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Old 05-04-2013, 13:41   #1
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Crosby Engine Driven Compressor....

Hello All,

I am still trying to salvage my Crosby system. System seems to have small pinhole leak in copper tubing right where in enters bulkhead to freezer box in engine room. I have now replaced 110 motor, and 30 seconds after testing, compressor froze up. Refer tech said maybe oil leaked out of pinhole and now compressor seized. ( info that would have been good before testing new motor )
Does anybody know exactly what compressor this is? It is automotive type (AC Delco?) if I remember correctly. It's been painted so many times, I can't find any markings.
Tech is recommending something equivalent to fix-a-flat for copper tubing that you pump into system because he doesn't have room to braze without lighting boat on fire?
This is getting extremely discouraging, but at this point I should have a 35 year old Crosby system with all new components. (A saying about "flogging a dead horse" keeps coming to mind)
My questions are:
1. What model compressor I should buy to replace?
2. Does anybody have ideas about how I can repair copper lines without setting boat aflame?
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:35   #2
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

yourtruenorth1, Were you able to confirm compressor is frozen by trying to rock pulley back and fourth by hand. If there is some movement by hand the high pressure rotolock valve or receiver King valve may be closed. If compressor did lock up because of loss of oil 14 ounces of oil would make a very large mess. Before purchasing a new compressor make sure seawater from condenser cannot be found in compressor.

Before Crosby was acquired by Adler Barbour/International marine their engine drive compressors were heavy cast iron Tecumseh HT1000 units used mainly on Ford pickup trucks. Later boat refrigeration systems use the York aluminum compressor that has the same mounting bolts and same clutch. Currently the only new replacement York compressor is sold under the name Climate Control and may still be available from www.Rparts.com.

If pin hole in line is truly a pin hole and not a chafed area this would be caused by line interior corrosion with more holes to come. If this pin hole is in an open area it might be possible to cover it up with a refrigerant clamp on self piercing valve.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:43   #3
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

I agree with what Richard said regarding pinholes. If not caused by chafing, you could be chasing many more pinholes afterward. How long is the pipe and how hard would it be to just replace it? That would be the best repair. One thing that will work is using a compression union fitting after cutting the pipe in two where the pinhole is.
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Old 16-04-2013, 19:56   #4
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

Well, the compressor ended up being a Sanden 508, which I just got new one. Filled with oil, replaced copper tubing and dryer to start fresh, and blew air through expansion valve to test (air passed through). Vacuumed system, filled with gas, compressor is not turning.
I have ordered Richard's book, but so far waiting days to even be ok'd to use his forum and I have a tech that I'm paying to scratch his head with no answers. Something shut down my good old compressor, I bought a new one, and its doing the same thing. The old compressor could spin by hand, but I'm trying to jump start this old robust system, so if its even a question I'm replacing or rebuilding each component. The only thing original left is the tank surrounded by the condenser, and the 2 holdover plates.
Suggestions or ideas very appreciated!
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Old 16-04-2013, 20:34   #5
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

i feel your pain but took the cowards way out. my csy 37 came with the same crosby system you have. was told it is (or was) the 'rolls royce' of fridges.

but the techie said it would probably cost 2K to get it working again, so i said goodbye to it and installed an adler barbour instead. glad i did. don't really like the idea of having to run the engine every day just to cool down the fridge.
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Old 17-04-2013, 00:23   #6
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

Yes, I totally get your decision. Problem for me is I have the 44 w/o 21 cu ft, (7 cu ft each compartment, 2 fridge compartments sharing one holdover plate, and 1 freezer with its own) and I don't think any AB system can handle that. If I was going to spend mucho $, I'd rebuild boxes just the way they are with more efficient insulation, add another holdover plate to freezer, and run 2 frigoboat compressors with a keel cooler. Don't have that $ or time option right now so trying to buy a couple years with engine/110 system that's worked well for us. Not the most efficient but we're not cruising yet, just out for 10 days at a time max and motoring/topping house/heating water for 45 min every day the way we use the boat is fine for now.
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Old 17-04-2013, 08:20   #7
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Re: Crosby engine driven compressor....

yourtruenorth1, If you are saying Compressor will not run, then problem is electrical and not refrigerant flow. If there is electrical power to the single compressor magnetic clutch wire and compressor has a good ground compressor will run as confirmed by center of clutch turning.


Things that prevent compressor clutch from operating:
  • If the holding plates are already frozen by the electrical compressor system the engine driven refrigerant pressure will be very low do to low holding plate temperatures therefore clutch will not close, because it is not needed. The low pressure switch serves two purposes stops compressor when plate temperature is at its lowest and also prevents damage if compressor runs when it should not.
  • There are a series of switches that must be closed to supply 12 volts to compressor clutch. Each system design will be different so these switches may not be in any order. It is also possible there is an additional engine oil pressure switch to prevent clutch from drawing power when engine is not running. Power is generally supplied by a circuit breaker from there a single wire passes through a thermostat or a wind up timer, a high pressure switch and then through the low pressure switch before this single wire connects to clutch. To complete the circuit compressor must have a good ground connection. When all switches are closed magnetic clutch will snap closed.
  • If your system has separate controls for each box there may be separate thermostats for each box and solenoids to control refrigerant flow. Page 89 and 90 in DIY book show a typical engine drive clutch wiring system.
First check to see clutch has power to it and a good ground. If there is no current to clutch bypass each switch until you hear clutch snap closed. This test can be done without running engine. Whatever you do is do not run engine without the protection of high pressure switch as system can explode without high pressure protection.
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