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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently completed installing a compressor / air tank / remotely controlled air bag system / on my truck. The compressor and tank reside on an aluminum diamond plate deck suspended between the frame rails just below the radiator. The aluminum suspension components (brackets and bolts) are insulated from the steel frame rails in order to prevent corrosion due to current transfer between dissimilar materials.

Tank pressure is maintained between 110 and 150 PSI in the 2-1/2 gallon tank by a combination relay / pressure switch that is activated by a “keyed” 12 volt line. The tank and compressor are both manufactured by Viair. The compressor is rated to operate up to a 33% duty cycle at 4 CFM / 90 PSI. A quick release chuck is connected to one of the tank ports for emergency tire inflation. A pressure regulator is connected to another. The regulator is set to send 90 PSI to the control mechanism for the air bags.

Pressure in the AirLift 5000 air bags is regulated by a (modified) remotely controlled AirLift “Wireless Air” system. Stock AirLift “Wireless Air” system components normally consist of a sun visor mounted remote unit with a digital display, a compressor sufficient to provide up to 100 PSI to a set of air bags, a relay / wiring harness, and a manifold configured with an inlet port and two outlet ports. The manifold is controlled by the sun visor mounted remote. In my modified configuration the AirLift compressor was replaced by an air solenoid valve.

The wiring harness and solenoid were mounted in a cast aluminum “Project Box” and the manifold was mounted onto an aluminum bracket, both of which are located on the inside of the rocker panel about the middle of the rear door on the drivers side. The manifold mount is pop riveted directly to the body shell, however the project box is mounted onto battens that have countersunk mounting screws installed. The countersunk screws are prevented from turning in the battens by the use of backing nuts between the batten itself and the back of the project box. The battens are, in turn, pop riveted to the body shell. This allows for easily removing the whole project box or just the components if any maintenance is required.

Special thanks go to Donovan at Suspension Connection for working with me to recommend products and to set me up with a “custom” configuration, also to Top Fuel Harley Pilot Greg Groves for cutting out the aluminum plate, my neighbor Mike for advice, Troy, Service Department Manager at Hayes Instrument Company, for checking my wiring ideas, and the expert help at AirLift provided by Ben, Chris, and Walt for outstanding technical support.

A photographic essay with brief comments (above the relevant pictures) follows.

Here's one of the air bags that needs controlling. The air bags, tailpipe modification, and anti sway bar were earlier projects.


This looks like a likely place for a compressor and air tank.


First, a cardboard pattern.


Next, a luan plywood pattern / test piece.
I installed this and drove for many miles on hot summer days to make sure no heating problems cropped up.


Heating test complete - now the aluminum plate. That wooden creeper in the background is one more hard item to find nowadays! I got this one from Car Quest.


Insulated bolt and bracket.


Test run.


View from top.


Pressure regulator and relay / pressure switch view. It's not real easy to find a spot to put anything on a modern vehicle.


Countersunk screws with backing nuts holding battens on project box.


Relay harness and solenoid.


I just want to play - does he ALWAYS work on that truck?


Looking aft, directly at the AirLift Manifold. I double grounded this. The ground wires run from the solenoid and the manifold to the body shell - the conduit at the top of the picture continues the ground to the frame. There is yet another ground wire inside the conduit that runs to the relay harness in the control box. The reason it is not tied to the common ground is because the manifold is actually switched through an independent ground.


Looking forward.


Sun visor mounted remote showing 5 PSI in each air bag. The icon in the middle is a symbol that looks somewhat like a vehicle. When communication is in progress the arrow in the middle progressively flashes over and over from the bottom up to the point.

finis.

 

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Holy crap man. That's an awsome build. You shold think about asking for this moved to the how too forum, or at least linking it for posterity's sake.:rep:
 

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Thats a great project you just completed and it looks GREAT!:smileup:
 

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Great how-to with pics. :rep:
 

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Very nice set up indeed. Mine is not as elaborate as yours but it works great.



 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very cool! I like the way you mounted the compressor and relay. You probably discovered what I did; there aren't a whole lot of square inches anywhere left over to put stuff.

I mounted my gauge on the right side of the steering wheel at the very bottom of the dash. At first I thought my leg might be too close to it, but it turned out there is plenty of room. I can't really see the thing at a glance while driving but that is not an inconvenience because it just indicates tank pressure - which is automatically controlled. The main reason I even have it is for the switch - well, and then I think it looks trick too.


I used the clutch blank out to get through the firewall - those grommets were a real wrestling match!


Best regards, Wes

WesGPS
 
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:smileup:Simply awsome work and write up...........Thanks. Reps for sure:smileup:
 

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Very cool! I like the way you mounted the compressor and relay. You probably discovered what I did; there aren't a whole lot of square inches anywhere left over to put stuff.

I mounted my gauge on the right side of the steering wheel at the very bottom of the dash. At first I thought my leg might be too close to it, but it turned out there is plenty of room. I can't really see the thing at a glance while driving but that is not an inconvenience because it just indicates tank pressure - which is automatically controlled. The main reason I even have it is for the switch - well, and then I think it looks trick too.


I used the clutch blank out to get through the firewall - those grommets were a real wrestling match!


Best regards, Wes

WesGPS
I thought about putting my gauge to the right of the steering column like yours but that is where I put the brake controller so I can adjust it when I first start out or if I need to reach easily to lock the brakes up for some reason. With it under my seat I have the line of sight back towards the trailer to adjust the bags more or less to make sure I am level before driving off with a big ass trailer behind me. I would have liked to place it to the left of the dash but there was no room. I also went into the engine compartment through the same area as you did. Great minds - LOL.
 

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Damn!!!! Now that's Clean!

Mine is far from that elaborate, But I have the tank and Compressor mounted to the frame rail behind the passenger rocker panel.
I installed my gauges (1 for tank, and a dual needle for the bags) and the switches to the empty cubby's in the dash.
 
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