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Compressor Install in my Discovery


Mark
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I am gradually kitting out our 1996 300 TDI discovery for extended Camping and Overland style trips...

One of the things I have done, following suggestions from several people, is fitted airbags to the rear springs to help with load handling - and very pleased I am with them too.

In order to be able to inflate the airbags as and when required, I already had a t-max double pump compressor, but it is a pain to get out and attach to the battery each time, and then pack away. It is also a pain to stow as it is a strange shape, and you potentially need access to it fairly quickly. I decided that it needed hardwiring into the car with outlets plumbed such that it would be easy to inflate the airbags, the tyres, or whatever as and when required.

So, here are some pictures of how I did it:

When you take all the plastic off the top of the t-max compressor, and remove the small pipe, it is actually pretty small, and fits under the front seat of the disco:

gallery_92_638_80746.jpg

The compressor was mounted using rubber mounted bolts - these are td5 airfilter mountings:

gallery_92_638_12117.jpg

You can also see the pressure switch that I set to about 60PSI which means the compressor will inflate tyres and airbags without keeping a high pressure in the airlines in the car.

The covers for the seatbase all fit back on, although they need a bit of trimming.

There is a switch fitted inside the base, which can be operated through the front of the seat base. Turning the compressor on will charge the pipework upto the set pressure of the pressure switch. lowering the pressure will turn the compressor back on again, allowing it to be operated purely by air pressure, rather than by the switch as it came from the t-max factory.

Here are the outlets:

Drivers Side:

gallery_92_638_30982.jpg

gallery_92_638_103766.jpg

Passenger Side:

gallery_92_638_105059.jpg

The compressor is wired to my internal auxiliary fuse box, which runs the fridge, the inverter and some extra cigarette lighter sockets as well. This is powered from the second battery, and is fed by a 16mm^2 cable as the compressor draws quite a bit!

gallery_92_638_11459.jpg

Thought some people might be interested. Unless you know it's there, you really wouldn't know it was under the seat. It works well here, and I am pretty pleased with it. I keep a rubber hose and a tyre inflation fitting (from screwfix I think) in the drawers in the back of the truck, which is far easier to stow than the compressor.

Cheers

Mark

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Good work Mark. Doing a similar expedition prep on my 300 tdi commercial but the 2-door seats don't allow anything to be fitted under them :angry2: Have managed to get a first aid kit in there though so not all lost space. Keep the pics coming as I will too as and when I get anything done. Where do you plan to sleep? In the truck or in a roof tent/awning?

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Thanks for the comments chaps.

I have some more pictures of a couple of the other jobs - 2nd Battery install and the resulting airbox mods and snorkel install, and a few pictures of how we had it packed for our recent 2 week jaunt round the UK - which I will upload over the next few days.

Mark, it would be good to see other mods too, sharing ideas is what this place thrives on! We are planning to sleep in ground tents rather than in/on the vehicle. We have a couple of options with tents, depending on how long we are staying and what space we have.

I am also investigating awnings for the side and rear of the car, so give some cover when using the small tent, but at the moment I can't quite justify the price of the expexdition ones or the fiamma caravan type ones... any ideas welcome!

Cheers

Mark

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For the awning I recon if you can buy a cheap large multiberth family tent in the tradional mould you may be able to get a ready made flap and poles, cut them off, and somehow rig it to attach to the gutter and tie down with some guy ropes. Worth thinking about perhaps.

Hmmm got me thinking now!

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I had forgotten about the brownchurch one. I had rather fallen in love with the hannibal ones as demoed by nen overland at billing.

Problem is a) they are expensive, and B) I want one along the side, and one accross the back, so we can open the back door and use it as a cooking area....

this is probably going off topic for this thread, as unless I make the awnings air powered they won't be relavent to by compressor install!

I wonder if we need another general overlanding in a disco thread?

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Hi Mark.

Thats a very clever fit you've done there. Did you have to the turn the cylinder heads of the compressor through 90 degrees to get that fitment? I also have a twin head compressor like that but the cylinders are vertical.

My Disco is a three door....but where's there's a will etc.

Nice job & good coverage.

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Streaky,

yes I forgot to mention, the whole thing is rotated through 90 degrees - essentailly, it's just the 2 mounting brackets moved round to pick up on two of the side bolts rather than the bottom two:

not especially easy to see, but this shows it best of the pictures I have

gallery_92_638_12117.jpg

I've not really explained that well, but if you have a look at your unit, it should be easy enough to see...

hth

Mark

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  • 3 months later...

Ben,

I am afraid I know exactly where the skip that I found the pressure switch in was, but I don't know that it will do you much good I am afraid. The push fit connectors and the hose came out of the same skip, at various times too, so I can't even suggest where you might like to look.

It is made by Festo, and I will see if I can get a model number off it for you, but it's a little inaccessible with the seat in place...

Mark

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Thanks for the quick reply Mark, and don't worry about the part number.

The Push fit connectors are easy enogh to get hold of, they are used a lot in robotics. The PCL connectors are the same. Hopefully I will get the bits together before xmas to give me something to do. I am planning a very similer install on a 110 DC. What is it they say about imitation being the highest form of flattery!

Another question, how did you attach the extra pipework to the T max parts??

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Ben,

Ideas are there to be shared. Make sure you post up some pictures when you are done tho! ;)

First thing I did with the t-max pump was to remove all the plastic from round the top of it. It is a very compact unit once you remove the tat from it.

Once you have all that off, you will see a black pipe that joins the 2 heads together, and has an manifold (sort of) at one end. This is tapped 1/8 BSP (I think, might be 1/4, but I am pretty sure it is 1/8) so I just screwed an appropriate push fit connector in with a thick PTFE washer (the push fit had quite a long threaded bit, whereas the tube only had a shallow thread).

The best picture is probably this one to see it:

gallery_92_638_80746.jpg

if you don't fancy using the existing black pipe, I think the heads are tapped with a BSP thread too, so you could just remove the black pipe, and add fittings as required.

hth

Mark

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Meant to say the electrics are fairly easy:

The pressure switch is in line with the existing switch in the box. I replaced the switch with a nicer one, and got rid of the box, mounting the switch and the trip on a little panel under the seat. That way you turn it on a the switch, and it pressureises to what ever your pressure switch is set to, and turns off.

Make sure you give it a decent feed though as is seems to draw a few amps...

Mark

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Nice install Mark, whats the noise like? I like your fuse block, where did you get it, what make etc.

Pete

That fuse box looks like the ones the Devon sells, do 2 different sizes too. Not the cheapest of things but great quality and they are marine standard apparently which must mean that they are at least splash proof! :P

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That fuse box looks like the ones the Devon sells, do 2 different sizes too. Not the cheapest of things but great quality and they are marine standard apparently which must mean that they are at least splash proof! :P

They also do a cheaper version thats not marine grade

What they mean by marine grade is full stainless parts

I have the cheaper version in the boot of my disco

2765744160102123940S500x500Q85.jpg

iirc it was £12

B)

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Fuse box came from here - its a few items down - the 5025 one. it is almost the same unit as Devon sell, but devon don't seem to do the one with the negative bus as well as the positive one. it's not overly cheap, but I spent ages trying to find a fusebox that had a single feed in, bussed to some outputs, and also had a bussed negative side too. I have been exceedingly pleased with it.

The noise of the compressor is not a big concern. it is certianly not quiet, but it only get used when I am outside the car. In normal driving it is turned off completely.

hth

Mark

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For those thinking of doing the same as Mark,

you can get the pipework and push fit connectors form here www.robotstoreuk.co.uk

The PCl connectors are always on ebay

The pressure switch can be got from www.vision-supplies.com however it is an eye watering £62.50 plus Vat

I think I will be using a cheaper pressure release valve and switch set up, so I switch it on and the release valve stops the pipework going bang before I get the valve to the tyres/ air bed.

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Thanks for the comments chaps.

I have some more pictures of a couple of the other jobs - 2nd Battery install and the resulting airbox mods and snorkel install, and a few pictures of how we had it packed for our recent 2 week jaunt round the UK - which I will upload over the next few days.

Mark, it would be good to see other mods too, sharing ideas is what this place thrives on! We are planning to sleep in ground tents rather than in/on the vehicle. We have a couple of options with tents, depending on how long we are staying and what space we have.

I am also investigating awnings for the side and rear of the car, so give some cover when using the small tent, but at the moment I can't quite justify the price of the expexdition ones or the fiamma caravan type ones... any ideas welcome!

Cheers

Mark

Hi Mark,

always wondered what I could put under the seats. Would be really interested in the second battery fit as i planning this. Got a few ideas but seeing a completed job always helps.

Gary

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