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Old 06-09-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
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Default Nitrogen Fill

So at the end of this week if all goes wells i will have my 6ul's installed and going over construction it has the two valve system for a complete nitrogen purge.

First thing is when I asked some people about nitrogen they pretty much told me that the hassle i.e. having to refill with nitrogen every time was more than it was worth. Also in San Diego country i found the only place that was really know for sure to have nitrogen filling capabilities were the local Costco's.

So eventually i just kinda forgot about it thinking, whats the point really.

Well today i went to said Costco and asked how much it would be to purge and fill with nitrogen, and the guy at the counter said it was a free service to anyone with a membership, so now i am thinking I might have it done just because its free.

Is there any reason not to have it done if its a free service? I mean generically the answer is no, and there are nominal pros to the nitrogen fill, but can anyone think of any major reasons not to.
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Old 06-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Nope. Can't think of any. I get it done for free as well, I kept friends at the dealership I used to work at. My car was off the ground for 10 months, and the pressure in the tires has not changed 1 psi. Seriously.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #3
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Wow, not even by 1 lb? I had new back tires put on my miata about 3 months ago, and they filled all 4 with nitrogen. I run it in the truck too. It seems like a pretty hyped up thing, but I dig it for daily street driving.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:54 PM   #4
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we have the machine at work so i have it in all the vehicles, go for it if it's free otherwise don't bother
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Old 06-09-2009, 11:09 PM   #5
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I'd be sure to tell them to set them 5 to 10 PSI higher than you normall run... that way if they goof up and set one lower, you can release some from each rather than be troubled by driving back and having them add 4 psi to 1 tire.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:14 AM   #6
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Wow, not even by 1 lb?
Nope, checked it after I set it back down. I was pretty amazed.
The whole nitrogen thing is very hyped up, basically to justify it's expense when you get charged for the fill, but seems it does most everything it's advertised to do.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:23 AM   #7
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As stated it doesn't out-gas as much, and for track tires I hear the pressure doesn't change with heat. With my air filled tires, I'll start at 30psi and see 35psi by the end of a session. No experience with nitrogen though.
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:36 AM   #8
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Just a friendly reminder: no matter what your tires are filled with, make sure to check the pressure periodically. I have saved myself so many times from getting a blowout by discovering a nail in a tire early enough to fix.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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Are there any low-cost methods available for the DIYer to have a nitrogen-dispensing system?

Within the paintball universe, one can purchase small, lightweight, inexpensive tanks rated for 3000-4500 PSI for under $50. They are typically used to hold compressed air (incorrectly referred to as "nitro" by players) as an alternative to CO2.

What would it take, I wonder, to get an industrial gas supplier to fill such a tank with actual nitrogen, and then to regulate it down to dispensing pressure? These bottles already come with burst discs and regulators set to either 800 or ~450 PSI (the typical operating pressures of a paintball marker designed for CO2 or HPA use, respectively) so it seems like it would be a simple affair to attach a beer regulator get one down to the 50-100 PSI required for tire filling.
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
and for track tires I hear the pressure doesn't change with heat.
Not possible. If the tire gets warmer the pressure will go up. Boyle's Gas Law PV=nRT. V and R are fixed (relatively speaking), n is a constant, so if T goes up, P does too.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ZX-Tex View Post
Not possible. If the tire gets warmer the pressure will go up. Boyle's Gas Law PV=nRT. V and R are fixed (relatively speaking), n is a constant, so if T goes up, P does too.
The pressure does not change as much with heat, when comparing dry nitrogen to moist air. (remember, when the nitrogen comes out of the bottle, its moisture content is damn near zero. When air comes out of a compressor, its moisture content is similar to ambient.)

Same reason that airplane tires are filled with N2.
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:21 PM   #12
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Yeah I knew it varied less due to the lack of moisture. I just did not want people to think it was a magic gas that disobeyed Boyle's Law by not varying at all
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Old 06-10-2009, 01:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
What would it take, I wonder, to get an industrial gas supplier to fill such a tank with actual nitrogen, and then to regulate it down to dispensing pressure? These bottles already come with burst discs and regulators set to either 800 or ~450 PSI (the typical operating pressures of a paintball marker designed for CO2 or HPA use, respectively) so it seems like it would be a simple affair to attach a beer regulator get one down to the 50-100 PSI required for tire filling.
You can rent nitrogen tanks from the same place you'd rent a tank of gas for welding. Or you could buy a tank and get it filled at your local gas supplier. If the paintball tank has industry standard fittings, they should fill it for you, but they might be hesitant to put N2 in a tank marked CO2 or vice versa. Depends on the shop I think. Keep in mind that N2 tanks and regulators use different fittings than CO2 parts, and O2 parts are different still. This is to keep inattentive people from mixing up their supply lines, which would have consequences of varying severity depending on what you're doing.

Your typical beer regulator is for CO2 so it wouldn't just bolt up to a N2 tank, although some brewing suppliers also sell N2 regulators for people who want to nitrogenate their beers or dispense from a N2 or CO2/N2 tap like Guinness. If you happen to own a CO2 regulator already, there are adapter pieces for $10-15 that will convert CO2 to N2 thread (and vice-versa) allowing you to mix and match tanks & regulators, so all the parts are available. A new regulator is like $40-50. They'll step it down to below 60 psi for dispensing from tank pressures of 3000-4000 psi. On the output side of homebrew regulators they usually just have a hose barb, which is fine for brewing where you are typically running 10 psi or less, but you'd probably want to replace that with a more robust (threaded) connection to run 50-60 psi for tire fills.

Last edited by ScottFW; 06-10-2009 at 01:51 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:39 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ScottFW View Post
Keep in mind that N2 tanks and regulators use different fittings than CO2 parts, and O2 parts are different still.
There are two different styles of paintball tank. The less expensive units are intended for CO2, and have only one spring-loaded fitting on the top which is both the discharge and the fill. These tanks are marked, hydrotested, and rated for use with liquefied CO2 only. They are typically unregulated, supplying gas to the marker at whatever the vapor pressure of the CO2 happens to be for the temperature at which the tank finds itself. (Consequently, the performance of the marker tends to decrease with sustained rapid-fire use, as the temperature of the cylinder, and thus the supply pressure, drop)

The more expensive HPA (high pressure air, aka "nitro") paintball tanks are intended for use with compressed air rather than CO2. These tanks have regulators attached directly to the stem. The fill port is a tiny fitting on the side of the regulator, while the discharge port is on the top and is identical in design to the fitting on the CO2 style tanks. These tanks are marked, hydrotested and rated for use with compressed (non liquefied) gas at either 3,000 or 4,500 PSI.

None of the fittings used are in any way similar to the fittings found on industry-standard gas cylinders.


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Your typical beer regulator is for CO2 so it wouldn't just bolt up to a N2 tank, although some brewing suppliers also sell N2 regulators for people who want to nitrogenate their beers or dispense from a N2 or CO2/N2 tap like Guinness.
Exactly. There are beer regulators designed for CO2 / Beer Gas, and then there are regulators designed for pure N2. This is not important however.

It is common within the homebrewing industry to use a paintball-style CO2 tank (filled with CO2) to dispense beer from a 5 gallon corny keg. Many suppliers of draft equipment offer a regulator package which contains the appropriate fitting to install a standard beer regulator onto a paintball tank.

Since HPA paintball tanks have an integral regulator which brings their pressure down to standard CO2 pressure, and then connect to the marker using the same fitting as a CO2 paint ball tank, a beer regulator intended for use with CO2 will work on an HPA tank. The only problem, then, becomes how to get a gas supplier to install pure N2 into an HPA paintball tank, given that the fill port on these tanks is fairly unique. (It is a quick-disconnect fitting, similar in concept to the ones you see on air compressor hoses and air tools)

Here is a picture of an HPA paintball tank. The fill port is to the left of the gauge, while the discharge port is above the gauge and the burst disc is to the right of the gauge.





Mating connectors for the fill port are commonly available as part of a kit intended to fill these bottles in the field from a scuba tank. Here is such a device. The fitting on the left attaches directly to the fill port on the paintball tank (hoses are not used) while the main body of the adapter clamps onto the neck of the scuba tank.
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #15
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Nitrogen is definitely worth it on track cars. I used to see a 4-5psi increase on my kart with normal air. Switched to Nitrogen and it's 3psi, every single time.
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:08 AM   #16
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So I was thinking, it is possible I have access to plentiful amounts of N2. But with a single valve wheel, how do they do the purge operation, say at retailer like Costco? Pull a vacuum? Fill, empty, repeat?
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:36 AM   #17
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But with a single valve wheel, how do they do the purge operation, say at retailer like Costco? Pull a vacuum? Fill, empty, repeat?
Doubtful. I'd suspect they just put the tire onto the wheel and fill with N2 until full. You could get close by doing a couple of fill / release cycles with the stem at the 6:00 position. Would a retailer like Costco bother?
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:59 AM   #18
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Joe for the most part you have it correct on Co2 and air. My daily jobs is at a paintball store. Nitro is a real old term used for compressed air tanks nowadays because back when paintball was evolving "nitro" was possible to put in the HPA tanks but since technology has led the way, compressed air is cheaper and easier to....well produce (IE compress) As far as the fixed out put of the Co2 is 800 psi which involve a pin valve as you mentioned, also some HPA tanks such as the crossfires you posted come in High or low pressure. Besides that company, there are a few like empire that make adjustable output regulators on their tanks (but can be quite expensive), Now the 3000 psi tanks are cheaper, heavier, and made of aluminum (compared to the fiberglass and corbon fiber 4500 tanks) it's not really a problem for alternate uses. But to reduce the pressure further you could attach some other paintball related things such as a remote line with an in line reg. Now they just screw on to the top of the tank and some have a regulator on the top to further reduce your psi to whatever and at the end you could easily fix a standard valve fitting. (I've done a couple and have most of the items at my shop.)

Also the price range of a used aluminum tank could go from 20-50 bucks if your lucky most of the time you can get one cheap if it only has a year or two on the hydro date, But you'll never find a CF or fiberglass one that cheap unless it's expired already

As far as filling it with nitrogen that is a little harder today then before, usually you could go to a welding shop and they could supply you but as of now I think a gas shop where we get our co2 would have them, (never ask because it's to expensive and not worth it)

The fittings however could be purchased I imagine but just might not be worth your trouble, You could per say pick up an aluminum used tank with a year or two on the hydro for like 30 but then the cost of the remote and fittings plus getting it filled is just not worth it.

Funny story literally four days ago an older french guy came to my store with a aluminum air tank and wanted us to fill it with nitro we told him we couldn't and was a bit confused because of this older "nitro" term he figured we would have it. We told the guy a couple places to look and we sent him off but before he left he added that he was filling the pneumatic air bags on his rolls royce......lol

Hope this explains that going the compressed nitro tank way is not a cheap one.
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Old 06-11-2009, 02:49 AM   #19
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My daily jobs is at a paintball store.
What an amazingly convenient friend to have.


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Also the price range of a used aluminum tank could go from 20-50 bucks if your lucky most of the time you can get one cheap if it only has a year or two on the hydro date, But you'll never find a CF or fiberglass one that cheap unless it's expired already
I know they're not exactly cheap. Mine's a Pure Energy 4,500 PSI unit that, if I recall correctly, was just over $100. But for carrying around in the trunk in lieu of a mini-compressor or a big 5 gallon air tank, an aluminum 3,000 PSI tank is perfectly acceptable.
48 ci 3000 PSI w/ 800PSI reg, $51 delivered

48 ci 3000 PSI w/ 800PSI reg, $55 delivered

etc.
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