Sanden Onboard Air System Write up -
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-30-2009, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
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Sanden Onboard Air System Write up

So my air compressor install has been done for a few months now and operating exactly how I wanted it to. Now I'm going to try to remember everything I did and where I got all the parts from.

Step one - Acquire Parts

Sanden A/C Unit - Model 4826 - Bought from a jeep yard for about 75$

Warn Power Plant Air Tank 2.5Gal - About 70$ from OK4WD.

Kobalt 3/8" x 50' PVC Air Hose

Craftsman Air Filter Assembly - Sears Part # 07103331000 Mfg# 3331

Various 3/8" fittings - These will vary based on how you are going to run your setup, but they all can be found in the plumbing section at any Home Depot / Lowes.

Air Tool Oiler - Craftsman 1/4 NPT - Sears # 00916309000, MFG # - 16309
Air Tool Oil - From pretty much anywhere

Air Pressure Switch - Grainger Part # 2FG79 - Connects to the electric switch inside the passenger compartment. The power switch will turn this device on, which in turn will power the air compressor. When this switch detects the set PSI in the lines, it will automatically turn off the compressor.

Mini Air Filter - From HD / Lowes, maybe 15$, I could not find the product on the site again, they do have them, they are in the air compressor section.

Pop Check Valve x2 - Item # - 221030 Model # - KBA11700AV From HD / Lowes, also in the air compressor location.

Switches - From "Over the River and Through The Woods" - - 25 - 30$ - EXCELLENT switches and EXTREMELY friendly to work with.

Idler Pulley - Any auto parts store - Prices will vary a little

Fan Belt for A/C - Any auto parts store - Prices will vary a little

3/8" Hose Clamps - HD / Lowes - Maybe .50$ each ...


Step 2 - Planning

Your setup will be probably be different!

I used the following sites for reference ...

The following diagrams also proved very helpful in planning my setup

I ended up figuring out how I was going to run the hoses once I actually got into the installation, so I will go over it there


Step 3 - Installation

Now the fun starts ...
Please make sure that the A/C Compressor you buy will match up to your truck, a pretty good list can be found at

Lets start by assembling the random pieces together before we get into the engine bay.

We're going to begin by taking the Air Filter and connecting it to the Air Tool Oiler using the various pipe fittings you've bought. I've attached a hose connection so I can attach and secure a hose and place the intake filter where ever I want.

Next lets attach the Air Pressure Switch to the Pop Check Valve, again using various fittings.

Now we're going to attach some hose to the Compressor, be sure to leave some extra length incase you have to move things around a little later on. Secure the hoses using the hose clamps

Then attach a hose to pipe fitting connector to the end of each hose.

Now on the output side (The hose going to the Air Tank) attach the In Line Air / Oil Filter as the first device.

Now we're going to put the A/C Compressor in the engine bay on top of the Alternator and secure it using the bolts it came with. (If it didnt come with any sorry, I didnt measure them before using it)
Then attach the intake assembly you built to the intake hose (the one not going to the Air Tank)

Once secured lets attach the Air Pressure Switch assembly we built onto the output side.
Let's back up one second here and note that prior to attaching the Air Pressure Switch I drilled a hole the size of one of the bolts into it. I used that hole to secure it right to the A/C compressor to keep everything nice and tight.

After securing the compressor and switch, its time to install the extra pulley you need and run the new fan belt. (The new pulley is the one that well, looks new)

Now its time to run the air hose from the Pressure switch to its final location. Let's do this by attaching a hose fitting to the Pressure switch and securing it with a hose clamp. The route you choose to use will vary, but it is pretty easy to do, just be careful about what you secure it to ... to tie the hose down, I simply used zip ties.

Now that the hose is where we want it, lets mount up the Air Tank. I recommend NOT placing it inside the cab like I did, instead you can place it on the driver side near the skid plate and it will be sufficiently protected. I however, choose to mount it inside on the driver side wheel well.
(Not me pictured)

Once that is properly mounted, go ahead and place check valve, the hose input from the compressor, and an output. I made the output go to a quick connect so I can easily switch between multiple tools. Then lets go back into the engine bay and do some wiring.
Since we were still playing around, we didn't secure the intake assembly, so lets do that now. I simply zip tied mine to the cross bar. Also be sure that you put a small amount of oil into the air tool oiler now.

Now thats out of the way, lets run some power cables .... The first cable needs to go from inside the cab where the power switch is going, to the pressure switch. The next power cable needs to come from the pressure switch and go to the comprressor. (In picture, from cab is on left, to compressor is on right) The pressure switch does not need to be grounded, the compressor however may.

Next its time to hook up our power switches inside the cab lets start by finding where you want to switch to be. I used the location where the hardtop controls would be ... If your using the same location, remove the section of dash as shown.

Then take your switch, measure it and cut a hole in the thin plastic and insert the switch.

Wire the switch following the diagrams provided with it, then if all went well, push it and listen for the compressor to kick on. Check that the output is reaching the air tank by pulling the check valve and listening for the air to come gushing out.

Hopefully you're all set now!

So it doesn't work ... Now what?!:

Make sure that the compressor is getting power. A quick and easy way to test this is to grab a multimeter and start following the power wire from the battery to the pressure switch then from the pressure switch to the compressor.

Check that the power switch is working and engaging the pressure switch.

Make sure that the wiring on the pressure switch is properly setup.

Parts List:
Warn Powerplant Air Tank -

Air Tool Oiler -

Kobalt 3/8in x 50 ft. PVC Air Hose

Pop Check Valve -

Air Pressure Switch -

Switches -


Thats all I can think of for now, its late and I'm tired .... Let me know if you have any questions of if Im missing anything ... I know this has been done before, but I hope this helps answer some questions people may have.

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post #2 of 20 Old 04-25-2009, 10:03 PM
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Do you happen to know the number of the idler pulley or what year and model you asked for? I am getting the deer in the headlights look from my local auto parts guy. No make and model he can't look anything up! Thanks!
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-26-2009, 11:12 PM
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why do you not recomend to mount it on the inside on that fender thats where i have planned on mounting mine and im curious as to why you advised against it???

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-27-2009, 06:42 AM
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Make sure you have the 'Backhead' piece! As illustrated in this pic..
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-27-2009, 02:42 PM
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Probably the same make/model but with the A/C option, right?
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-28-2009, 05:58 PM
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Excellent write-up!

This cam in handy when I did my Sanden OBA a few weeks ago. I referenced this many times. Good Job!
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-25-2010, 05:35 PM
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do the hose clamps hold up to the pressure or do they blow off
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post #8 of 20 Old 05-16-2011, 02:00 PM
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sweet write up, after reading about three others, it was nice to finally see someone that mentioned the wiring. Can you give any more details? The switch in the cab turns on the air pressure switch which then runs the compressor, but where does the original power source come from? is there a solenoid in the air pressure switch which turns on and off the air pressure switch?
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-21-2011, 09:54 AM
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I did mine a couple weeks ago. I used a viair 110on150off. Its completly sealed and waterproof with a built in relay. It had 4 wires: ground; to fused 12v power source(just a wire from battery with a fuse in it); to compressor; to switch. My power switch is wired up as so: spliced into cig lighter ignition controlled 12v; ground; to pressure switch.
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post #10 of 20 Old 05-26-2011, 10:51 AM
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does anyone know if I can use a 97-99 bracket on my 01? or does anyone have a p/n for the bracket for an 01? thx.
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post #11 of 20 Old 06-10-2011, 02:31 PM
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I have the same bracket setup as this writeup, but I'm hung up in a few places...
anyways, I need to install the same pulley, but I'm confused as to where it would bolt to.. and where i would acquire one.
Also, I'm still looking to yank a new compressor at junkyards since i bought min w/out the hoses and i cant find the correct threaded fittings.. and in need of the 4 bolts to bolt down compressor. live and learn.
any help would be appreciated, specifically what years would match a factory non-a/c yj 4.0
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post #12 of 20 Old 01-24-2012, 06:53 PM
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Glad to see this. I bought a junker jeep and am swapping axles, motor, tranny, tcase, and power steering setup. Guess it wasn't such a junker after all. Anyway, it has a Sanden air compressor already mounted. I'm probably gonna try and make that work. Don't know if the PO wanted to add it and never made it, or if it had a factory AC option. But it mounts up like it is made to be there.
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post #13 of 20 Old 01-26-2012, 08:16 PM
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How does the extra pull mount? and where did you get it? I mean what part number?

Go slow go far go fast never last.
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post #14 of 20 Old 02-05-2012, 04:38 PM
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I installed an OBA system on my old pickup and had problems with the rubber air hoses in the summer time. Underhood temperatures wold get high enough to soften the hoses and cause a failure. I ended up replacing the line from my compressor to the tank with copper.
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post #15 of 20 Old 04-15-2012, 07:30 PM
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Question regarding lubrication on the compressor

Great write up. Very handy.

I just have one question. I was under the impression the internals on these compressors are lubricated with the freon running through them. So, if you have no inline oiler on the intake side, how is the compressor staying lubricated?
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