Custom Onboard Air Install for $225.91
This is a write up with link and photos on my low cost onboard air set up.
I will start with the compressor, I went cheap $59.00 knowing that it might have to be upgraded later but after doing my research turns out that this compressor is very good and actually has more CFM that the $200 VIAIR. But it will fill up one of the 2 gallon tanks to 135 PSI in just under 2 minutes.
Well I built the tanks from schedule 40 PCV pipe not knowing how they would hold up but I know most mechanic shops back home use PVC for airline so I figured I would give it a shoot. Tanks were drilled for air fittings then I used a bead of marine grade sealant 5200 by 3m on the inside of the cap where the pipe seats ,anyone who has ever used this knows how strong it is. I also used heavy duty PVC cement for the caps. After the cement dried I drilled and put 4 screws into the cap as extra. I used more 5200 sealant as thread lock. Pressure tested each tank to 200psi they head with no leaks for 6 hours. Tanks are 2 gallons each.
Next to the lines I used Goodyear rubber hose it being on sale was a plus I do not like the PVC air hose. So I ran the front hose inside the frame rail and out up to beside my winch that is where I installed my forward hose connection. The rear hose runs to the driver side rear. Then also tapped into the tank for a gauge line, built a gauge mount it will be mounted by the E-Brake handle.
So here are some links and pricing, pricing on the links may or may not be accurate to in store pricing.
Air compressor $59.99
Air hose 50” $17.99
Air hose 25” $7.99
Air fittings $0.99ea x6 = $2.97
Brass coupler 1.89ea x3 = $5.67
Tire inflator with gauge $9.99
1/4x3/8 reducer $1.99 x2 = $3.98
3/8 Hose barb $1.99
LFA-738 1/4in MIP to 1/8in FIP adapter to convert compressor to NPT $2.43
5’ of 4” diameter schedule 40 PVC- $14.88
4” PVC caps $3.49ea x4= $13.96
PVC cement $4.00
Can of spray bed liner $7.99
Brass fitting for airline to gauge $3.49
3/8 O.D. flex line for PSI gauge 0.89per ft. x10ft
Air compressor mount 12-13JK $59.99
Adapter for the compressor to convert it NPT picked this guy up at Lowes they were the only one with it.
one set of 3/8 hose barb to male 3/8 threaded end.
1/4" Male x 3/8" Female Brass Pipe Reducer used this to attach the Barb to quick disconnect.
Tire Inflator with Dial Gauge
50’ and 25’ Goodyear air hose caught this on sale. 50’ $17.99 25’ $7.99
3 of these 1/4" Male Brass Industrial Coupler
5 of these 1/4" Male Steel Industrial Plug
One of these for the air guage. ¼ female connector.
PVC pipe for the tanks. 4” 5ft long 1 section.
Shop Charlotte Pipe 4-in x 5-ft Sch 40 PVC DWV Pipe at Lowes.com=
4 of these caps they are much cheaper in the store.
http://www.lowes.com/pd_23927-1814-PVC+02116++2000_0__?productId=3133059&Ntt=4%22+pvc +cap&pl=1¤tURL=%3FNtt%3D4%2522%2Bpvc%2Bcap&f acetInfo=
Adapters on the compressor to make it NPT.
Test fitting tanks. Tanks are very protected here as the bottom of the tank is higher than the bottom of the Rugged Ridge Rails and the Jeep's frame rail. I am still going to have a light skid made just to keep it from getting hit with rocks at high way speed.
This is a better shot, I think the tanks will be fine once I add a skid.
Tanks sprayed black. Looking much better.
Built this bracket for the gauge. I am going to tweak it a little more and paint it black and install gauge. I am using the gauge that came with the compressor.
I got my front air hook up installed. I just built and L shaped aluminum bracket drilled a hole and used the Rugged Ridge front bumper bolt, it was a pain but came out nice.http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...ps43f9de18.jpg
The rear will go here. Rugged Ridge tire carrier I am going to remove the 2 stainless bolts in the frame for the latch use another piece of aluminum and install a quick disconnect here.
So I have changed the plan a little the gauge is going to be mounted in the overhead on my consul. But other than that here are a few more pictures.
Rear air hook up.
Tanks ready for install with lines hooked up.
First tank mounted. now I just need my skid plates for the tanks.
Synergy Bracket came today.
Compressor fits no issues.
Installing the bracket and compressor was a 5 minute job that is after I relocated the brake booster sensor this took a few minutes I boiled the hose extension they give you to soften it up for easier fitting, it is just a 3 inch piece of heater hose. Fitment was spot on has to be the easiest thing I ever installedhttp://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...ps10951060.jpg
So all I have left to do is mount my gauge and other tank. This was one of the better modifications I have done. It was stretched out over about a week in between waiting on parts or glue to cure. It has been a lot of fun, I still have a little bit of tweaking to do as far as tank placement I want to get them centered but for under $250 dollars it well worth doing myself over buying a pre made system.
Hate to tell ya but using plastic...ya just made a bomb...just a matter of time.
Do you have a pressure switch to automatically shut off the compressor once it reaches max psi? What about a pressure release valve for 'just in case'?
Another option: instead of fabbing the tank and buying the compressor bracket, you could have fabbed the bracket and bought a tank. About the same cost/effort...
Well to each their own.
Schedule 40 PVC will hold up to about 450psi. I have relief valves in tank tank at 135 PSI. Tanks held fine at 210psi for 6 hours when I had them tested. No compressor does not have an auto run or shut down feature just requires operator to pay attention, and relief valves will not let it get over pressure and compressor is max at 150PSI.
I did the same except...I threw some rocks, nails, and broken glass inside to PVC to make it more exciting when the pressure builds.
In all seriousness though, you've created a very dangerous situation for yourself and everybody around. Not sure of the PSI specs on the PVC but, I know it can't be a lot. One or two pounds over and you're gonna wish you'd spent an extra $25-30 on a real tank. I hope you change your design...
Jeez guys. Talk about beating somebody up for taking the time to post a complete install with parts links and everything. Sure makes me think twice about ever posting anything I think is a great idea.
I am a retired chemical engineer. My lifelong job was pumping stuff around through pipes. Several folks here are speculating rather than researching fact. You have uncovered the burst pressure for common schedule 40 PVC pipe. This is not the recommended maximum operating pressure. All my old ASTM books are packed up but I think the maximum operating pressure for schedule 40 pipe is something like 80psi. The maximum sustained operating pressure isn't a maximum pressure the pipe can stand without cracking (which isn't the same as burst pressure which is the explosive destruction of the pipe from an instantaneous high pressure excursion). PVC has some fatigue components that weaken its structure when held at tension for long periods. Schedule 80 PVC is available. I don't remember its maximum sustained operating pressure but I am sure it is over 150psi.
I want to thank you for the detailed installation guide. I have already ordered the compressor and nifty mounting bracket. I will make a trip to Lowe's for the rest of the non-Harbor Freight parts. I am going to substitute a Smittybuilt 2.5 gallon tank with all the fittings installed. By the time I fab a schedule 80 PVC tank with all the fittings plus a skid plate I figure I am close to the metal tank's cost. I am going to try it with just one tank.
I agree, he put in a lot of effort and I love how-to's and write-ups that save me money, but I would be worried about the PVC. While the pipe is rated at a certain PSI, does that hold true for the cap/pipe glued joint?
Thanks for taking the time to post this write-up :thumb:
OP if you would like to make any changes let us know. We can edit in new info.
I think the write-up is great. I just had a few questions.
Thanks everyone, for all the input I will be converting to steel tanks down the line. As it is the tanks will only have pressure to air up quickly they will not be used for daily holding tanks. This was just a budget build to see what I could build working off of an E-5 budget.
Well can’t say I did not expect it. Compressor is dead. Total run time was maybe 15 minutes since I bought it never had it running with engine running or shortly after so heat was not a problem. Figured I would take a gamble on a less expensive compressor since I won’t be using the system much just wanted to have it. But already checked with Harbor Freight taking it back tomorrow for refund.
Kind of bummed but going to order VIAIR 450c compressor.
So after doing more reading (VIAIR website), seems with out a check valve for portection the compressor starting with a load on it.. Like tring to fill tanks that already are at 80PSI will cause a spike in amp draw and can (DID) damage motor.
Ordered a VIAIR check valve today from Summit Racing going to put in new compressor.
Until I get it. Gauge install.
No cutting to interior panel.
Very professional writeup, and a creative approach to the budget constraints. People aren't being dicks about the PVC out of any sense of elitism though, that setup really is dangerous. The pipe itself MAY be good to around 200psi, but every cap, seam, screw, and barb fitting create sites for a stress fracture to begin as the tank expands and contracts with pressure changes. The biggest risk with PVC over metal isn't it's lower failure pressure though, it's that when it does go it tends to fragment into large shards along the stress lines and explode.
Consider them harsh words delivered with good intention. It is probably going to see the most work when airing up after a ride, when a bunch of your friends are standing around it in a parking lot...
I had a brief fascination with spud guns and tennis ball cannons when i lived out in the sticks. After seeing some nasty PVC failures i started wrapping all of my combustion chambers with steel wire and duct tape. It looks like you've got some nice mounting points along your frame and rock rails to do a 3/4 tube of heavy "chicken wire" or some grating mesh.
Thanks. Tanks are not mounted at this time I am waiting on the skid plates to be finished once they are installed the tank will not be visible thus creatin a shield for it but by the time the skids are made I will have metal tanks anyhow te PVC was just a cheap try to get a visual on tank fitment and location.
I have know of many shops back home using PVC for air lines in shops for years and years. But it does not get very cold back home. Here in New England it gets pretty cold that is the primary reason I will not be using the PVC tanks. I don't know how well it would hold up in the winter being under the Jeep. I'm not gonna chance it though.
Wow, great write up! Thanks for taking the time to do this. *Subscribed*
Awesome write up! I already have the VAIR so I may have to do this.
Do metal tanks go in the same spot or are there other good spots?
Yea VIAIR has 2.5 gallon metal tanks that will fit here or a single that will fit under radiator.
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