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  #1  
Old June 6th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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Victim of the "While you're at it" syndrome

Greetings everyone.

I've had my Defender for about 5 years and have been driving it pretty much bone stock. For some reason I got an itch to make some changes. I'm in the middle of it right now, but I've had enough fun at this point that I can share a few photos. I'm doing on-board air, a winch and winch bumper, and lockers.

McMaster is great for trick little parts. Weld nuts to mount an air tank to the frame, anti-vibration rubber mounts for the compressor, and fun little grommets and sealing washers where electrical and plumbing pass through bulkheads.

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The compressor and a manifold are already mounted in the passenger seat box and almost ready to go. The compressor is the ARB CKMTA12. A high temp nylon air line will go to the manifold. The compressor will keep the pressure between 110 and 135 PSI. From left to right on the manifold: the air will enter the manifold from the compressor. Then a check/unloader valve. Next a filter to keep debris and moisture out of the system. A Schrader valve will allow me to fill the air tank with someone else's compressor in the event that my compressor takes a dump. The left-hand gauge will show tank pressure. A safety relief valve rated at 145 psi. A tee takes unregulated air down through the floor to the air tank. Next a regulator will supply the lockers with air at a pressure they like. The second gauge, on the right, will show the pressure that the locker system is getting. At far right, aluminum tubing carries the air through a bulkhead fitting and under the truck, where it will be routed to the driver's side foot box.

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Here's the tank mounted to the frame underneath the compressor. I drilled the frame, ground paint away from the holes, welded in the weld nuts, re-painted, and bolted up the tank. The bit on the left is a standard air coupling protected by a rubber boot.

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I'll be going with Ashcroft lockers, I think. I'm using manual pneumatic valves. They'll get mounted to a recessed plate and attached to the front wall of the driver's side seat box. The knobs will sit just under my right knee when I'm seated. Here they are plumbed up and awaiting installation.

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The venerable Husky 10 winch. The first thing I did after it arrived was take it apart and paint it the body color of the truck. The standard fire engine red just didn't do it for me.

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The winch will get a nice aluminum hawse fairlead made just for that winch and synthetic winch line.

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The winch bumper is a Terrafirma TF004. Here it is mounted to my truck. The wiring you see there is a vestige of the off-road lights. I'll have to find or fabricate a wider A-bar for new lights.

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The winch has a socket on it for a remote switch of course, but I'm haunted by stories I've heard about how anti-offroaders will drag the winch line out and over the vehicle, run it over the roof and attach it to the rear bumper, and then use a paper clip in the socket to crush the truck. So I'm modifying the wiring a bit. No, a lot. Close to the locker control valves will be another recessed plate with an on-off-on toggle switch that will allow control of the winch to be sent to either the socket on the winch or to a (on)-off-(on) switch on the dash (why not?). All the switches are identical in appearance to other OEM switches on the truck, natch. Having a winch control on the dash presents its own risks, so also on the recessed plate will be a key switch. I know, it's getting out of hand. I made up a diagram so that in years to come when the thing stops working I can figure out how I did it the first time and fix it.

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Today I did what for me is the scariest part - cutting the holes in the front of the seat box for the valves and switches. I mean, if you drill a round hole in the wrong place, you can always find a plastic plug for it and pretend that it was always there. But big rectangular holes are a different matter. I fretted for a while over how to cut the holes, and settled on a Fein saw. The blade doesn't rotate. It vibrates incredibly fast. It's like the saws that doctors use to cut of casts. Anyway, it made the job easy. Following are photos of one of the recessed plates, the hole I cut for it, and the plate, with air locker valves mounted, set in place in the front face of the driver's seat box.

That's where I am at this point.

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  #2  
Old June 6th, 2012, 06:08 AM
d110pickup
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Mike Pado
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Very nice work!

I'm not sure about the longevity of the air tank tho.

Mike
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  #3  
Old June 6th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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Yes nice work. My air tank is in the same spot. Its pretty heavy duty, however it doesn't have a bleeder. I've got the parts to do it but putting a bleeder valve on the bottom makes me think it will snap right off.
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  #4  
Old June 6th, 2012, 08:02 AM
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Steve Maietta
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Looks good.. I like those mounting plates, thats a clean way to go.

That's a kids picnic table right? Or that husky is way huskier than I imagined!!


Now you'll be able to get in alot further and hopefully out too. !!

~Steev
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  #5  
Old June 6th, 2012, 08:51 AM
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Jason
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sweet thread - impressive

i'll have to order some of those mounts. i've seen them on my '03 RR (power steering pump if i recall correctly) i just went to the hardware store and bought some rubber to make up something for my fuel tank and might have to change to that if i find the right size. thx for the reference.
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  #6  
Old June 6th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Very nice! +1 for a tank skid.
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  #7  
Old June 6th, 2012, 10:52 AM
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Jeff Huff
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Your routing looks nice and clean but as you probably assume, keep everything (wires and hoses) well clear of the compressor. things move a lot when bumping down the trails and I learned early on that it only takes a couple of seconds for a hot compressor to melt through a pvc air line! One other item you may want to check sooner than later is the CFM required for the unloader. I recently installed a York on my truck and the CFM required to make the unloader work correctly ended up forcing me to switch to another. Finally, as others pointed out, you will definitely want some protection for the tank and lines if you plan to take the truck offroad
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  #8  
Old June 6th, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
Yes nice work. My air tank is in the same spot. Its pretty heavy duty, however it doesn't have a bleeder. I've got the parts to do it but putting a bleeder valve on the bottom makes me think it will snap right off.
I put that bleeder on just because I had it lying around. But now you've got me thinking. In my research I did find a "high tank" bleeder. I could install it in the unused end port. Hmmm.

http://www.aircomparts-air-compressors.com/s1137/

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefhuf View Post
Your routing looks nice and clean but as you probably assume, keep everything (wires and hoses) well clear of the compressor. things move a lot when bumping down the trails and I learned early on that it only takes a couple of seconds for a hot compressor to melt through a pvc air line!
Yes, the heat issue is a concern for me. I'll make sure everything is zip-tied back. The hose between the compressor and the manifold is rated to 500F.

Quote:
One other item you may want to check sooner than later is the CFM required for the unloader.
Thanks for that brainwave. I hadn't considered it. Fortunately the check/unloader I used is pretty basic. The unloader function is achieved by a tiny pinhole upstream of the check valve. Being just a hole, it works an any pressure.

The consensus seems to be that the tank either needs to be relocated or protected by a skid plate. What is the common wisdom for mounting a skid plate in that location?

Thanks everyone for your kind words.
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  #9  
Old June 6th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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Mike Hammond
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X2 for a skid plate for the air tank.
Good looking work
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  #10  
Old June 6th, 2012, 02:04 PM
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My tank is in the exact location. Haven't had an issue yet. It is tucked up close to the frame and the rock sliders drop down much lower as well. These tanks are tough but a Big hit could take it out. Just don't have many impacts in this area.

I like your tank location cap spalding.
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  #11  
Old June 6th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Mark M
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Quote:
Its pretty heavy duty, however it doesn't have a bleeder.
Bill - your truck has a bleed valve with the manifold under the passenger seat.

Ran several years with a tank in that location on two trucks. No issues at all.

Mark
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  #12  
Old June 6th, 2012, 02:18 PM
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My tank- in the same location is slightly larger and I haven't had a problem with it getting banged up, not to say the skid isn't a good idea. You can never have too much armor where you need it the most, trail rock or hwy road hazzard, it's always good to have.

The problem with the bleeder is that it HAS to be on the bottom of the tank, as that the only way to get the condensed water out so you kinda need protection just for the bleeder valve. guess it just comes down to finding the best place to tap it even if you install the valve at a point where you need to angle the truck at the time of your bleed off.

------ Follow up post added June 6th, 2012 01:20 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxcart13 View Post
Bill - your truck has a bleed valve with the manifold under the passenger seat.

Ran several years with a tank in that location on two trucks. No issues at all.

Mark
Yes I have used it but I am concerned with water build up in the tank and rusting out. I have had regular air tanks with that issue!
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  #13  
Old June 6th, 2012, 02:28 PM
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Charles Galpin
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You can weld a ring around the valve to protect it, but a skid is best.
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  #14  
Old June 6th, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgalpin View Post
You can weld a ring around the valve to protect it, but a skid is best.
Agreed skid would be best. I think I'm going to tap a valve low on the end and see how that works....delaying the eventual skid. Upon further examination...it appears my tank is the same size.
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  #15  
Old June 6th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Why don't folks use the space above the rear driveshaft, aft of the TC? That's where I located mine.
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  #16  
Old June 6th, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by dmarchand View Post
Why don't folks use the space above the rear driveshaft, aft of the TC? That's where I located mine.
oh see....you cant ask a question like that without providing photos! We need an example please!
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  #17  
Old June 7th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
Agreed skid would be best. I think I'm going to tap a valve low on the end and see how that works....delaying the eventual skid. Upon further examination...it appears my tank is the same size.
Sorry for the quick hijack but did you build those frame sliders yourself?

Back on topic, I mounted my air tank above the rear driveshaft (behind the TC/parking brake drum). I just checked and I don't have any good pics largely because it is a difficult area to photograph but I am also in the middle of a y-pipe/exhaust swap so that may help. Basically I found that a 2.5 gal Viair tank fit perfectly between the frame rails and still allowed enough room to get to the fittings. The only change I made is instead of using the pre-drilled holes in the bottom of the bracket that comes pre-welded to the tank, I drilled new holes through side of the bracket. I didn't use isolation mounts as I am not sure if it truly makes a difference with the tank or not.
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  #18  
Old June 7th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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Jeff Huff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Spalding View Post


Thanks for that brainwave. I hadn't considered it. Fortunately the check/unloader I used is pretty basic. The unloader function is achieved by a tiny pinhole upstream of the check valve. Being just a hole, it works an any pressure.

The consensus seems to be that the tank either needs to be relocated or protected by a skid plate. What is the common wisdom for mounting a skid plate in that location?

Thanks everyone for your kind words.
Not a problem...I am guessing the Load Genie you are using is something similar to this one and 1/4"NPT (http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/CDI...Unloader-5A703). I ran into a problem with my York install because the one I was using was 1/2" NPT and required at least 3CFM to open the spring valve inside. I would think you should be fine in this case. One other note on the unloader, most of the self proclaimed experts on some other forums like Pirate all claim you should mount the unloader on the exit side of the filter, not the inlet but I am not sure it truly makes a difference in your case.
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  #19  
Old June 7th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefhuf View Post
Sorry for the quick hijack but did you build those frame sliders yourself?

Back on topic, I mounted my air tank above the rear driveshaft (behind the TC/parking brake drum). I just checked and I don't have any good pics largely because it is a difficult area to photograph but I am also in the middle of a y-pipe/exhaust swap so that may help. Basically I found that a 2.5 gal Viair tank fit perfectly between the frame rails and still allowed enough room to get to the fittings. The only change I made is instead of using the pre-drilled holes in the bottom of the bracket that comes pre-welded to the tank, I drilled new holes through side of the bracket. I didn't use isolation mounts as I am not sure if it truly makes a difference with the tank or not.
I belive they are Rockware sliders. Yep just checked, and they are Rockware.
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  #20  
Old June 7th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill Larson View Post
I belive they are Rockware sliders. Yep just checked, and they are Rockware.
very nice
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