Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A few years ago at the SEMA Show I talked with a compressor company about different ideas for mounting a compressor in a Jeep and they supplied me with a compressor and tank to prototype with.



Since I have 3 Jeeps and may want to use the compressor with any of them, I decided not to do a fixed on board air mount so for a first prototype I mounted the compressor on a base that fits inside a Fat50 ammo can. There's enough room in the can for the jumper cables to connect the compressor to the Jeep's battery and a 25' coiled air line.





I've used it a couple of times and it worked well; well that is for the size compressor it is since I'm used to the compressor in my garage that has a 60-gallon air tank and plenty of CFM :).

I also tested the compressor with the 2-gallon tank the compressor company gave me. I configured the tank with a pressure regulator with output pressure gauge and the larger gauge shows the pressure in the tank.



It takes less than a minute for the compressor to get the tank up to full pressure. Airing up a tire is a bit quicker with the tank, but since my 32" tires have a volume of about 12 gallons, the tank doesn't go too far before the compressor has to kick in. Based on my tests with the tank it may not be worth using the tank if the main use of the compressor is airing up tires, especially since storage space is at a premium in most Jeeps.

One thing I don't like about the ammo can solution is that the hard ammo can is a little more difficult to store in the Jeep than a more flexible fabric bag might be, so to get some different ideas for storing the compressor I put it and the tank in a Harbor Freight tool bag I use for my recovery gear.



Everything almost fit except the bag won't zip closed, the bag is a little too low. Also the sides of the bag are high enough that air flow to cool the compressor would be restricted, so a different bag design would be required to provide cooling air flow. I'm thinking of designing a bag that would hold the compressor (but maybe not the tank) and have separate pockets for the air hose and perhaps for the power cord, and maybe some pockets for some air accessories. The bag would have a hard bottom that the compressor and some wiring could mount to, and a flap on the top that would open enough to provide unrestricted airflow to cool the compressor.

Before I proceed with the detail design of a bag, does anyone have input for features I might include in the design?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Here's what I'm thinking of sewing. Drawing inspiration from a WWII Tanker's Tool Bag, this photo-edit of one of those bags shows the compressor bag design. A diagonal zipper opens all the way to provide full air flow to the compressor for cooling. A side pocket is sized for a coiled air hose and other air accessories. There will be a plywood plate in the bottom of the bag for the compressor to bolt to.



I'll sew it out of heavy military olive drab canvas so it looks like the concept image above.

Any suggestions about the design or the idea?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'm getting close to a final design for my "Air in a Bag" compressor bag. I did some research on compressor sizes (ViAir, etc.) and sized the bag so it'll fit all of the portable/on board air compressors of this format that I found. Here are the bag contents I'm designing for:



And here's a design sketch. It has a plywood bottom for mounting the compressor and opens diagonally to provide full air flow for compressor cooling. There are outside zipper pockets on both sides of the bag, plus a pocket on the inside for things like tire repair supplies (tire plug tools, etc.). There's plenty of room inside for a coiled air line and long power cords to connect it to the battery.



Any comments/suggestions/additions before I begin cutting and sewing fabric?
 

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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Make it out said fabric.
I definitely could do that, I've got plenty of soft top fabric on hand, and it would make for a very durable bag. Here's what's on my sewing table right now, I've wanted to do something with a bit of a military theme for a while so I was thinking this would be the project for it.



But I'll give some thought to using soft top fabric. Maybe I'll do two - one in OD green canvas and one in soft top fabric.
 

NEwhere

Member
Could you use an airline that isn't pre coiled, and perhaps have it on a retractable thingy, like for an extension cord or long dog leash? I guess if idea is portable compressor than you don't need that long coiled airhose anyways.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Could you use an airline that isn't pre coiled, and perhaps have it on a retractable thingy, like for an extension cord or long dog leash? I guess if idea is portable compressor than you don't need that long coiled airhose anyways.
I picked this coiled one because it's very light, inexpensive and has a great reach but if there's a better, lighter, smaller or less expensive air hose that will do the job I'm all for it, let me know and I'll get one to test.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
In the Indian desert state of Rajasthan there are lots of goats and camels; the camels are beasts of burden and are commonly seen on the rural roads and the goats are a source of milk, meat and income. I snapped this photo in the town of Sawai Madhopur, which just outside the Ranthambore National Park tiger reserve, camels with carts like this are common all over Rajasthan.



The camels and goats are also sources of leather and there are lots of small shops that make bags and other things out of that leather. When I was in Udaipur last year I was admiring the camel leather bags in a shop in the market there, the color, texture and patina of those bags is very cool. Remember the Lake Palace in the James Bond movie Octopussy? That's actually a hotel in Lake Pichola in Udaipur.

The bag in these photos is a goat leather bag from Udaipur, I picked up a pair of them because I thought they would look cool in a Jeep. I modified one of the bags to have a Zip & Go zipper on the back so it can zip to my seat backs.

In the JKU:







In the LJ:



It wouldn't be hard to get one of the shops there to make custom bags for Jeeps and send them to the U.S. for sale here; these shops are generally very friendly and enterprising so any sort of custom leather bag could be made and the prices are pretty reasonable.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Work in progeress so far on the compressor bag. Sewing something like this involves first making up a bunch of subassemblies and then doing the final assembly; in this photo left to right: inside pocket, outside front with pocket, top, outside back and bottom with pocket and above the parts is the zipper band that goes around the entier bag. Still to be made are the end panels, once they're done final assembly can be done.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I finished sewing the prototype compressor bag:



It has a plywood bottom for mounting the compressor and opens diagonally to provide full air flow for compressor cooling. There are outside zipper pockets on both sides of the bag, plus pockets on the inside for things like tire repair supplies (tire plug tools, etc.). There's plenty of room inside for a coiled air line and long power cords to connect it to the battery.







It's wired with a pressure shut off switch and the hoses are set up so it's plug and play to use it with an air tank.



There's wiring to support the pressure shut-off function; that's on the plywood base and is protected with a swing-up cover:



There are two pockets on the outside and two on the inside as well as elastic to hold a pressure gauge and inflator. In this photo the contents of one of the inside pockets are laid out and the elastic for the tools is also visible.

 

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