Just prior to the 2019 winter season of travelling I was getting my suspension checked by the fellas at Dobinson’s Spring & Suspension Adelaide. They mentioned that they had the new Dobinson’s Zenith High Output Air Compressor in stock if I was interested.
We spent May early June of 2019 poking around the Simpson Desert as you couldn’t cross all the way east to Birdsville due to the Eyre Creek flooding. Prior to this we’d been in Alice with our girls and had then travelled down the old Ghan Railway Track to Finke and then onto Mt. Dare.
After our 1200km journey through the desert itself we headed back down the Oodnadatta Track to Lyndhurst before turning up the Strzelecki and into the Gammon Ranges.
As you can imagine over this varying terrain we aired up and down quite a bit. Sometimes down to around 18psi on the sand and sitting around 25psi on formed dirt roads. In our Prado we usually sit at 35psi on the bitumen.
So, why am I telling you this? I guess what I’m saying is that the compressor got used over and over and didn’t miss a beat. While our old Typhoon compressor was a crowdbeater back in its day, the new Dobinson’s Zenith High Output Air Compressor could beat it hands down pumping our tyres back up to pressure.
So, let’s look at the features you get with this compressor.
- 170L/ minute Air Flow
- Integrated Air Tank
- 2 x 1/8” NPT Auxiliary fittings
- Carry Bag
- 6.5 m Rubber Hose
- Pressure Cut Off Switch
- Safety Release Valve
- Removable Base for Permanent Mounting
- Quick Release Tyre Chuck
As with most accessories that draw high power from your starting battery it is best to have your car running to limit this power draw. Below, if you’re interested, I have listed the specifications as well.
- Nozzle Adapters
- Pressure Gauge & Fuse
- Voltage: 12 Volts DC
- Motor Rating: 700 Watts
- Max Current Draw: 60 Amps
- Air Flow: 170L per minute
- Maximum Pressure: 125 PSI
- Cylinder Diameter: 60mm Full Metal
- Duty Cycle: 40min at 40 psi at 20°C
- Overload: 90 Amp
- Air Hose: Rubber 6.5 metre
- Air Tank Size: 0.19 Litres approx
- Auxiliary Tank Fittings: 1/8” NPT
- Pressure Switch Cut-Off: 125 Psi
- Pressure Switch Cut-In: 90 Psi
- Dimensions mm (L x H x W): 340 x 240 x 15
- Part Number: AC80-3846
Apart from the compressor itself you get a bag to store it in. It’s a good thing the compressor is sturdy as the bag is flimsy and tore within the first month of use.
The battery clamps are solid and well insulated and the operating switch is shrouded with plastic to keep not only dust out but also water. The leads are long enough to simply move from side to side to use the compressor and I found the 6.5m hose was ample for my purposes.
I didn’t like the standard screw on air nozzle as its fiddly and time consuming screwing it on and off on all four wheels. For this reason I fitted the supplied spring loaded push on nozzle and found this worked much better.
The pressure gauge wasn’t totally accurate but it was close and most times I use an aftermarket gauge to check anyway.
Whilst I didn’t time how quick it was compared to my old compressor I can tell you it was much quicker. It’s not often the wife sticks her head out and says are you done already!
There are plenty of air compressors on the market these days and I just couldn’t compare them all with any justice. However, let’s just compare a few of the relevant specifications between a few of them.
- My old Projecta Typhoon for example puts out 150l/min up to a max of 150psi with the first part of the inflation quite quick but the last 5-10psi a bit slower
- The Dobinson’s Zenith puts out 170l/min up to a max or 125psi with a duty cycle of 40min at 40psi at 20°C.
- ARB’s big CKMTP12 twin air compressor puts out a claimed 174l/min when the tyre’s pressure is zero, and around 130l/min flow rate when starting from around 30psi. It’s also claims a 100% duty cycle
- The TJM Portable single Compressor has a claimed 72l/min max airflow at zero psi and 43l/min at 20psi with a duty cycle of 60min at 80psi at 23°C
- And lastly, the Bushranger Max Air III pumps out a claimed maximum pressure of 150psi, a 72L/min air flow and a claimed duty cycle of 40min at 30psi at 22°C
As you can see the Zenith compressor certainly has the output even compared with the big ARB twin cylinder compressor.
What I can comment on though is that this Dobinson’s Zenith High Output Air Compressor fits my needs down to a tee. I really wish I had the space to put an air reservoir somewhere but…
It’s probably testament to most products that come with synthetic bags these days but I would encourage you to get a custom bag made up for this compressor as the one supplied won’t last long at all. Or just maybe you have the room to permanently mount a compressor somewhere in your car.
Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great time exploring our great Australian outback. Before you click away there are plenty of other posts on the website that might interest you.