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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I learned a lot while troubleshooting and re-charging my SEC's AC system. I searched high and low through the forums and it took a while to assimilate all the details. There also seems to be a lot of confusion around this topic. Given that AC problems are such a common issue with our W126s, I thought I'd take a few minutes to share what I did. I hope it saves you time, money or both.

Quick summary: I have an original AC system - i.e. still R12. It worked and blew cold air less than a year ago. When summer rolled around again, no cold air. Checked the sight glass, no refrigerant. Took it to an AC shop - big bucks to fix the leak. Found an enviromentally safe R12 alternative (Enviro Safe - http://autorefrigerants.com/co00033.htm) that has a decent probability of staying in the system long enough to keep cool during the summer. Price is right at $40. More details and pics in the link below:

http://qube.myvnc.com/mercedes/560SEC/ac.html
 

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I found a guy on craigslist selling R12 for 20 bucks a 12oz can. little pricey?
 

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$20-25 a can seems to be an average price for R12. There's a lot of people selling R12 cans if you look on Craiglist or eBay. I don't think that's too pricey considering R134a is about $8 a can. You will have to provide a resellers statement stating this will be resold to a qualified/licensed AC professional for installation.

Personally I would stick with the original stuff that was intended for the car, however I haven't heard any negative things about Enviro-safe and I don't know the long term impact of using it.
 

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$20-25 a can seems to be an average price for R12. There's a lot of people selling R12 cans if you look on Craiglist or eBay. I don't think that's too pricey considering R134a is about $8 a can. You will have to provide a resellers statement stating this will be resold to a qualified/licensed AC professional for installation.

Personally I would stick with the original stuff that was intended for the car, however I haven't heard any negative things about Enviro-safe and I don't know the long term impact of using it.
R134a is the original stuff? yeah I would stick to that too. I was misled thinking R12 was.
 

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Well,
to answer the original question in this thread:
from my experience Envirosafe works great,
I've used it for 3 yrs in my '87 420sel. I came to using it after spending way too much time and money trying to get my a/c to work satisfactorily with r134.
lost my a/c charge this spring, fixed the leak, and refilled with r290 just to try it while waiting for my e-s to be shipped. short term, it's effective and cheap.

but boy is this a loaded topic!
*this represents my own experience and should never be construed as an endorsement of any choice or behavior that's your own damn business and responsibility
 

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R134a is the original stuff? yeah I would stick to that too. I was misled thinking R12 was.
R134a is not the original stuff used on our cars. These cars were designed for R12 and all of the components were engineered with R12 properties in mind. R134a conversions generally don't have the same cooling efficiency as a retro-fitted system. The best example I can give is my SEC and SEL. The SEC has the original R12 and blows super ice cold. The retro-fitted R134 SEL still blows cold - but not cold as the R12 system in the SEC. I recall reading somewhere you would have to have a significantly bigger compressor to attain the same level of efficiency - but I'm no expert.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry all, but I decommissioned my web server, so there's no more illustrated guide anymore. I ran cold for a summer, but it all eventually leaked out, and I ended up getting the compressor repaired the following spring.

Cheers.
 

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EnviroSafe refrigerant is incredible!! I have used it in every Mercedes I have owned due to its superior performance and low operating pressures. Not only does it out perform 134a significantly, it saves the a/c system by operating at pressures fractionally those of 134a.

I have used EnviroSafe in both R12 and 134a systems and couldn't be happier. This past weekend I charged the system in my 1999 E320 wagon with it. To say it out performs 134a is an enormous understatement.

I live in south Florida and the heat index has been over 100F. After charging the system with EnviroSafe I can sit dead stopped at idle on black asphalt and have the a/c set at 72 and it blows cold enough to run the seat heaters. Outside temp shows 92 and the heat index is well over 100.

It took two of the small cans to charge my system. This is the eleventh car I have switched to EnviroSafe and have NEVER had to revisit/repair any part of the a/c system after the conversion. No extra parts needed. No "retro-fitting". Just vacuum the system, charge and go. One car I owned had EnviroSafe in the a/c system for approximately 7 years (before I sold the car) without any issue.

$20-25 per can is insanely expensive. A complete kit is in the $25 range with everything needed to fully charge one car, including charging hose/hi-low fittings, oil and dye. Envirosafe's home page is: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant and Automotive Fluid Products - Enviro-Safe, Inc
 

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EnviroSafe refrigerant is incredible!! I have used it in every Mercedes I have owned due to its superior performance and low operating pressures. Not only does it out perform 134a significantly, it saves the a/c system by operating at pressures fractionally those of 134a.

I have used EnviroSafe in both R12 and 134a systems and couldn't be happier. This past weekend I charged the system in my 1999 E320 wagon with it. To say it out performs 134a is an enormous understatement.

I live in south Florida and the heat index has been over 100F. After charging the system with EnviroSafe I can sit dead stopped at idle on black asphalt and have the a/c set at 72 and it blows cold enough to run the seat heaters. Outside temp shows 92 and the heat index is well over 100.

It took two of the small cans to charge my system. This is the eleventh car I have switched to EnviroSafe and have NEVER had to revisit/repair any part of the a/c system after the conversion. No extra parts needed. No "retro-fitting". Just vacuum the system, charge and go. One car I owned had EnviroSafe in the a/c system for approximately 7 years (before I sold the car) without any issue.

$20-25 per can is insanely expensive. A complete kit is in the $25 range with everything needed to fully charge one car, including charging hose/hi-low fittings, oil and dye. Envirosafe's home page is: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant and Automotive Fluid Products - Enviro-Safe, Inc
I recently bought a 30lb can of industrial R12a for a older surburban i was working on in the shop... Love it! Actually just did the drop in with it in my white 500. Tis cold!
 

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sorry to bring up an old thread (again?), but I was curious whether any successful enviro-safe ref users were able to use the es-12 to essentially 'top' an R12 system. The enviro-safe www seems to indicate this is possible and in a system where there's no major leak or component to be replaced (and apparently no reason to suspect moisture), I wonder if the 2 mix or must it be vacuumed period.
 

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EnviroSafe refrigerant is incredible!! I have used it in every Mercedes I have owned due to its superior performance and low operating pressures. Not only does it out perform 134a significantly, it saves the a/c system by operating at pressures fractionally those of 134a.

I have used EnviroSafe in both R12 and 134a systems and couldn't be happier. This past weekend I charged the system in my 1999 E320 wagon with it. To say it out performs 134a is an enormous understatement.

I live in south Florida and the heat index has been over 100F. After charging the system with EnviroSafe I can sit dead stopped at idle on black asphalt and have the a/c set at 72 and it blows cold enough to run the seat heaters. Outside temp shows 92 and the heat index is well over 100.

It took two of the small cans to charge my system. This is the eleventh car I have switched to EnviroSafe and have NEVER had to revisit/repair any part of the a/c system after the conversion. No extra parts needed. No "retro-fitting". Just vacuum the system, charge and go. One car I owned had EnviroSafe in the a/c system for approximately 7 years (before I sold the car) without any issue.

$20-25 per can is insanely expensive. A complete kit is in the $25 range with everything needed to fully charge one car, including charging hose/hi-low fittings, oil and dye. Envirosafe's home page is: Environmentally Friendly Refrigerant and Automotive Fluid Products - Enviro-Safe, Inc
Good link! I looked at the MSDS for the r12a Looks like it's classic propane with a fancy label. Plenty of discussion to be found. I'll use the Coleman brand....$2.75/bottle. Funny thing is Envirosafe even makes the Boss Torch! Couldn't quickly find a link for it but here's the MSDS for the refrigerant
 

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sorry to bring up an old thread (again?), but I was curious whether any successful enviro-safe ref users were able to use the es-12 to essentially 'top' an R12 system. The enviro-safe www seems to indicate this is possible and in a system where there's no major leak or component to be replaced (and apparently no reason to suspect moisture), I wonder if the 2 mix or must it be vacuumed period.
Topping off an R12 system is how I originally got into EnviroSafe. In a 560 SEL the A/C system needed a little more refrigerant. R12 was the evil elixir at that point so I wanted to find something that was fully miscible with R12. That is when I found EnviroSafe. To top up the system took one can and improved the performance of the A/C drastically. I fully switched over at that point and eventually charged all my R12 cars with it.
 

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Good link! I looked at the MSDS for the r12a Looks like it's classic propane with a fancy label. Plenty of discussion to be found. I'll use the Coleman brand....$2.75/bottle. Funny thing is Envirosafe even makes the Boss Torch! Couldn't quickly find a link for it but here's the MSDS for the refrigerant
This MSDS states that Enviro12 has an UN number of 1075. Looking up UN1075 shows that it is "Gas: Propane, UN# 1075". Cool! (pun intended).

Here is a photo of my home-made AC adapter in order to use a hardware store $2.00 one-pound propane bottle.
 

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I'd like to try this "propane" R12a substitute in a R12 system. I have hoses for 134a and for freeze 12, so will need to adapt "something". Does one dispense the "propane" into the auto as a liquid, ie upside-down, or as a gas? What pressures does one shoot for during charging?

Thx
 

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Ears,
The 134a lines will not work because the ends are different than R12. Freeze 12 may use the same as r12 but I have not used either.
I would guess that the can is held upright as in other types of refrigerant replacement.

Mramay can come on and explain his set up.

I, too, would like to know the particulars as I need to service my AC in the S'No Angel.
 

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Ears,
The 134a lines will not work because the ends are different than R12. Freeze 12 may use the same as r12 but I have not used either.
I would guess that the can is held upright as in other types of refrigerant replacement.

Mramay can come on and explain his set up.

I, too, would like to know the particulars as I need to service my AC in the S'No Angel.
fittings for 134a, r12, and freeze 12 are different. I was implying I'll need to adapt one of the hoses I have to fit r12 fittings, or find an old r12 hose... i have used freeze12 in a r12 system before, and replacement fittings were supplied in the "kit" which screwed onto the r12 fittings...

Anxious to learn more about this...
 

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Mike Ramay did a thread on this like two years ago and we had a big debate with some ppl actually thinking you could explode the whole car if you lit a cigarette.

I'm on the "For" side.
 
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