12 Volt On-Board Air Compressors What's Out There?

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
#47
Well, this thread has inspired me to tear into my MV-50 and start rebuilding it. I won't dig into the compressor head/valve quite yet, instead focusing on getting the electrical a touch more robust first before deciding if I want to hard mount it into the jeep or keep it portable. If I hard mount it I'd do a small tank and stuff, then upgrading the compressor when it dies.
My thoughts, on my MF-1050 (successor to the MV-50, I think);
I needed an air compressor to fit into a .30 caliber ammo can for better, non-permanent, in-vehicle storage (...found that a long wire stores better/more compactly than a long hose and the voltage at the battery with the vehicle running more than makes up for any voltage drop due to wire length);
Essentially I removed the rectangular red body cover, and handle then modified the head by tapping one of the holes for a T to keep the hose and gauge over the body... plugged the hole on the side of the head & installed a short rubber hose... the filter is separate, installed prior to use. ...electrically I extended the wire (12 ga.) and installed some better battery clamps.

I have no intention of porting it or modifying the valves (given that the tire valve itself will always be the biggest restriction to flow, I don't see worthwhile gains); but have a slight issue with the design/fitment of the cylinder to the heat sink fit (excessive gap, potentially leading to eventual overheating) but expect that it will work for light duty tire airing.

I don't see any need for a tank for compact portable compressors used only to inflate tires.... for me portability and compactness is a primary concern on the Jeep TJ.

Enjoy!
 
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Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
#48
I like both!

For the old Scout 800, I mounted an MV50 OBA with a manifold, 2.5 gallon tank, pressure shut off switch, inside cab air pressure gauge and switch, etc..
Went through the compressor and repaired some shoddy workmanship when I first got it. Drilled and tapped the head for 1/4NPT, then ran a header with a pressure dump.
The reed valves are pretty frail. They shouldn't be restarted under load.
I set it up with a dryer to use as a surge tank, so that I could shut off the 2.5 gallon tank if it wasn't needed.
It worked out well, and allows for swapping in a bigger compressor down the road. During the OBA conversion, I changed the cabling to carry the current with minimal voltage drop. This made a noticeable difference in performance, and the motor runs cooler then when stock out of the bag.

For the Jeep, I mounted a Puma PD1006. Would like a larger tank for it, otherwise it is a great compressor. This will end up in the truck, with a 2.5 Gallon tank. The compressor pulls a consistent 50A, so properly sizing the wire gauge to the length of run is very important. I was running 6AWG for about 10'. That kept the voltage drop down to about 0.2V total.

I also carry an MV50 in its original configuration for backup & sharing. All I did to it was make sure it was assembled correctly.

Picture 1). MV50 modified and mounted under the hood (please excuse the rats nest, was getting ready for an engine swap, and engine compartment clean up)
Picture 2). 2.5 Gallon air tank, plumbed with 3/4" tubing from a garage plumbing kit.
Picture 3 & 4). Puma install in the Jeep.
Picture 5 & 6). Comparison of size difference. Performance difference is definitely equivalent to the size.
 

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Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
#50
If its valves are removable, its worthwhile to at least look at their sealing surfaces.
Cheap compressors are cheap for a reason. Clean up or lap them if needed.
Yep!, looked at them they were not great but adequate; more trouble to modify than the compressor is worth, IMO.

Since I don't expect to use this disposable compressor more than once a week or so during camping/four wheeling season it should be adequate.
I usually modify an air conditioning compressor for onboard air or use an ARB compressor to air up tires but since the Rubicon's A/C still works and it has OEM lockers ARBs will only get installed if the tru-locks (current differentials) fail.

compressor in a can 50 croppedDSCF0301.jpg compressor out of the can 50 croppedDSCF0302.jpg

Enjoy!
 
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#52
Any bad experiences with the PUMA?

Everything I hear from everyone about the PUMA is nothing short of spectacular, couple mentioned that the size is an issue in some applications. Everyone else that has it has owned it for many years.

Has anyone had any issues with the PUMA?

I have room for it in the truck, and want to use it for a central tire inflation/deflation system.
 
#53
Everything I hear from everyone about the PUMA is nothing short of spectacular, couple mentioned that the size is an issue in some applications. Everyone else that has it has owned it for many years.

Has anyone had any issues with the PUMA?

I have room for it in the truck, and want to use it for a central tire inflation/deflation system.
One of the guys in my Cruiser club had his seize on him - no idea why.

That's the only real issue I've heard of. I've been running a 12V version since 2010 and a 24V version since 2013 without issue, and at least 8 of my wheeling friends are running them. Have yet to hear of another problem.

One of my favourite pieces of gear - bang for the buck is killer IMHO.
 
#54
Everything I hear from everyone about the PUMA is nothing short of spectacular, couple mentioned that the size is an issue in some applications. Everyone else that has it has owned it for many years.

Has anyone had any issues with the PUMA?

I have room for it in the truck, and want to use it for a central tire inflation/deflation system.
Aug of 2017 makes 10 years for my PUMA set up in our 80 series and it gets used a lot. I aired up at least 10 times during our trip in BAJA last week.
 
#55
Thank you everyone for the advice. I got a Puma! 3 trips in the last two weeks and I could not be happier with the setup.

I added jumper cables to the leads so I can switch it between vehicles. I also made a dual tire inflation setup with a T-connector and two snap on air chucks so I can inflate both the front tires or both the rear tires at the same time to the same pressure.

I originally wanted to install central 2-way air system to deflate and inflate all the tires with 4 whips however there were too many parts and I could not find a place to mount all the quick connects to make for a clean and hidden install. So I decided to run the Puma as a portable unit for now.


Puma review which includes tank inflation from 0-135psi, single 37" tire inflation from 10-41.5psi and two 37" tires at the same time from 10-38.5psi.
 
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