite under laboratory conditions can indeed prove to be flammable in a hot engine compartment"
                    Interesting about the HFO refrigerant and Daimler. I know that if a 2000 degree MAP torch won't ignite it, that an exhaust system won't do it. Not to say the refrigerant oil its self could't ignite. But that severe of an accident would likely rupture fuel, transmission oil and all sorts of other lines, as well.

                    LOL about the Dodge Diplomat propane A/C. That sounds like a typical stealership repair!

                    I want to re-iterate about this R152a - these 2 cars were TEST CASES for me. I won't say for sure it's "awesome" until I see it work in midsummer here. But for moderate weather, it is very adquate, and I do not question the safety at all.

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                      #11
                      This stuff has been approved by the EPA but only for secondary loop systems, which pretty much don't exist in cars.

                      http://www.epa.gov/cpd/mac/152a/FINA...a%20REPORT.pdf

                      I look at it this way, every refrigerant out there is either flammable or you can't vent it to the atmosphere. 152a has the lowest GWP of anything on the EPA's radar. But what you have there sparked a thought in my head, you're using cans of compressed air, that's why it blew the flame out. I bet if they use a combination of 152a and CO2 that it would be just right.
                      Alan Moore - Lawton, OK
                      RIP Cobalt February 2020
                      08 Uplander LS van, maroon, 259K and counting

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by occupant View Post
                        This stuff has been approved by the EPA but only for secondary loop systems, which pretty much don't exist in cars.

                        http://www.epa.gov/cpd/mac/152a/FINA...a%20REPORT.pdf

                        I look at it this way, every refrigerant out there is either flammable or you can't vent it to the atmosphere. 152a has the lowest GWP of anything on the EPA's radar. But what you have there sparked a thought in my head, you're using cans of compressed air, that's why it blew the flame out. I bet if they use a combination of 152a and CO2 that it would be just right.
                        The duster spray I bought does not contain CO2. It only contains HFC152a and a "bitterant" odor. That's to keep the kids from using it to inhale and get stoned off it. The bitterant is in such a small amount I'm going to assume it won't affect the cooling. If there were signiciant CO2 in the mix, it would be a non-conedensable gas and would cause the system to malfunction. The head pressure would be too high. The high pressure cutoff switch would shutdown the compressor. Or at the very lease the performance would be reduced.

                        The amount of energy the HFC152A releases when burned is so small that it can barely support its own combustion. The fact that you can make it burn under laboratory conditions is interesting. They use a test involving very low pressures and a candle flame. Any extension of the candle flame (under optimum refrigerant gas / air mix) constitutes a "flammable" product. We're not talking about a flash fire or a sustained fire - only an extension of a pre-existing candle flame under labporatory conditions.

                        The main thing you have to remember about anything you get from the EPA is, they are under control of big industry. Big industry wants to keep you buying their overpriced specialty products. They do this by keeping the general public confused and afraid. Nothing (absolutely nothing) from the EPA is to be trusted as in your best interest Beleive me - it is not.

                        Can you beleive the amount of added complexity needed to use a secondary loop system on a car. Pumps and heat exchangers etc. Let alone the performance loss and prolonged cooldown time. That's insanity. Exactly what the car makers need, more complexity and useless extra parts - driven by the EPA. Sounds familiar, huh?

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                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi David,

                          I think some time ago you did a thread showing how to make an retrofitted a-body AC system run as well as the R12 system. Is the thread still here, and if so how would I search for it?

                          I'm looking at doing such an upgrade for my 1987 Century and my 1989 Celebrity Eurosport.

                          Thanks,
                          George

                          Comment


                            #14
                            George, I think that was on CarDomain.

                            There are several tricks. The most important one is doing a complete repair to the system. If it didn't work with R12, R134A is not a magic bullet to make it work again. All problems and leaks got to be fixed first. Oil is critical. Correct TYPE and AMOUNT. Don't put in the new oil without removing the old by flushing.

                            As far as modifications, each of the following will help, the more of them the better. They all complement each other.

                            -Variable orifice tube (watch out, the original ones were all great, but now I'm seeing chinese crap ones that will act like a blocked orifice tube. I can't completely trust these anymore.)
                            -Auxiliary fan (the pusher fan on the A cars)
                            -Smaller pulley on the compressor (higher compressor speed at idle)
                            -Adjust pressure cycling switch, cutoff at 20 PSI. (V5 systems don't have this switch)

                            You do all of the above, and it will be at least as good as R12.

                            See this, read down to bottom.
                            http://www.cardomain.com/ride/333373...entury/page-3/

                            Sincerely,
                            David

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                            Comment


                              #15
                              Wow.... I didn't read the article/see vid yet, but this is safe? Nonflammable? I researched this topic awhile ago looking for alternatives, just to find that people were using things like propane which sounded dangerous if there was ever a leak... others were using things that were incompatible with oils, or incompatible with the original refrigerant or would eventually break things down.

                              This works with R12 vehicles? Or R134a vehicles? Or both?

                              Can someone recommend instructions for how to repair/charge your own AC system? I have several old vehicles this would be useful for, i've never had a chance to do anything about getting AC working on them again. They lost their original AC awhile ago so i'm not worried about recapturing something already gone. Just finding out how it likely lost that AC, fixing that, then charging it with something I hope will work for awhile again.

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