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Re: [Bricklin] Compressor system

Subject: Re: [Bricklin] Compressor system
From: "John T. Blair" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Nov 2008 07:10:31 -0500
At 11:46 PM 11/17/2008, William J. Lawyer wrote:

 >I have Bricklin 1643.  Recently I found the battery was dead in the car.
 >Further investigation revealed the battery was fine, but was being drained
 >by the compressor running when the car was shut off......

 >It appears the system loses about 4 pounds of pressure in two hours.  Here
 >are my questions:

 >1)  According to Bob Hoffman, the switch is supposed to activate the
 >compressor at around 130 pounds, and turn it off at around 145 pounds.
 >However the sensor on my machine is marked 100 - 130 pounds.  When the
 >tank is pressurized the doors work normally.  I'd be interested to know what
 >other Bricks use for the "on" and "off" pressures for the compressor.


That depends on when you purchased the compressor and from whom, or
who installed the system.  Mine is something like 120 on / 140 off.  You can
purchase different value switches.  So some are now using 90 on / 120 off.

The reason is, it takes about 80 psi to open the doors.  The higher 
the pressure
in the tank is, the more times you can open the door, with the compressor off
before the doors will not open.  But the higher the pressure in the tank, the
harder the compressor has to work, and the more current it draws.

So you switch if fine!

 >2)  My local tech has checked for leaks and found none.  But he and I would
 >both like to have a diagram of the air circuit for the door system.  We are
 >particularly interested in knowing where the check valve is that 
prevents the
 >pressurized tank from leaking back into the compressor.

Finding leaks can be a pain, but you should be able to find them and the system
can (and mine does) hold air over 6mo.  I think this has been covered many
times in the back issues of the magazine and on-line.  Basically, you have to
use soapy water at every connection and look for bubbles.

There are a couple of places that are particularly hard to find leaks, the
regulator, the control valves, and the compressor.  On the regulator, check
the shaft, the input and output, and then the body as the regulator is screwed
together.  The control valves can leak internally and the air will 
leak into the
lift rams and the down control valves.

To check this, you can put some soapy water around the top of the ram where
the shaft comes out.  There is also a hole in the ram, under the 
cover, near the
top of the cylinder.  Check that also.  You can take the solenoids apart and
carefully blow them out.  Be careful, as there is an O ring in them, and if you
don't remove it, it can get blown out and the valve WILL leak.

The compressor can leak are back past the internal valves.  So you should
put a check valve in it near the compressor.  This will stop the air from
flowing back into the compressor.

Finally, if anyone has been into your system, it's possible that the air line
fittings have been changed.  The fittings Terry Tanner supplies have a tube
built into them, that the air line slides over.  If you purchase aftermarket
fittings, most people buy the fittings that do not have the tube in 
the fitting.
The tube is an extra piece you have to buy and goes into the air line.  These
keep the line from collapsing as the nut and ferrel are tightened.

John T. Blair  WA4OHZ     email:
Va. Beach, Va
Phone:  (757) 495-8229

           48 TR1800    48 #4 Midget    65 Morgan 4/4 Series V (B1106)
      75 Bricklin SV1 (#0887)    77 Spitfire    71 Saab Sonett III
                        65 Rambler Classic


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