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My "stealth" on board air install, pics, and video

Wills05xlt4x4

Elite Explorer
Joined
March 20, 2011
Messages
897
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2
City, State
Ashland Va
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Xlt 4x4
the kit was about $450 shipped. I didn't use all the fittings and wires and stuff that came in the kit but it was nice to have the extra parts so that I could tailor everything for my setup and figure things out.

I bought a 50 foot length of air line from home depot for about 20 dollars and some other air fittings and quick disconnects for maybe another 10 dollars.

The solenoid valve was about $75 and I don't think I could have found it cheaper since I had some pretty specific requirements for it to be able to hold up to.

So all in all about $555

This writeup does this setup NO justice. It's a must see...:) wish I didn't have the third row sometimes but it is handy to seat 7...

I'm very interested to see how long that air hose lasts I've used that orange hose before and they're all in the garbage it gets very brittle in cold weather but may be perfect in this application ( no direct sun and is not moved around)
 
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Ronin8002

Explorer Addict
Joined
March 23, 2003
Messages
4,421
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City, State
Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2008 XLT Ironman
This writeup does this setup NO justice. It's a must see...:) wish I didn't have the third row sometimes but it is handy to seat 7...

I'm very interested to see how long that air hose lasts I've used that orange hose before and they're all in the garbage it gets very brittle in cold weather but may be perfect in this application ( no direct sun and is not moved around)

Thanks!

Yeah I definitely went cheap on the hose. Hopefully it'll last a while...like you said it isn't getting moved around and directly exposed to the sun. And if it does go bad at least it didn't set me back much :thumbsup:

I really haven't used it too much lately...damn near killed my battery the other day using it to power some air tools :)

I'm going to have to do a dual battery setup in the near future. I'm going to put an optima yellow top battery underneath the little trap door on the drivers side next to where my power switch and purge button are.

Just need to decide on a battery isolator and get a couple of other things and I should have that done before the end of the year.
 
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Tilardi0223

New Member
Joined
August 8, 2021
Messages
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City, State
LAKE GROVE
Year, Model & Trim Level
'03 Ford Explorer XLT
Just finished installing my on board air system on my 2004 Eddie Bauer. I was looking for something that would fill all my tires with ease and also allow me to do some light air tool use, so I went with the Viair 20001 Ultra Duty kit.

It is a continuous duty 12v compressor and it comes with a 2.5 gallon air tank and it will pressurize up to 200psi.

As for mounting locations, I could have put this under the hood or mounted to the framerail, but there is this cool bin under the floors of the 3rd Gens (without the 3rd row) and I wasn't using it for anything else. Turns out it would fit the compressor and tank PERFECTLY so I decided to go for it even though it would make the install a bit trickier. I was also hoping that the location would help quiet the compressor down a bit:

Here's what the rear cargo area looks like:

IMG_5375.jpg


Open up the forward panel and here's the compressor and tank:

IMG_5370.jpg


Compressor:

IMG_5371.jpg


Tank:

IMG_5372.jpg


I drilled 1 hole thru the bottom of that space for a 3/8" air line and ran it down to a Tee fitting at the frame:

IMG_5376.jpg


Then I ran 3/8" lines to the front and rear bumpers along the top edge of the frame, zip tying it to the frame every foot or so:

IMG_5367.jpg


Each supply line was capped with quick disconnect fitting. Here's the one at the rear bumper with a rubber dustcap on it to keep road crud from getting in:

IMG_5366.jpg


There was also a line run from the tank to a pressure guage that came with the kit. I kind of jacked up the top part of the hole when I was cutting it...need to fix that somehow:

IMG_5368.jpg


There wasn't any room under the tank to be able to open the petcock valve to drain it, and even with drilling another hole and running a line for it underneath I realized it was going to be a pain to crawl under the truck and open the petcock up every time I wanted to drain the tank. So what I did was run another line from the drain hole of the tank down to the same vicinity as the Tee fitting for my supply lines. I put a weatherproof water/air 250 psi rated solenoid valve there (like a nitrous solenoid basically) so I can drain the tank remotely:

IMG_5377.jpg


It just vents to the air.

I ran the wires from it back to a button in the truck. I also put in a switch for the compressor with a cover over it so it is protected a little if I have something loose in the back and it hits the switch. The red momentary pushbutton next to it is for the tank purge:

IMG_5369.jpg


Here's a video of it in action with the floor panel back in place and a demonstration of the tank purge. The video makes it sound loud but you can easily talk over it in an "indoor voice" when you are standing where I was filming.


I am very happy with it! The tank gets up to 200 PSI in about 5 minutes, and the compressor kicks on when it gets down to 165. Fills tires with no problem, and I was able to use my air ratchet and impact with it also. You can't go real crazy with the air tools because they eat up air quick and the compressor/tank can't keep up with heavy use, but for short bursts/light use they work well enough for me.

Here's the website if anyone is interested:

VIAIR Corporation – 12-Volt & 24-Volt Air Compressors and Tire Inflators | Your Vital Air Source
Hey Ronin, I know it's almost exactly a decade later, but could you reupload those pictures of your compressor install? I'm looking into turning my 03' XLT into a beach cruiser and would love to have on board air.
 
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