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Old 11-19-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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On board air compressor

I am in the market for an on board air compressor and looking for some recommendations. What is the best unit you have used or seen in action. Hoping to not break the bank and would like a stand alone unit rather than a engine driven compressor so I can use it between two rigs.

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Old 11-19-2011, 06:04 PM   #2
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Viair makes a full line of air compressors that are far better quality than the junk being sold that looks much like a Viair compressor. One thing to keep in mind... Jeep tires typically only run 25-30 psi so pay NO attention to the cheap compressors that scream how much pressure theirs can achieve, like 200 psi. Even the cheapest slowest compressors can achieve that much pressure.

What is FAR more important than PSI is its CFI (cubic feet per minute) rating. A low CFI rating, like under 1-2 CFI as most are, means an agonizing weight for all four tires to be refilled. My old TruckAir compressor was better than most of the cheap compressors but it took 40 minutes to refill my 33" tires from 10 to 28 psi. On the other end of the scale, my belt/engine-driven York F210 put out 7-8 CFI and took five minutes total to refill all four 35x12.50 tires from 8 to 25 psi.

A Viair won't be nearly that fast but ifyou get one in the 2-4 CFI range, you'll be much happier with it. And there are some misleading ads that tout 2-4 CFI for cheap compressor but that is only into 0 psi (no resistance). Once the tire starts filling up, that 2-4 CFI drops down to <1 CFI.

There is no substitute for CFI where refilling big Jeep size tires goes.

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Old 11-19-2011, 06:45 PM   #3
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Jerry, well said and I agree. You do want to look at CFM ratings, and VIAIR does make a good quality compressor that does hold up to it's claims. The 400 series portables (400P & 400P-A) do offer 2.54 at 0 PSI, and do hold the flow better through the PSI range. Also look at duty cycle, but being your tires are usually filled up to 30 PSI or so, a 33% duty cycle will work without a problem. (about 35 minutes run time @ 30 PSI, before needing a rest).

What size tire are you running? The 400P or 400P-A is great for up to 35" tires. If running 33" tires, you can go with a 300P, which is a little slower, but still a great compressor and a little more affordable. You will see fill rates on the links below.

VIAIR 300P
VIAIR 400P
VIAIR 400P-A

Also, we are offering 5% discount on VIAIR portables along with free shipping through the end of the month. For the portable discount, just use coupon code "Wrangler2".

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Old 11-19-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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I prefer the York compressor.

With just a little common sense, you can get one installed for virtually free, if you don't mind doing some wrecking yard salvage work. Since York were common on all the domestic vehicles for a decade, the brackets are readily available for a lot of older style engines, including AMC / Chrysler TJ and YJ engines, as well as Chevy & Ford small blocks. I doubt I've got more than $100 in either my York installs, including a new belt, and all the fittings. And most York compressors are still good, even after sitting for years and years.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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Jerry, I've heard of CFM before, but not CFI... I tried Googling it plus compressor, and didn't come up with anything... What does CFI stand for the way you'r using it? You mentioned cubic feet per minute (CFM) which is how I've always understood it, but what does the I stand for?
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by necromancer_tat View Post
Jerry, I've heard of CFM before, but not CFI... I tried Googling it plus compressor, and didn't come up with anything... What does CFI stand for the way you'r using it? You mentioned cubic feet per minute (CFM) which is how I've always understood it, but what does the I stand for?
The dude's brain was mistaking Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) with Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) and just got the "I" mistaken with the "M". There is no CFI.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:11 PM   #7
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VIAIR 400P-A

Also, we are offering 5% discount on VIAIR portables along with free shipping through the end of the month. For the portable discount, just use coupon code "Wrangler2".

- David
The 400P-A sounds like just what I am looking for! Will you honor the free shipping even to Alaska? If its shipped by USPS priority flat rate it is the same as shipping anywhere else. If so I will be ordering one now!
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:03 AM   #8
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I think I should be able to do that, but let me check on it and let you know ASAP.
Sent you a PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:10 AM   #9
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I had a viair 400c as my first pump but it went with my truck when I sold it. Then I found the cheap viair ripoff called the mv50. It looks identical and cost only $60. I had one in my last jeep, have one in my truck, and 2 for my jeep. No issues with any of 4 I've owned so far. I bought 2 for the jeep. It goes 2x as fast as the viar and if one breaks, no big deal.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:20 AM   #10
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I run a Viair 460C, 1 gallon air tank mounted under the tub and a cheapo medium sized diaphram pressure regulator to control the rear Airlift bags for load leveling. I also carry a coiled air hose line for pumping up tires.



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Old 11-20-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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I have 400p its awesome. Fills my 36. 13.50 swampers from 4psi to 23psi in about a minute. Can't go wrong with Viair.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:52 AM   #12
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What is FAR more important than PSI is its CFI (cubic feet per minute) rating.
Ha I can't believe I said CFI and then explained that CFI stands for cubic feet per minute. Of course I meant to say CFM. Well that's what I get for being a geezer... Partzheimers.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #13
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CFI is a new department of Obama's administration. We pay 500+ million a year for it.
It relates to air - it pumps all the Washington Hot Air out to sea. Talk about Global Warming!.

You find out about poor quality when you need it most and it lets you down. Stick with Viair.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Ha I can't believe I said CFI and then explained that CFI stands for cubic feet per minute. Of course I meant to say CFM. Well that's what I get for being a geezer... Partzheimers.
You explained it so well in your post you had me scrambling all over Google trying to figure out what it meant! Lol!
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:55 PM   #15
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CFI is a new department of Obama's administration. We pay 500+ million a year for it.
It relates to air - it pumps all the Washington Hot Air out to sea. Talk about Global Warming!.

You find out about poor quality when you need it most and it lets you down. Stick with Viair.
Obama's CFI stands for "Complete Freaking Idiots"
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:14 PM   #16
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The VIAIR is a quality compressor and that is why everything I sell is VIAIR, because I know it will last. Yes, the MV is cheaper, but the performance of the VIAIR is better and will last way longer than the MV50. $60 is cheaper than the $200, but I guarantee you will go through 5 or more MV50's before you even have to think about replacing your VIAIR. The VIAIR will not lose performance after the first few uses like the MV50 will, and will continue to match it's original fill times even years down the road. It would not be good to be relying on the cheap compressor out on the trail and have it fail when you need it the most.

These are just my thoughts. See comparison photos I found on the internet between the two. The internals are cheaper and you can see that the cylinder wall doesn't even make full contact with the heat sink, which is just bad design and doesn't allow for proper cooling. Take a look at their piston ring, and how deteriorated it is, and they both have the same amount of hours on the compressor.




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Old 11-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #17
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A friend has the MV50, which is a cheap knockoff of the Viair, and it is agonizing to have to wait for him to refill his tires because his MV50 keeps getting too hot so he has to stop airing up and wait for it to cool down enough to continue. I'd use my own compressor to get him going but since my last TJ with its compressor was stolen, I am now using a C02 tank and I don't want to waste my $$$ C02 to speed him up.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:59 PM   #18
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When I was shopping for a compressor I googled and googled, read a bunch of threads like this one. I bought a viar 400p for 179.99 at 4wheel parts. Works great. Last night I aired up my 4 36 inch tires and a buddies 4 35 inch tires and it never reached it's duty cycle.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:08 PM   #19
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When I was shopping for a compressor I googled and googled, read a bunch of threads like this one. I bought a viar 400p for 179.99 at 4wheel parts. Works great. Last night I aired up my 4 36 inch tires and a buddies 4 35 inch tires and it never reached it's duty cycle.
Yup, that Viar just kept on going....
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Onboard-air.com
The VIAIR is a quality compressor and that is why everything I sell is VIAIR, because I know it will last. Yes, the MV is cheaper, but the performance of the VIAIR is better and will last way longer than the MV50. $60 is cheaper than the $200, but I guarantee you will go through 5 or more MV50's before you even have to think about replacing your VIAIR. The VIAIR will not lose performance after the first few uses like the MV50 will, and will continue to match it's original fill times even years down the road. It would not be good to be relying on the cheap compressor out on the trail and have it fail when you need it the most.

These are just my thoughts. See comparison photos I found on the internet between the two. The internals are cheaper and you can see that the cylinder wall doesn't even make full contact with the heat sink, which is just bad design and doesn't allow for proper cooling. Take a look at their piston ring, and how deteriorated it is, and they both have the same amount of hours on the compressor.
My thoughts exactly, I've got a 450 viair and have aired up many friends tires who didn't have a compressor, and more that had their "good deal" compressors overheat or not start at all.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:16 PM   #21
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Okay so I will admit that I have the compressor from Harbour freight for $59, is that just a similar imported copy as the other ones described. It doesnt work too bad, kinda loud and It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to go from 15 to 25 lbs. It gets hot but never shuts down. I would like to mount it under the hood, is that easy to do with the Viair?
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:38 PM   #22
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Okay so I will admit that I have the compressor from Harbour freight for $59, is that just a similar imported copy as the other ones described. It doesnt work too bad, kinda loud and It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to go from 15 to 25 lbs. It gets hot but never shuts down. I would like to mount it under the hood, is that easy to do with the Viair?
Easy to do depending on the Viair model you get. I bought the 450p which is portable
VIAIR Compressor

Plenty of info here.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:02 PM   #23
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Yeah, The full on board air is pricey..I was thinking about getting a nice portable and doing a permanent mount under the hood and hardwire to the battery. Just to make it quicker and easier, though less portable.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:14 PM   #24
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No reason to buy a portable if you want to hard mount it under the hood. Look at the next tab over on the above link I posted. Here VIAIR Compressor Kits

Find the model you like then shop around for the best deal. Would be pretty bitchin to add a tank to run air tools though.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:15 AM   #25
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Yeah, The full on board air is pricey..I was thinking about getting a nice portable and doing a permanent mount under the hood and hardwire to the battery. Just to make it quicker and easier, though less portable.
The PUMA 12v is gaining momentum in popularity amongst Jeepers. Output is 3CFM and duty cycle is 100%. Full turnkey package for under $250, not too bad. I have one, they are great!

12v 1.5 gal air compressor Puma | eBay
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:29 PM   #26
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The PUMA 12v is gaining momentum in popularity amongst Jeepers. Output is 3CFM and duty cycle is 100%. Full turnkey package for under $250, not too bad. I have one, they are great!

12v 1.5 gal air compressor Puma | eBay
That looks like a nice set up for the price. How long have you had yours? Have you timed it for how long it takes to fill up a 35x12.50 tire from trail use to street use pressures?
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:08 PM   #27
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I prefer the York compressor.

With just a little common sense, you can get one installed for virtually free, if you don't mind doing some wrecking yard salvage work. Since York were common on all the domestic vehicles for a decade, the brackets are readily available for a lot of older style engines, including AMC / Chrysler TJ and YJ engines, as well as Chevy & Ford small blocks. I doubt I've got more than $100 in either my York installs, including a new belt, and all the fittings. And most York compressors are still good, even after sitting for years and years.
York systems are the way to go, I probebly have around $100 in mine also
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:10 PM   #28
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That looks like a nice set up for the price. How long have you had yours? Have you timed it for how long it takes to fill up a 35x12.50 tire from trail use to street use pressures?
I've had mine for a while but unfortunately it has for the most part, been in storage. So I can't quite comment on durability or quickness in airing up. I currently use Co2 to air up my tires but I am slowing mocking my PUMA to be my primary OBA resource. I have divorced my tank from the compressor and will mount the compressor in my engine bay and tank underneath next summer 2012. At 3 CFM and 100% duty, I think it's the ideal budget solution for airing up 35" tires.

My setup during the mock process:





To address the stress placed on the support rods, I will have struts to support the vertical forces.



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Old 11-29-2011, 03:20 PM   #29
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That's a pretty cool set up!
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:03 PM   #30
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I wouldn't mount the compressor on its side like that, it won't last long the little bit of slop the piston has will let it sag downward and wear the head and it will stop building pressure. It needs to be mounted upright or upside down only that goes for all oiless compressors especially viair I know from experience

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