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Buying a used compressor

metriccar

Plastic
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
tempe, az, usa
I have two choices: buy a "Husky" or whatever brand not known for high standards or buy a used Ingersol Rand. I found an ad for a 120 gallon Ingersol Rand that looks brand new, used as a backup, and he wants $1500 for it. They go for $2600 new. Or I can get a new 80 gallon for $1500. He says he can demonstrate that it works but unless it's just completely worn out of course it's going to turn on and compress some air. How would I go about really knowing this thing isn't worn out?
 

Pattnmaker

Stainless
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Location
Hamilton, Ontario
I have been considering a used compressor as well so I would love to hear some good responses. I would avoid the big box store compressors as their 7hp is less than a real 5hp. To me $1500 is high for a used compressor, I have been casually looking for a while now and have seen lots for less, but maybe the condition warrants the price?

I have a 5hp 2 stage compressor that is above the big box level but is not a top of the line brand (Air Boss). It is about 12 years old and I would be in trouble if it went offline. 90% of the time it is enough for me but running a CNC now it is running more often than I would like. As well I have one machine that I run occasionally that I have to stop and wait for the compressor to catch up while I am using it. This will be a problem if I am running the CNC at the same time.

I am thinking of going to look at a 15hp Quincy compressor that is 12 years old that is being replaced with a larger compressor at a new car dealer because they are expanding. I am of 2 minds here, if it is being replaced with a bigger compressor it might indicate it was running too much of the time, but it is a good brand and I would tend to think a new car dealer would take good care of it.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
When you buy a used compressor factor in the cost of parts and time to rebuild it into the price. Most 10-20 HP used recip compressors in worn but running shape go for around $500.

I like the QR series Quincys because they've been making them forever and they're as overbuilt as they come. I've paid $300-$400 each for quite a few of these over the years. I have about $1200 into my current shop compressor, a Quincy 350 with 7.5HP GE single phase motor, square D contactor and 120 tank plus a spare identical 350 pump if anything goes wrong I can swap pumps in a couple hours in an emergency.

IR's are a crapshoot. Older ones are good, newer ones are garbage. Other good names are Worthington and Saylor-Beall and several other less common good industrial pumps. Quincy's strike me as being the most common industrial recip compressors. They turn up used often and kind of run forever. or atleast 50 years.
 

metriccar

Plastic
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
tempe, az, usa
Yes, I'd be VERY concerned about buying a compressor from somoene "upgrading." Better reasons are shutting a business down or selling a backup like the one I have ... of course people can make stories up but this thing looks brand new. I looked at some where someone had one in his garage but unfortunately they're all a bit too small. That would be nice because I'm sure they don't get run as long as one in a shop. Thanks for the tip on Quincy. I checked and the only ones for sale are something I can't use, but they look older than dirt Guess they do last a long time.

There's nothing worse than seeing a good name go bad and as I get older I see it happen first hand. This isn't the first time I've heard that statement aboutIngersoll Rand.
 

PeteM

Diamond
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Location
West Coast, USA
A new Quincy 5hp piston compressor shouldn't be much more than $1500. Not sure what $1500 buys you in a used IR -- but the question may be how much air you really need? A true 5hp unit with an 80 gallon tank is enough for most one or two man shops, short of production bead blasting. You can run a sand/bead blaster, but really only be productive for occasional work.

Cheap compressors generally don't age well. Better ones will have easily replaceable valves etc.

You can check a used compressor to see how long it takes to come to pressure; thus roughly checking its condition. What's harder to do is know if there is rust in the tank, making it susceptible to catastrophic failure. You'd want to at least check the manufacturing date of the tank and carefully peer inside before spending $1500 on a used unit.
 

Bill D

Diamond
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Location
Modesto, CA USA
From my limited experience do not buy one from a wood shop with the intake filters removed. It was so worn out I could smell the oil in the air. The crankcase oil was as black as car oil. But I really only bought it for the tank and switch. The tank seems clean and rust free coming from Nevada with lots of oil inside to stop rust.
Even with it pumping so much oil the main crank bearings and pins seemed tight. I could probably have rebuilt it with new rings but it was a off brand no longer made. And I found a fresh rebuilt Quincy for not much more then a rebuild kit would have cost.
On the Quincy I adapted an oil bath air cleaner from a Gravely tractor.
Bill D.
 

metriccar

Plastic
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
tempe, az, usa
I don't see any QR-25's out there that are used. The Quincy QT-5 which goes for $2000 is supposedly lower end Quincy product and has a high 1730 RPM motor. Does anyone have any feedback on Chicago Pneumatic? I'm finding for the same price as a Quincy, I can get as much or more CFM, an aftercooler, magnetic starter and an automatic drain valve.
 

Garwood

Diamond
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Location
Oregon
I don't see any QR-25's out there that are used. The Quincy QT-5 which goes for $2000 is supposedly lower end Quincy product and has a high 1730 RPM motor. Does anyone have any feedback on Chicago Pneumatic? I'm finding for the same price as a Quincy, I can get as much or more CFM, an aftercooler, magnetic starter and an automatic drain valve.

Quincy doesn't put "QR-25" on their compressors, QR-25 is the series designation for their industrial compressor line. There are single stage and 2 stage versions.

QR-25's almost always have intake unloaders. The model number is on a plate riveted to the side of the compressor. If you don't have the plate info you can go by size, pulley diameter or weight. A 310 is one of the smallest (like a 1HP pump) and probably weighs 100 pounds. a 390 is the largest 2 cylinder and weighs around 600. Those weights are just for the pump, nothing else.

If you're looking for used compressors they aren't normally advertised as "quincy's" they will just say "industrial compressor" or the name of some compressor dealer that's on the tank, but if you know what you're looking for Quincy QR-25's are everywhere.

A 325 is the normal Quincy 5 HP QR-25, 370 is often seen with 7.5 and 10HP motors. 390's usually have 20-25 HP motors.

Many CNG compressors are converted Quincy QR-25's.

Near you here are some quincy's-

QUINCY INDUSTRIAL COMPRESSOR

Quincy Air Compressor

Quincy Air Compressor
 

metriccar

Plastic
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Location
tempe, az, usa
I'm going to the local Quincy dealer tomorrow and picking up a QT-5 80 gallon. The one in Poway CA looks nice but it's in another state and I simply don't have the time/length of downtime it would take to potentially restore/fix issues an old compressor may have. A Quincy 325 80 gallon is close to $4000 new these days. The cheapest pressure lubed 80 gallon I saw was online for $2800 delivered. A 325 would be nice but I'm just setting up operations and can't have a disproportionate amount invested in the cost of my compressor. I was really considering a Schrader or Chicago Pneumatic for about the same price as a Quincy but I really need to get this machine up and running and with them being in stock locally and the Quincy name I may be better off. The Schrader doesn't even come with a warranty for industrial applications which was a real turn off. The Chicago Pneumatic had a 2 year warranty, but had different opinons on the web (though I think a lot of people may confuse them with the Harbor Freight brands). Thanks for your help!
 

BobRenz

Stainless
Joined
Jun 30, 2012
Location
Minnesota, USA
Compressor manufacturers now run their machines at higher speeds than they used to, which equates to shorter compressor life and reduced efficiency. I have two IR Type 30 air compressors that are probably from the 1960's / 70's. Each uses 1800 RPM motors versus the 3600 RPM that are common today, and each was basically in good shape when I bought them.

My smallest is a 2 HP with a 60 gallon receiver. I bought it for $ 100 with a bad motor. While I was at it, I tore down the pump, honed the cylinders, ground the valve plate, and installed new valves. It is my base compressor, and handles chip blowing just fine.

If it can't keep up, the 5 HP Type 30 kicks in. This compressor was in excellent shape when I bought it - price was $ 900. It also got a basic overhaul with new valves.

I don't know how parts availability is for new compressors, but every part I needed was in stock at the IR dealer, plus available on line from various suppliers.

IMHO, you are far better off buying a used quality compressor than buying an oddball brand, plus an older compressor runs slower, which means higher efficiency plus longer operating life. Slower compressors also deliver cooler compressed air.
 








 
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