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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading some very good information posted by ROC members about tire pressure on another thread,
What is your tire normal pressure? , http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/showpost.php?p=46572&postcount=34 , I would like to know what members use to check their tire pressure. The other thread discusses what pressure people set theirs to and why. The question for this thread is intended to be about tire pressure gauges, compressors, and suggestions and techniques.

I will start with what I use but I am looking for a way to make the process even easier. First, I use a digital gauge as opposed to the pencil type which I have never found to be consistent or accurate. I have several digital gauges and they all seem to be pretty good. I also have a round dial type gauge that works reasonably well. For a compressor I have a pretty simple Sears 110 Volt compressor without a tank that cost about $100 and is about 10 years old. It works fine but is cumbersome to take out and set up for each use. I have to take it off of the shelf, take out the hose, hook up the hose, plug it in and start it, set the max pressure, stretch (and untangle) the hose, then check each tire. After doing it a few hundred times you tend to get pretty good at it but there has to be an easier way. I am seriously considering a small permanently mounted compressor and air lines for the garage and driveway. The other alternative is a self contained compressor with a small tank and hose that could be plugged in and carried from tire to tire. I have not decided which way to go yet. Perhaps members suggestions here will give me some good ideas and suggestions to help me make up my mind. Thanks in advance for your suggestions and your contributions.

Also, I do carry a spare digital gauge in the truck along with one of those all-in-one Battery Box - jumper cables, inverter, and small compressor. The compressor is so small that it is only good for emergencies and to add a few pounds to someones tire when I am away from home. It would take for ever to pump a tire that has dropped to 15 PSI all the way up to 32 PSI. It is better than nothing when I am on the road though.

I am looking for some good ideas and suggestions, not only for me but for those that usually don't check their own tire pressure - until now. ;)
 

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It sounds like you have it covered.

I use a 2HP compressor with 6 gallon tank. Since I have a spray booth, I just connect a long hose to my high pressure line and pump up the tires as needed. I keep a pencil type guage in the truck. I have wanted to get a digital but not sure if its worth the money since I tend to loose them once in a while. I have a set of jumper cables and think having a portable pump is good as well - who knows when you will need your spare and its flat or very low. I used to keep a can of fix-a-flat but no so much any more. I also keep a set of FRS radios, binoculars and tiedowns in the truck.

One of the best times to check your pressure is before a long trip. Correct air pressure will improve gas mileage and keep your tires from overheating due to low pressure.
 

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I use a pencil gauge to check my pressure, but I don't have a compressor yet. Looking at buying one with Christmas money this year. K-mart has free air, so I typically check the tires cold, at home, and record the reading. Then, when I get to K-mart, I check them again. If I read 30 at home and 32 at K-mart, then I add 2 psi which will show 34 psi, but should be 32 when cold. Not exact, but should be close.

Also, I usually take a couple of readings on each tire since it is easy to not get a good reading.

I carry a small compressor in the trunk (jumper cables too) which would only be good in an emergency. It has plenty of PSI, but has very low volume of air, so it takes forever to fill a tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks dbb. I have the same dial type gauge and it works great. It is the only one that fits easily (sort of) on the bike tires. The sears compressor that you listed looks like it would be easier to use than the one that I presently have. I do like the idea of having a manly size air compressor and all of the associated plumbing and hose reel in the garage. I am just not convinced that I really need to go that far.
 

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I use a dial gauge that has a bleed valve in case of over-inflation. I have a portable campbell hausfeld compressor that I bought at Costco (it came with a 2 1/2" finish nailer for $139.00). It's a little heavy to carry around, so I have a portable tank that I can charge with the compressor to 125psi and then fill the tires from the tank. I also use this with a nozzle adapter to blow excess water out of mirrors, door handles, grill, etc. after washing vehicle to get rid of those annoying drips that always show up after drying RL.
 

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As I stated in the other thread, I keep my tires at 34psi and I listed the reasons why I do so. I have several tire gauges and check them all from time to time to see if they are in synch. If one is off by a pound or two from the others I toss it out.

The pencil gauges are not bad but the oval, numeric are better IMO. I do not have a digital one. I find that the less expensive gauges that cost four or five bucks are just as good as to accuracy as the more costly "calibrated" gauges. I think the extra cost gets you a tad more accuracy but not enough to warrant the cost. I must admit that the heavy duty ones will last the life of the car and can take a drop on the garage floor better than the cheap ones. I also think a gauge that will max out close to the recommended tire pressure is better and more accurate. In other words, I would rather have a 50lb gauge than a truck gauge that goes up to 150lbs.

I have a 2hp/6gal Campbell electric compressor and a 6 gal portable unit that have served me for a lot of years in many different applications and situations. A good connector from compressor to tire is important to ensure a good seal. That will prevent you from moving the connector all over the place trying to prevent escaping air. I have busted a couple inner stems in the past doing just that.

Other than that just keep the tires clean (I also use a dressing although I am tempted to try 303 Protectant on them); rotate them on schedule if you have a mind to although if you have to pay to do this every time I do not think it will be cost effective in the long run; and balance the tires only when you start to notice some unusual wear or feel vibrations at certain speeds. I would not have them balanced unless there is a problem because few places have the right equipment or knowledge to really do it right. Of course, if you loose your weights somehow or you remove the tire from the rims, you will have to rebalance.
 

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I swear by my Milton Tractor Tire Gauge. Part number 15904 on the Northerntool Web site. I have never had one fail on me, I always end up losing them anyway so the $5 or so they cost never kills me. By the way, you will love this tool distributers web site and if you buy something from them, they send you a catalog once a year that has absolutely every tool known to man in there. www.northerntool.com
 

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Just to update...I now have a air compressor. I also bought the tire fill kit that has a built-in gauge that shows your tire pressure when you release the valve. The built-in gauge measures identical to my pencil gauge, so I plan to use it when filling but will still check pressure with the pencil gauge.

The air compressor I got is a Husky with 15 gallon tank from Home Depot. I decided to go ahead and get a nicer one that I can operate air tools with. I also got the 50' 3/8" hose to help keep the airflow (CFM) up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That sounds like the one that I have had my eye on. (SANTA???) I have been looking at a lot of different models and sizes. It is very hard not to over buy when looking at compressors. As you go up a few dollars, the capacity and quality go up. Where does it end?? I have to keep reminding myself that I do not own a service station. I do not have a pneumatic lift. I do not rebuild engines. I do not frame houses, so I do not use air powered tools. Basically, I fill tires. My own and everybody else's. Sometimes I connect two hoses together (sort of works like a tank because my $100 10+ year old compressor doesn't have one) to air blast dust and junk off of things. Other than that, my little old compressor does just fine. BUT, for about $400 you can get a real manly size compressor that can do all kinds of stuff that I never will do, but just in case.... I am torn between permanently mounting a mid size compressor and wiring and plumbing a few outlets for it in the garage. The other issue is that I think I want a good 50' hose reel. The other approach is to get a small portable compressor with about a 2 gallon tank and just carry it around. That would require a good HD cord reel to supply power.
The goal is to make it fast and easy to use without a lot of set up or tear down. My old one works well but is a pain to set up for each use and then put away when done. What to do? What to do??
 

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Ultra-HOG said:
That sounds like the one that I have had my eye on.
This was the one for $199. What I did was check the recommended usage on the box. I can basically do everything except for sanding with this one. While I don't need air tools often, I can see the need for an impact wrench (changing tires), a nail gun (crown molding), and a paint sprayer (water sealer & paint) in addition to just filling tires. This compressor can do all this. With the 50' hose, I can plug up in one place and reach about anything I need to.

As a comparison, the $150 compressor had 1/2 the CFM (cubic feet per minute) and thus wouldn't do half the things this would will. I think the next up was $279, then $400+ and up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It sounds like our needs are very similar. I hadn't considered the nailer and the sprayer - good point, I could use both. I do have a very old electric sprayer but if I had air available, more tools are a good thing! Did you get a reel for the air line and if so what kind?
 

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Ultra-HOG said:
It sounds like our needs are very similar. I hadn't considered the nailer and the sprayer - good point, I could use both. I do have a very old electric sprayer but if I had air available, more tools are a good thing! Did you get a reel for the air line and if so what kind?
No, I didn't get the reel. I saw one at Wal-mart after I'd already bought the hose that came with a 50' 3/8" hose (just like I bought) for either $39 or $49. The hose itself at Home Depot was $9. After the fact, I wish I'd gotten the reel. Home Depot also had a reel, but I can't remember the price or if the hose came with it.

I've also seen just a tank (2 gal, I think) that you can fill with your main compressor and carry with you for emergencies. That might take care of the other need you mentioned in an earlier post. I carry an electic compressor in my trunk, but it would be very slow to fill a tire. I also have a spare and AAA, so I'm not sure the compressor/tank would get used in case of a flat.
 

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Ultra-HOG said:
That sounds like the one that I have had my eye on. (SANTA???) I have been looking at a lot of different models and sizes. It is very hard not to over buy when looking at compressors. As you go up a few dollars, the capacity and quality go up. Where does it end?? I have to keep reminding myself that I do not own a service station. I do not have a pneumatic lift. I do not rebuild engines. I do not frame houses, so I do not use air powered tools. Basically, I fill tires. My own and everybody else's. Sometimes I connect two hoses together (sort of works like a tank because my $100 10+ year old compressor doesn't have one) to air blast dust and junk off of things. Other than that, my little old compressor does just fine. BUT, for about $400 you can get a real manly size compressor that can do all kinds of stuff that I never will do, but just in case.... I am torn between permanently mounting a mid size compressor and wiring and plumbing a few outlets for it in the garage. The other issue is that I think I want a good 50' hose reel. The other approach is to get a small portable compressor with about a 2 gallon tank and just carry it around. That would require a good HD cord reel to supply power.
The goal is to make it fast and easy to use without a lot of set up or tear down. My old one works well but is a pain to set up for each use and then put away when done. What to do? What to do??
As an Air Force tech, we had a low pressure (150 psi) portable compressor with a five gallon tank. It had two wheels and a front stand/ whick flipped up and locks so the unit could be hooked up to a vehicle with a Pintle Hook. The model # is an MC-2A. Check out the internet for one (government sales). It had a two cylinder Onan engine and a rotary compressor.:)
 
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