Keeping the Pressure On

Portable air solutions for track day

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How the rubber of your tires meets the road can be often overlooked. The subject of maintaining tire pressures can dramatically impact your racing performance. Not only can temperature and atmospheric conditions come into play, but the actual road surface and type of racing applications can mandate a tire pressure adjustment. Air compressors range in a variety of sizes and applications, and when you are in the pits having one on hand not only for your tires, but also running some air tools can be a major benefit at critical times.

Degrees of Application

We’ve all seen them in the automotive aisles, small 12V DC powered air compressors that pop into what we used to call a cigarette lighter. Beyond their size limitations, these units are typically focused more on emergency situations. While they might be great for someone who might be participating in the occasional SCCA event, the disadvantage in speed and amount of air pumped might make one look at alternatives. There is also the added disadvantage of potentially of blowing a fuse.

Maximum Portability

Larger units, of course, demands access to higher power sources. The VIAIR Corporation offers a comprehensive line of fractional horsepower DC oil-less air compressors and air accessories for on-road, off-road. If you are trying to maintain a higher degree of portability, VIAIR’s  87P Compressor offers a light weight solution, but utilizes your vehicles battery directly. This gives the advantage of being able to operate with any vehicle regardless of the auxiliary power outlet rating.

Featuring a permanent magnetic motor and a duty cycle of 20 minutes at 30 PSI, the maximum available working pressure of the 87P is 60 PSI. With its ten foot power cord and eight foot air hose length, reaching each tire is easy. The tire chuck is a screw-on type and must be connected to a tire’s valve stem before turning the unit on. The pressure gauge incorporated into the top of the unit allows for quick and precise monitoring of pressure. Capable of inflating up to 31-inch tires, the 87P can inflate from flat in just under five minutes. VIAIR also offers a six inch extension hose.

Long-Term Track Day Companion

If you are facing a long day at the track or going deep off-road the ultra-portable option might not be what you need. However, you still might want something that is relatively easy to carry with you in the trunk or bed of your truck. PORTER-CABLE has been manufacturing professional-grade cordless and corded power tools, equipment, and accessors for more than 100 years. At only 30-pounds, the  C2005 6 gallon, 150 PSI Pancake Compressor can fit almost anywhere.

The pancake-style tank offers higher stability and features a durable oil-free pump. The 150 PSI max tank pressure stores more air in the tank, giving the user not only the ability to inflate, but also allow the use of air tools at longer runtimes. PORTER-CABLE units include a three year limited warranty.

Racing Developed Regulator

For full-on pressure regulators, Turanair Systems has developed racing dedicated air systems for the use in the garage or in the pit lane. According to Turanair, their vision is to offer the entire racing community a whole new approach to become totally self-sufficient for their compressed air needs. This means being able to purge your tires as many times as you want, unlimited compressed air, and eliminate the hassles of charging and transporting heavy steel tanks.

Their PRO500 Regulator was designed specifically for the racing industry. Its intended use is to provide portability, lightweight, and offer a safer environment by eliminating or reducing hoses. With an adjustable 500 PSI output, the PRO 500 regulator can be coupled with a smaller work bottle, or as part of their single or dual cart offerings.

Pressure Delivery

 From adjusting your tires pressure or inflating from an unexpected flat it is important to keep in mind the maximum specifications to your tires. While sometimes underinflating can maximize traction, especially in snow and icy environments, and overinflating can lead to a slightly higher fuel economy, both conditions need to be strictly monitored for effectiveness in each particular racing application.


Sources:

Porter-Cable: www.portercable.com

Turanair Systems: www.turanairsystems.com

Viair Corp: www.viaircorp.com

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