|By Jon Maib|
|Last month we brought you the new Kleinn Onboard Air compressor for filling up your tires after a wheeling trip. So this time, we wanted to discuss airing down. We came across the J.T. Brooks Automatic Tire Deflators and had to test them out! There are many ways to air down your tires before wheeling, some of them being fast and others not so much. Without any of these cool devices, one can simply use a pointed object, such as a screwdriver, to press down on the valve to let air out. But let's be honest, no one's got time for that!
For some time now, we have been using these key chain deflators and have actually lost 2 of them in our years of wheeling with them. In fact, we've had them for so long; don't remember where we got them or who originally made them. These things work great, get you aired down quickly and are easy to use. You do need to check the pressure every once in a while to ensure you get the proper pressure and if you have all 4 plugged into the tires, you're making circles around your rig to ensure even pressure.
A lot of people still use a core puller to release the air out of their tires (you can pick these up for around $4 or less). This is very fast way to air down. There can be a couple issues doing it this way though; when you unscrew the core, the air pressure of the tire wants to shoot the core right out, so you need to be ready. If you wind up losing it in the dirt or leaves, your tire's going to go completely flat. You also need to be ready to quickly insert the core back in when you reach your desired air pressure. You may then need to do some fine tuning with a screwdriver to get your pressure where you want it.
We ordered the standard set of the J.T. Brooks Automatic Tire Deflators to test them out and see how they compare to the other methods in the way of time to air down. The idea around this is that you could actually start airing down the moment your tires hit the dirt and by time everyone gets out of their Jeep to air down, you are ready to go and can help others out, chat with friends or even heckle those who you're currently waiting on.
With these deflators, you will need to set them for the desired air pressure you want to run the first time you use them. We aired our tires down to 10lbs (what we like to run our 35's at while off-road) and followed the instructions included in the package to set the J.T Brook Auto Deflators. You simply loosen the lock 'nut' and adjust the valve until you hear the valve shut off. Then re-tighten the lock 'nut' to retain the setting. J.T. Brooks also provides a nice carrying case to keep the deflators in when they are not in use.
Once ours were set, we were ready for a time trial using the 3 methods above (not including a screwdriver) on all 4 tires to see how long it takes for us to be on the trail with our tires at 10lbs from 32lbs. The times listed include unscrewing the valve cap and airing down each tire. Here are our results:
Auto Deflators - Completed in just under 10 minutes and we just sat around watching (do need to note here that one of the deflators went rogue and completely deflated a tire. It appears it was just stuck open because it was the first time we used it.)
Key Chain Deflators Completed in just under 8 minutes (remember that we could only do 2 tires at a time due to the lack of a full set, but J.T. Brooks also carries the key chain type so you can have all 4.)
Valve Core Completed in 6 minutes (We did only one tire at a time to ensure it didn't go completely flat and did managed to drop one of the cores in the process.)
As you can see, pulling the valve core is definitely the fastest way to air down and be on the trail. But at only a 4 minute difference, there's just something cool about the automatic deflators allowing you to air down and walk away to do other stuff.
The J.T. Brooks Auto Deflators standard set retails for around $70 and has a pressure range of 6-32lbs. The Keychain Tire Deflators retail for about $30 and allows you to check the pressure as you go. They do also offer a Pro Set that has a pressure range of 3-32lbs and that retails for $100. J.T Brooks does offer the option of buying just a single deflator to save you some money. They can be found at most major retailers, but for a list or retailers near you, visit their site: RETAILERS If you don't want to spend that sort of money on air down tools, just remember you can grab a core tool for less than $4 or just use a screwdriver to air down, but keep in mind, I might be standing over you asking if your done yet!
If you don't want to spend that sort of money on air down tools, just remember you can grab a core tool for less than $4 or just use a screwdriver to air down, but keep in mind, I might be standing over you asking if your done yet!