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CO2 Bottle vs Compressor

az_amsoil

Well-Known Member
As a general chaser, I'd like to hear the minds of RDC weigh in. I like to portability and quick inflation of a 15/20lb CO2 bottle...yet having an unlimited air supply and ability to switch over to air tools is also appealing.

What are your setups? What do you like/dislike? Powertank/Instant Air? Viair/ARB/Smittybuilt?

Hopelessly undecided!
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
For RACING I prefer a Powertank because of the speed. On my experience even the best electric compressors cannot keep up with air tools (although adding a tank helps for short bursts). Electric compressors are not as portable either. The only downside to a Powertank is that you have to refill it, and it could potentially run out at an inconvenient time.

Also, while it is possible to make your own CO2 air tank, I find that the regulator that Powertank uses flows faster and does not ice up, so even if you get your own tank I would pay the extra money for their regulator.


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az_amsoil

Well-Known Member
Seen some using a/c compressors (York), but PITA to fab up and install.
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
Extreme Outback Products makes some nice belt driven York systems for modern diesel trucks that retain your A/C. They are fast and work very well,but I still like the portability of a Powertank for pitting.


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pwerwagn

Well-Known Member
I've used a bunch of different setups. My 2 favorites are belt driven York or RV2 setups, and co2. I have a few elec compressors, the biggest being a twin cylinder quick air 3. Even at ~4cfm it's pretty useless for anything other than short jobs and draws something like 40-50 amps. I haven't used it in a long time.

I have a 5lb and a 20lb co2 setup. They both work great. The belt driven York/rv2's work great but if you have more than one vehicle it becomes an issue. I pretty much use the co2 most of the time now days. The 5lb fits nicely on truck for small things, and I leave the 20lb at the trailer for bigger stuff.
 

PaulW

Well-Known Member
I have used different setups. For the desert Bronco I have a 10# with Powertank's latest reg. Works fine for occasional one tire use. For multiple tires - yes it ices up and by the 4th tire it still works but is much slower. For air tools - good luck unless you just need it for one tire. Air tools eat CO2. I carry a cheepy 12v in case I run out of CO2. Never have had it run out because my flats are infrequent with the BFG Bajas. I usually plug the cactus leaks when I get home in SF. Biggest issue is getting the Powertank Al tank refilled because I have to go from San Felipe to Mexicali or Yuma and wait a week for a new cert. Lesson - don't buy a fancy tank just use what the welding guy sells which are the exchangeable 20#. BTW IMO, the Powertank hype is greatly exaggerated. Don't believe what you read from them.
For my trail rig I carry a weld shop 20# with a fixed reg and for sure it ices up more than the Powertank setup. I use it for every ride and sure enough it runs out every summer - sigh. In Moab the local gas guy trades me an empty for a full for a pittance in price - no wait required. I carry a HF12v compressor as a backup and it is pretty slow. (35s on the Heep).
My new build uses a high end Viair (no CO2). It uses a 2.5Gal tank and has not been tested yet. 35" Krawlers for another trail rig.
My buddy in the Jeep club has a York and for sure it is way-way faster and of course it always works with no ice problem. I don't like it because he does not have an oil separator and I don't like oil in my tires. Good luck getting a York for most rigs. Many installs replace the AC - Unacceptable for the desert.
The best setup is still unknown for me. Good luck with your choice. Get one of the setups and try it out. As they say your results will vary.
Paul
 

D-rek

Well-Known Member
I have a 20 lb CO2 tank and I have had it over a year and never had to fill it. I have used it for impact guns filing tires. Hose gets ice cold as do the tools.
 

PaulW

Well-Known Member
I have a 20 lb CO2 tank and I have had it over a year and never had to fill it. I have used it for impact guns filing tires. Hose gets ice cold as do the tools.
==
Probably time to weigh it. Its a bummer to have to use the electric back up or drive to town with 12psi in your big tires. Some times it is a long way to get the tank filled. The smaller tanks are not recommended unless you are driving a rig with small tires.
I admit I get 2 summer seasons on one fill and that is with no use of the impact. Trail use means 12 psi for each day and filling them to get back to camp. That is a lot of use and a lot of CO2. My desert rig has gone 5 winter seasons without a fill because I seldom deflate for daily use.
Like I said your results will vary.
 

loufish

Well-Known Member
I run a 10lb CO2 mounted in my 2wd truck, and find it lasts pretty long only needing to air up two tires at a time...I also bought a VERY efficient 1/2" dr air impact gun which just sips off my tank. I like the speed in which I can air up even if it ices up just a little after the first tire. I have several welding supply outlets close to me so fill ups aren't a big issue. Ive had this whole system for several years now but recently switched over to a Milwaukee compact 18V FUEL gun to get my CO2 to last longer. If I really needed a lot of air, I'd go with some sort of engine driven compressor and tank, otherwise I'll stick to my CO2. and yes for chasing I'd go with a 20lb tank...
 

mgobaja

Well-Known Member
Nitrogen doesnt have the freezing issues, and you can slow down the Co2 freeze if you leave the bottle upright versus laying it down.
 

PaulW

Well-Known Member
What I need is a 12v Regulator heater so the 4th tire wont take so long to bring the Pressure up from 12 to 30psi. One of these days I will research and find something. If any one has done the research please post the result.
 

Dirty Harry

Well-Known Member
I run a 10lb CO2 mounted in my 2wd truck, and find it lasts pretty long only needing to air up two tires at a time...I also bought a VERY efficient 1/2" dr air impact gun which just sips off my tank.
That is a good point. One of the biggest differences between cheap air tools and expensive ones is how efficient they are.
 

Brian Dobroth

New Member
in the process of designing and building a class 7SX truck for either the baja 500 or 1000 (when its ready) i have read the SCORE manual cover to cover and didn't see anything that made the use of an on board air system in my truck illegal..... so two questions A do people do that? and secondly is that against the rules to have "pressurized air lines" running outside the cab of the truck? (Sorry I'm a very new to off road racing but been fabin and racing other motorsports for about 10 years now) Thanks for any reply sorry to take this off topic just thought it sorta fit here rather then make a whole new thread
 

loufish

Well-Known Member
Nitrogen doesn't have the freezing issues, and you can slow down the Co2 freeze if you leave the bottle upright versus laying it down.

CO2 is a liquid in the tank, so it should never be used laying down...it can be transported as such but not used like that...My understanding is you get power out of a liquid CO2 tank then a similar size Nitrogen.
 

az_amsoil

Well-Known Member
I should have updated my thread. I went with a 15lb CO2 tank and fixed 150psi regulator. Worked great, I needed to air down at the B1k to 20psi in each tire (35x12.5) and aired up all four tires without issue. I bought the aluminum tank through a beverage company in SD for $100, the regulator through Polyperformance for $40 and hose/fittings from Lowes (another $25). I already owned an inflator, but $25 to purchase. I also purchased an oring fitting for the CO2 bottle, so I don't have to deal with plastic gaskets every time I need it filled. All in it cost me less than $200.
IMAG1204.jpg
 

DRTRCR86

Member
I run the same setup and regulator, it works great but I purchased my tank from the local welding supply and just swap bottles for about $20.
 
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