DIY Automatic Tire Inflator

lgrt

Adventurer
When most of us leave the pavement we air down a little to make the ride more comfortable and gain traction. But I hate to air back up when the pavement returns because it always seems to be muddy, cold, or dark and sitting next to the tires while they inflate lacks entertainment value. After searching the internet for a solution and not liking the options, I decided to make my own automatic tire inflator using an in-line regulator for air tools.

Thought I would share what I came up with so that I never have to sit next to my tires in the rain again!


If you like this idea and want to make your own, I put together a parts list at: How to make a automatic tire inflator. I've tested this setup on several trips and it works great... I can now relax inside the cabin and listening for the pump to shut off.

Couple this with an on-board air system and you'd really have something to write home about.
 
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BPD53

Guest
I use that boring time to inspect my undercarriage components. I go ahead and assume I need to tighten up my sway bar links.
 

1stDeuce

Explorer
Nicely done video!
I like that clip on chuck! Mine is the old angled kind; a regular chuck with a clip-on lever added... It works, but it's not as slick to use...

Instead of making a special rig, I just plug a regulator into the air fitting on my bumper, then run the fill hose off the regulator. Same idea, different execution...

I will add that if you have a higher flow compressor, or want to wait till it actually hits the target pressure, filling from a regulator will extend the fill time considerably. However, with a small electric compressor, it doesn't make much difference if I simply set the regulated pressure a bit higher than target and move it to the next tire when the pump starts cycling.

My Viair 400 will fill a 255/80R17 from 20-50psi in three minutes and change, while it takes almost six minutes to hit 60psi. Definitely opportunity to use the regulator. (3/4 ton truck with a truck camper...)
I have the same compressor in the Comanche, and don't bother with a regulator, since filling to only 30psi happens pretty fast from any pressure...
 
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lgrt

Adventurer
@bpd53 That was a big driver for this... I'd finish airing up... then have to around inspect my truck and make sure nothing rattled loose or pull sticks and stuff from the undercarriage. I wanted to do both at the same time and this gives me that ability.
 

lgrt

Adventurer
@1stDeuce thank you. I know that regular chuck with the clip-on lever... I've broken the leaver on a couple which drove me to find a better one. I like your "different execution". And you're right it doesn't slow down my little pump since their is no tank to draw from it just takes a long time no matter what. Now I just use that time to do other chores needed when there is a little break in the trip and not worry I have to run back and check the tire.
 
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BPD53

Guest
@bpd53 That was a big driver for this... I'd finish airing up... then have to around inspect my truck and make sure nothing rattled loose or pull sticks and stuff from the undercarriage. I wanted to do both at the same time and this gives me that ability.

Ohhh! That makes perfect sense.
 

PV Hiker

Observer
Years ago made the same but have a second hose and a gate valve to turn off the air flow to regulator. All three air lines have a quick air attachment to the regulator so all the parts fit in a bag and coil up the two longer hoses. I fill both front or rear tires at the same time ( 2 tires at a time). Takes longer but when I close the gate valve I check pressure and both sides equalize with the same pressure. Just a different twist.
 

lgrt

Adventurer
Years ago made the same but have a second hose and a gate valve to turn off the air flow to regulator. All three air lines have a quick air attachment to the regulator so all the parts fit in a bag and coil up the two longer hoses. I fill both front or rear tires at the same time ( 2 tires at a time). Takes longer but when I close the gate valve I check pressure and both sides equalize with the same pressure. Just a different twist.
I really like that twist. That may become version 2. I consider 4 tires but that started to feel like an octopus attacking the truck with a mess of hoses to trip over in the dark... but two at a time sounds appealing and goes with my general philosophy of less is more. Thanks for that perspective.
 
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