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Old 01-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Not enough air pressure to fully inflate tires

Holy cow. I spent more than an hour today trying to top-up my tires for potential movement to a shop on Tuesday. I did a lot of work, and accomplished nothing. There was insufficient pressure in the air brake system to do any good, so I connected a couple of hoses and tried my 20-year-old shop compressor, which also didn't do the trick.

My tires are supposed to be at 105 front, 95 rear. I can't get them above 100 PSI with any of my current tools. So, I guess I'm shopping for a compressor tomorrow. Any suggestions what I need for PSI at the compressor? I see lots of portable compressors meant to drive pneumatic nail guns in the 150 PSI range. Is this a good idea, or will I regret not buying something rated for more volume?

It seems like I should be able to do this with the air brake system, but there isn't enough air pressure at idle. I think that I'm supposed to be able to use the cruise control to make the engine idle faster, but my cruise isn't working, even on the road.

Frustrated,
Mike
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:36 PM   #2
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Suggest a pancake compressor from Sears with 150# cutoff...............or something similar.
If using The Coach's air system
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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My 150psi Sears portable compressor does the job well. Many rv'ers use this one. Cost is normally right at $100. Craftsman 1.5 gal. 150 PSI Air Compressor Sears Item# 00915309000
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:38 PM   #4
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Lack of volume is the problem. I use my 150 psi shop compressor at home & it starts a couple of times per tire. Not sure of the size of the volume tank but it would probably hold about 8 to 10 gallons of liquid. 100 psi should be enough to move it to the shop unless it is a considerable distance, then you could probably pull in somewhere to air up completely.
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Old 01-04-2015, 03:44 PM   #5
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Watch this. Interesting part starts around the 6 minute mark. Note that they're on high idle.

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Old 01-04-2015, 03:50 PM   #6
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Learning has occurred! I'm off in the morning for the air fittings, and I get to keep my ancient shop compressor for a while longer.

Mike
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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Air compressors ? are posted often I use a egg shaped craftsman 150 psi and have no trouble topping of 125 psi tires?
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:21 PM   #8
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Your onboard compressor will pump your system to about 120psi, then shut off. When system usage bleeds the system pressure down to about 90psi, the compressor comes back into play. So your internal system will fluctuate from 90 to 120 psi.

The efficiency of the tire fill depends on two air factors- pressure and volume. If you've got adequate pressure- say, 150psi- but low volume, the air will flow toward the tire, but in very small quantity, and it will take a long time to add to the tire. If you've got high volume but marginal pressure, you'll have plenty of air to pump up the tire, but no way to push it in.

If you need anything over 100-105 psi in your tires, it will at best be a slow process, and at worst you will actually bleed air out of the tire. There are plenty of instructions available for you to make a nice "Rube Goldberg" kind of setup that will supposedly allow you to trick your compressor into action. But remember, in the end you're still going to spend $30 on parts, still have to stand there and play with this thing to make it pump air, and you're still going to have to run your main engine- all 350-500 HP- just to add air to a few tires.

Far better off, imho, to buy a small 110VAC compressor sized to the job. You will need something about 1.5hp, 150psi min, with about a 3-6 gallon tank. Such things are available at many home centers, Harbor Freight, etc., for around $100, and will prove very useful to have around for other purposes that crop up from time to time. Most will fit in a belly bay for easy transport.

Good Luck
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:27 PM   #9
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Here's a trick if you don't have a 150psi pancake compressor handy.

1. Bleed some air out of your MH system by pumping brake. Get it below 100psi
2. Get ready with your on-board air hose.
3. Now, start up your engine and let it start airing up again. The trick here is to start airing up your tires while the air system is building up pressure beyond that psi your tires require, until it shuts off at about 125psi. You should have enough time to air them up while the system is between 105 and the 125 shut-off.
4. If you need more air, start at #1 above.

Don
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
...... I think that I'm supposed to be able to use the cruise control to make the engine idle faster, but my cruise isn't working, even on the road. Frustrated, Mike
Regarding the high idle... with your engine at idle and parking brake on, be sure your cruise control is off, then turn it on (1 click), then you'll be at the spring-loaded position of the slide switch. Slide the switch 2 or 3 times against the spring and you should note the engine RPM start to increase. Slide the switch a few more times for more increase. If you hit the spring-loaded slide switch 4 or 5 times and see no response, it's not working. To terminate high idle, either turn off the CC, or just touch the brake pedal.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
Learning has occurred! I'm off in the morning for the air fittings, and I get to keep my ancient shop compressor for a while longer.

Mike
Hi Mike,

Learning is a good thing. You've learned that it can be done (air up a tire, or two, using your onboard engine-driven compressor).

I think you'll find that, even though it can be done, many have chosen to carry a portable, electric compressor so they don't have to fire up the BIG noise maker just to air up their tires.

The noise may not make a difference at home, but, your campground neighbors might appreciate that consideration. Then, there's the issue of wear and tear on your engine just to air up your tires.

Take care,
Stu

P.S. Just because you can do something doesn't, necessarily, mean that you should do it.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFChap View Post
My 150psi Sears portable compressor does the job well. Many rv'ers use this one. Cost is normally right at $100. Craftsman 1.5 gal. 150 PSI Air Compressor Sears Item# 00915309000
You said it, Mine is a different (older) Catalog number but you said it.

Many get a 150 PSI job at Harbor Freight.. I have not tried theirs but I have tried a few "Discount" compressors from other sources...... I will not post my opinion of them, Don't like that kind of language.
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for the good advice. I spent 27 years in the Marine Corps. We have a saying, "two is one - one is none." I will certainly have a portable compressor by the time I hit the road this summer. Knowing that when weather and neighbors permit, I can inflate tires while the engine warms up, is good. Having a redundant backup is better. I have been doing this with my VW campers for a long time. It can take weeks to get parts for those things. You have to carry spares and the tools to hang them.

Mike
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:53 PM   #14
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I spent 27 years in the Marine Corps. We have a saying, "two is one - one is none."

Mike
Thanks for your service, Marine!
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