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Old 08-06-2012, 04:45 PM   #1
Bill Kearney
 
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Resurrect an old compressor?


I've got an ancient Sears Craftsman air compressor that hasn't been used in probably at least 10 years. It's a model 919.15678, 2hp with a 20 gallon tank.

It's the kind with a separate electric motor with a belt connecting it to the compressor. This is mounted on a 3' long tank with wheels. There's an oil reservoir, presumably to be filled. It's got a 20A 120vac plug on it.

What's the recommended method for trying to see if it still works? Presumably there's some stuff I should check first before powering it up? Like when dealing with an older car engine? I don't have a manual for it.

Any suggestions on how to best proceed? And how to best confirm whether it's working properly?

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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Resurrect an old compressor?


See if it turns over by hand.
Check to see if it's full of oil in the crankcase.
Check the cord to see what kind of shape it's in. Old and cracked, replace it.
I'd shut the breaker off and plug it in, then trip the breaker and see what happens.

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Old 08-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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Resurrect an old compressor?


Yes, the belt turns and the wire's in decent shape. I was wondering about pre-oiling the compressor or something. Rather than just slam it into motion after having been sitting for that long. The the next question would be what parts are likely in need of replacing, or how to best tell.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:24 PM   #4
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Resurrect an old compressor?


No Model or serial#, not even a picture so it's hard to say where you would even add oil to anyplace it would do any good.
If you try and open up the head to add oil then your stuck with having to replace the gaskets, and good luck finding any on one that old,

Just start it up and see what happens and we can take from there if it does not work. There's lots of things that could be wrong, but you have to test it first.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
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Resurrect an old compressor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
No Model or serial#, not even a picture so it's hard to say where you would even add oil to anyplace it would do any good.
If you try and open up the head to add oil then your stuck with having to replace the gaskets, and good luck finding any on one that old,
Um, re-read the first post. I specifically mentioned the model number: 919.15678.

Yes, it would be difficult just guess without at least that much info. Thus the reason why I included it when I asked the question. Which, with that model number the Sears parts website indicates that quite a few parts, including gaskets, are still available for it. At $25 ea it would be nice to avoid having to purchase them though, unless actually needed.

My question was geared more towards seeking advice about how to safely recommission it in a way that wouldn't end up causing more damage than might already be present. Having dealt with many an antique car over the decades one of THE WORST THINGS you can do is just fire it up. Given this is a piston-driven compressor it would seem reasonable to likewise find ways to avoid causing problems with the pistons and cylinders.

So pardon my skepticism when someone doesn't read what's actually posted and offers what seems to be ill-advised suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:20 PM   #6
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Resurrect an old compressor?


My concern would be the condition of the tank if it has been sitting. Be sure to bleed it (should be a bleed plug on the bottom) of any trapped condensation you can. If the drainage is very rusty or brackish you may be in for trouble. Be sure and put a filter on it in any event.

Check the tank for any obvious weld failures or other leaks. Then, set the regulator to some safe low pressure and see if the tank holds air at that pressure with you drawing nothing off of it. If the tank is leaking it is probably not worth messing with.

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