Power Tanks vs. OBA... - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 01:30 PM
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Power Tanks vs. OBA...

4wheeler4life -

You say that since they are ONLY $300 and airing up costs $10, then you could buy it and air it up alot of times for the price of on-board air...

I don't get it - a York on-board air setup will run you about $100 with the compressor and brackets and all the fittings, etc. on a CJ. I guess with a YJ or TJ it would be a little more since you'd have to make or buy brackets...

I don't see how you can spend 4 or $500 on an OBA setup? I know I often hear about guys getting NEW clutches for the compressor and NEW compressors and all that and man, that is just a king-size waste of money. The ground is LITTERED with these things at the junkyard I go to, and if the one you have dies, just bolt on a new one from the junkyrad for $20. My setup came from a dead Wagoneer in the Summer of '96, and it's been going strong ever since.

Anyway, In my humble opinion, yeah, the tanks are alright, but can't TOUCH having a compressor hooked to the engine. I've setup several Jeeps like this - all with greasy, dirty used compressors, and not one of them has ever failed in any way after years of use. I might even put a setup on my Dodge Ram by using the Kilby enterprises combo pulley on the alternator and then fabbing up everything else...

I guess the moral to the story is don't abandon the OBA idea so fast - it's cheap, easy, and proven... The York setups are so easy on a CJ that a CJ owner would have to be nuts to do anything else. AMC Wagoneers (V8) and Eagles (258) make great donor vehicles for a bolt-on setup...

Not trying to ruffle any feathers here, but just let you guys know that it's nowhere near as tough or expensive as everyone makes it sound - It's the ultimate weekend Jeep project - it was actually my first. Good luck, and BTW, I know of one Eagle and one J-truck with air in the junkyard right now...- Chuck

Chuck Hadley
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 05:53 PM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

I have OBA and love it. Due to the requirements of ARB's, I have probably $160 into my entire outfit including hoses, chucks, custom tank, manifold, switches, belts, puleys etc.. I would not go any other way, however, I would like to get the factory mounting bracket for the compressor for the 258. I junked the alternator adjusting braket and built a mount for the compressor that adjusts the tension. The only problems are it uses an idler pulley that I believe is on its last legs, & it is difficult to get enough tension on the belt. I believe with a higher output alternator, I would get belt slippage. If I could find a bracket, I could correct both defficiencies. So far I love it. It didn't see much use last year due to all the fires and closed lands, but early this summer it will get used.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2001, 06:59 PM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

I think for some people the issue is not cost related but space related. Some just don't have room for a York or similar set-up.

As far as cost of the CO2 set-up, I found a regulator for 31.95 http://www.welding-direct.com/sinstagflowg.html fittings and hose cost about another 30.00 or so, and the tank can be rented for 15.00 or you can own your own for 85.00. Not to mention they are new parts, and you don't have to hunt and scrounge for them. This makes it an easy solution for alot of people.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 09:46 AM
 
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

I have an arb quickair compressor for airing tires and small jobs hooked to a 3 gallon truck air brake reserve tank on my jeep. BUT i am planning on picking up a co2 tank for running air tools and seating beads. I worked in a welding shop and we had a co2 tank on the truck because there was no room for a gas powered compressor in the bed due to the size of the welder, and material that we carried. In the bus shop where i work now the 60 gallon compressor kicks on if i run any air tools for more than a minute or two. to run air tools from an arb or even a york is not worth the trouble. the compressor would be running all the time and never develope the constant pressure of a co2 tank.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 10:01 AM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

When you have severe tire damage and you are refilling every 5 min. that tank won't cut it...

I have run a die grinder off a york w/ a good sized tank.

Starting fluid is the way we set beads, we do it all the time..

post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 10:35 AM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

I have tried rigging up my own CO2 system using normal CO2, and it simply doesn't work well. This is because normal CO2 regulators do not provide enough volume without freezing up. When I tried my setup this way it was either WAY slow (like 10 minutes/tire to fill up), or it froze and stopped working altogether.

I ended up with a PowerTank regulator on my own tank, now it works great - fast as can be (about 1 min/tire for me), you can get 150+ psi if you need it, and it DOES NOT freeze up. It is important to realize that what powertank is selling is a regulator that will NOT freeze up while delivering lots of volume and psi - not an easy task!

I have heard of others who essentially took oxygen regulators and modified them to work on the CO2 tanks (the threads are different on the 2 tanks). Oxygen regulators are meant to provide more volume etc in much the same way as the power tank ones. I was not able to source these parts where I am in the boondocks, so gave up and ordered the powertank regulator. If you are able to source the Oxygen regulator parts and have them modified, then that is the way to go, it will be a lot cheaper.

As far as use goes, I have used my Co2 and a york OBA system. Mine was much faster and capable of putting out more psi - in other words, I could fill a tire faster, and was able to seat a bead easier. However, mine does run out, and even with a 13lb tank that comes up fast when you are filling big swampers. Typically I have to refill it every 5 trips (ie: I can fill about 20 tires).

While mounting of an OBA system can be difficult, let's not forget that the CO2 tank does take up a lot of space and is kinda awkward to mount. I'd score one for OBA on that one.

The other plus for the CO2 is simply setup time and hassle. It is much easier/faster to get the CO2 system working than to rig up an OBA system. And it's portable. You can bring it in other vehicles/lend it out if you want, and you can bring the tank right to where you need it (although I usually leave it where it is mounted).

I'm not sure I think one is better than the other, each has its +s and -s. I chose mine because I needed airing up ability FAST and easy (was going to a ralley and quickly realized that not having air was going to be a BIG problem with big swampers to fill), and so far it is working great, so I'm happy with it.

Chad

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 11:04 AM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

My '84 CJ7 ha no a/c. This summer, I'm probably gonna add an a/c kit from http://www.ackits.com

Can I still add a second compressor for OBA?

Joey

post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 11:45 AM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

That reg. that Austin said to use only goes to 50 psi. You can buy a 10 lbs Alum tank for about $80 and the welding shops sell these fixed presure CO2 regulators for about $30, they have no guage on them. You could buy a 90 psi and fill your tires and run air tools too. but would not be enough to seat a tire bead. But you could get a 150 psi too to seat beads. I was going that route at first then I just bought the tank from the welding shop and the regulator from power tank, that way I could use it for my Mig welder too. When you do the math on a tank, two fixed regulators your under $150. Not as simple to use as the power tank reg because you have to change out regs, But most of us have more time than money.

post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 12:12 PM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

Sorry about that I think I used the wrong link. If you search the site thought the correct regulator is there.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-28-2001, 12:36 PM
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Re: Power Tanks vs. OBA...

Out here in Calif that regulator that goes from 0 to 150 psi and is rated for co2 runs about $150 in the welding shops. Thats why I went with the power tank reg. and you get a hose and handle to protect the reg.for $200 But if you don't use it for welding the tank and a preset reg might be the way to go.

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