Trail carnage can happen in a variety of ways. Getting back on your tires and rolling home can be much easier with a tank of compressed air to fill said tires and/or run some tools for swapping on a spare. We touched on a variety of onboard air systems last month (“Haul-Along Huffers,” Mar. ’14), and this month we show you a new version of an old reliable system, the engine-driven compressor.
Extreme Outback Products’ ExtremeFlow compressor system is designed to mount on many of the current-model diesel engines and universal kits for whatever application you wish to make work. The premise is a modified Sanden air conditioning unit that now works as an onboard belt-driven air compressor. The compressor mounts to the front of your engine and uses either a serpentine or V-belt to run off the engine accessories. We installed one on the 6.7L Cummins diesel in our ’10 Ram 3500 and were soon running tools and airing tires.
Step By Step
1. The ExtremFlow kits include everything you need to install on your truck, and many are used by fleet and industrial applications. We added an additional air tank for storage capacity.
2. The new compressor uses the location of our current power steering pump, which is relocated. The pump is mounted down low on the driver’s side of the engine in stock form and must be disconnected and drained before moving. You also need to partially drain the radiator to modify the upper radiator hose. The steel fabricated bracket holds both the compressor and the power steering pump. The ExtremeFlow pump is rated at 8 cfm at 100 psi and is capable of up to 200 psi. This is plenty of air to fill tires or run air tools. The compressor has a single grease fitting on top designed for lubrication every five hours of use with Redline grease.
3. The back of the pump has two ports, “S” for suction and “D” for discharge. “S” should be plumbed to a clean air source such as the intake post-filter or fed via a small air cleaner. The kit includes a variety of push-lock hard plastic air line fittings and length of tubing. The discharge port is plumbed with a high-temperature hose as it can get extremely warm straight from the compressor.
4. Wrestling the bracket and pump onto the front of the engine may well elicit a few four-letter words, but this is mainly due to the puzzle of routing it into the engine compartment around hoses and wires. Once installed on the supplied four mounting studs, the bracket and pump are solid to the engine for the long haul, though we recommend liberal use of a thread locking compound.
5. The power steering pump now moves to the upper driver’s side of the engine where it is actually much easier to access and fill. The reservoir return hose is lengthened (with supplied hose and clamps), and an additional idler puller (not shown) is also added to the bracket before installing the new (supplied) serpentine belt.
6. One hurdle of the install is the pressure hose from the power steering pump to the hydro-boost brakes. This line needs to be gently bent and rerouted to its new location, or a replacement hose made.
7. After the high-temperature hose coming out of the compressor, a check valve is installed to hold the air within the system. This keeps the system from draining back into the compressor.
8. Because our air system will be set to hold 145 psi but we also want to run a set of ARB Air Lockers, we chose to add a small inline regulator that reduces the pressure from the main system down to 90 psi for the ARB Air Lockers. This protects the ARB units while still holding high pressure for running tools and airing up tires off our main tank.
9. Our air tank is a 4-gallon unit that will mount to the frame just under the driver’s door. It will have a drain plug for draining acquired condensation, and will be plumbed with the push-lock hard plastic hose. We opted for a set of dual air chucks—one front, one rear—for easy access for air at either end of the truck.
10. The kit comes with a control switch, but we wired it into the dash switches that we had installed prior (“No Switches Glitches,” July ’13). Now with a flip of the switch the compressor clutch is activated and runs until the tank fills to the desired 145 psi, at which point a pressure switch shuts off the system. An in-cab pressure gauge would be nice, and we may add one to the A-pillar in the future.
11. One big benefit of having onboard air on our truck, which does a fair bit of towing, is the ability to fill up the air helper springs for the rear suspension. This allows us to adjust the load capacity easily. Add to that the ability to run our lockers and tools, and this upgrade has multiplied the capability of our truck.
Here is a list of all the applications that Extreme Outback Products offers onboard compressors for.
• All Dodge Cummins ’89 to present 6.7L
• Most ’84-present fullsize Dodge trucks with gasoline V-8 engines, including the V-10
• All ’01-present GM Duramax trucks
• Most ’73-present fullsize GM trucks with gasoline motors (1⁄2-ton and larger)
• All Ford diesels from the 6.9L, 7.3L, 6.0L, and 6.4L to the present 6.7L Power Stroke
• Most ’73-present fullsize Ford trucks with gasoline motors, straight-six, V-8s, and V-10s (1⁄2-ton and larger)
• Most gasoline-powered fullsize vans from Ford, Dodge, and Chevy
• Nissan NV Series van with 5.6L V-8
• Most ’86-’09 medium-duty GM trucks such as the Top Kick, Kodiak, and C4500-C5000
• Most Ford medium-duty trucks, F600, F650, F750, F800
• Freightliner Sterling medium-duty trucks, ’99-’13
• Most ’94-present International trucks
• Sprinter Vans with the 3.0L V-6 diesel, ’07-’13
• Isuzu medium-duty trucks, ’94-present
• Mitsubishi medium-duty trucks, ’99-present