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Can anyone help me identify this old US Divers/Luchard compressor?

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by cdncbr600rr, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. cdncbr600rr

    cdncbr600rr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pembroke
    10
    5
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    Hello All,

    I'm writing in regards to an old Luchard Compressor. I just found an old Luchard (US Divers) compressor that was sitting down the road in a older gentleman's barn. He was a diver 40 years ago and owned this compressor. His grandson was cleaning out the barn after he passed last month and just wanted everything gone. He gave me the compressor for $25 Cdn. I figured, "what the heck", even if it's not up to today's standards, some new seals (cut by moi), orings and nice epoxy finish along with a Lawrence Factor tower system should allow me to fill my re breather's bottles with E standard air fill quite handily. I'm wondering if anyone could tell me if this is a "Cyclone" or "Alize" based on looks and size measurements of key areas. Right now the data plate states that this is a "LUCHARD/US DIVERS" serial number 513. That's it, nothing else regarding model or size. Any insight you may have would be appreciated. I have a large number of photos, including closeups that show the compressor in detail. Let me know if anyone would like to have them sent directly to aid me in my quest. If no one has any ideas, no problem, these old pieces of equipment are sometimes hard to pinpoint.

    Follow link below to see compressor closeups!!

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1T7ocTAcsD-VuNkEk3VTQxea0b_KZqLiL

    Cheers,

    Elton
     
    captain and JamesBon92007 like this.
  2. regulator bj

    regulator bj Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: devon u.k.
    292
    77
    28
    With the help of your great photos, it appears to be a "Cyclone" circa 1964 which also featured in "Spiro" catalogues at the same time
    . CYCLONE SPIRO 1964.JPG1.JPG CYCLONE SPIRO 1964.JPG CYCLONE 1964.PNG
     
    cdncbr600rr and Sam Miller III like this.
  3. regulator bj

    regulator bj Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: devon u.k.
    292
    77
    28
    cdncbr600rr and Sam Miller III like this.
  4. TrimixToo

    TrimixToo Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York State
    988
    1,035
    93
    "d'entrainment a explosion" sounds like a train wreck. I'd go for the electric motor, myself.*

    More seriously, glad you found out what it was! Now the question becomes whether you can find parts for it. It is old enough, though, that maybe the parts themselves can be repaired at need.

    * Yes I know. It means "internal combustion." But it was too good to resist the multilingual pun...
     
    cdncbr600rr and rhwestfall like this.
  5. cdncbr600rr

    cdncbr600rr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pembroke
    10
    5
    3
    Mr Regulator, BJ

    You sir are an amazing wealth of knowledge. How you managed to find the catalogue and drawing are seriously blowing my mind. I've spent the better part of a month looking daily for some sort of lead on this compressor. Very happy to see that it is a Cyclone, I even received the gas engine with it, but thought it wasn't the original, turns out that it is. So this a complete unit from the 60's, right down to the original fill whip, gauge, engine and dolly. Now I'm thinking that I may take the time to really do an in depth overhaul and restoration. I have both a lathe and milling machine, so will be able to make parts if needed, as well as 37 degree flaring kit for stainless tubing. It's a piece of history that I'm thinking deserves some effort.
    I agree TrimixToo, that the electric is a better option simply because of less requirements to be met using a combustion engine that needs special consideration for fume control. I've got a 3.5HP single phase motor here that will fit perfectly. I'm going to restore the engine though for when I decide to retire this unit and keep it as a showpiece for the shop.
     
    Coztick likes this.
  6. Bryan@Vintage Double Hose

    Bryan@Vintage Double Hose Instructor, Scuba

    659
    776
    93
    @captain has a similar one and it's still running great. Hopefully he will see this and comment more.
     
  7. cdncbr600rr

    cdncbr600rr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pembroke
    10
    5
    3
    Hey Bryan,

    There was the magic key term, I plugged in "Captain cyclone dive compressor" and it took me to the post for Captain's compressor. That is a nice restoration. So I have a measure of what I will need to do to make it look and work great. I see that he put two sieve towers on as well. I'm going to go with the LF towers on the wall and use the original as a coalescing moisture/oil trap.

    luchard-h6-compressor-jpg.45961.jpg
     
  8. captain

    captain Captain

    8,983
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    Unfortunately parts have long been unavailable. US Divers stopped supporting it in the 70's and Luchard was bought out by CompAir of England I contacted them years ago and they also no longer provide support. Now they sell Bauer as their scuba line of compressors.
    These are very rugged compressors, all cast iron and they use copper gaskets in most places subject to high pressure that can be made. I probably have the only parts left in the world and I don't have every part so if you need something I may or may not have it. Tubing on it is metric but fasteners are imperial. The serial number on yours is lower than mine which is 4 digits but less than 2000.I have the original operator/service manual.
    The manual of the day said to use mineral oil of a certain viscosity but I have been using synthetic compressor oil since the early 70's.

    I re plumbed it with water separators on the 1st 2nd and 3 stage. and built an aluminum frame. The original steel frames were subject to cracking.
    DSC01438.JPG DSC01441.JPG
     
    cdncbr600rr likes this.
  9. captain

    captain Captain

    8,983
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    More to the story. I bought my compressor in 1968 from US Divers. The company I was working for in the 70's, Union Carbide Corp. had one to fill SCBA cylinders for their internal fire department. When parts became unavailable they put it up for sale and I bought it along with all the spare parts they did have.
     
    cdncbr600rr likes this.
  10. cdncbr600rr

    cdncbr600rr Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pembroke
    10
    5
    3
    Hey Cap,

    Any chance I could send you some dollars for a scanned copy of the manual. Your restoration looks phenomenal. With your manual and Mr Regs drawing, I should be able to restore my old girl to her glory days.
    Overall, she looks pretty good. I put the gas engine on her two hours ago and fired it up. She builds pressure with no apparent issues. So I'm torn on whether to do a full rebuild, or if she ain't broke, don't take apart, just make her pretty. I'm going to shine up the original filter, as mine is rusty, and do a repaint. But will probably flip a coin on whether or not she gets pulled apart for full rebuild.
    I'm going to use Bauer full synthetic for oil. I've got the tubing to do a replacement on that, so new tubing and paint plumbed into LF tower and that may be it for the first season. See how she holds up. Are you filling to 3000, or to 2600 PSI?

    Cheers,

    Elton
     

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