How to Avoid ARB Compressors

From: (Jim Bailey)
Subject: Onboard Air and ARBs
Date: 24 Jul 97 05:29:58 GMT

Obi-Wan wrote:
> All this talk recently of onboard air has got me wondering. I know
> you can use an ARB's compressor to fill tires & stuff. However,
> what if you already have an onboard air compressor & then decide
> to get an ARB? Do you still have to buy ARB's compressor, or can
> you rig up your existing unit to do the job? As I recall, ARB's
> compressor setup ain't cheap.

Jeff Layton wrote:
> You can use your existing air with a little work:
> 1. Regulate pressure down to ARB specs (80 - 105)
> 2. Rig the electrics accordingly

Jim Adds:

This is exactly what I've done on my 84 CJ7. I have a mini York compressor and use this supply to run my ARB. I wired/plumbed a pressure cut-off switch on the reserve tank (swithch from Currie but available at most valve supply houses) that cuts off the compressor clutch when the pressure gets to 95 psi. I got an electrically actuated air valve from ARB (Yup, the same one they screw into their air compressor) and operate that valve from a switch mounted on the dash. As Jeff suggests you could also use a regulator to step down from a higher pressure if that's what your system does now.

Why not use the ARB compressor?:

1. Cost

2. CFM is ok to run the ARB but slow to air up tires or use with air tools

3. The ARB is a poor countiuous duty compressor (as in airing up your tires and the rest of you buddy's tires). It's also a noisy mutha! The ARB air solenoid and lines use a very small volume of air. Under repeated switching the compressor will engage frequently. With only a 1.5 gallon tank, I can switch on/off maybe 30 times before my compressor will engage. I run unlocked as much as possible (more challenging that way) and can usually run all day without the compressor engaging. If you do use ARB's compressor, I would suggest adding extra tank capacity.

4. Several have been just worn out from continuous duty use. One aquaintance carries a separate compressor for tires so he won't risk losing his ARBs (i.e.-no compressor = no air = no locker).

My $.002 (mils) --Jim

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