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ATF in piston type compressor

Discussion in 'Lubrication' started by Willys53, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Willys53

    Willys53 Active Member

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    Hello, we have a couple Ingersol Rand gas powered compressors that are mounted on our trucks. When winter comes they are hard to start( rope start Honda) because of the cold oil. Can we fill the compressor with atf for winter ?
     
  2. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

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    What will it hurt? if you're cold in Modesto, haha, mabye synthetic is a better choice than ATF, or low vis synthetic ATF.
     
  3. Willys53

    Willys53 Active Member

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    Ya cold lol . We only get below 30 a few times / yr but it is cool enough to cause shrinkage ,and make my compressors get the rope ripped off of them.
     
  4. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Retired Mechanic in Stone Quarry
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    I would want to know what weight oil you are using now.

    Then maybe contact a major oil supplier say like Mobile and ask for their opinion.

    Mobile does have a piston compressor oil in 20 wt, called Gargoyle Arctic 300
    https://www.zoro.com/mobil-gargoyle...r-oil-5-gal-104837/i/G2069873/#specifications

    If the coldest temps you see are in the upper 20ºF I would not want to chance anything lighter than 20 weight.

    Also would help to know the duty cycles for these compressors, are they running close to max air flow 8 hours a day or only used intermittently to zip off a few bolts and sit running unloaded 90% of the time? Any chance an electric start kit is available for the Hondas?
     
  5. GregsHD

    GregsHD Senior Member

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    How about a centrifugal clutch pulley so you're not having to yank over the entire works?
     
  6. heymccall

    heymccall Senior Member

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    I'm more inclined to believe that compressor oil viscosity is NOT a factor.
    What you need is an unloader. Or, use the one that may already be there.
     
  7. kshansen

    kshansen Senior Member

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    Yes the compressor should not be under a load while starting. I'd try loosening the discharge line form the compressor to the tank with motor not running and see if there is pressure in that line.

    Any chance of a model number or other information on this compressor set up? Might be able to find some information on line.
     
  8. Willys53

    Willys53 Active Member

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    The compressor does have an unloader, it starts with no load. I think the comprssor oil is 30w. We have the same engines on our sprayers that turn water pumps and have no problems in the winter, that is what makes me think it is the compressor part . Compressors are used for 15-30 min/ day , sometimes less.
     
  9. Willys53

    Willys53 Active Member

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    Tractor hydraulic fluid is another option maybe.
     
  10. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Senior Member

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    Perhaps it is a combination of the engine oil viscosity and the compressor oil causing the hard starting.
     
  11. Willys53

    Willys53 Active Member

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    Yes 4 sure. I run 10w30 in the engines in winter