|The MGA With An Attitude
Air Compressors - GOOD DEALS -- AR-105
This stuff isn't even about MGs, but it sure is a popular subject for home shop people. I post this page only because it might save me some time in answering questions in the future. Following are a few examples of air compressors which might be a good deal to buy, depending on your air volume and budget requirements. These might be valid only as long as sales or web links are effective, but it should give some idea of the values you might find in the market. You might do even better if you shop around.
I will remind you again that I do not like direct drive diaphram type compressors, because THEY ARE NOISY and generally less efficient compared to slower running belt driven piston compressors. However, the direct drive units are generally cheaper, so if you don't mind the noise, and you don't need the maximum amount of air delivery for the power available or consumed, then you might like them better than I. Just don't expect me to list many of them here. An all iron compressor unit will also be quieter than an aluminum compressor with iron cylinder sleeve.
Keep in mind all prior admonishments about inflated motor power specifications. One horsepower is 750 watts of power, and electric motors are a little less than 100% efficient. A 120vac 15 amp power circuit can support up to a 2hp motor drawing 12 amps. The same 2hp motor may run better on 240vac (if available) drawing only 6 amps. A real 5hp motor will draw at least 15 amps (and maybe more) on a 240vac circuit.
If you only need to put air in car tires you do not need a big compressor, and something as small as a cigarette lighter plug-in model might do in a pinch. If you are doing automotive related work and want to use air powered tools, then you will need a minimum of 1hp coimpressor, will likely be much happier with MORE POWER (hee-hee-hee). For home shop use a 2hp compressor is common and popular, partly because it MAY run on a common 120vac circuit, and partly because compressors get generally more expensive with size (and maybe 2hp is big enough for non-professional use). Most people are inquiring about more air and higher power, so start here.
||HarborFreight.com - Item 92504-0VGA - US General - $399.99
4 HP (real), 120 psi, 29 gallon, 2-cylinder
220 volt, 60 Hz, 23.5 amps (start up), 12.5 amps (no load)
Air delivery 16.4 CFM @ 40 PSI, 15.7 CFM @ 70 PSI, 14.5 CFM @ 90 PSI, 13 CFM @ 110 PSI
This one was on sale 06 Aug 2005.
Ads for others below have expired, but are good examples.
||Homier.com - Magnum air compressor - $199.99 +shipping
[Note: shipping might be as high as $150 - check web site]
Item 03943 - 5 HP peak (maybe 1.5hp actual), 35 Gallon vertical tank, Twin Cylinder, Oil Lubricated, Belt Driven, 120 Volt
Actual Air Flow: 6.5 cfm @ 40 psi; 5.5 cfm @ 90 psi, Maximum Outlet Pressure: 110 psi
||HarborFreight.com - Central Pneumatic - $399.99 delivered - Item 47933-0VGA
6 HP peak (maybe 2.5hp actual), 125 psi, 20 gallon, 2-cylinder single stage, 7.2 amp @ 230 volt
Air delivery 12 scfm @ 40 psi, 10.2 scfm @ 90 psi
[Wow! Check that air flow.]
And they do get bigger of course, such as a real 5 HP motor and 2-stage compressor doing 19 SCFM @150 psi for under $1000 (if you shop around some). Wanna really go nuts? A media blaster pro shop near me runs a 75 HP compressor on a 300 gallon air tank, with an electric bill of about $7/hr when it's running, but he can clean the paint and rust off of an entire car body inside and out in about 5 hours.