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Compressed Air Storage in the Front Bumper........Good or Bad Idea!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JK5, Nov 7, 2002.

  1. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm fabbin' a front bumper.....
    I was goin' use some square tubing and cap it and use it for compressed air.

    Do you think this is a good or a bad idea?

    Anybody here of any horror stories?

    Are they even street legal?

    Thanks for the input

    Jerry /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  2. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> Sounds good to me. Even if it gets a hole there won't be enough pressure for it to be a problem. </font color>
     
  3. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    The square tubing is goin'to be 1/4" thick.....maybe 90lbs. of pressure.
     
  4. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Square tubing is a bad idea if you're planning on storing compressed air. You'll notice that all pressure tanks, vessels, pipelines, etc... are round. Round tanks allow the inside pressure to be equal on all surface, whereas on square tubing the pressure is greater on the seam or corner.

    A front bumper is also a dangerous location for compressed anything. For your air tank to be useful, depending on the volume, you're going to want to be storing at least 200-300 PSI. Have you ever seen a tire blow up? Most tires hold between 30-60 PSI. Now imagine the trauma caused by 250 PSI air blowing out, along with the chunks of metal the blowout takes with it. A collision could result in a rupture, and trust me when I tell you that a sudden release of compressed anything(even as low as 60 PSI) can be fatal.

    BTW, I'm not trying to slam your idea. It's just that a lot of people aren't aware of how dangerous pressure is. I work with pressurized natural gas every day and have seen the damage it causes when uninformed people mess with it.
     
  5. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Thanks for the comments.....
    I want my truck to be SAFE!!!!!!
     
  6. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Safe is the best way to go, brother!!!
     
  7. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    I use my rear as an air tank for the compressor. It ends up having a volume of about 2 gallons. It works fine to smooth out the air for air tools but its not worth it just to put air in it and try to fill a tire or something.
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    my rockers ar 4x4 box 3/16 wall. 1/4 caps. I store 140psi in them all the time. Each side is just under 4 gallons (of water) compressed air is figured differently. My air compressor has what is listed as a 30 Gallon tank and it's not much bigger than two 5 gallon pails end to end. I can air my 35's from 20 back up to 28. I can reseat 2 tires off each tank if I'm carfull and strap the tire.
    The reason round is used is so they can distribute the load easier is true. that's so they can use a thinner gage metal. 1/4 wall..no problem. Just be sure to orient the seam down because thats the point it's most likly to fail That thick of gage even if it ruptures it's not likly to throw shrapnal becuse once it get's a 1 inch hole it 's enough to drop the presure fom 120 to about 50 in a fraction of a second. If you were talking pressure over 150 I would be concerned. If you plan to run a onboard air then put a preasure relife valve on that rated about 140 psi and run a switch rated about 120 for cycling. A york or a GM log can easily run up to pressures of 300psi. so the safety valve is the key to keeping it safe.
    When you build it and get it sealed lay it out in the yard and run a hose out to it so you can presurize it from a distance. Then hide behind something and throw a sledge at it for a while to give it a shock. you got to make sure you get full penetration with your welds. A crappy weld will be the danger point in this. I did mine with a Stick and a 7014 rods. I layed down a Major Fat bead. I went through a rod every 2 inches. with the heat up to about 120amps as I recall.
     
  9. Can Can

    Can Can Pusher Man Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Eric, you obviously know what you're doing. My post was aimed at the kind of guy who goes "Hey, I think I'll use my front bumper to store compressed air" and then runs a couple of beads to cap his tubing. Next thing you know, he kills a pedestrian when he gets in a fender-bender and his cap blows off at 100 MPH and shoots into a crowded sidewalk. I was also thinking along the lines of being able to carry more pressure then in the 140-150 PSI range.

    I have a question for you: How do you prevent moisture buildup in your rocker? Do you have a drain valve? It would seem to me that unless you could guarantee a dry air supply that internal corrosion could wreak havoc on the inside of the tubing after a while. Of course, a well placed magnesium strip anode could prevent that, I guess.

    One other question: How did you weld the actual caps on? You mention keeping the weld at the bottom but on the ends of the tubing a guy would have to run a bead all the way around. And why would you have to run a weld on the tubing itself?

    I'm not trying to be a dink, BTW. Just curious.... /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  10. Jeff427

    Jeff427 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Are they even street legal?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    You should check your local laws. I know in Michigan they are illegal.
     
  11. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Thanks.....Good Idea!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I poured paint in them to help prevent rust.
    The drain is a 3/8's nut welded on to the bottom at a end , and then a 3/8's bolt forms the plug with some teflon tape. Drain them regularly is all you can do just like a air comressor. I have it rigged so both tanks can be run seperate or ganged. That way if I'm seating a bead I still have air in the other tank. I have a Shrader valve as well as a double male 1/4 air hose fitting to fill them with. Once I get my York hooked up then I'll put and exta T in when all the plumbing comes together. Then I can run straight off the compressor or fill the tanks.
    I have proper pipe taper bungs welded in and I use that push lock plastic tubeing that's rated 300 PSI to plumb it.
    The seam I'm talking about faicing down is the seam when the box was formed.
    I had planned on also using my bumpers but the rears I had to blind nut so getting a good seal was not possible. The front I just got lazy but I could easily weld in the bungs and drains if I got ambitious. I figure with 8 gallons and the York I will be pretty well set so doubt I will mess with it.
    These things have ben bashed into so many rocks that if it wasn't safe they would have cut loose years ago. I keep them full all the time. They loose about 10psi in a month. That way if I run accross somebody with a flat I can get them aired up /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    Really the key here is sounds welds on the caps. This is not a first time builder project. this is a know how to lay a rock solid bead that the surounding metal will fail before the weld fails project.
     
  13. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    Hey grim? Got pics? Since I already welded my rockers in, it'll be a pita but they're not capped yet. They're 3x3 tube 52" long. I'd like to make a tank for the york and this may do the trick on one side. Anyways, pics of the drain valve and all would be nice. Is it recessed at all and if not, how do you keep it intact?
     

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