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anyone mount an ac compressor to use as air compressor?


410Fortune

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Sweet!

"Nobody" over at broncoII4x4.com has been running a similar setup on his truck for a long time, using the stock Ford compressor. Works great.

Where are you going to mount the tank is the question :)
 

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Swee294349

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how close are you to mounting this system in your truck? how did you go about lubricating the stock A/C compressor with oil? i'm very interested in doing this.

thanks
 


TDG

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410, I'm still on the fence about mounting the tank, haven't decided if I want to make it dismountable quickly for the little air up jobs around the house that I don't feel like dragging 100ft of air hose off of my garage compressor for or mount it to the truck full time.

BTW, welcome to Cali. I fish trout out that puddle they call a lake down there in LN.

While looking around yesterday I figured I could probably shove it in the spare tire area if I cut the spare tire mount out and build some protection for it or there is a lot of space above and in front of the axle that I might be able to use depending on how things measure out once I swap axles.

Swee, the only thing I've done thus far is hook up the A/C manifold to the compressor and test it, nothing permanent yet. The vehicle is getting ready for a complete mod out at which point I'll figure it out. For the short duration that I tested it I just dumped some oil down the inlet side of the hose assembly before I put the filter on, once I find my lubricator I'll put it on and figure out where to mount it.

-T
 


Swee294349

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right on...i'd be interested after you get everything all set up. thanks man.
 


410Fortune

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ON teh BII the gas tank is in the rear. Leaving a huge place under the truck (opp the muffler) for a tank and slidplate.

On the Explorer the spare tire, shocks and gas tank make it much harder to find space for the tank :)
There is actually a good amount of room on the radiator support drivers side, if you re-locate the charcoal canister and possibly coolant tank.
 


TDG

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With 37"s I doubt I'm gonna be putting a spare underneath it which is why I don't mind cutting the spare tire mount out and putting it there.

You bring bring up a really good point about using that area on the drivers side of the engine compartment... it would save running a lot of hoses back and forth I'll have to measure that out. Currently I've moved the canister, cut the juice boxes and installed a seoond battery tray in that area, I guess I could probably find somewhere else to mount the battery... hmmm more thinking.... And the outlet hose on the A/C manifold already points that way...

Thanks for the food for thought.

-T
 


410Fortune

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My friends installed their ARB compressors in that spot on Gen I Explorer's.

On the BII I had to re-locate the charcoal canister and the windshield washer tank.
The radiator support is pretty stout right there and makes a good mouting spot. The ARB compressor is right at home there, plus it gets cooled when driving.
 


TDG

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I think we may have something here... I just need to figure out where to stick the battery that used too be here.

(I just tossed it in there to see if it would fit, haven't mounted it yet)
 

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TheRookie

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That is a decent idea you have there. I like the idea of where the spare used to go better though. Now you are going to have to relocate your battery to take up space somewhere else.
 


410Fortune

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thats a tight fit.

I was actually thinkning of mounting it vertically on the radiator support, but it looks as if the tank is larger then I originally thought!! hahaha WOW!!!
 


TDG

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The spare tire area would out great for a smaller diameter tank, that one is just a little bit too big around to fit under there comfortably without some decent protection from a nice a$$ landing.

The battery that I took out of there was my "other" battery, I still have the main battery on the other side where it's always been on the 1st gens. No real loss right now as I don't have a battery to stick in there as the "other" one.
 


TheRookie

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DUH I thought it was the other side but had myself convinced I was just tired. With my 3 inch body lift I would think there should be enough space for a decent tank
 


TDG

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Ghetto Fab

Found my lubricator.

From what I've read people have been running everything from ATF to Slick50 to motor oil to refrigerant lube with A/C compressors and nobody has claimed to have any problems. I tried ATF and seized the compressor, fortunately I have a few more on my bench so I’m trying refrigerant lube this time but I suspect I might not be able to get enough lube into the air stream with my lubricator setup due to it being used incorrectly and the refrigerant lube being fairly heavy stuff.

The first stage filter is doing an excellent job of removing large oil slugs from the air stream so I might plumb a line to feed the oil back into the intake of the compressor and just let the lubricator make up for whatever gets past the filter into the tank.

I had very little warning when the first compressor seized maybe about 2 seconds of a funny noise then the engine stalled.

The two red wires that are hooked to the green and purple wires are for the pressure switch that is mounted on the air tank, pretty much functions the same way the stock switch did just different pressure ratings.
 

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TDG

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Ghetto to the max… check out my custom tie down straps for the air tank.

The primary filter is a Milton unit that is of all metal construction, I’ll mount it up one of these days when I get done taking it apart to see how much oil is in it and maybe hook up an auto drain line of some sort.

I pretty much used whatever scrap pieces of hose I had laying around that I thought would do the job since I'm a cheap bastard.

I took the picture in complete darkness with a digicam so excuse the quality... it makes my shody work look better.

-T

YES THERE IS A BLOW OFF VALVE ON THE TANK
 

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TDG

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The inner workings of the Explorer A/C compressor. Not much to it. Neat design for a 10 cylinder compressor.
 

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MustangShane

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Ok this might sound stupid but is the orange container after the primary filter your oiler? I was wondering if you could run a set-up like this or not. I thought it would fry the compressor or not put out enough p.s.i.. But that is AWESOME!! I have an extra compressor tank in the garage and with a little work I should be able to duplicate this set-up!! Hey TDG could you send me a parts list of all the things you used. That would be great!
Thanks,
Shane

P.S. I completely understand CHEAP!:D
 


mhn3773

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i think mabey u should see if u can find a small rotary compressor from a condesing unit..will make a little more noise and sound like a wankle but it should be a little more forgiving with the oil sitiation(hehe)

might be to big though..the air conditioners i am used to go in back yards and roofs rahter then cars lol so the one im thinking is a good 150lbs =) im sure there are smaller
 


TDG

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The more I look at it combined with the more I drink I figure I could probably booty fab a York compressor turned on its side with a serpentine kit in the same location as the stock compressor. Of course being a cheap bastard that probably won't happen unless a York falls out of the sky into my front yard some time soon.

Yeah that orange thing is my lubricator; the grey thing is a filter / separator. The lubricator does work under a vacuum like that, I can see the oil dropping in the sight glass however when the oil is cold it's pretty thick and doesn't flow well.

I put another compressor on it yesterday and messed around with it some more, didn't seize the compressor but the longest I let it run without stopping was about 2 minutes. As far as pressure goes... it will fill that little 2 gallon tank to a 100psi in less than 30 seconds and I managed to air up a 31" tire from 0 to 35psi in less than 2 minutes, I'll try a 37" this weekend and actually time it. I think I'm going to change the pressure switch and blow off valve to allow for a 125 / 105 off and on cycle, right now it's at 100 / 80 and works well but needs a little more of a head start for running air tools.

Parts list? I dunno... bunch of extra crap in my garage, (lubricator and filters probably $100) I'm not done with it yet but there are a few things I would do differently if and when I do it over.

First and foremost... if you're gonna strip a compressor for parts like I did shoot for at least a 4 gallon compressor with twin air tanks that are small enough in diameter to fit under the back somewhere without being a rock magnet. The air tank up front is cool but is a PITA to mount. Try to shoot for a compressor that has a 125psi pressure rating, this will get you a pressure switch that cycles off at 125psi and on at around 105. If you look around long enough you could probably come up with a used contractor type compressor that has burned up motor or compressor for dirt cheap, this will get you the air tanks ($15-50 depending where you look) a pressure switch ($15-30 depending on what type you want) gauges, regulators, fittings and other misc stuff ($40) for cheaper than buying each component.

I don't have anything solid on the rest of the setup, many others have run A/C compressors in OBA applications with good results but it seems that each compressor has its little quirks. I need to figure out if the lubricator setup I have is going to be able to provide enough lube to the compressor or if I'll have to go with some sort of pressure fed lube setup. I might move the lubricator in closer to the compressor so that the lube actually gets to the compressor and doesn't just soak the walls of the intake hose this would also heat the lubricator up quicker since it would be closer to the engine and the oil would thin out and flow quicker but I'm worried that after I shut the engine off the temperature in that area above the exhaust manifold would get so hot that the plastic lube bowl might melt.

Here's a setup I'm playing with to pressure feed oil into the intake of the compressor. I really don't want to run it like this full time but I don't want to seize another compressor if I can help it.
 

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MustangShane

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Hey thanks TDG. The tank I have is a 5 gallon and I believe its 125 psi. The motor fried so I have the tank and, man I collect alot of crap! But its times like these that I'm glad I do. My whole thought was to mount the primary filter and lubricator on the drivers side inner fender well and run a hard line back to the cargo area. Mount the tank inside back there. Here in Mi. we use salt to clean the snow off roads and that tank would be gone in a heartbeat. Thank for getting me started.;)
 


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