A/C compressor conversion

Submitted: Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 2317 Views:5832 Replies:6 FollowUps:7
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I have seen some discussion about converting an air conditioning compressor to use as an on board air compressor. This sounds like a fantastic idea as I like things to be done quickly. Has anyone found an easy install for the 80 series turbo diesel. One that doesn't include chopping and changing too much as I would not have the expertise to figure angles and things and re weld mounts. I don't mind moving smaller bits and pieces around but as people have said but not the whole engine bay.

A small compressor may be able to fit next to the original one in my 92 model. Has anyone ever squeezed one in there and what is the best ( and prefferably smallest a/c compressor to use).

Any help with this would be appreciated as this sounds like a good challenge for my next project.

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Reply By: OziExplorer - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Tough job and requires a *lot* of work.
1800 448 440
Marlows are a WA company and have a 12vDC compressor called a 'Grunter'. This is the *exact* same compressor as sold by some of the yuppie 4WD stores for $300.00. If you look on the Overlander forums: (copy and paste complete link)
you can read about it. I also bought one and have tested it is most impressive in performance and the best 12vDC compressor I have seen. Others have also purchased the Grunter and said in other replies how pleased they are when they tested theirs.
Marlows are not showing them on their website, but I just phoned them on their 1800 phone number, and they still have some in stock.
AnswerID: 8302

Follow Up By: Robert - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Interesting, as I just emailed them this week to get some specifications for this compressor and was told they could not supply specifications as they were out of stock!

Since you have one can you tell me whether this compressor has
thermal protection and what the amp rating is, just curious to see if
it is the same as the SuperWorks compressor at SuperCheap Auto.

FollowupID: 3982

Follow Up By: Oziexplorer - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
No, the one at SuperCheap is not the same thing. I had a look at the ones at SuperCheap.
The Grunter has a teflon piston, stainless steel valves, and cannot remember the current it draws. It is in my 4WD I keep parked at work.

SuperCheap have just opened a new store here, but they have more sheilas than you can count, and they are totally disinterested in serving you and more interested in talking to each other and doing nothing. Everybody in the store the day I was there was totally peeved off. All the rest of the gear I wanted I bought from Marlows in WA on their 1800 phone number. Great service and what is a few dollars postage for satisfaction and service. Twice I have been into SuperCheap and both times the same. Wipe them off my list of shops.
FollowupID: 3988

Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
I haven't done it, sorry, but the most popular air con compressor to use is an old Volvo one.

Hey, they have to be good for something.
AnswerID: 8303

Reply By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
There have been numerous people done this over time.
Have a look first here Exploroz down the page there is an article on air compressors.

Nick W has been perfecting his on his onboard air on his GQ for 8 yrs, and runs 3 Truck air tanks too! Runs 2 outlets on each end of the car, with quick connects, takes seconds to go from 10psi to 38psi!!

Saden 508 compressor from Chrysler Sigma is the go, $40 from pic a part! cant argue with that. Thats the one Nick recommends, and I have one sitting in the shed at home, and am copying his bracket, its now down getting made at D&F Racing down the road. Then should be a few hours and its on, the basic system to start with, then 1 air tank from a truck wrecker and Im set!

The thing is getting the bracket correct, if its out a little your drive belt will squeal like a bitch. Also wear out real fast... So to save hassles and time unless your real handy with that sort of thing, or can beg borrow or steal one from somene to get copied, may be easier to just buy one, and use the cheaper compressor.

IF you do run it with air tank off a truck ($50 with drain valve etc! from truck wrecker) have a pressure relief valve to stop blowing your self up. Remember you are pressurising a vessel here... like a bomb. Some people use old fire extinguishers, or have heard of one bloke welding plate to 2 ends of a bit of pipe.. Askign for problems, with tanks so cheap to buy at wreckers!!!

Endless air is another option but INSANELY priced... I would love one, but the brackets alone are over $200, some being nearly $400 and thats the brackets without the compressor($350-$400ish!)!!!

But everything is correct, angles, and the thing with endless air, is that you can lube the compressor easier than with Air compressor one.

Search for Endless air or onboard air.. You will find HEAPS of sites out there that have done it. Lots of Jeep Sites have step by steps on them.

Also the 80scool list will have info on it too...

AnswerID: 8304

Follow Up By: Janset - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Hi guys.
I originally had an FJ 45 and now a HZJ 75. Both had and still have an A/C compressor set up., I have also owned a Blue tongue 12 volt and now in addition to the A/C comp, and ARB 12 volt to drive my diff.lock. More on that later.

Being in a 4WD club and hearing all the scuttlebutt and having very close knowledge of one particular Endless Air installation I strongly do not recommend it. My friend who install his on his 75 series had to butcher the front left lifting ring to make room. One of the installation brackets broke 2 weeks after installation. Brackets supplied had to be modified and the alignment, perfectly aligned with the left rear wheel, or was it the steering wheel? After the installation he got down on his knees and prayed that he would never have to replace any fan belts because of the installation.

I have posted replies to this issue previously and I think a history search may find it. I have been racking my brain, but I read on a site recently where air compressors and maker/s were rated and the endless air was not recommended by them either for various reason. If I remember where I read it I will post it.

The 12 volt type sold by 4WD shops are much the muchness, each have their good and bad points. It all boils down to what you intend to do with them now AND IN THE FUTURE. If you ONLY want to blow up tyres I would recommend the Blue Tongue as it is fan cooled and can run all day. It is also thermal cutout protected, but subject to water and dust ingress. Must be installed inside the vehicle.

If you intend to get an ARB Diff locker later on them the ARB is the way to go.

Despite what claims are made, the time taken and the output is very subjective. It takes less time to blow up an empty ute with a 750x16 tyre to 40lbs then say my troopie at 3 1/4 tonnes to the same pressure, not to mention the hose length variables between vehicles. The ARB is a sealed unit and is thermal protected and as such does get very hot, but the fitment location is not so critical.

Now to my case, why the A/c compressor and ARB comp? The 75 series troopie would have to have the least amount of room under the bonnet of any machine devised. To fit the A/C I had to mount it to the inner right mudguard facing backwards where the windscreen washer bottle used to live, that was ditched and a Marlows rectangular generic type was fitted to the left side in front to the battery.

Because the motor rolls as it works a permanent fan belt connection was out of the question, so to blow up the tyres I have to fit the belt, blow up the tyres and then remove the belt. As such I can not use it to generate and keep up the air supply for the diff lock. Hence the ARB compressor. Here I must add that I can fit the belt, blow up all for tyres, take the belt off and put my hose away while the others with the 12 volt elect. are still on their second wheel.

The a/c compressor that I use is the same as Endless air, how much does theres cost?

When I went in search for one I went to a local auto elect. who pointed me to his scrap heap where I selected 3 of the best, for FREE!!! This is not the only sparky to offer them for free or almost . If it leaks gas they throw them out, but for our purpose, they are perfect.

As for me installing the A/c comp. I have all the tools, welder and a mate who owns an engineering shop.

But the bottom line, what a mongrel job it was to make the bracket. Worse still, to get the correct alignment, (I didn't realise just how many angles there were), and I used a copy of another one owned by a fellow club member. But now that it is finished, I think it is the best thing since sliced bread!

So ends another saga.


FollowupID: 3984

Follow Up By: Janset - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Here are a few more comments that may help you to decide.

Posted 19th Actober 2002.. SteveA asks about air compressors, and:


FollowupID: 3989

Follow Up By: Truckster - Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00

Thursday, Nov 07, 2002 at 01:00
Yea thats the URL at the top that I posted.

I have talked to around a dozen in our club with endless air, and only 2 have ever had problems..

Another thing with endless air, no worries about storiing it or breaking it etc..

FollowupID: 3996

Follow Up By: Janset - Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00
Hey Truckster.
I guess you are right, if your happy with it that's all that counts. Just a point of interest, what vehicle and models in your club were fitted with the endless air? I am speaking soley of the 75 series Troopie HZJ 75 series diesel. No informations heard by me for any other make or models

FollowupID: 4014

Follow Up By: Truckster - Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00
yea Im talkin of Patrols.

MK/MQ/GQ.. Mainly the Diesels, I know the TD42 has no problems...

The best bet is to look on google for endless air, and then look at what models they make it for..

If its possible to fit,they will make it.. (well they should!)...

FollowupID: 4018

Reply By: Kevin - Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00
Another thought , I met a guy that was going to presurise his bullbar and scrub bars so that they will become a storage tank whilst driving and his fill up after sand would be 2 minits
AnswerID: 8328

Reply By: charlie - Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00

Friday, Nov 08, 2002 at 01:00
Thanks for your help guys I will let you know of the progress when I get stared. Sounds like everyone has a favourite and that belt driven air in a turbo 80 is a hell of a job. I was hoping for someone to say "yeah it was easy Just bolted x onto y at point Z, no probs".

Looks like this is going to be greater challenge than I anticipated.


AnswerID: 8330

Reply By: Janset - Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00

Monday, Nov 11, 2002 at 01:00
Just for information, well maybe a bit of bragging too. :)

I was on duty at the Wanneroo Wanderers 4WD stand on Sunday, the last day of the Perth 4WD show and I had my Troopie on disply with the bonnet up.

The interest in the way I had the A/C compressor set up certainly generated a hugh amount of interest as to the inginuity of the set up. It kind of makes it all the hard work all worth while.

Unfortunatley it was a last minute thing so I could not post it here for those who may have be interested in having a look.

AnswerID: 8407

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