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Old 07-24-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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On board air from a tank

I'm going to be adding on board air, and don't want to use a compressor, so I am looking at CO2 versus air (scuba tank) versus nitrogen. I'm interested in folks weighing in on the pros/cons. I don't care about arguments regarding which leaks out fastest or slowest, nor the possible risk of slight rubber degradation from the various gases. I'll be airing down (and thus needing to air back up) in everything from snow to sizzling deserts. I'm a certified diver (but don't own any equipment) so getting a tank filled isn't an issue. This is what I know right now:

CO2 pros: least expensive, greatest numbers of fills for a given size of tank
CO2 cons: valve can freeze up at high flows, tank should not get too cold, concerns about storing tank in a hot Jeep, most tanks must be upright

Scuba pros: high flow rates, not very temperature sensitive, can be used in any orientation, good to drive air tools
Scuba cons: expensive (relatively), tanks need frequent inspection

Nitrongen pros: perhaps more available than Scuba (welding stores and such) and cheaper, otherwise advantages same as Scuba
Nitrogen cons: least capacity for a given size

Seems like CO2 is the budget solution, Scuba is the top flight solution, but Nitrogen may have most of the Scuba advantages but may have better availability? The safety issues of CO2 in a hot jeep and the possibility of poor functionality in a very cold jeep may keep me away from it. Haven't yet found safety info on nitrogen cylinders, but I know Scuba cylinders do fine in the heat and direct sunlight.

Please add/correct my thoughts.

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Old 07-24-2013, 02:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64Chevy View Post
I'm going to be adding on board air, and don't want to use a compressor, so I am looking at CO2 versus air (scuba tank) versus nitrogen. I'm interested in folks weighing in on the pros/cons. I don't care about arguments regarding which leaks out fastest or slowest, nor the possible risk of slight rubber degradation from the various gases. I'll be airing down (and thus needing to air back up) in everything from snow to sizzling deserts. I'm a certified diver (but don't own any equipment) so getting a tank filled isn't an issue. This is what I know right now:

CO2 pros: least expensive, greatest numbers of fills for a given size of tank
CO2 cons: valve can freeze up at high flows, tank should not get too cold, concerns about storing tank in a hot Jeep, most tanks must be upright

Scuba pros: high flow rates, not very temperature sensitive, can be used in any orientation, good to drive air tools
Scuba cons: expensive (relatively), tanks need frequent inspection

Nitrongen pros: perhaps more available than Scuba (welding stores and such) and cheaper, otherwise advantages same as Scuba
Nitrogen cons: least capacity for a given size

Seems like CO2 is the budget solution, Scuba is the top flight solution, but Nitrogen may have most of the Scuba advantages but may have better availability? The safety issues of CO2 in a hot jeep and the possibility of poor functionality in a very cold jeep may keep me away from it. Haven't yet found safety info on nitrogen cylinders, but I know Scuba cylinders do fine in the heat and direct sunlight.

Please add/correct my thoughts.
I have a CO2 Power Tank. I got it for my CJ5, cuz I couldn't find a mounting spot I liked for a compressor. Has worked great! When I am in Utah or here in the heat, I usually have the soft top fully open, so no oven effect. I don't leave it in the Jeep otherwise. They do a pressure check on the tank each time I fill it. Valve gets cold, but has always worked fine. It fills pretty fast compared to what I have seen for compressors.

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Old 07-24-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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One more advantage to nitrogen is its an inert gas. Seems like more and more people switch to it to fill thier tires so they don't deal with pressure changes as the tire's heat up.

I plan to go with an OBC so I can run some basic air tools and be able to air back up after done wheeling. To me thats a huge reason to have an OBC besides airing back up
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Old 07-24-2013, 03:37 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bcj366 View Post
One more advantage to nitrogen is its an inert gas. Seems like more and more people switch to it to fill thier tires so they don't deal with pressure changes as the tire's heat up.

I plan to go with an OBC so I can run some basic air tools and be able to air back up after done wheeling. To me thats a huge reason to have an OBC besides airing back up
So what I've heard is that air tools run better off of a scuba tank that from a compressor, unless you use the compressor to fill a big (BIG) storage tank. I can't comment from Jeep experience, but I do have two fixed 80 gallon tank compressors, and I know they cycle on (when I'm swapping wheels on my track cars) after taking off two or three wheels with the impact gun. This isn't a ton of air, so I'm not certain a small tank and a small compressor could keep up. The only advantage I see to a compressor is that you never run out of air assuming you have a battery or gasoline.
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