Home

Ford Ranger Forum Tech Articles Other Articles Featured Rangers Readers Rangers Classifieds

Shirts & Decals

Parts Store

On Board Air - Options & Reviews

Trucks Of The Month

Translate

Featured Trucks

 

  

Ranger Buyers Guide

 

Check Out These Girls!!

 

Check Out:

Pontiac Hunters
    

Sponsors Ad

  

 Sponsors Ad

 
 
 

Serious off-roaders know the importance of an on-board air system. You need some way to air your tires back up when you leave the trail, re-seat a tire if you force it off the rim, and air tools are a definite plus when something breaks (And if your fixing it on the trail it's probably not minor). You'll also need one if you use an air locker. There are several ways to provide on-board air to your truck. Here's an overview of your options.

Electric Compressors:

The number of companies offering 12-volt air compressors (not those cheap Wal-Mart compressors) has increased since this article was originally written. 

Below is a chart listing compressors from a variety of companies along with photos and details. There are also links for you to check current prices and read customer reviews.

The biggest advantage to an electric compressor is that you can work on your truck if the engine is off. The only limitation is in your battery(s), and even this could be overcome by a set of jumper cables.

When you look through the chart, you'll see that you can buy complete systems that include a compressor and air tank.

 

Product Photo Performance Description
ARB CKSA12

ARB CKSA12 - Check Price

ARB CKSA12 Reviews

0.47 CFM @ 29 PSI CKSA12 - This compact vehicle mounted Air Locker Air Activation System has been specifically designed to provide on-board air for activating ARB Air Locker locking differentials. A smaller unit, it comes with a mounting bracket that allows versatile positioning and is sealed for moisture and dust resistance with quality components used for reliable compressed air and extra long life.
ARB CKMA12

ARB CKMA12 - Check Price

ARB CKMA12 Reviews

2.18 CFM @ 29 PSI CKMA12 - Permanently mounted, this compressor is installed into your truck and includes a full wiring loom with Air Locker solenoid plug in contacts, mounting hardware with reinforcing bracket and quality compressor isolating switch. This compressor can be used to activate Air Lockers, and can perform other functions such as inflating camping gear with an optional inflation kit sold separately.
ARB CKMP12

ARB CKMP12 - Check Price

ARB CKMP12 Reviews

2.18 CFM @ 29 PSI This portable 12 Volt air compressor comes in a durable polypropylene carry case for added versatility and uses quality components for quiet operation and extra long life. Including a 19 feet air hose, it also comes with all the necessary fittings for tire inflation and camping or leisure gear.
ARB CKMTA12

ARB CKMTA12 - Check Price

ARB CKMTA12 Reviews

4.65 CFM @ 29 PSI CKMTA12 - This compact vehicle mounted compressor has been designed to do everything! Activate your ARB Air Locking Differentials, air up a 35" tire in less than a minute and run air tools. This 100% duty cycle, 6.16 CFM compressor is built to support all of your compressed air needs.
ARB CKMTP12

ARB CKMTP12 - Check Price

ARB CKMTP12 Reviews

4.65 CFM @ 29 PSI CKMTP12 - ARB Air Compressors are also available in a complete portable solutions. Kits come complete with a 19ft air hose and also all the necessary fittings for tire inflation and camping or leisure gear. CKMTA12 comes with a built-in 1 gallon tank and capable of powering air tools.
Want more details? Click on the ARB chart to the right to enlarge it.    
Product Photo Performance Description
Oasis XD3000

Oasis XD3000 - Check Price

9 CFM @ 50 PSI

8 CFM @ 100 PSI

Max Pressure 200 PSI

2.2 Horsepower

Duty Cycle 100% @ 100 PSI

With its dual-ring, oil control pistons, our XD3000 extended-duty DC air compressor significantly reduces oil bypass into the air supply. This DC air compressor model also employs a commercial grade 12 VDC motor equipped with a cooling fan that dramatically extends run-time by reducing heat buildup in the motor.

Designed for extended run cycles, our XD3000 extended-duty DC air compressors are GSA approved and work well for applications requiring heavy-duty, continuous use.

Oasis XD4000

Oasis XD4000 - Check Price

9 CFM @ 50 PSI

8 CFM @ 100 PSI

Max Pressure 200 PSI

2.2 Horsepower

Duty Cycle 100% @ 200 PSI

The XD4000 continuous-duty DC air compressor model possesses dual fans: a 100 cfm fan built into a housing shroud, which works to cool the body and motor of the machine, while providing added protection to the unit, and an internal fan which also cools the modified 5 hp electric motor. This unique cooling combination, found exclusively on our high-quality XD4000 continuous-duty DC air compressor, provides superior operating temperature reduction resulting in an unrivaled 100 percent duty-cycle at 200 psi.

Our XD4000 continuous-duty DC air compressors are built to handle the most rugged commercial service and tow truck project requirements, as well as military applications, off-road vehicles, and air suspension systems.

Product Photo Performance Description

Smittybilt 2780

Smittybilt 2780 - Check Price

Smittybilt 2780 Reviews

2.54 CFM

  • Easy twist screw-on brass inflator top.
  • Quick release 16-foot coil hose 
  • Anti-vibration rubber feet.
  • Can be permanently mounted and hard-wired.
  • Auto-thermal cutoff switch -- protects motor against damage.
  • Built-on cleanable airfilter
  • Maximum voltage - 13.8 volts
  • Maximum continuous cycle time (Duty cycle) - 40 minutes @ 40 psi @ 75 def F
  • Integrated 150 PSI - Easy to read pressure gauge
Smittybilt 2781

Smittybilt 2781 - Check Price

Smittybilt 2781 Reviews

5.65 CFM

  • Easy twist screw-on brass inflator top.
  • Quick release 24-foot coil hose 
  • Anti-vibration rubber feet.
  • Can be permanently mounted and hard-wired.
  • Auto-thermal cutoff switch -- protects motor against damage.
  • Built-on cleanable airfilter
  • Maximum voltage - 13.8 volts
  • Maximum continuous cycle time (Duty cycle) - 40 minutes @ 40 psi @ 75 def F
  • Integrated 150 PSI - Easy to read pressure gauge
Smittybilt MV50 (Q Industries)

Smittybilt MV50 - Check Price

Smittybilt MV50 Reviews

2.54 CFM
  • Easy twist screw-on brass inflator top.
  • Anti-vibration rubber feet.
  • Can be permanently mounted and hard-wired.
  • Auto-thermal cutoff switch -- protects motor against damage.
  • Built-on cleanable airfilter
  • Maximum voltage - 13.8 volts
  • Maximum continuous cycle time (Duty cycle) - 40 minutes @ 40 psi @ 75 def F
  • Integrated 150 PSI - Easy to read pressure gauge
Product Photo Performance Description
VIAIR 88P

Viair 88P - Check Price

VIAIR 88P Reviews

120 PSI / 1.94 CFM
  • 12-Volt
  • Duty cycle = 45% @ 100 PSI
  • Max working pressure = 120 PSI
  • Dimensions = 9.8"L x 3.1"W x 5.6"H
  • Inflates 33" tires
VIAIR 300P

VIAIR 300P - Check Price

VIAIR 300P Reviews

150 PSI / 2.40 CFM This small but powerful compressor is able to fill 33 tires from 15 to 30 PSI in about three minutes. 

Kit includes:

  • Compressor
  • 8’ power cord with battery clamps
  • 25’ coiled hose
  • Water resistant double compartment carrying bag
  • Inflates 33" tires
VIAIR 400P

VIAIR 400P - Check Price

VIAIR 400P Reviews

150 PSI / 2.54 CFM The 400P Portable Air Compressor is the most powerful portable compressor in the VIAIR lineup and is designed to fill 35 tires from 15 to 30 PSI in just over two minutes. 

Kit includes:

  • Compressor
  • 8’ power cord with battery clamps
  • 35’ coiled hose
  • Water resistant double compartment carrying bag.
  • Inflates 35" tires
VIAIR 440P

VIAIR 440P - Check Price

VIAIR 440P Reviews

150 PSI / 3.00 CFM 440P is the ultimate portable compressor kit. It can inflate a 37-inch tire from 0 to 30 PSI in less than 5 minutes. The 440P is the largest and most powerful portable compressor kit available today.

Kit includes:

  • Vibration-Resistant Diamond-Plate Sand Tray
  • 5-in-1 Inflator/Deflator with Inline 120 PSI Gauge
  • Deluxe Dual Compartment Carry Bag
  • 50-amp Inline Fuse Holder
  • Dual Battery Clamps
  • 3 pc. Inflation Tips Kit
  • Power Cord: 8 ft.
  • Air Hose: 25 ft.
  • Inflates 37" tires
Product Photo Performance Description
VIAIR 20003

VIAIR 20003 - Check Price

VIAIR 20003 Reviews

120 PSI / 2.03 CFM 120 PSI Air Source Kits come with a low amp-draw, 25% duty cycle, 275C VIAIR compressor mounted on a 150 PSI-rated 1.5 gallon air tank with 5 ports. 

All Air Source kits come with a pre-wired pressure switch (P/N 20003 / 90-120 PSI). The 120 PSI Air Source Kit comes complete with a 1/4” NPT brass drain cock, 1/4” NPT ASME coded and certified safety valve, 1/2” NPT port compression fitting for 3/8” air line pre-installed. To use, simply connect the pressure switch to fused power, make a solid ground and connect an air line to the compression fitting. The use of a 40-amp relay and an appropriately-rated fuse is strongly recommended to preserve the life of the pressure switch.

VIAIR 20005

VIAIR 20005 - Check Price

VIAIR 20005 Reviews

150 PSI / 1.31 CFM 150 PSI Air Source Kits come with a powerful, 30% duty cycle, 280C VIAIR compressor mounted on a 150 PSI-rated 2.0 gallon air tank with 5 ports. 

All Air Source kits come with a pre-wired pressure switch (P/N 20005 / 110-150 PSI). The 150 PSI Air Source Kit comes complete with a 1/4" NPT brass drain cock, 1/4" NPT ASME coded and certified safety valve, 1/2" NPT port compression fitting for 3/8" air line pre-installed. To use, simply connect the pressure switch to fused power, make a solid ground and connect an air line to the compression fitting. The use of a 40-amp relay and an appropriately-rated fuse is strongly recommended to preserve the life of the pressure switch.

VIAIR 20007

VIAIR 20007 - Check Price

VIAIR 20007 Reviews

200 PSI / 1.34 CFM Fast-Fill 200 PSI Air Source Kits come with a powerful, low amp-draw 380C VIAIR compressor mounted on a 200 PSI-rated 2.0 gallon air tank with 5 ports. 

All 200 PSI Air Source kits come with a pre-wired 165/200 PSI pressure switch. Both kits not only come with the industry’s leading 200 PSI compressors but also come with a drain cock, safety valve, 1/2-inch port compression fitting for 3/8-inch air line pre-installed! To use, simply connect the pressure switch to fused power, make a solid ground and connect an air line to the compression fitting. A 40-amp relay and an appropriately-rated fuse is recommended for use with this unit.

VIAIR 20008

VIAIR 20008 - Check Price

VIAIR 20008 Reviews

200 PSI / 1.76 CFM High-Flow 200 PSI Air Source Kits come with a powerful, low amp-draw 480C VIAIR compressor mounted on a 200 PSI-rated 2.0 gallon air tank with 5 ports. 

All 200 PSI Air Source kits come with a pre-wired 165/200 PSI pressure switch. Both kits not only come with the industry’s leading 200 PSI compressors but also come with a drain cock, safety valve, 1/2-inch port compression fitting for 3/8-inch air line pre-installed! To use, simply connect the pressure switch to fused power, make a solid ground and connect an air line to the compression fitting. A 40-amp relay and an appropriately-rated fuse is recommended for use with this unit.

Product Photo Performance Description
VIAIR 10000

VIAIR 10000 - Check Price

VIAIR 10000 Reviews

105 PSI / 1.53 CFM Ultra-Light Duty - For Air Horns & Air Lockers.

Ultra Light Duty Onboard Air System can be used to pressurize the included 1.0 gallon air tank for air horn use, off road air locking differential use, and a host of other light duty pneumatic needs.

While not intended to inflate tires, this onboard air system provides a reliable smaller volume, in a cost effective package.

VIAIR 10002

VIAIR 10002 - Check Price

120 PSI / 2.03 CFM Quarter Duty - For Air Horns & Air Lockers

Quarter Duty Cycle Onboard Air System is a smaller, 120 psi onboard air system, suitable for many pneumatic needs, including smaller inflation tasks (not including the inflation of automotive tires), air horns and more. The 25% Duty Cycle Onboard Air System will provide enough service time to operate for about 10 minutes of continued use, providing you give the system 30 minutes to cool down afterwards.

VIAIR 10003

VIAIR 10003 - Check Price

VIAIR 10003 Reviews

150 PSI / 1.38 CFM Medium Duty - For up to 33" Tires

VIAIR’s Medium Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides a 33% duty cycle 325C compressor, 2.5 gallon air tank, and all components needed to install basic vehicle-based pneumatics.

VIAIR 10005

VIAIR 10005 - Check Price

VIAIR 10005 Reviews

150 PSI / 2.54 CFM Heavy Duty - For up to 35" Tires

VIAIR’s Heavy Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides a faster 33% duty cycle 400C compressor, 2.5 gallon air tank, and all components needed to install a working system capable of inflating tires right out of the box.

VIAIR 10007

VIAIR 10007 - Check Price

VIAIR 10007 Reviews

150 PSI / 1.66 CFM Constant Duty - For up to 37" Tires

VIAIR’s Constant Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides a 100% duty cycle 450C compressor, 2.5 gallon air tank, and all components needed to install a working system capable of inflating tires.

VIAIR 10008

VIAIR 10008 - Check Price

 

150 PSI / 3.21 CFM Super Duty - For up to 35" Tires

VIAIR’s Super Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides two fast 325C, 33% duty cycle compressors, a 2.0 gallon air tank, inline pressure regulation, and all components needed to install a working system capable of inflating tires, managing air locking differentials, and more.

VIAIR 10009

VIAIR 10009 - Check Price

VIAIR 10009 Reviews

150 PSI / 2.68 CFM X'Treme Duty - For up to 37" Tires

VIAIR’s X’treme Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides two 350C, 100% duty cycle compressors, a 2.0 gallon air tank, inline pressure regulation, and all components needed to install a working system capable of inflating tires, managing air locking differentials, and more.

VIAIR 20001

VIAIR 20001 - Check Price

VIAIR 20001 Reviews

200 PSI / 1.76 CFM Ultra Duty - For up To 37" Tires

VIAIR’s Ultra Duty Onboard Air System is a pre-packaged compressed air solution that provides an industry-leading, 200 PSI rated, 100% duty cycle 480C compressor, 2.5 gallon air tank, and all components needed to install a working system capable of inflating tires of virtually any size.

More....

VIAIR has tons of compressors and air systems. Click HERE for more.

     

Our Recommendation For An Electric Compressor:

A lot of you are running 31"-33" tires. If you're looking for an economical and portable air compressor, the VIAIR 88P is for you. This compressor is priced under $70 and has a ton of customer reviews.



Air Storage Tanks:

Air storage tanks can be purchased, converted from propane tanks, or scratch built. Some people have fabricated air tanks in to homemade bumpers, tube frames or by using kits on propane tanks. A storage tank would have to hold a lot of pressure to work on it's own. Generally you are going to use a storage tank along with an onboard compressor. Many companies selling air compressors also offer storage tanks.

Smittybilt:

Smittybilt offers a 2.5 gallon air tank kit:

(Smittybilt 2.5 Gallon Tank P/N 99210-2)

Universal XRC 2.5 Gallon Air Tank by Smittybilt®. With Fittings. Build your own on-board air system by connecting this air tank to your compressor or winch/compressor combo. It will give you the capacity you need for inflating tires, running air tools, etc. This 19"L x 10"H x 6"W 2.5 gallon tank comes with male and female push-in fittings, quick-connect studs, 90 degree elbow, drain cock, 10mm and 4mm nylon hose, pressure gauge and mounting hardware.

VIAIR Tanks:

VIAIR offers tanks from 0.5 gallons to 5 gallons. They also offer everything else you could want including pressure switches, fittings, hoses and more.

C02 Air Tanks:

A great option for portable air is a C02 tank. The C02 tank can be carried anywhere to air up tires or run air tools, and doesn't need any type of power source. The only downside is that you have to take the bottles to a shop (usually anyone that sells welding gas) to have them refilled.

Power Tank:

Power Tank is the original CO2 air system and has been setting the standard for all high performance air systems used to inflate tires, run air tools, and for other uses since 1997. Our passion for new technology to improve the performance of our products is what makes Power Tank the #1 brand in high performance air. Power Tank products guarantee you the best in performance, the best in quality, and the best in design.

(These tanks come in the following colors: Clear Aluminum, Gloss Black, Matte Black, Candy Blue, Team Yellow, Polished)

Smittybilt Comp-Air C02 Tank:

(Smittybilt Comp-Air C02 Tank)

The all new Compact Air System is the latest addition to Smittybilt’s extensive range of quality accessories. After traversing some tough rock trails or cruising through sandy dunes, the last thing you want to do is waste time re-filling tires to continue on with the journey. The Smittybilt Compact Air System comes equipped with an adjustable integrated regulator with 250 PSI, capable of pumping a massive 32 Cubic Feet / Minute. Not only will this compact air system inflate tires quickly and easily, it can also act as an off-road life saver as it has enough power to run small air tools. The compact air system is completely portable, so you have the flexibility to take it wherever you need to. In addition, it comes standard with a heavy duty carry bag to protect it, as well as making it much easier to transport.

Looking for a compact air system to power small air tools or inflate tires on the trail, rocks, or urban adventure, then look to Smittybilts Comp Air or Compact Air System.

  • Adjustable integrated regulator with a max 250 PSI

  • Maximum of 32 Cubic Feet Per Minute (900 Liters Per Minute)

  • Inflates tires quick and easy

  • Enough power to run small air tools

  • Completely portable - can be used for off road, RV or the everyday user

  • Carrying bag included

  • Ergonomic handle

  • Inguide glycerin filled gauge with polycarbonate window

  • Air chuck included

  • 25 ft hose

Smittybilt 2747 Comp-Air Tank - Check Prices

Resources:

ARB

Oasis

Power Tank

Smittybilt

VIAIR

 

footer

Advertisers

The Ranger Station

   About
   Staff
   Contact Us
   Advertising
   Legal Notices
   959 Media LLC
   Copyright © 1999-2015

 

Submit Content

Have Info To Share?

We're always looking for good content to share with other Ford Ranger enthusiasts. Click on the 'Submit' button to find out how you can get your submission posted and acknowledged for it.