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Air Compressor question... *HELP*

Old 02-26-2008, 06:03 AM
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MarczZ06
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Default Air Compressor question... *HELP*

I'm looking to buy an air compressor to take care of my vette, because simply there's nothing better you can do than have an air compressor to dry your car. So the question is: What gal. & psi would I need to successfully and easily dry my car? I'd really appreciate any help because I have no clue whatsoever. Thanks
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:13 AM
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BIG ATLANTA
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Most people use a leaf blower. I'd imagine you'd need a really big compressor because of the volume of air you will need. I'd use the compressor for blowing out the engine bay.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:24 AM
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JCMVette
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I use three bath towels they are cheap at walmart.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:28 AM
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you could get both water moisture and oil droplets from a conventional shop air compressor.

Go with an electric leaf blower with over 200mph blowing capability.
Again avoid the gasoline powered... many vent the exhasut gases thru the blower function
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JCMVette View Post
I use three bath towels they are cheap at walmart.



Be careful, I'd be willing to bet you are inducing swirls with those.

Another vote for a leaf blower.
Nozzle less rinse, leaf blower for 90+% of the remaining water, a light Z6 with your favorite QUALITY towel = spot free finish.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:41 AM
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I have 2 compressors and a leaf blower and a Metro Air Force Blaster, so I'll speak on all three...

The advantage of a compressor is that you can then start buying air tools to work on your car. Believe me -- once you go compressed air, you never go back! I'd recommend at least a 60-gallon single-stage. HD carries Huskie brand (which is actually made by Campbell-Hausfield) in that size for under $400. I have a CH 60 and it's fine for blowing, although there is a decent amount of moisture that's generated so if you want dry air, you can get a "line dryer." As far as PSI, compressors really arean't rated that way - the real rating is "Standard Cubic Feet per Minute" at a particular PSI which is a function of the HP of the motor and the size of the tank... Anything smaller than 60 gal IMO (I also have a 26 gal - fine for nail guns) will give you anemic flow rate if you're trying to blow (then you'll have to wait and wait and wait while the compressor cycles). If I were buying a new compressor now, I'd go 80-gallon 2-stage for a little more versatility (paint sprayer, etc.), but it's more expensive (like double), so 60 gal, 4HP or so is fine for starters.

Leaf blower - not a bad way to go so long as it's electric. Not going to get quite the force you would with a compressor... Also, the air isn't really filtered, so if dirt got into the intake, you'd probably scratch your finish nicely. I've used it several times, and as long as you're careful, it shouldn't be too much of an issue. My biggest complaint with a leaf blower is the standard nozzle is too broad a shot of air. I bought an adapter and a smaller nozzle, which works better.

Most effective (not most cost-effective) is the Air Blaster since it actually heats AND filters the air. I have the 4HP model which I bought for my motorcycles. It runs around $185. The 4HP is a little small for a large car area (pretty much every body panel on our cars), so I'd recommend the 8HP, but that's $295...

So if you already have an electric leaf blower, go with that. If you want the added ability to be able to use air tools (DA BOMB!), spend the extra money on a compressor, or get the "uni-tasker" (to quote Alton Brown) 8-HP Metro which really works the best...

Cheers,
Vaughn
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rws.1 View Post
you could get both water moisture and oil droplets from a conventional shop air compressor.

Go with an electric leaf blower with over 200mph blowing capability.
Again avoid the gasoline powered... many vent the exhasut gases thru the blower function
That's true I have both and prefer the leaf blower.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by steve8 View Post
Be careful, I'd be willing to bet you are inducing swirls with those.

Another vote for a leaf blower.
Nozzle less rinse, leaf blower for 90+% of the remaining water, a light Z6 with your favorite QUALITY towel = spot free finish.
I wash the towels after each use. I did use my air comressor to blow off the wheels and all the seams and mirrors but we are on watering restrictions we have to go to a car wash. No place at a car wash to plug in a leaf blower. It really sucks not being able to wash your car in you driveway.
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:51 AM
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Guess I'm old fashion. I just use a Chamois.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:14 PM
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I Vote For The Towels (if They Are Soft And You Wash Them After Cleaning The Car) Or Chamois. Ive Tried The Leaf Blower And I Invariably Wind Up Blowing Dust From The Ground Onto The Newly Washed Car. Am I A Klutz Or What!
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:21 PM
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I dry with microfiber and use the compressor to blow out the mirrors and rear lights sometimes. I used a leaf blower before and it doesn't do that great of a job IMO.

A great garage air compressor is the Ingersoll-Rand Garage Mate. I highly recommend it. For me its perfect, it's run about everything including my air sanders. Has 100% continuous duty rating, its quiet, and inexpensive.


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Old 02-26-2008, 12:32 PM
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Waterblade & microfiber towels...
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