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Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's Tires, Wheels, Brakes, Steering and Suspensions and related components.

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  #1  
Old 07-02-2009
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MRPutz MRPutz is offline
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Default Tire Air Pressure - Finally a Solution

Hello All,

Finally figured out an easy way to air up the bus tires at home. I have a 6HP 60 Gallon 220V compressor that really doesn't do the job. Once you fill one tire the pressure drops and the compressor doesn't come on until it hits 90 psi, too low to do any good. The old trick of letting air out is a hassle due to the 60 gallon tank and becomes a 45 minute job fatigueing my fingers.

Finally a nice solution. I started using my backup compressor with a 1-1/2 HP airless compressor and a pancake style tank with a spring loaded valve grip for filling. Now I can air up a tire and the tank is so small it will keep running and air up the tire to 115 psi in just a few minutes. Wow.. over pressure, what a nice change! It's easy to get to 105 psi now. Then when moving to the next tire simply letting a little air out starts the compressor again quickly since the tank is so small.

I've finally gotten to the point where checking the tires is no longer a task I dread doing. Who knew a small 1-1/2HP compressor would out perform my big 6HP compressor?

Just thought I'd share..
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  #2  
Old 07-02-2009
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I'm not surprised. Most shop compressors are designed to maximize the quantity of air delivered -- at 90 psi -- to run various air-powered tools. So, your big compressor can probably deliver 90 psi all day long without breaking a sweat.

But, as you noticed, getting 115 or even 120 psi to fill a tire can be a pain.

After experimenting with a Costco-purchased small compressor (that wasn't up to the task), I got a Rigid-brand twin tank 4.5 gal compressor from Home Depot. It has a maximum pressure rating of 150 psi and when it drops below the target pressure for a tire, a couple of squeezes on the valve on the tire-filling attachment will get the compressor to kick on -- then I can just let the compressor run until the tire is full.

This is where the Costco unit fell down -- it couldn't handle the cycle to run that long and the compressor failed. (Fortunately, Costco has a no questions asked return policy during the warranty period.) The Rigid unit has a longer duty cycle, so it doesn't seem to bother it to run for 5 or 10 minutes at a time to get the tire pressure up. (I do let it rest (cool) for a few minutes between tires.)

Actually, I'm glad to hear that I was on the right track -- I came very close to getting a large, 60 gal compressor (out of the frustration I had with the small Costco unit).

I note that the Costco compressor (4 gal, twin tank, 1-1/2 hp claimed, 150 psi max) was pretty inexpensive -- about $125 or so. The Rigid unit, with similar specs was about twice the cost -- but, quite apparently, there are quality differences. The Rigid also has slightly better specs -- but it's marginal for delivery of 90 psi volume for some air tools -- so as I've acquired a few items, I've had to spend a few $$ more on certain tools to get models that use air more efficiently (a 1/2 inch impact wrench, for example). The Rigid delivers plenty of air for staplers, nail guns, and similar tools that just need a periodic whosh of air. It's those that use a continuous flow that need to be efficient.
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Old 06-18-2013
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I've seen more and more $200 portables capable of 150 psi since this thread started a coupe years ago. Thought I'd revive this topic--still relevant--rather than start a new one.

I've found and then lost track of the name of an onboard compressor brand that the factory upgraded M coaches to, because their original compressor was recalled or short-lived or something. This upgrade was capable of constant duty at higher pressures than, for example the onboard Gast compressors the factory used to install, and this new one whose name I can't recall was about half the price of new Gast, if I remember it all correctly. Real likely. Anyway, it is rated well above typical coach tire pressure, with a range of optional pressure switches, so it sounds like a good choice to me. Need to find it again.

Following the discussions of air-suspension pick-up trucks, on the web, some of these also use this same new compressor, but it seems like a lot of people complain about it getting flaky after a year or two. Lots of pics of scorched pistons and broken piston rings. Repair parts aren't expensive.

Does anyone know the story on the replacement? Is it working out well for coach owners who had it installed?

--Ned
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Old 06-19-2013
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While we are the subject...how about a recommendation for a air chuck that will clamp on the rear facing valves. I hate holding that air chuck on there. What about the air equalizers for the duals, should I be using these
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Old 06-19-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atckip View Post
While we are the subject...how about a recommendation for a air chuck that will clamp on the rear facing valves. I hate holding that air chuck on there. What about the air equalizers for the duals, should I be using these
We use them on a few heavy trucks at work Kip, and they sure make life easier. The units we have are called Crossfire, run about $100 a set, and I know FleetPride carries them. A set is in my future.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atckip View Post
While we are the subject...how about a recommendation for a air chuck that will clamp on the rear facing valves. I hate holding that air chuck on there. What about the air equalizers for the duals, should I be using these
Shane convinced me on the Crossfires. I've got a 110psi set on my drive axle.
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Old 06-19-2013
Dennis&Ella Dennis&Ella is offline
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Rob:
The last time I checked the air on my tires I had 4 of the valve stem cores fail and had to have a tire guy come out and change the cores & 2 stems. I am not sure why this happened and am a little concerned that this is going to become an ongoing issue. Do you think if I add the crossfires this would eliminate this problem on the drive axle.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis&Ella View Post
Rob:
The last time I checked the air on my tires I had 4 of the valve stem cores fail and had to have a tire guy come out and change the cores & 2 stems. I am not sure why this happened and am a little concerned that this is going to become an ongoing issue. Do you think if I add the crossfires this would eliminate this problem on the drive axle.
Dennis, I'm not going to get into a Cross-Fire debate BUT anything you put on your valve stems that adds additional weight is a problem. Whether it's an extension, a TPS sensor, etc.. They do make valve stem supports on some of the after market devices and IF I put one on my wheels would definitely make sure it used one.

I have small extenders on my valve stems and last January at the Q purchased those black rubber inserts into the Alcoa's to keep them from moving. I'm anticipating an increase in my valve stem life now. Going off road, in deep sand, can be an issue if your valve stems are exposed.
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Old 06-19-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis&Ella View Post
Rob:
The last time I checked the air on my tires I had 4 of the valve stem cores fail and had to have a tire guy come out and change the cores & 2 stems. I am not sure why this happened and am a little concerned that this is going to become an ongoing issue. Do you think if I add the crossfires this would eliminate this problem on the drive axle.
Dennis I have also had valve cores go bad on me. I suspect it has something to do with many many pressure checks. As I said earlier I now have crossfires on drive. In addition, I have installed Pressure Pro on every tire, including the single valve stem on the two Crossfires. I don't fool with the valve stems any longer, except to add air if necessary.
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Old 06-19-2013
tmabbott12 tmabbott12 is offline
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Dennis it is obvious to make sure the core is tight. If it is tight and still leaking take a drop of soapy water, put in the end of air chuck and do a quick surge of air to the valve stem. This will put some lube on the rubber that seals the valve core and usually helps in the sealing process. MMO is also a product that can be used if you so desire.
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