Spark plug "air compressor"

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 21:55
ThreadID: 19682 Views:4222 Replies:11 FollowUps:17
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has anyone any experience with the gadget where you remove a spark plug, screw in this hose, start your engine and alledgedly pump up your tyres? How fast and reliable is it? Is it clean?

Thanks in advance
Trevor
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Reply By: locallaw - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:06

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:06
Gidday, one answer,where do you think the fuel from the cylinder goes.
Not good for the inside of the tyres or tubes.Buy a good compressor they a lot better.Just my bit.
Seeya Locallaw
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Follow Up By: Casnat - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:25

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:25
obviously had that thought myself but I was wondering if anyone had ever used one. That was why I asked "Is it clean". Wondered if it might not be an option for an emergency backup in the event of compressor failure perhaps?
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Follow Up By: Member - Ed. C.- Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:02

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:02
Wrong!!
I still have a couple of these "laying about somewhere", but haven't used 'em for yonks... (can't use 'em with a diesel anyway;-))...

The engine piston stroke is used to operate a simple diaphragm by the action of suction & compression....
The air that goes into the tyre is drawn from atmosphere, so therefore is as clean as the air that you happen to be breathing at the time...
the unburnt fuel from the cylinder goes out the exhaust pipe..

From memory, they're not super-fast, but not too shabby either..
(though ultra-reliable!)

Regards, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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Reply By: Utemad - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:33

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:33
I heard about one being used on an old Series ??? Landrover. Don't know anymore than that but I remember them saying it worked on those oldies but not on others. No idea why.
AnswerID: 94469

Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 10:10

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 10:10
Hi Utemad, Passed on your advise to the mate about the seal you recommended. He can't get any reply from the states or find anywere that sells the product. I know you had dramas with the group you brought it from but any chance you can give me the contact details of them. If he goes with them he'll just have to be pretty carefull.
Thanks
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Follow Up By: Utemad - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:35

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 12:35
These are the guys we bought it from.

F-Series Spares

If you do a google search for "trailseal" you will get a bunch of hits.

Good luck. Still haven't fitted ours yet.
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Follow Up By: Austravel - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 16:59

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 16:59
Thanks for the site I'll give them a ring.
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Reply By: Eric Experience. - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:47

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:47
Casnat.
The principal is good, air is sucked in from a reed valve in the unit, no fuel gets involved in the older motors because there is no vacum in the cylinder to draw the fuel in. In the fuel injected motors some fuel will be sprayed into the cylinder. The main problem with these tyre inflaters is the heat build up in the valve body, they get very hot as the air is rushing in and out a relatively small hole, this leads to the valves and hose melting. The best pump ever made is an Ausy built Rega Easy.
Eric.
AnswerID: 94471

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:49

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:49
Trev,

Used them years ago, some were of good manufacture, and others not so good. They did a good job, long before blue tongues, max-airs and the like. Can't remember how long it took to pump tyres up, but most of them were used on 2WD's.

On one station I worked on, the workshop air compressor was made of an old lawn mower engine, with one of these screwed into plug hole, and driven by a 32v DC motor. Probably worked a lot quicker than a hand or foot pump.

Was always talk of the petrol in the "air" perishing the tube, but think most tubes, and tyres, were buggered long before the perishing set in.

Hooroo...
Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:49

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:49
Same...used one in a Series 2 Landie, worked fine, reasonably fast too
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Reply By: Coops (Ex-Pilbara) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:51

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:51
I used to use 'em years ago on the farm as a young boy. Called a Mensel pump or something like that I think. Worked fine then but that was back in the EH to HG Holden days and carby fed at that. I reckon things are a bit too sophisticated nowadays and portable compressors wouldn't have even been imagined back then either.
My portable 12V job pumps up tyres on two vehicles with 285/75R16's no problems. Good thing cos it's a diesel and the other thing wouldn't work !!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:04

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:04
Coops,

The one I had was called a Schraeder pump.
Schraeder were the company that made a lot of them in the 70's

Cheers
Phil
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:56

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:56
I didn't know that you could still buy them. I will have to remove that from the "good 'ol days" list...... michael.
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Follow Up By: Casnat - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:59

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 22:59
I do ave access to one...hence my query. By being on your "good 'ol days" list does that mean they were good? .... or just from the 'ol days?
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:11

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:11
Hey Casnat, yes i say the same thing. There is not much good from the "good old days"....
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Reply By: Casnat - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:34

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:34
well seems like they are not just "snake oil" necessarily but sounds like no-one has heard of them since "the good 'ol days". Probably says something about how good they were/are. If they were terrific we would all still be using them I guess.

Perhaps the coming of fuel injection may make a difference?

It will probably come down to how cheaply I can pick up the unit on offer. I don't think it will replace today's compressors but may be a cheap safety net to have on hand in case of equipment failure.
AnswerID: 94479

Follow Up By: Member - Maurice F (WA) - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:46

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:46
I had them years ago worked well only prob i can see with ECU controlled modern engines with one cylinder not fireing, puter will have trouble quessing what is happeng and may have a fit, uess you can suck it and see?????????? Maurie
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Follow Up By: desray - Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:53

Saturday, Jan 22, 2005 at 23:53
If your car /4wd has fuel injection you could disconect the wiring plug on the injector on the cylinder you are using to blow up the tyre. You cannot get fuel in the tyres then
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Follow Up By: Nino & Kerry- Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:06

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:06
That won't work as the ECU will still sense a misfire and start selfcheck and bring dash light on.
Modern cars.......great except for bush repairs.

Cheers Nino
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Reply By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:16

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:16
God, those were the days!

2 Toyotas & 3 Suzukis ........ all at once. ( Sheep Station).

Lots of punctures, split rims on the tojos, cant remember what we were running on the suzukis. Anyway, we had 3 of those things. That's ALL we used as well.

I was only thinking the other day about them............

Shlt fella's........ we're gettin' old!

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:23

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:23
Oh, by the way...... while we're talking about neat & novel compressors.......

The BEST one I have ever seen was when I was with the Railways.

Volkswagen flat motor, 1500 I think, sitting inside a cradle, like say a large Honda or something, along with a tank. Here's the thing....... only the righthand half of the motor was actually working, while the other half was the compressor! Neat huh!!

These were mainly used by gangs for air tools, whereby airflow over pressure was the main concern, as well as portability.

Reminiscing Wolf
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Follow Up By: Casnat - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:25

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:25
if it worked in the past why should we forget about it unless modern changes to autos have made the use obsolete. I don't know ... that's why I posted the question.
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:48

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:48
Well, it IS a lot of work just to inflate a tyre........

Open bonnet, find tools, undo spark plug, screw in pump, start engine, roll cigarette, disconnect pump from tyre, stop engine, unscrew pump, find spark plug, screw it back in, tighten it, put tools back, close bonnet.........oh....... bugger........ the split rim didn't seat properly....... open bonnet......

Anyway, I don't think you could inflate a tubeless from dead flat.

Wolfie
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Follow Up By: Lone Wolf - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:54

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 00:54
Oh my god....... it's all coming back to me.......

I remember thinking that if I pulled out the throttle for the PTO, it would inflate faster........

I had to replace the little rubber diaphragm, 'cause the little bugger melted. Yes, I remember now......... thinking back then...... when I was 15..............."wouldn't it be neat if we could have something that ran on 12 volts......."

Sage Wolf
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Reply By: Tuff60 - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 03:09

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 03:09
Trying not to sound negative, BUT, for the price of a second, back up, compresssor, is it worth playing with an expensive engine. running the motor one cylinder down, causing it to be out of balance, just to inflate a tyre. Don't the others you go bush with carry compressors?? Most later model EFI cars will sense a problem, when unburnt fuel hits the oxegen sensor and shortening the injector pulse does not fix it, the computer will go to limp home mode or a preset fuel map to stop it lean burning.
AnswerID: 94497

Reply By: Member - Geoff M (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:22

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:22
Oh how well I remember these gadgets, used one on my last petrol 4wd, 20 years ago, an FJ40.
You'd come off Stockton Beach after fishing most of the night, half shot on thermal rum. The procedure went something like this,
1. Fall out of truck.
2. Find plug spanner.
3. Drop plug spanner
4. Swear
5. Crawl in sand until spanner found.
6. Remove hot spark plug
7. Drop hot spark plug.
8. Swear
9. Fit pump and start inflating tyres.
10. Crawl in sand until hot plug found, usually with aid of bare skin.
11. Remove pump
12. Refit skin cooled spark plug and go home.

Then we got smart, carried two spares. Both inflated to the maximum the local servo compressor could generate.
We made a hose with two tyre connections on it, one clamped and the other you held on the valve stem.
All we did then was clamp off the hose on one spare and inflate two tyres to road pressure. Repeat with second spare.

Far fewer burnt fingers,
Geoff.
Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
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Follow Up By: member-Diamond(vic) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:30

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:30
all you really needed was to cary spare spark plugs then you could just let the hot ones fall and be gone with.
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff M (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:37

Sunday, Jan 23, 2005 at 12:37
You know Diamond, thought of that years later.
Never occured to us at the time. Guess I can look back now and say, "Damned young blokes, haven't got a brain between them"
It was all good fun and part of the learning process.
And it was closer to 25 years ago, not 20.
Geoff,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
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