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Air Cylinder

Cylinder | Regulator | Tools/Attachments | Fitting in Truck | Performance

I was looking for a way to run air tools when out and about on 4x4 trips when I found details of the Power Tank on the web. It's a CO2 cylinder system designed for the 4x4 market that allows you to run air tools and air up tyres - perfect I though it's exactly what I am looking for. So I looked around for UK companies that might sell it, but only found one (FTE) so I e-mailed them but got no response, then I called them up and just got an answerphone so I gave up on them. I then e-mailed Power Tank in the states asking them about UK dealers or export possibilities and got no response from them! So I gave up on the Power Tank altogether.

Then I thought I would try a DIY version of the power tank using a compressed air cylinder. A 12 litre 200 bar diving cylinder has a similar capacity to one of the Power Tanks anyway, the only disadvantage is that diving cylinders are at high pressure, but CO2 cylinders are always at low pressure, but the cylinder should be safe as it will be properly secured in the truck so should not come to any harm. For safety reasons I would not attempt to use a system like this on a "full on" extreme off roader however secure it was, but it should be fine for the kind of off roading I do in this vehicle.

If you want to do something similar and are starting from scratch without having existing air cylinders then I would recommend you use a CO2 cylinder.

Cylinder

As I do a bit of diving I already had two 12 litre 200 bar air cylinders.

Normally the diving regulator is attached using an A-Clamp, but my valves have removable inserts so they can also accept a standard DIN fitting - this is (almost) the correct fitting for a standard Oxygen regulator.

Note: You may not be able to buy or fill a diving cylinder unless you have diving qualifications.

 

Regulator

I found a very reasonably priced Oxygen regulator at Weld UK. It had twin gauges (tank pressure and output flow pressure) and adjustable flow rate up to about 10 bar. This is ideal for running air tools (at about 6 Bar) and inflating tyres (the higher Bar the better/faster).

 
     

The regulator fitting is almost the correct fitting for the diving cylinder, but not quite - the bull nose (see picture above) needs to be machined down and a recess for an o-ring is also required to make a good seal in the diving cylinder.

Luckily I have an Uncle who can make or modify just about anything so he did the mods for me.

In the picture on the right you can see the machined down connection with o-ring and an air tool quick release connector attached.

 

Tools/Attachments

These are some of the tools and attachments required (obviously there are lots of air tools that can be used with this system but I only really need a few):

Air hose (I chose not to get the coiled recoil type hose as it can get tied up very easily and be very annoying).

 
     

Tyre inflator - obviously for inflating tyres!

 
     

Air wrench - good for wheel nuts and other heavy-duty bolts. Requires impact sockets - you don't want to use normal sockets with an impact wrench as they can break.

Air ratchet - good for other bolts and getting to those that would be impossible with an air wrench.

 

Fitting in Truck

It is very important to ensure the cylinder is secured in the truck properly and also ensure nothing can roll around and hit it - it is very heavy and potentially very dangerous if damaged.

I welded a custom bracket out of steel.

This consists of a cylidrical piece of sheet steel to sit the cylinder in with six brackets on the bottom and an upright with a slot for a retaining strap.

 
     
The bracket is screwed to the bottom of the truck using six self-tapping screws. and ensures the bracket cannot move around even when off-roading.  

Performance

How long will a tank last?

As I have not used the system much yet I can only give details of airing up tyres after deflating them for off-roading. I deflated all 4 of my tyres (31x10.5 15) with my tyre deflators to 15psi then inflated them back to 35psi, the tank went from 200 bar to 150bar.

Disclaimer

I have taken a lot of time to ensure the information above is correct, but please remember vehicle manufacturers make alterations and design changes during the production run of a vehicle. No liability can be accepted for loss, damage or injury caused by any errors in, or omissions from, the information given above.

If you think any information is incorrect, confusing, misleading or incomplete, please feel free to contact me.


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