4 Tire Inflator/Deflator

 

The job in work.  Nothing complicated about this job.  If you can cut air hose and tighten a few screws, this is a DIY project.

I found these at my local Harbor Freight for a couple of bucks each.

I made a Schrader valve to air chuck adapter to allow me to refill my tires even at a gas station.

This is the heart of the system.  A 4 way manifold.  Air gauge at the top, a line on each side feeding the left & right sides of the vehicle, and a valve and chuck at the bottom.  The system can be drained or filled using the bottom chuck.

Here's the system laid out in my garage.  I made it longer than would be needed for my Xterra.  Easy enough to customize to whatever length you need.

In the progress of filling/balancing the air in all 4 tires.  When I was done, I used the system to shoot some air in the Mustang's tires too.

View down the left side.

Down the right side.

I used two fittings back to back to drain air out, or shoot air in.  I had just disconnected the line from my air compressor.

The hose bundle before taking one coil and laying it on top of the other.  Notice that the system still has pressure on it though it is completely disconnected.

With some effort, the hose can be gently crammed into this nice storage bag from Bucket Boss.  I couldn't find this bag locally, so I bought it from Amazon.  I bought a cordless drill holster at the same time, which got me free shipping on both products (helping pay for the holster).  This bag was intended for jumper cables, but the hoses fit.  Price was $14.99.  The model number is 06009.

 

 

It usually is a bit of a pain to inflate/deflate all 4 tires.  You can buy some automatic deflators which screw onto the valve stems, but those run about $50 for 4 tires.  You still have to manually inflate each tire.  With this setup, you can quickly clamp onto all 4 valve stems, and dump the air to any desired pressure.  Each tire will have the same pressure since they share a common manifold.  By hooking up an air source to the dump port, the tires can be quickly refilled.  There's a commercial version of this, as well as someone making his version and selling them for a reasonable price.  I can considered buying this pre-made, but I had almost all the parts laying around.  Besides, it was raining today... and I had some free time.

There's really not much to making one of these.  A quick trip to Ace Hardware will set you up with most everything.  The 4 way cross and tees are standard 1/4" plumbing fittings.  The 50' hose I had laying around.  The barbed fittings were 5/16" to fit the hose, with a 1/4" pipe fitting on the other end.  The quick disconnect air chucks came from Harbor Freight.  Be sure to use Teflon tape on all the pipe fittings.  Add another tee if you'd like the option of being able to fill your spare tire at the same time. 

The nice part about the quick air chucks is they are all self sealing.  You can use this system for 1-4 tires.  If any of the chucks are not connected, the system still won't leak.  In fact, when all the chucks are disconnected, the system will still have pressure in it.

One quirk I noticed.  When air is flowing in/out, the gauge pegs.  I'm guessing it's from the turbulence.  So I stop every 10 seconds or so to check the progress.  This can drain or fill all your tires rather quickly, so watch it close.  I was using my big home compressor at the time, which has a high flow rate.  With my 12V portable compressor, it takes longer, so I'll let it go for a while longer before stopping to check the progress.

This idea was taken from this website.  He took it from another website, who took it from another...  I think I improved on his design, so I'm sharing this info for my buddies.  Nope, I won't make one for ya.  Either make yer own, or simply buy one online.  With everything I already had laying around, this project set me back about $30.

 

 

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Last updated 04/10/06    All rights reserved.