Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby Elroy [OP] » May 13th 2018, 10:46pm

Hey guys! Back when I had a 1st Gen 4runner I bumbled into a guy who modified the hell out of his Toyota same year pick up, and one thing he did which I though was genius was to mount a small air tank behind his rear bumper with a quick connect on it and lines running from his AC compressor to fill it up with. With this set up he was able to fill the tank with the ac controls as he was pulling into a trail head after wheeling for the day and air up his tires before getting back on pavement. Wondering if any of you guys have seen something like this or tried a similar thing.

I removed the rear ac condenser on my 01 LS when I turned it into a work van/camping rig and in doing so evacuated the system and have been rolling around with no AC in it (I live in CO and can live without the AC. Atter growing up in the Midwest, these summers are nothing !) Plus, I’ve come up with a cheap DIY AC system using an insulated 6 gallon bucket and lid, a usb 5inch fan, and some pvc fittings, but was thinking of making use of the ac compressor somehow. I’m thinking of trying to put a quick connect fitting on a line coming off of the ac compressor that I could use when 4 wheeling or for any other compressed air needs (DIY solar shower when camping, airing up mt bike tires, repairing plugged car tires, etc...)

Any suggestions, tips, links that might help, or offers to do it for me???
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby dramey » May 13th 2018, 11:48pm

Go to a junk yard and get the air compressor off of anything that has level control like a Chevy Uplander or Pontiac Montana.
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby MalcolmLaurel » May 14th 2018, 2:25am

Back when I had my Jeep CJ5 I had onboard air with an air conditioner compressor. Used it to air up tires, run air horns, and a homemade traction control system. My Jeep never had A/C, I bought the compressor and brackets from a junkyard off an AMC Eagle.

Most A/C compressors aren't suitable to be used as air compressors, as the oil is mixed with the Freon, you'd have to constantly add oil to the air intake and it'd then go into whatever you're pumping air into. The older York (piston) compressors have an oil filled crankcase instead; those are suitable. In general if the compressor is round it won't work, if it's square it will.

You'd need a pressure switch (and at least a small tank if you don't want it cycling on and off rapidly). A pressure relief valve is also a really good idea.
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby AstroWill » May 14th 2018, 6:09am

With all of the quality 12v compressors now available, is it worth it?

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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby Leeann_93 » May 15th 2018, 11:03pm

AstroWill wrote:With all of the quality 12v compressors now available, is it worth it?



That's my question.
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby WimpTech » May 15th 2018, 11:51pm

From an engineering perspective its a neat proposition and I've seen it done on many older Jeeps with the YJ's compressor bracket.

Personally.. I concluded it was not worth the trouble for me on one of my YJs and just bought the $50 LAPS compressor that still works today... 6 years later. My fancy Viair OBA system failed long ago... as did the ARB.

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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby costman13 » June 8th 2018, 1:39am

My brother and I did this with 94 ford explorer once the AC stopped working... You have to make sure there is an inline oiler (think pneumatic tool oiler) between the intake and compressor. It worked better than my ARB compressor did!

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/ind ... ir.190966/
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby multimoto » June 8th 2018, 2:06am

how much p.s.i. can an A/C compressor build up?

saw a air cooled VW 4 cylinder that one side was converted to an air compressor while the other side still ran normal for a portanble air compressor. that was cool.
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Re: Turning AC compressor into on board air compressor

Postby costman13 » June 8th 2018, 7:51pm

We used a 85-125psi pressure switch and It took no time to fill our 5 gallon tank and kick off the compressor. Our blowoff valve was 150 psi I believe. I'm sure if you had a robust enough holding tank and a higher pressure switch, you could get more out of it.
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