Engines > Restoration of Model Engines

Reconditioning a Stuart Compressor/Vacuum Pump

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I have just started a refurb of this eBay bought Stuart compressor; it has sat under my bench for a while.

- The engine seem to be coated in a thick black slimey gloop which smelled of old engine oil, some vigorous activity with a wire brush and washing up liquid made quite a difference. (before/after pic)

- I then started to dismantle the beast and happened upon some interesting anomalies; see if you can spot odd 'bolt' out from the ones in the picture?  ;)
- I took the top a cover off and discovered 2 flat disks; these are apparently the valves, but it looked like they had never had the recessed portion machined to hold the springs in place (see the diagram)?

- I started to machine 2 new valves to spec, when I discovered the valve cover recesses had not been machined to spec  :wallbang: so with minutes to spare before my lathe was loaded onto the back of a truck and put in storage for 4 months, I just managed to machine another set to fit!

I am learning why buying pieces from eBay comes with its own issues compared to machining from scratch.............

Charles Lamont:
A pristine kit of castings for one of these sold on ebay two days ago for just over 300. I wanted it, but not badly enough.

Yeah, I know, that was me, apologies........................

I have not yet received it and agree, it was a bit too pricey, however when you look at the price of new Stuart castings, they can be rather eye watering too. I had never seen an unmachined set of compressor castings and caught auction fever. I promised my wife I would sell the one I'm fixing up atm in order to fund the castings  ;D

My heart is in machining and building not reconditioning, but with no workshop at the moment, this keeps me occupied and is a welcome distraction from work

Charles Lamont:
Considering, as you say, the price of new kits and the rarity of the compressor castings, I thought the price you paid was not far out. At least mine was not the penultimate bid, so you can't blame me. Looking forward to the build.

Carried on with the dismantling and clean up operation today; its great to see how one of these is put together before I machine my own. I found 2 gaskets above and below the valve plate, but no mention or indication of these in drawings; I'm guessing these were added to give a good seal.

Weirdly they appear almost metallic in appearance and feel, but maybe that's what they look like after many many years? The crankshaft rotates wonderfully and the pistons have really tight seal against the cylinders.

Oh yeah I love the little extensions to splash the oil about!  :)


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