The SVAO: Dedicated to the protection and preservation of Specialty Vehicles
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Ray Spencer - Editor
will have a write-up on the AGM in our next newsletter. Unfortunately the weather
did not co-operate and only a few brave souls drove their collectibles.
I see that the Star has again consulted the questionable Mr. Coninx and put him on the front page of the Wheels section to knock Drive Clean. He actually made a couple of justifiable comments but drew attention to the really bad session in the past when they took the car with the intermittent fault for testing. He also made reference to U.S. studies that show emission controls to last a lot longer than had originally been anticipated. This is probably correct in the context of testing in the States, but all the people I talk to feel that with the combination of dirty, sulfur-laden gas and the use of MMT, cars in Canada go through oxygen sensors like American cars do spark plugs. This is apparently even more the case in low mileage vehicles.
If you are going to host a conference and set an example of unity, etc. for the international community, why would you hold it in Quebec City? How could you not anticipate trouble from the PQ? Maybe they should have held it at the hotel in Shawinigan! Is there any sense left in Ottawa? Then there's Tom Wappel. We do not need a comedy channel. You can just watch the national news and save the cable charges.
Thinking that maybe the standards had been tightened, Chris contacted Peter Campbell at the Drive Clean office for an explanation. Peter confirmed that the emission bar is to be lowered in the future but that this will not take place until 2003 for the GTA. As the measurement criteria for Chris' vehicle had changed, Peter's feeling was that the test centre must have entered the vehicle information incorrectly (either the first time, or the second time, or both times). He suggested that owners compare the test results entries at the top of the form to see if the test standard had changed. It is also possible that the manufacturer made an error in the test information initially supplied to the database and has subsequently corrected it!
1. At a glance as you approach your car,
you are checking the vehicle for broken glass, low or flat tires, weak or sagging
springs, damage from foreign objects, leaks under the vehicle, vandalism, position
of vehicle in relation to surrounding objects.
9. Circling vehicle - check remaining door safety latches, seat belts (if installed) and body integrity. Check that fuel cap is in place.
10. Open the hood and check the following:
Re your question in the SVAO Newsletter, and our recent conversation.
R12a is what is called a 'natural refrigerant' because it is a mixture of stable organic compounds, which have been around forever (?). It is a mixture of stable hydrocarbons to which the name 'paraffin's' was given in the early days of the study of Organic Chemistry. The mixture consists of approx. 40% butane, 59% propane and 1% ethane. Note that these materials are said to be 'highly purified' in order to use them as a refrigerant. You should not try to mix these materials out of a standard cylinder and expect that the air conditioning system will work perfectly.
It is well known that ethane, propane and butane are flammable in air and, when mixed in certain proportions with air, will burn with explosive speed. Nevertheless, propane and butane were used as refrigerants, along with ammonia, carbon dioxide, and sulphur dioxide, before the development and commercial use of freons in the early 1930's. It was an explosion involving propane in a school air conditioning system, which resulted in the death of a number of students, which lead to the banning of the 'natural' (flammable) refrigerants, in favour of the 'freons' in North America. At that time, the damaging environmental properties of the freons were not even imagined. As a family of products they were considered to be unreactive, non-toxic, non-flammable, i.e. the perfect refrigerants.
In the late 1970's the environmental effects of the freons began to be known and understood. They are, as a group, very damaging to the stratospheric ozone layer, and very strong global warming agents. As a result of the damage done to the stratospheric ozone layer, the freons, known as the cfc's or chloro-fluoro-carbons, have been banned by international treaty (although still available if you know where to buy them!). The fact that they are very strong global warming agents is less well known, and to some extent the chemical manufacturers have tried to keep this a dark secret.
chemical manufacturers have introduced new compounds of the freon type to replace
The hcfc's are in the process of being banned because they still affect the ozone layer (at about 5% or less, than the cfc's) and because they are strong global warming agents. The hfc's have no adverse effects on the ozone layer, but are still very strong global warming agents. There is one other group that must be mentioned - the per-fluoro-carbons, which are extremely stable compounds (have long lifetimes in the atmoshpere) and are strong global warming agents.
The following table summarizes the ozone depleting and global warming characteristics of the common refrigerants, with the 'natural' hydrocarbon refrigerants included for comparison:
Note: Global warming potential is calculated by using carbon dioxide =1 (i.e you can compare the effect of releasing 1 tonne of the various agents). Also, the lifetime of the various agents in the atmosphere has to be taken into account. For this reason the global warming potential (GWP) is calculated for time horizons of 20 years, 100 years and 500 years. Thus the GWP for an agent which has a short lifetime in the atmosphere will be at its highest when averaged over the 20 year Horizon and an agent with a long lifetime will be highest when averaged over the 500 year Horizon. In general, we are most immediately concerned with the 20 year time horizon, because it affects the most immediate future of the planet.
Refrigerant Ozone depletion Global Warming
R134a is the currently used substitute for R12 in automobile air conditioning systems. R134a is a very good cleaning agent - it will remove deposited gums in the interior of the system. It is also very acidic if moisture is allowed into a system, and it needs special lubricants, because it is not compatible with the lubricant used in R12 systems. On the other hand,
R12a is a direct drop-in replacement for both R12 and R134a systems.
Because R134a is a strong global warming agent the government has decreed that all refrigeration systems must be built to 'contain' the refrigerant, for the lifetime of the system, i.e. the system must not leak. However it is by no means certain that this requirement is being met in current automotive systems. Conversely, it must be true that if a system will contain a freon, then it will also contain a 'natural' refrigerant.
The table (above ) illustrates the environmental benefits of using R12a. However it must never be forgotten that it is a very flammable refrigerant - although I personally know of no cases where R12a has been associated with a fire in an automobile - even as the result of a crash. There are three or more possible reasons for this:
1) the weight
of refrigerant charged into the average automobile system is only about 12 to
However, it is extremely important that the air conditioning system be clearly labeled that it contains a flammable refrigerant. Many refrigerant technicians are not conversant with the properties of R12a - the name is too close to R12 to be comfortable (for me) - I think that this may lead to an accident.
Finally, although propane is used in Europe in many refrigeration type appliances, its use on this continent is being resisted by the freon manufacturers, and the current Canadian Standard (B52-95 Mechanical Refrigeration Code) is deficient in its treatment of flammable refrigerants. That is to say that its use may not be properly covered by insurance companies on the grounds that it is a flammable refrigerant.
you need additional information I suggest that you talk to Mr. Lawrence MacNeil
of HCTech Inc, Biggar Av., Hamilton, ON. L8L 3Z4. Phone 905-547-5693, Fax 905-547-3155.
Their web site is www.hctech.com and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Pro-Hobbyist Street Rod Bill Introduced in Alabama
H.B. 16 also exempts street rods from some motor vehicle licensing requirements and from payment of a license tax for the privilege of operating the vehicle on public roads, as well as any property tax. Finally, vehicles registered as street rods would be considered collector's items and could not be used for general transportation purposes.
Green Fuels Threaten Britain's Bird Population
The European Union has set targets to reduce the level of benzene found in petrol by 80 percent, while MTBE is being phased out in Denmark, as well as sections of the USA. As far as we know, MTBE is not used in Ontario's unleaded gas but I think that benzene is used.
And last, but far from least, from Honest
Nate Salter comes the following bit of good advice:
Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned private parts into glaringly public ones. Unable to stand the embarrassment she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand up his shorts and tucked everything back into place. On regaining her feet she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by. The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his head.