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Optimax air compressor catastrophic failure & teardown

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Optimax air compressor catastrophic failure & teardown

Old 07-27-2020, 08:04 PM
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Default Optimax air compressor catastrophic failure & teardown

Came off plane Saturday morning to check out a possible fishing spot. Started hearing a squeaking noise. Shut down the port motor as it seemed to come from that side. No noise, restart motor and now the noise is more like marbles in a can. Just turned it off, looked at my wife and said "that sounded expensive" . Then started putting lines in the water might as well try the spot! Did mediocre got 4 keeper walleye then went in to diagnose..

Got back and pulled air compressor apart after some basic troubleshooting, wasn't happy to see a mangled connecting rod with no bearing left in it. My assumption is the conrod bearing failed and it went kaboom from there. Now I think I need to replace the con rod in the other motors compressor. Seems easy enough to disassemble any tips?

Must have caught it just in time minimal oil on output side, and the bore is in good shape, only scored in one small spot. At least cleaning the air system should be easy I don't think much got past.









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Old 07-27-2020, 08:21 PM
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That sucks , it’s a Known issue with optimax , I believe you have to clean the whole fuel rail and injectors because metal could have entered fuel system. I was told to check my air compressor pulley every so often , if there is any movement it’s starting to go bad.
Old 07-27-2020, 11:07 PM
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Yeah that sucks. What year motors and how many hours?
Old 07-27-2020, 11:43 PM
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Well, your not gunna like this answer, mostly likely gunna be expensive. SOP for AC failure is replace AC with latest part # version, not rebuild, don't thing individual parts
are available any way. Send the complete fuel injection system out for cleaning and flow testing of direct injectors. Might as well have the fuel injectors checked to, their the
easiest to clean and cheapest part of the system to replace. The hoses and rails need to be disassembled, inspected, then scrubbed absolutely clean, then cleaned some more. The problem is the direct injectors, they can only do so much to get them clean and flowing. If they don't flow, they need to be replaced, @ ~$400.00/ea.
You see all that gray oily paste those chunks are sitting in, that's the fine metal particles that have been blown into your direct injectors, the chunky stuff isn't the problem.
Failure to clean the FI system after an AC failure, Id say a power head failure is in your future. Now, the next question is how to proceed with your other motor?
Break Out Another Thousand.
Old 07-28-2020, 02:37 AM
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There are also 2 Small Oil Line Filters that need to be changed.Oil lines cleaned..More than likely it overheated. There is a Cooling Water strainer that needs to be ckecked/cleaned..These get clogged and restrict Cooling to the Air Compressor.
Old 07-28-2020, 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted by vern2010 View Post
Well, your not gunna like this answer, mostly likely gunna be expensive. SOP for AC failure is replace AC with latest part # version, not rebuild, don't thing individual parts
are available any way. Send the complete fuel injection system out for cleaning and flow testing of direct injectors. Might as well have the fuel injectors checked to, their the
easiest to clean and cheapest part of the system to replace. The hoses and rails need to be disassembled, inspected, then scrubbed absolutely clean, then cleaned some more. The problem is the direct injectors, they can only do so much to get them clean and flowing. If they don't flow, they need to be replaced, @ ~$400.00/ea.
You see all that gray oily paste those chunks are sitting in, that's the fine metal particles that have been blown into your direct injectors, the chunky stuff isn't the problem.
Failure to clean the FI system after an AC failure, Id say a power head failure is in your future. Now, the next question is how to proceed with your other motor?
Break Out Another Thousand.
Pretty much describes the fix...been there...luckily it was during the warranty.
Old 07-28-2020, 03:56 AM
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The foam Insulation on the cowling degrades overtime turns into dust and can clog the filter also
Old 07-28-2020, 04:23 AM
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Yes. This is a maintenance part to change out. It wasn't designed to last the life of the motor.

Glad you saved the motor! Love the newer optis!
Old 07-28-2020, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by OldSouth View Post
Yeah that sucks. What year motors and how many hours?
2009 with 850 hours. Strainer was checked it was not clogged. Cleaning air system is today but it doesn't look like much contamination if any output side of pump was cleaner than expected. Con rods with bearings are eighty some dollars so the other motor will gets its compressor rebuilt with a new rod and seals. This one gets the new black compressor.
Old 07-28-2020, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by vern2010 View Post
Well, your not gunna like this answer, mostly likely gunna be expensive. SOP for AC failure is replace AC with latest part # version, not rebuild, don't thing individual parts
are available any way. Send the complete fuel injection system out for cleaning and flow testing of direct injectors. Might as well have the fuel injectors checked to, their the
easiest to clean and cheapest part of the system to replace. The hoses and rails need to be disassembled, inspected, then scrubbed absolutely clean, then cleaned some more. The problem is the direct injectors, they can only do so much to get them clean and flowing. If they don't flow, they need to be replaced, @ ~$400.00/ea.
You see all that gray oily paste those chunks are sitting in, that's the fine metal particles that have been blown into your direct injectors, the chunky stuff isn't the problem.
Failure to clean the FI system after an AC failure, Id say a power head failure is in your future. Now, the next question is how to proceed with your other motor?
Break Out Another Thousand.
I never mentioned a rebuild except on the one that still works, already had a new compressor on order by the time I posted this. Yes some parts are available I already ordered a conrod for the "good" compressor. As I mentioned in my original post air output side was cleaner than expected must have caught this just as it failed.Still cleaning it but haven't seen anything there first hose was clean.
Old 07-28-2020, 10:56 AM
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Air Compressor Disassembly/Reassembly (Model Year 2003 and Newer)
IMPORTANT: If an internal failure of the air compressor has occurred, i.e. broken
reed, scuffed piston, bearing failure, etc. – all air hoses, fuel rails and injectors
should be disassembled and inspected for metal debris. Failure to remove all metal
debris will result in poor performance and/or powerhead failure.

The above is a cut and paste from the Merc FSM. I missed the air/oil filters, and strainer, good catch yall, cut and paste from FSM below.

Air Compressor Oil Filter Maintenance
1. Replace the two air compressor in-line return oil filters when either of the following
occurs:
a. Normal maintenance schedule at 300 hours of operation or three years, whichever
occurs first.
b. Failure of any air compressor component.
IMPORTANT: The filter is marked with an arrow denoting direction of flow of oil and
should be installed accordingly. Replacement oil filters may be supplied with the
flange at either end of oil flow direction arrow.

I don't know your plans, run these motors another 10yrs or a soon repower. Long term max life, replace both AC, send both FI for service, install fiber reed valves.
Repower in a couple yrs, spend the minuium, run them till they pop.

















Old 07-28-2020, 12:24 PM
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My compressor has had a little play in the compressor pulley since I have owned it. It is a 2013 powerhead with the updated compressor design. Have I just got lucky so far? It has around 300 hours on it.
Old 07-28-2020, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by amcfall View Post
2009 with 850 hours. Strainer was checked it was not clogged. Cleaning air system is today but it doesn't look like much contamination if any output side of pump was cleaner than expected. Con rods with bearings are eighty some dollars so the other motor will gets its compressor rebuilt with a new rod and seals. This one gets the new black compressor.
Definitely a good idea to rebuild the other one. Good luck I hope it turns out OK and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Old 07-28-2020, 04:43 PM
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Don't forget to do an oil pump prime or you'll lose the powerhead - also you'll need to bleed the oil tank on the engine

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