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Old 03-15-2010
malydeen's Avatar
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School me on onboard air

Besides the compressor, the tank and the pressure switch, what do I need. When I bought my compressor, the guy said that I needed a line that goes from the compressor to the tank that has a check valve in it so that I dont damage the compressor. Where do I get one of those?

Also what other hint, tips and tricks should I know about?

As for right now I am just looking at putting in a tank to hold air to reinflate tires, in the future I am looking into possibly train horns. Is there anything I should do now to help me down the road?

Oh how about airbags so I can haul 4,000lbs. hahahaha
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Old 03-15-2010
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You will need a tank, compressor, air lines (soft lines are SO much easier than bending hard lines), a manifold, pressure switch and check valve. Also wiring for the compressor including a switch and relay, possibly a pressure gauge.

There are several ways to go about this, depending on how YOU want to set it up.
The pressure switch you buy will depend on the compressor and the tank. Basically you have to figure out how much psi the tank can hold, and how much PSI the compressor can reasonably create in the system without overheating.

If I were doing on board air right now...
We'll start with the tank. Plugged into the tank would be an air manifold, how many outlets on it would depend on how many airlines you want. Things plugged into the manifold would be;
1) Pressure switch (this sends a signal to the relay for the compressor to turn it on below X psi, and off below Y psi)
2) The line coming from the compressor, with a check valve close to the compressor. This prevents the air from bleeding off back to the compressor valves.
3) Air lines going to where ever you decide you need them. It wouldn't be a horrible idea to put a regulator here with a water drain or something as well, although the regulator isn't really necessary.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Compressor and tank are the necessities. Pressure switch is nice if you want to keep the tank pressurived at all times. If you do that I would install a air gauge in the cab just in case the pressure switch gets stuck (shouldn't happen) and just so you can monitor it. You'll also need all the relays and wire to wire it up so it won't come on when the truck is off. You can have a switch to turn the compressor off in the cab. Then once you have that setup and ever want to run horns all you really need is a solenoid to let air to the horns which will be operated by a switch of some sorts and the air line.
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Old 03-15-2010
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Brian wrote a much better one than me. I never have heard of using a check valve though. It makes sense I was just never told to use it, I don't even think the Hornblaster kits come with one.

Most tanks also have multiple ports on them eliminating the need for a manifold.
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Old 03-15-2010
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You WANT, no NEED, a pressure switch AND blowoff valve! A pressure switch to shut off so you don't overpressurize the tank, and a blowoff for when the switch fails.

I have had this happen on my York setup, and w/o that blowoff it could have been ugly. The York can easily get up to 300psi, well over the tank, fitting, and line ratings. Luckily the blowoff went and my setup did not.


Here's a good site for info, and a very good diagram showing the best way to do OBA...

http://www.kilbyenterprises.com/oba-scem.htm
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Old 03-15-2010
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What would I be looking for in a check valve? If I were to search Ebay would would I search for?
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