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Budget on-board air.


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  • Budget on-board air.

    So I was at the store yesterday, looking at these "On-board" air systems, that are basically little compressors, minus a housing that you bolt somewhere in your engine compartment. Handy... But the $375. price tag made me shudder.

    I've got several of those cheapy $20 12v compressors kickin around...

    So I set out today to make my own on-board air system, with things I had laying around my garage.

    12 volt compressor, scrap diamond plate, air fittings and tools.

    WHY? Well first of all by mounting the compressor in the engine compartment, it free's up room in the cab (for other stuff) Instead of storing the unit, I just need to carry an air hose. Secondly... It's nifty! LOL

    I dismantled the compressor getting rid of the plastic housing and built in flashlite. I went to work with the diamond plate to make a new case for it. I then installed the stock on/off button and cut the air line and fitted a quick disconnect to it, plumbed through the new skin.

    I found ample room to mount it under the brake booster/ master cylinder on the drivers side near the firewall. I ran the wiring, neatly hidden in plastic wire loom and zip-tied it up all purdy. The "Air" sticker was part of an Airtech (motorcycle bodywork) sticker I cut down.

    Looks pretty good for a hack.

    (I am not, nor have I ever been a "fabricator". I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night... But I do have alot of tools.)

    Problems with OBA ver. 1

    First of all I removed the base (I believe for a second battery?) to mount the unit, as it was easier to get underneath to bolt it down. However the hole I chose is a bit too close to the fender. I can get an air line into the quick disconnect, but if I had to do it over again, I'd move it more inboard.

    Problem two. After it was all hooked up, I gave it a test run. Everything worked fine, but I couldn't figure out why the pressure gauge kept climbing as I sat there and looked at it... OH... because it's not pushing the air through the hose and it's building up pressure.


    CRAP! The hose leading to the quick disconnect popped. Which is underneath the cover, which can only be removed by pulling the entire unit out of the vehicle again.

    Back to the drawing board...

    I posted this so others can see my attempt at penny-tech. It cost me nothing and (eventually) I'll get it worked out.



  • #2
    Neat little box.

    That tray is for the ABS pump, which you dont have.

    Dont worry about the drawing board, just get a open or flow through air chuck (like this one:

    Ya Savvy?

    Motech Performance


    • #3
      Good job! That looks pretty cool.
      03 Rubicon, 6" FT long arms, 35x12.5 MTRs
      "Jeep is a kind of vehicle for which you have to buy a $250 security console in order to install and store a $40 CB radio. " --Me.


      • #4
        yup, looks nifty.

        "in the end... the rocks always win."


        • #5
          i know where you are coming from, but i believe you will find that pump doesnt really do alot for you due to the low CFM. but if youve got a real big tank it might help you air up maybe 1 tire faster.
          Tires, Gears, Armor, what else do I need for the Hammers?