Monday, June 23, 2008

Mercedes MBE Diesel Engine Air Compressor Cycles Too Often

We recently had a problem with a C2 School Bus that had a air system problem. The compressor was unloading every minute, discharging the air dryer. The compressor and air dryer were both doing their job. The air system build time was OK and the air dryer [fyi: filters the air and gets rid of moisture /oil] was doing it's part.

So we focused on an air leak in the unloader circuit. Getting back to basics the air compressor is controlled by the governor which cycles the compressor between 90 psi and 125 psi. This extends compressor life allowing it to cool and take the load off until the air system pressure drops back down to 90 psi.

Also to remove the moisture and oil residue the air dryer unloads at 125 psi as well spitting out the contaminants.
So eventually we found a leak at the unloading air line to the compressor head. The engine is a Mercedes MBE 900 and the compressor is made by Mercedes. The main problem was the fitting which is a push and lock style that leaked down fast enough to allow the unloading air pressure to drain off to atmosphere and cause the compressor to kick in and go through it's cycle once again. The advantage of having an air dryer is the fact that the abnormal discharge of air every minute is very obvious.
So once the part [Thomas # 001F/23-13301-412] was replaced everybody was happy again. So if you have a constant discharge of the air dryer way before it's time it's most likely an air leak in the unloader circuit for the compressor. I hope this mechanic information has helped you...


Matthew Bond said...

I have c-2 that is having a air problem, in cold temps. my air dryer sometimes will hang open w replace every part in the air dryer. When the air dryer is stuck open we pull the line from the governor and it stops. We are leaning towards the compressor having issues, the build back time is fine. Any info would be great.

John Whelan said...

I would check the air governor first. If the compressor is building air normally the governor might be faulty.