ClemSparks UltimaDork
7/6/18 4:55 p.m.

Portable air tanks are great for what portable air tanks are good for.  Filling up a flat tire that's beyond the reach of your air hose, etc.  But anyone who's had to fill an air tank more than a couple of times knows it's a long, boring activity spent squatting down beside the tank and holding an air chuck at an angle that's not very ergonomic.  I decided a few years back to procure an adapter that would make this more or less hands-free.

From my days working on race cars, I remembered the valve used to add nitrogen to shocks.  It's an EXPENSIVE little booger at about $30, but what you're searching for is a "Zero Loss Nitrogen Chuck" or something to that effect.  One of these:

Then, of course you need to adapt it to your air hose.  The trick is that the zero loss chucks seem to be available mainly in 1/8" NPT...and most shop tools, hoses, etc commonly use 1/4" NPT fittings.  No problem...just gotta find one of these (or whatever style you use...just be sure it's 1/8" NPT female).

Twist them together and then you have this:

You screw the chuck onto your air valve on your tank.  Hook up the air hose, thread the t-bar clockwise to depress the valve core (effectively opening the Schrader valve) and walk away.


Of'll want to ensure that your air compressor's regulator is not set above the max pressure for your portable tank. costs a few bucks but after you use it once you'll agree.  It's worth every penny.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
7/6/18 5:07 p.m.

On mine, I put a coupler on the outlet of the tank and another on the hose. Disconnect the hose, attach the one on the compressor and open the valve on the tank. Whooooosh. Close the valve, disconnect the compressor, plug the hose back in. Only costs you a male/female set of couplers.

I have a male coupler on the other end of the air tank hose already, so if you do this to a couple of tanks (or hoses) you can daisy chain the hoses if necessary.

ClemSparks UltimaDork
7/6/18 5:10 p.m.

Fantastic idea Keith!


Dead_Sled Reader
7/6/18 5:59 p.m.

I'm sure these are available commercially, but I use the adaptor and hose from an old Campbell hausfeld portable tank I bought from Walmart 10+ years ago.  Tank probably cost 30 max.  I bought two so I could give my dad one.  He left his outside and it rusted on the bottom to the point I wouldn't use it anymore so I cut the tank up into a small grill and stole the hose.  I use it to fill my tank.  Also works well when I'm trying to set a bead on a tire I mounted since it latches on so you can bounce the tire to get it to seat.

It locks onto the valve stem and even tho it's cheap plastic it's held up for the last 10+ years.

fasted58 MegaDork
9/1/18 11:49 p.m.

20 y/o pre-HF Clarke brand air tank. Original combination valve and gauge was berkeleying junk from the get-go and leaked down.

1/2" NPT steel hex shoulder nipple, 1/2" BMI tee, 1/4" NPT ball valve about $7 at HD, reducer bushings, chrome bezel gauge FTW. This ball valve will not leak down.

Fast fill from compressor w/ male connector. Female connector on original hose w/ chuck and a female connector w/ Schrader valve for on the road fills, not shown. One can Krylon red paint, needs a GRM sticker to be official.

Good tank, cheap upgrade. Win.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/2/18 3:15 p.m.

I like it. No nonsense. 

noddaz SuperDork
9/13/18 3:10 p.m.

I have one of these with a air fitting to plug into the air hose.  Clip it on the tank and that gives me time to check for belly button lint.  

ClemSparks UltimaDork
9/13/18 3:47 p.m.

That's exactly the chuck that got me to looking for a different solution.  I couldn't find one that would grip sufficiently to the valve on the tank.  I'm glad to know that some of them will grip well-enough.

pinchvalve MegaDork
9/13/18 9:56 p.m.

I see your clip on, and raise you a chuck that allows you to remove the core (schreader valve), fill, then replace the core - all under pressure.  

glueguy Dork
9/24/18 8:23 a.m.

Mine is similar to fasted58 above, all sourced from Lowes.  The tank fitting is a female quick disconnect to align with the typical male fittings on the final hose.  I then created a male to male conversion to fill or drain the tank.


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