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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All this talk of compressor and such has got me thinking. I am torn as to what my next tool purchase should be. Looking for opinions. I have a $100 gift card from Home Depot that I am considering putting toward either an air compressor or a welder. I am about to embark on a frame-off rebuild of my '77 CJ-7 and will likely need both of these. I will need to do some welding on the frame (relocating spring perches, fixing/reiforcing frame, etc.) as well as some body work. This will likely need 2 different welders. I am leaning toward the lighter duty mig type. I am also considering an air compressor. I have read the earlier posts regarding this and will try and take most of the advice given. I am looking for opinions on what tool I will get the most use out of. The Jeep is 23 years old so removing bolt and such will be a task. Hoping that air tools would aid in this. I also don't have a ton to spend on tools (Jeep will eat most of it), so I most likely won't be able to buy the best top of the line stuff, but am hoping to get at least something in the middle to suit my needs. Any and all opinions are appreciated.
Regards,
fratt77cj7
304QtracTH400
[email protected]

fratt
 
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Air compressor, probably. If if were me, I'd say to myself - you know you can use an air compressor, (ability and knowledge - learned how to air up tires long ago /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif), but the welder even though it is a great shop asset does have a learning curve even though for some it may be a small curve. I bought a compressor recently along with a set of air tools. The surprising thing is that I still get just about finished with a "wrench" job, before I remember that I have the air tools. Old, old brains take a long time to reprogram, I guess.

Doug '97 TJ
Creator of the CBrack
My Web Site
 
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I'd say the airtool without a doubt. The welder is nice to have. An example
My brother has both, the compressor gets used almost every day that we work on our jeeps, the welder has not seen much use at all.
The time saved with an impact or air ratchet is quite a difference and you'll not be so tired from working the wrench all day.


 

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All the above tools are good to have. I would just like to add a good quality floor jack. /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 

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/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif If it were me, I would find some dinky, used, inexpensive air compressor and keep my eye out for a good sized tank. THEN I would spend the bucks on a good wire welder....not a hobby unit....a GOOD one. Of course you will need a torch AND as Jim said....a good floor jack. I look at what is sitting here and I wonder how I would operate without the taps and dies, the gear pullers, the pry bars, the clamps, the zillion different socket setups, the vise grips (four different sizes and shapes) the punches, chisels, drills, drill motors(3 plus press), reamers, hammers, and don't forget WRENCHES. SHEESH! No wonder my service truck only got six miles to the gallon./wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif

CJDave
I never believe any statistics unless my moonguys /wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif made 'em up themselves.
 
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I say air compressior, without a doubt. Just remember that the tools are another expence. Start with a 1/2 inch drive impact wrench and an air ratchet, then die grinder, etc.

Get yourself one rated at at least 5 HP, and at least a 30 gallon tank.

Welders are cool, but the compressor will definately get used more.

Marc
Contagious Off-Road
 
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Just thought I'd mention to be careful disassembling the old Jeep with air tools. Don't get me wrong, I love air tools and wouldn't give mine up. However, if you get a good 1/2" gun you can break a seized bolt off pretty easy. I highly recommend the IR 231 that I use, but I've also got an old worn out one that I use for when I don't need the higher torque. The new one can snap a 1/2" wheel stud off before you even know there is a problem.

"My other car is a BULLDOZER"
 

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My air compressor 50 to 1 over my welder (thank god) on usage/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
CJ Dave has a good point (no,no,no,THE point).
I hope you have most of the tools already or you're going to have a rough relationship w/ your jeep. I cus enough already even with all my tools.
$100 will buy you very little for your jeep & almost nothing in quality tools.
You don't need anything special to wrench your jeep but you will if you don't want your friends to think you're a drunken sailor./wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Wider is better but taller is cooler!
 
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Just to add. I agree with those proposing an air compressor, but with some qualifications. It needs to have a well-built tank with fair volume. The gauges and control values need to provide you with excellent control. Electric is good, but gas engine operated air compressor with a sizeable tank will permit you a full range of use. As a matter of fact, you could even take it on the trail. Someday you might want to paint besides use the other tools, maybe blow the dust out of the garage, clean the sides of the house or apartment, God willing - even wash the jeep. I have used a Honda, gas operated system, and was very pleased with it. Luck.

Mindbender 85CJ7 I258 /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif 40 head ported polished /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
Jacobs /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif 31" /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif 999
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the great advice all. I will be looking for an air compressor soon. I know $100 isn't enough but hopefully I can pick one up for under 3 bills (possible, new/used?). I do have most of the basic hand tools, wrenches, sockets, ratchets, hand impact wrench, floor jack, jack stands, etc. I was just thinking that air tools would make the disassembly/assembly a quicker task. As soon as I get a good frame all prepped I will be disassembling my CJ-7 and reassembling it on the new frame. Most of this will be done in my garage and driveway. I do have access to a shop w/air tools, lift, etc. but my access time is limited and toting the entire project back and forth is not feasible. Thanks again.
rich

fratt
 
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FYI. Home Depot had a Coleman 5 hp 25 gallon compressor for $198. I don't know if they have the same sale in your area but check them out soon before they are all sold.

Good luck.

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I wholeheartedly agree with all the posts noting that an air compressor will get more use. However, if you can only buy one get the welder. Why? Because aside from spraying things everything an air compressor makes easier can be accomplished with hand tools albeit slower. But, a welder has no substitute. If you know you will need to weld and you can't borrow a welder from a buddy you really have no other choice.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey all, I went to Home Depot last night and they do have an air compressor on sale for $198.00. It is a 5 or 5.5 hp, single stage, oil-less compressor, with 25 or 30 gallon tank and puts out 5.6 cfm @ 90 psi. I know this is a lot of what was said NOT to get but I was hoping that it would be sufficient for home garage use. Mostly on my CJ in my driveway and garage. Would it be sufficient to run your standard air tools, impact wrench, ratchet, sprayer, etc.? It does come with a wrench rated at 4 cfm @ 90psi and a sprayer (<3cfm). I think it is rated at 125 or 150 max psi. CJDave's post suggested that a minimal compressor with add'l tanks would be sufficient. Is it just a matter of having enough reserve air? Thanks for all the great advice.
rich
77cj7304QtracTH400

fratt
 
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The Home Depot deal is what I got. All the air tools came with it as you describe. Have posted related to air compressors in several different places in the last few days, so this might be a repeat.
The first Home Depot unit worked twice. It got hot. Even the tank itself was very warm to the touch. All together it only ran about 15 or 20 minutes. Then it wouldn't even run. Took it back and got another. The air ratchet is all that I have used. When the pressure gets low, ratchet stops - seems to hang up like on high center. When the air builds back up, you have to turn the ratchet a little to get it off high center before it will work on its own again.
It is all pretty cheap stuff, but then it was cheap to buy too. As I am over 60, I didn't feel the necessity to buy for long haul, and will not use the air compressor on a commercial type basis anyway.
If I could turn the clock back to my earlier days when I knew enough to buy good tools, and actually did - many are still with me 40 years later - I would buy a quality compressor. Never used air in my earlier days, so didn't buy one of any kind, but if you are young and subject to some changes of address in your future, you might consider a unit that combines a very good compressor, one that will last for years and years and be rebuildable and have plenty of power, on a medium to small air tank, 15 to 30 gal size. It will be easier to move, and you can always daisy chain smaller tanks together or get a larger tank - 120 gal or so - in the future if you need that kind of volume.
Good tools cost more in the beginning, but for the long haul, they wind up being much less expensive, and they work better too.

Doug '97 TJ
Creator of the CBrack
My Web Site
 
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