Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

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silvergirl70
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Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:20 pm

Hello. I am renting a cargo van from LA for this year's burn. Last year we paid $$ to have the van detailed to return it in good shape, including have the detailer (for more $$) blow off the engine block, air filters and ducts and visible gaskets with their compressor/blower.

If I'm exhausted, I will do the same again, but I'm wondering if anyone has a good hack for Jimmy rigging a gas station air station/compressor
(Quarters needed) with something portable like a tire valve stem and duct tape to create a blower? I can buy a compressor/hoses adapters but I can't bring it home with me on the plane to the Midwest.

I'm looking for semi-operational genius hack here. I don't care if I have to hold the thing on by hand...If it blows air at high pressure for a few minutes, I'm game.

Reading forums online, I see that the 12V tire inflators really lack the power, as do the 3Gal pancake compressors. That's what got me thinking about gas station air blowers. I could rent a compressor, but I'm looking for a good portable hack.

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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:50 pm

Any store with compressed air tools will have an air nozzle attachment. Harbor Freight would have them. They have a standard set of threads attaching them to a quick on/off connector of which there are different kinds. Usually the gas station does not have the quick connect by the tire inflator because people steal them.

A gas friendly station likely would have one too - trade a 6 pack for using for an hour?

See if the LA regional has a clean up dust off meetup immediately post the burn? The pancake compressors will work, they just need to be used in spurts then recharge. More and more people bring them to drive lag screw playa anchors.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby LukyPhil » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:22 pm

Tyre valve stem with a plastic bead jammed in it to reduce the diameter would seem the easiest option.


Or a six pack of compressed air duster from Walmart https://www.walmart.com/ip/FALCON-SAFET ... z/33714103
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:47 pm

Well thank you for the suggestions. I'm out of town, but will check out Harbor Freight when I get back home for some possible hacks. I've been meaning to check them out anyway. I'm worried that I will be like a kid in the candy store.

Of course, the easiest thing would be to pay someone the $$, but where's the fun in that?
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby TT120 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:15 pm

Most of those gas station air machines you put quarters in do not have any kind of air storage tank in them so that wont work for blowing out your car. They are only designed to fill a tire. You need a tank for the kind of air blast you're looking for. I have an air compressor with a small 2.5 gallon tank and can only use the blower for a minute or 2 before I have to stop and let it fill back up.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby EGAZ » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:07 pm

What TT said and the air chuck is usually 'crimped' on the hose to deter theft of said chuck. Anything the you could 'hack' on to the air chuck would have low flow so not conducive to blowing things off. 8)
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Jackass » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:42 pm

leaf blower.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Ratty » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:35 pm

A huge dust cloud comes off of your engine when you blow it. That would be an irresponsible move.

BTW. California law requires all gas stations to provide FREE air and water. Never put in money. NEVER! Just ask nicely for the attendant to please turn it on. Again and again if necessary.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby EGAZ » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:14 pm

My leaf blower was used many times during the week. Especially when packing up.
It gets the loose stuff. Still need to clean everything thoroughly when home. :wink:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby ygmir » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:16 pm

Ratty wrote:A huge dust cloud comes off of your engine when you blow it. That would be an irresponsible move.

BTW. California law requires all gas stations to provide FREE air and water. Never put in money. NEVER! Just ask nicely for the attendant to please turn it on. Again and again if necessary.

It's kinda B.S. to take advantage of a gas stations air system to clean your car for free.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:22 pm

I have about the most powerful leaf blower they make and it doesn't do much for playa dust.
Today's typical gas station air compressors are pretty lame, they had big powerful compressors back in the days when they were "service stations" with a real auto shop.
The way I'd hack this if I were gonna do it would be to use your tires. Those are air tanks. You can get some air hose, a blow gun, and a tire chuck fitting that attaches to your valve stem. Then use the gas station air to refill your tires.

However, that still won't work very well unless you have 80 psi truck tires and the wimpy gas station compressor can inflate them that much. When you use a real compressor and blow gun, you're operating between 90 and 120 psi and it really blasts the dust. The 30 or 40 psi in most tires - and less as soon as you blow a few times - will be pretty weak. If you have 80 psi truck tires, and the gas station compressor can fill them that much (or maybe a bit more, since you're gonna let it right back out) then it would sort of work.

Overall, with the $$ you'll spend setting this up and with how lame it's gonna be I think you're better off doing what you did before.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby BBadger » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:46 pm

ygmir wrote:It's kinda B.S. to take advantage of a gas stations air system to clean your car for free.


I dunno... Whenever I see some situation where some California law results in unintended consequences, like people "smuggling" recycled goods into California, I just figure that's the bed they made, and that's what they get to sleep in.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:49 am

I know there are several types of tire inflators, some have compressor tank and some are glorified 'tankless' systems which won't have the oomph.

I don't live in CA; in other places I've had to plink quarters into the machine. I'm sure CA makes up for the 'free' from elsewhere.

And if a business puts a machine out for public use, free or paid, of course I'm going to take use of it if I can. I'm not breaking into the shop to steal their equipment. Who knows, I might actually buy a beer there while I'm at it, or tip the cash register person. I don't see using the equipment placed there for blowing air as untoward. Now if I was naked, well, that might be inappropriate. Ha.

I was reading about someone using truck inner tubes as a source of compressed air..Someone alluded to using one's own tires. If I recalled, the cargo van's tires were inflated ~55-60 PSI. Probably not enough to blow off playa dust from the filters if I reverse the flow. Now getting more involved than I want for this particular application.

Seeing as that I'm travelling from the Midwest to LA where my stuff is at a friend's storage spot, I'm gonna ask around and see if someone has a compressor I can borrow for after the event. This is, after all, a rental van. I just feel it's unfair for the proprietor to have to deal with my playa dust in the tender underbits of the vehicle. I think I would go more balls out and buy my own equipment if if it were my own vehicle. Then I could do some finish nailing afterwards.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:01 am

Because, that private gas station owner made the law. Right?
I mean, everything at Burning Man is free, so people should show up with absolutely nothing and have the playa provide, because that's how the rules are written.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:28 am

Nothing is ever free though. The costs just get baked into what you end up paying anyway, and you're required to pay for fuel at the station before you can use it.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:57 am

You could just dump trash in their parking lot too. The cost of someone picking it up will get baked into the fuel price (actually that's inaccurate, the fuel is sold at barely over cost, they have to run a shop or store to make money).
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:26 am

Hmmm. Not sure how this question turned into such negativity. I was just curious if the machine was able to perform the function I was looking for. I am happy to plink quarters into the machine to use it, but if CA has laws one way or another, well that's CA. I don't live there, but I do travel and frequent businesses there. I'm sure the business owner has calculated his/her operating costs into the business model and has decided if they wish to purchase an tire inflator ($1400 average cost on my web search) for gratis use by the good people of California in order to bring them to his/her shop for the purpose of purchasing other wares. I wasn't looking to make more work for anyone, and wasn't dumping garbage in their lot. I just wanted to use the air compressor they put outside.

Many gas stations also have free bathrooms. Rarely, I've had to put a dime in to open the door, but the cost of itinerants flushing the toilet 200 times a day, bathroom heating/lighting/cleaning, soap dispensers, TP etc must also be factored into the cost of that business. Good bet is that many people buy a coffee or soda on the way out (hopefully not on the way in).

I appreciate the helpful hints. I am posting in 'Tips and Tricks', right? Not 'Decay and Decline of the Western World'?

And no, not a Pollyanna here. I really do appreciate the tips, hence the post. I think everyone brings something to the table, but air compressors are not my area of expertise. I'm a physician not a mechanic. I like doing things myself, partially for the satisfaction of doing it, but partially for the self reliance. But, some things must be contracted out, if only for safety. I figured a reasonable cleaning of my rental van's engine and filters could be one thing I could do myself. I could reinvent the wheel on so many levels for this event, but I'm just looking to pick up little pieces of knowledge as I go along.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:46 am

Not being literal about dumping trash, just trying to illustrate that the wrong person is being targeted for California's laws in the thread-drifting down there.

The detail shop is probably the best bet.
The other thing to consider about the service station air is you don't know how clean it is. It might be fine, It might have dirty water and/or oil in it.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:50 am

Dankeschoen. Duly noted.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby ygmir » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:15 am

BBadger wrote:
ygmir wrote:It's kinda B.S. to take advantage of a gas stations air system to clean your car for free.


I dunno... Whenever I see some situation where some California law results in unintended consequences, like people "smuggling" recycled goods into California, I just figure that's the bed they made, and that's what they get to sleep in.


California law is one thing, a private (often small) business is another.
yeah, they put a compressor out for folks to air tires, and yeah, the state mandates it's free.
But, to over tax, and or use it not as intended, burdens the business, not the "state".
And as the Cap'n noted, most stations make very little profit on fuel, it's the "other stuff" they sell that makes them profit.
I'm commenting, because it's such a general public attitude of "oh, they can afford it" when dealing with business. Somehow, if you own a business you are "rich" and can afford for people to abuse offers and such. It's not right, without permission (if you ask and they say yes, then yeah, no worries, IMHO).
I agree with the things the Cap'n is saying above. good points.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:01 am

Obviously a separate topic than tips and tricks, but I am no stranger to govt regulation regarding business practice. I was a partner in an Emergency Medicine group for 15 yrs prior to changing to another practice, and a significant percentage of our patients did/do not pay. We practiced under federal mandate to see anyone walking through the door. Just part of the business, and we all knew that going in. Rich/poor/profit/no profit. Whatever. Multiple reasons from the patients, of course. Fodder for another discussion forum, of course.
I am still happy to plink quarters into the air compressor at a gas station, (perhaps switching the location of this task to occur in another state such as Nevada who may not unduly burden the gas station owners by requiring that hey have free air machines) if it would work for what I need it to do, which is blow air with sufficient PSI/CFM to get dust off the engine block of my rented vehicle. According to posters here, it may not, and my question is sufficiently asked and answered for my purposes. Gees. Honestly. I'm off work today, and I need a drink.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:43 am

Ha! Welcome to eplaya, a message board where things usually go just as sideways as things on the real playa.
In between the sidewaysness good info can be had.
Sometimes.
At least no one suggested peeing on the motor to rinse the dust off!
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby asr9754 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:25 am

I used a leaf blower last year per some eplaya tips and it was great. Maybe you can borrow or rent one or snag a craigslist used one for your Bman kit.

The CA law requiring free air and water fillups is specifically for customers that purchased gas and is to be used in "servicing the vehicle" BTW, but the attendant rarely cares to ask for proof that you purchased gas. But if you're out in their parking lot obviously doing a dust cleanup they may raise an eyebrow. The cleanup process is gnarly and there will be dust everywhere, it's kind of a dickmove to blow all your dust onto a private business's driveway, I can tell you the dust takes literally months to go away from pavement because I accidentally cleaned my rig on friend's driveway and they were not happy! If you have a grassy area to park on and leaf-blow everything, that'd be a good idea.

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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:55 am

Even that doesn't always end well, I've created big patches of dead grass by dumping enough playa dust on the lawn!
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:05 pm

Ha. Sideways it is. Currently stuck in the back seat of car in rush hr traffic on way to Miami for the Schvitz and Mojitos. (Water water everywhere and when in Rome!!) Cousin-in law in the car now aprt of this discussion lives north of LA, but is reticent to lend me his compressor for fear of mess near the house. The mess is not something I considered, and is certainly a factor, I see.

Ok. Joke in car currently: " Why does Snoop Dog carry an Umbrella?"

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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:07 pm

ygmir wrote:
BBadger wrote:
ygmir wrote:It's kinda B.S. to take advantage of a gas stations air system to clean your car for free.


I dunno... Whenever I see some situation where some California law results in unintended consequences, like people "smuggling" recycled goods into California, I just figure that's the bed they made, and that's what they get to sleep in.


California law is one thing, a private (often small) business is another.


I'll acknowledge that these laws can and do impact the wrong people, rarely the ones who pass the laws or benefit from them.

My comment is really more about how California likes to legislate these kinds of silly laws that seemed like a good idea at the time and "free" but can ultimately lead to negative consequences. Perhaps voters will out people who push these kinds of laws (yeah right).

Still, I don't think this ends up being simply one-sided. There will always be push-back and recourse. Maybe the price will go up for other things. Perhaps the free service is made inconvenient to exploit, such as the air/water system being sited far away from the attendant so that the customer has to walk a long distance to ask in person to turn the system on. People may just pay the $0.75 or whatever out of convenience. Maybe the "free" air and water doesn't last very long and multiple trips are needed. Maybe the free air/gas station assaults the customer with ads like they now do at the pumps (like "free" TV).

The scheme could even improves profits. Forcing customers to walk into the convenience store to ask to turn on the air/water is another opportunity for people to buy that $1 candy bar or $1.25 bag of beef jerky. Maybe they'll even pay for those profit-making goods just to qualify as a "customer" to use the free air and water.

The free service may even drive people to want to buy more stuff out of some psychological need to repay somehow out of gratitude (the Costco free-sample effect). Who knows about Burners or hippies though.

Leaving a dusty mess on the grounds, free or pay service, is a dick-move though. A self-serve car-wash is more appropriate.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:11 pm

What the hell does "Jimmy rigging" mean? I'm familiar with "Jerry rigging" but I cannot find a definition for Jimmy rigging.

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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:26 pm

Another bastardization of the name as the unmentionable original was mutated into Jerry-rigging and was affront to Jerries everywhere.
Last edited by silvergirl70 on Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby silvergirl70 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:40 pm

Actually, a legit question. Where should one leave the playa dust that they blow/ that blows off their car? At the detailer? On their own lawn? In pieces on the drive home? At a car wash? It's like people using the hotel iron to melt crayon in between newspaper and then the unsuspecting next user with the white suit...Well. you can guess the rest.
Is there an appropriate place?
M
Doing a quick analysis of gas station parking lots/car wash parking lots, I notice that they are covered with a variety of particulate matter and effluent less appetizing than playa dust. Dirty diaper anyone? Pretty sure the PPM coliform count there is a tad higher than playa dust sprayed by ranch runoff.

Obviously, I'm now not taking the van to my dream fantasy gas station air compressor, but in lieu of a detailer shop, where would be the appropriate place to blow off the engine before washing it if one does not have a driveway or private lot to do so?
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Re: Jimmy rigging gas station air hose to become a blower?

Postby BBadger » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:35 pm

A car-wash would probably be appropriate. They're expecting to be cleaning messes on or in cars. Some have vacuums too.

I tend to use a shop vac + blower to catch the dust that gets blown out, but that's for stuff I bring home.
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