Air Compressor Maintenance? - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Air Compressor Maintenance?

Anybody do regular maintenance on their air compressor? I've never read anything about it but it's got a piston and the only lubrication is what it came with so it's got to wear down/out.

My (2-1/2 year old) Smittybilt 2781 now takes about 5-1/2 minutes to air up one tire from 18 psi to 38 psi where I think it used to be around 3 to 3-1/2 minutes. The power wire is also nearly too hot to touch running on continuous duty to air up 4 tires, it's 10ga and less than 5 feet (mounted in front of the radiator), which should be able to handle the load. My fuse holder is also starting to melt and it's the AGU type.

I'm about to redo the wiring with ground direct to the battery, switch from fuse holder to circuit breaker, and take the compressor apart to lube but wanted to see if I've just missed something.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 02:21 AM
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 11:19 AM
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a) it's a sh1ttybuilt ;-) not gonna get a ton of quality outta that
b) if the power wire is getting that hot, and the fuse is frickin' melting....you need to stop using that ASAP & pull the wiring. It's drawing too much power for that gauge wire.
c) airing up 4 tires +20PSI each continuously....is pushing that compressor hard IMO. that needs to cool down after 2 tires i'll bet.

if ya plan on running a compressor like that...then get a high quality one designed for that. like an ARB or VIAIR


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 02:19 PM
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Looks like your compressor has a max draw of 45A.
http://www.smittybilt.com/docs/installation/2781.pdf

Looking at the chart here:
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/1437
I'd pick 6 AWG. Since you said you plan to redo the wiring anyway.

I don't think they sell rebuild kits, just expect you to buy a whole new one.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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@Surf and Snow
Will do

@JOSX2
It's actually been a very dependable unit. The duty cycle for it is supposed to be 40 mins at 40 psi and when I first got it, it ran like a champ.

I've gone from the MV50 to the 2781 so the ARB CKMTA12 is next in line. Was hoping to wait until I got the front locker to do the CKMTA12.

@29erClan
Thanks for posting that. Most of the charts I looked at said 10ga was more than enough to handle 50a at less than 5 feet. I guess 6ga it is.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-30-2017, 02:51 PM
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I can recommend these guys for wire. Quality stuff at a reasonable price.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F282122204278
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 07:56 PM
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Could always install a relay (recommend but be sure it is rated accordingly as most auto types only go to 20 amp) directly to battery, which will lessen the length of power wire...DC loses voltage relatively quick with regard to distance .

Is that amperage starting or constant? Thinking the latter but if not, check the starting amps as often it is much higher for motors.

Be sure you ground well, also with regard to awg and connection (clean, unpainted surface, solid to frame, etc.)

As for maintenance, just check you hoses and its connections...if using a tank, DRAIN it after each use...otherwise, if nobtank (direct) consider a condensate trap so it doesn't sit in hose, etc...the oil less compressors are pretty much maintenance free. Oil lubed are much better and more efficient/powerful same hp motor, but have not seen those used on these little dc units.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, @Longboardr. I'll take a look at them.

@JNR
This past weekend, I moved the ground from a crowded ground point directly to the battery and the pressure was strong enough to blow the pressure relief so that was a good thing. Curious as to why that wasn't an issue before but maybe the ground point got less effective as I added more circuits.

I'm a little confused by the amp draw. It comes with a 30a fuse but I looked up specs again and max amp draw is 45a. I'm also thinking my fuse holder was beginning to melt due to a loose wire/fuse/fuse holder connection, which had developed at some point.

The compressor is my project for this weekend so we'll see what comes up. Thanks for the input.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 01:16 AM
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I second the recommendation for the TemCo wires, I use their 4AWG myself and that works great running from the front all the way to the area above the rear passenger wheel well where my compressor is permanently mounted. Are you sure you are running the Smittybilt 2781 and not the 2780? I have used both and the 2780 has a 30A fuse whereas the 2781 has a 40A breaker installed. I remember looking at reviews for both, that people were recommending lubricating the piston with a thermal conductive grease to reduce friction and get the highest output and lifespan from them. I have to pull apart the cargo area again and check my compressor soon. Like you, I have noticed the air up times have gotten longer and longer. I used to be able to air up 2 sets of 4 tires from 18 to 40 PSI with no problems, but now, I get a thermal protection trip at 6 tires (some of my friends are too cheap to buy their own compressors). I am thinking of using this grease https://www.amazon.com/Super-Lube-92...superlube+ptfe I am going to install my antenna tuner at the same time since I will have everything pulled apart.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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@LNXPenguin
Hey Walter, I cut off the wiring when I first got the compressor and I don't remember what was on there so I was going off what Smittybilt lists on their site for the 2781 for fuse. Thanks for clearing that up because I was really staring to question why I would've put in a 50a fuse if it was 30a to begin with.

Curious to see what you come up with since your mounting location is very protected and your wire gauge is way more than enough. For some reason, I remember the 2781 not being as friendly to take apart as the MV50 so I want to address all other possibilities first before taking it apart.
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