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Engine to Air Compressor

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Old 05-20-2006, 08:53:23 PM
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Frank Douglas Frank Douglas is offline
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Question Engine to Air Compressor

Anybody out there ever tried making an air compressor out of a small engine, Briggs etc.? Is is do-able and if so how much of a job is it? Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:44:01 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Engine to Air Compressor

It is do-able, but not very efficient. There are 3 main ways to accomplish what you want, and it will work in both the aluminum and C.I. versions. It will probably look more like a factory convert if you use the FH or earlier versions, as less work will have to be done. This goes for all IC engines, small or large:
here you go -

The easiest, with minimal alterations -
1) Take a FI or earlier, engine, with the reactionary intake valve. Remove carb, head and exhaust (muffler) Remove the exhaust valve, plug the valve guide with a bolt and nut (use hi temp locktite, to prevent possible back-off) Re-install head and gasket,. Install spring loaded check valve in exhaust port threading, Belt up to an engine, and off you go

Medium treatment:
2) same as #1 with the following exceptions In addition to installing a check valve in the exhaust, leave the exhaust valve alone. Instead, remove the engine camshaft, and have a second lobe added to the cam, exhaust side. You can have this done professionally, or do as I have done - make a cam lobe out of brass, by brazing up the surface of the cam, opposite the original cam lobe, and reprofile the braze to the same profile as original. (I used a profile I made from a paper plate, of the original lobe. The exhaust valve spring should be replaced woth a weak spring, one that has enough tension to close the valve, but not wear out the cam. (in the case of the 5-S or 6-S B&S, I used an intake valve spring). You again are ready to go!

Maximum Effort - Looks neat on the B&S FI: This will work on all modern IC 4 cycle engines)
3)follow instructions on #s 1 & 2, with the following addition: Remove cam, and add second lobe to BOTH the intake, and exhaust valve lobes. Both valves will now be mechanically operated! Install weak springs on both valves, and remember to install spring check on exhaust. You are now set.

On the 3rd option, remove the check valve on the exhaust side. Now if you place pressure on either side of the engine/compresser - you now have an engine! The purpose of the check valve on option 2 &3, is to prevent the engine/compressor from motoring backwards, after power source has been shut down. It is already in place on option 1, you do not need to double check it.

WARNING - With all 3 versions, with a strong enough power source, these compressors can generate enough pressure to either blow the head off the compressor, or burst your resevoir! YOU MUST USE CAUTION, AND COMMON SENSE when using these conversions THEY ARE COMPRESSORS/MOTORS ONLY YOU MUST INSTALL OVER-PRESSURE SAFTY DEVICES (blow off valves, or intake shut-off pressure regulaters, to prevent injury.
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Old 05-21-2006, 02:43:25 PM
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Frank Douglas Frank Douglas is offline
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Default Re: Engine to Air Compressor

Andrew, thanks for the very detailed instructions. I may just continue to look for an old compressor pump. I think if I were to run across an FH or FI Briggs I would not want to make a compressor out of it.
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