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Discussion Starter #1
(if this is in the wrong folder, will a mod please move this to appropriate folder…thank you)

This feels like a newb question to me, but I don't know the answers so I am going to ask…and no it is not a searchable question.

I have had an on board compressor to supply my ARB's for a year or so. I have it directly plumbed into the solanoids via an air dryer then into independant regulators but I want to change that. I want to change the air route to where it goes to a storage tank before the solanoids so that I can add a quick disconnect or two after the tank.

I had a 5 gallon storage tank plumbed into the system originally but I did not think about bleed off, and I had no way of monitoring exactly how much pressure was in the tank. So I removed it and had the compressor directly feed the lockers. with a disconnect in between so that I could still use the compressor to fill tires if and when my CO2 tank ran empty.

But I have discovered I need a pressure switch which will shut the compressor off at a "blow off Level" but I am not sure if the pressure switch will also hold the air pressure in the tank or if I need (for lack of better words) a check valve that will prevent bleed off out the lines.

Will the pressure switch hold the air pressure?

I would much rather have a more self contained system that would automatically turn on and off the air compressor for me and not need me to turn the switch on everytime I activate my lockers.

What are the extra components that I need to finish off my on board air?
 

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This is what I would do. From your compressor to the storage tank put a moisture separator and the compressor pressure switch.

I got my pressure switch from ViAir, it's small and cuts on at 110 PSI and off at about 140 PSI or whatever the max rating is for the ViAir compressor.
http://www.offroadwarehouse.com/Store_ViewProdDetail.asp!ProdID!13741!Cat!609
They have other pressure ratings too. Jegs, Summit etc. Shop for price don't pay more than $30 for it.

From the storage tank you run lines to your quick connects for connecting your tire inflation hose. I have one mounted on each bumper.
Also run a separate line from the tank to a small regulator/separator unit like this
http://airhosereels.com/1142.html
Several companies make this type of small regulator/filter so shop around.
Should be $25 or so.

Use the output of the regulator/filter feed your locker solenoids. I think ARB says 80 PSI or something like that is ideal. Whatever it is you can set it for perfection. Just be sure the regulator you get isn't one of those ultra precise types that bleed air all the time or your compressor will be working itself to death.

That way you will have enough pressure in your tank to run the lockers for a while even without the compressor and to set a tire bead if you need to do something like that or to get a tire aired up the trail quickly.

It's automated and the locker never sees anymore than the recommended pressure and the locker air goes through two moisture separators to help keep the crap out of your diffs.

In fact, the reserve pressure in the tank and regulator combo would make the lockers function more consistently.
Actually I have my compressor plumbed to a manifold that I made up out of 3/4" brass pipe and a couple of pipe caps. I drilled and tapped the pipe for 1/8" NPT threads for inputs, outputs, safety pop off valve, a pressure gauge, an extra quick connect so I can use the compressor directly or tap in another compressor. The output of the manifold is connected to my tanks via a ball valve, then a filter separator, a check valve then a T fitting to the two storage tanks. I used 5/16" plastic air line for air brakes and compression fittings to plumb everything.

If you can find an industrial place like this http://www.rbisj.com/ in your area, you'll have more success than trying to make do with a home center or the corner hardware. There are some online of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't care what they say about you in Cali....You are okay in my book Dick!:D

Here is my original idea on how to route the air.
compressor---seperator/dryer---quick disconnect---tank---pressure switch---quick disconnect---air regulator---ARB locker solenoids.

Seems very similar to what you described, except for the pressure switch location and you are adding an extra regulator.

What I didn't understand was where to put the pressure switch so that it will regulate the tank pressure. How does it attach to the tank and still allow air to flow? Or do you add a tee joint for the switch?

Also what keeps the air from bleeding out the "output" side of the tank? the second regulator?

the pressure switch sounds okay at the 110psi-145psi, but I am hoping to find one that ranges a little higher, see any ill effects? Also I was thinking Grainger would be my best source for the parts. How do you feel about grainger?

On the air pressure of my lockers, I have heard both 80 psi for the older models and 90 psi for the new models. Since I have one of each, I run 85 psi.

Ironically that is one of the reasons I want a storage tank in the system so that I can better regulate the psi to the lockers. I had my compressor "freak out" on me which caused the pressure to spike to 120 psi and over ran the regulator, thus blowing out the internal seal on my front locker! (no wise cracks about air lockers! I already know how you feel about them)but I need to safe guard the best I can against future issues such as that.
 

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The pressure switch screws into an NPT fitting. It has 2 tabs for the wires to the relay. When the set pressure is reached, the pressure switch closes, cutting off power to the compressor.

you can screw in the switch anywhere between the compressor and the tank.

ARB locking differential spec is 85 - 105 PSI. ARB's switch cuts off around 95 PSI.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good information! thanks.

I am just still hazy on how the tank holds pressure. I mean I don't see any way the tank holds air from going back "upstream" towards the compressor, nor holds air from flowing "downstream"

was that why Dick suggested two seperators/dryers on either side of the tank? or is the regulators what holds the air from bleeding off? I know this is elementary, but I am stumped.

Does the "downstream" side of the tank needs a check valve of some sort? I see air escaping down the path, but I don't see how to trap it. I feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap or something
 

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I feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap or something
You're not alone. Think of someone who has never seen a ARB locker setup before. I'm trying to understand these setups^^ from my basic knowledge of compressors and air tools from my last job. Saving up for a ARB in the rear.
 

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Bear said:
Good information! thanks.

I am just still hazy on how the tank holds pressure. I mean I don't see any way the tank holds air from going back "upstream" towards the compressor, nor holds air from flowing "downstream"

was that why Dick suggested two seperators/dryers on either side of the tank? or is the regulators what holds the air from bleeding off? I know this is elementary, but I am stumped.

Does the "downstream" side of the tank needs a check valve of some sort? I see air escaping down the path, but I don't see how to trap it. I feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap or something
The tank itself doesn't hold all the pressure, your entire OBA system does.

Any air hose connected to the tank is pressurized, the line between your compressor and the tank is pressurized. The tank is simply a large volume vessel to store more pressurized air.

As for keeping the air from coming upstream to the compressor, if it's pumping air in one direction nothing is going to come back towards the compressor. Compressors are also designed to hold pressure when they're turned off, however this isn't always a perfect seal so I would suggest that you do indeed put a check valve between the compressor, and the dryer, then you can branch off any which way you like.

Don't forget you can get manifolds, and you can do any sort of T branching after the dryer and check valve... The entire system holds pressure, not just the tank itself.
 

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Manifold system seems to be the easiets. Plumb the compressor into into it and then branch off into your different sub systems such as the tanks, the regulator to the ARB solenoids, the purge valve, the pressure switch.




My wiring diagram (Not plumbing diagram)
 

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Bear said:
Good information! thanks.

I am just still hazy on how the tank holds pressure. I mean I don't see any way the tank holds air from going back "upstream" towards the compressor, nor holds air from flowing "downstream"

was that why Dick suggested two seperators/dryers on either side of the tank? or is the regulators what holds the air from bleeding off? I know this is elementary, but I am stumped.

Does the "downstream" side of the tank needs a check valve of some sort? I see air escaping down the path, but I don't see how to trap it. I feel like I should be wearing a dunce cap or something
Well, Dick gave you the best info that you could ask for. I have a Viair compressor that is prtable right now but will be installed in my rear box before long. The air tank does hold all the pressure and the pressure switch tells the compressor to turn on when the pressure gets too low. Don't worry about the air pressure bleeding back unless you have a leak. And leaks are where you'll have the most trouble. Most will tell you not to do this but I've worked in a chemical plant for almost 20 years and I swear by teflon tape. It's a lubricant but it also seals pretty good because it saves the threads from being damaged after being disco'd and re-attached many times. Just don't wrap it more than 2 times and make sure it's not in the way. While your at it, install a cheap switch on the negative-side of the battery to your compressor ($5 at Harbor Freight) and keep it turned off while you're not wheeling.

Again, I can't stress enough about how important it is NOT to have leaks. I hope this helps and I can't think of anything more.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Bray! I am a big proponent of teflon tape. I use it on all my air and water fittings for both the house and truck. (I hate leaks! period)

I think I have gotten all the information I need now to start the project.

I was kinda hoping to also be able to use this OBA system on a daily basis. I need a horn and was thinking while not on the trail this set up would be good to also run air horns off of.

(this is the typical way projects go for me…start small and manifest into a huge undertaking. (I think your "Dick quote" had me directly in mind.LOL)
 

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Just a little tip. Stick with teflon tape. Liquid thread sealant can be a PITA, especially on larger fittings. It won't seal sometimes. Wind your teflon tape opposite of the thread direction. Usually you need to wind it counter-clockwise. I go around the threads 2 or 3 times with the teflon tape.

Use a check valve on the leader hose of your compressor. This keeps the pressure from going back to the compressor. It will be easier on your compressors seals.
 

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Air doesn't flow through the pressure switch, numb nuts, it just senses the pressure in order to turn the compressor on and off. I can be anywhere after the compressor and before the system outlet. The max rating should be in line with the max working pressure rating on the compressor and the balance of the system. 150PSI is typically top working pressure rating on moisture separator bowls, compressors etc.
You know I'm not going to steer you wrong so don't be changing stuff. The extra regulator as you call it, there is only one, is to keep from over pressuring your ARB stuff yet allow you to carry some reserve in the storage tank. The only extra thing in there is a moisture seperator/filter because I don't think letting moisture get into your diff is exactly a good idea and ARB systems have been known to have gear lube back up the air line plumbing. The extra moisture seperator and filter is just a safe guard to protect the ARB stuff and the compressed air system from the ARB.
 

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I prefer the teflon paste myself. It's a little more of a mess but it seems to do a better job.
 

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I had leaks with the liquid stuff. I think it needs time to cure and seal up. I cleaned it off and switched to teflon tape. If you want to air up your system right away then I'd recommend teflon tape. JMO. My system has no leaks and will hold 150psi all day long.
 

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You just didn't tighten sufficiently. I've always had better results with paste, especially larger fittings like 2" and up. Plus you can typically use most paste compounds for anything gas, water, air etc. With tape you have special types for different apps.

Remember, Bear, the Teflon only goes on NPT type threads. Don't use anything on any compression or flare type fittings that you may have.

Just pointing that out for all the noobs to this kinda thing. Sometimes folks tend to think they are overachieving when they are actually doing harm. Don't think too hard, just follow the damned instructions. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I figured out the pressure switch. It is only tapped into the line to (as you say) sense the pressure. So like I said I figured that out.

and quit getting your panties in a wad, I know you won't steer me wrong!:D

With your help I am hoping to have the tank back "in line" next week. I think I am going to add a check valve though in front of the tank just to keep the pressure "optimized" in the holding tank.

What do you think about a Square D pressure switch instead of the Viair? I can get a square d local and save some wait time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the tip Dick, luckly though I know better than to use Teflon on compression or flares. I only use it on the NPT's as you mentioned.

You may think I am a num nut, but in reality it is only part of the time. I can use the noodle occasionally!
 

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You can use a Square D but they are typically fairly huge being made for hard wired AC powered compressors and the contacts are made to switch AC current and not DC current. The ViAir switch is small by comparison. It cost's what $25 and waiting for a couple of days to get it online isn't gonna kill you is it? Also the contacts in the ViAir switch are rated to run their DC compressors directly although I still used a relay in my setup.

I put a check valve in my setup just ahead of the T fitting to the tanks and after the separator/filter but that was just to keep any slow leaks in any of the other junk moisture sep/filter, pop off valve, gauge, pressure switch, shut off valve, extra quick connect and the compressor itself form draining the tanks. Plus, you'll never get an absolutely leak free system and it's nice to isolate it into two halves to make it easier to find any larger leaks that may crop up later on. It is after all on a platform that is subject to a lot of bumps and grinds.

Do remember that check valves add a little flow resistance for the compressor to work against when pumping up the tank or when airing up so it's not wise to go overboard with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I was hoping to get the supplies on Wednesday and be on the trail by Friday. But I am not sure if I am going to have the time today to order the switch today in order to have it here by next week. It was the only reason I was thinking of going local. But you make a good point about the size of the switch.

I did realize from anothe project that the check valves restrict flow so that is why I am only planning on one just before the tank.

But that brings me back to the original quandry. I am afraid that I am going to get too much bleed off from the tank to the locker Solenoids, especially if I try and use it daily, later on down the road for my horns.
 

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Look, damn it, just slow the fuck down, deal with what ya already got for a few days longer. Then get all the right shit to do it up right like I told ya and you should be golden after that. There is no race and this ain't one of those half assed reality TV shows ya know. It may resemble one at times but it isn't. LOL
 
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