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Putting AIR in a Jeep


This is not a step-by-step guide. This is my basic experience with the unit and does not fully detail the ins and outs of the "york" OBA system. Do your research on the topic at reputible sites. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them or guide you via email.

So. If you get a flat in the woods and noone else is a round to see it... Do you really have a flat?

Ok. Dumb question. But really. What do you do in the woods with a flat. Ok. Change it. Worse case cenario. Now, on the way out of the trail. You pop the bead off your spare. Pull out the "300 PSI" emergency pump? Have you used one? Truth of the matter is that we are all a tad bit impatient. We want something... NOW... no waiting.

I did think about it. I had flat. Without a spare. Once. That was it. I clipped a log down in the water crossing the river and got a bunch of tree bark stuck in the bead. I saved about 5 psi in the tire. I limped out and got to a nearby service station. "Never again" I said to myself. I got my spare mounted. I got my rear bumper and tire carrier made.

Then I started thinking about the spare tire. Risks. Issues with airing down. I decided that I should have some form of On Board Air. On Board Air. Fill the tires. Run some tools. I wanted to fill the tires up faster than a 50 cent air pump and be able to run an impact wrench long enough to remove 5 lug nuts. OBA seemed the way to go. I set it motion to get the peices.

For all of the images, go HERE. It'll take a few minutes to load.

I aquired a used York style A/C compressor from an old Ford truck. The mounts were not compatible with my engine. I was unable to find a mount for a AMC engine with a York compressor. Well, being the fabricating master that I am (NOT!!), I set out to make my own.

I did it with the intention of having it compatible with the power steering conversion which would soon be installed as well. This held true right up to the point that nothing lined up. So... I pulled it all back off. I left the York mounted to the engine. Since Mid June I think. It was time. I got the necessary peices together and set out to finish.

3' of 3/8 copper line, 5/8-3/8 adaptor, 3/8-1/4 MNPT, 1/4 MNPT "T" fitting, 125psi blow off valve... and the wrong air hose end. :-(
Anyway... I cut the exit line right at the end of the metal tubing. That gave about 4 inches of 5/8" tubing. The reducer was installed. A shorter section of 3/8" copper line, fittings and the "T" fitting to accomodate the Blowoff valve and the hose fitting.

I discovered my wrong choice. I decided to at least see how the system would perform. I removed the air pressure regulator from the shop compressor and installed it temporarily on the york. I connected the clutch wire to a switch already installed in the dash of the CJ. I tested it. It worked. I started the engine and turned it on "momentarily". I heard it "pop" about 4 times and the blowoff valves started going off. "POP, POP, POP, POP"....

I tried it with the air hose. Took a couple of seconds longer until the valve let it off. I grabbed one of Lori's wheels which had been on the CJ when we bought it almost 2 years ago. I removed the valve stem core and let it down to "0"psi. I reinstalled the core and turned the pump back on. I began timing. I checked the pressure 3 times. It took just under 2 minutes to air up a 225-75-15 from "0" to 30 psi. The engine was at idle. A slightly higher idle would have improved the time. It worked. What more did I need to prove at that point?

So. What now? I am currently searching for an air tank. I plan my max pressure to be 125psi. That makes almost any airtank available. Since I am not worried about beauty... I have a friend searching for a air tank from a tractor-trailer. They run at about 125 psi as well. Plus, too large of a tank will require too much time to fill and keep full. A small tank will run down to soon. I am looking for between 2 and 3 gallons. That should suffice. Also, a 125psi pressure switch. An air pressure regulator, and Last but not least.... the correct quick release fitting for the air nose. :-) I will come up with more later, but for now, this is it.

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