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KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

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KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  KiloTango on 3/18/2012, 10:41 pm

One of the things I have always wanted most on my TJ was some kind of on board air system. I hate "borrowing" air to refill my tires after airing down for a fine days wheeling. I looked at some different kits with standalone compressors or add on compressors and found that there a lot of ways to go about this. After some consulting with some of my fellow wheelers, I decided that I would convert the stock A/C compressor in my TJ to an air compressor for my on board air system. Besides when its warm enough for A/C everyone knows the top is off, the doors are off and mother nature is my method of A/C. There a lot of good posts on how to do this in an XJ or a YJ but I didn't find much about how to do it in a TJ using the stock already there compressor, so I did it my way.

According to my service manual...."The A/C system uses a Denso 10PA17 seven cylinder, reciprocating wobble plate-type A/C compressor on all models. This A/C compressor has a fixed displacement of 150 cubic centimeters (9.375 cubic inches), and has both the suction and discharge ports located on the cylinder head."

As I said since it was already there and it had a clutch that I could control and it had all the lines I needed connected to it, it was a no brainer.

There are probably a lot of ways to do this but this is the way I did it. You may have a different type of compressor but the basic principle is the same and you should be able to adapt this procedure to your own setup. It ain't pretty, but it works.

The first thing you need to do is evacuate the refrigerant from the entire A/C system in a safe and approved manner. Even though R-134A is not the same as Freon, you still need to follow the approved guidelines for removing it from the system as its most likely still under pressure.
You can usually find someone who does A/C recharges at a local shop to do this for you like I did. Once all the refrigerant is out of the system though , the rest is pretty easy.

The next thing we need to do is identify the input or suction line of the compressor and the discharge or output line of the compressor.
This diagram I grabbed my my service manual should help with that task.

Preparing the Lines

Remove both lines from the Condenser and the Accumulator . Note I had to take the accumulator out to do this, and since I won't need one anymore, it frees up some space for something else.

From the diagram above you can see that they convert from aluminum at the compressor , to rubber and back to aluminum.
With the lines that go to the compressor removed, I cut them just before the bends near the connections to the condenser and accumulator so I ended up with about 4" of aluminum tubing after the lines from the compressor. Note : Save the ends for later if you want to plug the holes in the condenser. I bent the ends of the cutoff pieces over and pounded them down until they were sealed and put them back on the condenser.

I found a compression fitting at the hardware store that allowed me to go from 1/2 " tubing to 1/2 female pipe thread for the discharge line and from 5/8 tubing to 1/2" female pipe thread for the suction line.

Here's a close up of the suction line. You can see the discharge line in the background already connected to the air hose.

You can cut the remaining line at the connections just before the firewall. I left the one on the right a bit long so I could use it to secure the discharge line.

The rest is just basic plumbing and connecting the various fittings between things. I used lots of Teflon tape so I wouldn't have any leaks.
I also used standard 3/8" air compressor hose to go from the compressor lines to the manifold and from the manifold to the tank.

Since the refrigerant is also the lubricant for this type of compressor I used a micro mist oiler on the input to the compressor and a coalescing or oil removal filter on the output of the compressor before the manifold.

I drew this diagram to show what I used and how I connected everything together. Most everything I used, I got on EBay or Amazon or from Grainger, or Lowes or Home Depot. The only thing I had to make were a couple of brackets to mount my air tank, and those I made from 1/8" x 1 1/2 " strap steel I got at Home Depot.

The discharge line comes out of the compressor and goes into a check valve which is connected to the coalescing filter that removes the oil before it gets to the manifold.

Assembling the Manifold

I used a manifold I found on Amazon that had 2 1/2 ports on either end and 6 1/4 " ports across the top. That gave me plenty of options to connect all the things I needed to have on the manifold: pressure gauge, pressure switch, safety valve and a regulator and pressure gauge for my locker when I get it. I even have an extra port that I can use for something else in the future. I have that one plugged with a 1/4" plug for now.

Here's a close up of the manifold.

From this angle you can see the check valve and coalescing (oil and moisture removal) filter .

I found a flat spot on the drivers side above the wheel well and mounted the manifold with a couple of 2 1/2 " 10-32 bolts and nuts. The location allowed me to have the oil removal filter hang straight down just below and to the right of where the master cylinder is located.

Mounting the Air Tank

Since I had already removed my factory airbox when I installed the Spectre Cold Air Intake mod / Hummer cap mod, I had enough room to fit the tank under my hood. If you don't have room under the hood you can put your tank somewhere else.

I had to test fit it to make sure so I held it in place with a few tie-wraps while I checked the fit.

Since I don't weld, I ended up making a couple of brackets from steel stock I found at Home Depot

I painted them so they wouldn't rust and bolted them to the tank 3/4 " 1/4 -20 stainless bolts, washers and nuts and then bolted all that to the fender well with more 3/4" 1/4-20 stainless bolts, washers and nuts.

I was worried about keeping the dirt out of the quick disconnect and I spent more than one trip to the big box hardware store looking for a suitable cap. Then I found these vinyl caps at a hardware store.
They are actually 7/8" caps for metal chair legs. 4 caps just $1.98!

Electrical Connections
Once I got everything for the air lines connected, I needed to do the electrical connections.

Basically all you need is to cut the wires to the clutch , run the black wire to ground and run the other wire to one contact of the pressure switch on the manifold. Where the wires come off the compressor connector is a tight fit and I had to reach over and down to get at them and work them out of the harness. Once I dug the wires out of the harness, I was able to get a couple of butt splices on them to make them long enough to reach where I wanted them to go.

Out of the other contact of the pressure switch I connected to an inline fuse holder and out of that I ran a wire thru the firewall to my dashboard and connected it to one of my accessory switches which I also found on Ebay. I ran the power lead of the accessory switch to the accessory power outlet that only has power when the key is on. When the switch on my dash is on, it supplies 12V to the pressure switch and if the pressure is below 110 PSI, it engages the clutch and it pumps air into the manifold. When manifold and tank pressure gets to 150 PSI, it disengages the clutch and the check valve prevents the air from leaking back through the compressor.

Daily Driver

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Age : 61
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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  angri on 3/18/2012, 10:45 pm

Show off lol!
Class 6A

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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  CrawlingForward on 3/19/2012, 12:09 pm

Wow, super detailed, thanks!

Yeah, as soon as I get rid of the airbox, I'm still trying to decide what I do with the extra space (not to mention what I might be able to do with the jack gone.

And while I don't have stock AC to convert, OBA of some sort is definitely high on the possibilities list.

If you don't mind me asking, ballpark, what sort of cost is involved with this kind of setup?

95 YJ, 2" BDS w/ 1" shackle lift, 235/85/16 BFG ATs on Cherokee Icon wheels, SYE w/ Tom Woods Driveshaft, 4.88 Ford 8.8, locked/locked
2010 JK Unlimited, Islander Edition

My JeepForum build

Building a Jeep is like masturbating on pain killers. You enjoy the time you put in, but you'll never actually finish.
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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  KiloTango on 3/19/2012, 5:04 pm

VIAIR 2.5 GAL Tank 91025 70
Horn Blasters Pressure Switch 110/150 13
AIR Manifold 24
5 port kit 20
Extra Check Valve 8
Regulator and Gauge 19
Coalescing Filter 54
Oiler 30
Just a little under $240.00 for all the big parts

Maybe another $20 - $25 on misc fittings etc...
Daily Driver

Posts : 41
Join date : 2012-01-29
Age : 61
Location : Rowley, MA

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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  jimaug87 on 4/22/2012, 10:47 am

Thanks for the detailed write up! This is in my future for sure, so that I can start carrying air tools.
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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

Post  saxmanclay on 4/25/2012, 9:02 pm

Wow. Really nice job. I've only heard of this, but I've never seen it done. I should try to convince Danielle to do this, but she likes her A/C way too much. Laughing
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Re: KiloTango's OnBoard Air from Stock 05' TJ Air Conditioning Compressor

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