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03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
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03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

So, I figure I should share my first build. My intentions for this build are to have the truck lay frame and be an every day driver. I have wanted to do this for about 9 years and finally got around to doing it. I will say I made my first big mistake by ordering a bolt on kit from airbagit.com. I saved no time or effort from anything they sent me. I have replaced and changed almost everything I received. Everything they sent me is junk but it is what I have so, oh well.

This is how the truck looked when I bought it. I drove it right off the used car lot and straight into the work shop. I will be getting rid of the Topper.

Old 04-01-2012, 12:23 AM   #2
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

only thing i found worthy from airbagit were their compressors. good luck with the build man
Old 04-01-2012, 12:40 AM   #3
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I'm sure we have all seen this but here is a before pic of the rear.



It looks really strange with one frame rail cut off.



Rear bags mounted. If you look at the little yellow push connect air line fitting, Note: they are from airbagit and they suck. These yellow fittings leak on both ends the threads don't tighten nor does that yellow part hold air unless the airline connects straight to it a little tug in any direction and Leak. Also the schrader valves I received from airbagit were not useable. The threads were not cut enough to use. Just another few shit products from airbagit.com.



Shock setup. Note: These shocks have been replaced with less than 6,000 miles of use. They are cheap and another crap product from airbagit.



With Front up Rear down the fuel tank only gets about an inch. I don't have any pictures of it but this kit raised the rear of the tank up about 3 inches I guess and I modified the front mount to raised the front of the tank up about 1.5 inches so it almost hits the bottom of the cab. You can also see on the left of the pic where I had lowered the mount for the air tank to allow it to fit under the bed. You would think airbagit would have that right but, they suck. Oh, ignore the muffler mount that is temporary.




This is the mount I made for the plug in play (Pnp from airbagit) box to fit upside down. I do not recommend anything from airbagit. It's too late for me but that's my advice for you.



Now to the bed. I ordered some 18ga tubs from a place in Dallas for $60 a pair which is about half the price I found in most places. The center hex notch cover was made by a local fab shop. They charged me $140 total for the two pieces I have in the pic I think it is 16ga. These pics are mockups I currently don't have any pics of the bed finished.




Ignore the different paint colors but here is where I mounted my shocker horns from Hornblasters. You can also see the mockup, unfinished, bedside supports I started but still have not finished. And that orange thing in the background is one BA lawn mower.

Old 04-01-2012, 01:52 AM   #4
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I'm sorry for your losses. but it looks like a clean truck.
Old 04-01-2012, 02:06 AM   #5
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Now, the front. Please ignore the piles of stuff. This shop belongs to my grandfather and we all know older people save everything.

I call this pic the mess.



I used spring pocket eliminators from airbagit which for those who don't know they allow you to run 2600 bags in the front. I would say the spring pocket eliminators are a good product.



So, I also used upper and lower control arms from airbagit and the arms have not stopped squeaking since day one. I don't know what to do but I do know that no grease anyone sells will stop it so I just turn the radio up so no one around can hear the squeaking.

Here is the front bags all done up.



Fully laying out in the front.



So I took it out for the weekend and sure enough I bent the exhaust where it crosses under the trans. I don't have any pics of how I fixed it but I installed new pipe from the exhaust manifolds to the pre muffler and flattened, if thats the right way to say it, the exhaust pipe that goes under the trans so it clears the frame and I haven't hit anything since. The section that I flattened I upped the size of pipe to 2 inch so it didn't lose any air flow.



At first I wasn't going to modify the engine bay so I bought 23 inch tall tires and I didn't like it at all. It just doesn't look right. You should notice them in a few of the pics. I still have not picked out a set of 18/20 combo set of wheels. If your gonna do it, do it all the way. Lesson learned.

Here are some of the clearance issues I had in the front. The plan was to run 26 inch tall tires and be able to drop and roll.

Up first, the blower housing.



Drivers side.



The battery was barley able to keep its home.



So as most know the blower housing is one of the largest issues when trying to run 18s. Here is what I made.




I know the welds don't look perfect but I used two old energy plant signs 22ga for the curved parts and 18 ga for the flat sections. The rust may look bad but no pits and I chemically treated it before paint. I didn't want to grind all those welds so I am going to use the excuse that I didn't want to heat up the 22ga and possibly warp it. I decided to put the blower up at an angle I don't think I really needed to do that, I think mounting it flat to the firewall gives the same amount of clearance.








For the wire harness going through the firewall I just moved it up 1.5 inches. I will say if you skip safety precautions like me just know I did catch the floor insulation on fire twice. But other than that, going the quick route worked.




Little Shop of Horrors makes are really great looking steering link kit that clears the frame on 22 inch wheels (I think 22) but at $450 and not having the same setup they used to make that kit I decided to notch the frame for the tie rods.



I wanted to keep the abs because I like the idea of safety so I relocated it. In the pic the control arm is all the way up. I was worried about the heat but it doesn't seem to get very hot and yes this mount was chemically treated and painted after this pic was taken.



I moved the fuse box up to the front section keeping the stock windshield fluid container. The mount I made is very secure and I can still access the fuses fairly easily with just a few extra steps. I had to extend 26 wires 6 inches to get it there.




For the cpu or whatever it is I just slid it forward and made a secure mount that bolts to the finder. It is also very secure and has two spots where I mounted my breakers.



I bought a yellow top battery which didn't do much but here it is fully loaded. 2ga going to everything.



I still haven't found an overflow tank that is to my liking so I did this as a temporary. So far the bottle is holding up nice.



In the end I will get about 5 inches of tuck.

Old 04-01-2012, 02:23 AM   #6
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

The carrier bearing crossmember is the worst when it comes to destroying an S series' scrub line. So I made a new one.





I also modified the trans crossmember and I never would have thought 3/4 of an inch would make a difference but it really did.



Like every S series the extended cab door handle breaks. So instead of buying a new one to break I fixed mine with a little piece of aluminum formed to fit so it never breaks again.



I wanted power windows which turned out to be easy. All you have to do is buy the regulator with the motor and install. I used the tweeter in a component speaker setup to cover up the hole left from the window handle.


Old 04-01-2012, 02:37 AM   #7
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

The compressor I received from airbagit fills my 5 gal tank from 0 to 140 psi in around 4 min give or take. I like that but sure enough I have had some trouble with it. It worked for about 6 months until the bearing fell out of the piston shaft and destroyed it. I replaced the broken parts and then a month later the piston ring flipped destroying it again. I have fixed it and it currently works but we will see. This pic is the first piston and its replacement. Those button screws, which I guess was airbagits way of fixing a design error, would hit the counter weight so they had to be shaved down a bit. Another great and wonderful airbagit product. And sure if you have a warranty airbagit will send you a free replacement if you pay the shipping. Thanks, send me some crap with some replacement crap and I will just suck up the shipping. After my warranty is up I will no longer do any business with that company and not allow anyone else to think about visiting that site.

Old 04-01-2012, 02:46 AM   #8
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Something pretty Sweet happen to me last week. I bought a new passenger window.




Just for an old 90s model Tom Tom GPS and all the change in my cup holder. SMH
So I hooked up the Shocker Horns to my alarm system. While it may not keep a crack head from breaking my window it should keep them from stealing the change in my cup holder.
Old 04-01-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Just a few pics of the truck I enjoy.






I plan to paint the exterior and have a 18/20 wheel combo by July 2012.
Old 04-01-2012, 03:54 AM   #10
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

what color paint and wheels.
Old 04-01-2012, 04:31 AM   #11
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by littledevil4802
what color paint and wheels.
White I think but I haven't decided yet. I'm sure I will change my color plan a few times from now to July when I do paint. I plan to keep the interior graphite so I have to pick something that looks good with that.

As for the wheels, I really don't want to run any type of spacers which really limits my options. This is an everyday driver so I want rims that are not expensive or hard to get in case of curb rash or worse bending one. So right now I'm looking at some Chrome Coy's C5 18x7 for the front and 20x8 in the rear (not unique but easy to get and cost friendly) Again I don't plan on making any official decision until about June or so. I want to give myself plenty of time to decide.
Old 04-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #12
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Nice build!
Old 04-01-2012, 10:32 AM   #13
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

just my 2 cents...those lower bag links. a long gusset under it would help keep it stiff with no chance of stress and bending.
Old 04-02-2012, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

good build looks good and that sucks about the issues you had with the airbagit parts. cant wait to see more!!
Old 04-02-2012, 02:47 PM   #15
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by rstadelmaier
just my 2 cents...those lower bag links. a long gusset under it would help keep it stiff with no chance of stress and bending.
With my luck and airbagit, they may bend. lol I recently moved and had this truck fully loaded out to where I was running 110psi in the rear to get down the road on the 8 hour drive (I usually only run 50psi in the rear) but they didn't bend from that. Being square I would think that if they were to want to give they would want to twist a little to bend. Now you have me wondering I am going to lookup the test strength of those square bars and pull out some math tricks to see what it would take to bend'em. Everyones 2 cents are welcome especially is they may keep me from getting stranded going to a show.
Old 04-02-2012, 03:41 PM   #16
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sorry for all the 'to's and especially if'' not is'' at the end
Old 04-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I had a check engine light for the EVAP Solenoid. I took it off and found that it had a lot of carbon pieces in it (black, and slightly larger than sand). I just cleaned it out by blowing air into the solenoid and opening it up to wash out the filter. The Solenoid tested good. Had my codes cleared and no light yet. I would assume the carbon pieces were jamming the solenoid. Lost 30 min for the work but saved $30 in parts. This is the EVAP Solenoid I have.

Old 04-02-2012, 03:58 PM   #18
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

So I have been having an issue with my ABS light and the inspect brake light. The code description was a bad module solenoid. The lights would come on and turn off at random but most of the time they were on. I was tempted to send the ABS unit to Modulemaster.com but as I read on, they use “trained technicians” meaning anyone can do it (I have a Kelsey Hayes 325 module which they say is repairable). So I took the module off and popped off the lid, which was glued on, All the solenoids tested good but I found 5 bad/cracked solder spots. 4 were where the power comes into the unit and the other one was just a random spot. I soldered them all, put the lid back on with some gasket glue stuff I had, installed the unit. It took a little over an hour for this fix. I had all my codes cleared and a few days later I still have no warning lights on. I am fairly confident that this fixed the issue. I had trouble getting pictures of the cracks but I think you should be able to see them.


Old 04-02-2012, 05:56 PM   #19
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

yeah i'm just going by looks. i don't know the wall thickness or size. i'd just do it now than regret it later.
Old 04-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #20
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Keep up the good work.
Old 04-02-2012, 06:31 PM   #21
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

lol @ the change... stfu!
Old 05-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #22
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Alan, great work on your truck, its a live and learn process but its coming along well. You were debating on what color to paint it, may i make a suggestion? Pearl white. Im not sure of the exact color code, name.. but I have seen this on a few cars now and it is unique and makes a white car stand out. Its kinda like that dupont chromillusion paint that they had for the cobra mustangs back in the mid/late 90's ( the kind that changes color as you move around it with a green base). I know it was expensive back then but since time has gone by and the economy situation and all, you might be able to pick some up for a decent price... With the white, it changes colors just like the green does however its main colors consist of : white, purple,pink and a few others ( in a candy appearence) I cant remember at this moment. Im sure someone will read this and tell us the exact paint we are talking about... anyways thanks for your help and keep in touch.
Old 05-06-2012, 04:37 PM   #23
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I believe I know what your talking about but I haven't seen it in person. The pearl is like metallics except it is a very fine powder instead of flakes and it comes in any color. I don't know if they add it to the base coat or the clear coat but it is definitely something I will look into.
Old 05-06-2012, 05:20 PM   #24
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

looking good man! keep it up
Old 05-06-2012, 09:32 PM   #25
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I think you lied a little in your initial first post. This is def gonna be some special. Nice progress man keep it up!
Old 05-07-2012, 01:36 PM   #26
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Nice truck man!
Old 05-12-2012, 12:39 PM   #27
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

dam thats some pretty nice work i like the squirrel cage fab work im gonna attempt that one on my next dime
Old 05-12-2012, 04:38 PM   #28
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sweet build up.Suck to hear about the airbagit stuff.Man ive heard allot of people stuck in that boat.Keep pushing,gonna be a nice driver
Old 05-13-2012, 06:42 PM   #29
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

sucks you're having problems with the aim stuff.. I went through some minor bullshit problems with them too but overall it was all good, truck rode good with the backhalf, and the tube arms up front were good along with the spindles. Their fittings suck ass. I swapped to parker with no issues.

Also on the compressor, looks like you're sucking in water/dirt/debris or something in there killing the piston ring. You need to relocate the air intake on it, you can use a viair kit, or make one yourself if you already havent. Somewhere dry, maybe into the cab, behind the tail light etc. be sure to use a little breather filter too.

On the control arms, mine squeaked too, until i loosened the lowers up and snugged them at ride height, if you tighten them too tight they squeak.

Also, for the uppers, they squeaked to, until i swapped to white lithium grease for the bushings, went ahead and pumped the white lithium into the lowers too. You can get it in tubes for the grease gun. they always told me use "chassis lube"... i was like no. fail.

anyhow looking good.
Old 05-14-2012, 05:06 PM   #30
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by colbye32
Also on the compressor, looks like you're sucking in water/dirt/debris or something in there killing the piston ring. You need to relocate the air intake on it, you can use a viair kit, or make one yourself if you already havent. Somewhere dry, maybe into the cab, behind the tail light etc. be sure to use a little breather filter too.
The first piston bearing came off the piston shaft allowing it to miss align and hit the counter weight destroying everything inside. The second piston ring flipped because it was 24 degrees outside and, as the water trap would take water out of the air, the water would freeze on the filter which over pressurized the line and flipped the piston ring. My water trap is before the tank and the pressure sensor is on the tank after the water trap. I now have a safety/blowoff valve which will never allow that to happen again.

Quote: Originally Posted by colbye32
On the control arms, mine squeaked too, until i loosened the lowers up and snugged them at ride height, if you tighten them too tight they squeak. Also, for the uppers, they squeaked to, until i swapped to white lithium grease for the bushings, went ahead and pumped the white lithium into the lowers too. You can get it in tubes for the grease gun. they always told me use "chassis lube"... i was like no. fail.
I originally used white lithium grease and then was told to use red chassis grease. Nothing has worked and I've even tried synthetic types. After I drive in the rain it gets so bad I don't even want to drive it. My problem is mainly the uppers and one spot in the rear.

I'm about to start the round three of upgrades and plan to sell that 7600 compressor and go with Dual Viair 480c and build mounts and wire it for 4 in case I want show off air. I'll be adding nitrogen tank mounts too. I'm so tempted to remove all airbagit parts and start over but it will all depend on how pissed I am when I start the upgrades.

Another mishap, my air tank got bumped during an oil change and the tank now has a 1 inch hair line crack about half an inch above the mount weld. I only run 140psi and the tank didn't hit or bind on any other part of the truck it just got bumped. Another shit part from airbagit. I have a pending liability claim at the oil place to get them to pay me for the tank. I'm glad it happened during an oil change and not a drag session.
Old 05-14-2012, 05:13 PM   #31
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by blueberry96
dam thats some pretty nice work i like the squirrel cage fab work im gonna attempt that one on my next dime
Thanks, the blower housing is a little louder than stock but I read most are. It blows just as much air as the stock one.
Old 05-14-2012, 05:24 PM   #32
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

nice build dude. I never recommend a bagged DD, but you did it very well.


er... with the parts you had to use at least
Old 05-16-2012, 01:22 AM   #33
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

As far as the wire harness moving and such nothing on the dash was affected right? Like the wires and stuff that go behind it
Old 05-16-2012, 12:42 PM   #34
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

cool build
Old 05-16-2012, 07:23 PM   #35
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

looks good, sucks that you got stuck with the aim stuff. glad you made it all work though
Old 05-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #36
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sweet build. Where in Texas are you from?
Old 06-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #37
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by whitelowereddime
As far as the wire harness moving and such nothing on the dash was affected right? Like the wires and stuff that go behind it
If your talking about the main wiring harness I moved on the firewall... then no, moving it up that 1.5 inches made the wires a little tight under the dash but it no real issues.
Old 06-10-2012, 08:22 AM   #38
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by 556mm
Sweet build. Where in Texas are you from?
Mainly Conroe, North of Houston.
Old 06-10-2012, 08:38 AM   #39
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Boom! Again!! Sweet!!! My 7600 compressor has broken again. I am done with this thing. I found a local shop that sells 480c chrome dual pack for $320 and I can't wait to get them installed. They had a box of dual chrome 444 for $260 I might go back and get a pair of those too.

Here is the latest compressor self destruction.



A 7600 sitting next to a 480

Old 06-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #40
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

I found some pics of my exhaust crossover and its clearance. I increased the pipe to 2'' so, after molding it into a flatter form, I wouldn't lose any air flow.


Old 06-10-2012, 09:45 AM   #41
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sweet build
Old 06-11-2012, 03:46 AM   #42
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sweet ride brother!
Old 06-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #43
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

thats a good price on the viairs i get wholesale and it aint much better than that. 480s are good compressors ive ran them on many set ups and had a dual pack on my last daily for 5 years at 200psi with no problems. keep up the good work!!!
Old 06-23-2012, 08:23 PM   #44
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

New tank with new compressors and no welder to build mounts got me this



The shop I use is 90 miles away so I had to do something. I'm going with 200 psi so for a water trap I bought a Milton 1020-8 micro filter which can handle 250 psi, it's my favorite upgrade.
Old 06-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #45
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

What is that thing on the left coming off the big red line? Hard to tell on my phone
And just a tip ive read multiple times on the forum that running your compressors together on one port or a T eill actually slow them down a bit and not allow you to gain max output out of them
Old 06-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #46
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by Gimp
What is that thing on the left coming off the big red line? Hard to tell on my phone
And just a tip ive read multiple times on the forum that running your compressors together on one port or a T eill actually slow them down a bit and not allow you to gain max output out of them
That thing off the red line is a 1/2'' valve for my air horns that I wanted to test at 200psi.

The leader hose off the compressors has 5/16''ID that go into 1/2'' red air line which has a 5/16''ID then to a 1/2'' T fitting to the 1/2'' water trap to the 1/2'' port. I should't be loosing much air flow at all being that the length of hose is so short and one 1/2''ID can move as much air as two 5/16''ID lines.
Old 06-23-2012, 09:30 PM   #47
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by Alan D Moore
That thing off the red line is a solenoid for my air horns that I wanted to test at 200psi.

The leader hose off the compressors has 3/8''ID that go into 1/2'' red air line which has a 3/8''ID then to a 1/2'' T fitting to the 1/2'' water trap to the 1/2'' port. I should't be loosing any air flow at all being that the length of hose is so short and one 1/2''ID can move slightly more air than two 3/8''ID lines.
oh i can see it better now. was looking on my phone before..you got a plug in that side port for now? Im tellin ya man youll get better flow with them on their own ports but ok
Old 06-23-2012, 10:08 PM   #48
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Sorry, they are 5/16''ID not 3/8''ID. Here is a site with a chart showing air flow through different size hose.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ai...se-d_1523.html
Old 06-23-2012, 10:22 PM   #49
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Please don't run your lines over the bedrail. That is super ghetto.
Old 06-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #50
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Re: 03 Sonoma Bagging Build, Nothing Special

Quote: Originally Posted by s10gmconversion
Please don't run your lines over the bedrail. That is super ghetto.
This is temporary lol. Everything will be mounted under the bed next week. I just need to get the truck to the shop 90 miles away.
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