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Cheap and Easy DIY Tire Deflators

 
Old 03-07-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Cheap and Easy DIY Tire Deflators

*Disclaimer*
Moderators, please forgive me in advance if I posted unapproved links to the pictures for my write-up. I was unsure how to post more than 5 images to a single post and I found this method worked. If this against the rules please delete my thread and advise me on proper procedure with regards to posting 5 or more pics for a write-up as I do not want to break the rules. Thanks!


Cheap and Easy DIY Tire Deflators

Airing down on the trail is part of off-roading and at $60-$70 for adjustable tire deflators and $25-$30 for non-adjustable tire deflators, these are very convenient but can be expensive. That being said having the ability to deflate multiple tires simultaneously can save a lot of time. No one wants to be the guy using the back of a tire gauge or blade of a knife or screw driver that everyone is waiting on. So myself being cheap and always in a hurry, figured out a cheap and easy way to make your own tire deflators that also allows you to use a regular tire gauge to check the pressure as its deflating. All the materials used can be purchased at local auto parts and hardware stores for around $15 or less.


Materials Needed:
-Valve Stem Extenders from a local auto parts store
-1/8"-40 x 3/16" Coarse set screws
-Drill with 7/64" drill bit
-Vise or vise grips
-Needle Nose Pliers
-Phillips head screw driver


Step 1
Take the valve stem extender and place it in either the jaws of a vise or vise grips. I do not have a vise therefore I used vise grips. The valve stem extenders I used were purchased at a local O'Reilly's for around $5.00.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963400333/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817287670/



Step 2
Using the drill and 7/64" drill bit slowly start to drill at the upper portion on the knurling (rough grippy part) just before the valve stem extender tapers down to the threaded section. I chose not to use a center punch as I thought the force may damage or crush the extender. A smaller pilot hole may ease drilling.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963406841/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963402173/


Step 3
Once the hole is complete take the appropriate set screw (1/8"-40 x 3/16" Coarse) and using an Allen wrench place it in the hole. I found a 150 assortment pack of set screws at harbor freight for around $10. Individual set screws will probably be significantly cheaper. Using firm pressure start tightening the screw ensuring it stays as straight as possible. Once the screw is threaded in approximately half way stop. The extender is brass and the steel screw should cut its own threads no tapping was required.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817280802/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963400715/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817284512/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963401509/



Step 4
Using a Phillips screwdriver or similar object depress the valve stem extenders' valve mechanism (for lack of a better word...haha) then release. If no resistance is felt tighten the screw 1/4 - 1/2 a turn at a time until the mechanism remains down approximately 1/4". Continue to tighten 1 - 2 turns and stop.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963401765/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963403055/



Step 5
At this point the center pin will begin to deflect to the opposite side of the set screw. This will need to be straightened to ensure proper function. Turn the extender over to view the center pin. Using needle nose pliers gently bend the pin back towards center. Continue to tighten the screw until it is nearly flush. At this point you will again need to recenter the pin.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963401173/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817281686/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817283958/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817283364/

Step 6
Once the screw has been tightened to a point where it is nearly flush and the pin is centered, stop. To ensure proper operation once again turn the extender over so u can view the pin. Place the extender on a solid surface and using needle nose pliers place gentle to moderate pressure on the pin to ensure the valve mechanism will not return to its intended closed position. If this happens, return to Step 4 and continue as directed. If the will not return to its closed position you are nearly finished.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6817533278/



Step 7
Check operation by screwing you new tire deflator onto the valve stem of the tire you wish to deflate. Air should be released and pressure may be checked using any conventional tire gauge. WARNING! These are not preset and if left on the tire will deflate completely. Continue to monitor until desired tire pressure is reached then remove. Screw all the extenders together and place in your tool kit, glove box, etc.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963407543/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963408233/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/6963408833/



Tip: If using all four at once it is wise to wait approximately 1 minute between the installation of each tire deflator. This will allow time to monitor tire pressures and ensure they do not deflate too much before you can check on it.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:45 PM
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Very nice write up... I like this a lot!
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:05 PM
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Thanks and they work well. I don't have any times for deflation, they may be a bit slower than some of the products available on the market and definitly slower than removing the valve core. My fear with removing the valve core though, is having it fly out of your hand and losing it in the dirt. It still faster than doing one tire at a time.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:53 AM
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Great tip for all of us economical JK ers!!!

I usually just use a pointy little rock to poke on the zerk and just count in my head, I could use something a liitle less ridiculous!
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:40 AM
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Nice, will look into it.
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sa29560 View Post
Great tip for all of us economical JK ers!!!

I usually just use a pointy little rock to poke on the zerk and just count in my head, I could use something a liitle less ridiculous!
I used to use the small flat head blade from my gerber or a small stick. It just sucked when the stick broke off in the vavle stem and you are frantically trying to get it out before your tire goes flat...haha Also it worked it just took forever doing one at a time.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:58 PM
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Great write up. I'll add this to my list of things to do. Thanks!
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ricksjeep10
Great write up. I'll add this to my list of things to do. Thanks!
No problem. Glad u liked it and found it helpful. I'm always looking for cheap and easy projects that work as well as the expensive products.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:02 PM
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Just wanted to add some info to this. I finally have my 35's installed and timed one to see how long it took. I know how most of us like statistics.

27 psi aired down to 10 psi took 3m 30sec.

My feeling is you should be able to all 4 tires (with 4 DIY deflators) in well under 10 mins. I don't know how these measure up to the ones available on the market but its certainly faster than one at a time with a stick or something...haha.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:08 AM
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nice idea! but for me, it's easier to remove the valve stem core. I bought 4 valve stem caps with valve core removers on the back! works like a charm!
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