ARB Compressor running but not pressurizing. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
T-Jay
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ARB Compressor running but not pressurizing.

My ARB compressor turns on as expected when I hit the switch, but for some reason it seems to have stopped building pressure in its internal tank and the lines. It just runs and runs and doesn't stop.
The compressor is set up to run both front and rear ARB lockers, which it did without issue up until I parked the Jeep a couple months ago to stretch the body and frame.

After I completed the stretch my rear axle air line was too short, so I chased it through with a new line. Once I finished that I hit the compressor on and tried engaging the rear locker to check for air leaks at the new line I just pressed into the compressor fitting. I didn't feel or hear any leakage, but I noticed the compressor was not shutting off like it normally does. It just kept on running. There was also no high-pitched chirp coming from the solenoid valve when I disengaged the front and rear locker switches.

Next I put the Jeep up on jack stands and tried engaging both lockers just to confirm the absence of air pressure. As expected, they didn't engage. I even pulled the rear air line out of the compressor fitting and tried pressurizing against my thumb. I detected very little, almost no air pressure.

Bad compressor?


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post #2 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 06:03 AM
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While I suppose it is possible a compressor goes bad, I don't think it is common with those. If a problem arises it's very often the last thing you touched. In your case the lines. I'd be checking for leaks with a spray bottle of soapy water at the line connections to the solenoids and at the axle bulkhead fittings. If nothing there I'd see whether there is pressure coming out the axle breathers when the compressor is on. All pretty easy things to do. If that showed nothing, only then would I question the compressor.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by biffgnar
While I suppose it is possible a compressor goes bad, I don't think it is common with those. If a problem arises it's very often the last thing you touched. In your case the lines. I'd be checking for leaks with a spray bottle of soapy water at the line connections to the solenoids and at the axle bulkhead fittings. If nothing there I'd see whether there is pressure coming out the axle breathers when the compressor is on. All pretty easy things to do. If that showed nothing, only then would I question the compressor.
Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my description. I actually removed the rear locker air line from the solenoid fitting and let the compressor run with the rear locker switch actuated to see if I had air pressure at the fitting. There was very low air pressure there. I could barely feel it with my thumb over the opening in the solenoid fitting Almost none.

On the other hand, if I were to just let the compressor run and not actuate the locker switches, shouldn't the compressor tank fill up and shut itself off? That's what makes me think something is wrong with the compress itself.

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post #4 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Jay View Post
Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my description. I actually removed the rear locker air line from the solenoid fitting and let the compressor run with the rear locker switch actuated to see if I had air pressure at the fitting. There was very low air pressure there. I could barely feel it with my thumb over the opening in the solenoid fitting Almost none.

On the other hand, if I were to just let the compressor run and not actuate the locker switches, shouldn't the compressor tank fill up and shut itself off? That's what makes me think something is wrong with the compress itself.
Do you have a front locker, maybe the rear solenoid is blocked? If you have a front, see how it is behaving

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post #5 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Jay View Post
Maybe I wasn't clear enough in my description. I actually removed the rear locker air line from the solenoid fitting and let the compressor run with the rear locker switch actuated to see if I had air pressure at the fitting. There was very low air pressure there. I could barely feel it with my thumb over the opening in the solenoid fitting Almost none.

On the other hand, if I were to just let the compressor run and not actuate the locker switches, shouldn't the compressor tank fill up and shut itself off? That's what makes me think something is wrong with the compress itself.
Turn it on, spray it with soapy water everywhere, then do the thumb thing. That will tell you if you have a leak at the tank, head, or some place that isn't allowing it to build pressure. It would be exceptionally rare for the compressor to just die.

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post #6 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine
Turn it on, spray it with soapy water everywhere, then do the thumb thing. That will tell you if you have a leak at the tank, head, or some place that isn't allowing it to build pressure. It would be exceptionally rare for the compressor to just die.
Ok I'll give that a shot. Thanks.

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post #7 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 09:43 AM
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can you pull the line off right off the Air compressor and check for how much volume is moving there? if you got none right off the compressor its having issues if you have some just have to keep following it.

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post #8 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 11:41 AM
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Like Mr. Blaine said, spray it with soapy water and see where it's leaking. My old ARB compressor used to leak at the reservoir seal. Even after replacing the seal it would develop a leak there every season. I had good results getting it to completely seal up using some seal glide on the seal, but I had to take it apart and re-lube that seal every year.

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post #9 of 18 Old 05-24-2017, 02:34 PM
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You can isolate the compressor. Remove the line where it leaves the tank and put a gauge on it. Just an inexpensive one will do. If you don't want to spend the few dollars just put a plug on it. Either way the compressor should work ok. Your auto parts store probably has a gauge setup you can barrow or they will test it.
Once you isolate the compressor and it is ok then it had to be the lines or fittings.


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post #10 of 18 Old 05-25-2017, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Found the leak! https://youtu.be/tR_Q-kozgzA

First time I've ever been inside a compressor. What a mess! Is this "normal" WTH is all this white powder about? It literally poured out when I separated the tank from the compressor. There was a ton of sealant smeared all over the lip of the tank as well. It's been like this for at least 7 years now. Apparently a PO rig job.
image-2364670367.jpgimage-3454010193.jpg
image-3164915365.jpg


Also, the power connector was melted to the point that I broke it trying to separate the leads.
image-1580762650.jpg

Does anybody know where to get this O-ring? I was able to find an exploded view of what looks to be my compressor and a part#(160212)
No sign of it on eBay though.

image-462473024.jpgimage-664175392.jpgimage-4129470259.jpgimage-1899551374.jpg

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post #11 of 18 Old 05-25-2017, 03:15 AM
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ARB Compressor running but not pressurizing.

Can't really say much about the powdery stuff but the melted connector plug is quite common for the ARB units - I've modified a couple - cut the small blade ends off and solder the wires/heatshrink: seems to be a design flaw. Lots of current during initial pump draw (when pressure switch cycles pump on/off) combined with ****ty low-current connector fittings cause the blades to over-heat. My .02 worth


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post #12 of 18 Old 05-25-2017, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Jay View Post
Found the leak! https://youtu.be/tR_Q-kozgzA

First time I've ever been inside a compressor. What a mess! Is this "normal" WTH is all this white powder about? It literally poured out when I separated the tank from the compressor. There was a ton of sealant smeared all over the lip of the tank as well. It's been like this for at least 7 years now. Apparently a PO rig job.
Attachment 3332593Attachment 3332601
Attachment 3332617
The white stuff is oxidation from high moisture content air being stored in the tank. Clean it off and put it back together or use some aluminum paint on the interior to slow down the oxidation.


Quote:
Also, the power connector was melted to the point that I broke it trying to separate the leads.
Attachment 3332625
Never seen that and I've messed with a bunch of those compressors and am still using the one on my rig that I installed in 99. I do not live in a high humidity area though.

Quote:
Does anybody know where to get this O-ring? I was able to find an exploded view of what looks to be my compressor and a part#(160212)
No sign of it on eBay though.

Attachment 3332577Attachment 3332585Attachment 3332657Attachment 3332665
If it isn't cut all the way through, just clean up the groove with a fine wire brush, clean up the end of the tank, load the groove with an even layer of a good silicone RTV sealant, install the o-ring, another thin layer of RTV on it, and then bolt it back together after you put a bit of anti-seize on the bolt. Let the RTV cure and that will keep it going for another 10 years. At least it did on mine when it started leaking at the tank seal.

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post #13 of 18 Old 05-25-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine
The white stuff is oxidation from high moisture content air being stored in the tank. Clean it off and put it back together or use some aluminum paint on the interior to slow down the oxidation. Never seen that and I've messed with a bunch of those compressors and am still using the one on my rig that I installed in 99. I do not live in a high humidity area though. If it isn't cut all the way through, just clean up the groove with a fine wire brush, clean up the end of the tank, load the groove with an even layer of a good silicone RTV sealant, install the o-ring, another thin layer of RTV on it, and then bolt it back together after you put a bit of anti-seize on the bolt. Let the RTV cure and that will keep it going for another 10 years. At least it did on mine when it started leaking at the tank seal.
Ha! Exactly what I did this afternoon. Aside from the aluminum paint. I was thinking of it in terms of a temporary fix until I can find a new gasket but if you think I can get another 10 years out of it I guess I'll leave it alone. ;-) I spliced in a harness clip I had laying around from an old light bar too. This one's got a water seal And spears to be a bit higher quality. The wire gauge was about the same. I'll keep an eye on it and see if it deforms any. image-4041307084.jpg image-3760538940.jpg
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-26-2017, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Well, my original leak is air tight now. But it looks like I chased it to the next weakest seal. https://youtu.be/Iawt2yu0TUU

These 2 little bolts that hold the assembly together have some sort of hard possibly factory sealant on them. Is that worth breaking to open this up or should I just try and goop up the leak from outside with RTV? I'm thinking I should pull the bolts and get in there.
image-1346341138.jpg Being that it's after 2am ET back there in the States I figure I won't get any input on this until after I've done what I'm not 100% sure I should do but...what the hell. Live and learn. I'M GOING IN!

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post #15 of 18 Old 05-26-2017, 02:00 AM
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ARB Compressor running but not pressurizing.

Hmm im not sure that bit is supposed to be pressurized to be honest...how are the piston ring seals? When I pulled my unknown brand one recently, the seal had popped out of its groove and was sitting in the bottom of the assembly - had to modify the housing to get the 'big end' bearing off to be able to remove the piston to re-seat ring....pics for interest...oh and I flipped the reed valve cos it was ajar...maybe a simple fix for the ARB ?



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