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Old 10-19-2012, 12:35 PM
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Default Air Compressor Oil - Calling Knowledgable Experts

I live in North Dakota. As you may suspect, it gets damned cold in the winter. My garage is only heated if I'm going to be working in there, so it's damned cold in there as well. My problem is that I might need fire up an air compressor for a quick tire air up, or something like that. I have a 30-gal, double cylinder upright and a 30-gal horizontal, also double cylinder. The oil gets so darned stiff in 'em that they trip the breakers trying to start. I have a magnetic heater on the upright and use a heat lamp to warm the crankcase on the horizontal IF I need both compressors. The heat lamp is not left on, unless I'm around to check on it. The magnetic heater is left on as it won't make anything too hot.
I wondered, would draining the oil and putting ATF in the cases be okay? Would the compresssors be lubed properly? I'd like to find a way to avoid the heaters.
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Last edited by Shopmonkey; 10-19-2012 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:04 PM
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try this see post #2

http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70

also see post #15

http://shopfloortalk.com/forums/show...t=35299&page=2
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Old 10-19-2012, 01:38 PM
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You can get a useable “pancake” oiless compressor at HF for less than $50.00
Mine is apx 18”x18”18” and a maybe 5 gal tank, also has an handle.
With an extension cord and 10 foot hose you could keep it under the stairs in the house.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:47 PM
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I used 15-40 in a compressor for 5 years with no ill effects, and started it without trouble in -30 regularly.
Shade says that is wrong, so I switched to Rarus 829. We will find out more this winter.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:09 PM
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See if you can find some 5W nondetergent oil..Straight mineral oil will work too. Just be sure to change it when the temp gets above 50 deg..
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:24 PM
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When I had that problem I used to block the intake with my hand and the compressor would start up no mater how cold it was. If it can't get air it can't compress air
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I used 15-40 in a compressor for 5 years with no ill effects, and started it without trouble in -30 regularly.
Shade says that is wrong, so I switched to Rarus 829. We will find out more this winter.
First choice would be a synthetic compressor lubricant,
Second choice would be a synthetic ATF.

True synthetics will have the best low temp performance.



Stay away from engine oil.

A "non detergent" motor oil is not really an engine oil...

My compressor is currently running a Non-detergent straight SAE 30
but my shop is heated so it is not an issue...
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:17 PM
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I have the same problem in NE Ohio. So i moved mine to my 24/7 heated basement and ran an air line to the garage...Bob
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:53 PM
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I'd get a portable holding tank for something like a tire. Not saying that solves the cold oil problem. Just gets that job done w/o any hassle.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:37 PM
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Well, I appreciate all the suggestions. The pancake compressor, stored in the house, and the portable air tank, of which I own two, are nice ideas. However, I want the compressor working so to use air tools, if need be. Thus, the question I posted in my op.
I was, mostly, concerned about the lubricating properties of ATF. I'm glad someone pointed out the fact that it doesn't keep crap suspended.
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