onboard air done! Steps, pics to follow (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 27, 2008
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So I bought the little portable MV50 compressor with the plan to install it in LC (permanently) and get some onboard air for when it's time to leave the sandbox in Pismo and head for Splash (best clam showder place!)

1) I liked the idea to sup-up the compressor a bit so I started off by taking it apart.
- The air filter opening had remaining plastic seams in it (from the molding process, so I drill it out as much as possible while still have a rigid color with threads. Not sure how much I gained but it was substantial..

- I also made more holes in the air filter (outside the foam filter within. The existing holes where few and very small.. Again, not sure of how much this improved but I could feel a noticeable difference between blowing air through the filter (with my mouth) before and after!

- I honed out the little head of the compressor. Both holes, the outlet and inlet, were very small! I used a dremmel and a drill to make the holes big as possible while still get good coverage by the metal clip/valve. I must have at least doubled the area!

- I drilled out and re-threaded the mysterious thread of the outlet port.. One, I figure the hole would be bigger with a standard 1/4 NPT nipple and two, the existing nipple is some proprietary one, to which nothing will connect.. My take on why they did this, is that they don't want to run the risk of completely closing up the outlet; which would be the case if you had a female coupling mounted on the compressor or added a hose with a female or some sort of fill-valve at the end.. The compressor doesn't have a tank so you would probably just blow fuse when the electrical engine stalls, or you would blow the head right off the compressor..

I installed a big T-connector in the new outlet to 1, get more metal acting like a heat sink and 2. to get two lines going in different directions.

The compressor is well built but you have to be very careful when tighten the thin screws in the soft aluminum!

Thinking back, I should have measured the time to air a tire before and after.. Now all I can say is that there is a noticeable difference! I played around with it before and thought it was ok.. (tried airing up my MTs from 20 to 40 psi..). After, the same airing went faster!


2) Mounting
This was a b...h.. I wanted the compressor away from the elements but not taking up space within the car. I figured the engine bay would be the best spot (close to the battery too..) but I was worried that the compressor would become too hot. Well, you can fit this bad boy right in front of the air filter! It's tight, but it'll fit! This was a great spot because it is somewhat shielded from the hot engine, it's easily accessable, and it's out of the way!

The compressor comes with 4 rubber feet. I took those off, drilled out the holes a tad, found some short all long bolts, lined things up, drilled holes through the metal (of the car) and mounted everything with larger nuts used as spacer (since the metal curves down) and 4 large rubber bushings to get some isolation. The compressor doesn't touch/rub on anything, feels very stout but has a little give to it because of the rubber bushings!

3) Hoses
You can get much more creative here.. adding a tank, running hoses under the car to the rear, mount the coupling under the car, etc.. I just ran one house to the left side of the engine bay and hose to the right side. This way, I would be able to easily air front, rear, left and right tires...

Same with the switch.. You can run wires and have a switch inside the cabin.. you can have a tank and run the switch through a pressure valve/switch, etc.. I didn't do any of this. I turn the compressor on and off with the original switch (in the compressor). I have to open the hood to air tires, but that is very easy and things are out of the way and elements so good enough!

4) Juice!
I cut off the battery clamps and connected + and - directly to the battery. One thing, the existing fuse is too far away from the stock battery clamps.. General rule, you want the fuse as close as possible to the source of juice.. So, I will change this and prob just add a 30amp fuse as close as possible to the battery as possible; this way, if your wire rubs and connects with ground between battery and compressor, the fuse blows..

When I get some time, I'll take some pics and add to this thread. Again, not much to it, took the easy way but it works great, is out of the way and airs up the tires suprisingly quickly! Not to mention but.. a very cheap alternative too, especially if you can find the compressor for sales (around $50)

:cheers:
 
Joined
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Sounds familiar! I did almost the same thing, but added the tank behind the air cleaner. I attached my compressor to the air filter box with a couple hose clamps. I dremeled four slots in the plastic box and passed the hose clamps through. It fits great.

For an air tank, I bought a full compressor at Pep Boys and scrapped the motor assembly. I have 3 gallon tank. It fits nicely behind the air cleaner, but I had to move the power steering fluid canister slightly.

I ran a copper air line from the compressor to the tank and created a branch of lines for a pressure switch (came with the tank) and female fittings. Once the weather warms up I will put an interior power switch in and an interior guage/switch to control the rear airbags. Plan on adding a hookup fitting to the rear of the truck and one accessible at the grill too.

If I ever redo this, I will construct a custom air tank to go under the truck so that I can have a second battery under the hood.

My family likes to go tubing, and this has come in quite handy!
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
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Smithfield, VA
 
 
post some pics... is this the same one you are using???
Sam's Club - Super Flow MV50 High Volume Compressor

any other opinions on good compressors that arent $$$$$???

i've seen this one cheaper but it seems to be a good kit as well...

eBay Motors: PUMA 12v 1.5 gal air compressor very handy (L@@K) (item 260356025922 end time Feb-08-09 20:42:42 PST)

i am not affiliated with any of these sites in case anyone cares...

i'm also considering adding a portable system to my truck now since i just bought a FJ40 and then i can take it between the trucks... if anyone has pics of a portable install please post some pics...

sounds like you've done a good job and don't forget to put some pic up!!!
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2008
Messages
273
Instead of just pics, here is a link to step by step direction with excellent pictures of how to get a little more out of the MV50.

Porting the Superflow MV50 Compressor

Pics of where I installed my compressor to come.

In response to jgray:
- Yes, looks to be the same one
- Sure there are, I'm no expect just compared the specs and price.. plus heard good stuff about the MV50
- I posted some excellent step by step directions with pictures I found
- Pics of the compressor installed to follow



post some pics... is this the same one you are using???
Sam's Club - Super Flow MV50 High Volume Compressor

any other opinions on good compressors that arent $$$$$???

i've seen this one cheaper but it seems to be a good kit as well...

eBay Motors: PUMA 12v 1.5 gal air compressor very handy (L@@K) (item 260356025922 end time Feb-08-09 20:42:42 PST)

i am not affiliated with any of these sites in case anyone cares...

i'm also considering adding a portable system to my truck now since i just bought a FJ40 and then i can take it between the trucks... if anyone has pics of a portable install please post some pics...

sounds like you've done a good job and don't forget to put some pic up!!!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 27, 2008
Messages
273
the pics..

And finally, a couple of pics of the MV50 installed in my LC, right in front of the air filter hosing. It's sitting on rubber bushings with bolts through the sheet metal, nothing's touching, super stout with some flex!

The air hoses with quick-connects just go to the back left and back right corner of the engine bay.
MV50 installed_comp.jpg
MV50 installed 2_comp.jpg
 
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nice fit but question for ya from my experience with other units the vibrate alot when in use and they get hot; no concern over those issues?
 
Joined
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273
Heat:
I was considering the heat when thinking about how to do this.. The compressor gets hot when in use, so heating it up prior to use, wont help it's perfromance or longevity.. I think the Owner's Manual states that you should not use it more than 20 min (might be 40..) without a 20 min cool down period.

It's hard to estimate what type of impact a highter start temp of the compressor will have so I figure I would mount it in the best spot and just try it.. For what it's worth, the compressor didn't feel that hot after driving the car for an hour.. started fine, fill the tires fine.. The spot behind the air filter housing is shielded and I think you get some airflow there.

Vibration:
Yes, the compressor vibrates a bit when in use. Not too bad though; not falling over or anything, just a typical vibration..

I was more concered about how the vibration from the engine/road would aggect its perfromance however.

This is why I used thick rubber bushings under the compressor when mounting it. The unit wont go anyway but if you wiggle it, you can tell that it sits on those rubber bushings. How much will that help; who knows.. Again, one of these cheap projects that you just have to try and see how it will hold up.

Water:
I'm also a bit worried about water.. It's been raining here for 2 days so I'm curious to see if I'll have some rust on the compressor..

Potential add-ons
- You could consider mounting this to a tank with a pressure switch.. Would speed up airing and would allow you to use some tools.
- You could mount the quick connects outside of the engine bay and move the switch so you don't need to open the hood..

And as I mentioned before, you should move the fuse closer to the +12 source/battey to protect the wires..


nice fit but question for ya from my experience with other units the vibrate alot when in use and they get hot; no concern over those issues?
 

ginericLC

Wagon Wheeler!
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You could pull the air filter off and plumb it right into the LC air filter. I'm using the same spot for my Cadillac air pump. I have the same MV50 but I've decided to keep it mobile and use the Cadillac pump to power the ARB.
 
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Not a bad idea..
But since I need to have the hood open anyway, I think the compressor should get some cold air..

That would be the way to go through, if you run the hoses and switch outside the engine bay...

You could pull the air filter off and plumb it right into the LC air filter. I'm using the same spot for my Cadillac air pump. I have the same MV50 but I've decided to keep it mobile and use the Cadillac pump to power the ARB.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
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Location
Kansas City, Missouri
 
 
 
Very nice. I have the same compressor and have been happy with it as a portable unit. I am however going to steel your idea and do this same mod to my truck. Very clean looking set up.

As a side note, I am also a bit concern with water that might get to the compressor. I know the ARB ones are made to weather the elements, but what are your thoughts on these little red ones we have?

Zane
 

ginericLC

Wagon Wheeler!
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I think they would be fine with water if you plumbed the filter into the LC airbox. It is a sealed system except for the input and output so as long as you keep the water out of the input and output it should be fine.

The problem with running a switch to this compressor on the outside or inside is then you are going to have to add a relay and the appropriate wiring to the system. It is going to make quite the wiring bundle. And if you were planning on an interior mount it could be a real pain to find an appropriate place for the switches. There just aren't a lot of suitable spots for switches.
 
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I agree, you don't have to worry about getting water in and out of the compressor via the intake. I'm more "worried" about getting water around the electrical motor.. Should be fine though....

I hear you on the wiring... I was thinking about getting all creative but chose to just do what I did; simple and functional!

The hardest part is to line up the holes to drill for the mount. The top left corner/hole, will have to go through the plastic mount of the air filter housing. The two front ones (closest to the front of the car) need about 2 inches of spacers (I used one size larger nuts) and it's a b...h to get all four bolts, with all those spacers/nuts to line up at the same time..

Put some shop towels underneath, you will drop things!!

I used different length bolts too. Right/top, is the shortest, left/top slightly longer, the two front bolts are around 3 inches longer (I think I used 4 inch bolts there)

All hardware I used were galvanized and I also sprayed that black tar'y stuff under the fender to cover the bolts.

Also, don't forget that you would need to either tap out the output to 1/4 NPT (to fit a standard connection, I used a T-connection) or lengthen the original spiral air hose to reach all tires.

Hope that helps!

I think they would be fine with water if you plumbed the filter into the LC airbox. It is a sealed system except for the input and output so as long as you keep the water out of the input and output it should be fine.

The problem with running a switch to this compressor on the outside or inside is then you are going to have to add a relay and the appropriate wiring to the system. It is going to make quite the wiring bundle. And if you were planning on an interior mount it could be a real pain to find an appropriate place for the switches. There just aren't a lot of suitable spots for switches.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
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102
Any photos of how you mounted it to the engine bay?
Did you build a plateform or mount it right to the body?
Did you drill new holes in the body?

thanks
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2008
Messages
273
Keep reading.. it's all in the posts above...


Any photos of how you mounted it to the engine bay?
Did you build a plateform or mount it right to the body?
Did you drill new holes in the body?

thanks
 

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