Compressor failure - can anyone tell whats wrong?

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I posted this over on Lumberjocks but thought there might be someone knowledgeable here.

Here's the history: 5HP IR compressor (SS5). Walked outside one night heard a God-awful noise coming from shop kind of a combination of a diesel and a jake brake. The compressor sounded like it was going to explode and oil mist was all over the shop. I immediately shut it down. I do not know how long it was running like that. The compressor was extremely hot. There was oil, but I could tell some had been consumed.

A couple days later I put it back on line just for jollies. It ran to pressure, sounded normal and cycled normally. I switched it off when I left the shop just in case.

Ran a couple days like that, then it started short cycling - running for 5 seconds and shutting off. Finally, it started making the noise again and shut down. I think it ran to pressure the breaker did not trip.

I can't find a compressor service in my area that will look at it.

I decided nothing to lose, so I removed the compressor and started to dismantle it. I did notice some scraping noise when I turned the flywheel. The cylinder walls look fine. The valve plate doesn't look right to me.

Here's what I'm looking at. My decision at this point is rebuild kit or buy a new one.

I'm 90% sure I'm buying a new one, but if anyone sees something obvious - Thanks for looking!!

188660
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
My brother was a service technician for IR compressors but he died about 7 years ago. What I do know is IR are the best compressors. The oil mist makes it sound like a gasket blew out. The valves, now that it's apart should be replaced. You also need to check bearings on the crank and rod bearing. Good luck!
 

DavidK

David
Corporate Member
I would also make sure the pressure stat is not sticking. It might have stuck closed (on) which caused the compressor to work itself to death.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Bearings, valves, and gaskets, still much less that a new compressor and probably better than you can get now without spending twice what that one cost.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
How did it drain out water? I recently fixed my tiny Senco compressor that was not working due to operator error. I rarely had drained the water and it had rust in the pressure switch (as well as the tank) which stopped it from working. If it had an auto drain that stopped working, it could make it do funny things.
 

Jeff

Jeff
Corporate Member
I'm 90% sure I'm buying a new one, but if anyone sees something obvious - Thanks for looking!!
Buy a new one and eliminate the hassle of rebuilding it. Maybe a new one is not the same quality but should function fine for several years.
 

gmakra

George
Senior User
Valve plates look okish.
I suspect something on the bottom end since you heard a scraping noise.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Well I called a guy I remembered might know and he does. If he doesn’t he is friends with someone who owns a compressor repair shop. He may have spare parts for it.

Did some checking. A ring kit is 110. A valve and gasket set is 268. So it wouldn’t make sense to rebuild it. A new replacement compressor is 500.
 

Phil S

Board of Directors, President
Phil Soper
Staff member
Corporate Member
I see the discoloration of the metal which is a sign of high temps. I would make sure that the head is not warped before spending on replacement parts
 

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