25th August
written by Todd Harrison

In this video I rebuild my Craftsman oil free air compressor for ~$47 USD. This is a ~12 year old compressor that could no longer get up to pressure and would have cost over $350 to replace. Well that was the cost over 12 years ago. I couldn’t find a 5 HP 30 gal model like this on the market anymore. The only 5HP models were over $1000 and more gallons.

You can also find another good Craftsman air compressor rebuild video of a smaller model here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUw7r0fJqIc

My compressor is a 5HP 30gal model 919-165300 and I was able to get the rebuild kit from http://www.searspartsdirect.com

You will need a long Torx T20 driver if you don’t want to hack up your cover like I did.

You can find your Craftsman model number affixed to the side of your compressor. You type this model number into the web page and select search by model number. Then pick your rebuild kit which should come with the piston, cylinder sleeve and new rubber rings. Not all these bits may be bad on your compressor but if you’re taking it apart why not replace all the ware parts for one kit price.

Unplug your compressor, drain all the air and take off the plastic cover. I had a dog of a time with my plastic cover but you can watch the video if you want to hear more. Then remove the fill pipe.

This is the top of the cylinder head. The large side is the intake and the smaller side is the compression exhaust side.

Below is the top of the valve plate assembly and it is what controls the in/out of the air flow as the piston compresses the air. The valves open and close as air is sucked in and then compressed out into the tank.

And this is the bottom of the valve plate.




Here you see the horrible scoring on the inside of my old cylinder wall.

Next take of the blower fan

Then take off the piston rod. After removing the screw I used a big screw driver to twist open the base and slide it off the bearing.

My bearing was fine but if yours is bad you can order that from the same site. Putting it on might be a bit of a job but a machine shop would be able to help with that step.

Put the new cylinder sleeve in.

This is the new piston with Teflon ring. You can get this with or without a new bearing.

Carefully put the piston in the cylinder sleeve and attach to the motor shaft.

Torque the motor shaft nut to 45 inch-lbs.

Torque the cylinder head on in a star pattern to 120 inch-lbs.

Torque the blower fan to 45 inch-lbs.

Put your filler pipe back on at the top.

And at the bottom going into the tank.

Finally put the plastic cover on but you will see in my video I modified my cover. Like I said I had problems with the stupid plastic cowling.

Good for another 12 years of service.

Thanks for following and remember to subscribe to my YouTube videos and RSS feed.

Todd Harrison


  1. […] CRAFTSMAN Oil Free Air Compressor Rebuild […]

  2. Graham

    What a hack of the cover. With all your engineering expertise I fail to see why you did not just weld a correct size torx to the end of an old long screwdriver or such and use that.

  3. 31/08/2012

    @Graham, HA now you come up with a great idea! Where were you two months ago? Funny you should bring this up now because just tonight I was fighting with a 37mm nut and I have 36mm max. So I said, I will just cut myself a socket out of a few sheets of steel, weld the sheets like pancakes and then onto an old socket. Worked like a charm.

  4. 25/09/2012

    Hey tod great job on this post. Like how to took care of the rebuild. I have a makita air compressor and just incase it falls apart I will keep this video in mind

  5. allen

    completely sealed still no increase of air pressure any ideas

  6. 20/11/2012

    If it is stopping on its own in under 5 minutes then your pressure switch must be bad that trips off the pump. It is tripping to soon. When you drain you air tank does it auto turn on after dropping ~15 to ~20psi? if so then for sure that pressure switch needs to be replaced.

  7. allen

    This is strange but the motor still attemps to run I mean it does not shut down completely but the motor does not make a complete revloution but motor is not fully energized meaning it runs but don’t shut down and stop completely

  8. 23/11/2012

    @allen, sounds like it needs to go into a service center or just be replaced. Could be bad motor, bearings, binding, switches. Just too much really, needs to be looked over I guess.

  9. Tom Herl


    Really enjoyed your video on repairing the compressor. I have a different concern. I recently replaced the check value in my compressor because it was running to long and too hard to fill the tank. The new check value did the trick. My compressor fills up recently fast to its 130# capacity and will kick back on after it drops back to about half capacity. I think that means the pressure switch is working properly. My specific problem is that when I use the compressor the pressure coming out of the clean off nozzle is very weak, not sure what to do next. The only other thing I did when changing out the check valve was to replace the leader hose to my hose reel which was about 30″ to an 8’long hose…..any ideas or suggestions on how to increase the outgoing pressure to what it was originally? to using my

  10. 06/12/2012

    @Tom, sounds like a regulator problem. You may have some debris in it or you may have to replace it.

  11. allen

    I am trying to find out just why my compressor will only reach 65psi then shut off but not fully the motor still attempts to run any ideas and suggestions would be helpful. Thank you

  12. Andy Hall

    much simpler at http://youtu.be/q88nUYrIvz4

  13. 28/02/2013

    @Andy Hall, That is a real good video on this job. I only wish my cowling was so easy to take off. I Need to find that air filter he is using too. I can’t order one from Sears anymore.

  14. Trevor Tyler

    Hi Todd,

    I have a refurbished Craftsman ‘Professional’ 6hp, 33cfm compressor that I bought at my local Sears Parts/Repair shop over 15 years ago, but only started using it recently. It makes a huge racket (noise) but I also noticed the plastic muffler/air filter (cheap POS) was broken; probably the reason why it was sold at a discount at the Sears outlet store. However, the muffler inlet portion looks like the same type that your compressor has (in your pic).

    So I want a more robust muffler/air filter than the cheap plastic OEM muffler/air filter that came with these compressors. Do you have any tips on how I could make one? The OEM muffler doesn’t screw in like those on better quality compressors, so I was wondering if you had any ideas on how to make one.


    Trevor from Honolulu

  15. 12/03/2013

    I’m not sure your compressor is the same as mine but go to this page and search for these parts.
    I don’t think your compression outlet pipe to the tank will work with this head so you might have to change that too. This head has threaded ports for muffler.

  16. […] can view the writeup at http://www.toddfun.com… In this video I rebuild my Craftsman 5HP 30gal […]

  17. Laurene

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be utilizing? I’m
    having some small security issues with my latest site and I’d like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?

  18. 22/06/2013

    I use WordPress 3.5.1 and don’t have security issues. At least I have not in the past two years.

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