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View Full Version : Powertank - CO2 Tank Options. Why I went a slightly different way.



supra_launch21v
06-13-2013, 11:25 AM
Powertank CO2 is a great solution to air up tires when off road and to use air tools. However, there are some problems. The biggest problem for us was running out during our week long trips. Airing up and down 1 or 2 times per day for a week just doesn't work with a 10lb Powertank system. My first system was a Smittybilt CO2 system. I went cheap. What could go wrong, right? It is just CO2. Well, save your money and invest in the right equipment. I knew better, I just had one of those moments. I did learn some interesting things about CO2 systems because of it.

Problem #1: Freezing. You need a regulator that is efficient to allow the flow of CO2 to pass without a lot of resistance. Powertank regulators are very good. Make sure your tank is setup to allow for gas to pass through the regulator and not the liquid. Keep it upright.

Problem #2: Fancy oil filled gauges. I take care of my gear, however, I broke both gauges in the first trip. They look good, however, what is our goal? Fill tires (99% of the time) and use air tools. I elected to purchase the next go around a Powertank fixed 180psi regulator. Why? All I have to do is open my valve up and fill up tires. Simple with no gauges to break and less resistance when the CO2 passes through the regulator. The interesting thing about CO2 and the tanks is that CO2 flows at a continuous high pressure until it is empty. That 1st gauge on the Powertank will tell you that you are out of CO2 only when you are out of CO2. I don't need a gauge to tell me that I am out of CO2 at the time it stops filling up my tires. The second gauge allows you to set and monitor your adjusted regulated pressure. When 99% of my time is filling up tires, I don't care about what pressure is coming out of the regulator. I want as much volume as I can get so long as it doesn't freeze up. Powertank claims to have engineered and built the fixed regulator specifically to fill tires. For tool usage, I built up an inexpensive variable regulator using some left over parts that I can plug inline with the air hose to regulate my pressure. By locating it away from the regulator there is less chance that it will impact flow at the primary regulator.

Problem #3: The pretty 10 or 15lb Powertank CO2 bottle. In Colorado, to my knowledge, there are only two locations to have a CO2 refilled. Denver and Colorado Springs. I elected to buy a steel EXCHANGE tank from a nationwide company called Airgas. I can go to most any city or town and exchange my empty CO2 steel tank for a full unit for $20.00.

I run 37" tires. The Powertank fill chart indicates that I can fill up a tire (from 12 lbs to 27lbs) about 31 times. It can be filled up in approx. 34 seconds using standard valves.

Here is the Bill of Materials I used to build my system. I am very happy with it. I don't work for Powertank, I just like things that work. You will also need to fabricate a method to secure the tank to the Jeep. I welded up a frame that secures the tank mounting bracket to the the floor, fender well and to the underside lip of the top edge of the tub. (right where the hardtop meets up with the body. I also have a lanyard securing the tank to the roll bar. It would not be fun to have that float around in the cabin area during an accident on the freeway.

I also have a Viair twin compressor and 2.5 gallon tank. Both solutions are good, however, CO2 is so fast I would only use the Viair if I run out of CO2.

www.powertank.com


Part Number: REG-7010
Product Name: RV Series SuperFlow Regulator Kit - Preset Regulator
I bought the fixed regulator after having a really bad time with freezing up with the adjustable regulator. The fixed one works awesome.




Part Number: BKT-2282
Product Name: Power Bracket (Fits 10, 15 lb. tanks)
The Power Bracket is our newest bracket. It combines the best features of all of our brackets into one. It features thick aluminum frame with a stout floor that is TIG welded into place. Two stainless steel straps and lockable latches hold the tank securely into the frame against seven (7) rubber bumper pads. Stainless steel rivets hold the straps and latches together giving it a maximum sheer strength. Made to fit tanks with tank boots, the bolt hole pattern is within the boot base void so the tank sits flat to the floor. And of course the bolt pattern in the frame matches our roll bar clamps (pictured) for a clean easy fit. This taller frame works great with the taller 15 lb.




Part Number: PCHK-4006
European Clip-on Chuck - CLOSED
Our Price: $14.95
(Selected options may carry additional charges)


You know these clip-on chucks as the superior ones in the whole industry. They feature a full brass body, a steel lever, positive seal, and a secure grip to the stem. This is the one that is "closed" or holds back air until it is clipped onto a stem....


Total: $314.85

35028

MTG
06-13-2013, 01:04 PM
Sounds good. Picture didn't work on my iPhone.

supra_launch21v
06-13-2013, 01:05 PM
I just clicked on the image icon on my iPhone and it brought up the image.

MTG
06-13-2013, 01:29 PM
I just clicked on the image icon on my iPhone and it brought up the image.

Guess I have an iFake. :cheesy:

35047

supra_launch21v
06-13-2013, 01:30 PM
Do you have a page 2 option? I was able to get to it that way as well.

supra_launch21v
06-13-2013, 01:30 PM
I can pm it to you or you can grab it on power tank.

MTG
06-13-2013, 01:54 PM
I saw it on my computer. 👍

supra_launch21v
06-13-2013, 01:56 PM
Very good. I do like the tank system. Just stinks to run out 1/2 way through a trip.

Serg5000
06-13-2013, 03:48 PM
The issue I ran into with a 15lbs tank, was it takes up space. I installed an ARB twin air compressor for my coming 37's. Now I am on the hunt for a 10lbs bottle just for tool use. That one I can hang on the roll bar out of the way

supra_launch21v
06-19-2013, 05:16 AM
I might have a smittybilt tank system for sale. I am fighting with them about the regulator. If I get a new regulator I will end up selling the whole thing.

SDG
06-19-2013, 06:35 AM
At work we have always used Smith or Harris regulators and have never had any freezing problems. Have used them on CO2, H2, liquid N2. They are spendy but i have seen them beat to shit and still work fine. I cant see a reg freezing because of restrictions. It probably freezes because when the gas is used at a rapid rate it drops in temp and when it gets cold enough it doesnt boil off anymore until the tank absorbs enough heat to boil off more co2.

Rottenbelly
06-19-2013, 10:48 PM
What model Viair compressors were you running?

supra_launch21v
06-19-2013, 10:58 PM
I went with the Viair 2 on 2 system for the JK.

Here are the specs:

Included Parts :


Pre-installed:
- 2.0 Gallon 5-Port Air Tank
- (2) 380C air compressors
- (2) 1/4 Stainless braided leader hoses
- (2) 1/4 JIC fittings on leader hoses
- 1/4 NPT swivel to 1/4 NPT swivel
- T-fitting (remote mount filter)
- 1/4 NPT Drain cock
- Sealed Pressure Switch with Delphi Connectors
(165 PSI ON, 200 PSI OFF)
- (2) Loomed compressor wires terminated with
Delphi connectors
- Inline fuse holder with fuse
- 1/4 NPT Safety valve
- (4) 1/4 NPT M recessed plugs

Included in Kit:
- Crossmember mounting bracket
- 60-amp fuse & fuse holder
- 80-amp relay
- (2) 1/4 BSP adapters for air lockers
- 1/4" NPT M Push-To-Connect Coupler
- T-fitting 1/4" NPT F x 1/4" NPT F x 1/4" NPT M
- 1/8" to 1/4" NPT reducer
- Wiring harness with Delphi connectors
- (2) Delphi connector plug kits
- Billet 1/4 NPT x 6-port manifold and mounting bracket
- Air filter housing with installed element
- (2) Replacement air filter elements
- Dash panel air pressure gauge (0-200 PSI) illuminated - 15ft. DOT air line


36075




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuzCF5ZPAAQ&feature=youtu.be

Rottenbelly
06-19-2013, 11:50 PM
After tons of research and contemplation I decided to go with the dual 480c compressors instead of CO2.
They spec out at about 1 CFM a minute more than the dual 400's.
Probably not quite as fast as co2 but I have been happy with them. I can run the impacts and fill my 37's in under a minute each.

After reading your info on the smittybuilt I'm glad I did the VIair.
Would probably do a small co2 tank later but there not many place to fill one unless I drive over a hour to do so.

Thanks for the good info!
http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo157/rottenbelly/CD62A4CF-960B-489C-89A7-2DC6ED73AF2D-4328-000002CF35D974DC.jpg

JeepinLife
06-21-2013, 09:20 PM
Ever try nitrogen??? :thumb:

supra_launch21v
06-21-2013, 09:22 PM
It does not contain enough volume. You can't fill up tires enough times. Co2 due to being In a liquid state allows for more volume

supra_launch21v
06-23-2013, 08:51 PM
At work we have always used Smith or Harris regulators and have never had any freezing problems. Have used them on CO2, H2, liquid N2. They are spendy but i have seen them beat to shit and still work fine. I cant see a reg freezing because of restrictions. It probably freezes because when the gas is used at a rapid rate it drops in temp and when it gets cold enough it doesnt boil off anymore until the tank absorbs enough heat to boil off more co2.

SDG, do you know the model numbers of the regulators? I will research them and get some stats on this thread.

The PowerTank regulator has been great. The Smittybilt, not so much. I just bought "The Source" fixed pressure regulator for $50.00 to go on my Smittybilt tank. I am going to try to trade in my Smittybilt tank in the Airgas exchange program. I would much rather do an exchange than refill.

supra_launch21v
06-23-2013, 08:59 PM
www.powertank.com (http://www.powertank.com)


PowerTank - fixed regulator:
Part Number: REG-7010
Product Name: RV Series SuperFlow Regulator Kit - Preset Regulator



36546

Description:


Preset regulators are notorious for problems. Why? They are never designed for a high flow rate. Remember, just because two regulators give the same output pressure does NOT mean they both have the same flow rate. Our SuperFlow regulators are designed specifically for high flow rates of CO2 and are backed by a limited lifetime warranty. I designed this system for fast easy tire inflations. Whether you have high pressure RV tires, high volume 4x4 tires, motorcycle tires or all of the above this system will do the job. If you have a CO2 tank here's the rest of the parts you'll need to make a powerful, affordable Power Tank. 180 PSI outlet pressure. This pressure is NOT recommended for air tool use or air lockers. Limited lifetime Warranty.
List Price: $254.95



Our Price: $219.95


www.wheelersoffroad.com (http://www.wheelersoffroad.com)
The Source - HyperFlo 150psi Non-Adjustable CO2 Regulator: 55.00


Fast Flowing – non-freezing, high pressure 150PSI non-adjustable regulator.
Nothing to adjust - Just turn on the tank valve!

I just ordered one of these, I will review it after I use it. I was going to sell the Smittybilt, however, I think I am going to rebuild it.


http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/oa_hyperflo.jpg (http://www.wheelersoffroad.com/oa_hyperflo_web.jpg)

supra_launch21v
06-23-2013, 09:03 PM
From PowerTanks site:
36547

supra_launch21v
06-23-2013, 09:11 PM
That looks really good. You had the power right there as well I suspect.


After tons of research and contemplation I decided to go with the dual 480c compressors instead of CO2.
They spec out at about 1 CFM a minute more than the dual 400's.
Probably not quite as fast as co2 but I have been happy with them. I can run the impacts and fill my 37's in under a minute each.

After reading your info on the smittybuilt I'm glad I did the VIair.
Would probably do a small co2 tank later but there not many place to fill one unless I drive over a hour to do so.

Thanks for the good info!
http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo157/rottenbelly/CD62A4CF-960B-489C-89A7-2DC6ED73AF2D-4328-000002CF35D974DC.jpg

supra_launch21v
07-02-2013, 12:31 PM
I just received my The Source regulator. The two appear to be identical. The markings on the regulator seem to be the same. I will test them both out and provide some feedback.

JeepinLife
07-03-2013, 07:15 PM
It does not contain enough volume. You can't fill up tires enough times. Co2 due to being In a liquid state allows for more volume

Good point.

supra_launch21v
11-22-2013, 03:00 PM
They are both the same. At least what I can see. They both seem to fill the tires up at the same rate.

Rottenbelly
11-24-2013, 05:53 PM
That looks really good. You had the power right there as well I suspect.

Yes sir. Have a 0 gauge coming back to a distribution block for my amps. Then a 4 gauge to a fuse block for each compressor. Cleaned up some wiring since this pic.
http://i371.photobucket.com/albums/oo157/rottenbelly/8e2b224ecd296e7b6a5c54c1c241ad95.jpg