air compressors

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 16:28
ThreadID: 21924 Views:3555 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Im in the market for a FWD air compressor ,looked at many brands ,totally confused.Like a bit of advice please
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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:13

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:13
The Max Air compressor is probably the best value for money unit around at the moment. It comes in it's own storage bag with a hose & fittings & has a reasonably fast inflation rate. There are better quality models around that are continuously rated & will no doubt last longer but for the average driver who repairs the occational flat & reinflates his tyres 5 times a year it does a great job.
Forget the elcheapo ones as they will let you down when you need it the most. Saw one for $275 recently although other shops charge as much as $380
Craig Vic
Thomas Bluetongue.
AnswerID: 106013

Reply By: Garyjs - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:14

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:14
Go for the bushranger Max Air just got one simply brilliant plus has 5yr warranty.
AnswerID: 106014

Reply By: dirtdodger - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:37

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 17:37
You will find that compressors are like tyres............everyone has a favourite, and a horror story to tell.
How much money do you wish to spend? They can range from $20 to $400. get what you pay for.
A good compressor should be part of your recovery gear. ie: it's insurance that you may never need, or your life may depend on it working correctly.
One of my cheapskate sons has a $20 one which operates ok (so far) with a lot of noise, and it can cook your dinner with the heat it generates. But rely on it? No way!
I have two bluetongues and an ARB in my family, and all three have done hard work without complaint. (I fitted a mini fan to the ARB to aid cooling).

Decide on a price range and warranty. Study the specifications, specially the duty cycle. How many minutes on versus lots of minutes off. This will tell you how efficient they are at dissipating heat, as heat will accelerate wear of the compressor and can cook the motor.

Bluetongue is my personal preference as they have a continuous rating, are fan cooled, good warranty, and parts availability for eventual rebuild
AnswerID: 106017

Follow Up By: Exploder - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 18:19

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 18:19
Hi all

Yep I was all set to go and by a blue tongue 3 or ARB compressor when I had a brain wave and thought I am about to go and spend $300+ on a something I will probably use 4 times a year. Then one day I was in super cheap and had a look at one of their compressor’s not the little ones. It’s the Professional Heavy duty 150psi one $169 I think. It does the job and quiet as well also has a thermal cut out. So what if it takes 20-25 min to inflate the 4 tyres and not 15 i am over it.

Yes yes I know what you r all saying you tool but I thought exploder mate half the time I will be in lipping distance of a sevo and if not the tyres aren’t going to be down low enough that I wont be able to drive on the blacktop. Let’s face it when you do a trip you will have 2 or more 4WD with you so your not going to run out of compressor’s but you may cop some slack around the fire that night. If you r a solo trailer then s*ht yeah spend the big bucks because you will need the assured reliability that it will work first time every time. just my 5 cents.

FollowupID: 363087

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 22:19

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 22:19
I went through two Supercheap Air Compressors in 6 months then went and bought a Blue Tounge IV. Never looked back.
FollowupID: 363135

Follow Up By: Member - Brian (Gold Coast) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 02:31

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 02:31
we had one of those supercheap jobbies... lasted 11 months and about 10 air ups.... and burnt out 40 k's from the nearest servo..... better than 400 k's I guess, but even so... I took it back and got a refund and put the refund towards an Ox from TJM.... don't know for sure but they look mighty like a "Big Red" painted black to me.... only used it a couple of times but seems to go ok!
FollowupID: 363300

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 14:38

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 14:38
LOL, yeah mine bleep itself about 40ks away from a servo too!! Had my tyres at 16psi. Had to jack each wheel off the ground to get them up to 20psi while the thing rattled away and metleditself down. Limted to the servo. Never again!!
The big red, and probally your too are a Thomas pump just like the Blue Tounge. The Blue tounge has the fan cooled motor but is slightly less powerful I think from memory. Still good units though! Do a search on Thomas pumps, they are a hard core industrial US pump manufactuer and don't mess about.
FollowupID: 363364

Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 19:29

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 19:29

How often are you going to use it and how fast do you want it to inflate?

The problem with cheapies is that they wear out, but this still takes a lot of use before it happens. If you're like me and only use them occassionally a $70 job from Big Woollies that will inflate a tyre from 15 to 35 psi in 4-5 minutes is fine.

If you want speed, go the Max Air, I've used Al's and it is very fast.

If you need one for out in the middle of nowhere to reinflate tyres after repairing them to get you moving and keeping you alive, you don't need one. You need two, a spare in case one breaks down, because no mechanical item is beyond failing, no matter how much it cost.

Over the years I've also had a couple of those $25 cheapies for general use around the home and inflating camp beds. They're slow but remarkably durable. Great for a backup, but not sure if they'd reseat the bead on a tyre.

Anyway, just my thoughts.


AnswerID: 106029

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 22:24

Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 at 22:24
Don't over look the Blue Tounge as it is the only 12v compressor on the market that has a continous duty cycle. ie it will run all day if you want it too. It is fan cooled internally.
The other advantage to this is on a hot day it pumps up your tyres as fast as on a cold day, it pumps the 4th or 8th or 16th tyre up just as fast as it did the first. Alot of these "u beut" air compressors pump a WHOPPING 72L per Minute!! For about 30 seconds, then start going down hill.
What made my mind up when looking at compressors was a chart/graph in ARB that was knocking the cheap copies of the max air. It actually showed me how crap the max air was too once it had been running for a while.
I drove down to opposite lock and bought the blue tounge. On paper it's slower than the max air but in reality it's probally the same speed if not faster.
Mines mounted under the bonnet of the surf and runs EVERY day at least once pumping my air tank up to 105psi. And yes it restarts at 80psi with no problems at all. Works great.
AnswerID: 106059

Reply By: Member - David 0- Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 07:29

Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 07:29
If you want fast inflation and you intend to use it a fair bit, go for an Endless Air (A/C compressor). If you are handy with the tools then convert an A/C compressor yourself. I did this, cost me $50 for the bits, I got the compressor free and made the mounting brackets myself. I run the compressor piggybacked off the cars A/C compressor ie with a elt between the two. I have a switch inside to turn it on (pulls the clutch in).

18psi to 40psi in a 245/70x16 takes 28 seconds.
AnswerID: 106091

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 00:07

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 00:07
Yup these air compressors win HANDS DOWN for price and speed. Probally reliability if they are properly cared for too.
The only problem is that some vehicles (like mine) just have NO room for this kind of setup. But if you can, go for it. I've seen a few of these in operation and if done correctly and with a decent air receiver tank you'll be pumping your tyres up faster than if you were at the servo!
FollowupID: 363291

Reply By: Waynepd (NSW) - Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 20:08

Monday, Apr 11, 2005 at 20:08
another vote for the bushranger max air here
AnswerID: 106220

Reply By: muzzgit (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 00:14

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2005 at 00:14
Yep. A good mate of mine got a MAX AIR, partly because I recommended it to him after chating to the guys at ORE. Then I saw one of those copies that looks identical but some no-name brand at half the price. Well guess what, his max air pumps quicker and makes less noise doing it than my cheap copy !! HMMPHHH

We both went through the cheap nasties, then the truck air, then the huricane style but still found ourselves wanting faster inflation.

Having said that, I don't know if parts are available for the max air, but a 5 year warranty is good value.
I DO know that both the bluetongue and ARB compressors have spare parts available.
AnswerID: 106278

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