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 Lloyd 95 YJ 4.0 NP435 EBD20 woodies D44s 4.88 detroits SOA revolvers 35 X 15.5 SXs 8274