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Old 03-05-2010, 07:17 PM
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Oil for air compressor pump?

Looking through the manual for my air compressor it mentions maintenance and oil change times but it don't say what type or weight of oil to use.

Do air compressor pumps use a special oil, Or normal motor oil?
If motor oil, Would their be any benefits or issues with the use of synthetics such as Mobil-1? And What weight is best to use?

FYI: The pump is a single stage 3-cyl unit, 5HP, 14.7CFM @90psi (rated)


BONUS QUESTION: My compressor has a 80 gallon tank but only has a 3/8" outlet. The 3/8" threaded outlet is on a large (3-4") screw in plug like most compressors have. Can I drill and tap the 3/8" hole in the pulg for a larger 1/2" or 3/4" outlet? Or anyone know where I could buy a plug with a larger outlet?

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Old 03-05-2010, 08:05 PM
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We have an OLD quincy 325 at work that have run the piss out of (bought used 25-30 years ago, ran 12-18 hours a day constantly, has worn out 2 gas engines and 2 electric motors) and we use regular motor oil in it. It has mobile 1 synthetic in it right now i'm pretty sure. Forgot what weight tho, and i'm the one that put the oil in it! lol.

They make a special oil for compressor pumps, but myself id just use some non detergent 30wt.

As for the bushings you are asking about any GOOD hardware store should have them, if not you can get them at an industrial supply place, like grainger or something.
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Old 03-05-2010, 08:15 PM
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compressor oil is non detergent 30 weight
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:11 PM
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Just plain SAE 30 not like 10w-30 or 5w-30? Forgive me I stuiped when it comes to knowloge about oil weights. None of it makes since to me.

The mobil-1 you have, Is it the normal mobil-1 synthetic or the mobil-1 conventional?


Last year I bought a one owner 94 LT1/ZF6 Corvette. The orignal owner always used mobil-1 synthetic 5w-30 since new. It had 122,000 miles on the stock motor when I got it. At 127K miles I bought a aftermarket performance intake manifold for it and some roller rockers. When I pulled the old intake off I was completly blown away. The lifter valley, and under the valve covers looked 100% brand new. It honestly looked like someone had poured a new quart of oil in a brand new motor. The synthetic oil I had in the car had over 4000 miles on it and it still looked like new oil. I could even read all the casting numbers. Not one single place had sludge. No sludge anywhere at all.

Before this happed I was against synthetics. I could not justify the price vs normal oil that last just as long. But after seeing this 14 year old engine with 127,000 miles, look brand new inside it sold me on synthetics. Mostly mobil-1 synthetic.

BUT how well would synthetic oil work in a air compressor pump? Im wondering if the synthetic would be too thin for the pump and blow by the pistons and cause it to spit oil out the valves in to the tank and air line.


The compressor is a remanufactured Kobalt unit sold by Northern tool under the name Morgan. (BTW It's a top notch comprssor, 240v 5hp, 14.7cfm @90, 3-cyl single stage pump and 80-gallon tank etc for $499)
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:11 PM
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Some use 20w non-detergent.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:35 PM
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Usually 30 wt non detergent I would call manufacturer?
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithkustoms
Just plain SAE 30 not like 10w-30 or 5w-30? Forgive me I stuiped when it comes to knowloge about oil weights. None of it makes since to me.

The mobil-1 you have, Is it the normal mobil-1 synthetic or the mobil-1 conventional?


Last year I bought a one owner 94 LT1/ZF6 Corvette. The orignal owner always used mobil-1 synthetic 5w-30 since new. It had 122,000 miles on the stock motor when I got it. At 127K miles I bought a aftermarket performance intake manifold for it and some roller rockers. When I pulled the old intake off I was completly blown away. The lifter valley, and under the valve covers looked 100% brand new. It honestly looked like someone had poured a new quart of oil in a brand new motor. The synthetic oil I had in the car had over 4000 miles on it and it still looked like new oil. I could even read all the casting numbers. Not one single place had sludge. No sludge anywhere at all.

Before this happed I was against synthetics. I could not justify the price vs normal oil that last just as long. But after seeing this 14 year old engine with 127,000 miles, look brand new inside it sold me on synthetics. Mostly mobil-1 synthetic.

BUT how well would synthetic oil work in a air compressor pump? Im wondering if the synthetic would be too thin for the pump and blow by the pistons and cause it to spit oil out the valves in to the tank and air line.


The compressor is a remanufactured Kobalt unit sold by Northern tool under the name Morgan. (BTW It's a top notch comprssor, 240v 5hp, 14.7cfm @90, 3-cyl single stage pump and 80-gallon tank etc for $499)
A 30 weight oil has the same viscosity doesn't make a difference if it is synthetic or conventional. Synthetics can withstand the extremes better than conventional oils.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:22 PM
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AFA what I'm able to tell, it's the detergents that cause carbon fouling of the valves of a compressed air pump.

I don't know of a synthetic motor oil w/o detergents, but then I've not looked for any.

IR sells a decent oil for the purpose. Ingersoll Rand T 30 Select.

FWIW, 20W non-detregent is what is specified for my portable Craftsman. It's been in use w/o issues for about 25 years now.
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithkustoms
Looking through the manual for my air compressor it mentions maintenance and oil change times but it don't say what type or weight of oil to use.

Do air compressor pumps use a special oil, Or normal motor oil?
If motor oil, Would their be any benefits or issues with the use of synthetics such as Mobil-1? And What weight is best to use?
My compressor oil says:

ISO-100 non-detergent compressor oil
(Do not use regular motor oil such as 10w-30 as it will cause carbon fouling, premature wear, and shorten the compressor life.)

...so use compressor oil. You can get it at a tractor supply store where I got mine and maybe even Wal-mart because they sell air compressors.

Edit: ISO not SAE

Last edited by Raufus; 03-06-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:16 PM
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and compressor oil is just non detergent 30 weight oil
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:21 PM
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Mine doesn't look like motor oil at all. It's almost clear. Why take chances?
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raufus
Mine doesn't look like motor oil at all. It's almost clear. Why take chances?
it is produced a little diffrent, don't think anybody knows what the real diffrences are, but there small and many compressors run with regular non detergent 30 weight.. and compressors have been around longer than 'compressor oil' has..

that said, I do use compressor oil in mine, but it's what came with the compressor when I bought it.. havn't gotten to a change interval yet

Last edited by matt167; 03-07-2010 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
and compressor oil is just non detergent 30 weight oil
I'm a retired compressor mechanic. We had a compressor manufacturer do a oil test and 30 w non detergent come out just the same as compressor oil. Don't worry about it being clear or looking like motor oil. Get the cheep stuff from checker etc. works just fine. If it runs all day you should change it every 3 months. Home owner, once a year is good.
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Old 03-14-2010, 06:11 AM
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Every three months????? I better change my oil.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
Every three months????? I better change my oil.
How many compressors are running w/the same oil in them that it was first filled with, I wonder?

Some people slay me w/their "set it and forget it" mentality.

Example:

Last Tuesday, I had brought out my lawn equipment to ready it for the upcoming season. I had neglected to change the oil in my push mower last fall- it hadn't been used but maybe three times, so I lazily had put it away as-was.

I had a pan of old oil sitting nearby and was refilling it when Don from next door idled up, beer in hand.

Nodded a greeting and continued my work. After about 5 minutes, he goes, "Watcha doin', Mark?"

I looked at him kinda funny, ans told him I was just sharpening some blades and changing the oil in the push mower.

Incredibly, he said- w/straight face, "You can do that?"

I like to have fell out. lol
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