Annual/Seasonal maintenance items

A few weeks ago, we broke the outlet port off of the head of an old Viair 090 compressor. When our new Viair 90c compressor came in FIRST choice, I saw that the heads were the same. so I ordered a head rebuild kit for the 90c on-line. It consisted of the pre-assembled head with check valve, and new machine screws to secure it. In removing the broken head, I noticed that the screws were snug, but not tight. I replaced the head, snugging down the screws to the torque of the ones I had removed (no gauge, just by feel).

Within a minute of snugging them down, I had a nagging feeling, so I took out the new compressor to see how tight the screws were, and they were at least twice as tight. I replaced the one I had loosened on the new compressor, and tightened the screws on the old compressor to about the same torque. (Wrist tight with a medium-sized screwdriver handle.) It seems that the head screws had loosened over time (not really surprising) and should be tightened every once in a while.

I then made a mental note to add this to our pre-season checklist, along with inventory/restock, inspecting the tools and buying new bits and blades as needed, and buying “rebuild kits” (that is, bearing sets) for our TB-minis, disassembling sub-assemblies to COTS components, and separating out the “COTS-worthy” stock from pieces we have drilled or miter cut, etc.

So, before something falls apart or flies apart on an unsuspecting team, what other not-so-obvious maintenance items should teams perform every year or more?


Thanks! Yes we did that this year, just forgot to put it on this list - 0.16Ω, 0.18Ω, 0.22Ω, 0.23Ω, 0.21Ω, and 0.18Ω, so three in great shape, three in good shape (and several others not even fair and headed for recycling). We also invested in enough chargers to keep every usable battery on charge/float or float all the time.

Edit2: Reminded by another thread: post the latest updates to code and CAD that you may want to reuse!

Double checking battery status. We’ve been caught by dead batteries before at several competitions before, and in our experience, we don’t have time in the gap between stop build and competition as we’re always busy with our withholding allowance. Go through each battery, not just with a battery beak, but ideally another load tester to double check it. Make a spreadsheet and put all of that data and then establish which ones are relegated to practice only, and which ones need to be just plain out thrown away. Make sure to dispose of the batteries properly too.

Load testing the batteries is the only way to go.

Buy one of these: CBA IV from West Mountain Radios

We load test and profile our batteries starting the first week of build season. It’s an easy routine to test one or two a day. By the time b&g comes around every battery has been tested at least twice (even new ones) and we have our battery line up ready to go.

Between this and the battery beak we have had zero battery failures since we started using them.

Great advice, thanks.