TJ/LJ Rubicon Stock Locker Compressor Relocate
If you're looking for a place to relocate your factory Rubicon Air-Locker compressors, here's one idea for you ...
It doesn't take very much new material ... I was able to complete this project with some scraps I had lying around the garage. The only new stuff I bought was some vacuum line, to extend the run to the rear axle, some new conduit, and some Krylon spray paint. I wish I could remember the sizes and lengths of the air-line, but I just brought the 2 hose sizes with me when I went to AutoZone and bought a bunch of length of the same diameters ...
It all starts when you remove the factory skid plate and see this ...
Be VERY careful handling this assembly as the plastic nipples for the air-hoses are fragile ... if you break one, you're most likely going to be buying a new replacement compressor! I used a small flat-head screwdriver to gently start the hoses moving before even thinking about twisting them off ... gentle is the key word here ...
Each compressor has 2 air lines connected to it: thick and thin ... the thicker lines are the input lines to the compressors. They come together with a TEE, and then a common line runs up behind your gas fill tube (driver side rear). I removed this run by cutting some factory zip ties (up underneath the driver-side rear quarter) and pulling this hose out of the cable bundles ... we'll shorten it and reuse the breather cap up front, later ...
The smaller diameter air lines on the compressors run forward and aft, to the differentials, to actuate the lockers. We'll be completely replacing the rearward run with new hose ... and shortening the forward run ... once the compressors have moved up into the engine compartment. (optionally, you could leave the rear run and use a coupler to "stretch" that hose ... but the hose is cheap enough and I didn't want to risk another place for a leak to start ...)
This is a good time to figure out which one is which ... trace the output air lines to determine which one goes forward and which one goes aft ... mark the electrical connectors to the compressors to make sure you can put it back together correctly. On mine, the 2 connectors were different shades of grey, but I'm not sure if that is standard ...
The topside of this bracket is holding 4 connectors in place. (and smuggling a few ounces of pure Moab Mud ... that stuff get's EVERYWHERE!) 2 of the connectors provide power to the 2 compressors, and the other 2 are for the feedback sensors from the differentials. You only need to disconnect the 2 compressor connectors ... leave the other 2 alone ... they'll just go back into the bundle during the final cleanup steps ...
You can pry the 4 electrical connectors off the bracket with a flat-head screwdriver ... be gentle with these "threads", as you can re-use them in the new location.
After the CAREFUL removal of the air lines, and the electrical connectors, the bracket can come out from under the jeep ... and you get this ...
Save all of the attach hardware, and pry those 6 grommets out of the stock bracket. That bracket is about to become worthless ... but before you toss it, we will use it to transfer the hole patterns onto the NEW bracket.
First things first ... the NEW bracket ... I decided that this would be a good place to put the compressors ... there was even 3 unused holes in the wheel well and I had some sheet-metal screws that happened to fit nicely ...
I found a piece of scrap flat stock steel (bought at HomeDepot for practice welds) it's 3" wide by 10" long ... probably 1/8" thick. Use the stock bracket to transfer the hole pattern onto the new bracket. Hog out the holes using pilot holes and a uni-bit ...
After some tweaking, test fitting, hogging, test fitting and a little more hogging, you'll have this ...
(the 2 extra holes will be used to press the electrical connector retaining "threads" that we tried not to damage above)
After transferring the locations of the 3 wheel-well holes, a little more drilling, and a custom angle cut to the top end (for clearance on the fender) ... it was time to prime and paint the new bracket ...
TJ/LJ Rubicon Stock Locker Compressor Relocate (part 2 of 2)
Attach the compressors to the new bracket, route their electrical connectors around and insert one of the "inserts" into the hole, and mount to the wheel well ...
Now we've gotta' get the air and electronics up to this new location. Let's start with the electronics ...
Climb back underneath the Jeep, make sure that you've got your labels/notes/memory correct, and cut the 2 dangling compressor connectors out of the wiring harness. Don't cut too close to the connector ... you need at least an inch or two of wire when we re-use the connector up front ...
I had some scrap 2c wiring lying around and spliced it into the harness where the connectors used to be ...
I wish I had some shrink tubing, but instead I used electrical tape. Under the tape I twisted the conductors together and used hi-temp solder to seal the deal.
(As an aside, instead of cutting the connectors off and splicing in some new wires, I could have cut away the cable bundles and pulled those wires out, just to see if there was enough length to reach up to the engine compartment ... but that was an unknown, and it seemed like a lot of work, and the extra length does not adversely affect this low-current circuit)
Route the other end of the 2c cables up to the driver-side front ... you can wait to re-attach the connectors until the very end ... after you have re-routed and zip-tied everything in place ... to get the best fit for your cabling ...
Now for the air-lines.
This picture of the front diff shows it all. In this case, the breather hose goes up to a spot at the top of the radiator, driver's side ... other then verifying you have enough slack (e.g. if you're recently lifted), leave this and the sensor stuff alone.
The actuator line will need to be pulled from the harness and re-routed up to the engine compartment ... it does involve surgically opening up the existing cable harness ... it doesn't just pull out because it is taped in places ... so just carefully cut away, then zip tie it all back together.
There are many options and great places to zip-tie things on the way up to the compressors ... just ensure there's enough slack to account for articulation, but not so much as to get hung up on stuff ...
I couldn't get a very good picture of the rear diff ... but the idea is the same.
The rear's breather tube goes up and back, to the same driver's side rear quarter area, zipped to the gas-fill pipes ... your stock length might be just fine, but with my lift, I had to run a longer hose here, to account for my rear-end's range of motion.
The stock actuator hose, however, is no way gonna' reach the front ... so I replaced it and ran, and re-ran, and re-ran, and re-ran all the wires and hoses and with some new protective conduit, and a bunch zip ties, I ended up with something that looks like this ...
Once you're satisfied underneath, the rest is a cakewalk. I routed, and re-routed, and re-ran, and zipped, and un-zipped, and re-zipped and ended up with this up front ...
And that's it! Trail Ready! ... and no more worries about submarining your compressors ... unless you go really really deep!
here's the fix for those busted lines..... they are far to spendy to just go an buy new ones for such a simple fix...
enlarge the holes to 5/32"
thread a chunk of brake line tubing,
put on a little sealant
thread em into the plastic pump housing
pull the broken nipples out of the lines and reattach em....
Nice idea about fixing the broken tabs for the hose, i just discovered one of mine was busted today...
Great information on this thread! I probably missed it, but are there any other alternatives for teh pump or cheaper sources? I have a TJ stock rear 44 and got a rubi locker I am planning to install. I was planning to just use a pressure regulator from my onboard setup to keep in the 5-6psi range. Anyone found other good sources for the compressor?
The only source I've found is the factory compressor. I'm sure you could regulate an onboard pump but I wouldn't want to listen to it run the whole time I'm on the trail so it was worth it to me to buy a new factory part. Don't buy a front pump they are about $40 more than a rear and the only difference is the plug color. I paid $121 for a new rear pump from jeep. I broke my front compressor in the mud one day and tried my best to fix it and couldn't. It wouldn't let the pressure vent back out after it had locked the locker. I think i got some mud and water in it. Then I relocated them to the plate under the brake booster. This is something every rubicon owner should do before it ever becomes a problem.
Got any pics of the relocated pump in the engine bay?
I want to relocate mine to the engine bay to avoid water issues and damage....
I'm curious of how it looks and fits, and would really like to see some other Jeep's relocation setups.
Got any pics you can post of that?
Also to the thread starter, got any interior pics? how well it fits under the seat?
-- Were you able to seal the body / under the seat, water tight, so if you were to drive in 3ft of water, would there be no new areas for water to enter?
I just relocated my locker pumps to the ABS tray (drivers side rear in the engine compartment). I left the pump electrical connections in the orignal location and ran a 6 ft electrical harness (soldered/shrink wrapped/silicone caulk the connections) from the ABS tray. I got 6 ft of air hose to extend the rear air line forward. Autozone carries vacume line connectors to connect the original rear air hose to the rear air hose exetension going to the ABS tray. I pulled the front air line out of the original conduit and routed the rear air line extension toward the front in that same conduit.
I used a drill press to make the holes in the ABS tray for the pumps. The metal that the ABS tray is made of is soft enough to use a hack saw blade in a jig saw after the holes are made, if adjustments are needed.
I did this over the course of 5 days working on it about 4 hours/day, but I was going very slowly to make sure that everything fit. Lots of measuring three times cutting once. I suppose it could be done in a day with concentrated effort and more skill/knowledge/experience than I have.
this is a great write up, time for me to move my pumps
I did this mod a couple months ago. Good stuff
I relocated mine a while ago. I didn't want to use the ABS tray so I did this:
For electrical connections, go to home depot and buy the connectors that have shrink tubing and solder all in one. You simply slip the shrink tube on, do a western union splice (or in-line splice), slide the shrink tube over the splice and heat. The tube shrinks and the solder melts inside the tube making for a bulletproof connection. I use these for all my electrical connections now. They are slightly pricey, but they last forever.
Awesome write-up with great pics. Thanks for taking the time!
Could someone who has done this list all the items you need to complete the project? For example, how much vacuum line (what size, how long), and how much conduit (how long, what size). Does this require new wiring? If so, how long, what gauge?
It would just be really helpful to be able to grab all this stuff prior to starting the project..
I'm confused about the the breathers. Is there 1 breather for each axel and another breather for the compressors?
This is a great thread, thanks for taking the time to write it up. I am in the process of doing a tummy tuck (AEV) and relocating my locker pumps at the same time. I took some measurements of the hoses:
1. Pressure line (pump to diff) - 0.1875 inch / 4.8mm ID
2. Breather hose - 0.25 inch / 6.35mm ID
Each locker pump has its own breather hose. From the factory the breather hose from each pump goes into a barbed "T" and then out to a single hose which is then routed up high (I think its up near the gas fill nozzle).
Nibblesupreme - you may have gotten an answer already but the breather attached to the differential in the picture above is a differential breather (both diffs have their own dedicatred breather), these are only for venting the differential, they have nothing to do with the locker/pump assemblies.
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