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Old 07-05-16, 08:52 PM   #1
oil pan 4
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NM
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Default More eco gasoline powered air compressor

My beat up old 8 gallon wheelbarrow type air compressor was a scrap yard rescue. It has a steel tank that is on its way out, needs to be replaced and had seized Honda GX160 engine that some one decided to run with no air filter and got rained on and full of water. What can I say there are a lot of idiots where I live.
I sold the GX160 carb, gas tank and cylinder head on ebay for way more than what the whole compressor cost me to buy.
The compressor was and still is good. And it didn't have an unloader valve.
I took a 30 or 40 year old 5hp briggs and Stratton engine and put it on there, with a new unloader valve and it works.
But those air tanks have had it, they need to be chopped up and taken back to the scrap yard.
I have 2 refillable R-134a cylinders that I have been using as extra air tanks, Filled with water they hold right about 5 gallons of volume.
The plan is to use these to make a base for the motor and compressor, weld in bungs to the under side of the tanks so the there will be a drain for water build up.
Then get it hydrostatic tested.

The challenge to make something seemingly inefficient more efficient across a wide operational range, while doing everything from providing air for sand blasting, painting, carbon arc gouging, plasma cutting all the way down to driving wire nails.
First step to make it more economical I am going to replace the very old 5hp briggs and Stratton with a new 5.5hp Honda GX200. Honda claims 25% fuel efficiency increase over the old side valve design.
To make the engine to compressor system as a whole more efficient I am going to put a larger pulley on the engine compared to what I had on the briggs, to drive the compressor close to its 1250rpm limit, producing more air faster, running the engine wide open and more efficiently.
Then to make it highly efficient during low air use add a kill switch to the engine unloader, so if I am only using a little air intermittently say like with a nail gun or need to remove one thing with an impact wrench the engine will shut off once unloader pressure is reached. That way I can start it and walk away.
Normal unloader mode for heavy use will keep the engine running at reduced speed.
I see people run gasoline powered compressors like this to operate a single nail gun and think how wasteful that is. On my 10 gallon electric compressor my nailer can shoot about 40 or 50 full size framing nails 3 inches long at 90psi before kicking on, over 100 shorter 2.5 inch frame nails at 60psi, the roofing nailer only needs 40psi does well over 200 hundred roof nails and finish nailer will shoot what seems like unlimited wire finishing nails before it kicks on again. No reason to run the engine "unloaded" when driving some nails.

Then I will turn the old briggs and Stratton into a water pump, alternator generator or something, not just going to throw it away.
Projected start date is this august.

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