Monday, August 15, 2011

Plumbing and wiring the lockers, the compressor

During the workweek, Andrew and I were able to plumb the air lines, route them safely, and get the compressor installed and wired up.

This section will be a victim of the camera-phone that went missing. No pictures.

The air line was pretty straightforward. TIP: Route any lines on sprung axles with the brake line.

I'd decided to mount the compressor on the passenger fenderwell, so I routed the lines there, leaving plenty of slack so I could fine-tune the routing after the compressor was installed.

The hardest part is installing the dash switches. ARB does not include instructions or templates for the switch holes, which I found surprising. I cut some holes in cardboard until I had a hole for one switch. Then I had to google around on their site to find out that when you gang the switches up, you just cut out one hole big enough for the # of switches you need.

Armed with two templates, and after some careful measurement, I decided the axle switches would go next to the clutch-cancel switch cutout. I wanted to save the cutout for my future upgrade to a 5-speed and the factory switch.

The compressor switch would go between the rear deck switch and the dash dimmer switch.

A Dremel with a cutoff wheel set to 25% speed made quick work of the big cuts without too much melting. A utility knife with a sharp blade let me finish the job. I cut the hole slightly undersized and used the utility knife to sneak up on the right height and width of the hole. The switches are nice and snug.

BTW - install the switch faceplates LAST. After EVERYTHING is done and tested. I did and boy was I glad I did!

We routed the wires through the ECU grommet in the firewall, along with every other wire we've routed into the cab from the engine bay, then across the dash. There was even a few feet left.

The dimmer switch is pretty wide behind the dash and needed to be rotated 90 degrees. Since it's clocked by a pin that goes into a hole, we had to recreate the hole. Rather than pull the lower dash panel completely out, I heated up a small screwdriver and punched the hole, careful not to go all the way through.

After that, there was a plastic brace that needed trimming to allow the compressor switch the depth it needed.

It took a few hours, but it looks really good.

While I tried to locate the dimmer wire for the dash, the only one I could find was the ground, which worked in reverse (bright dash, low power, dim dash, high power). I was hoping to dim the switches with the dimmer. It turns out they're not too bright, which is really nice. I can't stand distractions at night like bright switches.

One thing I found was that there's some kind of interlock and I can't engage the front locker by itself. I have to turn on the compressor, the rear locker, then the front locker. I'm OK with that, so I'm not going to try to figure out how to bypass that yet. Worst case, in the boonies, I just swap solenoid leads on the compressor if I want to lock the front by itself for some reason.

By Thursday, we were ready for the weekend's work on lifting the rear and clearancing the arms for the wider tires.

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