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Air Compressor Made From Tractor Engine
Richard Jackson, Weldon, Iowa, made an air compressor out of a tractor engine, using about $800 worth of old equipment and replacement parts. "It does everything an $8,000 commercial compressor can do," he says.
Jackson made his compressor using a 2-cyl. engine from a John Deere B tractor, bought at a salvage yard for $100. The air tank is a 100 lb. used propane tank. It's powered by a 7.5 hp electric motor valued at $350.
He and his sons made the conversion in their farm shop. The biggest change was reverse grinding of the engine valves and replacement of the engine head with a steel plate. They had to buy a bleed-off valve and brass safety valve.
Jackson selected a Deere engine because it has bigger pistons with a longer stroke and more air capacity. The engine runs at 650 rpm and can develop 250 psi of air pressure. It's equipped with a magnetic switch that turns on at 160 psi and off at 195 psi.
"You might be able to do this with a car engine, but it wouldn't be as good because the cylinders have less capacity," says Jackson. "You could also use a bigger air tank. It could easily be a portable unit but we mounted ours stationary in the shop where all the work is done. It does all the usual jobs of cleaning out tractor engines, combines, grain drills, etc., and it runs a 3/4 inch air wrench, air drill, air chisel, and paint sprayer."

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1