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Old 01-09-2004, 04:40 PM   #1
zoomfactor
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Question Nitrogen fill for tires? Track/Auto-X

Anyone here use nitrogen for filling their tires? I just had a wonderful and insightfull coversation with an old oval racer.

He indicated that nitrogen had significant benefits for tires due to reduced moisture and resistance to pressure fluctuations (as compared with air). It was his experience that tires still heated up predictably but tire pressures remained more consistent with nitrogen.

In between (slow ) Auto-X runs this weekend I was seeing an almost 6#-8# increase in my Azenis bewteen runs. Damn Florida sun -- also got a tan
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Last edited by zoomfactor; 01-09-2004 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:00 PM   #2
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Yep, it's been used for years. Any inert gas is preferable to compresed air.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:24 PM   #3
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John - do you have any idea on how dramatic your tire temps/pressures change on a lap at the 'Ring?
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:29 PM   #4
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Very popular with the Porsche track event crowd and people that are very serious about racing. I have no doubt someone has autocrossed at some point with nitrogen filled tires. There are alot of proponents of using nitrogen because it doesn't leak as fast as regular air and tires won't underinflate nearly as quickly, which reduces tire wear on passenger vehicles.

Makes it a bit harder to play around with tire pressures though.
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Old 01-09-2004, 05:38 PM   #5
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I set them hot at the end of my sighting lap, they will go up 8PSI on that i would say. They usually only change a few PSI on the first hot lap then not at all after that after the first mile.

I usually dont push too hard for the first mile of the track unless i have done a quick warm up on the roads outside the circuit to get the tyres, oil temps etc up to the correct levels.
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Old 01-09-2004, 06:07 PM   #6
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Air is already about 80% nitrogen ...

Henry Watts in his "Secrets of Solo Racing" book ... says it's not worth it ... hard to carry nitrogen around, etc. ... but the moisture content is interesting ... I wonder is tire station air filling pumps have moisture filters ... like scuba tank fillers. When you compress air ... you can get a lot of residual moisture. My air gun pump has a chamber with silicon balls where the moisture is suppose to condense. When you are finished ... you open a valve ... and you can get a plume of moisture blasting back out ...
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Old 01-09-2004, 07:11 PM   #7
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I think you could get a bottle from a welding supply house, and a regulator of course, a bit of investment but how much time is there btw the places at the level you drive at.

most gas stations nowadays only have little piddly compressors that you put some quarters into and out comes some dirty air... I always bleed the first bit of air out of the hose, Almost always I get some water too. In the winter not much really, more on humid cool days...

I'd bet youd be surprised at how long a 15-20# tank of N2 would last, and how cheap it is (aside from tank & regulator purchase/rental/deposit)

nick

Edit: Found on the web somewhere, home darkroom guys talking about using compressed air (from a compressor) to blow off negatives.

Quote:
"
Dave Schneider , sep 30, 2002; 09:53 a.m.
I would recommend using a cylinder of compressed nitrogen or carbon dioxide. A 15 pound cylinder (about 6 inch diameter and 24 inches tall) will last me about two years. Refill cost is about $10. The regulator and gauge was maybe $40. The advantage of this over a compressor is that you have no worry about water or oil. When air is compressed the water condenses. You need to put a filter in to eliminate the water. There may also be oil generated by the compressor which also has to be filtered.
"
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Old 01-09-2004, 08:27 PM   #8
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At a bunch of service stations I've used air pumps at, the nozzle shoots so much water out that if you hold your palm in the airstream, there will be noticable moisture on your hand in 5 seconds. Not cool, though I don't care about it for my street tires.
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Old 01-10-2004, 05:50 AM   #9
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We used to use a smallish CO2 bottle for a power sourse for an air gun. A little bulky but it served as an "air" source for tire fills as well. Very cheap as restaurants use it for carbonation, also used for MIG welding. The bottles are rented and exchanged.

I have also set up aluminum SCUBA dive bottles for an air source for artist air brush work. The dive shops will refill with very well filtered and very dry air (breathing quality). Nothing worse than a big clob of smutz going through the fine air brush nozzle and ruining hours of work. Any regulator overhaul dive shop has old dive regulators (1st stage) that can be tapped out for an inexpensive secondary regulator and gauge. Just attached standard air hoses and snap fittings. Beats the hell out of a noisey little crappy electric compressor running under your work area spitting out crap occasionaly.
DO NOT LEAVE BLACK DIVE TANKS THAT HAVE BEEN FILLED TO THE MAX IN THE TRUCK OF A CAR IN SUMMER. Most dive shops can show you pics of the ass end of a car blown off by the expoded overpressured tank. As I recall std refill dive bottle refill pressures are around 3,000 PSI. You will need a SCUBA certification card to get tanks refilled and of course the dive bottles must be within current inspection specs. These will drive an air gun and fill tires very well plus take you underwater.

Many shop air compressors spit not only air but airesol compressor oils and bacterial cottage cheese stuff similar to what grows in the water/oil mix of crappy diesel fuel. Of course station air compressors are rarely drained much less well filtered.

More than you wanted to know probably.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil Pausmer
DO NOT LEAVE BLACK DIVE TANKS THAT HAVE BEEN FILLED TO THE MAX IN THE TRUCK OF A CAR IN SUMMER. Most dive shops can show you pics of the ass end of a car blown off by the expoded overpressured tank. As I recall std refill dive bottle refill pressures are around 3,000 PSI.
And any competent dive shop will tell you that a properly maintained and regularly inspected (as required for refills) tank will not explode from sitting in a hot car or in the sun. There is a burst disk in the 1st stage that will let go first, releasing the pressure in a controlled manner.

In fact, an old burst disk is more likely to fail at lower pressure!

However I have seen the results of an improperly stowed tank that had the 1st stage snapped off in a sudden stop! Gives a new meaning to the term "bottle rocket".

I've been diving for 25 years, have certifications from 3 agencies and logged more hours than most instructors I know. I've discussed this with many people over many years. It seems to be an urban myth. This isn't to say that it is good to leave a filled tank in a hot vehicle though.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:48 AM   #11
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i'm pretty sure scca solo II rules state that high pressure vessels (not sure where the distinction of "high" comes into play, but you can be sure it applies to liquid CO2 cylinders and N2 cylinders at 3000 psi) are not allowed in the pit/paddock.

just hearsay, though...
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:12 PM   #12
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You don't _necessarily_ need a Scuba certificate to have your tanks refilled. We get our Scuba and SurviAir (4,500 PSI!) tanks, that we use to fill our Olympic Style air gun reserviors, filled at scuba shops ... without having certificates. The tanks need to be "current." It seems to be up to the individual shops. You can find used but still current tanks for sale.

(obviouisly just talking about nice clean dry scuba air)

Last edited by makofoto; 01-11-2004 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:25 PM   #13
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We (USN) use nitrogen to fill the tires on aircraft.
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Old 01-12-2004, 09:09 AM   #14
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What about Helium? Itís lighter than air but I donít know about its heating properties. Drag racers have been using Helium for years as a trick to cut down rotating mass. Helium and light weight lug nuts wow your car will fly with the rotating mass saved.
Rob
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Old 01-12-2004, 10:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by GQ
We (USN) use nitrogen to fill the tires on aircraft.
Yes we do. However, that becomes a major pain when lets say, you blow a tire on landing cause of a faulty bead, for example in Albany, GA, and you get stuck there for a weekend babysitting your airplance cause the civilian contractors won't come out on a weekend and fix your flat.







all purely hypothetical of course

Last edited by Thumper23; 01-12-2004 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 01-12-2004, 12:12 PM   #16
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"civilian contractors won't come out on a weekend and fix your flat."

I happen to be one of those civilian contractors


What is even worse is when you have to perform a FOD walkdown of the entire runway when a tire blows.

Rob
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Old 01-12-2004, 02:52 PM   #17
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regarding helium to fill tires, I think helium will lose pressure rather quickly because the molecules of helium are small enough to seep through the tire.
so not a good chioce for autocross or road racing, might help a bit for drag racing.
also going back to the use of nitrgen, I was told by a roundy rounder that they used nitrogen because it was the cheapest gas to buy.
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:22 PM   #18
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And also pefectly dry and inert. CO2 might be a little cheaper, but is acidic.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:49 PM   #19
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how do you get rid of the "old" air? just deflate, then inflate with the "clean air", then deflate, then inflate again...repeat how many times? cause if you do it once that'll still leave some of the old air w/ the moisture in it.
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Old 01-14-2004, 01:56 AM   #20
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I think you just have to start with a complety deflated tire to propperly do it.
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by LyveWRX
And also pefectly dry and inert. CO2 might be a little cheaper, but is acidic.
CO2 is not a very stable gas anyway. Ask any paintballer.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
CO2 is not a very stable gas anyway. Ask any paintballer.
Pretty funny! My sons gun at our last outing was shooting "snow".
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:18 AM   #23
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don't they use another gas for paintball, like nitrogen or something?
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by GQ
We (USN) use nitrogen to fill the tires on aircraft.

Same on our Apaches...
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Old 01-14-2004, 11:36 AM   #25
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Hey Soldier! Hope you guys are doing O.K. !?

Iran COULD be such a cool rally/off-road place ... :-(
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