Air Compressors

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:07
ThreadID: 24090 Views:2550 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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Hi All nearly ready for the Trip.Have been told to let my tyres down slightly on dirt roads.This sounds ok but what is the best way to inflate them again.Car and caravan included.Have a good foot pump but want to do it easier .Bazza
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Reply By: Exploder - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:31

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 21:31
Mate put the foot pump away until you want to work off the bacon and egg’s you had for breakfast.

Go and get yourself a Quality Air compressor from an aftermarket 4WD supplier ARB, TJM and so-forth. You will be looking at between $200-$500 Depending on manufacture, How much air it moves, Duty cycle, Quality.

If you are a solo traveller and this is you only air pump stay away from the super cheap and alike product’s, they do work and well to, but there is a high likely hood of it packing it in when you need it the most.
AnswerID: 116964

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:43

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 15:43
Bushranger Maxair at 72 l/m have enough capacity to do all tyres in a reasonable timeframe (4 x 31x10.5R15 in about 10-15 mins from 12 psi to 35 psi). ~$350-400

Carry an "el-cheapo" as a backup. (consider replacing after 2-3 uses)

I have one of those jumpstart packs (very good idea on their own), with an inbuilt compressor. If you end up with a dud battery in the 4x4, you can rip the pack apart and jerry-rig a permanant connection to get you home.
FollowupID: 372544

Reply By: Lester from Mitsubishi 4WD Owners Club of WA Inc - Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 23:50

Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 at 23:50

Get a MaxAir from Bushranger(ARB) between $350 - $390 this will pump up your 4 tyres in no time, you'll be off an running before your mates get their second tyre done.

AnswerID: 116988

Follow Up By: Beast Of Bodmin - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 08:44

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 08:44
Hi Barrie, To follow on from Paul, take a look at the 4WD Monthly article in the June (l think) issue. They compared lots of the sub$500 compressors and Max Air came out tops.
I couldn't afford a dedicated engine driven compressor (Max Air), so this is what l bought.
Duncan's 4WD had an offer on during the last few weeks, which reduced the cost by $100. I paid $285 for mine.

However, there are several non Bushranger compressors that are the exact same compressor, but built up with lesser quality air fittings or single stage air filter that have the same performance as the Max Air but without the bells & whistles for about $275. I have seen these in my local store.

Just one comment, do not buy the ARB, it is slow and over priced as a portable compressor. Although does have a air tank built in if you have AirLockers fitted and want it perm mounted.

Beast Of Bodmin
FollowupID: 372489

Follow Up By: Moggs - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:34

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:34
...maybe in your opinion the ARB is no is probably one of the better compressors on the market re: reliability. It is also fully serviceable and can be rebuilt. It might not be the quickest however it should last you a lifetime if looked after properly.

I quite happily trade a minute or 2 in inflation time for the confidence that the pump will work when needed.

In addition, I think there was plenty of discussion on the forums some time ago re: the Bushranger pumps being the same as the eBay pumps and the like that were around when the first Bushranger pumps first came out. If I recall correctly they are not even close except for the external look. Didn't one have a steel piston and the other a plastic??? I recall someone cut one up to check...Roly maybe???

Anyway, the ARB compressor is a good bit of kit - telling someone "do not buy it" seems a bit over the top IMHO.
FollowupID: 372517

Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 22:23

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 22:23
Beasty that 4WD monthly test although carried out pretty well, failed to test alot of the better quality high capacity compressors. If you want the the best compressor under $500 it would be hard to go past the "Big Thumper" from ATS. At 4 cfm it's over twice as fast as the Bushranger.
ARBs compressor is really set up for Diff locks that require around 90 PSI to opperate. They pump well at high preasure but for large capacity tyres they are painfully slow. If you have lockers then you may settle on an ARB to do your tyres seeing it's already installed but I wouldn't choose one specifically to do that job. You're right Moggs, they are good quality & will last.
Cheers craig.............
FollowupID: 372780

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 07:35

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 07:35
I have been using a $100 repco compressor for a couple of years now with no problems. I wouldn't spend hundreads of dollars unless you plan to use it regularly.
AnswerID: 116996

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 09:26

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 09:26
I use the ARB job mounted under the bonnet - as Brew says, not much point in the outlay if you won't use it much .... but I use mine a fair bit - checking tyres on 3 cars ar home, doing the air bags, plus other devices that have air filled tyres etc - blowing down bits and pieces when fixing things - even spray painted things with it. The main thing is, having the ability to re-inflate tyres every time you decide to let them down is great. You can go down for rough roads, up again for the bitumen, way down for the sand all the time knowing that its quite easy to get them back up again. With a van in the picture, I think its a good investment.
AnswerID: 117003

Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 11:46

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 11:46
As the others say, shell out for confidence and safety. Get a good one and they last. The el cheapos may not. There's nothing like finding out your supa cheap one doesnt do the job after you've let the tyres down and need them back up again. I had this happen years ago and bought a big red comp. Its excellent.
AnswerID: 117033

Reply By: Member - Poppy (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:18

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 13:18
Just bought a Bushranger Max Air from member Eric for $275 and I think he may still have some left on special, so send him a member message.
Been down the road of using Super Cheap ones and they are not up to the task.
Bushranger comes with 5 year warranty as well
Cheers Poppy
AnswerID: 117045

Follow Up By: Member - Barrie- Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:43

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 14:43
How do I contact Eric?Bazza
FollowupID: 372525

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 23:17

Friday, Jun 24, 2005 at 23:17
Bazza, Eric left today for a Simpson crossing. I'm sure he'll be on when he get back if not before.
FollowupID: 372795

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:08

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 16:08
All I can say is don't buy a cheapie. Buy either:
Blue Tounge (opposite lock) Bushranger (genuine, not copy) or ARB, Big Red and there are a couple of others.

Any pump manufactured by "Thomas Pumps USA" will be a pearler and it doesn't matter what brand it's got slapped on it (Big Red's and Blue Toungers are both made by Thomas).

I'm telling you this because I went down the cheapie road and wasted $$$. Sometimes you can get good cheap stuff, but I have come to the conclusion that with Air compressors it's not the way to go.

Here's a pic of my install:
AnswerID: 117076

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:00

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 17:00

I have both, an ARB mounted under the front passenger seat and a cheapie ($20 in Taget about 18 years ago.)

I use both but mostly the ARB. The ARB will pump up three tyres in the time the cheapie does one but when you are in a hurry that can be worthwhile.

Yeah the ARB is slow compared to some but it is reliable and having the little tank actually speeds it up a bit, the tank re-fills while I move the hose from one tyre to the next and then gives a little rush of air when I connect it. It will also reseat the bead on a tyre you have had off the rim. Again the little tank plus the length of hose I use make for a reasonable reciever which will dump enough air quickly enough to reseat the bead.

The other thing to go with the compressor is one of those butane pressure pack can stoves and a billy. While you pump up the tyres have a brew and check out the scenery.

AnswerID: 117089

Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:29

Thursday, Jun 23, 2005 at 21:29
Can't help but agree with the need to pay the $ to get quality that will last.

Unfortunately I didn't keep my receipt for my supercheap 72l/m compressor as it seemed to work fine initially. But now the valve in the head of the compressor doesn't seal properly and lets air back from the tyre when pumping.

At least that's on 12v use.
But I'm getting my own back and hooking it up to 24v. Boy does it sing... :-)

Motor doesn't get too hot, and although I've not used it for long it still 'does the job' and the piston is flying up and down so fast the valve in the head probably doesn't have time to work out which way it's supposed to be seating.

Doesn't work properly on 12volt, and with no other purpose for the bits I figure I might as well run 24v through it and see what happens till it breaks!! Yes, I've bought a newy as well for when this one goes to heaven.

Five sleeps to go before we leave for our Alice/Simpson trip from Perth - yippe. CP's are booking up mid weeks of July so if you're heading that way, might be a good idea to check for vacancies.

AnswerID: 117131

Reply By: Muddy 'doe (SA) - Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 01:49

Saturday, Jun 25, 2005 at 01:49
Adding my 2 cents worth,

I have the midrange model from the Bushranger range which is called the Pro-Air. Is the smaller brother to the Max-Air which has been mentioned by several contributors on this thread.

The Pro-Air retails for $250 but can get cheaper than that if u look hard. It does everything a casual user needs and is of high enough quality to avoid the "Supacheap Blues" of use it 3 times and it is stuffed.

To me it is an ideal balance between quality and overrkill.

U mention letting tyres down "slightly". If you are going on good quality graded dirt roads then yes this will help. Reduce pressures from about 35 to 40psi to about 30psi. If the roads are at all rough or stony then go down to between 25 and 28psi and your tyres will deform over rocks and avoid punctures. High pressures is a leading cause of punctures on stony roads. Don't forget to let the van tyres down as well.

Of course if you are running reduced pressures you should also reduce the speed a bit as well. 80km/h should be a top speed on reduced pressures on most dirt/gravel roads. I was on the Oodnadatta track last week and while it is a good road it is pretty stony in places and 60km/h was pushing it.

Have a good trip
AnswerID: 117364

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