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ARB CKMA12 Air Compressor Install in 2018 Tundra Limited

Discussion in 'Recovery & Gear' started by goffredo, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Jun 6, 2019 at 11:59 AM
    #1
    goffredo

    goffredo [OP] Grease Nipple

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    finalinstall.jpg

    I paid someone to install this compressor in my Tacoma many years ago, so on my Tundra I wanted to do it myself to understand it better. Here are some details in case it helps others.

    Parts
    For the compressor install:
    For tire inflation:
    There's a few sources for the bracket. There's a dude on the forums here who makes them, I tried to order one from him to support his efforts but he never got back to me as I suspect he is inundated with requests and has a real job as well, I totally understand. I think there's some made in china shit on Amazon as well, and then Sharkbite Motorsports, where Christopher Dominguez was very helpful in getting me set up. He didn't have any photos showing the mounted compressor, maybe he can use mine.

    When you order a CKMA12 compressor, you can pick either vehicle-mounted or portable. The vehicle-mounted product, which I ordered, comes with a bunch of stuff for permanent vehicle mounting, such as an on/off switch for your dash and a bunch of wiring stuff.

    Don't order the ARB Pump Up Kit. It's super convenient because it comes with all the fittings you need to attach a quick-release coupler to the ARB compressor (it took me a couple of phone calls to ARB tech support to figure out which part numbers I needed to be able to assemble this on my own.) Buut, the pump up kit also comes with a way-too-short air hose and a sucky tire gauge, and it does not come with a dust cap for the quick release hose coupling, which was always shellacked with dirt and crap on my Tacoma compressor. I really hate this kit, I bought it for my Tacoma install many years ago: The air hose is only 20 feet, and every time I'd air up my tires I'd have to do one side, and then spend time to carefully re-route the hose over the engine compartment to maximize its length to be able to reach the other side, cursing under my breath the whole time. This is on a first-gen Tacoma -- I can't imagine how much of a pain in the ass a 20 foot hose would be with a 3rd gen Tundra. In fact, I would be willing to guess it's simply too short. Also, the analog tire gauge that came with the ARB Pump Up Kit kind of sucked... the chuck never felt like it was solidly engaged to the valve stem.

    I pieced together my own pump up kit. The Rhino tire gauge is awesome, I'm so happy with it. It's made in the USA by a small family company, it feels solid and sturdy, with a nice solid feel when the chuck attaches to the valve stem. It is a much better product than the ARB analog tire gauge. The flexzilla hose is long enough that I don't have to think about it, I just air shit up and I'm done. No cursing under my breath. And the compressor fittings you need to order are listed above, and diagrammed here:

    PartsOrdered.jpg


    The Compressor

    I've used a normal sized compressor a bunch, but I was initially stupefied when I was looking at the ARB compressor. This diagram would have helped me:

    Diagram.jpg

    Note: Do not install the 40-amp fuse as this diagram shows! More on this below.

    The pressure switch shares the fitting into which the quick release coupler is attached, via the tee adapter. When you have switched the compressor on, the pressure switch keeps track of the pressure of the air tank. If the tank pressure it gets below 70PSI, it switches the compressor on until it reaches 100PSI, and then it shuts it off. The two ports on the air tank are only used if you have (ARB) air-actuated locking differential(s), this is where the solenoids for those diffs would go.

    1) The Sharkbite Mount

    This mount is designed to utilize existing bolts in the engine compartment. I bolted the compressor to the mount using the ARB-supplied bolts, and then removed three existing in the engine compartment corresponding to the mount points of the Sharkbite mount, lined the assembly up, and bolted it in place. Note that if I ever need to access whatever the hell is in the plastic box that this mount sits above, it will require cutting some of my zip ties and about 15 minutes of time to carefully remove the three mounting bolts.

    My mount came with a little scratch in the powdercoating as you can see, but I really didn't give a shit and otherwise is a solid product.

    Shark.jpg

    SharkMounted.jpg

    2) Engine compartment wiring

    The wire harness that comes with the vehicle-mounted air compressor has a really nice 40 amp fuse in a sweet inline fuse holder, BUT it's oriented in such a way that necessitates having to un-tape the power wire bundle (which consists of 3 wires: 8 gauge black/white ground, 8 gauge red power, and 22 gauge black ground), cut the 8 gauge red power cable near the compressor and basically flip it around and re-crimp it back in its new, flipped orientation so that the fuse is close to the battery, not the compressor; then, re-tape the bundle back together. This took me about 45 minutes to do but it is vital that you do this. The reason for this is to get the fuse near the battery, rather than near the compressor. I'm not sure why it comes from the factory oriented like this. Probably a jeep thing. Here's a picture of the wires after I untaped the power wire bundle, cut & flipped the red power wire, crimped it, and was about to heat shrink the crimp and then retape the bundle back together:

    PowerWireReversal2.jpg

    I was tired when I first routed the wires and was like "oh fuck that! the fuse is fine where it's at" Then I slept on it, and in the middle of the night had horrible dreams of my truck catching fire because I was too lazy to do the extra work to install the fuse near the battery. The next morning I ripped out all the wiring and fixed things, which took me 3 hours. This is why you may see pictures here of the fuse in two different places.

    Other than the fuse flipping insanity, the engine compartment wiring was pretty easy. As you can see from the pictures above, there's a convenient factory bolt you can use to mount the relay. I ran the power wire bundle, and the switch wire bundle, together behind the compressor and along a stock wire bundle running behind the engine near the firewall, which keeps the wires off the exhaust manifolds and other hot things. Then the two wire bundles switch off, with the power wire bundle continuing to the battery, and the switch wire bundle heading toward the stock firewall grommet and into the cab. Here's the routing I ended up using:

    Routing: Passenger side
    route1.jpg

    Routing: Middle -- Note that I routed the switch wire bundle behind the master brake cylinder, not in front, as pictured here
    route2.jpg

    Routing: Driver side
    route3.jpg

    3) Cab wiring

    The stock firewall grommet has three openings. The top and middle opening were used up on my truck, so I was stuck having to use the impossible to get to, impossible to see, and impossible to cut open bottom opening. I ended up taking a razor blade and carefully reaching down in the engine compartment and blindly sawing the nipple off the unused bottom opening. But I then manhandled it trying to pull the switch wire bundle through it with my cable puller (you can just use a wire hanger), and ended up ripping the whole damned nipple off. Oh well. I plan to caulk the shit out of it once I finish up a different install that will also need to utilize this grommet opening, it'll be fine.

    Here's a picture of the switch wire bundle pulled through into the cab, from the bottom part of the stock firewall grommet:

    FirewallPull2.jpg

    I decided to mount the ARB switch here because it didn't require extending the ARB switch wire bundle, and there was enough space behind to accommodate the depth of the switch. Note that I originally ordered a sweet ass pushbutton switch that perfectly matches the other Tundra switches from Cruiserheads, but I couldn't get it wired up correctly and gave up and just used the stock, butt-ugly ARB switch. I cut the hole using a dremel with a drill bit on it, kind of like a router. I really wish ARB supplied a sticker cutting template for the switch.

    FinalSwitch.jpg

    Here's some trim panel removal for wiring. For a video of this, check out 12volt Solution's great install video here.

    dashPop1.jpg

    For the dash illumination wire in the ARB switch wire bundle, I tapped into the pink wire coming off the back of my Auto High Beams wire harness. This wire puts out 12v when the headlights are on, and is off otherwise. Honestly the ARB switch doesn't seem to illuminate at night with the rest of my illuminated dash switches even though I did everything correctly, but I don't really give a rat's ass.

    PinkWire2.jpg

    For the power wire in the ARB switch wire bundle, I tapped into the driver's side cigarette lighter / aux power port, located in the lower center dash console. I used this because it's FUSED at 15 amps (and it's also super easy to get to). ARB requires 8 amp minimum, which surprises me because I figured the switch simply sent a low amperage signal to the relay which certainly wouldn't pull 8 amps, but I didn't want to second guess anything. Here's the best video I could find that shows how easy it is to pop this panel off. Note where the clips are so you know where to apply pressure. Mine was on REALLY tight and if I didn't have a trim panel removal tool (link), I definitely would have broken the plastic and been super pissed. I would super not recommend trying to pry this off with a screw driver or anything other than a trim panel removal tool.

    power.jpg

    4) Leak testing

    Once I got it all installed and cleaned up, leak test time. Boy those fittings leak like a stuck pig! I spent a few days at it until the tank would hold air for >15 minutes without the compressor kicking on due to a leak. I tried teflon paste, but it was super messy and didn't work any better than the tape. I ended up wrapping the threads FOUR TIMES AROUND with teflon tape, hand tightening all the fittings into place, wrenching them an additional 1/2 turn, and then leak testing with soapy water. I then ended up having to wrench tighten them considerably (but not insanely), despite the ARB manual stating hand tighten only or they could get damaged. They still had some tiny bubbles coming off, but the tank seems to hold its pressure for >30 minutes now and I don't want to damage any threads by wrenching the holy hell out of the fittings, so it works for me. Besides, once it gets shellacked with dust and crap over time, it'll probably seal up 100%.

    Welp that's it, I think my dog is going to go crazy if I don't step away from this computer and take him for a hike. Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
  2. Jun 6, 2019 at 12:16 PM
    #2
    alann_84

    alann_84 New Member

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    Great write up :thumbsup:
     
    goffredo [OP] likes this.
  3. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:28 AM
    #3
    ccdawnpatrol

    ccdawnpatrol New Member

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    Solid write up.

    I am trying to convince the mrs. that an air compressor is a good buy. Since we just moved to Utah does anyone know if this would work for winterizing pipes? I am not too sure and would assume a large one would work better. Besides the smaller things like blowing up an air mattress and cleaning stuff off with air, what else could a single be used for? TIA
     
  4. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:42 AM
    #4
    porkitt

    porkitt New Member

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    You moved! Last time we chatted, you were in the South Bay!
     
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  5. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:46 AM
    #5
    ccdawnpatrol

    ccdawnpatrol New Member

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    That's right! Yeah we got out here in March and love it. Utah is pretty awesome. How you been?
     
  6. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:48 AM
    #6
    Jrharvey02

    Jrharvey02 Meh.

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    A.R.E. Topper, Clifford Remote Start/Alarm, Pioneer Avic8200-NEX Entertainment System, Passport 9500ix Radar Detector, Compustar Dash Front and Rear View Cameras, ADVX Rear view mirror camera, front grille camera, JL Audio 10” sub, Focal 6.5”, Thule Rack Mounts & Rocky Mounts Basket, Dual Batteries, Bedrug Bedliner, LED Bed Lights, TRD Sport Shocks, TRD rear sway bar. Custom Fitted Denver Outfitters Fly Rod Vault, BreezeGuard rear pet screens, DTMoto Headlights, color-matched aftermarket grille
    If you’re referring to blowing out sprinklers, absolutely not. You need a much larger volume of air; a tank (to begin the blowing out) and a large enough pump to maintain that pressure for a couple minutes. Most average-joe air compressors in the garage aren’t even capable, I had to upgrade mine.

    I remember needing something like 9 cubic feet/ min to blow out sprinklers...
     
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  7. Jun 17, 2019 at 11:51 AM
    #7
    ccdawnpatrol

    ccdawnpatrol New Member

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    Gotcha, good to know. I will look into the more robust ones to get the job done, thanks!
     
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  8. Jun 17, 2019 at 4:21 PM
    #8
    Berdine

    Berdine Voodoo Sport

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    Great job! Post a link for the air compressor mount in case others are looking for it
     
  9. Jun 17, 2019 at 4:51 PM
    #9
    Jim LE 1301

    Jim LE 1301 Camaro Lover, Super Secret Elite Member # 11

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    Excellent write up. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Jun 18, 2019 at 6:26 AM
    #10
    TomC843

    TomC843 The wheel weaves as the wheel wills.

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    Wow, that write up would take me 6 days and then I would fail at posting it correctly. :bowdown:
     
  11. Jun 18, 2019 at 7:24 AM
    #11
    AZTundra

    AZTundra No Longer a New Member

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    Yes, thank you for writing this up! This is on my list of mods and will come in handy later on.
     
  12. Jun 23, 2019 at 9:05 PM
    #12
    goffredo

    goffredo [OP] Grease Nipple

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    Thanks for the kind words guys, I'm glad you liked my write-up!
     
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  13. Nov 20, 2019 at 12:50 PM
    #13
    ccdawnpatrol

    ccdawnpatrol New Member

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    I recently got the single ARB. Can anyone advise what the color wires are for the ignition and the illumination? Also, the best location to tap into them? TIA! @goffredo

    IMG_1096.jpg
     
  14. Nov 21, 2019 at 5:17 AM
    #14
    NoRcptn

    NoRcptn Mediocre Poster

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    It just so that the compressor will only run when key is in on position and the illumination is for the ARB rocker switch. The post above explains good spots to tap in for those. I kept mine separate from the trucks wiring harness and used a switch pro and direct to battery.
     
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  15. Nov 22, 2019 at 2:15 PM
    #15
    goffredo

    goffredo [OP] Grease Nipple

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    For the ignition power, I strongly recommend tapping into one of the cigarette lighter plugs. Those things tend to run 15 amp fuses kuz people plug all kinds of shit into cigarette lighters (fridges, chargers, um.. cigarette lighter?), and the ARB switch needs a surprising amount of juice. You do not want to tap into a little 20-gauge wire coming from the stereo or something.

    Also, the back of the cigarette lighter plugs are easy to get to, as long as you have the proper trim removal tools, and running new wire is easy too.

    I attempted to tap into the illumination wire on one of the other stock illuminated switches (in my case, the Auto Headlight Dimming button -- see "pink illumination wire" in my original post), near where I was installing the compressor's switch. It was a teeny tiny little 30-gauge thread of a wire, so it was a bitch to clamp down, and too thin to solder without melting the shit out of the wire casing. So I doubled over and crimped it. The crimp held, but the end result was that the ARB switch does not illuminate, and none of the buttons or switches on my dash illuminate either. So I don't know WTF happened there.

    So I'd recommend skipping that. In hindsight, having an illuminated switch is not terribly important for the compressor since I use it once a year.

    Or if you get it working, let me know. I need to get back into the dash and see if I can un-do whatever I fucked up and restore the stock button illumination. Hopefully didn't short anything out.
     
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