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Old 03-02-2010, 10:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 11
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466C
Rated Cap: 60
Tapping into air supply

I'd like to tap into my air supply, to use tools, air up tires, etc.
What would be the best place to do so?
It's an '88 IH Blue Bird.

How do I go about clearing my lines of water?
What else do I have to do for maintenance on the air system?
How do I add an electric brake controller for a trailer?

Just did the second phase, ripping the seats out. Easy job, just unbolted them.
Then stop sign and front barrier came off (must plug air lines).
Next step is yanking the heaters and then will move on to pain.
Also change all fluids.
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:37 PM   #2
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Year: 1984
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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Re: Tapping into air supply

I took air off after the wet tank. On my bus there is a solenoid, that shuts the air off, operated through the ignition switch. Drain your air tanks, all of them, after operation. If you're getting a lot of gray muck out of your drains, the air compressor's rings are worn out.
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Old 03-03-2010, 02:31 AM   #3
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Re: Tapping into air supply

I would just tee in at the drain on one of the tanks. Make sure you put a shutoff valve on it so you aren't relying just on the quick coupler. Ideally you would have the tee with a valve on both sides and the drain pointed down and the quick coupler or additional plumbing coming out of the top.

As far as a brake controller goes, you can tap in at one of two places. If your air pressure switch is convenient you can tap in there. This is what electronically turns on the brake lights. Otherwise you can tap in at a brake light itself and run the wire all the way forward. It is undoubtedly easier to tap in at the light, but then you do have that long run of wire to worry about.

Drain your tanks every night. If you've been driving and it's been cycling a lot it wouldn't hurt to dump the tanks if you stop an hour for lunch. You aren't going to hurt things dumping them too often and the only issue is the inconvenience of waiting for the tanks to build pressure again...which should be about 3 minutes. Pick up a copy of the CDL test manual (or print it online) and look over the air brake section. It really is great.
Skooling state at a time...
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:33 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 11
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466C
Rated Cap: 60
Re: Tapping into air supply

Thanks for the replies. Time to head to the hardware store.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:21 PM   #5
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Location: Buffalo, New York
Posts: 190
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird, Model 3800
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 42
Re: Tapping into air supply

As a thread bump, I'm looking to tap into my main supply as well, not only for use of the on-board compressor, but also so that in a compressor emergency, I can pump air into the brake system to keep moving ...

But anyhow, I remember reading somewhere that I needed to use a 'vehicle' fitting rather than a regular one.

When I was at the big orange box, I picked up a nice brass 'vehicle' fitting that looked amazingly like the brass 'industrial' fitting and much like the steel fittings with neither the 'vehicle' or 'industrial' monikers to them.

Can anyone explain what the difference is and why the 'vehicle' tag is important?

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Old 08-26-2010, 10:06 AM   #6
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Year: 1995
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Re: Tapping into air supply

Originally Posted by Iceni John
(2-stroke Detroits don't like to be idled)
You are correct but you can idle it. The key is to not let it idle low. Use a hand throttle and get a high idle and you will be just fine.
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