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Old 06-20-2019, 08:52 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Air Brake/AC for Pneumatic Tools?

Is there a way to use the air brake tanks to also run pneumatic tools?


Also:
I pulled out the AC system and have two compressors still sitting on the engine.
Is there a way to turn the old AC compressors into air compressors to run power tools?
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:06 AM   #2
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AC can mean alternating current

in this context I read as Air Compressor.

Then you have aircon. . .
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
Is there a way to use the air brake tanks to also run pneumatic tools? Also:
I pulled out the AC system and have two compressors still sitting on the engine. Is there a way to turn the old AC compressors into air compressors to run power tools?
I wouldn't recommend trying to use A/C compressors for such a purpose. They are a different design and if I'm not mistaken recirculate a small amount of oil with the refrigerant within the system. Not saying it can't be done, you just may not be happy with the results.

Air brake systems have a governor cut-out set at 90-120 psi. There is a blow-off valve if the system exceeds 150 psi. It might be possible if your air tools don't pull more pressure than the compressor can deliver, or more volume than the tank can supply (these tanks are pretty small and will discharge quickly). However, these systems are known for building a bit of water and oil in the supply tank, which is why there is a drain cock that has to be opened to rid the system of these contaminants. Again, not saying it CAN'T be done, but the results may not be what is desired.

FWIW, I do know that there are hoses for airing up tires that are made to connect to a Class 8 tractor's service line, which can deliver full supply pressure to the trailer. This is very temporary use, though.

I'm not sure what your aim is here, but if you're wanting to do more than just have temporary air supply for working on your rig, you might think about using the existing brackets to install a made-for-the-purpose compressor, and plumbing a second, larger tank for the supply volume you will need. Keep in mind, though, fuel costs a lot more than electricity. If you just need a temporary air supply for working on your rig, I'd just buy an air compressor with an appropriate-sized tank. Just my $0.02.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:37 AM   #4
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The problem isn't so much pressure as volume. Any kind of grinder/sander/saw usus a large volume of air. An impact uses less volume but, you would still spend a lot of time waiting for it to catch up.
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Old 06-20-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Oh man! Engine-driven compressed air! Iíve been envious of those who have adapted their air brakes to run tools.

A quick search comes up with a company named Underhood that makes add on compressed air systems.

And then I thought; how am I running that when Iím working on my engine?

Still feels worthwhile to find a compressed air solution to run air tools. Might need to go with battery powered impact wrench and ratchet.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:05 PM   #6
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I did it on mine, tapped into the lines out the back of the air tank. It does have it's limitations as far as the air needed for some tools. But it's handy for other things like filling tires and such.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I did it on mine, tapped into the lines out the back of the air tank. It does have it's limitations as far as the air needed for some tools. But it's handy for other things like filling tires and such.
Well done!
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:11 PM   #8
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I've use my truck's air supply for all sorts of air tool usage. No reason you can't do the same with a bus (and I will at some point.) Just have to be mindful of air supply and supply/recharge rates, but it will work.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:36 PM   #9
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This bus has two Air Conditioning pumps. I'm thinking they can keep an auxiliary tank filled up pretty good. As far as lubrication, I'd put oil in them. From what I've read, they are usually lubricated by the oil in the AC system, and I'd just need to put oil in intake the line.
Problem is figuring out how to do it!
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:37 PM   #10
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I have a small Harbor Fright dual-tank 120VAC compressor that's connected through an inline filter (that takes a surprising amount of water out of the air on humid days) to the bus's accessories air tank for the seat/wipers/horn/door/etc. This air supply also feeds three air outlets around the bus for inflating tires and running air tools. I put in a valved connection between the accessories tank and the bus's brake tanks so I can air up the entire bus from my electric compressor or from outside air. On the electric compressor's tank drain I have a quick-connect Industrial connector and an adapter with an Automotive connector, allowing a tow truck to easily connect its air to my bus after I open the Accessories-to-Brake valve. So far, so good.

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