This Thing Really SUCKS!
- Well, since my original post, I've done some cleaning up and a LOT of examination and figuring... But a brief conversation with Mr. Shelden of Shelden Sports really explained a heck of alot. Mr. Shelden was VERY familiar with this particular Tornado compressor. It's quite a bit different from my RIX SA-3... Seemingly a lot more complicated. I took some notes after I got off the phone:
- So I asked him about some of the known mysteries:
1. The tube with the glass sight tube full of oil is the oil reservoir. The black top is both, an over pressure
release AND the fill cap. The oil goes out the bottom to the front of the Kidde which is the oil pump.
From there is a return tube that goes back to the top of the oil reservoir. Further on the oil... There's a
brown plastic vent tube coming out of the 4th stage that will give a spurt of air with oil and moisture
mist when the compressor is powered down.
2. The black tower is the moisture accumulator which drains automatically when you shut down the
compressor. I told him about the stuff under the platform... There's a T with one side being a pressure
switch that looks like a gauge and the other side looks blunt end or pressure release. This T is what both
the moisture accumulator and the filter towers bottom plumbing is connected to. Jim asked me to send
him pictures of this set up.
3. The filter tower is a hydraulic accumulator. He says to re-pack it 2/3rds 13X Sieve on the
bottom and Activated Charcoal on the top.
4. Now the plumbing from the top of the filter tower has a pressure gauge, some sort of view port, and a
rectangular section with a faucet knob on top and an arrow indicating direction of flow on the side. Jim
thought this might be a back pressure regulator. Again, I'm supposed to take some photos and send
them to him.
The Oil System...
- While cleaning, I traced the oil lines and the return line actually comes out of the back of the compressor. The top of the oil sump has a little screen in the center. I unscrewed it and it definitely looks like a pressure relief of some sort.
The Automatic Moisture Drain...
- There's an instruction sticker on top of the switch box and I managed to see the print impression where the printing itself was rubbed off. AND,just like Mr. Shelden said, the system is supposed to drain moisture automatically when you turn off the compressor. I can't see how this works but the picture shows a pressure switch that looks like a gauge with the face turned the other way. The blunt end of the T fitting may be the release mechanism.
- The instruction said to drain moisture after every hour of continuous operation and to do so by turning off the compressor. In addition, if the compressor won't be used again for at least 4 hours, you should turn it on again for 10 secs and then off to blow off any remaining moisture.
It Really Sucks...
- Kind of an elegant design for the air intake filter. This one obviously hasn't been changed or at least cleaned for decades. It's about a 1/4" thick pad of filter material. Low profile and integral with the 1st stage piston top. I hope I can get a new filter pad. If not, I can screw on a Solberg.
- I wanted to see if the pistons were pumping freely or froze up so I took off the fan so I could get ahold of the drive shaft with a wrench. Then I rotated the drive shaft with my finger over the intake port... WOW! It sucked my finger tip hard against the port. So, it looks like the pump itself is intact and functioning!
- The fan itself is worth commenting on. It has a spring-type shock absorber (looks like a pull cord recoil spring). The original spec for this compressor is 3750 RPM and with a direct drive motor it must rev up to that pretty fast. I'm taking it that the coil spring lets the fan have a little gentler run up to full speed? The motor is rated for 3500 rpm so, a little slower than what the compressor can handle.