On Board Air configuration ?

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Jul 20, 2006
Any SME's in the area of on board air setup. I'm in the process of figuring out my parts collection and setting up a test mount of things on a wood deck in the rear bed of the 60. I think my compressor is ok (don't know until I get it running) its a extreme aire version which on face value appears to be similar in configuration/design as others sold by viair and other mfgs.

So anyway on the output port of the compressor which is only 1/4 NPT , I assume its a good idea to avoid sharp angles on fittings, noteablly anything running from the compressor to the tank (I'm running an external tank too). I was debating on putting a 90degee fitting in the air compressor to make routing of the hot air hose (the hose that runs from the compressor head with hot air, that feeds the air tank ) a little eaiser but I thought that might not be such a good idea. I'll looking to run around 130lb pressure at the air tank.

The install kit from extreme air is lacking and so I'm in process of rounding up parts. Later some of the stuff I do now will likely be trashed, but I want to get the air system up an running then I can make a call on what might be a better approach. I jumped off in this hole and now trying to get things functional to see what really sucks and what kinda sucks. I'll learn from this before I jump on any other parts..not looking for engine mounted air compressors (my ac still works and I'm not going to give that up)

I wanted a couple of things out of this setup (1) run air to air lockers (2) have a port on each bumper or otherwise be able to air up tires off road (3) potentially be able to drive an air tool for moderate use, if needed. This air compressor is rated for 100% uptime. But with only a 1/4 output port....your only going to have so much volume...
Last edited:
well so far I've taken my own advice, no sharp turns on the hose from the compressor head to the tank. this so far is just a circus of just getting something to work, such that I can refine it later. I got a so-called "'leader hose" to mate the compressor to the tank. I have most of the basic fittings and I'm waiting on manifold block I wanted for the ARB solonoids. At that point I'll be ready to hot wire the compressor to see that it works and the tank works and holds pressure, shortly after that I hope to have a working solution on feeding the lockers air (plumbing that) and the related switches (toggles and primary power feed). As you might guess this is slow turtle speed. Sept is crappy for me anyway, based on the "stupid" at work every year at this time-frame.

Later on...hopefully I'll learn a few lessons on what not to do and what might be a better approach.
The leader is important because the air from the pump can be pretty hot and can melt a hose if it is directly attached.

What kind of hose are you running? I have a sort of cheap thin wall stuff that came with some plastic compression fittings. It ruptures from time to time so I carry a bit of the hose and some unions to repair it. I really would like to use some better stuff but the list of projects is long.
So here's my set up. Viair 450H (continuous duty). I put a t fitting directly on the head with a 100 psi pressure switch on one side and a standard 1/4 quick connection for the air hose on the other. I'm only using it to inflate tires so no tank in my setup although one could be added. The compressor will shut off when the pressure in the hose reaches 100 psi. So if I lay the hose down and leave it, the compressor shuts off after a few seconds. I use it when the CO2 tank is empty or when someone else needs air. The compressor end of the hose does get pretty warm after airing up 4 tires from 12 to 35 psi but I've had this set up for a few years and it has worked flawlessly.


I bought a leader hose from one of the air compressor companies, I plan to get it installed over the weekend. Its one of the steel braided hoses with the one way valve. I should be close to having all the parts to test run... My setup for now will have a tank, which I think is 2.5 gallons. So the compressor will feed the tank via the leader hose, then I'll have a line off the tank that will feed a manifold housing and I'll plumb the arb solenoids to the manifold housing and they in turn will feed the air lockers. I'll also have an air chuck port, and I'll have gauge on the tank where I can see the pressure when I have the rear tail gate open, and then a cycling swith on the tank to control the compressor coming on and off, and a pop-off valve for high pressure on the tank.

This first setup is a learning curve for now, and later I'll refine things, I just want to get things operational for now. The compressor I have is 100% duty cycle. I plan to run a wire from the passenger side primary battery back to the air compressor for now. Once I get a more sophisticated dual battery setup I may change teh wiring setup at some point.

I'll try and remember to grab a few pics to show the parts so far.
I am simply running an ARB with a 10 gallon tank under the truck. I have a connector at the back to be able to attach a hose for tools and tire chuck. The pump is connected direct to my lockers. I have a metal braided leader at the pump but it does not have a check valve.
Based on what I've read this check valve is a good idea (although I'm no expert), from what I follow, the check valve does not allow compressed air to flow back from the tank to the compressor head. If not running a tank, then I don't think there is a need for the check valve and there is no accumulation of compressed air, or its minimal or bleeds off. I think its related to startup of the compressor and not having a load on cold startup, I don't know if there are any safety implications.

Once I get this circus running and functional, after some test time, I'm going to change things up and one change will be the crappy tank I have which is not configured correctly for ports. Live and learn I guess.
I'm using the noted "leader" hose above, with the one-way valve. On this hose the valve connects to the tank. You can buy the one-way valve from other sources. I'm sure there are other options...this is just one of them.

I found the air manifold block I'm using at the above. It seemed to be a better choice than the ARB optional manifold, or at least that's what it appears to me to be.

Anyway, this is just showing test configuration and just seeing about getting things working...changes will occur later down stream.
trying this out for thread sealer.
Others with on-board air with tank..... Will your tank/system hold compressed air for some known duration. IE...if you charge the tank and related components, how long will the tank / system hold the noted air pressure? I assume there is some nominal drop in air pressure over time (bleeding), wondering what others are seeing. I dont' have any obvious air leaks that I hear right now, but my hearing is not that great. I'll do the soapy water check later on.

I ran my compressor to test ...to about 90lb and then shut it down (I can't speak to how accurate the home depot pressure gauge is, and right now I don't have a shut off valve between the tank and the compressor. So it held 90lb for a few hours and then I noticed it dropped by a few pounds. I don' t expect things to be iron-clad "air-tight" but wondering if there are certain norms to expect. I'll surf around to see what I might find on the web.

That leader hose has a "check valve" but I'm not sure how exaclty that works, I do know its supposed to prevent compressed air from flowing back into the compressor head, but not clear on if it allows a certain amount of air to bleed off.
another question out to the readers... What solutions are you using to plumb your air from the solenoid(s) down to each locker. For now I'm using the blue ARB plastic hose (when I get that far), I've looked for two of these but have not been able to find any ARBHDAL (finding out its out of production), Seems like some are running some type of braided hose from the locker up to the solenoid as an option.

I don't plan on staying with the blue plastic hose because it seems to me that that will break fairly easy (in routine use) I know thats part of the "design" but it seems to be fairly fragile in the first place.
The 40 has the blue line. Its probably HDPE, so tougher than it looks, but I agree, id like to see another option.
I have the arb blue line as well and carry a repair kit. I do lose pressure but not sure at what rate. I think it is several hours. I have not noticed my pump running frequently but I usually do not keep it on during trips. I turn it on when I am nearing a trail or obstacle that I may need it for. I also use it to air up and to run an impact wrench from time to time.
Probably losing pressure from the seals in the ARB locker. I can leave mine on for days without leaking, but it cycles several times when I first turn on the rear locker.... I use the blue line too and carry a repair kit.

I have the arb blue line as well and carry a repair kit. I do lose pressure but not sure at what rate. I think it is several hours. I have not noticed my pump running frequently but I usually do not keep it on during trips. I turn it on when I am nearing a trail or obstacle that I may need it for. I also use it to air up and to run an impact wrench from time to time.
thought I would post this diagram up, it might help others who are, rigging their own setup, on the wiring side.
I swapped out some fittings and think it has helped with the air leak. I've not yet plumbed the air line from the solenoid to the lockers. I do have two bulkhead fittings I plan to use, and will drill two minor holes in the rear bed are once I figure out the best location. My compressor (for now) is going to be on the passenger side of the read bed area, so I'm going to need to run the blue line from the rear bed area down to the rear axle and then down and up to the front axle. I did find one of the ARB heavy duty air lines by luck (summit racing). Whats funny...is that only one vendor has bothered to respond to any of my emails. I've sent out emails to 5-7 vendors who said they had the part but their web site gave no indication for sure. Seems like people with a web store would pay attention to their email traffic.

I've gotten what I think is all the major wiring made up to run power to the compressor, and to run wires for controls. I have an enclosed switch box I plan to mount on my console (I'm thinking for now) and this will control on/off for the compressor, and the front and rear locker. I have the other necessary plumbing to get the air lines run from each axle back to the compressor. I hope to get some of this done over the weekend but I have to get some of my window-tint re-done (due to age) and thats tomorrow morning. So the bed and and everythign needs to be open so the tint guy can re-do the tint business. It likely once I put that wood deck back in the rear bed area its going to be sitting there for a while and I knew the fix for the window tint was now or never, so it put me on hold for a little bit.

I think the norgren fittings are some of the best, Yest they are expensive but its been my brief experience that its a 100% pass rate on leaks and locking on the hose when using these compared to others. Also don't waste your time with fittings from Home Depot as they have red thread sealer (pre-instaled) on their fittings that is crap (you could use a wire wheel to get that off) and I had bought their air regulator (cheapo) as a temp basis...well the temp lasted when I first turned the air on and its leaking internally, so it went in the dumpster. Some of the via-air stuff seems to be "cheap-o" too, I bought a block manifold of that brand to use on a temp basis and it too is going to the dumpster as it seems to be about the worse quality machined part I've seen (not that I'm a qualified judge on machined parts), but even I take issue with what I see from them, at least on the air manifold I bought.

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom