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Thread: Bumper as an air tank - Would it work??

  1. #1
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    Default Bumper as an air tank - Would it work??

    I need to build bumpers. I also want an onboard air tank to fill tires up and run air tools.

    Anyone ever build a bumper to hold air and then hook their onboard compressor to it?

    I was thinking of a large diameter tube bumper with capped off ends and air fittings welded on. Then hook my ARB compressor or get another compressor to have the bumper-tank filled to 100psi to run tools. Maybe even do it to the front and hook the front and back together to get more volume. Prefill the tank with the garage compressor to spare the onboard compressor from doing all the initial work.

    What about a bumper-fuel tank or water tank? I got this idea from Buell, the frame hold fuel and the swingarm holds oil.

  2. #2
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    Can, has and does. There are tons of DIY bumpers out there that hold air and water. Even seen a roll-bar built as a pressure vessel to hold a volume of air backed up by a compressor.
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  3. #3
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    Just understand that when you compress air, water also goes with it. If you trap that moist air and leave it stagnant inside your bumper over the long term, you're going to have rust issues.

    Bleed your tank frequently and understand that you may have to replace it because of internal corrosion at some point in time. Or you could set up a system so that you're running very dry compressed air, but that would involve spending a fair amount of money and isn't very practical for a rig that being used in the real world. Sounds like a neat idea for a show truck though

  4. #4
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    What happens when someone rear-ends your bumper with compressed air?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauricio_28 View Post
    What happens when someone rear-ends your bumper with compressed air?
    It leaks.
    Bumper air tanks work great, they were pretty common in the '80s when everyone built tube bumpers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauricio_28 View Post
    What happens when someone rear-ends your bumper with compressed air?
    If you get hit hard enough to rupture the tubing, 100psi of air is the least of your worries.

  7. #7
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    I did this one. http://expeditionportal.com/forum/sh...t=33094&page=2 Reply #13
    It is coated with marine epoxy inside. I went to great lengths to clean the insides of the welds for adhesion of the paint. Obviously the last weld can not be cleaned.
    I went to the trouble to make it a tank just because I always wanted to. I don't use it in the real world. Hand tools are just fine. If you want to run air tools enough to justify packing them and the accessories needed, shoot for at least 4-5 gals of capacity and still plan on waiting for the pump to catch up unless you go the engine driven route or around a $$$60A electric. Plan on putting at least $200 into a pump at the bare minimum for air tools.
    I have a co2 tank set up and a small electric. The co2 just sits at home as the little electric fills the tires fine and takes up little space.
    On a side note it actually kind of neet to pump up the tank and blow off the trail dust on the rear of my camper shell before opening it and dusting my interior.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by w squared View Post
    Just understand that when you compress air, water also goes with it. If you trap that moist air and leave it stagnant inside your bumper over the long term, you're going to have rust issues.

    Bleed your tank frequently and understand that you may have to replace it because of internal corrosion at some point in time. Or you could set up a system so that you're running very dry compressed air, but that would involve spending a fair amount of money and isn't very practical for a rig that being used in the real world. Sounds like a neat idea for a show truck though
    The amount of time it would take to rust out a bumper from internal condensation would, in most cases, be longer than the useful life of the truck. It's no different than the tank on an air compressor. And in Phoenix, where the OP lives, the problem would be pretty insignificant. I live in an area with a very damp climate, and my 40 year old air compressor tank has yet to rust through.

    The downside is the small amount of air contained in a bumper. Unless it's a very large bumper, even at 150 psi you may not have enough air to fully inflate a single large tire. But even that is no reason not to do it. Even a small amount of air can be useful at times.
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  9. #9
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    The first time I saw a air tank like that was actually a Land Rover 110 non USA spec with side steps or sliders that were turned into air tanks on both sides. It was kitted out as more of a overland vehicle than a rock crawler so it worked out very well.

  10. #10
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    I have seen rocker replacements (think rock sliders) used as air tanks as well.

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