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It started with a casual response to an e-mail I received concerning a page I had on my web site. The person inquiring about the page was Greg, the National Sales and Operations Manager at ARB Corporation in Australia. It ended the following week after I spoke with Jim, the President of ARB USA. He shipped me a pair of air lockers for my D30 and D44 axles and a compressor to keep them both happy. Airborne Express had them at my door step in a couple of days. (no, they were not free....yes, it was just too good of a deal to pass up)
After my recent rear disc brake conversion, the old trick of feathering the brake pedal for the Detroit TrueTrac didn't work as well. My priority list was readjusted and a front locker moved to first place. I talked with some friends in CA and got a line on a used Detroit for the D-30. I figured that I might as well have a pair of Detroits and with my Tera 2LO conversion, I could easily unlock the front end on the trail for the tight turns, etc. Well....then along comes that e-mail from Greg and in no time at all, I'm looking at ARBs. Many of you that know me pretty well are probably smiling about my sudden switch to ARB from Detroit. Those of you that know me really well also know that I only bought my first Detroit because it was pretty much goof proof. With no support lines, compressors, solenoids, pressure switches, etc., the chances of a locker failure are greatly reduced. ARB makes a good product (and I've never said otherwise), and with the install done by an experienced ARB installer, one should have years of good service. So, with an offer that I just couldn't say no to, I decided to replace the Detroit in the rear D44 with an air locker. I wouldn't want the locker in the D30 to get lonely! [big grin]
One of the folks at ARB Australia was nice enough to send me a PDF document for the new style locker in the D44 install. You can get a copy here. Note that the file is about 7.5 MB in size.
OK....enough of the background chit-chat....time to get on with the details of the project.
My first step was to open up the boxes and take inventory of what all came in the boxes. I was happy to find that everything I could think of was included. After looking at the wiring harness that came with the compressor, I was glad I decided to go with the ARB compressor setup rather than adapting my QuickAir2 for locker duty.
I decided to start with the compressor and find a suitable mounting spot for it. As is commonly done, I used the ABS tray beneath the brake master cylinder. By moving the cruise control motor, I was able to slip the compressor down onto the tray and mark the mounting holes once it was in a good position. I then removed the tray from the tray and drilled the holes.
Holding the compressor mounting bolts from the top while putting the mounting plate, washers, and nuts on from the bottom was, in my opinion, a two man job. Yeah, I am the short one standing on the milk crate, just in case you were wondering. That is Remington, my #2 son, laying under the Jeep (at least it isn't crowded under there!). By the time you read this, he will have left for the US Marine Corps.
After the compressor was mounted on the ABS tray, I applied some PTFE tape to the threads and screwed in the air control solenoids and the pressure limit switch (the limit switch does in the middle). When I was adjusting the position of the compressor so I could mark the mounting holes, I lightly screwed the solenoids and pressure switch into place so I would be certain to find the optimum spot to mount the compressor. You need enough room between the compressor and the side of the Jeep so you can remove any one of these items for a repair job. Unbolting the compressor from the ABS tray on the trail would NOT present an easy trail fix.
This picture is taken from in front of the driver's seat,
looking up at the firewall area, just above the gas pedal. There is a
large oval shaped rubber grommet that starts out from the factory with NOTHING
going through it. As you can see here, mine as accumulated quite a number
of wires over the past couple of years. As I have obviously done so may
times before, I used it to feed the switch harness wiring into the cab. I
cut a small X with my pocket knife in the grommet and then push the wires
through the slits.
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