Air Compressor's

Submitted: Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 16:39
ThreadID: 97763 Views:9291 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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Hi all,

Just wondering what people are using out there with regards to portable air compressors? I picked up a "Storm" one from BCF about 6 months ago and although I have given it a hard time it hasn't been punished outside of what you would expect given the environment you would expect it to perform in. The plastic coil has a tear in it where the coupling joins to the end of it and it's just really slow (even before the tear). It takes about 5 minutes to get a tyre from 10PSI back up to about 38 PSI and the whole unit just seems really unreliable. Yes I know you get what you pay for and granted this one was pretty cheap. Eventually looking to upgrade to a fixed under the bonnet one but in the mean time want to get something a bit sturdier and faster than the one I have that will double as a reliable back up once I get one under the bonnet. I don't want to be stuck out in woop woop at 10PSI which is what I can see happening if I continue to rely on this one. Any recommendations?
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 17:59

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 17:59
Hi Cruiser, There are a number of twin cylinder good quality compressors available so it comes down to personal choice and selection of a reputable sales source.

The recommendation I would give you is to not install it under the bonnet. It gets pretty hot in there and there are components in the compressors which will degrade with heat. Either keep it portable or install it in the cabin, perhaps under the seat?


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AnswerID: 494015

Reply By: Peter T9 - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 18:09

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 18:09
I bought one of the el cheapo $78 twin cylinder Chinese jobs on ebay and took in on a recent central Australia trip. Used it a couple of times and it is really quick. I don't think I would want to be 100% reliant upon it however so I also took a backup hand pump just in case.

I think for the money the Chinese units are good and they come with a nitto fitting on the compressor so you could easily change to better quality hose and fittings (I threw out the fittings that came with it).
AnswerID: 494017

Reply By: ross - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 18:31

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 18:31
I bought a bushranger maxair about 6 years ago,still going strong,still gets good reviews in the tests that periodically appear in some 4x4 mags.
Ive also got a Thumper(I think thats what it is) that is much smaller that I use for my BIKE on long trips.
It works quite well for its size and weight and will do the big tyres on my Landcruiser,but not as fast as the maxair
AnswerID: 494019

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 19:04

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 19:04

If you want a quality compressor that is reliable and doesn't overheat and cut out, you need to invest in a quality one.

I have a "Big Red" which is a few years old now but still going strong.
I selected this at the time as it was one of the only compressors available in a portable configuration. It sits in a sturdy plastic "tool" box with a control switch to turn it on and off. TJM were the distributors at the time I got mine but I don't see them listed any more.

The Bushranger Max-Air has good reviews, as does the ARB portable compressor which is also available in a "tool box" configuration for true portability.

I guess it depends on what uses you have in mind, but a portable compressor was my choice rather than a fixed "on-board" one.


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Follow Up By: Member - Ian G (NSW) - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:15

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:15
We have had a Big Red for 14 years now. Still going strong & we have used it lots. The advantages with a Big Red, besides being reliable, sturdy etc, is the fact that because it is portable, you can cool it down quicker and it has a very long hose that will reach all around the vehicle and a camper trailer from the battery under the bonnet. We have big BF Goodrich All Terrain tyres and it has always coped well. It is very compact and up to date we have never had to replace any parts as it is such a good quality product. It has spent most of its life sitting behind the drivers seat on the floor in the back - no matter whether we are towing or not.

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Reply By: bazz - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:25

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:25
try big boys toys on the net , the bigger model goes well...... so far......!
AnswerID: 494033

Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:38

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:38
A couple of months ago, my Projecta Typhoon, having given me a number of years of very good service, decided to play up on me and no longer pumps to its previous capacity. After a bit of research, I decided on the Dr Air Pro 150L/M compressor. Google it and there are heaps of recommendations for this unit.

The Dr Air ticked all the boxes but was not overly cheap. They vary considerably in price, but you can pick one up for about $220. (eg eBay) However, performance wise, wow, it is chalk and cheese with the Typhoon, even when it (the Typhoon) was working at its best. Very, very pleased with the performance and quality of this compressor. I took a fair bit of notice of the results in the 4WD Action compressor comparo some time ago by 4WD Action and have not been disappointed.

AnswerID: 494037

Follow Up By: patsproule - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 07:33

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 07:33
Quick hint re the Dr Air Pro - Aldi have this very compressor (minus the brand name) for $100 in their rotation of specials. I have one and it's awesome!

FollowupID: 769753

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:41

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 20:41

Bought a Blue Tongue compressor, about 10 years ago, and while I haven't used it much, it's still in as new condition. Was supplied in a plastic tool box, that stores the air hose as well, so is very portable, and not restricted to one vehicle. "They" recommended not to mount this type of compressor under the bonnet, because of dust etc.

I'd endorse too, what was said about buying top quality. ARB, TJM, Blue Tongue are good brands, and there's a couple of others that are good, just a lot more $$$$$$$$$$. Think ARB do one in a tool box as well???

While I'm not really pushing the Blue Tongue, it is able to be run non-stop, whereas some of the others have a temp cut-out, and will stop if overheated.

You could buy one to pump up the tyres on your jet ski when you get one, so your partner can tow you right out behind the breaks?

Stay safe,

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Follow Up By: Member - Cruiser74 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:51

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:51
Thanks Bob! Though you will never see me on one of those bloody jet-skis unless I'm being rescued from the surf! Thanks for your advice.

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Reply By: Rangiephil - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:20

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:20
The ALDI 150 litre $99 compressor looks identical to the Dr Air but has 1 year warranty rather than 2.
I bought one and have been happy with it for several months, and it is very fast.
I use it to inflate 4 X4WD tyres and my camper trailer and have used it several times with no problem.

Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 494042

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:22

Friday, Aug 31, 2012 at 21:22
I have it mounted in the back of my RRC with a cylinder.
You have to have heavy wire as it draws 50amps and performs much better with the engine running. The engine noticably increases speed as the compressor stops.LOL
FollowupID: 769685

Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 07:18

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 07:18
Gday Rangie
Lil Wes and i have one the same. We have used it a few times and notice the same with engine speed , and the tyres just go up , now my problem is the coupler, it leaks and i have been to lazy to get it fixed . So as far as we are conserned , a good $99 buy.

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Reply By: olcoolone - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:12

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:12
We use two ARB CKMA12 compressors running in to a 20Lt tank..... we have also mounted a Spal 6 inch hi flow fan that blows cool air over them.
AnswerID: 494056

Reply By: Member - Cruiser74 - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:48

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 09:48
Hi everyone, as always a wealth of reliable knowledge on here I really appreciate the advice. It makes sense about the problems with having a compressor under the bonnet and to consider having it in the vehicle instead so thanks for the tip. I'm going to check out some of these models next week and pick up a new one. Thanks very much

AnswerID: 494059

Reply By: mountainman - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 13:46

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 13:46
stick it under the bonnet.
the compressor will produce its own heat, more to worry than the engine bay.
keep the cabin quiet, and if the hose lets go, no air to blow dust everywhere.
good compressors have their own filter anyway, like the arb.

each to their own, but if you mount a tank, that air line will have the tanks capacity behind it.
simple if something goes bang, lets go, no harm to the engine bay, compared to human cargo, or other things in the cab.

AnswerID: 494071

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 18:27

Saturday, Sep 01, 2012 at 18:27
I have a Big Red Compressor for 5 years now, made in the USA Industrial quality and very reliable. Some cheaper chinese units have a bigger capacity but you never know when they will give up on you! I have mine mounted inside the spare wheel holder on the rear door of the Patrol and I use the spare wheel as a 100 litre tank at 60 psi.. Very happy with the unit and about $300. Michael

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