The debate over which compressor motor pulley to use is often the question of style versus functionality. If you want a simple, inexpensive way to add a compressor to your air tank or compressors in the shop, then using an OEM pulley is probably your best bet. These types of compressors are commonly referred to as belt-driven compressors because the motor is located in the motor housing itself and there is no separate chain that connects the pulley to the engine. In most cases, these pulleys also have a more complex set of shaft-bearing combinations than their belt-driven cousins.
There is one main advantage of a belt-driven compressor motor pulley, however: they are cheaper to buy. Some of the biggest names in the business, such as Honda and Ford, use belt-driven compressors in their cars. Stock compressors, on the other hand, can handle less RPM than most OEM compressor motor pulley choices. Another downside of belt-driven compressors is that they can be more difficult to repair when a mistake occurs because there are fewer components in the system.
There are other ways to add a compressor to your air tank or compressors in the shop that don’t require a motor pulley. A common solution to this problem is a universal adapter that connects the compressor to the end of a long, flexible, non-standard power cord. One problem with universal adapters is that they can be extremely hard to get to when you need to change the battery, so keep this in mind when choosing one. Also, if your shop doesn’t have a universal adapter, you may have to get a longer power cord or a conversion kit to connect your compressor to your motor.