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Halcyon SMB - inflation valve replacement
A few years ago I picked up a used Halcyon SMB with the oral / LP hose inflation tube. Had some issues and there seems to be minimal detail out there on these, so figured this guide could be useful to someone in the future.
The inflation tubes on these appear to have a one-way valve in them - so air goes in through the inflation tube but has to be released from the OPV/dump as per other SMBs.
The entire assembly is shrink wrapped and so not easy to see what is there or how it works.
Last year I found my SMB completely deflated on the surface (realised there was an issue when we reached the 6m stop!) and found that the one way valve had failed - air had all leaked out of the inflation tube.
Quick search online and it does not appear to be a common issue (certainly no posts anywhere in the last 10 years or so, but there was mention of a service kit.
Usual cleaning/soaking/blowing/sucking back through the valve (yes, OK! 😂 failed to resolve the issue so I contacted a couple of halcyon dealers. However they were unable to source the service kit.
I picked up a couple more of these (used - they’re great, but I think the new price is just too steep for an SMB!) to finish out the season and finally got around to taking a look at the faulty one to see if it could be repaired.
Firstly, removed the heat shrink to reveal the inflation nipple, a short piece of tube, the one way valve and a couple of hose clamps holding everything together.
Removing the hose clamps was a little awkward as I was doing this whilst away, without a full tool kit, but I had a couple of pairs of pliers and figured I could easily replace with a standard stainless jubilee clip and/or zip ties if I ended up damaging them.
Separating out the valve I could easily blow through it in both directions - no obvious issue looking through the ends, nothing a quick poke with a screwdriver was going to resolve.
Quick google of the various numbers on the valve returned nothing, other than a matching part number from some part of the file system on a Chevrolet. Not the part I need, but got me thinking more generically - must be possible to find a plastic one way check valve with the same diameter input/output pipe.
Few minutes on eBay found something suitable, shipped from China for £4/pair. Had to be worth a go.
Couple of weeks later they arrive. The ‘cracking resistance’ (effort to open the valve) is a little higher than the original Halcyon ones - one of their better features I think, as it allows easy oral inflation as well as use of the LP hose, but not so high as others I’ve looked at, such as the AP version and other manufacturers I’ve seen in shops.
Fitted it this afternoon. Clamps were much easier to replace with a vice and the right tools to hand - to test I have tried to pulled the parts as hard as I dare, and can’t separate them, so that’s good enough for me.
I didn’t have a suitable diameter heat shrink tube (22mm) so have ordered some and will complete the reassembly next weekend once received.
So, if this works, total cost of repair will be less than £6 - £4 for the pair of check valves, and £1.33 for a metre of 22mm diameter, 2:1 heatshrink.
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I did the same with mine a few years ago. I stripped it down and the one say valve started working correctly then so simply soaked and reassembled it. The outer heat shrink is not required but will make it look nicer.
If you want a supplier of the OEM original parts try a company called Halkey Roberts