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Is it OK to use Nitrogen to fill your tires?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bajaviking, Oct 7, 2004.

  1. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    I can get a used nitrogen tank and regulator cheap so I wonder if it's OK. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Save it and use it on some coilovers! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  3. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    My tired old Ranchos shocks will have to do for now but I'm tired of driving home with no air in my tires and I would like to have a compressed air for filling tires and maybe even run some tools with it /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  4. az-k5

    az-k5 1/2 ton status

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    N2 compresses different than CO2. In the same size tank N2 will do half the work of CO2. Yes it will work but N2 costs a little more. If the tank is cheap or free go for it /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif I have a CO2 tank and already want a york (runs air tools with no freezing)
     
  5. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    I would think so. That's what they use to fill airplane tires /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif Research it and let us know what you find out. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  6. nvrenuf

    nvrenuf NONE shall pass! Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    That's what they use to fill airplane tires

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And all this time I thought it was those big round noisy things on the wings that made them go up in the air. /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  7. Ruthven13

    Ruthven13 1/2 ton status

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    If I remember correctly, nitrogen is more thermally stable than regular air. This would be good in the winter with big tires, won't be halfway flat after a cold night. I could be wrong here, just remember hearing that somewhere.
     
  8. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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  9. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    Yep, you sure can fill tires with Nitrogen. Like some others stated its more expensive to fill the tank. So in the long run even with a free tank or cheap, you still will be spending more. It is more stable than air so that is a benefit.
     
  10. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    Great, I guess if it's good enough for nascar it's good enough for me. Since I plan on being the first to break the 200 mph barrier with a lifted K5 I better start using Nitrogen in them tires from now on /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  11. shane74

    shane74 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Since I plan on being the first to break the 200 mph barrier with a lifted K5 I better start using Nitrogen in them tires from now on

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Bwahahahahaha!! Mine couldn't do that if you dropped it from the space shuttle as it was entering the atmosphere. /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  12. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Great, I guess if it's good enough for nascar it's good enough for me. Since I plan on being the first to break the 200 mph barrier with a lifted K5 I better start using Nitrogen in them tires from now on /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]
    beat me to it ya pretty uch all race cars use it and so do airplane's beacaus of NO2's lack of mostiure the tires wont expand when heated so yes it is way ok to use it in your tires
     
  13. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Another thing too.. You could get the tank and cyl. Used whats in it and then sell it off. If mem. serves me, the nitrogen regs are expensive. People who fill coilovers may buy it.
     
  14. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    I'll trade you for a Filled CO2 Bottle with Fixed Regulator.


    I use a Fixed Pressure Regulator made by Balloon Barron (120 lbs) with no gauges that I got from the local Welding Supply House (WSE in San Diego) for just under $30. You can also buy/rent your bottle there and get it refilled. They will have CO2, Nitrogen, Argon, Oxygen and just about any other gas you could want. Each gas requires a different valve for safety reasons, although there is some crossover. For example CO2 and Nitrogen have different valves. The difference is in the output coupling, threads and style. You can get adapters to convert one output to another for some applications. I have three CO2 bottles and one Nitrogen. I use the CO2 for just about everything in the field you can think of, Air Tools, Airing up tires and MIG Welding (the Miller 200 has its own adjustable regulator and gauges in the shop). The Nitrogen is used only for charging Shock Absorbers after rebuilds. The reason that you want to use CO2 over Nitrogen are several. CO2 is cheaper, safer and lasts longer. Nitrogen is stored in compressed form as a gas at up to 2000 PSI so breaking a valve off could be catastrophic. CO2 is stored in compressed form as a liquid at around 800 PSI. Because it is stored as a liquid the same size tank can hold more cubic feet of gas. The gas that is released from the tank is evaporated off the top of the liquid CO2 at an almost constant pressure of I think 600 PSI at a given temperature until all the liquid is gone. The Nitrogen bottle will have half the original pressure when half the original volume is used. The only way you can tell how much Nitrogen is left in the tank is by the tank pressure, so a gauge is necessary. With CO2 you can only tell how much is left in the tank by weighing it.
     
  15. 454k30

    454k30 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have seen guys use used scuba tanks filled with 2800 psi of air for tools and filling tires. It did seem to go a little quicker than co2, but you can get the tank filled at a dive shop for $4-6. That air is filtered and has zero moisture in it.
     
  16. socalblazer

    socalblazer 1/2 ton status

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    I have an aluminum tank that I picked up at the local welding supply. I've had Helium, Nitrogen, and CO2 in the same tank using the same regulator with no problems. I've used Nitrogen to fill tires but it doesn't seem to fill as many as the CO2. I've also heard that the Nitrogen will bleed out of a tire faster then CO2.

    Excerpts from a website.

    "Is the CO2 gas safe for tires?"
    Yes. CO2 vapor is inert (non-toxic, non-corrosive). CO2 vapor is perfectly safe for your tires and wheels. CO2’s thermal expansion rate is similar to air (~1 psi change per 17° F temp. change). CO2 is considered a “wet” gas because it does start out in semi-liquid form but the amount of moisture content per cu. ft. of vapor is less than what you would see coming out of a shop air compressor. There is no need to worry about running air tools with CO2 either. Just maintain your air tools to the manufacturers’ recommendations with proper air tool oil.

    "Why CO2 instead of Nitrogen?"
    CO2 will give you three times the energy of Nitrogen in a given tank size. Having one tank of CO2 is like carrying three tanks of nitrogen. This makes it more economical and means that you’ll have the power when you need it all in one small tank.

    “Won’t CO2 leak out of my tires faster than air?”
    No. The CO2 molecule is larger than a nitrogen molecule which is most of what is in air.

    Will CO2 blow out my tires if they get hot?
    No. The thermal expansion value of CO2 vapor is the same as air.

    Seems like CO2 is the way to go. Like I said, I've used both in the same tank w/no problems. Maybe you can check with your local welding supply to see if you can fill it w/CO2 when it's empty.
     
  17. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    We use nitrogen to air up the tires on our helos for the reasons listed above. Not necessarily for the expansion reasons, more for just the fact that there is no moisture in nitrogen. Better for the tire.

    Ken
     

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