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View Full Version : CO2 Tank or 12v Compressor?


MountainGoat
02-15-2009, 03:26 PM
I need to get onboard air for my cruisers and would appreciate some input. This application is specifically for airing up after runs. My criteria is that it must cost under $300 and be transferable between cruisers. I have it narrowed down to either an Ultimate Air CO2 system or a 12v Puma like this (http://cgi.ebay.com/12v-1-5-gal-air-compressor-Puma_W0QQitemZ120368088896QQihZ002QQcategoryZ11751QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting).

I know that a lot of folks use CO2 and at least a few use 12v compressors. I believe that Tch2fly has this Puma. Help me out and post up what you have, what you like AND dislike about it, and which way you would go if you were to do it again. Thanks!

Myredyota
02-15-2009, 04:08 PM
I love my UA CO2 setup and would not trade it for anything! Well, maybe a compressor when my tank is empty!:lmao:I really want a compressor with a tank to run my air horns instead of the instant on compressor. If I had both setups, it would not matter if my tank emptied out with one tire to go.

Convert
02-15-2009, 05:13 PM
Don't have any experience with the Puma compressor. Co2 is fast and works well. the negative side is you have to take it to be filled and usually leave it overnight to be filled. 9 times out of 10 you will run out of co2 between tires 3 and 4. 12 volt is slow and pretty dependable. OBA is the best way in my opinion but I have OBA. Hope that helps

Beater
02-15-2009, 06:03 PM
both. compressor and co2.. I always carried both. Now, just a compressor.

Air Randy
02-15-2009, 06:17 PM
Right now you can get a high volume ARB compressor for $208, the tire fill kit for $30 and you can get a 2.5 gal air tank for $65. This comes pretty close to meeting your budget. Thats what I have and it never runs out.

Tch2fly
02-15-2009, 07:00 PM
I would like C02 but I know I would forget to fill it and that was the main reason I went with a compressor.
I have not had a chance to use my Puma to refill after wheeling but it has worked great around the garage and Friday I filled a friend's Volvo tire and it took a bit over a minute from dead flat to 35 psi.


Plus side- cheaper than most C02 setups or high end compressors. It fills much faster than the small Qmax compressor it replaced.

Neg side - heavy and a bit bulky (though not much bigger than a C02 tank) slower than C02 or engine-driven OBA.

nakman
02-15-2009, 08:54 PM
I would also vote for 12v. CO2 just has too many inconveniences attached, IMO.

MDH33
02-15-2009, 09:00 PM
It is a pain to go get the CO2 tank filled, but it's a lot faster than most compressors. It's not as nice as OBA, but I like being able to use it in any of my rigs, around the garage, etc. I have probably aired up my tires (34's) 4 or 5 times on one tank plus loaned some out too and I still have some gas left.

ScaldedDog
02-15-2009, 09:21 PM
the negative side is you have to take it to be filled and usually leave it overnight to be filled.

Red Comet (http://www.redcomet-adx.com/) will fill while you wait, for cheap. Great folks.

Mark

Romer
02-15-2009, 09:41 PM
Red Comet (http://www.redcomet-adx.com/) will fill while you wait, for cheap. Great folks.

Mark


Thats where I go, takes about 10 minutes and I get 3 tanks filled. (3 vehicles).

I have a compressor I carry just in case, but have never needed it. I figure I get 4 to 5 fills out of a tank and I just get it filled. Going with the gorls allows me to pilfer some of theirs if I run out and then I know its time to get all 3 filled.

This Puma sounds interesting though.

AxleIke
02-15-2009, 11:13 PM
CO2 all the way.

I used to want a compressor, until I saw a CO2 tank.

I got a 20 lb tank off of ebay for cheap, a regulator off ebay, for cheap, and hoses and the like came to about 150 bucks. Actually, it was only 50, but that was due to a royal screw up on the sellers portion, and he ended up giving me my money back, after the welding store was cool enough to give me a filled cylinder.

Anyway, there is a general air about 3 blocks from my work. I stop in, give them my tank, pay 15-17 dollars, and walk out with a new tank. Takes all of 3-5 minutes.

My gauge is great, as when the tank gets low (ie, no liquid CO2 left), the guage begins to drop in pressure. I've found that, when that happens, I get one more fill out of the tank.

A york engine driven compressor can keep up with CO2, but nothing else compares. I can also run air tools.

To give you an example: the CO2 set up I saw and convinced me was a powertank with a high volume regulator. Those are available from UA for a little extra money.

The guy filled all 4 33x12.5's on his truck, all 4 35x12.5s on another truck, and finished off a third guys' rear tires, all in the time it took the guy with a compressor to fill ONLY his 4 tires.

MountainGoat
02-16-2009, 07:50 AM
Thanks for all the great input. :thumb: I am leaning toward the 12v, even if it's slower, mainly because it never runs out. Heck, I drive a 40 to work half the time - do I look like I'm in a hurry? :hill:

Nay
02-16-2009, 08:08 AM
CO2 rocks, the "running out" downside has never struck me as a big issue since you know about how many fills you get and can manage to that - the upside of filling up a 35" tire in about 90 seconds to 35 PSI more than makes up for it. I suppose you have to pick your inconveniences - speed after every trail run vs. a couple of refills a year (depending how much you wheel of course).

They real downside, IMO, is that CO2 is pretty temperature/PSI sensitive, so you really need to watch your onroad air pressure. At the end of the summer wheeling season, it would be worth airing all the way down and refilling with a compressor.

rover67
02-16-2009, 08:35 AM
I used CO2 for all of the last summer wheeling season and liked the speed and convenience. It fills tires wicked fast. I liked it because it was cheap (relatively speaking) and easy to use. Also didn't have to have the truck running.

On the minus side.. my regulator tended to freeze up sometimes and act funny... flow would really drop off (even in the summer). I also ran out of gas a few times which typically wasn't a problem since I knew is was running low and I just filled to a lower pressure to get back home (like from 15 to 25psi) and it had enough juice. Like AxleIke says, the Gauge is enough to know when you are at your last tire fill. If it is dropping... go get it filled. I filled or actually got mine swapped at the gen air in boulder. nice thing is that they just swap you out so it is super fast and really cheap too.. and you always get a nice tank since most folk just use them for beverage service. Also the location in denver is open on the weekends in case you forget you needed gas.

Also I didn't like carrying the thing. my 20lb cylinder was kinda big... and the regulator was fragile. I knocked the gauge on it a few times.

I installed a york a few months back and have loved it. with the motor at 2k rpm it fills faster than my co2 tank ever did. at idle it matches it. I think i paid around 500 bucks for everything i needed to get it on including an expensive bracket from kilby and the compressor from the boneyard. if yo ufab your own bracket you could knock 150 bucks off the price probably. Bad thing is you can't move it between rigs.

I do have the old regulator, gauge, and 20lb tank sitting in the garage doing nothing right now. I was going to try and get rid of it.

All I really need now is a 5lb tank again for my homebrewing setup again. maybe we can figure out a deal.

Jacket
02-16-2009, 10:05 AM
both. compressor and co2.. I always carried both.

x2. I went with just a compressor for a while, but now I've got CO2 (fast and easy), plus the compressor (slow and reliable) for backup.

leiniesred
02-16-2009, 10:46 AM
I also get my CO2 tank filled at the Brewery supply shop close to my house.
2x the cost of Red Commet (my first choice), but the Brew Hut is on the way home from work.

Sucks when the CO2 tank runs out (about 11 tires.) , but it might take 2 hours for my old "Quick Air 2" to fill all 4 36x13.50s.

Inukshuk
02-16-2009, 03:45 PM
, but it might take 2 hours for my old "Quick Air 2" to fill all 4 36x13.50s.

my *old* (Treeroot was 20 when I got it) Quick Air II is hard mounted in my cargo box to a 5 gal tank ($20 harbor freight "portable sports filler" with a pressure relief valve) and a pressure switch that shuts off at 110 PSI and on at about 80 (Grainger). A hose runs out the rear. I flip a dash switch (to a relay) to pressurize the tank a while before needing to air up. It will run for 20 minutes to fill the tank and then shut off. When I had two tanks the first two and a half tires (33s) were really fast and the next two slower. Since a subwoofer needed a home, I have only one tank now. Now the first tire and a half is fast, then it gets slow. Maybe about 10 min from 15 PSI to 32 for all 4. I have a filler I can clip to a valve stem and leave while it fills. A dual filler hose (or even quad) would be slick. Then I could set it and forget it.

I have used this to re-seat beads twice. A compressor alone won't do that. If I had more rigs I'd go C02. Not portable between vehicles.

Corbet
02-16-2009, 04:15 PM
I like my CO2 system. refills were a pain when I lived in Summit county but now that a refill is only a few blocks from work that complaint is resolved. I recently picked up a spare tank so running out not much of an issue anymore. I don't really have the patience to wait for 12v compressor but I've never used a good one. Just the cheapos.

Reseating a bead can be done with CO2 you'll need a storage tank to do so with 12v.

Additionally the CO2 tank has proven valuable around the house to run my finishing nailer and refill the precharge tank for our domestic water. (we have a well, no city water). A 12v compressor wouldn't do those jobs very well if at all. Some day it will take care of my keg needs too.....

Rzeppa
02-16-2009, 04:49 PM
CO2. Among the advantages not mentioned so far (that I saw) is that you can toss it in various rigs. Oh yeah did anyone say FAST? Also not mentioned is running air tools. I was trying to get a pinion nut off at Moab one year (you all know which one :-) and a buddy's 90PSI OBA wasn't doing the job with the air impact wrench. Hooked up 150 PSI CO2 and spun that sucker right off. Oh yeah!

RockRunner
02-16-2009, 08:31 PM
I just bought a CO2 setup from Steve (Crash), I got two 10 lb bottles which was a great deal, thanks again Steve. I used to have the $50 compressor from Costco actually still do. It works great but very slow, I run 37's. It would take at least 45 minutes to fill from 8-10 to 30 ish pounds, got tired of waiting. During runs I would use my compressor and bum fills from Red Chili or anybody near me so they did not have to wait for me.

Now with the CO2 I will be able to air up faster, run air tools, take it in different vehicles, use it for air tools around the house where I can't get my home compressor or don't want to drag a hose. The other nice thing is the amount of pressure you can run out of it, far more than the average home compressor or OBA set up except for maybe a York.

For $300 bucks you can get a nice "home made" set up from the Internet. I got a very nice regulator on eBay for $50 that did not freeze up when set to 110 lbs, of course somebody had to permanently borrow it.

Just take all the pros and cons people have listed and make a list. But before you do that write down your most important requirement so you don't talk yourself into something you don't really want.

I also saw a used Powertank with full gauge set up etc. for $300 on Colorado4x4.com.

I will travel to Moab with 2 10 lb bottles of CO2 AND my 12v compressor just in case.

Uncle Ben
02-16-2009, 09:12 PM
Even though I do have a CO2 setup in my 80 I am not a fan. I have a problem carrying a gas that is 6 times heavier than air has no odor and a small 10# bottle can displace all the O2 in my wagon twice over! If I had room under the hood for a belt driven compressor it would be there already. Electric compressors are slow. Even a "fast" one is far from quick! CO2 is very convenient, I have to admit! If I didn't have brain damage from shop teachers and welding instructors warning me and showing those spooky videos about how dangerous compressed gases are, I wouldn't have any problem having co2 in every vehicle I own. I use the heck out of mine and Johns 4x4 in Boulder will fill it while I wait for $20.

Crash
02-16-2009, 09:20 PM
I just bought a CO2 setup from Steve (Crash), I got two 10 lb bottles which was a great deal, thanks again Steve.
<snip>
I will travel to Moab with 2 10 lb bottles of CO2 AND my 12v compressor just in case.

You won't mind if I bum a fill or two from you, will you Tom? ;)

nakman
02-16-2009, 10:22 PM
Additionally the CO2 tank has proven valuable around the house to run my finishing nailer.....

That is true, I have used CO2 to run remote trim nailers, which is super handy. Just remember to regulate the pressure down a bit! In fact, this is what I probably miss the most about not having CO2 anymore...

RockRunner
02-16-2009, 10:29 PM
You won't mind if I bum a fill or two from you, will you Tom? ;)


I guess not...........:rolleyes: :thumb:

MountainGoat
02-17-2009, 09:01 AM
Well after reviewing all the input and assessing the pros and cons I have struck a deal with Marco for his 20lb co2 setup. I guess that 20lb bottle will fill the 235 75 15s on my 40 about a kajillion times! Thanks for your help guys. :thumb:

Red_Chili
02-17-2009, 09:10 AM
I used to use CO2 but found the bottle to be unnecessary weight and in my way when sleeping in the back of the truck. Running out always happened at the worst time. It was made worse by folks bumming air - hate to say no, but then I ran out when I needed it again. A small aluminum bottle (5lb.) along with compressors would not be too bad I guess.

Now I run twin MV50 compressors that cost me all of $50 for the PAIR. They have proven durable once I eliminated the internal relays. Not all that fast... but fast enough. Slow enough that the folks bumming air usually go ask the CO2 guys for a fill!!

:lmao:

Tch2fly
02-17-2009, 09:58 AM
Just wait till the Eco-nazis find out how much C02 you guys are releasing back into the atmosphere when you air down. :lmao:

I figure they are about a year away from being banned :hill:

Red_Chili
02-17-2009, 10:50 AM
You think you are kidding but... the ATV/offroad motorcycle industries right now are wrestling with new requirements for lead content that would effectively ban sales.

Gotta protect the kiddies from gnawing on those clutch cable ends!!

Tch2fly
02-17-2009, 11:04 AM
You think you are kidding but...

The only thing I'm kidding about is the date, I fully expect to see a ban or restriction as soon as they start crunching numbers and come up with some crazy contribution to "global warming" :rolleyes:

Remember the Moab group bitching about the pollution from other states being released when people air down ... C02 "emissions" would be the next "logical" step:mad:

Red_Chili
02-17-2009, 01:15 PM
Remember the Moab group bitching about the pollution from other states being released when people air down ...
Hmmm, I seem to have missed that one... :lmao: Imagine their dismay when I eat Mexican food.
12004

Just a note though, be aware of where you buy ice cream in Moab. The Moab Diner has some great stuff and you are buying ice cream. The other place in the middle of town has some great stuff and you are funding radicals.

Not to take this thread off course or anything.... :lmao:

Uncle Ben
02-17-2009, 01:31 PM
Just wait till the Eco-nazis find out how much C02 you guys are releasing back into the atmosphere when you air down. :lmao:

I figure they are about a year away from being banned :hill:

If that gets passed then the obvious next step will be to ban breathing of all mammals! Then what will they (who will be breathing illegally BTW) do when the plants die because the CO2 supply is reduced? To bring this thread back in order think about if CO2 was banned so everyone used electric compressors......by standing around BSing and laughing while you wait 30 minutes a tire to fill, the CO2 emissions from the operators and guests will be far greater than the original emissions of then stale CO2 being released...... :rolleyes:

Red_Chili
02-17-2009, 02:00 PM
Ah, but I see a logical error in your assumption set.
"Politics is founded upon rational and realistic thought".

Tch2fly
02-17-2009, 02:21 PM
Hmmm, I seem to have missed that one... :lmao:

Here is the text from 4Wheel Drive & Sports Utility Magazine from last fall. (yes I know it sounds more like it came out of "The Onion")

“It is a little known but horrible fact that out of state vehicles are poluting Moab’s clean air at an alarming rate. No, we don’t mean from their exhaust, even though that is also a problem that does cause concern. It is a much less obvious and far insidious than that.
“The real pollution comes from tires. Yes, tires. It seems the off-road enthusiasts that visit our area to do what they call “four-wheeling” are letting the air out of their tires. Now these tires have been filled with air that has many impurities in it besides oxygen. Yes, the stuff that makes up ‘smog’. Can you imagine what kind of toxins fill the tires of vehicles from areas like Southern California, which have very polluted air? Over the period of one month, with Easter Week falling in the middle, there were over 5,000 vehicles from out of state in the Moab area. We have no doubts that each one of these vehicles did what we understand is called ‘airing down’, to provide better traction. If you consider that each tire contains about 2 cubic feet of air, and multiply that times 4 tires, it’s 8 cubic feet of air per vehicle. That doesn’t seem so bad, until you realize that 5,000 vehicles are releasing 8 cubic feet each. That works out to be an astonishing 40,000 cubic feet of ‘air’ (actual air mixed with nitrogen oxides, tropospheric ozone, volatile organic compounds and peroxyacyl nitrates) that is put into Moab’s environment! Now not only are these out-of-towners polluting Moab’s clean air at an alarming rate, they are ‘airing up’ (refilling) their tires before they head home. Where does this new air come from? Yes, you got it, good clean Moab air – because, by the time they leave, the noxious fumes that they released when they got there have probably largely dissipated. Just when our air is about to return to normal, they steal it!
“We purpose a country wide ordinance that all ‘airing down’ or ‘airing up’ be done at home. Every off-road vehicle, when it crosses into Grand County, must be inspected. If the tires are not at 15 psi or less, the drivers must reduce their air pressure at a Certified Air Station to be known as a CAS. Each CAS will have a collection tank for the air that comes out of the tire and it will be stored until it’s ready to be used again for ‘airing up’. This way they can take back their dirty air and the air quality in Moab will not be compromised. Here will be a charge of $1.00 per tire for each operation. There will be an attendant on hand to collect the money and to make sure no foul air escapes. They will be given a certification of compliance when they leave the CAS. They will be subject to ‘spot checks’ at any time during their stay, to ensure that they have not released any further pollutants into the environment.
“This may seem extreme to some, and admittedly will cause our visitors some inconvenience, but we, the residents of Moab, deserve pure air. Our plans will not only reduce pollution, it will generate income for the country as well, which can be used for a worthy cause. Please join us at the next Grand County meeting to help us get this important measure voted on as soon as possible.

Hulk
02-17-2009, 04:00 PM
Just a note though, be aware of where you buy ice cream in Moab. The Moab Diner has some great stuff and you are buying ice cream. The other place in the middle of town has some great stuff and you are funding radicals.

Not at Milt's Stop & Eat (http://www.miltsstopandeat.com/). They are friends.

corsair23
02-17-2009, 05:31 PM
Here is the text from 4Wheel Drive & Sports Utility Magazine from last fall. (yes I know it sounds more like it came out of "The Onion")

OMG that is a riot :lmao:....That it is true according to you though is just :eek:

There are so many holes in that it is unbelievable...:hill:

Rzeppa
02-17-2009, 05:56 PM
:lmao:

That HAD to be from the Onion. That was too funny!

RockRunner
02-17-2009, 07:45 PM
Slow enough that the folks bumming air usually go ask the CO2 guys for a fill!!

:lmao:

Except for me :D I will have to pay you back with some Co2 :thumb:

farnhamstj
02-17-2009, 09:26 PM
If I read that right. For $4.00 some dude will air down my tires. Store it, and for another $4.00 he will fill my tires back with the same air for me to drive home with. Because the air is touching my tires on the inside and not on the outside?

I like my 12v compressor. Not fast by any means. I have been known to bum some air off my friend with a co2 tank. But when his tank is empty, he bums air off my 12v.
Congrats on the new co2.

Rzeppa
02-17-2009, 09:43 PM
If I read that right. For $4.00 some dude will air down my tires. Store it, and for another $4.00 he will fill my tires back with the same air for me to drive home with.
How about cap and trade?
:p:

Red_Chili
02-18-2009, 01:19 PM
We're going to need a NEPA EA to air down... :lmao:

timmbuck2
03-16-2009, 11:31 AM
Right now you can get a high volume ARB compressor for $208, the tire fill kit for $30 and you can get a 2.5 gal air tank for $65. This comes pretty close to meeting your budget. Thats what I have and it never runs out.

where can you get this deal??

check out this one, too...$209 on their website for a 10 gallon tank
http://forum.ih8mud.com/**-ih8mud-com-vendor-marketplace-**/207891-air-down-air-up-fix-flat-special.html

timmbuck2
03-16-2009, 11:35 AM
I would like C02 but I know I would forget to fill it and that was the main reason I went with a compressor.
I have not had a chance to use my Puma to refill after wheeling but it has worked great around the garage and Friday I filled a friend's Volvo tire and it took a bit over a minute from dead flat to 35 psi.


Plus side- cheaper than most C02 setups or high end compressors. It fills much faster than the small Qmax compressor it replaced.

Neg side - heavy and a bit bulky (though not much bigger than a C02 tank) slower than C02 or engine-driven OBA.

Hmm....another thought...I have a small Craftsman Compressor...little 3 gallon 1 hp unit...and I have a power inverter....I guess short term that would be a pretty good combination for airing up?

Tch2fly
03-16-2009, 11:57 AM
Hmm....another thought...I have a small Craftsman Compressor...little 3 gallon 1 hp unit...and I have a power inverter....I guess short term that would be a pretty good combination for airing up?

That is very close to the size of mine and should work great.
If the inverter is up to the load you should be good to go :thumb:

Beater
03-16-2009, 12:07 PM
do your math on the inverter. the inverter is listed at peak, and the motor on the compressor will be rated as constant load, not peak. Meaning? a 1500 watt inverter, at 110v, is approximately capable of a 13.63 amp load at peak, but not at constant. they usually don't list what the nominal amp load rating is, and that depends on the circuitry of the inverter.

Dave A. can explain it better.

j

just fyi

timmbuck2
03-16-2009, 12:15 PM
do your math on the inverter. the inverter is listed at peak, and the motor on the compressor will be rated as constant load, not peak. Meaning? a 1500 watt inverter, at 110v, is approximately capable of a 13.63 amp load at peak, but not at constant. they usually don't list what the nominal amp load rating is, and that depends on the circuitry of the inverter.

Dave A. can explain it better.

j

just fyi

In other words, unless it is one heck of a stout inverter, I will fry it trying to run a compressor to fill my tires....I kinda thunk so...

85Toy
03-20-2009, 01:29 PM
Has anyone tried the QuickAir 3? It supposedly has a lot more capability than the QuickAir 2. I don't have a method of airing back up yet, and found this thread very valuable. Thanks.

leiniesred
03-20-2009, 03:30 PM
It would have to be a LOT more capable than the quick air 2. Sure my QA2 is probably 10 years old and my tires are 36x13.50, but I bet it takes 30 minutes per tire to go from 7 to 25 PSI.

Also, the QA3 is only rated up to 70 PSI. That is BARELY enough to power my ARB's (By the book anyway. I'm sure the ARB lockers engage at less than 70 PSI, but that is where the ARB pressure switch turns on.)

85Toy
03-20-2009, 08:46 PM
Hmmmm, ok scratch the QA3. The ExtremeAire Severe Compressor looks promising and costs about the same as the QA3. 4 cfm and 150 psi max working pressure. Anyone ever try one?