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Old 05-02-2019, 10:03 PM
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Best portable small air compressor

Looking for a small 12v compressor for airing up after wheeling. I donít want onboard air bc Iíll use it for multiple vehicles but want direct battery hookup (clamps as opposed to lighter outlet plug)


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Old 05-02-2019, 10:15 PM   #2
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:43 AM   #3
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looks like this HR one for $64 https://www.harborfreight.com/catalogsearch/result/index/?dir=asc&limit=60&order=EAScore%2Cf%2CEAFeatured+W eight%2Cf%2CSale+Rank%2Cf&q=air+compressor



we have the one from HR. We have 32" tires and air down to about 20lbs so the pump works well. But beware.. the hose connection to the pump gets very hot with prolong use and WILL cause a leak if you have too much back pressure. So you can either replace the hose with a rubber hose or just put some water on the connector if running the pump for an extended time. Our HR pump is about 10yrs old and runs fine



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Old 05-03-2019, 06:49 AM   #4
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have the viair 88p.. it does get very hot, but works fine for my 315's.. takes around 10-15 mins to air all 4 up depending how low i was running them.
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Old 05-03-2019, 07:24 AM   #5
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+1 on the Via air 88p. Not bad for $60
5 minutes per 315 tire from 8psi to 30psi
1.47CFM
Gets really hot
Cords are plenty long to reach all the wheels

Recently saw the Smittybilt 2781 in action.
5.65CFM
Fast and quiet
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Old 05-03-2019, 08:35 AM
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Probably going with the viair 450P after reading reviews. A bit spendy but buy once cry once..


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Old 05-03-2019, 09:04 AM   #7
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Probably going with the viair 450P after reading reviews. A bit spendy but buy once cry once..
They are a not cheap, but work very well. Every so often someone has them on sale. I just checked and I paid $259 from Rebel Offroad. You can also PM Rick at Quadratec (see the vendor section) and he will hook you up with a discount. Or try one of the other vendors.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:22 AM   #8
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Recommend the Viair also. We have one we use for the Motorhome and Jeep tires. Little thing is powerful enough to handle both. You wonít be disappointed.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:09 AM   #9
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Masterflow mf1050 served me well. I have onboard air now, but it did the trick for several years. Not bad for $60
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:36 PM   #10
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Probably going with the viair 450P after reading reviews. A bit spendy but buy once cry once..


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I was going to go with the 450P as well but I am only running 35's. From my research the 450P is the way to go for 40's and bigger. 450P was to slow for my liking although on larger tires 100% duty Cycle would be beneficial. I have used my 400P for my 4- 35's and a buddies 33's with no stopping or overheating shut downs. Speed (volume of air movement) won out over duty cycle in my case. I am very happy with my 400P Automatic.
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:49 AM   #11
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I used an ARB CKMP12 for about 4 years. It's a single compressor in a carrying case, which is great for storing other gear. Worked great for the stock tires. Yes, it's a little pricey. Ive seen people on the trail use the cheap HF or other cheap air compressors for a tire or two, then overheat and shut off. It served me well for 4 years, never shut off.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:40 PM   #12
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Believe it or not the Harbor Freight version is a steal at $63. It is one of the rare gems you can find there. BTW, all compressors get hot. Compressing air creates heat. Its how diesels work after all.
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:54 PM   #13
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I am very happy with my Viair 400P.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:46 PM   #14
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I have been using my Viair 450P for about 6 years now. I always ran a 250cfm DC 4" fan to keep it cool during use (We didn't have a/c in the YJ) and it has never gotten too hot to bear-hand while airing up my 33's and it works as good today as the day I bought it. BUT, I now have 37's and it takes 20+ minutes to air back up. Next Thursday my ARB Portable Twin arrives and the Viair will be retired to the wife's jeep for the occasional use on her 33's.

Any air compressor will work for a long time "IF" you keep them as cool as possible while running. The ARB website states for the big Twins "100% duty cycle AT ROOM TEMPERATURES!" Everybody that mounts them under the hood or by the exhaust pipes obviously didn't read the instructions or care that "HEAT KILLS" anything mechanical or electrical. I had a 10lb. Power Tank set up for many years but got tired of re-airing my tires back up after 2-3 weeks off the trail. CO2 bleeds through the rubber and will need to be aired back up sooner or later. That's why the ARB Portable Twin this time. It should last me the rest of my wheeling career with proper cooling from the A/C on the passengers floorboard. My opinion is, If it gets hot enough to shut off because of thermal shut down protection, you just took a year off it's life expectancy.
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Old 05-07-2019, 01:37 AM   #15
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Can't go wrong with Viair. It works well and very heavy-duty.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:54 PM   #16
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I have the Smittybilt and it works great. Airs up a 35 in about 3 minutes. I recently hard mounted it to a molle panel in the back and wired it up with a switch next to the steering wheel and it's amazing how convenient it is now.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:12 PM   #17
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I used the 88p for three years, now I have onboard air. The 88p will take my 35x12.50-15s from 10 psi trail pressure to 27 psi street in around 20 minutes. It gets hot, and I lightly dribble water on the head every few minutes. It has served me well, and now lives as a backup.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:27 PM   #18
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Any opinions on the Superflow MV50 12-volt direct compressor? I ordered it based on the recommendations of other OBX beach drivers.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/SuperFlow...y-Bag/49664214
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:29 PM   #19
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A friend of mine bought that, and we turned it into a cheap onboard with a bunch of poly hoses and brass parts. It's fine, a little faster than the 88p maybe, but not sure. His tires have slightly less air volume than mine. I would probably choose the 88p just based on how many years I abused it without problems, but that doesn't mean the MV50 couldn't survive it too. Just don't know.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:37 PM   #20
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A friend of mine bought that, and we turned it into a cheap onboard with a bunch of poly hoses and brass parts. It's fine, a little faster than the 88p maybe, but not sure. His tires have slightly less air volume than mine. I would probably choose the 88p just based on how many years I abused it without problems, but that doesn't mean the MV50 couldn't survive it too. Just don't know.
I'm running stock 32" tires on my JKU sport, airing down to 15 PSI on the beach. The reviews suggest that it will inflate my tires as fast or faster than some gas station pumps. We'll see.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:51 PM   #21
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Been using the Viair 88p many years now, love it. It can run 25 minutes continuous, plenty to air up 33" tires after a day off road,

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Old 05-07-2019, 08:22 PM   #22
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Any opinions on the Superflow MV50 12-volt direct compressor? I ordered it based on the recommendations of other OBX beach drivers.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/SuperFlow...y-Bag/49664214
I have been using this thing for years and love it. I'm on 35's and air down to 12-15 PSI, never had any issues airing back up.
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Old 05-08-2019, 06:46 AM   #23
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I just bought this thing and like it.https://specialopstools.com/products...air-armor-m240 It's the same thing as the Master Flow but inside and ammo can, which is something I wanted to do if I bought a 1050. I got mine for $139. Free shipping because my friend wanted one too.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:05 AM   #24
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I bought the Smitty Built 5.56cfm compressor. I was shocked at how fast it inflated my 35s. The price is great from 4WP @$120.98. I blew up all 4 of my 35x12.5r17s from 13 to 28 while my buddy's vair was just finishing up on his 3rd.

https://www.4wheelparts.com/p/smitty.../_/R-DSBP-2781

With what ever you buy make sure you break it in. This will help with performance and longevity.


Also remember altitude reduces pump performance. When you go from lower to higher altitude you have that cant breath feeling, so does the compressor. lol You cant pump what you do not have.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 AM   #25
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Any opinions on the Superflow MV50 12-volt direct compressor? I ordered it based on the recommendations of other OBX beach drivers.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/SuperFlow...y-Bag/49664214
I've been using the MV50 for two years now. (I only air down about six times a year).

Works great. No complaints. Takes about 10 - 12 minutes to air up four 285/70R17 tires from 12 Lbs to 34 Lbs.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:24 AM   #26
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Any opinions on the Superflow MV50 12-volt direct compressor? I ordered it based on the recommendations of other OBX beach drivers.



https://www.walmart.com/ip/SuperFlow...y-Bag/49664214


Have that same compressor, branded differently, mounted underneath the passenger seat and regularly take my 34s from 10-12 psi trail back to 28-30 street pressure. It does get warm but no issues at all. JP magazine did an article using it which is what gave me the idea. Great inexpensive solution.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:29 AM   #27
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I just bought this thing and like it.https://specialopstools.com/products...air-armor-m240 It's the same thing as the Master Flow but inside and ammo can, which is something I wanted to do if I bought a 1050. I got mine for $139. Free shipping because my friend wanted one too.


Good lord Iím in the wrong line of work. I could buy all of that stuff at retail prices and still make a profit with that price point. Iím sure it will serve you well and time is money so Iím definitely not dogging your decision to buy it. Iím just not entrepreneurial enough to think of stuff like that.
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Old 05-08-2019, 11:56 AM   #28
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Good lord Iím in the wrong line of work. I could buy all of that stuff at retail prices and still make a profit with that price point. Iím sure it will serve you well and time is money so Iím definitely not dogging your decision to buy it. Iím just not entrepreneurial enough to think of stuff like that.
It's also absolutely backwards to stick the compressor into a place with reduced airflow. It should be in open air, and cooled as much as possible.
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:47 AM   #29
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As much as I like making stuff sometimes it’s just easier to buy instead of having custom everything all the time. I wanted a compressor in a box instead of just getting knocked around. The advertised duty cycle is less because it’s in the box. It’s fine for the 4 times a year I need it.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:03 PM   #30
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It's also absolutely backwards to stick the compressor into a place with reduced airflow. It should be in open air, and cooled as much as possible.
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As much as I like making stuff sometimes itís just easier to buy instead of having custom everything all the time. I wanted a compressor in a box instead of just getting knocked around. The advertised duty cycle is less because itís in the box. Itís fine for the 4 times a year I need it.
If cooling the compressor is a concern, why not use a hole saw and cut several holes in the sides of the ammo can. The compressor will still be contained within the can, but should have better air flow to keep it cool.

Good Luck, L.M.

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