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90 K5 AC Compressor to OBA?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by the beast, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. the beast

    the beast 1/2 ton status

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    I want to convert the AC system in my 90 K5 to an OBA system. I've seen write up's for York style, and for the long compressor style. But I can't find anything for the style compressor I have. I think it's called a "pancake" style, but I'm not sure. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    If anyone has any links to a write up, it would be greatly appreciated. Oh, and I've already searched here. But maybe not deep enough. /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif

    Thanks.
     
  2. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

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    The AC compressor in your '90 truck is cooled and lubricated by the refrigerant.

    A York compressor is lubricated with oil.

    For this reason, your AC compressor will not work as an air compressor...unless someone has come up with a kit to convert these compressors to be lubricated with oil that I'm not aware of.
     
  3. the beast

    the beast 1/2 ton status

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    I thought I read one somewhere that you need to put an oiler before the intake, and a seperator after the outlet and it works? maybe I'm wrong....?? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  4. Habez

    Habez Registered Member

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    I'm using my stock ac compressor right now for air, I've only used it a few times to blow up some tires. So far it works great, but I'm planning on it crapping out on me before too long.

    To do it, I drained the system, cut the coolant lines, flared the ends, put nuts and connectors on it and sized it for an air hose. Then made a manifold with a safety falve, quick connect, pressure gauge, and a pressure switch. For the intake I ran some hose,, duct taped 2 funnels together with a car air filter in the middle, so there wouldn't be too much stuff being sucked in. To wire it in, I connected the wires thru the pressure switch, then had one also go thru a manual switch in the cab. I figure this way, when the compressor dies, I just need to wire a new clutch and put the main lines in for a york, and I'm set with everything else.
     
  5. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Any pics you have me thinking pretty hard. And do you have a tank anywere in the system?? I want to have OBA so I can run my air tools on the trail.
     
  6. muscle

    muscle 1/2 ton status

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    The "pancake" compressor is not as good as using a york but it can be used for short peroids of time, such as airing up a tire. Periodically I add some air tool oil to the intake by lifting off the top of the intake filter housing I installed. Here are a few pics of my setup.

    [​IMG]


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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    I am glad I went to take these pics as I see a nice little coolant leak.:eek1: But I have yet to finish the wiring which comes from the pressure switch to the compressor clutch. Also a fused 12v circuit from a switch in the cab.

    Also It is necessary to use a check valve somewhere in the pressure line between the tank and compressor or the air will leak back out of the compressor.
     
  7. jekquistk5

    jekquistk5 Weld nekid Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Thanks for the pics!!! :thumb:
     
  8. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen quite a few people using the factory non-York style A/C compressors for OBA and they work well. A friend of mine is using a Ford version compressor and just plumbed a "T" fitting into the intake line and squirts a little oil in it every once in awhile. He's used it to air up his 42's after every trip (a LOT faster than any gas station air pump) and has also let lot's of other people use it for tires and air tools. He currently just has a manual switch wired into the pulley clutch and a pop-off valve.
     

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