Anyone using Nitrogen in their tires ?

Suba

New member
I'm wondering if anyone is using pure nitrogen in their tires. I've got pure nitrogen in mine. Ok, I know one atmosphere of regular air still exists in each tire. My opinion is that nitrogen makes all the difference in the world with ride quality. The ride is softer and not harsh at all. Keep in mine I have 80 psi in all four tires. With regular air, driving was an exercise in pain. With nitrogen.......sweet nitrogen, the ride is soft and the bumps and thumps are muted. I also understand there may be a small fuel savings when using nitrogen filled tires.

I could never go back to plain old air.

Anyone using it ?
 

mean_in_green

>2,000,000m in MB vans
I've been looking into running nitrogen in my 911, for similar reasons.

Be interested to learn others' opinions on this.

Simon
 

Douglas Hicks

New member
When I bicycled a lot, i used N in my tires. The reason, I use N in my business, and that was easier than getting out the bike pump. I ran 110 PSI in the road bikes, less in the mountain bikes. I never felt any difference in the ride or pedalling effiency.

I understand race cars use N, but any gain in effiency is important in those cars. N is also a gas that does not increase or decrease in pressure when the temp changes.

My opinion, N is hype and a waste of money in our vehicle use.
 

RoveRPh

New member
N is also a gas that does not increase or decrease in pressure when the temp changes.
.

Pressure is pressure, regardless of the gas used. The ONLY advantage of nitrogen is it's ability to resist expanding or contracting with the temperature. Race cars will change tire pressure by 1/2 pound to affect handling, and they run nitrogen keep a tire at the pressure it's set at.

I respectfully suggest that you're feeling the improved ride in your head rather than through the seat of your pants.
 

Suba

New member
I respectfully suggest that you're feeling the improved ride in your head rather than through the seat of your pants.
I respectfully suggest that you are totally wrong. According to my butt - o - meter, nitrogen is definitely the way to go. I run my tires at 80 psi. With plain air the ride is almost unbearable especially during the winter. With Nitrogen the ride is * much * softer, especially going over bumps and holes in the road.

Why don't you conduct your own experiment before trying to psychoanalyze me. Pump your tires to 80 psi, then drive around for a few days. Then put nitrogen in the tires @ 80 psi after you've let out all the air first of course. Hop in for a spin, and post your findings. The difference in my Sprinter is VERY noticeable with nitrogen in the tires. Nothing in my head about it. I get nitrogen for free, so no wishful thinking that I subconsciously must get my moneys worth. Anyone who's running the maximum pressure in their Sprinter and wishes the ride was softer.......try Nitrogen. I have NO doubt you will feel a softer and more enjoyable ride.

It's funny that I was talking to a guy who expedites for Fed EX Custom Critical the other day. He drives a Sprinter. He told me he had a tweak for the tires which would decrease rolling resistance, and give a softer ride. He said I would never guess......and I said Nitrogen, and I was correct.

Are we having fun yet ?
 

RoveRPh

New member
I run my tires at 80 psi.
I don't want to get into a chest thumping contest with you. If you run 80psi, it doesn't matter if it's air, pure oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, or helium. Pounds per square inch is pounds per square inch.

The gas that's in your tires will have no effect whatsoever on your rolling resistance, either. The pressure of that gas will, but the gas you use does not matter.
 

Suba

New member
I don't want to get into a chest thumping contest with you. If you run 80psi, it doesn't matter if it's air, pure oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, or helium. Pounds per square inch is pounds per square inch.

The gas that's in your tires will have no effect whatsoever on your rolling resistance, either. The pressure of that gas will, but the gas you use does not matter.
No chest thumping contest intended. I agree pounds per square inch is pounds per square inch at any given altitude and temperature, but different gasses should behave differently. From what I remember a nitrogen molecule is larger than a oxygen molecule ( someone please correct me if I'm wrong ) Assuming I am right, then removing the smaller molecule O2 may in some way allow the larger molecule N2 to transmit vibrations in a different way because of the consistent uniformity. This uniformity may also act in a way to decrease rolling resistance. Think of how dino oil with it's inconsistent molecule uniformity differs from synthetic oil with it's consistent molecule uniformity.

I can't explain the subjective difference I feel with nitrogen in the tires, but IMO there is no mistake about it. Pure nitrogen to me has a different feel than air. I keep my tires @ 80 psi strictly for fuel savings potential, and the handling is more crisp and steering seems to be more responsive.

I suggested you put 80 psi in your tires to exacerbate the harsh ride that 80 psi produce, so when you put nitrogen in, the difference should be very noticeable. If you simply replaced the nitrogen at your normal air pressure assuming it's not 80, the difference might not me that apparent.

I made this thread just to help out anyone who's having a tough time with a rough ride in their Sprinter. Some tire dealers will include free nitrogen when purchasing new tires, and add free nitrogen as needed for the life of the tires. Nitrogen is pretty cheap. If anyone is curious, by all means get your tires filled. Unless I'm out in left field on this one ( I doubt it ) you will feel something has changed with the ride quality of your Sprinter......and it feels pretty good.

take care.....
 

MikeP

Member
Hi,
I know nothing...
Did notice when last time had Sprinter serviced that dealership had setup tire service area with Nitrogen. I just thought on account of our great variable changes in temp here in Oklahoma was why.
Course as rough as the roads are here in city need a hovercraft, still bet with our poor roads still be rough ride.
Later,
Mike
 

Suba

New member
Hi,
I know nothing...
Did notice when last time had Sprinter serviced that dealership had setup tire service area with Nitrogen. I just thought on account of our great variable changes in temp here in Oklahoma was why.
Course as rough as the roads are here in city need a hovercraft, still bet with our poor roads still be rough ride.
Later,
Mike
You know more than you think. You know your Sprinter dealer has Nitrogen. You know the roads are so rough in your city you need a hovercraft. You know you have an open mind, and you know you would never try to post on someone else's thread and attempt to discredit and intimidate ( because they might open up a can of whoop ass : )

Yes.....you know a great deal (!)
:clapping:
 

RoveRPh

New member
You know more than you think. You know your Sprinter dealer has Nitrogen. You know the roads are so rough in your city you need a hovercraft. You know you have an open mind, and you know you would never try to post on someone else's thread and attempt to discredit and intimidate ( because they might open up a can of whoop ass : )

Yes.....you know a great deal (!)
:clapping:
I was not tring to discredit you, just telling you facts. Physics are physics, and your "butt - o - meter" is not accurate. Nitrogen is used to keep tire pressures constant, not to provide a more supple ride.

Also, I'm sorry if I was perceived as trying to intimidate you. I just want people to know the facts before they run out and get nitrogen in their tires hoping for a better ride. Nitrogen is a great idea if you don't regularly check your tire pressures (and who does).


Copied from getnitrogen.org:

"Proper tire pressure is a big deal.
Maintain it with nitrogen, and you'll see
these three primary benefits:


Increased Fuel Efficiency – Correct tire pressure keeps the manufacturer's recommended “contact patch” on the road. This lessens the rolling resistance and maximizes fuel efficiency. Read On...


Longer Tire Life – When it comes in contact with other materials, oxygen causes oxidation. Oxidation can make rubber brittle and cause it to lose tensile strength. In addition, at high temperatures and pressures, oxygen reacts and damages inner tire liners and belt packages; nitrogen does not. Read On...


Increased Safety – Under-inflated tires cause 90% of blowouts. Nitrogen provides more reliable pressure for reduced blowout potential. Read On... "
 

Suba

New member
I was not tring to discredit you, just telling you facts. Physics are physics, and your "butt - o - meter" is not accurate. Nitrogen is used to keep tire pressures constant, not to provide a more supple ride.
I'm well aware that nitrogen is used for consistent air pressure, BUT my butt-o-meter was recently re-calibrated, so don't tell me it's not accurate. I'll tell you what, why don't you conduct your own experiment and start your own thread. Maybe the topic will be ' Why I fell in love with Nitrogen ' or maybe ' Nitrogen sucks '

Do like I asked you to do from the start. Since your a non believer, have your tires filled with N2 and kindly enlighten us with your findings. Remember to keep an open mind. Let your butt-o-meter guide you. Come on, your a big boy.....don't tell me your afraid of a little Nitrogen (!)

btw, thanks for the apology but you didn't intimidate me.........you can't (! ) :D:

May the force be with you.....
bye
 

Suba

New member
After spending the past several hours researching Nitrogen in tires I've found enough information to satisfy why I feel a softer ride. I've found many people on-line who've posted that they experience a softer ride with Nitrogen in their tires, but they don't know why. I've looked at the ideal law which pertains to the behavior of gasses, atomic weights, and atomic radii, ( N2 has a smaller atomic weight, but larger atomic radii than 02 ) and a host of other things. I could write a book with the information I've discovered, but I don't have the time.

Pure N2 ( 99 % ) when used in tires has certain favorable attributes compared to air. The % of N2 found in most tire shops is between 85 % to 92 %. The real advantage of using N2 is the absence of water vapor. Moisture is the major cause of tire pressure rise and higher tire temperatures. Any gas which is devoid of water vapor would act in a similar manner as N2. Dried air would act in a similar fashion, but I think N2 is preferable on many levels i.e. non flammable.

The reason I feel a softer ride with N2 ( as many others do ) is because the tire pressure does not increase as it does with air. This is not to suggest that pure N2 pressure does not increase with temperature at the same approximate rate as a dried air mixture, because I believe it does, but that N2 does not contain water vapor ( pure N2 ) and it's the water vapor that heats up and expands thereby causing an increase in tire pressure which results in a harder ride using regular air.

RoveRPh was correct that N2 is used to keep tire pressure constant but failed to say why. The bottom line is, I feel relatively pure N2 in tires will produce a consistently stable, softer, and more enjoyable ride compared with regular air at the pump.

Suba
 
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Aircraft Wrench

New member
in the pursuit of all that is good, noble and greater MPG...


does the tire manufacture recognize we will generally use air that is fairly dry and will rise in pressure under use??? and does not higher pressure give us greater mpg? so, shall we have comfy butts or greater mpg:hmmm:

I shall suggest checking the max tire pressure under load after a 30 mile run at normal road speeds...check tire temp with a IR thermometer

do this with a normal "shop air" tire and a N2 tire to compare temps........perhaps you need to inflate the N2 tires more than a "cold tire shop air" tire pressure for better or comparable mileage :2cents:

in the absence of any other data of course....

I do have N2 available at all times in my shop....as well as shop air......no inclination to change at this time (cost/benefit?)

Best regards,

Peabody
 

Suba

New member
in the pursuit of all that is good, noble and greater MPG... does the tire manufacture recognize we will generally use air that is fairly dry and will rise in pressure under use??? and does not higher pressure give us greater mpg? so, shall we have comfy butts or greater mpg:hmmm:
Peabody,

You raise some excellent points (!) I would imagine tire companies would assume we will use air to fill our tires. Air found at the pump is NOT very dry. It has a lot of water vapor in it consistent with the surrounding atmospheric conditions - relative humidity - dew point - air saturation. The more water vapor in our tires, the more they will increase pressure when the tires heat up. Water vapor in tires is generally considered a bad thing.

Higher running tire pressures should equate to better MPG, but I feel that is very dependent on the cold pressure in the tires. I run my tires at maximum cold pressure, which is 80 psi. I've never checked my tire pressure when hot. I think there is merit in the idea of inflating N2 tires above the cold temp pressure, but I need to think about that further. I think if you run the maximum cold pressure using N2, you would be hard pressed to see a decline in MPG. One attribute of using N2 is that your tires will run cooler. This can only be a good thing IMO.

Please post your finding when you get them. I think you are on the right track. I will look forward to your finding (!)

Best to you....

Suba
 

Aircraft Wrench

New member
SUUUUUUUBAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!


I will take my IR Wednesday and check temps after a 60 mile run as well as pressure before and after (on 4 tires)(( I'm not doing the spare!))(((And I hope not to use it :shifty:)))

Best !

The Jiminator
 

Don Horner

2012 Unity IB
If I ran my front tires at 80 psi (MUCH higher than recommended), I would have abnormal wear because of the increased pressure. The center tread of the tire would bulge and wear much more quickly than the shoulders. The opposite is true of under-inflated tires; the shoulders wear more quickly than the center. The rapid wear on the tire would likely offset any fuel savings. On my conversion van, however, running the rears at 80 psi would not be a gross over-inflation -- if I recall, the recommendation is for 55 psi front, 76 psi rear. I'll have to check tomorrow in daylight.

You also drastically change the handling characteristics of the vehicle when you over- or under-inflate the tires at one end or the other. Over-inflating the front (or under-inflating the rear) will increase oversteer, while the opposite is true for understeer.

It's not good to fool around with pressures much different than recommended, regardless of the gas used to fill the tires, unless you know exactly what you are doing. The best way to determine that is with a tire temperature gauge immediately after traveling a variety of turns. By the way, the infra-red temp gauge will give you an indication, but nothing is as accurate as a temp gauge with a sharp-pointed probe inserted into the tread at three places on each tire (outer shoulder, center and inner shoulder).

I am the former car-builder and crew chief for my son's sports car racing efforts, with a respectable amount of experience setting up race cars. I own a probe-type tire temp guage and have used it hundreds of times after track testing to set up ideal pressures (the temps will also indicate the best alignment settings, especially camber).

We used Nitrogen in our race tires, but for the express purpose of keeping the temps constant under a variety of conditions. As a tire gets hotter, it will expand in size and upset the critical "stagger" that provides the best handling. We needed to prevent those temp changes as much as possible.

However, I would not consider using Nitrogen in my street tires. In my opinion, and in my experience, there is not enough of a difference to justify the cost. In our area, car dealers have invested in Nitrogen filling stations and charge outlandish rates to purge the tires and fill them with Nitrogen.

Also, be aware that it is physically impossible to have a tire 100% inflated with Nitrogen. It is impossible to purge all of the air trapped within the tire when the tire was mounted, unless it was mounted in a 100% nitrogen environment.
 

Suba

New member
Hi Don,

Thanks for the reply, and lending your expertise. This thread is taking on a life of it's own : ) I agree with most things you've said. You can cause unusual wear patterns by over - under inflating tires.

I ran my old set of Michelins @ 80 psi. The tires still have about 20,000 miles left, but I wanted a better winter tire and bought Michelin LTX M&S. I have a second set of rims and will put the old tires back on this spring. My point is, I just checked the old tires, and no unusual wear can be seen. I'll try the chalk test on my fronts when the weather gets better.

I agree it's not a good idea to fool around with tire pressures other than what's recommended unless you know what you are doing. I also agree that to know true temps inside a tire, you would need a specialized instrument as you have described. Reading the outside of the tire will only give you a very general interpretation of inside temps, but it's better than nothing at all.

You are right that a tire with N2 will get hot, but that tire will see lower temperatures compared with an identical tire filled with air because of the absence of water vapor ( unless the other tire was filled with dried air ) Water vapor will cause a spike in the pressure, and also the temperature. Actually the temperature rise comes first followed by the pressure rise. With high grade N2 the tire pressure and temperature can be carefully controlled in a predictable way with the right equipment.

I also agree that if you have to pay too much for N2, it may not be worth the cost. N2 DOES permeate tires at almost the same rate as O2. It's a fallacy that N2 will not leak from tires. N2 does have a BIG FAT molecule compared to an O2 molecule, which is also lighter ( hence the smaller atomic weight, and the larger atomic radii than O2 ) N2 from what I understand will permeate rubber compounds only slightly less than air, and the difference is smaller than the sellers of N2 want you to believe.

Where I disagree with you is over your assertion that it's physically impossible to have a tire 100 % inflated with N2 unless it is mounted in a 100 % N2 environment. Keep in mind that 100 % N2 may not even exist. 99 % N2 is considered VERY pure. The reason I disagree with your statement, is because I've read about some N2 sellers which hook up a vacuum to the valve stem to purge all traces of air, then insert N2 to whatever percentage they have. Anyone paying for N2 should inquire about the percentage. If the seller can't tell you the percentage, or if they tell you 100 % my advise is to locate another seller.

Also keep in mind that when I made this thread I only knew one thing about N2. That being I've enjoyed a softer and more pleasurable ride since having N2 in my tires, and wanted to share that information. I've learned a great deal about this subject in the past few days. Since all of our Sprinters ride on tires, hopefully this thread has been enlightening to others as well.

Suba
 

bc339

New member
Methinks the Emperor needs some new clothes...........
I started my career over 30 years ago as an Air Force aircraft mechanic. We always serviced aircraft tires with dry nitrogen. The reasons listed are correct for less pressure lost over time and less internal breakdown. But the biggest reason was to prevent a condition known as auto ignition or otherwise known as spontaneous combustion. As the tire heat increases, in an air filled tire, the oxygen combines with the tire vapors and creates an explosive atmosphere that can auto ignite. This makes for a very bad day for the aircrew and aircraft. So the reason nitrogen (it's inert) is used is to remove the oxygen, which removes the combustable atmosphere - no explosion.
Continental tire co has published a service bulletin on this subject for auto use. For normal auto use, nitrogen use isn't required. If you are still awake at this point, here's their link.
http://www.conti-online.com/generat...e/themes/contiacademy/drivers_ed/nitrogen.pdf
If you really believe the ride is different, then how about installing some strain gauges, instrument your vehicle and come up with quantifiable test data. I've been in flight testing for 8 years now. Test and verify. The Mark I butt-o-meter may not be that reliable.
I can't believe I've spent this amount of time on this message.
Bruce
 

Suba

New member
So the reason nitrogen (it's inert) is used is to remove the oxygen, which removes the combustable atmosphere - no explosion. If you really believe the ride is different, then how about installing some strain gauges, instrument your vehicle and come up with quantifiable test data. I've been in flight testing for 8 years now. Test and verify. The Mark I butt-o-meter may not be that reliable. I can't believe I've spent this amount of time on this message.
Bruce
Bruce,

Thanks for your input. I don't have the time or inclination to come up with quantifiable test date. Let's get real (!) It seems I'm the only one with any first hand experience with N2 in Sprinter tires. Let me ask you to conduct your own experiment. If you think my butt -o- meter is not accurate or reliable, please rely on yours instead. Get some N2 and tell us your anecdotal impressions.

I'm also well aware that N2 is used in aircraft tires to prevent auto ignition ( fire ) BUT you are incorrect that N2 is inert. N2 is * essentially * inert. N2 is not a Nobel gas.

I'd like to stay and chat, but I have to run. I won't be back here for a few days.

Have a nice day.....
Suba
 

talkinghorse43

Active member
Bruce,

Thanks for your input. I don't have the time or inclination to come up with quantifiable test date. Let's get real (!) It seems I'm the only one with any first hand experience with N2 in Sprinter tires. Let me ask you to conduct your own experiment. If you think my butt -o- meter is not accurate or reliable, please rely on yours instead. Get some N2 and tell us your anecdotal impressions.

I'm also well aware that N2 is used in aircraft tires to prevent auto ignition ( fire ) BUT you are incorrect that N2 is inert. N2 is * essentially * inert. N2 is not a Nobel gas.

I'd like to stay and chat, but I have to run. I won't be back here for a few days.

Have a nice day.....
Suba
All I can say about the info(?) presented by some in this thread is caveat lector.
 

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