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Repair Center  How to Replace the Head Gasket on an Air Compressor

Why Read This Article?

FOLLOW-AND-FIX: Step-by-step instructions and illustrations walk you through the entire repair process. KNOW MORE: Inflate your knowledge about related components while performing this repair. Know more repair facts; no more repair bills. REFRESH COMPRESSION: Restore pressure at a fraction of the cost of offsite repair.

Article Breakdown

Removing the Head Gasket ! Depressurize the tank. 1. Remove the manifold cover. 2. Remove the pump from the tank. 3. Remove the top handle. 4. Remove the rear housing cover. 5. Remove the pump from the housing. 6. Disassemble the pump. Rebuilding the Pump 7. Rebuild the compressor pump. Reassembling the Unit 8. Reinstall the pump into the housing. 9. Reinstall the rear housing cover. 10. Reinstall the top handle. 11. Reinstall the pump assembly. 12. Reinstall the manifold cover.

Video

Tools & Materials

Fix Factor: Easy Duration: 45 minutes Frequency: As necessary Tools Required: Phillip's screwdriver, flat-blade screwdriver, hex drivers, torque wrench, long-nosed pliers, ratchet/socket set

How to Replace the Head Gasket on an Air Compressor

November 19, 2014
Fixing things makes sense. This article will help you make sense of replacing the head gasket on an air compressor.
How to replace the head gasket on an air compressor THE FACTS | THE FIX | THE FINISH

If leaking seals and service bills are distressing your compressor, it's time to face the fix. While air compressors can be as diverse as the individuals that use them, most models share some general characteristics and components. Whether you are inflating your tires or creating empires, eReplacementParts.com provides the parts, procedures and facts you need to fearlessly fix what fails you.

The head gasket forms a seal between the cylinder head and the valve plate assembly on an air compressor. After years of use, the inner portion of the gasket may begin to deteriorate, resulting in a leak within the compressor pump. The gasket is also susceptible to incidental damage and should be inspected whenever the pump is serviced. Primary symptoms of a blown head gasket are the inability of the compressor to build or maintain pressure properly.

Less than impressed with your compressor? Replacing the head gasket may be the solution. This article will show you how to complete the repair with expert precision.   THE FACTS | THE FIX | THE FINISH ! DEPRESSURIZE THE AIR TANK.

Always depressurize the tank before servicing an air compressor. To do this, open the drain valve and wait until all of the air (and pressure) has escaped.

Depressurize the tank   REMOVING THE HEAD GASKET  [top] 1. Remove the manifold cover.

Remove the retaining screw.

Remove the manifold screw

 

Lift the manifold cover away from the unit.

Remove the manifold cover     2. Remove the pump assembly from the tank.

Remove the front retaining screw.

Remove front screw

 

Remove the rear retaining screw.

Remove rear screw

 

Slide the pump assembly to the side.

Slide assembly

 

Lift the pump assembly away from the tank.

Lift pump assembly

 

Position the pump assembly upon the isolator feet a flat work surface.

Set pump on feet     3. Remove the top handle.

Remove the two retaining screws.

Remove handle screws

 

Remove the top handle from the pump housing.

Remove top handle     4. Remove the rear pump housing cover.

Remove the three retaining screws.

Remove cover screws

 

Remove the rear pump housing cover.

Remove cover     5. Remove the pump from the housing. FIX TRIX: Make note of the original wiring configuration to simplify installation in later steps.

Use long-nosed pliers to disconnect the front wire from the field.

Disconnect wire

 

Use a flat-blade screwdriver to disconnect the ground wire from the pump.

Disconnect ground

 

Partially extract the pump from the housing to expose the rear wire connections.

Partially remove pump

 

Use long-nosed pliers to disconnect the rear wire from the field.

Disconnect rear wire

 

Rotate and slide the pump assembly away from the housing.

Remove the pump     6. Disassemble the pump.

Use a small socket wrench to loosen and extract the bolts from the cylinder head.

Loosen bolts

 

Remove the bolts from the cylinder head.

Remove bolts from head

 

Separate the pump and internal components from the cylinder head.

Separate pump components

 

  REBUILDING THE PUMP  [top] 7. Rebuild the compressor pump.

Align the cylinder gasket with the valve plate assembly. (The gasket should be seated against the side of the valve plate that contains the exposed valves).

Install gasket

 

Align the valve plate assembly (and cylinder gasket) with the compressor pump. (The cylinder gasket and the exposed valves should be facing the cylinder-side of the pump.)

Align valve plate

 

Align the new head gasket with the valve plate assembly.

Replace head gasket

 

Install the cylinder head.

Replace head

 

Install the head bolts.

Install head bolts

 

Torque the head bolts (in a crisscross pattern) to the specifications provided by the manufacturer of your specific manufacturer. (The torque specification for the Porter Cable compressor shown here is 49-55 inch-lbs.)

Torque the head bolts     REASSEMBLING THE UNIT  [top] 8. Reinstall the pump into the housing.

Partially install the pump into the housing.

Partially install pump

 

Reconnect the rear (white) wire to the field terminal.

Connect the rear wire

 

Align the feet on the compressor pump with the grooves in the housing and slide the pump fully into position within the housing.

Align feet and install pump

 

Reconnect the front (yellow) wire to the field terminal.

Reconnect front wire

 

Reconnect the ground (green) wire to the pump and secure it with the screw.

Reconnect ground wire     9. Reinstall the rear housing cover.

Install the rear portion of the pump housing.

Replace housing cover

 

Secure the housing cover with the three screws.

Secure housing cover     10. Reinstall the top handle.

Install the top handle to the pump housing.

Install top handle

 

Secure the top handle with the two screws.

Secure top handle     11. Reinstall the pump assembly.

Align the entire pump assembly with the compressor tank.

Align the pump

 

Slide the pump assembly into place upon the isolator feet.

Slide the pump into place

 

Secure the pump to the tank with the rear mounting screw.

Secure rear screw

 

Secure the pump to the tank with the front mounting screw.

Secure front screw     12. Reinstall the manifold cover.

Install the manifold cover.

Install manifold cover

 

Secure the manifold cover with the screw.

Secure manifold cover   THE FACTS | THE FIX | THE FINISH

A well-maintained air compressor can mean the difference between performance under pressure, and under-pressured performance. But you don't have to empty your pockets to keep your air tank full. As you just learned, repairing your air compressor is simpler than you think, especially when you follow our step-by-step guides. Not only did you refresh compression at a fraction of the cost of replacement; you have inflated your ability to fearlessly face the next fix, regardless of the pressure involved. Find your next fix here.   [top]

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