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Old 07-04-2008, 02:06 PM
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Harbor Freight Compressor

I just bought the 90234 compressor from Harbor Freight. The guy who loaded it told me it was not a good idea to have it lay down in the trunk of the car, but said to get it out and upright as soon as possible... he said it has a " Liquid Filled Cylinder Head to maintain preassure "... this makes no sense to me.. is this possible? He also said not to run it for 48 hours.

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Old 07-04-2008, 02:36 PM
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Its an oil type compressor. Some oil could go past the ring(or rings?) and get into the cylinder, but I don't see it taking 48 hours to drain back.

Shane
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:35 PM
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dbl post................................
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:37 PM
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It is an oil lubricated compressor, but it is shipped dry. I was thinking along the same lines, but the fact it is shipped dry, rules that out
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:10 PM
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I filled the compressor with oil today and fired it up. It's a lot better than the Sears Companion 2hp, 8 gallon oilless compressor that I was using ( my dads ).. that thing got real hot quick and generated a lot of water ( water seperators were working overtime ).. this new 1 does not get even close to the same temp on the cyl head, recovers preassure much quicker, and it's a little quieter. I don't know what the harbor freight workers were saying about the cylinder head, it's working fine, and looking at the parts breakdown, there is no mention of the cylinder head being liquid filled.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:26 PM
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I think what they probably were talking about but had apparently misunderstood was oil draining into the head area from the crankcase. If you have to lay a compressor on it's side it is a good idea to drain the crankcase first and then after it is set up turn the pump (BEFORE the power is connected!!!) a few times by hand to make sure it is not oil locked. Since the oil will not compress the pump could be damaged if the motor tries to spin it with even a small amount of oil in the cylinder. They meant well and were partially right, at least the part about not laying the compressor on it's side but if it actually was completely dry there would have been nothing to worry about anyway.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:57 PM
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That's what I thought. I did went somewhere saturday, and put my Rambler in a carshow on sunday so waiting was ok..
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:52 AM
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Is this one of the little $99-$165 8-10 gallon compressors? It has a direct drive compressor (no belt) with a black housing covering the motor, natural finish compressor, motor and compressor all one neat unit.

If so, make sure the oil level is at the TOP of the red circle, NOT in the middle of it like most would require! I have one and ran it for a couple months before it locked up. I pulled the end before chunking it and found that the little oil slinger would barely touch the oil if the level was in the center of the red circle -- like the manual says. For kicks I tried turning the motor with a wrench on the fan end -- it freed right up and runs fine now. Apparently mine had got hot and tight enough that the motor wouldn't start it back up. That's one good thing about direct drive -- takes a good bit of power to get it started (but runs on low power afterwards)! I just keep the oil level at the top of the red circle. Would have never known had I not pulled the end off! Might be a factory defect on mine (slinger not long enough), but I doubt it. I know at least one other person who didn't get much service from his. I was using mine on a construction project though, so it was running a lot on occasion driving my nail gun. No, I'm not a contractor -- just doing some remodeling projects on my own. I ran it all day for only a couple days in a row on 3-4 occasions though, the last when the compressor locked up.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:56 AM
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Farna, That's the kind of info we need here and you may (probably!) saved someone's compressor. What has most likely happened is that the manual was meant to tell you to use the top of the circle but it got lost in the translation, sometimes those books are comical to read with their version of the English language.

Thanks again for the heads up!
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:06 AM
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mine is a little above the red circle.. it is the 4hp 10 gallon model.. I was at Lowes or Home Depot the other day and saw a Campbell Hausfeild compressor with the same pump. the preassure switch was the same too, with the pull up for on rather than the lever that most portable compressors have...


on the other hand, today just b4 I came in I noticed the cylinder head leaking out of the front bottom seal.. I'm going to call and see what they have to say.. more than likely they will send me a new head gasket set
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Old 09-27-2012, 11:41 AM
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Check the piston head, especially if you have not changed oil

I'm having a lot of problems with the HF 90234 model. First, the amperage wasn't sufficient to get it started. That would trip the onboard breaker. I moved it to another circuit and that solved the starting problem.

Now, it trips before getting to max-pressure. I'm running a plasma cutter, so I need plenty of reliable airflow.

I disassembled the piston head to see if it was clogged with residue. Yup. Thick and gooey. I pulled it all apart and re-assembled without difficulty. Also changed the oil. I also read that I should have changed the oil soon after running it for a few weeks. So, that would have probably minimized the build-up.

But, now it is still not reaching max-pressure before the onboard breaker trips. There's plenty of airflow, and the head only reaches 150 Deg F.

Any ideas why it's tripping? Maybe the motor is overheating? Maybe a bad breaker?
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jurban View Post
I'm having a lot of problems with the HF 90234 model. First, the amperage wasn't sufficient to get it started. That would trip the onboard breaker. I moved it to another circuit and that solved the starting problem.

Now, it trips before getting to max-pressure. I'm running a plasma cutter, so I need plenty of reliable airflow.

I disassembled the piston head to see if it was clogged with residue. Yup. Thick and gooey. I pulled it all apart and re-assembled without difficulty. Also changed the oil. I also read that I should have changed the oil soon after running it for a few weeks. So, that would have probably minimized the build-up.

But, now it is still not reaching max-pressure before the onboard breaker trips. There's plenty of airflow, and the head only reaches 150 Deg F.

Any ideas why it's tripping? Maybe the motor is overheating? Maybe a bad breaker?



First thing you need to do is check the AMPs while running when it kicks the breaker, without doing that anything suggested would just be a guess. Using a meter you need to check to be sure the AMPs do not exceed the rating on the motor data plate and in fact it ideally should be slightly less. It could be a breaker/wiring or it could be the pump or the motor but whatever until you determine the current draw it's mostly just a guessing game. A few things you could do is check to see if the motor is getting hot? Is the wiring correctly sized and is it getting hot?
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:19 PM
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Mine had a capacitor meltdown which caused it to go thermal before getting up to pressure.. Replaced it and it's fine.
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:12 AM
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to jurban

I was running my plasma without a new water seperator and it damaged about $ 100 in parts real quick. I now have a motor guard water filter and plan on making a large unit from a old 5 gal propane tank and kitty litter as I read a while back here on HR>
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