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Air Compressor resurrection..


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#1 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 07:56 AM

I toasted  my electric motor on my 5 hp air compressor last winter and have been looking around C/L and E/B for either parts or a new/ / different one..   What I've been seeing is a lot of the new junk which is both noisy and poor quality.  A comparable one is ~$6-700 and I'm too cheap to spend that much coin on one & prefer my old quiet oil filled pump type so I searched high and low for a new motor to replace the old blown one.  Of course the old one is NLA!  So the compressor sat in the back of the shop awaiting attention like my other projects..  So I looked around for motors and after investigating and finding many over-priced options it was Harbor Freight to the rescue again!!  I got a 3 hp 3600 RPM NEMA 56 frame for ~$160.00.  The motor and shaft were correct but the frame was nowhere close to what I needed to have due to the design of the tank & mounting frame.  The frame was a special pivot mount..  I transferred the mount from the old motor to the new one..

 

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Not a natural thing to do to tear the frame off a brand new motor was a difficult thing bring myself to do..  **If it didn't work I was out the $$$ and still no compressor.. :wallbanging:

 

Ahhh..  What the heck!!  Over to the drill press to remove the welds as well as I could..   So after tearing the welds up I broke out the air chisels to remove the rest of the way/ break the rest of the welds..  (2nd picture above)..  The next thing to do was to figure out how to make the electronics work..  Of course the location I need to weld the bracket is not the place that I have any clearance to use the included wiring and circuit breaker hardware.  The end cover was out of position so in order to get the vent in the correct place I had to rotate the switch (and splice in a few inches of wire on the stationary coils) to get them close to the correct place.  The new motor laid in pieces on the bench while I figured out how to accomplish this.. (scratched my head)  

 

Next....

 

I had to fab up something to work that would not interfere with the air pump as the old one was on the pump side and would not have fit too well.  So 'handy box' to the rescue here.  I got out the green lee hole punch to put a hole in the motor's end cover (I aligned the hole so I could screw the box onto the motor end cap as well) and popped it together.  Next came the circuit breaker button..   Using a blank box cover I popped a hole in and then located & drilled the hold-down screws and put them in place.  Then the button was installed and the power wire was spliced in.  I also had a 1.5" hole in the side of the motor that needed to be covered so I tore up the old (new) wiring box and installed a hunk-o-screen to hopefully keep the critters out while giving it another ventilation hole.  

 

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Next was to finish wiring the thing up.  Of course I wanted the shaft to rotate CCW so I wired it to spin CCW per the instructions..   Nope..  The rotation is CCW from the back side of the (starter switch) of the motor.  I rewired it CW and things worked great & even turned the way I wanted them to!!.   I reassembled all the covers and the thing lives and breathes again!!   :dancingbanana:

 

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Edited by WNYTractorTinkerer, June 01, 2015 - 08:03 AM.

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#2 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 08:09 AM

Glad you could make that work!


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#3 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 09:33 AM

  Excellent job changing everything over!! You say you went from a 5HP to 3HP. How many amps is the 3HP pulling just before it shuts off?

                                            Mike



#4 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 02:53 PM

I didn't test the amp draw..  There was a lawsuit years ago about the so called 5 hp motors on those compressor units.  They really don't put out as advertised but under controlled conditions..   The 3 hp pumped it up from zero in ~2 minutes to 145#..  Plenty good for what I use it for.  I'm not sand-blasting or anything like that..  My guess would be 12-13 amps..


Edited by WNYTractorTinkerer, June 01, 2015 - 02:54 PM.

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#5 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted June 01, 2015 - 10:28 PM

Good job on the transformation glad it all worked out for you. I have a 3hp pancake I use for work that was involved in the class action law suite against the compressor companies.

#6 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted June 02, 2015 - 05:54 AM

I'm simply in awe! Great job!!!



#7 Jazz ONLINE  

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Posted June 03, 2015 - 05:49 AM

I didn't test the amp draw..  There was a lawsuit years ago about the so called 5 hp motors on those compressor units.  They really don't put out as advertised but under controlled conditions..   The 3 hp pumped it up from zero in ~2 minutes to 145#..  Plenty good for what I use it for.  I'm not sand-blasting or anything like that..  My guess would be 12-13 amps..

Nice job,, should serve your purposes. I recall that about the over rated 5hp.. It was when I was upgrading so I went to a reputable company pedalling canadian built compressors. Cost me more than my last three trucks but my priorities/needs have changed. I would really like to put it on the side of shop>>>facing my neighbour from hell...I got my fine neighbour to manuever it from my truck to shop

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#8 WNYTractorTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted June 03, 2015 - 06:21 AM

Those dang things are so top-heavy!  My compressor is in the storage side of my barn so I don't have to listen to it (so much)..  Do yourself a favor before you install it..  Remove the wingnut valve from the tank bottom and install a 90° 1/4" NPT to 1/8" copper or aluminum pipe and run the pipe up the side of the compressor to install a drain valve which will drain into a bucket beside the compressor.  (you can drain the thing standing up!)  I install these type of drain valves on every one of those big boys I set up and folks love 'em!    

 

Just an idea for ya!   :thumbs:






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