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Nwcid

Onboard air compressor

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I know HDT come with onboard compressors to run the brakes and air ride equipment.  

How much volume, tank size and pressure do these typically put out?  Are they adjustable or upgradeable?  

If I want to blow the dust out of my ATV, or off myself is there enough volume to do that?  If I need to air up the truck or RV tires does it have enough PSI?  Can you run air tools, including an impact gun?

 

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Onboard air in stock trim is enough to air up tires / blow off dust / etc.  Not really enough volume for air tools (mine didn't have enough to run a large impact to break wheel lugs loose for example).

Like everything you can absolutely change these; getting large enough to run real air tools will not be cheap.

 

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12 minutes ago, steiny93 said:

Onboard air in stock trim is enough to air up tires / blow off dust / etc.  Not really enough volume for air tools (mine didn't have enough to run a large impact to break wheel lugs loose for example).

Like everything you can absolutely change these; getting large enough to run real air tools will not be cheap.

 

Do you know what PSI "stock" compressors go to?  

For air tools was it not enough volume or not enough pressure.  Volume would be relatively inexpensive by just adding a larger holding tank.  Increasing PSI will get expensive. 

 

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48 minutes ago, Nwcid said:

Do you know what PSI "stock" compressors go to?

The two common settings for truck tractors are either 120 or 135 PSI.

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I am just trying to get an idea of what it is capable of.  

At home I have a IR with a 30 gallon tank that puts out ~5 CFM with a 135 psi max.  This will run and do anything I need it to.

For on the road I picked up a $60 Harbor Freight compressor.  I did not expect it to be fast, but wish it had more volume.  It has a 3 gallon tank with 1 CFM and a max of 100 PSI.  While this will fill tires and my air hitch it leaves a lot to be desired for blowing out dust.  I get about 1 min of good pressure then have to wait 3-4 min for it to kick off and have another ~1 min of air.

I know tons of people rave about the Viair 400, but at $200 it is still just a 1 CFM compressor with no tank.  

My main use would for air is blowing dust off of us, the UTV, air filter, and tire filling.  I do not plan on running air tools, but if I did, it would be an impact gun for working on the truck/trailer.  Just wondering if adding a 10 gallon air tank would make sense.  The truck compressor would still have to put out enough CFM to keep up.

 

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Go battery for air tool replacement. When you look at what is required for impact use, battery tools make a lot of economical sense

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A small truck air compressor is going to be around 10 cfm.  I believe the Volvo D13 comes with about 30 cfm.  Do a search for air brake system checklist or something like that and you will get an idea of what are the minimum numbers.  For instance the system must recover from 85 to 100 psi in under two minutes.  My truck will do that in under 45 seconds at idle.  But if you were to permanently plumb in a large storage tank you could potentially fail an air brake check.  Your truck will have no issue supplying enough air for your needs.

 

Nigel

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Most heavy trucks with air compressors have 15 or so CFM pumps, there are 30+ CFM pumps available.    A member here has a large compressor on their truck.    Even a standard 15 CFM pump is about what a good 5 HP shop compressor will produce.     A large tank would likely work well for a short work session.     These compressors are not designed to run under constant load.     Trying to use one for shop air continuously will take it's toll on the compressor.      That is also why you really don't want to have an 80 gallon tank to fill, the duty cycle would be hard on the compressor.

Steve

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Thank you for the input.  That makes sense.  Again I do not plan on doing major use with the compressor, the majority would be for an air nozzle.  

I am not planning on filling an 80 gallon tank.  Maybe adding a 10-20 gallon tank that would only be filled on an as needed basis and not as part of the brake system. 

It was more of a question of if I would run an impact gun on an occasional basis.  I know they are making some great battery tools now but they are not cheap.  I just thought that if the truck would supply enough air for occasional use it would be more cost effective as a 1/2" drive air impact is 1/2 the price of battery.  

Edited by Nwcid

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I ordered our Kenworth with the air compressor that is normally used on a large wrecker. The air flow is 37.4 cfm and yes, it will keep up with pretty much any air tool I want to run on it. I also had them add another 8"x41" air tank and charge air glad hands to charge the tanks from shop air. I added two quick connects from the additional tanks using bulkhead fittings that are in the front, drivers side tool box.

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On 9/25/2020 at 9:25 PM, Nwcid said:

It was more of a question of if I would run an impact gun on an occasional basis.  I know they are making some great battery tools now but they are not cheap.  I just thought that if the truck would supply enough air for occasional use it would be more cost effective as a 1/2" drive air impact is 1/2 the price of battery.  

I used my HDT to remove and reinstall all four trailer wheels (8 lug 17.5" wheels) last week using my Ingersoll Rand 1/2" impact. Taking the lugs off was easy, putting them back on was a bit slower, but very doable. I simply plumbed into one of the many available fitting on the tank and ran a line to a QD on my bed. 

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The size of the air line is more of a factor than the size of the compressor, if you're willing to wait for it to catch up occasionally.  Big tank, big hose.  Using a 3/8" hose on a 3/4" impact is an exercise in futility.

That said, I use a 3/8 hose for everything EXCEPT when I pull out the big guns.  Then I drag out the converted 20 gallon tank plumbed with 3/4" hose.  Charge it with the 3/8.

As mentioned above, when it comes to impacts, a quality cordless is hard to beat.  Love my Milwaukee Fuels.

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On 9/25/2020 at 9:16 PM, Steve from SoCal said:

   These compressors are not designed to run under constant load.     Trying to use one for shop air continuously will take it's toll on the compressor.      That is also why you really don't want to have an 80 gallon tank to fill, the duty cycle would be hard on the compressor.

 

Steve

Do you have a better design for constant use? Water cooled, pressure oil lubed compressor... that is running all the time anyway. Life of an air compressor doesn’t get much better than this.

Couple things to remember about an engine driven compressor on a truck. Engine idle speed is ~700 rpm. High idle ~2000 rpm. So for stationary use, you have at best half of the rated air flow.

The other issue is that the plumbing past the tanks is not very big. If you use the trailer supply to feed a tool, you have too much pressure drop. The tank volume is also small, so if you tap into a tank, you are still lacking in usability.

Best bet is to have a newer truck with added tank capacity if you have auxiliary air needs. Or you could install a PTO and a screw compressor...

Edited by Moresmoke

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On 9/27/2020 at 5:59 PM, rickeieio said:

 

As mentioned above, when it comes to impacts, a quality cordless is hard to beat.  Love my Milwaukee Fuels.

Very expensive, but so much more flexible/practical  than air tools on the road.

My Fuel will break the 500 ft. lb. lug nuts loose and I can stick it in my toad(Jeep) for trail repair when not near the truck.

I can also charge my Fuel tools in my truck, camper, and in the Jeep.  (multiple chargers and at least 1 inverter in all units)

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 7:24 PM, Moresmoke said:

Do you have a better design for constant use? Water cooled, pressure oil lubed compressor... that is running all the time anyway. Life of an air compressor doesn’t get much better than this.

Couple things to remember about an engine driven compressor on a truck. Engine idle speed is ~700 rpm. High idle ~2000 rpm. So for stationary use, you have at best half of the rated air flow.

The other issue is that the plumbing past the tanks is not very big. If you use the trailer supply to feed a tool, you have too much pressure drop. The tank volume is also small, so if you tap into a tank, you are still lacking in usability.

Best bet is to have a newer truck with added tank capacity if you have auxiliary air needs. Or you could install a PTO and a screw compressor...

My 1984 Pete with almost 1 million miles has its original water cooled-oil lubed air compressor. Has three air tanks and can go from 90-120lbs. pretty quick.

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