Scott B's Under-Bed Air Tank and Mount | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Scott B's Under-Bed Air Tank and Mount

Scott B.

Explorer Addict
February 15, 1999
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 Ranger XLT
I decided to add an air tank to my on-board air system. Initially, I thought I didn't need a tank, since I don't run air tools on the trail. After much discussion (with you know who you are!) I changed my mind.

At this point, I am still not planning on using air tools, but the tank will make airing up the tires much faster.

The air compressor I am using is a Viair 450P - yes, it started life as a portable. Originally, I had an ARB in this truck, and the 450P was for the other truck. Seeing as the 450P is a higher volume unit, (and this is the truck where I will need air) I decided to swap. The compressor is mounted in the bed, under the sleeping platform.

If the design of this mount looks familiar, consider it Version 2 - with Version 1 being Brian1's. (Thanks, Brian!)

The differences to mine are 3/16" steel and ribs along each side - both limit the middle of the plate from flexing.

On to the pictures.

I started with a cardboard template, then cut and drilled a piece of flat steel.

The original idea called for the ribs (or wings) to be bent. It turns out, the fab shop couldn't bend a 1/2" piece. The solution was to cut the rib off and weld it back on at an angle.


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The next hurdle was getting the "Z" bend in the ends. Again, the fab shop's bender couldn't grab that small of a piece.

I heated the metal with MAPP gas (with oxygen), and beat on it with a hammer. It would have been easier with acetylene - the MAPP didn't heat up the metal as hot as I wanted it. Next time.

I primed the bracket with red oxide primer, and painted it with Eastwood's undercoating. Hopefully, the finish will last a long time.

The tank is a Viair 2.0 gallon.

I made isolator pads from 1/4" rubber - not completely necessary, but should reduce vibration going to the tank while driving.


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Here, you can see the mount attached to the truck, with and without the air tank mounted. It is bolted to the frame where the spare tire used to be.

The brass fitting on the right is a safety relief valve, and the air supply goes into the tank on the left side (under the blue tape.) Above the right-most hole in the mount is a drain valve in the tank.


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..:scratch:..and when are you going to get around to placing all those landscape blocks..?...:p:

Looks good! Is the exhaust going to clear when it goes back on?

I hope so. The bracket should be far enough back to clear the pipes.

But, since I will be building a custom exhaust, I'll make it fit! LOL

...How easy is it to get to the drain **** and get it unscrewed.?

Easy. The holes are big, and the drain **** is only about 1/2" above the plate.