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On Board Air for my 91

Brian1

Elite Explorer
Joined
February 2, 2000
Messages
5,395
Reaction score
658
City, State
Albuquerque, NM
Year, Model & Trim Level
1991 XLT
Callsign
KG5BAQ
I installed an on board air system last month on my 91 Explorer. I pieced together my own kit to save some money and make it just how I wanted it.

I bought a brand new Viair 480C compressor off Ebay for a great price. It came with a relay, remote mount intake, spare filters and a pressure switch. This is a 200 PSI constant duty air compressor.

It took a while to figure out where to mount it. I decided to mount it behind the driver side headlight after relocating the charcoal canister. I made a bracket to hold it that bolts to the core support. The compressor fits nicely between the headlight and overflow reservoir.

OBA (2).JPG


I mounted the remote intake to the top of the core support just above the compressor.

Next I bought a Viair 2.5 Gallon air tank rated for 200 PSI. I installed it where the spare tire used to be. I cut the rivets off and removed the spare tire winch crossmember and then made a bracket out of 1/8" steel that was bent to shape and fits between the frame rails.

OBA (4).JPG


I ran a 3/8" rubber air hose down the driver frame rail, it took about 14' for my 4 door. I ran it into a T fitting with the pressure switch and then into the tank. I also bought some other fittings, hose, safety valve and bulkhead connector from www.mcmaster.com and Harbor Freight.

I put the drain in the bottom of the tank and installed the safety pressure relief valve opposite of the feed line since it fit the best there. I had a cheap regulator with gauge lying around so I used that to regulate the air coming out for air tools and to tell if there is air in the tank or not by looking at it.

OBA (5).JPG


Next I drilled a hole in my bumper to mount the quick disconnect fitting. I used a bulkhead brass fitting with NPT threads to pass through my bumper. One side got an elbow and a barb and the top got a female quick disconnect fitting. I got a vinyl cap from Ace Hardware to keep the dirt out when not in use.

Under side:
OBA (6).JPG


Top:
OBA (3).JPG


I use a 1/4" x 20' poly hose from Harbor Freight made for a roofing nailer and it works great. It coils up nicely and easily reaches all 4 tires from the single air fitting.

I did not use an in-cab gauge since I didn't need to know the pressure all the time. I just turn it on before I come to the end of the trail to air up or whenever I need to use the air. I run power from the battery to a circuit breaker and then to the compressor which is switched through the relay, in cab switch and the pressure switch. Viair has a diagram on their website.

I tested it out while on the Mojave Road and it worked great! The compressor is also much quieter than I expected.
 



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The dimples make it kewl though. :D

Very nice Brian. :thumbsup: You seem to come up with some real good ideas, and now I have to copy you. See what you made me do?
 






...I seen this in person but it's great to have pics to thieve the ideas from...Thanks for posting this Brian...:biggthump
 












Thought I would update this. The rubber hose I had used was badly cracked and rotting. It was Central Pneumatic brand from Harbor Freight. The rubber hose got a big split in it just before the air tank fitting during a trip to Moab last month. I put a temporary fix on it for the remainder of the trip. Today I replaced the entire air hose along my frame with some 3/8 PVC this time instead of rubber. Hopefully it will last longer. I also replaced the leader hose between the tank and quick coupler, it was practically falling apart.
 






I like to get something like this going on the Ranger. It would be nice to just have it all hard mounted and ready to go instead of digging everything out and hooking it up.

I ordered a Smittybuilt 2781 compressor so we'll see how that does. The spec's looked impressive but i'm skeptical of them. I really wanted the Warn VTC but it looks like Warn has discontinued their line of compressors.
 






Nice , I'm Sure you could make A kit and Sell It And Help Out Allot of People That Are to Worried About Buying the Wrong Products
 






..For hoses I only use the Goodyear hoses...Probably the best in the business as for durability, weather, and materials..:biggthump

..I'm not sure what is being used with the PVC set up but I would guess it won't be long before maintenance is due especially at it's joints due to flexing, environmental conditions, and temp changes..:dunno:
 






Goodyear hoses are nice and I use them in my garage but I cant bring myself to cut up a nice hose since I would only need half of the shortest length Goodyear hose I could find.

I dont know how the PVC hose is going to hold up, it is an experiment! My initial impressions with the hose is good. The hose does have strain relief collars at the tank ends where it needs it the most, my old hose did not and that is where it failed.
 












I have had to buy hose from a few local places and they are not cheap. That was all hydraulic line though, I would hope airhose would be cheaper.

Do you have a link or any info to your new PVC hose?

http://www.harborfreight.com/25-ft-x-3-8-eighth-inch-pvc-air-hose-91525.html

If that stuff fails I see they also list Goodyear Pliovic hose so I may try that. One good thing is the PVC hose is rated for 300psi whereas the hose I was using was rated for 200psi and my system puts out 200 psi. That could have been part of the problem :scratch: :dunno:
 






http://www.harborfreight.com/25-ft-x-3-8-eighth-inch-pvc-air-hose-91525.html

If that stuff fails I see they also list Goodyear Pliovic hose so I may try that. One good thing is the PVC hose is rated for 300psi whereas the hose I was using was rated for 200psi and my system puts out 200 psi. That could have been part of the problem :scratch: :dunno:[/QUOTE]

That Could have been the problem , they say in the bagged world , Go bigger just because !
 












You wouldn't happen to have the part # on that bulkhead connector would ya?

Picture links are broken, so it's hard to see which one you used here.

Pics were tied to the forum gallery and must have been broken with the update a few years back. I re-uploaded them so it should be fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!

Mcmaster order history didn't go back that far so I looked it up again, I think it is # 5454K87

PVC hose is still holding up great!
 












go to a trailer place Wabash Utility whatever and get class b air hose wears like cast iron in the air systems on those trailers
roscoe
 






by the way I use that stuff in my shop the older it gets it is more flexible have used some for 10 plus years
roscoe
 



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Got another question for you sir.

I noticed you installed the pressure switch on the tank with a Tee. Did it have to go there, or could it have been installed at the other end of the feed line at the compressor? Does it matter?

Do you have a one way check valve in the line?
 






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