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Thread: Vehicle Onboard Air Compressor to run power tools!

  1. #1

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    ibdilbert's Tools

    Vehicle Onboard Air Compressor to run power tools!

    My current project is adding onboard air to my truck to run air tools. I didn't like the idea of adding a gas powered air compressor and mounting it somewhere on the service truck, I just don't have a lot of space and worry over theft. I looked into some 12v electric air compressors and wasn't happy with what was on market. Most of them have low CFMs and to run air tools I didn't want to have to wait too long to bring the PSI back up in the air tank. So I am in the process of adding a sanden air compressor (Typically made for air conditioning) along with 14 gallons of air tanks storage. I have been documenting it via youtube, this is part 1. Parts 2 and 3 are to follow after the holidays.


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    Looks like a fine set up, I hope it delivers all th eair you need without having to run your engine at high RPMs.
    I used to have an IMT (Iowa Mold & Tooling) v4 compact air compressor that pulled at least 14 HP.,mounted under the hood of one of my service rigs it had the Warner electric clutch with a 30 gallon air tank and 3/4" air line it ran my 1 1/4 spline drive impact well enough with the throttle set at 700 RPM I got tired of having to run the truck engine for hours on end so I mounted the compressor and an 18 HP Yanmar 2 cyl, diesel on a 60 gallon tank The nice thing about that was with electric start and throttle solenoid when the air built up the pressure switch shut off the clutch and idled the engine if after 3 minutes i hadn't used any air the engine would shut off then if I used enough air to lower the pressure to 80PSI the engine would start then the solenoid and clutch would kick in making it full automatic. All I had to do was remember to have the truck ign sw turned to accessory that way the compressor could not start up in the middle of the night should the air leak down.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    This is interesting.
    I haven't read any further yet, but I don't recall these compressors have an oil sump. I've used earlier piston compressors that did, and they were nearly plug & play and bombproof, but they needed to sit upright and were a tough fit under the hood of some vehicles. A/C systems were oiled through the system and that's too much oil for air tools. Of course, technology may have addressed most of the oiling. Maye the Sanden radial is designed to run without so much oil. They were new when I quit playing.
    I'm way out of touch with what's been going on this front, and have forgotten anything I may have known. It's time to start studying.

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    Why didn't you go with a York? They don't loose oil over time like a Sanden and they cost less. They also operate like a standard piston type compressor. You can even get them in two stage.

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    After watching your video, I get it now.

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    ibdilbert's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Loose Ctrl View Post
    Why didn't you go with a York? They don't loose oil over time like a Sanden and they cost less. They also operate like a standard piston type compressor. You can even get them in two stage.
    So basically by what I can find with my limited research is there are three ways to do this on the cheap.

    Probably the preferred and maybe the better way is with the York, and the York will also put out more CFMs. It has a sump, but it will still get some oil spit, nothing an oil separator will not fix. However where I needed to mount the unit, a York is just a bit too tall.

    The next common conversion is with the Sandens. It does not have a sump, and most people put an in-line oiler on the filter side, then they install a oil separator on the line coming out.

    The third way is less common, but there are people doing it with really good reviews. It requires some internal modification to a Sanden, basically you convert it to be oilless but you just have to grease it. At first I felt this was a terrible idea, but after reading about them on the 4x4 forums, folks are saying it basically is the way to go if you must use a Sanden.

    I purchased mine already converted from a company that sells them online. I'm pretty confident this will do what I want. The few times I have needed an air compressor, it would of saved a lot of time and prevented a headache. Luckily these times are far and in between, so I don't expect to be using it to death anytime soon.


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