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anyone mount an ac compressor to use as air compressor?


TDG

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Yeah snow... I forget that not everyone lives in the drizzling state of Kal-i-fornia.

I would mount all sorts of stuff in the back if I didn't have my gun box taking up all six feet of space from the tailgate to the back of the front seats, I can toss an air matress on top of it and sleep on of it so it works out well and I try to keep that area clear for that purpose.

I think I'm gonna ditch the lubricator and build my own pressure lubricator. I'll test it out this weekend but I believe that having the lubricator there is really limiting the flow into the compressor, (sort of like having a plugged air cleaner) it seems that I had more air flow before I stuck that thing on the intake. I'm also not sure how effective it is, I know it's oiling the air stream but I'm not sure if it's enough.

Whatever I build will be classic cheap style booty fab so not to worry on the price.

-T
 

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TDG

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I removed the tool lubricator today and found that it takes quite a bit of effort to push or pull air through it, not sure if it's just the lubricator I got or if it's true of all lubricators. While researching this project I've found that most people who are running tool lubricators on their OBA systems aren't as satisfied with the performance of the system when compared to an internally lubed compressor such as a York, this may be due in part to the lubricator restricting the intake of the compressor and in turn causing a lower flow at the outlet.

After removing the lubricator I did a test run on a 37" tire from 0 (valve core removed) to 35psi, it took 4 minutes to fill with the engine at idle speed since I didn't have anyone around to give it some gas and I only have two hands. (And one brain cell which why I forgot I could zip tie the throttle open at whatever speed I want) The tank pressure stayed right at around 50-60psi during the filling, I noticed that with the engine at 2000rpm I could hold the air chuck wide open and the compressor was able to recover to 100psi of tank pressure and shut off. Once I figure out my pressure lube system I'll do some more tire filling tests with the engine at 1500 - 2000 rpm. Also with the engine at 2000rpm tank recovery was very quick during air tool operation. I could probably fill the tank from 0 to 100psi in about 10 - 15 seconds with the current setup down from around 30 seconds with the tool lubricator hanging on the inlet.

Next project for the week will be building a pressure lubricator, I drilled and tapped the A/C manifold on the inlet side and installed a barbed fitting for an oil hose. Currently I'm feeding oil back out of the separator under pressure into the compressor, although this worked well for today’s test I noticed that the oil going back to the compressor looked a little dirty and I suspect there might have been some water in it, there was also no way to stop the oil flow once the compressor shut off without closing a valve manually.

I'm envisioning a separate reservoir filled with clean oil and a valve on the bottom. I will pressurize this reservoir with air from the regulated side of the air tank through an electric valve that will open when the compressor kicks on forcing oil through the hose and into the compressor and off when the compressor kicks off stopping the flow. The valve on the bottom will give me a little bit of control over how much oil gets to the compressor, the trick will be adjusting this for optimum flow without burning up the compressor in the process. I’ll probably use a big air filter reservoir since I have a couple more and they are designed to work under pressure while being clear so I can see how much oil is left.

Another thing I might do is check the vacuum at the oil port with the compressor running and see if there is enough there to pull a sufficient amount of oil from a reservoir which would simplify everything.

Enough writing, time to go pound :chug:

-T
 
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TDG

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Haven't done anything I said I was gonna do because I've been too busy at work to run around and get parts.

Today I ripped it all out and cleaned up the installation. I kept the cool steel tank mounting staps for the bling factor. :rolleyes:
 

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MustangShane

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Nice clean up man!! That looks nice. You're right the tank strap has got to stay. I haven't gotten started on mine yet. I've been battling with the misses on my new wheels and tires coming tomorrow. Hopefully soon I'll start mine. Keep the info and pics coming.
 




MustangShane

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Ok so how well does it work. This looks almost proffesional! Ahhh yess though, there's the getto strap.
 


410Fortune

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OKay okay I have a couple of questions. So far you have kicked some butt on this!

1. do you think the crankcrase breather hose could be used to lubricate the compressor with engine oil? :) hahahaha I am dreaming I know.

2. cant you use a bicycle shifter lever for an advanced throttle control you can mount under the hood? Also I have heard there is a way to wire to the IAC to acheive advanced throttle :) Have you looked into that yet?

Nice job, I have been following this closely as I will be running something very similar down the road with my old A/C stuff. The ARB compressor I have now works ok but it does take 4-5 min per tire to go from 12 psi to 28.
 


TDG

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Originally posted by MustangShane
Ok so how well does it work.
I dunno yet, I accidentally dumped the entire oil reservoir down the intake of the compressor while I was playing with the valves and solenoids so now there is way too much oil in there that I have to run out before I can see how well it works.

410...

1) I think you would have to have a lot of blow by for that to work right, from what I've seen on both of mine the breather hoses are clean with no residue on them telling me that there isn't a lot of blow by. I would also worry about getting a chunk of 'something' in the compressor and having it go to work on the parts inside. Probably not worth it. If you can get a good flowing lubricator I would try that... the one I had was too restrictive and choked the output a lot which is why I'm trying this mickey mouse setup.

2) Bicycle shifters are a very common thing usually mounted to the shifter sort of like Ricks. I intend to make this whole thing controllable from the inside either with a bicycle shifter or solenoid similar what you find on older carbureted vehicles to kick the throttle up when the A/C comes one. I'm not sure of the signaling used with the IAC, I suspect it's some sort of pulse signal that involves a bit more than just throwing some voltage to it... I'll throw a scope on it when I get a chance. I also wonder how high the IAC system will let the engine rev... it would make sense to have a limit on this of around 1200rpm so that in the event that you have an open fail condition the engine isn't running at 3k all the time.

-T
 


MustangShane

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Ok now TDG I have a question. You used the pressure shut-off switch from the compressor right? And if you did isnt that a AC unit? So one how did you get it to work on DC? And then just how did you wire it to the A/C clutch to kick it on/off?
 


TDG

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Originally posted by MustangShane
Ok now TDG I have a question. You used the pressure shut-off switch from the compressor right? And if you did isnt that a AC unit? So one how did you get it to work on DC? And then just how did you wire it to the A/C clutch to kick it on/off?
It's basically an on off switch controlled by pressure so it doesn't matter if it's AC or DC the function is the same. But to be really honest with you when I took apart the compressor I found that they were using a 120V DC motor with a rectifier bank to convert the AC to DC don't ask me why the 'F' they did that.

I c-tapped extension wires into the wiring for the original pressure switch and ran them around to the new pressure switch, once again the function is the same. I'm going to do away with that setup in the future when I built a control panel somewhere inside the cab just for OBA. It's kinda funky to push the A/C knob every time I want air plus if I try to use the defroster it kicks the A/C compressor on when I don't want it to.

-T
 

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MustangShane

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Ok that was what I was thinking you did. But I didn't realize it didn't matter the AC or DC. And about how to turn it on... come on you hit the "air" button to get "air", man!! Ok I'll stop (one day). Thanks though this is going to be a breeze to do myself.
 


TDG

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Originally posted by MustangShane
Ok that was what I was thinking you did. But I didn't realize it didn't matter the AC or DC. And about how to turn it on... come on you hit the "air" button to get "air", man!! Ok I'll stop (one day). Thanks though this is going to be a breeze to do myself.
I'm not going to spark the debate on switch engineering but in this case just about any switch will do the trick provided the pressure ratings are what you want since most pressure switches are speced for 120vac with a few amps of load and will work fine in a 12vdc setup.

I got some pieces of ghetto strap if you need any, you could probably bolt a couple of the shorter ones together and really outdo me in the ghetto department. :D

-T
 


MustangShane

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I think I'll pass onthe ghetto strap, thanks. I have enought of my own (from failed exhaust attempts). Plus I plan on installing the tank in the cargo area. Which got me to thinking... since I carry my kids with me would it be wise to add some sort of scatter shield to the backs of the rear seat just in case of tank failure? I'm not trying to be paranoid. But I also dont want to be careless. So let me know what you think.

P.S. The pressure switch is the original that came with the compressor. So I just try it and hope for the best. If not I find/buy a new one that will work with what I have.
 


TDG

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I can understand your concern since carrying any type of pressurized container in the passenger compartment adds a certain risk factor.

Honestly as long as you are sure that the tank you are using is in good shape there shouldn't be a problem, make sure that the safety valve is installed and works like it's supposed to. Most tanks that I've seen are rated to at least 1.5 times the designed working pressure and probably 99.9% of those will go much higher to cover the manufactures asses. I have yet to hear a story of an air tank blowing up on anyone and I've heard some strange stories.

If you are set on scatter protection I would look into something like those Kevlar clutch scatter shields... they sorta look like a bullet proof vest for a transmission / clutch. Not sure the size of your tank but I know most would cover my tank nicely. I recommend covering the tank directly as opposed to just the seat backs to help eliminate metal from flying around inside the passenger compartment should the tank let loose... it might also help muffle the sound. All of this is speculation because I don't know anyone who knows anyone who has ever had an air tank blow and can tell me what it sounds like.

-T
 


MustangShane

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Yeah that sounds better than my idea, and one of those scatter shields should cover a five gallon tank. I never knew they would test them to 1.5 times the rating. You know maybe 25 or 30 p.s.i. more or something. But knowing that alone makes me more comfortable. I should be gettinga digicam soon so I can get started and get some pics up so you can tell me what you think.
When I mount it in the cargo area I'm thinking about adding a quick disconnect to the input of the tank instead of hard piping it. I'll try to add the connector through one of the side trim panels to keep it out of the way. All of this just incase I need to use the space for hauling drywall or whatever. You know the more I think about it I could do that through the panel that houses the spare tire jack and tire iron. Then when I'm not using it I could coil it up and shut it in that compartment! Ohhhh that would be cool. And totally hidden. Plus I want to use black pipe tucked into the frame rails to deliver the air to the tank (for longevity). I think I pretty much have this worked out. If you have anymore suggestions just let me know.
 


TheRookie

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OK I am getting old. REally wanting to keep my AC working but also going berserk not having air tools on the truck. If only I could afford a trailhead.
 


MustangShane

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LOL sometimes sacrafices must be made!
 

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TDG

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Originally posted by TheRookie
OK I am getting old. REally wanting to keep my AC working but also going berserk not having air tools on the truck. If only I could afford a trailhead.
Powertank... how often do you really need to run air tools off the truck?

I'm sure another compressor could be mounted to the explorer motor if you 'move' some stuff around. My rig isn't a daily driver (hardly a monthly driver anymore) so I don't mind giving up the A/C that didn't work anyway and would've cost more in parts to fix than it was worth.

-T
 


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