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New "Ingersol Chan" Setup


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9 replies to this topic

#1 eulogious

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 06:45 AM

Howdy all!

So I have been wanting to get into this whole air tool thing for a while, but never really had the true itch to spend the money on buying stuff because it all seemed so expensive. Well, then my dad decided that he wanted to upgrade his harbor freight pancake compressor with the bigger harbor freight 10gal 2.5hp guy, so he gave me the old pancake compressor. But I had to go out and buy the hose, fittings, etc., if I wanted to use it. So it sat in my garage until xmas time!

I asked for some simple stuff to get me going on my new to me compressor, hose (25ft goodyear pliovic hose, none of that chinese crap :)) , an air ratchet, fittings, just the basics. So I got all of that, put it all together out in my apartment garage :lol:, fired her up (and she worked after sitting for a year, not to mention it's 5+ years old), waited for it fill with air, and then let loose with the air ratchet to see how Mr. Pancake would handle it. Well, as you all could have guessed, it fell FLAT on it's pancake face. Dropped down to unusable RMP's within seconds. I was kinda figuring this would happen, but I was hoping it wouldn't... So what to do?

Well, after seeing this 5+ year old HF compressor still work and pump up, I decided to look into HF some more and man they got some killer deals! So after looking around their website I found their "deal of the day". It was a 8gal 2HP 125 PSI Max, 4.5 CFM@90 PSI compressor for $89.99 (Linky)! I then googled this bad boy up and checked out the HF reviews and saw basically nothing but good things about this compressor, so I printed off the coupon and went down first thing in the morning and picked it up. Took it home, filled him up with oil, and fired him up! This is a nice compressor for $89.99! I also got the extended warranty for $20, so in case it fails, it's covered.

The big test was going to be can this thing actually do 4.5cfm? So I hooked up my new air ratchet and tired it out, and it totally works fine with this compressor! If you just hold down on the trigger, it slows down to probably 100-110 RPM compared to the 130 RPM or so you get when you burst it, but it held 100 RPM for a good 15-20 seconds, which is plenty of umph for what I need to do. And ya, I have to wait for it to air up after using the ratchet for that long, but for what I need, that's perfect! I don't mind waiting a min for the compressor to pump back up, no biggie to me!

From what I have read, this compressor will also work with impacts as well. You just have to burst them, but they work just fine, even the big 1/2" to 3/4" ones. Again, that is really all I need it for.

I also picked up some other do dads while I was there as well. I picked up the $15 regulator/drier (Linky) because it seemed better quality than the regulator that came with it, and it included the drier. The reviews said that it leaked, so I took it apart and resealed all the threads with new teflon tape, and it hasn't started to leak so far, so my fingers are crossed. Also got a nice tire chuck (Linky), and the air accessory kit (Linky). The air accessory kit has some crap in it for sure, like the quick release which I did not use, but the other things look nice and work well. The tire inflator is really nice, glad I got that guy as well. Makes airing up tires super easy and convenient.

Here's some pics:

My first setup with Mr. Pancake:

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The new setup:

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Here's my new air ratchet:

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One of the first things that I did once I got it together and working was to break it in. I left the compressor running for about an hour, then went out and changed the oil. Boy I am glad I did that. That oil was NASTY from the break in. So bad that I changed the oil, let it run for 10 more min, and then changed it yet again to make sure I got all the sparklies out of the oil. A little overkill, but I want this thing to last as long as possible :)

On that note... Has anybody ever used the HF air stuff? I know some of it's junk, but some of it seems like it's great stuff for super cheap. So if anyone has any insight into some of the HF air tool lines, LMK as I am looking to get some more stuff coming up here. I am really interested to know what their impact stuff is like and how it holds up, like their sockets and the impact gun it's self. The earthquake stuff holds up in the reviews but still makes me a little nervous. I am just courious if I should go for the cheapy HF stuff (Linky), or just save up the "expensive" HF $85 3/8 impact gun (Linky)? My gut says I should just pass on the cheap one and save up and use a 20% off coupon for the earthquake one and just be done with it.

Or is all of this stuff just junk? If it is, then what is a good, cheap, suitable replacement? I am talking about a retail chain that I can walk into and purchase stuff. I am really new to this stuff, so any insight would be great. I am also cheap, so paying for cheap things, I realize what I might get. But I have also found some really good cheap things before, so one never knows. I basically just want some good, decent tools that will do light duty once a month when I decide to work on my cars. I do not want to go out and spend more that $70-$80 on a single tool. So snapon, matco, that sort of thing I am not interested in at all. I am not going to be doing anything that is actually going to tax any of the tools I buy that much, hence why I am looking at cheap tools :) And so far HF seems to have some decent stuff for cheap, which is why I am looking at HF, not elsewhere. I wouldn't even mind craftsman stuff, but they are kinda expensive when compared with HF :lol:

I found this link which is great. It gives links to products from HF that people have used and liked before, so you can kinda weed out the junk that way.

http://www.toolcrib....and-the-abysmal

It's a little outdated by now, but most of the stuff is still available. It's a great article for sure!

#2 grossgary

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

i've never done it but you could try to fabricate a larger tank to hold more air and keep your volumes up for extended periods.

the harbor freight stuff is a great deal usually for folks that don't require this stuff for a living. it's cheap and usually lasts and the stuff that doesn't pan out is worth the ones that do.

for you, being as talented as you are, would probably be good and even cheaper in the long run to get a compressor/tank typically used for automotive stuff. unless you're 90 years old, plan for bigger rather than bare minimum. if you want something to last 10 years, let it have some growth room as you expand it's abilities, experience, and save more by using it more.

if you want cheap i would look at used compressors off craigslist or other local used venues. i have no allegiance to brand, i think i had a gift card to sears and that's why i ended up there. i paid like $250 or $300 for my large craftsmen compressor like 7 years ago new. i would imagine it would go for $100 used at this point and i forget the spec's but it's pretty big, 5 feet tall, and too large/heavy to move out of my garage without a serious effort. i'd be perfectly fine buying 2 or 3 compressors for less than the cost of new, it's not that critical to me that i can't stand time without one.

#3 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:51 AM

Best way to weed out the junk at HF is to stay away from electric power tools and anything with too many moving parts! :lol:

Seriously though, I have tons of first- and second-hand HF tools: impact wrench, die grinders, torque wrenches (in/lb & ft/lb), socket sets, drill press, bench grinder, floor jack, jack stands, cherrypicker, engine stand, and on and on

I spent a couple hours last night disassembling, cleaning, lubing & reassembling my new-to-me 12 yr old HF drill press. Lots of use on this thing and it still works fine for small jobs.

I admit I have a lot of down time working on tools that wouldn't be necessary with higher quality tools.

#4 daredevil1166

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 12:01 PM

I have the cheapy 3/8 impact. It works great for small stuff and it's fairly light and fun to use. I've had it for a couple years(using it a lot as a professional tech).

Some of them don't hold sockets well but if you're handy you can fix that.

I also have the 1/2" "Earthquake" impact.

This is a great combo, the little one for light jobs and the Earthquake for axle nuts, strut bolts and tight/big stuff.

That 1/2" Earthquake is very powerful and I have yet to find something it won't do.

Just remember to oil the tools and they'll work just fine.

#5 Suba9792

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:17 PM

HF has some pretty good stuff, but I have always preferred craftsman over many others. My tool box in the Subie is full of HF tools, I figure if I end up losing any, I rather it be those:lol: Daredevil I had no idea you are a "professional tech" I recall something about a rod knock....but it was and still is good ole EA82 lifter tick.

I think I may hit up HF soon, they have a pretty good deal on a press and scanner.

#6 eulogious

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 01:39 PM

i've never done it but you could try to fabricate a larger tank to hold more air and keep your volumes up for extended periods.

the harbor freight stuff is a great deal usually for folks that don't require this stuff for a living. it's cheap and usually lasts and the stuff that doesn't pan out is worth the ones that do.

for you, being as talented as you are, would probably be good and even cheaper in the long run to get a compressor/tank typically used for automotive stuff. unless you're 90 years old, plan for bigger rather than bare minimum. if you want something to last 10 years, let it have some growth room as you expand it's abilities, experience, and save more by using it more.

if you want cheap i would look at used compressors off craigslist or other local used venues. i have no allegiance to brand, i think i had a gift card to sears and that's why i ended up there. i paid like $250 or $300 for my large craftsmen compressor like 7 years ago new. i would imagine it would go for $100 used at this point and i forget the spec's but it's pretty big, 5 feet tall, and too large/heavy to move out of my garage without a serious effort. i'd be perfectly fine buying 2 or 3 compressors for less than the cost of new, it's not that critical to me that i can't stand time without one.


I totally want to get a bigger setup, but that can't be in the cards right now. There is a 26 gallon Craftsman compressor that does like 5.5cfm @90 psi for sale for $100, it's a little used you can tell, but still a good deal. I would have totally gone for it had it not been total lack of space AND portability. I live in an apartment complex, so my options are limited as to what I can get away with. They don't mind be pulling a motor out of my car in plain sight, but having a big, loud, compressor hanging out in the garage might not be so discreet. That and something that big is going to require some juice, especially on startup, so anything that pulls more than 15amps is probably going to blow the garage circuit, which I don't have access to, so I would have to tell the apartment people to go flip the breaker. Talk about a DEAD give away, so I can't be having that happen. This little guy doesn't pull enough to trip the circuit, and it trips itself, not the circuit. I found that out yesterday :lol: So I want a bigger setup, I just can't have one yet :( I don't plan on moving for at least another year as I just resigned my lease this month, and it's not looking like I can afford a house anytime soon, so apartment life is in my foreseeable future, so I just can't get the bigger setup.

That's what made this little guy so attractive. Small enough to throw into the back of my subaru without having to move the seats or ask for help and take it over to my mom or a friends, but yet powerful enough to run my air tools for the little bit I need them. And cheap enough to really not think about it too hard, hence why I just did it :)

Best way to weed out the junk at HF is to stay away from electric power tools and anything with too many moving parts! :lol:

Seriously though, I have tons of first- and second-hand HF tools: impact wrench, die grinders, torque wrenches (in/lb & ft/lb), socket sets, drill press, bench grinder, floor jack, jack stands, cherrypicker, engine stand, and on and on

I spent a couple hours last night disassembling, cleaning, lubing & reassembling my new-to-me 12 yr old HF drill press. Lots of use on this thing and it still works fine for small jobs.

I admit I have a lot of down time working on tools that wouldn't be necessary with higher quality tools.


Cool, good to know that if you take care of HF tools they will last. Go figure :) Treat most things right and they will last. I just know that some of HF stuff is so cheap that I don't even try to use it and I can tell by just looking at it, but he air/power tools look like they are not junk for the most part. Thanks for the input :)

I have the cheapy 3/8 impact. It works great for small stuff and it's fairly light and fun to use. I've had it for a couple years(using it a lot as a professional tech).

Some of them don't hold sockets well but if you're handy you can fix that.

I also have the 1/2" "Earthquake" impact.

This is a great combo, the little one for light jobs and the Earthquake for axle nuts, strut bolts and tight/big stuff.

That 1/2" Earthquake is very powerful and I have yet to find something it won't do.

Just remember to oil the tools and they'll work just fine.


Cool, then it looks like I will just get the cheap 3/8 and then save up for the 1/2 bad boy. That does sound like a good plan. Thanks for the idea. Really hadn't thought about getting 2 :D

Also good to know that the cheapy guy is "fun" to use as well. I know that some things are not fun to use at all, but you use them because they make the job "easier", so its good to know that you kinda enjoy using it, thanks for that :)

I just went out and started it today to see how well it would start compared to yesterday, and the break in made a big difference. When I started it yesterday in the "cold" (45 outside), it would barely move the piston twice before tripping it's breaker, then I started turning it off to prevent it from tripping it's breaker, and it finally got going. I had to turn it on, then turn it off 7 times before it finally kicked in and ran normal. Today it was 35 outside and when I started it the compressor was slow pumping, about 6 or 7 times, before I turned it off, but it never stopped like it did yesterday, and it only took 3 times of turning it on and off before it started working like normal. That's a big improvement. So breaking it in makes a difference. I am glad I did that :) I did have to throw it in the back of my wrecked subaru and shut the doors to prevent it from being super loud :) So atleast I got one final use out of the old car :lol:

So it looks like on pay day I will be buying an impact gun and an impact socket set at HF :lol:

Wow, so I meant to post this yesterday 12-29-10, but I got busy and my reply literally sat open in my browser just waiting for me to hut submit :lol: Sorry about that, I now submitted it! Anyways back on topic :D

Thanks for the insight so far guys! Anyone else out there got any to say about HF tools? How about some recommendations of tools that you used and liked? I am slowly building up my tool arsenal, so knowing what to buy and to not buy really helps a broke guy like me :) Thanks again all!

#7 daredevil1166

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 06:00 PM

I just went out and started it today to see how well it would start compared to yesterday, and the break in made a big difference. When I started it yesterday in the "cold" (45 outside), it would barely move the piston twice before tripping it's breaker.

So it looks like on pay day I will be buying an impact gun and an impact socket set at HF :lol:

You can use a lighter oil in compressors in cold temps. Call a compressor place ask about it if it becomes an issue.

I have the 3/8" and 1/2" socket sets(deep) in metric and standard. The oldest set is 4 years old and the only one that ever broke is the 14mm.

Daredevil I had no idea you are a "professional tech" I recall something about a rod knock....but it was and still is good ole EA82 lifter tick.

Ooooh quotes... Ouch.

Maybe it is. Rod knocks can go on for a long time and not get worse though. Either way there's no way to know it besides how it sounds and I'm not rich enough to chance it.

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 12:39 PM

HF tools are a crap-shoot. Though I have noticed they are carrying more and more stuff from Taiwan instead of just China. Taiwan has been industrialized much longer and much of the Chinese stuff is actually based off designs from Taiwan - with cheaper parts and molds made from the parts without proper accounting for casting shrinkages :rolleyes:. Anyway I have a couple die grinders and I also have their 1/4" and 3/8" "professional" (red "Earthquake" models) air ratchets and those perform adequately.

I don't see anything wrong with your setup - should easily run the ratchets and the impact. The main drawback with small compressors is the small tank. You are never going to have enough air with a tiny pump and motor but you *can* run bigger tools for a short time if you have a large enough tank and waiting for it to fill up is not a concern to you.

When that pump dies - and it may not be the pump - it will probably be the cheap chinese electric motor - find a used compressor on craigslist. I have found some great deals in the sub-$100 catagory. I got a machine a few months ago for $20 because the guy thought it was "seized up". Pullled off the head, wiped out a tiny bit of surface rust keeping it from turning - sprayed some yeild down in the cylinder and worked it free by hand. After cleaning the cylinders looked fine and I reassembled it and fired it up - runs like a champ. Just needed some TLC and a belt :rolleyes:. It's a decent machine with a US made motor and pump and a 20 gallon tank. Can't beat the price. Compressors are looked at like appliances and most people - even self-proclaimed "mechanics" can't or won't try to fix one. Thus when something goes haywire they just stand there with a stupid look on their face and then go buy another one.

I got my "little" 30 gallon unit for $75 because it wouldn't run - just slowely turned. They idiot had wired the motor for 230v with a 110v plug. I changed the jumper settings on the motor, plugged it in, and have been using it as my portable compressor ever since. A comparable unit from Sears (same B&S pump and 2 HP motor) is $400.

An interesting side-note - compressor manufacturers have recently been hit with some excelent legislation. They are no longer allowed to advertise their machines using "peak" or "break" HP figures - my 30 gallon compressor claims it's a 5 HP motor :lol:. They used to be able to do this because the motor *can* produce 5 HP for a fraction of a second (till it stalls) on a dyno. But they have finally stopped them from being able to publish these numbers in the marketing and advertising materials. They are only allowed to quote the continuous HP rating of the motor. So the same pump as mine at Sears with the same motor and tank are now being sold as "1.6" HP where they were originally claimed to be 5 HP units :lol::lol::lol:. Soooo awesome......

GD

#9 heartless

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for the insight so far guys! Anyone else out there got any to say about HF tools? How about some recommendations of tools that you used and liked? I am slowly building up my tool arsenal, so knowing what to buy and to not buy really helps a broke guy like me :) Thanks again all!


we have the "Earthquake" 1/2 drive impact wrench here - Love It! Works great, has 6 different torque settings, for light, medium & heavy duty jobs - just remember to give it 4-6 drops of oil everytime you grab it and it will last - ours is about 6 yrs old and gets used often.

The impact sockets arent too bad - maybe not the highest quality in the world, but they work, and we havent broken any yet - lost a couple, but no broken ones.

We actually have a lot of stuff from harbor freight, and like GD said, it can be a crap shoot if you arent careful - if you have a store near you, go check stuff out BEFORE you buy - thats the best advice i can give on them.

#10 ShawnW

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:45 AM

We actually have a lot of stuff from harbor freight, and like GD said, it can be a crap shoot if you arent careful - if you have a store near you, go check stuff out BEFORE you buy - thats the best advice i can give on them.


They have miracle photographers! In person some of it looks tiny, strange, etc!
Its also nice to see in my local store what is being returned often. Its pretty obvious one of the air compressors in the 60 gal size is real garbage and one is real decent for the $.




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