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  #1  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:11 PM
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Building my onboard air system!

So I've wanted on-board air for a while now. I figured having an air horn would be a riot, but in addition, I am always needing to air up. I carry tire plugs and tools, and oftentimes flats I get are repairable. The problem occurs finding air late at night close enough to avoid damaging the wheel and tire. The last flat tire I had could have easily been fixed on the road without all the added drama of waiting around until morning to get aired up.

After this, I resolved to getting an onboard air system. I considered buying one of those all in one kits on ebay that included an air horn, and they looked great until I looked at tank capacity. Even the higher end models were limited to 1.5 gallons. That, and for the price, how long would a Chinese compressor really last? My buddy had one of those kits, compressor took FOREVER to fill the TINY tank, and ran all the time. With all of this in my mind, I decided that building my own was the only smart thing to do.

My parts list:

Viair 450c compressor-http://viaircorp.com/OffRoad/450C.html

I went with this one because the smaller units are only around rated to around 33 percent duty cycle. The 450c is rated at 100 percent, meaning it can run continuously if needed. In addition to having a max rating of 150psi, It will fill a 2.5 gallon tank to 150psi in 3 minutes flat. Let's see the ebay specials do that!


Viair 2.5 gallon tank-http://www.viaircorp.com/OffRoad/Parts/2_5gallon.html

Most tanks I looked at were dual port-basically an inlet, and an outlet. Not enough expandability for me. I found a 2.5 gallon tank that would fit under my toolbox, and had 6 ports. Plenty of room for expansion in the future, and dual gauges! (one in the truck, one directly off the tank). I am still up in the air about whether to ad a second tank-basically have a 5 gallon capacity. I guess I'll wait until I determine if I need more air.


Misc. fittings-

I got the following for my system. 50' of plastic airline (the coil type), an in cab pressure gauge/switch, an on tank pressure gauge, 110on/150off pressure switch, and several quick connect fittings. I'm going to be installing an air horn, but it's not a priority.

I'm still up in the air as to where to mount the tank-I was considering mounting it underneath my toolbox, but the frame rail has it's appeal. The only issue is that things get crusty in upstate NY winters. Same dilemma with the compressor. Right now I think I'll try putting it under the toolbox as it's mostly wasted space there anyway. If anyone has pictures of there setups, that would be GREAT!

Sooo, I'll post pictures as I do the install. Currently just waiting on a few more fittings and the hoses, but the main components are here. I'd love to hear about everyone else's systems, as well as some feedback on my plans!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:36 PM
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Good call on the compressor, Viair makes a quality unit. That's the one I should have gone with. Mine is the 300 series/33% duty cycle and while wait times are OK I hate running it very long for fear of frying it. The bigger tank you can fit the better. Mine is a 2 gallon. Takes way too long to fill a 38" tire!! I ran a service port out the side and carry 2 25' hoses to fill trailer tires, etc. It's also handy when working under the hood for blowing things out etc. Also use it for the air horns. Mounted a gauge in my pillar as well. Here's some pics of my install. Looks like your on the right track


*Compressor is mounted to top of tank out of sight. Stays pretty clean up there and I can change the intake filter by feel. I was going to fab a remote filter for more ease of maintenance but I got lazy!*








Last edited by Rhinotoyz; 11-23-2011 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Add caption to pic.
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:40 PM
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Do your horns use a barbed fitting? What sort of hose did you use to connect them to the tank? I am looking at those, but unsure of what is needed to use them? I think running it all under the truck is a bad idea around here as the salt on the roads would quickly destroy everything-I'd never be able to use the quick connect fittings. Something I did do was buy ball valves to put into the tank before the hoses just in case of a rupture I could turn them off.

Your setup looks great-I wish I could do that up here, but I'd be afraid of ruining it!
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:47 PM
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I have horns on my truck, but, I run them off of a bottle of compressed nitrogen from the welding supplier. I regulate the pressure with a welding regulator. Switch on the dash that activated a solenoid. Pretty simple, really. Bottle lasts a long time, but, I am just running the horns, not airing tires.

kevlars
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:52 PM
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I'm farther north than you my friend!!! We just don't use the salt you folks use down there To be honest I don't drive the truck much in the winter, I still have the factory paint on the truck and no rust yet so I want to keep it that way! Tool box or bed mount for the compressor would be a better idea for sure. I used Synflex Tubing, basically same stuff used in the trucking industry with compression fittings and those brass inner ferrule supports. No barb fittings used at all. Line to service port and horn is 5/16 and the one to the cab is 1/8. When I find a real train horn I'll upgrade the lines to 1/2"
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevlars View Post
I have horns on my truck, but, I run them off of a bottle of compressed nitrogen from the welding supplier. I regulate the pressure with a welding regulator. Switch on the dash that activated a solenoid. Pretty simple, really. Bottle lasts a long time, but, I am just running the horns, not airing tires.

kevlars
What kind of horns you running? How big a line?
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Old 11-23-2011, 09:58 PM
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They are a set of semi horns. 1/4" Parker Push-Lok hose. Loud yet not too obnoxious.

kevlars
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