Tire dealers and service shop operators can rejuvenate a common solvent sprayer in minutes with an inexpensive repair kit.
Here's what you need to know about it. A unit I have used successfully for a number of years is from Milwaukee Sprayer Manufacturing Co. (www.sureshotsprayer.com) of Menomonee Falls, Wis. It makes the Sure Shot Model A sprayer.
As far as I know, the venerable Sure Shot is the most popular solvent sprayer of its kind on the market.
It's a sturdy metal vessel that you can refill with your own solvent. Then you pressurize it with shop air and go to work — the shop air is the propellant for the solvent.
The most popular solvent used in these sprayers probably is brake cleaner. Many techs also use these tools to spray rust-penetrating solvents onto parts.
Certainly, using aerosol cans of solvent is fast and easy, but buying solvent in bulk is usually cheaper. What's more, many service personnel have told me that once they accustom themselves to these sprayers, the time it requires is negligible.
Experience shows that these Sure Shot-brand sprayers can last a long time. Now, I don't use my sprayers as often as techs do during their workday, but the one shown in the accompanying photograph lasted 23 years before I had to rebuild it.
Sometimes I see these tools in a shop collecting dust because they don't spray anymore. Worse yet, people assume that these sprayers either aren't repairable or aren't worth rebuilding.
I have rebuilt several Model A sprayers. You can source a rebuilding kit from the local distributor of Milwaukee Sprayer products. Or you can order one directly from the factory at 800-558-7035. Presently, the rebuild kit for the Model A costs a bit more than $22 directly from the factory. Installation takes several minutes.
Remember to shine a light into the sprayer and check it for dirt, scale and/or sludge — contaminants that usually result from neglect or carelessness and may block the tool's spray nozzle. The result is intermittent operation or no spraying whatsoever.
I have fixed several Sure Shot sprayers simply by depressurizing them carefully and removing the spray nozzle. If there's debris inside the nozzle, carefully clean it. Then remove the fill cap from the top of the unit and patiently drain the tool.
Next, carefully rinse it out with clean solvent. In some instances, the most effective cleaner I've used has been common rubbing alcohol.
Later, be sure that you refill the sprayer only with fresh solvent from a clean container or drum.