Part 2: We Install Kilby's Airboss System On Our JK
Take it from us-one of the best ways to make new friends on the trail is to equip your rig with onboard air. With unlimited access to air, you can run power tools, inflate tires at the end of the trail, blow up your air mattress in record time, reseat blown beads, or blow that trail dust out of your interior before your wife sees how dirty you got her Jeep over the weekend. With an engine-driven compressor and a moderately sized storage tank, you'll have a limitless supply, and if word gets out that you are rocking onboard air, you'll be caught using it like a service station for other 'wheelers, guaranteed.
When researching onboard air systems for Project 'Con Artist, we chose the Kilby Enterprises AirBoss system, on word that onboard air guru Brad Kilby and his team at Kilby Enterprises had a kit for the Wrangler production-ready, but needed a vehicle to do a test fit on.
Kilby's AirBoss system uses a York-style air-conditioning compressor, run off of the accessory-drive serpentine belt. When not in use, a clutch on the front of the compressor disengages, allowing the engine to operate with no additional load from the compressor. While the system is pretty simple, give yourself about a day to install, and be prepared for the fact that the A/C system will have to be discharged and one A/C line will have to be replaced by a certified mechanic, although the replacement hose provided by Kilby is made to the same standard as the original factory line, and once it is in, no one will ever know. The benefits of this kit are the ability to use the engine to keep your air tank topped off, a seamless installation, and no loss of cargo space.
We headed over to Kilby Enterprises in Burbank, California, for the install on Project 'Con Artist. We've touched on the highlights of what makes the kit so cool and now we are enjoying unlimited high-pressure air in our Unlimited.
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We are so impressed with the quality, flexibility, and performance of the Kilby kit. We have had no problems holding 150+ psi for over a month at a time, and the extra bung on the tank came in handy when we plumbed our rear Air Locker. Now all of our friends with their dinky portable electric compressors have us filling up their tires, and it helps us get off the trail quicker at the end of a long day since we can fill three or four of their tires in the time it takes them to do one.