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Red tec refrigerant

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brahlf View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul/07/2012 at 11:03pm
Has anyone used a product called Red Tec refrigerant.? I believe it's a product of Canada. have talked with a few Candaian RV ers that swear by it. Replaces R 12.
Bruce

1966 American Convert 290

1972 Gremlin X Factory 304

1978 Matador Wagon 360

1989 Jeep Comanche

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/26/2012 at 3:28pm
REDTEK is the same as Enviro-Safe (ES-12a). Both are hydrocarbon (LP gas) based. The exact blend may be different, but they are pretty much the same. The "hydrocarbon" label says that, but I compared the pressure charts also. I know ES-12a is roughly 70% LP gas and 30% butane. LP cools better but doesn't carry oil through the system very well. Butane doesn't cool as good but carrys oil. REDTEK might have some natural gas instead of LP and/or butane, the MSDS gives chemical properties but doesn't say much.

They claim reduced head pressures (so does ES-12a), but I haven't seen it. It DOES work as well as R-134a, can't say how it compares to R-12. It's hard to say right now because of the hot and humid weather we're having right now in SC whether head pressure is reduced or not. I have two vehicles with ES-12a and both will run around 250-275 psi or more idling. That's with 96* and 32% humidity (feels like 100*).  If I speed up to 2000 rpm head pressure hits 350-375 on my Rambler, but it has an electric fan (no more air flow with car not moving). My 2002 Ranger was charged with ES-12a as well. I just recharged the Rambler after replacing a compressor a couple weeks ago. The numbers didn't look right so I connected the gauges to my Ranger. Ranger could use just a little more refrigerant, but head pressure was about the same at idle and around 325 at 2000 rpm. It has an engine driven fan, so more air flow and a bit less pressure. So going down the road (increased airflow) will lower the high side pressure, should be in the 250-300 range in this heat.  I can say that the Ranger cools about the same with ES-12a as it did with R-134a. About 18 months ago the Ranger blew an o-ring in a quick connector in the AC system. Found it because I popped the hood one day and saw oil sprayed all over. Thought I'd busted a trans cooler line, but turned out to be the AC. Decided to see how ES-12a (which I've used before and was pleased with it) directly compares to R-134a.
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pdok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/26/2012 at 8:00pm
I had the ES-12a for a while in my Chevy under-dash unit.   Cooling wasn't impressive, and compared to R-12 it is a complete disappointment.  I'm unable to directly compare it to R-134a in the same system.

Head pressures of 375 start to worry me, I've heard things about York compressors and high pressures...don't have any real evidence to say it's bad though.

FrigC or whatever gives me much better performance now in my Chevy unit.  The expansion block/orifice is setup for R-12, and perhaps the ES-12a needs something different.

The best R-12 substitute I've ever used is GHG-12, a.k.a. Autofrost and other names.  Hands-down the winner.  Freaking cold.

Had it for ages in my old Dodge, running ice cold in the Austin TX heat/humidity.  Actually had trouble with the condensation drainline keeping up and had to increase the diameter!

The GHG seems fairly expensive.  I am hoarding some cans for when I get my Gremlin's AC put back together.  You need a refrigerant "license" to purchase it, unlike the ES-12a.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 73LevisX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/26/2012 at 11:40pm
I used the RedTek 12 with pretty good success.

Not ever having tried to fill the AC before, I threw a can and a half in my '73 Hornet hoping it would get me through a few hot and humid weeks a couple of years ago before leaking out. It lasted 'til I drained it 4 weeks ago and it worked great.

Well worth the $30...


'73 Hornet X
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/29/2012 at 3:02pm
Pdok, I had R-134a in the exact same system at one time. It leaked down over a couple years and I then put Freeze12 in it (may be another name for the blended product you mentioned). Freeze 12 WAS colder than ES-12 or R-134a. So I can state for the same system that R-134a and ES-12 are pretty much the same, but the Freeze12 is a bit colder. Once I got a bit further north and temps dropped in the high 80s and low 90s mine got darned COLD though! Just hard to do much with 35%+ humidity and 99-101* temps (plus low air flow -- car was idling). I'm using a Sanden compressor, not a York. I wouldn't be comfortable running the York at 375 psi either, though may be no reason for it. Of course with good airflow over the condensor head pressure would go down some. 

On the trip to MD and back I found that running at 75 mph with the AC running kept the car 5* cooler than running at 70 mph. Cruising at an avg. of around 75 mph with the AC on and pulling my car show trailer (400-500 lbs) I averaged 20 mpg, which I was happy with. My average engine temp was 215* (ran 200-220 most of the time). Hit 230 for a short time in the mountains of WV when I had to slow to 40-45 mph for about 15 minutes around a wreck. Was gonna cut the AC off if it went over 230. With a 16 psi radiator cap I should be good to 250, but I wasn't going to get too close to that point! 
Frank Swygert
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pdok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/29/2012 at 3:27pm
Good comparison there, I'll have to experiment a little with my last few cans of ES-12.

Freeze12 is really similar to FrigC, from all I've read.  If not in composition, then in performance.  Everybody tweaks the blends to get the curve close to R-12 performance, but there are tradeoffs.

134a is actually not that bad, but I'm still a little PO'd at having it rammed down our throats...I guess I've just got to let it go.  If the system is setup well, and the evap and condenser sizes match the BTUs/airflow requirements, then it does a great job.

I really think 134a systems really show their weakness with low airflow across the condenser.  Once that heat stops getting removed there, the system struggles to get back the low temps.  It's a thermodynamic nightmare to figure out, but a more efficient condenser or a larger one usually fixes the issue without too much calculation.  If you're stuck with what you've got, then you make do, like me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul/31/2012 at 6:47pm
Mine is working great with ES-12. It turns out that I have two "problems".  The first is that I was charging and checking it at 98-100 degrees outside with only the electric fan blowing over the condenser. So the head pressure went up. Once I got to temps in the high 80s it started putting out great -- water was condensing on the metal rings of the vents (typical 60s AMC -- about a 4" round metal vent with plastic doors/louvers). It cooled really good until outside temp were in the mid 90s. Even at 100 outside the air temp from the vents was still 70 degrees -- a 30 degree drop, which is about right.

The other "problem" is the fan blower just isn't fast/hard enough. I have a generic GM replacement fan motor, probably early 80s type. The motor in my 2002 Ranger blows MUCH harder! It has four speeds instead of three. The third speed is about the same as the high speed on the Rambler.  THAT made the truck seem much cooler even though the vent air temp was 5* higher than what was coming out of the Rambler (same ambient air temp, and the engine driven fan cooled the condenser better being revved up).

So overall I'm very pleased with the ES-12, and the REDTEK should be at least as good. I just need to change that blower motor or figure out how to boost the voltage to it. I'm already running high speed off a relay from the battery. I thought about that a few years ago. That didn't speed it up much from running through the switch, but did help a little. Power from the switch also runs the compressor clutch, but I think that goes through a relay.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pdok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/12/2012 at 11:00am
Well, I just charged my Gremlin up with ES-12 yesterday.  I had to replace the compressor, and I went ahead and switched to ES-12 at the same time.

It was 95 degrees/60% humidity, and the vents were pretty cold.  My temp gauge batteries died so I couldn't get a outlet temp, but things got cool like they should have.  The head pressures were 205/32.  The suction side is about right vs R12, but the discharge seemed a little low.  I'll have to investigate that.  I might have room for some more refrigerant, but the ES-12 is strange in that it takes a lot less (.33 of the R12 amount.)

The Classic Auto Air guys did a great job rebuilding my receiver drier, by the way.  About twice the price of the APD "replacement" part, but for once APD sent me something that just didn't fit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pdok Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/12/2012 at 1:51pm
I checked the ES-12 web site again, and finally found the one sentence they mention that ES-12's discharge pressures are around 15 psi lower than R-12, suction is about the same as R12.

I might try their Industrial version, which they say is colder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote farna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug/13/2012 at 7:12am
I had a high discharge pressure, but had a bit of air in the system. I let it sit and bled some out, then it worked fine. Lost very little refrigerant -- it is heavier than air and settles in the system. 
Frank Swygert
American Motors Cars Magazine
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