iZook – Suzuki 4×4 Tech Information, Accessories, Travel & Adventure

DIY CO2 On-Board Air System

 Wrenchin' with IZook  With TEAM ZUKI

tankntools.jpg (6438 bytes)We all know that space is very limited in a Samurai. There is enough room under the hood for an air compressor but to get the full benefit of on-board-air, you got to have an air tank too. Since I wanted to be able to seat a bead and run air tools on the trail I chose to go with a CO2 tank. You can find a complete CO2 setup in the magazines for about 300 dollars without mounting hardware. The Powertank is a really nice setup and it includes the aluminum CO2 tank, regulator and a nice handle. The cost is about the same as a good quality under hood compressor. With a lot of upgrades still on the drawing board, I decided to save some money and put together my own Home Brew CO2.

I started my search at the local welding supply shop. I paid around a hundred dollars for a used 10 pound tank including a full charge of CO2. Shop around and try and find the aluminum tank instead of the heavier steel version. The weight difference is not huge, but on a Zook every once counts! Next I located a regulator that had the right fittings to match the tank and could handle 150 PSI on the output side and 4000 PSI on the tank side. The dual gauge reads both tank pressure and regulated pressure and it cost around 65 bucks. Add another 10 bucks or so and pick up a good coiled air hose and you?re set.

Next I was faced with where to mount the tank in such a way that it would not become a missile in the event of a rollover. I cut some slotted 1" angle and mounted it to the floor using the existing holes for the rear seat mount. I then added some strong nylon straps to secure the tank in the floor mount. It tucks up real nice and keeps the tank down low. Since the tank is pressurized at anywhere from 800 PSI to 1800 PSI it is VERY IMPORTANT that the tank be securely mounted! Don?t shortcut this step as you might end up killing someone if the tank gets loose and ruptures.


I have been running this setup for a couple of years now and I?m quite happy. I can give my tires a 30 second shot of CO2 at the end of the trail and I?m ready for the ride home. I have run air tools and you can expect about 20 minutes of use on a full tank. As far as airing up from trail pressure (4 to 5 PSI) to a decent street pressure (14 to 16 PSI) I figure you can get about 30 to 40 tires per tank. It only costs around 6 to 10 dollars for a refill so it?s fairly economical. You can seat a bead with this setup and it will air up a tire a lot faster than an onboard compressor!

The only downside is that CO2 will freeze up with prolonged use and it has a lot of moisture in the mix. I wouldn?t recommend using a high dollar air tool with it. Also the outside temp has an effect on how much power you can get out of the tank. It works best on hot, sunny days with cool days lowering the PSI somewhat. It still works great even on chilly days and ROCKS on a scorcher!

See you on the trail!?..

08/11/10 14:47



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