degreasing with air compressor?

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DickB
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degreasing with air compressor?

Postby DickB » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:26 am

Too many tires around here going flat, too many needing topping up. So, going to get a small air compressor that I can carry around, plug in, and get to it. Wondering, since there'll be a new toy to mess around with, about cleaning the tractor with some kinds of attachments. There are spray gun like attachments that spray all sorts of things. But I don't know one from the next. And, what kind of fluid to use? Also, once I used a liquid de-greaser and it took the paint off with it. I'd like something that leaves the paint on!

Would like to spray/air hose the Cub after a day in the field (or, now, a winter of plowing snow...and an early spring of hauling away brush and bringing firewood to the house). I kind of miss that once in 5 years look of a clean Cub. A note: it isn't just the engine that I'd like to clean up but the grease from fittings that stray to many many places, attract dust and dirt.

Send me in the right direction, please....

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Dale Finch » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:46 am

I bought a cheap compressor from Harbor Freight last year, though I normally avoid tools from them...you get what you pay for...

However, my jump box/compressor combo had begun to fail, and I had a rear tire that needed air (and yes, I HAVE pumped one up with a bicycle pump...ugh!) So, with a coupon in hand I bought the little guy for around $39, and have been fairly happy with it. It's light enough for me to tote around.

That having been said, I don't think one that small would be good for blowing things off, unless it is a small area you are doing, like the radiator, or small nooks and crannies. If the rear tire is flat, it takes a few "refills" of the compressor tank to accomplish pumping the tire up.

And the curly "tubing" they sell with it is a PITA to use...but it is light, so I haven't swapped it out!
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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby ricky racer » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:25 am

I would discourage a "small" air compressor that you can carry around if you are planning on using it for anything more than airing up an occasional tire or maybe running a nail gun. Trying to use a small portable compressor for anything else will find you constantly waiting for it to "catch up" so you'll have the air pressure you'll need. Using the compressor for blowing off your Cub or using any tools requires a larger tank to store air and a higher output compressor so it can supply the CFM they require.

A separate mobile air tank for transporting air is the hot setup for carrying air to remote locations.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Waif » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:55 am

Compressed air has lots of uses.
I've smoked a few little compressors , and am running one now with a small tank. (When I get enough ambition to drag it out of the shed..)
Use a bicycle pump the most.
A large storage tank reservoir and a eighty to a hundred pounds steady air beats the little set ups hands down. Otherwise it is like digging a hole with a teaspoon.

De-greasing with compressed air makes a mess. That grease has to land somewhere... Often it is not where desired .
There is some risk of driving grit/sand/debris into places grease keeps a barrier on too.

That said I have used compressed air on equipment to clean grease and sand/dirt off industrial equipment.
That flying grease (and dirt) though makes a mess.

Grease zerks can be wiped clean with a rag after applying grease. There is argument of leaving grease to defend the zerk from infiltration or corrosion of the ball seal , but I've not found a problem with keeping them wiped after use.
Most (not all) seals and bearings and bearing surfaces does not need the old grease flushed out. If such a spot does , again rag off excess.

There are seals that too much grease can damage from pressure.
Speed bearing turns can factor too. A fast turning bearing does better with more frequent lubing and less lube during application.
However , purpose and manufacturer recommendations should be considered.

An air gun with a wand is useful. They can be made of copper tubing and bent to custom shape. Remove nozzle on short gun and replace with fittings and copper line for longer reach.

Beware of safety issues such as wearing safety glasses ,a face shield is not bad with them . Gloves . A hat saves wearing grease on your head...
Don't drive air into your skin. That's not good.
A small hole bored back a quarter inch or a little more from wand tip gives a pressure release if the tip is too close to resistance.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby seahaul » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:06 am

I find the best way to clean a tractor is with a pressure washer or just a water hose with spray nozzle. For really dirty areas, spray on a degreaser first. Just avoid spraying directly onto electrical parts.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Eugene » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:37 am

DickB wrote:Too many tires around here going flat, too many needing topping up.
I use a tire sealant for tractor fronts and trailer tires because of the black locust thorns.

Tool chest in the shop, one small drawer has valve cores, valve core removal tools, and tire pressure gauges. Leaking valve cores are a common cause for low or flat tires.

Agree that solvent and a pressure sprayer would be the way to degrease equipment.

I use the large shop air compressor to blow off debris. When we plumbed the shop for the air compressor we placed outlets near the large exterior doors. 100 feet of air hose and we can debris equipment away from the shop and it's contained equipment.
I have an excuse. CRS.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Jim Becker » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:31 am

Good suggestions down the line. When I was moving, I got an "inexpensive" small compressor from Northern Tool so I would have air at the new location before I moved my big compressor. It came with break-in instructions to start by running it valve open for some period of time, maybe 20 minutes, before pressurizing the tank. It seized before that time was up. A replacement has been OK. Somewhere along the line, I found that particular model consisted of Home Depot warranty returns that had been repaired. Since completing the move, it has stayed in the attached garage for airing up car tires and such. I still use an old converted freon tank for portable air.

Most degreasing solvents are hard on paint. Many that don't strip the paint off will take a lot of the color out. I have found a multi-step procedure is usually best for degreasing while minimizing the mess created in the clean-up area.
1) If it is caked on, scrape the worst off with a putty knife. It stays relatively dry and can be swept up to throw in the trash.
2) Use a spray bottle to soak the grime with a fairly concentrated mixture (50-50 or so) of Simple Green. Simple Green is advertised more as a cleaner than a degreaser. It doesn't have the caustic ingredients you find in most "degreasers" but is packaged in a pretty concentrated form. I'm sure there are other brands that are similar, this is just one that I have used. Before I started using this, I had used 409 cleaner, which seems to be less concentrated.
3) Spray it off with a water hose. Hot water is more effective if readily available. ( pressure washer would be more effective, but not mandatory)
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 on problem areas if needed.

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hayrake, rope pull
variety of cultivators
Wagner WM-1 bucket loader
rear carrier -- homemade
Location: Berkshire hills

Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby DickB » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:12 am

Well, thank you, guys. It is a one job tool: filling up tires. Not much else except drying things quickly, chasing dust bunnies around the shop....

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Urbish » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:22 am

I used one of these filled with strong detergent to clean/degrease with some success. It might fulfill the need you have.

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https://www.amazon.com/Tornador-Car-Cleaning-Tool-Z-010/dp/B0024J6JMI
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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby tnestell » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:48 am

Jim Becker wrote:
Most degreasing solvents are hard on paint. Many that don't strip the paint off will take a lot of the color out. I have found a multi-step procedure is usually best for degreasing while minimizing the mess created in the clean-up area.
1) If it is caked on, scrape the worst off with a putty knife. It stays relatively dry and can be swept up to throw in the trash.
2) Use a spray bottle to soak the grime with a fairly concentrated mixture (50-50 or so) of Simple Green. Simple Green is advertised more as a cleaner than a degreaser. It doesn't have the caustic ingredients you find in most "degreasers" but is packaged in a pretty concentrated form.
3) Spray it off with a water hose. Hot water is more effective if readily available. ( pressure washer would be more effective, but not mandatory)
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 on problem areas if needed.


Same method that I use.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Don McCombs » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:24 am

tnestell wrote:
Jim Becker wrote:
... scrape the worst off with a putty knife...

Use a plastic one, if you're trying to preserve the paint.
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DickB
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Tractors Owned: 1955 Cub Fast Hitch
sickle bar
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harrows
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manure spreader
hayrake, rope pull
variety of cultivators
Wagner WM-1 bucket loader
rear carrier -- homemade
Location: Berkshire hills

Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby DickB » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:45 am

It seems that the tiny (6gal., 2.6SCFM) air compressor I'll get is great for tires. Won't drive that Tornador jobbie. But thanks for the idea.

The Simple Green product is new to me. I"ll look into it. And such unique tools as a scrub brush, a bucket, a rag. I'm really pleased to learn about it since I don't appreciate seeing paint disappear when cleaning up.

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Re: degreasing with air compressor?

Postby Jim Becker » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:22 pm

Don McCombs wrote:
tnestell wrote:
Jim Becker wrote:
... scrape the worst off with a putty knife...

Use a plastic one, if you're trying to preserve the paint.

Good point.

Sometimes a putty knife, whatever it is made of, will take off good sized sheets of paint. When that happens I assume that paint was about to come off no matter what.

Another detail I forgot, lay a big piece of cardboard under the area you are working on. Then periodically you can just pick it up, fold it (precreased) into a vee and dump the scrapings into the trash.


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