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Old 06-18-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
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On board air for general purpose use - ?

I would be interested in installing an on board air system for general use purposes. As of right now I don't see me getting air lockers so the sole use would be for general use i.e. tires, camping gear, etc.

So....school me on an on board air system. Which unit, components, tips, tricks, etc. In other words which unit would you buy and what all parts would be needed? Also please tell me why you would go with the unit and parts that you suggest/recommend.

Also, would you go thru the trouble of getting an sPOD with the air gauge connected to it?

Thanks.

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Old 06-18-2013, 06:16 PM   #2
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I have the Heavy-Duty Viar on-board air compressor. I originally bought it only to air up my tires after a trail run. I recently decided to install air lockers and was able to plumb into it easily. I don't have a pressure gauge for it (other than the one on the tire inflation line) and don't really see a purpose for one for any of my needs.

I started with the basic unit and added the lockers a year later. Other than the lockers, I don't have any extras. I do however, plan on plumbing the air line somewhere (I haven't decided where) so I don't have to raise my hood to connect the air hose for my tires.

Here is a picture of the unit installed. The picture is from the Viair people (it's much cleaner than under my hood) and I'm not running the S-pod. You don't have to have air lockers (there are plugs installed where the solenoids are in the pic) or an S-pod, but you can see they would all fit together well if you decided to upgrade in the future.
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Old 06-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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I installed the arb lot from Northridge.com. I use it for the very same purpose that u want one for, the reason I went with this kit is because it had everything I needed (line, tips, wire harness altho I already had an spod installed) install was really simple and all the parts fit well together.

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http://northridge4x4.com/shop/arb-je...compressor-kit
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterTheBeagle View Post
I installed the arb lot from Northridge.com. I use it for the very same purpose that u want one for, the reason I went with this kit is because it had everything I needed (line, tips, wire harness altho I already had an spod installed) install was really simple and all the parts fit well together.

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ARB Jeep JK Wrangler Air Compressor & Mounting Bracket Package (ARB-JK-COMPRESSOR-KIT)
So you've got yours hooked up to your spod? If so, then I guess this unit doesn't pull too many amps. If you ran an air hose to someplace where you could connect to it and not lift the hood and have it wired up to your spod, then you should be able to access air without ever having to raise your hood correct?
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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I have the Heavy-Duty Viar on-board air compressor. I originally bought it only to air up my tires after a trail run. I recently decided to install air lockers and was able to plumb into it easily. I don't have a pressure gauge for it (other than the one on the tire inflation line) and don't really see a purpose for one for any of my needs.

I started with the basic unit and added the lockers a year later. Other than the lockers, I don't have any extras. I do however, plan on plumbing the air line somewhere (I haven't decided where) so I don't have to raise my hood to connect the air hose for my tires.

Here is a picture of the unit installed. The picture is from the Viair people (it's much cleaner than under my hood) and I'm not running the S-pod. You don't have to have air lockers (there are plugs installed where the solenoids are in the pic) or an S-pod, but you can see they would all fit together well if you decided to upgrade in the future.
If you plumb the line to somewhere you can hook to it without raising your hood and you don't have it hooked to an spod, how do you turn your unit on? Do you have a switch run to the interior of the jeep?
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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I plan on adding lockers at some point but at the moment just have an arb compressor hooked up under the hood with an air line plumbed to my front grill with a quick disconnect so I don't have to pick up my hood to fill up. My line is long enough to get to all my tires and I can air up my 31"s in around 5-8min total from 8psi ish to around 28psi. I just didn't have the space or $$ for a bigger system but the Vlair systems are really amazing. I looked at them too. The other reason I went ARB was that it was a ready to go harness to add the lockers which doesn't sound like a factor for you. (Yet )
You probably are going to want something with a tank for your purposes but here's where mine landed anyway.

Good luck!

Edit* I have a switch in the cab but it is not hooked to my spod with either air or wires.

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Old 06-19-2013, 09:24 AM   #7
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So you've got yours hooked up to your spod? If so, then I guess this unit doesn't pull too many amps. If you ran an air hose to someplace where you could connect to it and not lift the hood and have it wired up to your spod, then you should be able to access air without ever having to raise your hood correct?

I too went with the ARB unit from Northridge. Really clean install. It did need a dedicated 25A circuit though, it blew a 20A run that I gave it at first. Luckily I had wiring and a relay already in place that could handle 25A.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:38 AM   #8
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I've seen some folks install the compressor under passenger seat... what's the pro's/con's of under hood vs. under seat.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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I've done the under seat install. Sorry, no pics at this time, the Jeep is at the dealer for a warranty issue and awaiting parts.

I installed an ARB CKMTA-12 twin compressor using the bracket from Carolina Metal Masters. The compressor itself is wired straight to the battery with the leads and fuses provided by ARB in the box with the compressor. It is switched through the Spod. ARB uses heavy leads to power the compressors but uses an internal relay for switching on this unit, so the switch wires are run to the Spod on my install.

I fabricated a bracket to mount a 2.0 gallon air tank from Viar underneath the jeep between the resonator and driveshaft on the drivers side of the Jeep.

All of the plumbing was done with 3/8 air brake line. This product is similar to plastic and used on all class 8 commercial road tractors for air brake and air system lines. It has a burst pressure of over 1000lbs and a working pressure of up to 200 psi. It uses brass compression fittings so the install is very easy and very robust.

I have a 10th anniversary Rubi, so the front bumper converts to a stubby. I used one of the bolt holes on the back of the bumper that is for bolting the bumper extension on as a bulkhead to mount a 90 degree quick disconnect. In the rear I drilled a hole in the bracket which holds the bumper corner to the frame and used this as a bulkhead for the rear quick disconnect.

This makes for a very neat and hidden system with great capability. Although it isn't the cheapest route by far.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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I went with the same main setup as Parker65 (ARB dual and used the Carolina bracket - they make 2 btw - 1 that is fixed and 1 that moves with the seat; mine is fixed). Only downside I can see to the fixed bracket is it puts your compressor real close to your floor - your elbow connector will pretty much touch your carpet right there. My install is not as exotic though. I installed my switch at the compressor and I simply ran a viair braided air hose (18") from the compressor (off an elbow) with a quick disconnect at the end of it for easy access. It is hidden under the rear passenger floor mat when not in use and I can easily get to all 4 tires from it with my ARB tire inflation kit (that line is just long enough to reach the front driver side tire without having to pull it through the cab). It is simple and works great.
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAG00 View Post
So you've got yours hooked up to your spod? If so, then I guess this unit doesn't pull too many amps. If you ran an air hose to someplace where you could connect to it and not lift the hood and have it wired up to your spod, then you should be able to access air without ever having to raise your hood correct?
Yep, I have it hooked up to my spod, Northridge sells a harness to go from the compressor to the spod but I bought it and didn't even use it, and yeah if u ran a hose somewhere else then u would not have to lift the hood. For all the more I really use it I don't mind lifting the hood, but no reason that would not work.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #12
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If you plumb the line to somewhere you can hook to it without raising your hood and you don't have it hooked to an spod, how do you turn your unit on? Do you have a switch run to the interior of the jeep?
I wired mine to what I can a "poor man's S-pod". I went to an electrical supply store and picked up a fuse box pre wired for attachment to the battery. I cut a piece of metal I had laying around and mounted it to the firewall. I bolted the fuse box and all the light relays to the plate.

I bought a Rugged Ridge A-pillar switch box for my lights (fog, driving, off road and rear) and placed my air pump switch there (it's the round red one on top)
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:46 AM   #13
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I appreciate all the input. What are some good complete kits available? I saw where some mentioned the ARB kit from northridge4x4. Any others?
What about this kit? Would it work on a '13 model JKU? Quadratec® On Board Air System with Tank for 07-11 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK - Quadratec]
Would you even need the tank if you use it for what I have mentioned or if you don't use the system a whole lot?
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:33 PM   #14
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Pretty much, the only time you'd need a system with a tank is if you are going to be using the system to run air tools. I'm not sure if the Quadratec setup would work on your Jeep, I'd have to call them. The same thing with the Viair units sold by AirWerkz: Air Werkz - VIAIR Onboard Air Systems & Diesel Truck Accessories , they show their units will only fit up to 2012 models. If you are thinking about their kits, you should give them a call to see if it will fit.
On a side note, both Quadratech and AirWerkz are forum members. If you buy from Quadratech, you can use the code SaharaTango for free shipping. If you are wanting to buy from AirWerkz, you should give them a call and see if they have any deals for forum members.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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What about CO2 or SCUBA tanks? When I looked into this 4 years ago (and did nothing) there were several companies selling SCUBA tank based systems. The advantage (as far as I can recall) is that these systems could generate much higher air flow than the compressor based systems, therefore allowing you to air up much more quickly at the end of a day of wheelin'. The downside(s) included initial cost, as well as the ongoing cost of refills. Plus, with a compressor you aren't out of air until your rig is out of gas. On the other hand, you can carry a small compressor that runs off of a cigarette outlet as a backup.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #16
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What about CO2 or SCUBA tanks? When I looked into this 4 years ago (and did nothing) there were several companies selling SCUBA tank based systems. The advantage (as far as I can recall) is that these systems could generate much higher air flow than the compressor based systems, therefore allowing you to air up much more quickly at the end of a day of wheelin'. The downside(s) included initial cost, as well as the ongoing cost of refills. Plus, with a compressor you aren't out of air until your rig is out of gas. On the other hand, you can carry a small compressor that runs off of a cigarette outlet as a backup.

Thoughts?
I have friends that run this type system. They have the line connected to the tank and air up very fast after beach runs and such. They all dive as well so finding a tank cheap was easy and they rigged the regulator themselves. They also can get it refilled by a buddy at a gas company for free most of the time, so cost wasn't really an issue. I was surprised at how many times they can fill a tire on one tank and its fast.
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Old 06-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #17
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So you've got yours hooked up to your spod?
I do, but I have to have my Jeep running to use it. Otherwise it trips the sensor in the SPOD and will cut off after about 5 seconds.

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