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Old 11-30-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
davepl
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R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

After a long thread and helpful deciding on R12 vs R134, I was all set to make the decision to have my all-new-parts-but-stock AC system filled with R12, but it's $160 a pound, and we need about 4 pounds. With no guarantee that it won't leak, that's a pricey gamble.

I see "RED TEK 12A" for sale cheap on eBay (more like $14 a pound):

Amazon.com: RED TEK 12a Refrigerant 20 Lb... Amazon.com: RED TEK 12a Refrigerant 20 Lb...
But what the heck is 12A? Sounds like a name they made up, because it doesn't anywhere say that it's real 12.

That's a 10X price difference, so can someone educated me on the differences?

My system also already had the 134A connectors on it, so I think it may have had a conversion done in a previous life.

LMC said the reman compressor (stock style) is compatible with 134A. They didn't know anything about the oil inside or whether its compatible, but you'd assume it has to be if the compressor is listed as compatible...
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:18 PM   #2
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Dave, look into Freeze 12 if you can find anything about it. It is a R-12 replacement and I used it A LOT in the late 80's early 90's. I used to buy the freon at 99 cents a can and now it is that high WOW. But after the shake up and the freeze 12 came out I used it in over 100 trucks i built and never had a related A/C problems. Jim
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:20 PM   #3
Eddie H.
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

$160 a pound is beyond robbery, that's just plain insane. You can find it on Ebay, Craig's list, and at Swap meets for $20 to $30 a can. Last year I bought a sealed case of genuine Servcon R12 ( 12 cans) for $30 total.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/7-12-OUNCE-C...NWViVc&vxp=mtr
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:24 PM   #4
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

$160 a pound!? Where are you buying from? Here's some on eBay for wayyyyy less: http://m.ebay.com/itm/12-OZ-CANS-R12...478?nav=SEARCH

I bought 5 cans for $10 a can at a swap meet last summer. Look around, you can find it reasonably priced. Since most people have gone the 134 route demand for R 12 is in the toilet and you can get it priced a lot less than several years ago.
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Old 11-30-2015, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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Originally Posted by davepl View Post
After a long thread and helpful deciding on R12 vs R134, I was all set to make the decision to have my all-new-parts-but-stock AC system filled with R12, but it's $160 a pound, and we need about 4 pounds. With no guarantee that it won't leak, that's a pricey gamble.

I see "RED TEK 12A" for sale cheap on eBay (more like $14 a pound):

Amazon.com: RED TEK 12a Refrigerant 20 Lb Cylinder (60 Lb Equiv): Automotive

But what the heck is 12A? Sounds like a name they made up, because it doesn't anywhere say that it's real 12.

That's a 10X price difference, so can someone educated me on the differences?

My system also already had the 134A connectors on it, so I think it may have had a conversion done in a previous life.

LMC said the reman compressor (stock style) is compatible with 134A. They didn't know anything about the oil inside or whether its compatible, but you'd assume it has to be if the compressor is listed as compatible...
As far as your pricy gamble when you complete any repair to a/c system you have to pull a vacuum with a micron gauge to know if your system is sealed. If you cannot pull a good vacuum you should never add any refrigerant. If you don't have these tools just go get it done. The magic number is 500 microns and below. The lower the number the better. I did a jeep Cherokee once and easily got it down to 200 microns. Had a lot to do with the compressor being new with fresh oil.
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

134a was $90 for 30 lbs.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:31 PM   #7
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Keep watching Craigslist. I got a 30# sealed cylinder off Phoenix Craigslist a couple years ago for $250. You may not match that but keep looking.

Jim

EDIT: Here's one pretty close to you.
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mat/5337872855.html

A partial
http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/pts/5337828355.html

Search the Craigslist of your choice for R12.

Last edited by FirstOwner69; 11-30-2015 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:56 AM   #8
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=586474

Simply stated, no way you should use any blend. Either use R12 or R134. R12 is still out there and it is nowhere near the prices predicted when it was discontinued.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:25 AM   #9
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

+1 on R12. Stay away from the drop-in blends. Also, you should consider the fact that a marginal front seal on an old or even rebuilt A6 compressor will/might hold a vacuum, but fail in short order when under pressure. This will cause you to loose your expensive R12 charge.

My advice: Purchase a NEW A6 form factor replacement compressor. Lighter and more efficient is an added bonus.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:37 AM   #10
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

I converted my stock ac to 134 a year ago and it works great. Stock compressor too. Even drove it to Vegas in August comfortably. I would convert it and go.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:20 PM   #11
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Personally I'd stay away from the 12a drop in replacements. Most of them are butane / propane.
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Old 12-02-2015, 08:01 AM   #12
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Don't know how much they have. http://columbus.craigslist.org/pts/5302390792.html
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:27 AM   #13
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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Originally Posted by GMC Canuck View Post
Personally I'd stay away from the 12a drop in replacements. Most of them are butane / propane.
Well All I Can Say Is I Use R12A With No Problems At All In My 87 .
It-s The Only Ride I Have With R12 Was Still In It But No More R12 Now Its R12A And Its Super Cold BRRRRRRRRRRR
I Live In South Florida So I Need That COLDDDDDDD
Thanks For Your Input
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:27 AM   #14
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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Originally Posted by Harley03joe View Post
Well All I Can Say Is I Use R12A With No Problems At All In My 87 .
It-s The Only Ride I Have With R12 Was Still In It But No More R12 Now Its R12A And Its Super Cold BRRRRRRRRRRR
I Live In South Florida So I Need That COLDDDDDDD
Thanks For Your Input
Harley03joe
It may work fine, but why take a chance? R12 is really as cheap as R134 in the grand scheme of things. Ask yourself this, If the big auto companies worldwide (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia.....) and all the truck guys (Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack, Navistar, Freightliner, Western Star....)could use these replacements don't you think they would do it to save money? I've said it before and I'll say it again-the only thing I would ever consider using as an automotive refrigerant is R12 or R134. Neither of these is flammable.
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Old 05-19-2017, 09:22 AM   #15
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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It may work fine, but why take a chance? R12 is really as cheap as R134 in the grand scheme of things. Ask yourself this, If the big auto companies worldwide (GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Kia.....) and all the truck guys (Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack, Navistar, Freightliner, Western Star....)could use these replacements don't you think they would do it to save money? I've said it before and I'll say it again-the only thing I would ever consider using as an automotive refrigerant is R12 or R134. Neither of these is flammable.
I've read this before and always get a chuckle. Folks are over-concerned that the 2-3 lbs of refrigerant in the AC is flammable, but riding around with 20 gallons (140 lbs) of flammable liquid in the fuel tank doesn't bother them.

<scratches head>
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:03 AM   #16
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

It's a lot harder to vaporize gasoline than butane or propane.

Funny how the new 1234yf refrigerant is flammable and is being embraced by some.
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Old 05-19-2017, 10:29 AM   #17
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Just FWIW I started this thread and it was a couple of years ago - I've had R134A in the system since then.

It leaked out once through a bad compressor seal in a new/reman compressor. That would have been all my R12 if I'd done that!

New compressor (painted black to match) and it's been fine since and cools well too!
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:17 PM   #18
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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I've read this before and always get a chuckle. Folks are over-concerned that the 2-3 lbs of refrigerant in the AC is flammable, but riding around with 20 gallons (140 lbs) of flammable liquid in the fuel tank doesn't bother them.

<scratches head>
Because when the engine stops the gasoline is not pressurized and even when running it is at like 2 psi. On an A/C system the high side can be over 200 psi and it doesn't stop having pressure when the engine stops.

Another thing is seals. The blends and/or hydrocarbon refrigerants can be hard on seals. Do what you want, I don't care. But in a full blown A/C job the refrigerant is really a minor part of the cost. What do you save by using off-the-wall refrigerants? Maybe $50? And when you do, no shop will touch it because they don't want to contaminate their machines.
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Old 05-19-2017, 01:53 PM   #19
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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Do what you want, I don't care. But in a full blown A/C job the refrigerant is really a minor part of the cost.
That about sums it up for me too. Being cheap and saving a buck is more important than having a system that functions properly.
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Old 05-19-2017, 02:47 PM   #20
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

About 15 years ago I bought a Snap-On A/C recovery machine for around $4500. I went around to all the junk years and repo lots to suck all the R-12 I could get my hands on. Sold a bunch of it in 30# canisters and made a mint! Would I use the recycled stuff over new? No way, so watch what you buy off Craigslist and E-Bay.
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Old 05-22-2017, 04:12 PM   #21
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

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Because when the engine stops the gasoline is not pressurized and even when running it is at like 2 psi. On an A/C system the high side can be over 200 psi and it doesn't stop having pressure when the engine stops.

Another thing is seals. The blends and/or hydrocarbon refrigerants can be hard on seals. Do what you want, I don't care. But in a full blown A/C job the refrigerant is really a minor part of the cost. What do you save by using off-the-wall refrigerants? Maybe $50? And when you do, no shop will touch it because they don't want to contaminate their machines.
We're not talking about shops doing the work, we're talking about folks like you and me who do it themselves.

For what it's worth, I have R134a in a Vintage Air system on my supercharged EFI 5.3 - it retains pressure once the engine is off . I don't disagree with what you are saying about costs, only that I find it amusing that folks get all worked up over the flammability when in reality there is more danger in one's fuel tank that what would be in their HVAC system.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:13 AM   #22
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

I believe a lot of the concerns over fire/explosion came from back in the day when techs used flame type leak detectors. Beyond the fire issue, most blends can create a poisionous gas when ignited. No longer an issue, everyone uses dye now. I still would not use blends, you can get all the performance you need out of 134a. The new 1234YF is flammable and expensive! Current prices: 30# keg of 134a $99.00, 1234YF $799.00. From the tech papers I've read,The main issue with 1234YF is it creates carbonyl flouride when ignited. Supposed to be worse than phosgene gas. But the upside, it's much better for the environment than 134a.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:53 AM   #23
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

Keep your eyes open. I bought 3lbs of R12 in a full sized tank for about $150. I also bought a sealed, full 30lb tank for $400. I bought it mostly for personal use in my truck...completely restored the factory system.
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:40 PM   #24
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Re: R12 Pricing, and what is "12A"

2 months ago, I purchased 4 cans on eBay for $75, to use in my 79 Trans Am. There is lot's of it on eBay. Demand is going down, because it's been so long since is was last used in new cars.

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