Refit the air compressor and tank

In a previous post, I moved my air compressor and tank from where the spare tire would sit, into the truck bed, in order to allow us to carry a spare. It looked like this:

Previous to that, I had them mounted where the spare tire was, like this:

A couple of weeks ago, I went to Home Depot. As  you might expect, having a large obstruction like that, plus the hitch, made it really difficult to get the large parts (two doors, one with a full threshold) I brought home into the truck. I pulled the hitch for another project (details on that soon), so decided to move the air system to a less invasive location. I removed it with no real plan, leaving the truck effectively disabled in the process.

After a couple hours of trying to jam the components in various locations under the truck, I eventually came to the conclusion that I wasn’t satisfied with the fit and mounting any place under the floor. The best place to mount the tank would have been to the frame, under the passenger rear door, but that would have required either really long bolts that reach through the frame or tapping bolts from the tank side without backing nuts. I already have enough holes in the frame, with the air suspension and hitch rails, and opted not to add more. Now, I’m just adding more to the bed.

Finally, I decided to shove the toolbox over a bit and wedge the tank between it and the side of the bed. The tank was full, so I used a 3′ crow bar for leverage and a bunch of shoving, to get it to move into place. Then I drilled and used new 3/8-16 stainless bolts to anchor it. They’re a big improvement over the zinc junk bolts initially used. Then, I used the same kind of bolts for the air tank. After playing with ways to mount the compressor box, I decided to take it out of the box and mount it inside the toolbox. This is what I came up with:

The air dryer is mounted to the box, as low as it can go with all mounting holes being used. There is barely enough room to close the tonneau, but it works.
The compressor and electrical components wiring.
Only the compressor, air dryer, and a few hoses are exposed to the elements. All of the wiring is inside loom.

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