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Ingersoll Rand 3-R-36 info and parts needed

beezerbill

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/10/2019
Hi All,

I just picked up an Ingersoll Rand 3-R-36 compressor. I would like to find an operation and parts / repair manual for this thing. I also need to find a power cylinder for it as one of mine has a badly rust-pitted bore. The bore is standard.

Also, does anyone have any history on this model compressor? Why did IR choose this radial format? It is a very interesting design - I assume the designer may have been slightly mad. I like designs like this.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
The 3 R-36 is a very interesting machine. I have taken mine to shows and it gets stares every time! There is a short U tube of it, the location posted in another post here on the Stak. If you need operational details, I can probably help. As for parts - virtually impossible to find unless someone is parting one out. I tried contacting I-R many times about my unit, called 3 regional and one national center and all told me they never built the thing! I finally talked to an old timer that worked in the Phillipsburgh, NJ I-R factory, and he told me that when IR went to computerized data, all obsolete machines were not included. To them (I-R), if it isn't in the computer, it does not exist. Unless you can find an old compressor shop that has NOS parts, finding a junker with salvagable parts is your only option. Parts from the 3 R-30 ARE NOT interchangeable with the 36, although similar in apearance, they are 2 completely different units!

How is the condition of the rings and piston? If servicable, perhaps you could have the cylinder flame spray filled, and re-bored to original specs. Costly, but if you cannot find another one, may be an option. The cylinder is too thin to sleeve. You probably can match up a set of rings to fit the piston. For gaskets, you probably will have to make your own, except for the head gasket. Perhaps you can send a used one to Olesons gaskets and have them make you a set.

What mag is on your unit? Earlier units used an Eismann, later used a WICO. They are not interchangeable directly - the gears are different. Parts for the E mag are very hard to find, the WICO fairly easy.

Things to watch - make sure valve clearances are set to spec. Critical clearance, as .002" makes huge difference in performance. Keep an eye on head bolt nuts - they tend to loosen up over time. They need to be 'tight'. I can find no torque spec for the unit. The unit has minimal head cooling fins - a design fault that leads to the head nuts backing off and eventual head gasket failure, due to the excess heat build up. The unit takes SAE 20 NON detergent oil. Change at every 20 hours operation. If you have completely torn down your unit, have all parts cleaned out and use SAE 20 detergent oil. NO multigrade, and especially NO 'Energy Saving' marked oil. Plain SAE 30 is too thick, and 'Energy Saving' oil does not contain the high pressure lubricants demanded by this machine. This unit is not a lawn mower, it is a precision built machine and has special demands.

It must be level when running. SAE 20 oil above 40 F., SAE 10 above 0 F., and SAE 0 below 0 F. . High Test gas only. Engine should not be idled for long term, it WILL overheat! Check oil level every time you fill the gas tank. If you run constantly, it will use about 4 gallons in 6 to 7 hours, more if heavily loaded. It must be kept clean - try to keep it free of debris and grease.

A few years ago a fellow Staker sent me a copy of the operaters manual for my unit. If I find his name, I will post it, or you can look in the stak Archives and find other posts about the 3 R-36.

Some facts: The 3 R-30 and 36 were built for compact design, to be lightweight (2 men could carry it), and to be able to be used in remote locations. If you look under the fuel tank, you will see what looks like a piece of 3/4" pipe mounted to the block. A bar went thru this mount and stuck out the sides. This allowed it (the machine) to be carried by 2 men, or the factory also sold a carrier that resembled a wheelbarrow frame to support the unit, that had a wheel on it. A spare air reservoir was also available, but I have not seen one in person. The compressors were mainly used by railroads, for track maintainance, the logging industry and for mining. The 36 could run up to 3 jackhammers or nail drivers at one time, or run a pneumatic saw or any other air powered machine that did not need more air than the machine could deliver. The 3 R-36 delivered 36 CFM at 125 PSI, the 3 R-30, 30 CFM at 95 PSI. There was a code to the model #. 3 = 3 cylinders. R = Radial engine. 30 or 36 = CFM delivered by the unit. The radial engine is similar in shape to an airplane radial, shares some designs, but is not the same. Similarities: like an airplane radial, it has a common crankpin, master conrod and slave rods. It uses forced oiling. Differences: the cam arrangement is entirely different - an airplane engine has a ring geared cam, with lobes that operate the valves. The I-R engine has a cam for each cylinder. The push rods come off the lifters vertical (over and under) and change to horizontal (side by side) within the cover tube. YOU MUST only use the rope starter provided on the engine. If you try and start with a driver (drill, electric motor etc., you stand a chance of stripping the starter gears and possibly the crankshaft cam gear as well.

As for the designer - except for the cooling of the heads, it was well thought out, and even with the cooling defeciency, if well maintained, these units gave good service life. They were made from the late '30s until the late 1950s. My unit came from the NY central RR, and I was told, was in service form somewhere in the early 1940s until the 1970s. Conrail and NJ transit RRs used them into the 1980s! If your unit has the ID tag, it will have the build location on it. So far I have seen units from: NY, NY, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, and Phillipsburgh, NJ. If anyone has another build point, please post. As far as I know, there is no S/N build date list.:(
Andrew
 

John Newman Jr.

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
01/10/2019
For the price of an e-mail address I can send you a PDF copy of the manual/parts list.
If you don't want your e-mail address in public, send me a PM.
The unit I have also came from the NYC RR.
I too need a power cylinder, head & piston. Mine appears to have had water freeze in this cylinder. The head is split where it bolted to the cylinder. The cylinder has very bad rust pitting at the top and the piston top is eroded down to the first ring groove.
 

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Dempster

Registered
I've seen some of them were ex railroad or construction use they were mounted on a skid unit with sandblaster pot on them too. Most I've seen had the American Bosch MRD 6/3 mag on them it's easy to get parts for it and the Wico yet. Fires every other one using 3 and put sealing wax or silicone in the other 3 towers just regular 6 cylinder dist cap nothing special about it. The impulse drive and gear are special for them though. Spring loaded impulse trip dogs because of the way the mag mounts. Fixed mags & carbs for several of them over the years but as many of them around now. Wico easy to get parts for yet and Edison Splitdorf can still find parts for them I have some and they aren't that hard to find for the RM mags.
 

beezerbill

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/10/2019
How is the condition of the rings and piston? If servicable, perhaps you could have the cylinder flame spray filled, and re-bored to original specs. Costly, but if you cannot find another one, may be an option. The cylinder is too thin to sleeve. You probably can match up a set of rings to fit the piston. For gaskets, you probably will have to make your own, except for the head gasket. Perhaps you can send a used one to Olesons gaskets and have them make you a set.

What mag is on your unit? Earlier units used an Eismann, later used a WICO. They are not interchangeable directly - the gears are different. Parts for the E mag are very hard to find, the WICO fairly easy.
Fortunately the piston and perhaps the rings are OK. Also, the unit came with some extra engine and compressor pistons with rings and even an extra set of rods with one slave rod cut off with a torch. I was considering sleeving the cylinder but you are right, it does seem kind of thin. If I cannot come across another cylinder I may have to build this one up and rebore it, or bore it slightly oversize and make up a piston for it (something I have never done). Worst case - I suppose I could turn an entire cylinder out of a chunk of cast iron - also sounds ambitious. The rest of the innards look fine - some light scoring on the other cylinders and a bit of wear on the crank pin but not so bad that I can't just put it together and run it. I may be able to reuse the head gaskets. The tag shows "NEW YORK NY" so I assume it was built there. There is another tag welded to the base that has "SPO 1555" on it - I assume that is the company that ran it. Right now I am going through the process of cleaning up all the parts - years worth of heavy industrial grime!
 
For the price of an e-mail address I can send you a PDF copy of the manual/parts list.
If you don't want your e-mail address in public, send me a PM.
The unit I have also came from the NYC RR.
I too need a power cylinder, head & piston. Mine appears to have had water freeze in this cylinder. The head is split where it bolted to the cylinder. The cylinder has very bad rust pitting at the top and the piston top is eroded down to the first ring groove.
I purchased four of these compressors a few years ago along with several cases of parts.I got them from an estate and they all seem to be in a state of restoration.At some point I would love to start on this project and a manual would be a Godsend.My email is imhowlong@gmail.com Thanks in advance.
 

John Newman Jr.

Subscriber
Age
64
Last Subscription Date
01/10/2019
Due to a catastrophic computer death some time ago, I no longer have the file for the 3-R-36 manual. If one of the fellows that got a copy from me would be willing to share , I could use a new copy too.
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
I am now looking for parts for my 3 R-36. I have always needed a rope starter, but now a new need has come up. A STUPID woman driver decided to cut in behind me in a line of trafic. Unfortunately, my trailer, with the 3 R-36 on it, was already occupying the space:rant: :mad: She bent up the passenger side fender, bent the wheel and nearly knocked the compressor off the bed of the trailer. I say nearly with reservations - the trailer side rail wedged between the fuel tank and the compressor side intake manifold, as the compressor was knocked over on its side from the impact, collapsing one of the copper manifold runners nearly flat. i dont see any way of trying to open the passage, unless i cut the manifols and try to braze in a new piece of copper tube. SOOOO - does anyone have an intake manifold for the compressor side of a 3 R-36? It bolts to the 3 compressor cylinders via brazed flanges, and the 3 runners are them brazed to a common collar that fits on top of the carburetor. The air filter then sets on top of that collar, filtering air for both the engine and the air side of the unit. Thanks in advance, Andrew
 

CoolOldEngines

Registered
Hey folks,
After today I am no longer a SmokStak posting to the forum Virgin. I just picked up a 3R-36 that was promised to me for over 15 years now. The Old Timer never got it to run after removing the Fairbanks-Morse mag for some reason or another and installed it out of time. So after an exhausted search of timing marks , firing order and manuals or someone talking about it in a post I decided to jump in an try it out myself. The first try it blew smoke out of one exhaust and I thought I had it done the first attempt. Then the second pull of the rope backfired through the intake and caught the little trough around the intake on fire which would not blow out easily because of the heavy oil-fuel mixture I wanted to use as it had been sitting around for so long. Figured I must have missed the timing a tooth or two. So out with the mag again.
So I had only one really good compression cylinder and two weak ones. Which made me think it was my engine and not my mag timing. After six or seven more pulls with the rope it was pull the mag out time once again. By that time it was after sunset and got dark on me. Not being much of a quitter I kept on with the fight. After the third poke with the mag , switched two plug wires with another and one more pull of the rope it came life with a Monstrous Roar.
It threw fireflies of carbon sparks out of all three pipes for 5 minutes or so then really got smooth as it warmed up. I then decided to run a quart of two-stroke oil down the carb as it was running to loosen up anything that may have needed it. After five more minutes of that I switched the gas to back to super with no oil. Five more minutes of that and Wow that has to be one of the smoothest engines I own. Compared to my Rolls-Royce Viper 20201 that little engine compressor is an easy number two or three anyway.
After all said and done the 3R-36 Sprayed Fire, Sparks Smoke and really stinky air on all of the family and everyone at our engine starting outside Party we had going on.

Just thought I would share with everyone.

Like all the others that post here I would like some of the PDF manuals and literature that members may have.

Thank to All,
Jerry
 
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Nick Keough

Registered
Hi Guys,

We have just picked up a 3-R-36 which was going to scrap that we would love to get going. If someone would be able to send us through a copy of the manuals it would be appreciated.
Email is nick21189@hotmail.com

Regards
Nick
 

Keith claggett

Registered
Hi,I'm Casey. Just picked up a 3-R-30. Its been outside but roles over.no tank and one tube has a good dent,also the mag.cap is missing.anyone that has info would be great. Is it possible to make all cyl.fire to complete a radial motor?
 
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