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Pratt-Read Air Motor Rebuild

Reference Materials

Sometimes there is no easy way to remove old bellows cloth because of the glue that was used to affix the cloth to the wood. This is just such a case. Every 'normal' method was tried before resorting to a mini butane torch and a sharp putty knife. It's painstaking work, but it doesn't damage the wood, and it gets the job done, albeit very slowly.

Series of pictures taken during the initial disassembly process.
Clicking on each picture will reveal the full size image.
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The pictures above are primarily for my own reference when I am putting the motor back together. Over the years, I have found that having such a reference helps to avoid errors in the order in which things go back together. However, they also show the condition of various aspects of the motor which might not be so obvious to the untrained eye. Primarily, the trained eye can see the various shadows on the sliding valve surface. They show quite clearly that the sliding valves were not making good contact with the block. This is apparent in the shadows and unevenness of the wear marks on the block and on the under side of the sliding valves. It was also found that the previous 'rebuilder' did not adhere to his own reference marks, as we see that sliding valve #3 is located in position #1. Further, and more disturbing to the professional rebuilder, are the reference marks inscribed into the visible surface of the block. While it is imperative that all parts of any device go back exactly where they came from, the reference marks must be placed such that they are not visible when the device is put back together.

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This page was last revised May 14, 2017 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
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