Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Premium Member
1976 T140V Bonneville
Joined
·
362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
haven’t needed one … yet … but have read several recent posts requiring compressed air. Without spending silly money, what is an adequate, garage, non-pro- novice - easy to use air compressor and associated parts?

i figure it’s only a matter of time until I’ll need to do a leak test.

Vince
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,033 Posts
25 litre would be adequate for most jobs. I find that a modern battery powered air pump will inflate the tyres quite a few times before recharge. A battery powered rattle gun is also as good as using a compressor. Not many mechanics use compressor air now. I got rid of my compressor through lack of use. I used to spray cars and bikes but just do my own tanks now. Compressor powered spray gun is vastly superior to a small can though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,527 Posts
Hi Vince, For your use the $150 Porter Cable would be good choice. Filling tires, blowing parts off, Smaller air grinders etc. For using larger air guns, they suck the air. You need a good 2 HP & even then barely adequate & I mean just barely. To make good power in air guns you need about 150#. I know they are not rated like, I'm just telling real life. I have 2HP Craftsman. 90#. It takes out sludge trap bolts etc fine. You get a tighter flywheel, axle or wheel bearing nut 90# won't even budge it. 150# will work gun, but spin it off. So don't expect little compressor to do much air gun work. I rotate my tires, tank runs out in one wheel.

Space is a big deal for most garages. The big tanks with big motors take a lot of space. So they often go vertical. My sons compressor is big power big tank, runs on 220 only. Still not powerful enough. I will run 1/2 drive air gun fine, but just barely to rotate 4 wheels non stop. Can run 2 guns, but then runs out of power.

Could I live without my compressor. No not really. There are so many things you need to blow out & clean. Sure you can pump up tires with a hand pump. I did that for years. But you must have compressed air to clean carbs properly, or blow out crank, tappet feed passages etc.

You'd never regret getting a compressor. With a good drier you can do spray paint jobs also. Depending on gun. How much room you have to store compressor is important. The Porter Cable shown could be mounted up on high shelf out of the way. You must be able to reach tank drain as they get much condensation. Even our dry air in summer will add a cup of water to tank in no time. My horizontal tank Craftsman takes up way too much space. I've had it for 35 years. Duel stage pump. Price is $1000 now. You don't need this much. Still going strong. I have to change oil occasionally. Oil free is good idea.

They make "hot dog" compressors the roofers & such use. Very high capacity in small package. About $500. I don't think you need that.

So again the smaller ones are a good starting point. Good used can be found on Facebook market place occasionally. Thing is... they do wear out. Especially if roofers or such use them. Basically running constantly. So new can be better value for our home use. Will last for years.
Don
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
448 Posts
Here is what I have. Fits under my work bench in my small two stall garage. I do not like the oil free compressors. Too noisy, JMO. I don't run air tools. I have other options if I need an impact, (friends with electric and the power equipment shop I work part time at). For my scooter shop, sand blaster and filling tires this works well for me. Cost me about $300 fifteen years ago, haven't priced a new one lately...
Automotive tire Audio equipment Camera lens Cameras & optics Gas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,527 Posts
Hi Happyfeet, That’s a nice compressor. Very similar to mine in size. Mine is behind tool box. Hard to reach drain. I need to make extension handle. Been meaning to do that for 30 years. Keeps my back flexible reaching it now. Or ruining it worse!
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I a have a compressor virtually identical to Happy Feet except is has a Craftsman label on it and a cowl that covers the compressor on top. It was gifted to me and I have used it mainly for topping up tires, blow off, etc. I was wondering if it could power an impact gun so I did some research and all signs pointed to "no". Then, at a garage sale, I picked up the smallest, 3/8" drive air gun that Harbor Freight carries, new in the box for $10 dollars. I needed to do some work on my old mini van that required removing bolts in an area that would be awkward for conventional tools so decided to try the HF windy gun. To my surprise, it spun the bolts out easily. IIRC, the bolts were only 7/16" but were on the underside and exposed to 12 Michigan winters and salt covered roads. After 2 bolts, the compressor had to recharge. For my shade tree mechanic jobs, I don't mind the wait. So, while my little compressor does not have the capacity to do a lot of work fast, it certainly has helped me out on a small job. While I am not expecting a long service life from the HF gun, I plan on trying a bigger gun. I also picked up a spray gun for $1 at a church rummage sale. I won't be painting my bike with it but it may be useful for small jobs around the house.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
448 Posts
Just to clarify, my compressor will run an impact for lug nuts and the like, I just don't own or use air tools very often. But I have borrowed air impact guns on occasion and my compressor will do the job.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
319 Posts
I'd get the biggest compressor you can afford and have room for. Like buying a tiny truck, always wish you'd bought more. IMHO of course...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,475 Posts
I just use my small compressor for inflating tires and blowing off parts. Don't do much painting and what I do a rattle can works. Take the money you save and buy an electric impact wrench. My Harbor Freight one will loosen any nut you come across on a Brit bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,527 Posts
Hi, Where the small compressor falls very short is if a fastener is very tight the air gun runs out of full power very, very quickly. It is true not many big fasteners on bike. On the other hand, the electric impacts can have huge power. The cost is shockingly low too. At work we started using battery powered ones. They'll spin off a 110# torque lug bolt in an instant too. The compact 3/8 drive ones were a dream to use. For home, I'd as soon have plug in impact as I'd only use it a few times a year. Kind of like my battery powered drill. I'll use it a lot, then it sits for 5 months. I need it now & battery is low. So I use the corded drill.

Space considerations is huge for many of us. That compact compressor will nicely fit the needs of many.
Don
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
528 Posts
The compressor you buy all depends on what you are going to do with it. Think into the future a bit. Do you plan on adding a sandblast cabinet in the future? If so, no small air compressor will work. You will need a much bigger one. No point in buying 2 compressors if space is a consideration for you. You need to think about all the things it can be used for and what you will actually want to use it for, now and in the future.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,103 Posts
Hi
Compressor/hydraulic press/pillar drill/welder/lathe/mill/bike lifting bench/blast cabinet/impact wrenches.
You don’t need them to run an old Triumph, but once you have had them it’s very hard to live without them.
regards
Peg.
 
  • Like
Reactions: vstevens

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
Ok, well I use a car tyre foot pump.

With it, I've blown out brake pistons from a mega-rusted bike that had plainly sat for decades, blown out blockage from tunnels in Amal Mkls. Goes without saying it pumps tyres well.

Could no doubt do a leak down test.
Sure it's good for most things outside of paint spraying.

Cheap (no cost, actually, already had). Wouldn't want a compressor if offered for free, in fact, as my foot pump is nice and compact sitting on the shelf,
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,291 Posts
At age 69 I just got my first hydraulic bike bench, it’s absolutely marvellous.
Usually, I'm kneeling, and feeling it in the knees and/or the back after a while.

When I remember, I use this.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Bicycle tire


Just screwed my rocker box covers on. A really awkward job. Halfway through, remembered to use this Kenyan stool. Just the right height for motorcycle maintenance. No pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,103 Posts
At age 69 I just got my first hydraulic bike bench, it’s absolutely marvellous.
There will be a Thank You card in the post, from your knees😊
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hooli744 and newsh
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top