View Full Version : Backup air compressor

Garth Almgren
08-09-2016, 1:07 PM
I'm building a shed to use as an office, and on Sunday my Harbor Freight #90234 air compressor decided that it didn't like being at the end of both a long circuit and a long extension cord, and refused to run due to massive voltage drop.

Fortunately, I remembered that I've got a backup, which I am now calling my big blue air compressor:

Installing onboard air on my '93 Jeep continues to be one of the best modifications I've ever made to it (along with my winch).
Way back in 2008 I got a York 210 compressor from an early 80s Ford van at Pick-n-Pull, bought a mounting plate and some other bits and pieces from Kilby Enterprises (now CU Offroad), and plumbed it up. It's even got a 2.5 gallon tank that is mounted opposite the muffler next to the rear driveshaft. It'll fill my 31" tires from 10 PSI to 35 PSI in about 30 seconds at idle, and it happily will run an impact gun or air ratchet all day long, so a framing nailer is no problem at all.

If anyone is interested, I've got more pics from the install here: https://flickr.com/photos/17069879@N00/sets/72157607777489980

Malcolm McLeod
08-09-2016, 1:20 PM
I bet you planned it that way. Didn't you.:cool:

Framers & roofers around here put their compressor at the T-pole on a 6' power cord to minimize the voltage drop. Then run 150' of cheap 1/4" tubing to all their nailers.

Garth Almgren
08-09-2016, 4:29 PM
That's a smart way to do it - hose is relatively cheap and those motors have a pretty massive startup load!

I ended up moving the compressor much closer to the house yesterday, and instead of plugging it into a circuit that goes through the shop's subpanel (out 100+ feet to the shop, then back another 150-ish feet to the outlet, then through 50 feet of extension cord) it is plugged in to a much shorter extension cord which is plugged in directly to the house. Turns out that I have just enough hose to reach the farthest corner of the building site. :)

Mike Cutler
08-09-2016, 6:32 PM

That's a nice setup!!
Mind if I borrow your design for my truck some day? :cool:

Bruce Wrenn
08-09-2016, 8:28 PM
My first air compressor was an automobile AC compressor. I welded clutch shut, and used pressure switch to control motor, while you use pressure switch to control clutch on compressor. Nice thing was it had "Ford style" service valves, which I could backseat and vacuum down AC systems. Those pumps make GREAT vacuum pumps for vacuum pressing.

Rich Engelhardt
08-10-2016, 6:59 AM
That God-awful orange stiff as a stick,,,but,,,cheap,,,,air hose and a portable air tank with a T-connection to it and a pressure regulator at that tank makes getting air to where you need it easy. Run the compressor at full bore to supply the portable air tanks, then regulate the air pressure at the output of the portable tank and run a short hose for the air tool.