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12v air compressor


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17 replies to this topic

#1 outback_97

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:43 PM

Can anyone recommend a good portable 12v air compressor (for tires) that's better than the cheap $15 plastic ones but not hundreds of dollars? I'm not finding much with my searching.

A portable unit that clips to the battery terminals is preferred (not hardwired). I want to be able to reinflate my tires (205/75/15 A/T's) after airing them down, I don't want to wait an hour to do so, but the $300 units for big mudder tires seem like overkill and I'd rather not spend that much for something rarely used. Will I find something in the <$100 range that will do what I want it to do, or is it just wishful thinking?

Steve

#2 subeman90

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 02:50 PM

why not use one of those tanks that you can take to the gas station and inflate with their pump. I believe you could air up all your tires on one charge with those thing.

#3 outback_97

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 03:40 PM

subeman:

Hmmm, that could work but I really want to be more self sufficient on this. This car has been known to go to some pretty remote areas where gas stations are not so prevalent, and you can't always guarantee they have a (working) air compressor.

I continued searching after posting and stumbled on this, looks pretty good:
http://www.gearinsta...com/pepboys.htm

Now I just need to see if it's still around. Anyone try one of these? Looks almost too good to be true, this is the kind of thing I'm looking for.

Steve

#4 eponodyne

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 04:05 PM

ARB makes a pretty good underhood unit, it'll run 2.3 CFM at 40 psi for ten minutes or so no sweat. It came with my work van so I have no idea if they still make/sell them.

#5 outback_97

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Posted 24 February 2006 - 05:41 PM

eponodyne:

I'm sure that is a good quality one but googling ARB 12v compressor gets prices from $200 - $300.

I called a couple Checker stores and they don't have the one I showed above, Pep Boys' web site has it for $70.

Steve

#6 1maBrat

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 04:34 PM

Can anyone recommend a good portable 12v air compressor (for tires) that's better than the cheap $15 plastic ones but not hundreds of dollars? I'm not finding much with my searching.

A portable unit that clips to the battery terminals is preferred (not hardwired). I want to be able to reinflate my tires (205/75/15 A/T's) after airing them down, I don't want to wait an hour to do so, but the $300 units for big mudder tires seem like overkill and I'd rather not spend that much for something rarely used. Will I find something in the <$100 range that will do what I want it to do, or is it just wishful thinking?

Steve



if you run an a/c compressor you can fill a small propane tank in just a few min to about 150 lbs so it is air on the fly ,just put in a switch so you can turn it off when you don't need it.you might also want to put in a bleed off drain so you can drain the water from the tank because it will fill quite quick if you dont stay up on it:banana:

#7 scrap487

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 06:17 PM

yeah just get an ac compressor from a junkyard

#8 Hodaka Rider

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 05:47 PM

These guys. I'm trying to get set up as a dealer right now.

#9 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 February 2006 - 06:05 PM

Just get a $50 jobbie from walmart. I have one portable plastic unit I carry around. Sure it takes a couple minutes to go from 15 to 30psi, but you cant expect much if you buy a cheap unit. The $200+ units are what you are looking for, maybe keep an eye on ebay and score a deal on used one.

-Brian

#10 Sweet82

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 11:40 AM

I've had good luck with the cheap ones.

My experience has been your always going to wait to "air up" after wheeling.
I've nuked several of the more expensive ones yet I still have a Cheapie that seems to inflate faster and has not failed yet (15 years).

The air tanks seem too bulky and don't hold enough air.

#11 outback_97

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 03:54 PM

Thanks for all the advice, I still haven't seen anything that looks better than the one I posted in the link above though. I just need to find something like that. There's a ten page thread on a Toyota forum about the one I'm trying to find:
http://tacomaterrito...3602#post223602

Tank: will only fill a couple of tires based on what I've read, maybe three or four since mine are not that large, but of course it'll only do that once until you refill it. This is quoted from an off road equipment site: "A 5-gallon air tank pressurized to 125 p.s.i. will air up two (2) 33X12.5" truck tires from 10 to 20 p.s.i" I found other references to similar numbers as well.

A/C compressor: You guys are talking about using the belt-driven one on the car, is that right? No way I'm giving up my a/c for this. Utah = very warm and this is my daily driven commuter vehicle. Or did I misunderstand about the method?

Hodaka: Yes, that's the kind of thing I want, but (if I can believe specs I read) the one I posted flows 72 liters / minute, which is around 2.5 cfm. The one you're talking about is 1.2 cfm. The other models are better but quickly climb in price.

I have a little cigarette lighter jobby and it takes a long time to fill the tires and sounds like it's going to rattle apart. Maybe there's better cheapo ones but I just wanted to see if there was some middle ground unit that won't break the bank but would do better. The one I posted (which is turning out to be hard to find) and the one Hodaka posted are the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks for the feedback.

Steve


#12 operose

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 04:24 PM

cheapos work fine if you've got the time... never had mine fail...

although this one time when dad and I were using it to put air in the tires of this vw dune buggy we got for a gallon of whiskey.. it wasn't rolling because the tires were flat.. we forgot it was in neutral.. started putting air in the tires.. got to the last one and decided to go inside and put some wood on the fire while it was inflating... went inside and then heard a crash boom bang trees breaking.. turns out that last tire inflated, the dune buggy started rolling away, and pulled the hose right out of the compressor

not sure what the point of that little anecdote was, other than the fact that the only way I've killed a $20 cheapo compressor was to pull the hose right out of it

#13 Mike W

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Posted 27 February 2006 - 04:41 PM

When my last cheapo failed, I bought a $50 Max- Air brand mini-compressor from Schucks. It does pretty good, moves much more volume than the plastic cheapo units.
If you're into junk yard crawling, I'd recommend a Cadillac compressor. You can mod these units to move lots of air, or even use two units in series for faster inflation.

#14 outback_97

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 12:03 PM

This is the kind of page I've been looking for:
http://www.parksoffr...nflatormain.htm

They compare about a dozen tire inflators pretty objectively. Very wide range of results shown here, and very wide range of prices.

Steve

#15 Mike W

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:37 PM

Man my memory is shot. The compressor I bought for $50 at Schucks was not called Max-air. It was in fact the Superflow unit in the test. And yes I did indeed pay twice as much as they did. Oh well I had a store credit to use and it gives me one more reason to hate Shmucks.
Wow those side-by-side pics with the Viair surprised me. Maybe $50 wasn't so bad afterall. It does work pretty good for it's small size. I'd give it a thumbs-up.

#16 Hodaka Rider

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 09:58 PM

Ummm. sweet

http://www.parksoffr...lister92901.htm

#17 1maBrat

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 10:08 PM

Thanks for all the advice, I still haven't seen anything that looks better than the one I posted in the link above though. I just need to find something like that. There's a ten page thread on a Toyota forum about the one I'm trying to find:
http://tacomaterrito...3602#post223602

Tank: will only fill a couple of tires based on what I've read, maybe three or four since mine are not that large, but of course it'll only do that once until you refill it. This is quoted from an off road equipment site: "A 5-gallon air tank pressurized to 125 p.s.i. will air up two (2) 33X12.5" truck tires from 10 to 20 p.s.i" I found other references to similar numbers as well.

A/C compressor: You guys are talking about using the belt-driven one on the car, is that right? No way I'm giving up my a/c for this. Utah = very warm and this is my daily driven commuter vehicle. Or did I misunderstand about the method?

Hodaka: Yes, that's the kind of thing I want, but (if I can believe specs I read) the one I posted flows 72 liters / minute, which is around 2.5 cfm. The one you're talking about is 1.2 cfm. The other models are better but quickly climb in price.

I have a little cigarette lighter jobby and it takes a long time to fill the tires and sounds like it's going to rattle apart. Maybe there's better cheapo ones but I just wanted to see if there was some middle ground unit that won't break the bank but would do better. The one I posted (which is turning out to be hard to find) and the one Hodaka posted are the kind of thing I'm looking for. Thanks for the feedback.

Steve


just add on a bracket and put on a second pump,and its much faster than anything you can get out of any store.you can run a propane tank up to about 220 lbs before the valve goes so be careful,but its fast and is with you always
I would not do this for my daily driver just my offroad.
Just what i think and what i use

#18 Mike W

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Posted 28 February 2006 - 11:51 PM

For anyone into the $10 junkyard Cadillac compressors, I dug up the link where a guy explains how to mod it to move more cfm's of air. The pictures are now gone, but if you have the pump in hand it's easy enough to figure out how what to do. The Cady pump in stock form works about as well as the Superflow/Masterflow...it just takes a bit McGuyvering to rig it up and of course it doesn't come with the cool nylon carry bag, hose, etc.




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