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Received my Viair compressor/tank kit today and unpacked the parts. I have previously done some forum searching and thought installing it underneath the floorboard between the drive shaft and the frame rail like is so popular would work out for me. After holding up the 2.5 gallon air tank in a likely position, I decided I just didn't feel comfortable with the tank there.

Looking at other alternatives, I didn't want to mount the tank inside the tub since it needs to be drained periodically. Under the hood didn't appeal to me either, then I started looking at the tail gate. I'll be moving the spare tire to a combo bumper and swing away spare tire carrier, so I wasn't worried about extra weight there. After more thought, this looks more and more viable to me and I'm thinking about how to make this happen.

Welding up a bracket is no big deal, but my main dilemma is how to attach a pair of brackets to the inside of the tailgate. Sheet metal screws could work loose, through-bolting isn't practical. I was thinking about welding the brackets to the tailgate, but I'm worried about burning through the smaller gauge steel of the tailgate.

Ideas anybody?
 

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I do not have the Viar tank, but one of comparable size (I think). Initially I did not like the way the tank sat under the Jeep, so I moved the locker pumps inside the cab. This allowed me to move the front part of the tank above the skid. The tank is out of sight and out of mind. Somehow I have managed to avoid pulling off the cheap drain you can see in the picture:


I do think the tailgate idea is an interesting one. If you do not need the storage space in the back hanging the tank off the tailgate would be pretty slick. They are generally light weight and would provide you with a good drain route. I speculate that if you burned a long piece of flat stock along the top edge of the tailgate (end to end) you would have enough material strength to hang the tank. Maybe you could integrate it into the hinge and latch mechanisms.
 

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I made a small air tank for my Viair system. I used a 3 inch stainless nipple 12 or 14 inches long, drilled and tapped several holes in pipe caps for both ends and looped stainless straps to hold it to the outside of the frame rail under the driver's door. It is flush against the bottom of the floor board and doesn't extend below the frame rail. It is a small tank, but lets the compressor keep running while I move from one tire to the next. I could not get the caps tight enough to seal, so I welded a bead around them to take care of air leaks. One problem was the 83 dollar bill I got from the plumbing shop for the pipe nipple. Of course I have spent more than that on nipples before. :lildevil: I haven't knocked it off its mount yet and it serves the purpose well. I get to air up the other Jeeps after the trail ride. :p If you have a body lift, you might be able to use a 4 inch nipple, that would almost double the air volume.
I know, :worthless:
 

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katswuy said:
... Of course I have spent more than that on nipples before. :lildevil: ...
Ain't it the truth, wait.. I mean we are talking about plumbing stuff.. right?? 8)

Thanks guys :)

After sleeping on my idea of mounting the tank on the inside of the tailgate, I'm still on that track and I don't see any insurmountable problems (other than my welding :cheesy: .) I'm going to mock everything up and see if the tailgate idea is viable and then head into town and pick up some steel and whatever else I might need. Wish I had an extra tailgate to try out some welds. I like to use my little MIG welder whenever possible (it's only 75 amp), so that might work out well for this situation.

I am taking pictures!
 

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Just an idea. But simple sheet metal screws with red lock-tight should not back out or come loose. I have also used superglue as a thread lock before to ensure the bolts don't move. Just heat them a little and the superglue let's go so they can still be removed.
 

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Work in progress...

After messing around some more with the tank on the tailgate, I'm convinced this is a good solution.

Sheet metal screws with threadlocker is an interesting idea. I'm torn between having a non-removable (but indestructible) install vs. an install with screws/bolts. I still think I want to weld two mounting plates to the tailgate, but maybe I should drill/tap to mount the right-angle brackets to the tailgate plates.

Made my supplies run into Kerrville this morning (it's an all morning affair since it's 25 miles away). Bought some .030" wire for my MIG, some 1/4" air hose (and associated fittings) to make the jump from the compressor to the tank, the steel, primer, paint, wire and odds and ends.

Did some prototyping with the tank against the tailgate and made some measurements. Figured out the brackets I needed to weld up and started chopping steel. Discovered my little MIG welder is almost out of .024 wire and the .030 wire I just bought won't fit the tip :oops: . Okay, let's tack the brackets and I can use the stick welder to fill in. Then I discovered I am still a horrible welder (with the buzz box at least) in spite of formal training and the weld is absolutely horrible (the bead isn't that horrible, it's just not in the correct location.)

Write that steel off and cut some more. I need a .030 tip and some more .024 wire so I can use the MIG and let the buzz box continue to gather dust. Dear Wife would like to go out to dinner (me too), so we combine a fun restaurant trip with another run to Tractor Supply to buy some .030 tips and some .024 wire.

The picture of the misplaced weld is a MIG weld - I am way too embarrassed to post a picture of the stick weld.

More tomorrow.
 

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we use some devices at work we call em smash nuts.....anyway you drill a larger hole in the material install the smash nut the use a tool to smash this in... kinda like a rivet then you have your threads to attach what you want. works great and will hold very well......also you dont have to have a special tool you can use 2 nuts to set it... http://www.enfasco.com/frame4.htm
 

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erpp said:
we use some devices at work we call em smash nuts.....anyway you drill a larger hole in the material install the smash nut the use a tool to smash this in... kinda like a rivet then you have your threads to attach what you want. works great and will hold very well......also you dont have to have a special tool you can use 2 nuts to set it... http://www.enfasco.com/frame4.htm
Reminds me of those expanding rubber nuts. I know the XJ uses three of these things to keep the rear wiper motor secured. I found them at the hardware store.
 

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Makin' progress

Slow progress today but I did get the air tank ready to bolt to the tailgate. Brackets built, mounting plates drilled, tapped, and welded to the tailgate. Steel is primed and painted. I think the blind nut/fasteners or smash nut idea is a whole bunch better than welding the plates to the tailgate, especially considering my welding talents :roll: .

I was going to run a bead all around the perimeter of the mounting plates to the tailgate but quickly decided to just tack it in several spots - that would be plenty strong and minimize my chances to burn through the tailgate steel.

Think I'll take tomorrow off and do church in the morning and watch football in the PM.
 

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I've asked Mac to merge my two OBA threads together - shouldn't have started a second one about the switch :oops: . This switch thread has a picture of the almost completed project. Sorry for any confusion.
 
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