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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sad :(

This is the email i just ended up sending to Gloria @ Air Zenith about my compressor problems. Pictures below.

CAN YOU GUYS HELP ME to figure out what i could have possibly done wrong to make my compressors (the good ones) fail so much? I honestly cannot understand it, i have tried to rack my brain to think of anything but have come up with just ****ty luck or ****tier luck.


Hi Gloria,

You have taken care of me in the past, one of my compressor heads failed and destroyed the cylinder wall so i sent it back to you for parts.

Just today i decided to check on my compressors (i have 3 of them) and there is more bad news.

Compressor 1 - I caught it before the cylinder walls were torn up too much, but it took a nick out of the piston and there are metal shavings in the casing. This must have jammed the piston hard because i cannot even get the piston/counterweight off of the motor assembly, i removed the bolt that holds the counterweight assembly onto the motor and it was mashed up on the head so i cannot even just use one of the piston rebuild kits that i got from you guys.

If that wasn't enough compressor number 2 failed as well. I noticed this last week and took it apart and found the piston ring again was toast. Cylinder walls were fine on this one so i threw on a rebuild kit that i got from you, but again the counterweight assembly screw that holds it all on the shaft of the motor was all stripped and the head was mashed. I took a look at the motor shaft and there was noticable gouges out of it, so i thought that i could just put a dab of JB weld on to fill the hold and then i could fasten it back on. Still wouldn't work, it pumped, but almost zero volume with absolutely no pressure so i took it apart again to send back to you guys this week anyways.

Compressor 3 - this one i decided to run on its own, it is really struggling to reach 200psi, it seems to hit about 170 and then slows to a snails pace. I think it had a thermal trip about 5 minutes ago when i tried to run it to fill my tank, so i'm not going to be running it anymore and I would like to send it back or something, i'm hesitant and don't even want to open it up at all just for warranty issues alone.


Now i have a few questions, is there something I am doing personally to make these fail? I have mounted all 3 of them on a metal frame, and used rubber mounts on that frame to prevent vibration transfers. I used proper gauges or wires throughout my entire install etc. I just don't understand what i'm doing wrong for these compressors to all fail like this.

This is a link to my build thread for my airride system, it should give you any pictures that you require of my setup and how i have run things: http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?5585113-A-very-technical-build-PART-II

Could you please discuss internally and see if there is something you or I could do here? I'm at a complete loss for what to do, i want to fix the problem so it doesn't keep happening when i send compressors back to get rebuilt.

Thanks a lot, if you have any questions or want to discuss via phone my number is XXX-XXX-XXXX

Sean Clements



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wow, sux man. Keep this updated to what they say. I am in the process of switching to 2 ob2's and and interested in how they handle the customer service. good luck
 

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are your compressors isolated from each other? I am just throwing out some ideas here, but if one compressor is running it will vibrate the other two as they are mounted on the same rail. Maybe that vibration at start up of the other compressors is causing the damage. If all three were mounted with seperate issolaters would the problem persist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
are your compressors isolated from each other? I am just throwing out some ideas here, but if one compressor is running it will vibrate the other two as they are mounted on the same rail. Maybe that vibration at start up of the other compressors is causing the damage. If all three were mounted with seperate issolaters would the problem persist?
True, the compressors each have their own rubber feet, and the frame hardly shakes when the compressors are running (used to be running). I thought of that too but i'm not convinced that its a problem
 

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Yikes dude, sorry to see this!

I've never seen anything like this from AZ before, I hope its an isolated incident.
seems that the AZ compressors never have issues...that being said, and the nature of your build i would tend to lean towards your isolated mounting system.

there could be some value into exploring the harmonics associated with running the 3 compressors that are all solid mounted to a frame that is then isolated. it has been years since i have worked with vibration/harmonics, however i know there are some very odd phenomenon that can occur (multiple "orders" of vibrations caused by different things); this seems particularly curious that all of the compressors mounted together like that, now they have all had some sort of failure before and now again.

that being said, have you ever thought bout "flipping" the middle one? in theory that is going to counter act the harmonic of all three compressors turning the same direction.

might be worth a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yikes dude, sorry to see this!

I've never seen anything like this from AZ before, I hope its an isolated incident.
Thanks for the comment, i hope its an isolated incident as well.

seems that the AZ compressors never have issues...that being said, and the nature of your build i would tend to lean towards your isolated mounting system.

there could be some value into exploring the harmonics associated with running the 3 compressors that are all solid mounted to a frame that is then isolated. it has been years since i have worked with vibration/harmonics, however i know there are some very odd phenomenon that can occur (multiple "orders" of vibrations caused by different things); this seems particularly curious that all of the compressors mounted together like that, now they have all had some sort of failure before and now again.

that being said, have you ever thought bout "flipping" the middle one? in theory that is going to counter act the harmonic of all three compressors turning the same direction.

might be worth a shot.
That is true, harmonics do play funny games on rotating equipments. I might have to mount each compressor individually with its own isolation frame....

Another idea i had was that I live up here in Calgary. -40 degree weather is common, and lets just say i used my airride a ton this winter, compressors would turn on 2 or 3 times per day, heat up then cool down then heat up then cool down etc. You think that played a factor in this as well?
 

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Thanks for the comment, i hope its an isolated incident as well.



That is true, harmonics do play funny games on rotating equipments. I might have to mount each compressor individually with its own isolation frame....

Another idea i had was that I live up here in Calgary. -40 degree weather is common, and lets just say i used my airride a ton this winter, compressors would turn on 2 or 3 times per day, heat up then cool down then heat up then cool down etc. You think that played a factor in this as well?
i would think temp would play less of a role than vibration/harmonics would; depending on your plan of action to repair the damaged units, i would either begin with staggering them or isolating each compressor, the latter being the best option, but not sure what your time frame and situation is with relying on this vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am currently just filling the tanks via air compressor i have at home via an inflation valve. The compressors will be out this weekend and i might as well start building new frames before the new comps arrive...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ordered a bunch of new smaller vibration mounts, a few different styles too so i will see what i like the looks/feel of and the good thing is i can even stack them on top of each other if i need/want more isolation :p



on top of soft durometer these

 

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Ive tried, no response yet.

Also i don't think that the torque/lack of torque is an issue. The frame is pretty solidly mounted, doesn't move around at all during operation
okay, interested to hear if they say anything...i looked on the AZ site and didnt really have much in regards to mounting the unit. i would just be interested to know what/if there would be any added effects of additional deflection? i almost feel like this was a
"perfect storm" scenario; all comps rotating the same direction, then the added dampening could have effectively had them all out of balance and basically tearing themselves apart...

...in case you cant tell im slow at work today, so i have been pondering this :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It very well could have been the perfect storm scenario :(

Also i can't flip one of them because it wouldn't fit so the only thing i can do is isolate them a bit further, but them again whats to say that the sheet metal won't do the exact same thing as the frame has done??
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Heard back from Gloria!

I'm going to send all 3 compressors down to the states to Air Zenith for them to assess the damages/what could have been the cause. 2 of them are still in warranty, 1 of them is a few months out :(
Oh well, i will probably have to buy 1 new one, i hope they have white in their stocks still :D
 

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Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time believing these compressors are failing due to vibration.

I'm thinking more along the lines of an electrical issue here. I would first check the motors amperage draw with a multimeter and compare that to air zenith's run load amperage rating on the one remaining compressor. If the amperage rating is above their accepted range, there may be some sort of bearing failure causing complete motor failure. I'm also curious if you may have blown a capacitor. How certain are you that your compressors are receiving "clean", consistent, acceptable power?

I'm also thinking that running three motors in a confined space is asking for trouble in terms of heat.

Just a few thoughts. I am by no means an electric motor or compressor expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt. :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time believing these compressors are failing due to vibration.

I'm thinking more along the lines of an electrical issue here. I would first check the motors amperage draw with a multimeter and compare that to air zenith's run load amperage rating on the one remaining compressor. If the amperage rating is above their accepted range, there may be some sort of bearing failure causing complete motor failure. I'm also curious if you may have blown a capacitor. How certain are you that your compressors are receiving "clean", consistent, acceptable power?

I'm also thinking that running three motors in a confined space is asking for trouble in terms of heat.

Just a few thoughts. I am by no means an electric motor or compressor expert, so take my advice with a grain of salt. :laugh:
Thanks for the reply here.

All the compressors have always been run above 12V, usually closer to 13V when all 3 of them are on, when 2 of them are on they have always been at 13.5V or higher so i can't see voltage/amperage being a problem.

They never used to get extremely hot, used to be cool to the touch. Now only the head gets hot, the motors are cool still except from conductive heat from the head so i don't think there is any motor problems here.

To combat this motor/overheating issue i also included 3 cooling fans that pull cool air from the trunk and are aimed at the compressors, dealing 30cfm or something and even in the summer i used to be able to fill the tank then open the trunk/floor and they wouldn't even be hot.

Thanks for the thoughts, i will see what they say about it when they bench test the motors next week :thumbup:
 
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