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Old 06-22-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
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Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

Quadvan installed my compressor when they did the 4WD conversion. It is wired to an ignition-on power source and keeps a tank pressurized to 150 psi. If the van sits for a few days, as soon as I turn on the ignition, the compressor turns on, pressurizes the tank then shuts off.

So far this hasn't been a problem, but should I develop a leak or break a line on a trip, I can see it being inconvenient to have to pull the power off the compressor in the field to keep it from running constantly. Am I right in thinking that installing a power switch for the compressor would be a good idea? Any suggestions on where in a 2010 Ford the switch should go? I am already using all four upfitter switches. The compressor is mounted to a shelf that hangs below the barndoors.

I believe the reason for not installing a switch from the beginning had to do with the original plan to install Ride-Rite air bags. I decided at the last minute not to have the air bags installed.

Thanks,
Steve in L.A.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

This could be an accident waiting to happen. SMB installed my ExtremeAir at build, and the switch is on the lower dash panel. How big is your tank? Mine is about 4 gallons, so the compressor needs to run to provide enough air for tires, etc. The switch is needed.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:24 PM   #3
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

Also, unless you are religious about draining the tank of water, you're also always going to have water in the tank which won't help its longevity. Add a switch.


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Old 06-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #4
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

I also agree you need a switch. The extreme air pulls beau coup amps so a relay might be needed but I don't know what the specs are on your compressor. If for whatever reason your battery system is low, the compressor will just make it harder to start and throw a lousy code.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

Steve has not mentioned what kind of compressor he has.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

The compressor is a Viair 450C with a 2.5 gallon tank. The compressor's max amp draw is 19 amps. In looking up this info, I noticed that the kit that Quadvan says they installed comes with a dash panel gauge and on/off switch. Unless they installed it under the van and didn't tell me, I think they left that out.

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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Re: Adding a power switch for on-board air compressor

Well those amperage stats are lower than the standard extreme air but at 20 amps, that added load really isn't good on startup. The alternator exciter doesn't kick in for several seconds after the engine actually starts so all of that load is coming off the batteries when there is already a heavy enough from the starter, glow plugs ect. It would not be cool to be stranded if the compressor was just enough load to keep from starting. When you think about it it's kinda like trying to start from a low battery with your headlights on.
Myself, I'd want a switch.
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