Of all the places to be stranded, I suppose there's really no better place to be stuck than Ames, IA. Steve, maybe you have some ideas on this one...you're around here somewhere.
The air compressor on The Silver Snail seems to be intermittently locking up. Due to lack of any other ideas, I am electing to have it replaced. It's going to run about $800 I imagine by the time it's all said and done...plus the time and expense of missing two days of school and work for me and the rest of the family. But here's what it's doing...or not doing...maybe someone knows something out there.
The compressor is a Bendix TU FLO 501. There is a PC NO of 106401 on it, and a hard to read SER NO. I think the SER NO is G0887T, but it's tough to make out. Occassionally, the compressor will lock up. The pulley just freezes. It seems to happen at low RPMs, like after I let the bus warm up and I try to drive away. It's only happened once when I was traveling at low speeds in town. I was able to shut it down, restart, and it was fine the rest of the trip. Yesterday, it was at it's worst. I drove from Ames to Waverly, IA and back (to get a sweet set of heated leather seats). The Snail was fine. Got the family all loaded up from the hotel (can't wait until we get the conversion done...no more hotels!). I pulled around the corner and it locked up...screaming belts and all. I pulled over and let it sit for awhile. Tried restarting, but it was still locked up. Waited longer...about an hour went by then it was fine enough to move to the truck stop...where it locked up again. A mechanic came out and said it needed to be replaced. After two hours of phone calls trying to find a replacement, we decided that we had a couple of things to do in town, and thought it might make it. We got four miles down the road, and it did it again. After another hour, it was fine...for 30 feet. Now The Snail sits at Super Wally World in Ames. Grrr....
The part should be in tomorrow morning. It should be a two hour job and we "should" be on the road by mid afternoon.
I talked to my Dad and another friend who thought it might be pressure not being relieved properly somewhere between the tank and compressor. Neither of them are familiar with this kind of a set up, but they both thought the same thing...somehow the compressor is seeing an overload and shutting itself down. Why is doesn't go into "freewheel" mode, I don't know...other than it hasn't built to 125 psi yet.
Any ideas? I mean, the damage is done, but I'd like to know what's going on...and how badly I'm getting screwed on the deal. I know that I am, but there's not much I can do at this point. Thanks in advance.