VIAIR 20185 Dual Stealth Black 485C Onboard Air System Under Truck Bed Install

Vigilance247

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2021 F-250 6.7 "Silverback"
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2015 Corvette Z51
Huge shout out to Erik for sharing his install first!

The purpose of this new thread about onboard air is to help those thinking about installing the Viair 20185 Dual Stealth Black 485C system under their truck bed.

This would be a good time to get your favorite adult beverage, some snacks and acquire a comfortable reading position.

Let's begin!

This is a great DIY project and you will save yourself a lot of money doing it yourself. However, I didn't have the tools or experience for this install but did have the money to pay for installation.

I contacted the shop that did Erik's install. The owner was absolutely amazing and she gave me a ton of great info. She also explained that Erik got a discounted install price because they were already installing a new suspension for him. Erik's price was around $500. She emailed an updated quote to me, "The installation would be $650 plus shop supplies, and if we need anything additional such as hangers, or whatever minor items that may not be included for this install." That quote although more expensive than Erik's is still a great price and you will see why later on. Unfortunately, I live 6.5 hours away from her shop and decided to have mine installed locally.

The first local shop that I contacted was 4wheelparts. Their quote was much higher!
4wp quote.jpeg


The next shop that I contacted quoted me $125 to install everything? I decided not to go there because there was obviously a huge misunderstanding right from the get go.

The final shop that I contacted quoted me $500 for the install. I showed them Erik's install pics. They asked if I really wanted to cut my frame up like that? I said, "DO NOT NOT CUT THE FRAME!" It took me a good 10 minutes of showing them the pics again to convince them that the frame was never cut on Erik's install. So, be careful out there and don't let anyone cut up your frame. I decided to go with this shop because the store manager said they install Viair all the time (remember this for later). He told me to come back next week and first thing in the morning.

I arrived very early one week later. The shop was not even open when I got there. When the store manager arrived, I got out of my truck and said good morning. He looked like he had never seen me before. We went inside. He asked how he could help me? I said that I am here for my appointment. He asked appointment? I was starting to have some doubts at this point. I said, "Yes, I am here for the installation of the dual Viair system." He asked Viair? Then, he said that he had never heard of Viair before.? I took a deep breath and said you took pics of my truck and I sent install pics to your phone. Remember? I was about to walk out when he said that he remembered.

One of the installers came up and asked for my key fob. I looked at the manager and asked if we could talk about the install before they get started? He said they still needed to open the store first but for me to go ahead give him the keys. I handed over the key fob and waited my turn to talk about the install.

About 30 minutes passed and I took a peek into the install bay. The installer was already working on the installation. I found the shop manager and asked when we were going to go over the installation? He said in a few minutes.

I waited about 2 hours and a second installer walked into the store room. His name is Rigo. The manager pointed at me and Rigo walked over. He wanted to show me the mounting locations for the pressure gauge.

We walked out to the truck and I patiently listened to Rigo explain where the gauge could go. I told Rigo that I do not need the gauge and do not need it installed.

Rigo laughed and said sir, you need this gauge for your air bags. I waited patiently as Rigo explained to me how air bags worked and why I needed the gauge. I told him that I do not have air bags and don't plan to use any air bags. Rigo laughed even harder! Then, Rigo points at his partner under my truck. Rigo asked me what do I think that man has been working on all morning? I looked back at Rigo and said ask him for yourself. So, Rigo keeps laughing and yells down to his partner.

The man working under the truck told Rigo he was not installing airbags and to look for himself. Rigo drops under the truck and I could see the look of surprise on his face.

Rigo apologized and asked me what all of this was for? I told Rigo that it was not his fault because the store manager never went over the installation with me first. Now that we were on the same page, things went a lot smoother.

It went smooth until it was demonstration time. Rigo came in and said it was all done. We walked out to the truck and he connected an air blower nozzle to the air chuck. I could hear the air escape but the pumps never came on. Rigo asked me to go back and wait inside.

Five minutes later we try again and now the pumps work. I asked Rigo to show me the fuse location. That is when he tells me that the 20 amp fuse blew the first time. So, he replaced it with a 30 amp fuse. I told Rigo that each pump draws 40 amps of current and there is no way those are the right fuses. Rigo said that was all that came with the system.

I called Viair and they were absolutely fantastic! Viair explained over my iPhone's speaker that the 20 amp fuse had to go bye-bye and to use the 80 amp fuse and holder. Rigo found those items in the box but he was so confused. He said these are for car stereos and not air compressors. I asked him to use them anyway. Rigo made the change and it was done.

The store manager told me that if they ever do this install again they would charge the next person 3 times more ($,1500 plus tax). Then, he said no, we will never install another system like this again. He honored his original quote and I paid $541 including tax.

A funny thing happened to me on the way home, Viair called me back. They asked if I was still at the shop? I sad no, why? Viair explained that if the shop used the 20 amp fuse, then they may have also used the wrong gauge of wire and the wire might be too small. I thanked them for the info.

The next day, I wanted to try the system out but could not find the air blower nozzle. I drove back to the shop and they did not have it anywhere. Rigo insisted it was in an unopened package and still in the box he gave me yesterday. I was skeptical but drove back home and found the nozzle just like Rigo said. I felt so stupid ?‍♂️ I called the shop to let them know I found it.

I plugged the air nozzle in and showed my finance what it can do. Everything worked perfectly!

About a week later, we visited some friends and of course I had to show off my Viair system. That is when I noticed the pumps were not coming on. I made sure the truck was running and that upfitter switch #5 was on but the pumps never came on. That is when I remembered that last phone call from Viair saying the wires may be too small.

I reached out to Viair and asked them to help me find a shop that could fix the wiring. They responded almost immediately with info about a different shop. I called up shop number 2 and made an appointment.

Shop #2 was absolutely fantastic! Jason quickly realized that shop #1 had wired the system up like a one pump system. Since I have two pumps, the wires were too small. Also, each pump should have it's own power wire running up to the relay. Shop #1 had both pumps on one wire. Jason also found that the system was not grounded right. Additionally, Jason upgraded the air hose from the tank to the air chuck. He said the hose they used was too small and it would take forever to air up my 35 inch tires.

So, Jason fixed everything and I paid him $195. Some may argue that I should have made shop #1 fix everything for free but it was clear to me that they did not have the knowledge to fix it. So, I was ok paying Jason for his time and effort. Remember that Erik's shop quoted me $650 plus materials. At the end of day, I paid $736 between shop 1 and 2. So, its not too far off and still cheaper that the $1,100 that 4wp quoted me. Also, Jason said that shop #1 did a great job installing the pumps, brackets, and tank. Jason also said that this installation was a big job and he would have turned me down if I came to him first.

Now that everything is installed and working correctly, I did a quick air down and air up test run today.

Starting pressure was about 48 psi but the air gauge is showing closer to 46. Could be the angle of my iPhone? I was trying to avoid the glaring reflection.

begin air pressure.jpg


Airing down to 20 psi took about 3 minutes with me stopping a few times to check the pressure:
air down time.png


stop air pressure.jpg


Airing back up to 50 psi took about a minute and 45 seconds.
air up time.png

air up stop pressure.jpg


In the end, everything came together and is working great.

Erik has the best install pics. See Erik's post here.

If this is something you would like to do, here are the Amazon links for the products:

Amazon link to the dual air system:

Amazon link to the mounting brackets:
 
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Wow what a story and thank you for the write up and sharing your experiences. I think that so often we underestimate the challenge of trying to convert something we find on here into reality because of this exact reason! You just can't always trust what people tell you and it is so difficult and time consuming to verify their capability.

I've struggled on pulling the trigger on PPF and stereo installations for this same reason, I just can't find a shop that I trust yet!
 
Wow, I am only just seeing this. I really wonder what the situation is with my wires and fuses and hoses is now. Maybe your guy could look at mine and suss out whether it is "right".

Your first shop sounds very ?. I would have been beyond pissed.

I've certainly have been having a bit of trouble inflating. Mainly, my digital gauge / inflator nozzle thing seized up where the lever is, making it impossible to put on and take off of a tire, so I threw it out. I have been sort of on the phone with the place where I bought it to see if they'd send me a replacement. The one I got from AutoZone seems bogus too.

One other thing to note is I bought my kit from

And my brackets from

So depending on shipping and fees, coupons, etc, you might be able to shave off a couple bucks, ymmv. Also it looks like the prices on the things I linked to have gone up a little since last year.
 
Wow, I am only just seeing this. I really wonder what the situation is with my wires and fuses and hoses is now. Maybe your guy could look at mine and suss out whether it is "right".

Your first shop sounds very ?. I would have been beyond pissed.

I've certainly have been having a bit of trouble inflating. Mainly, my digital gauge / inflator nozzle thing seized up where the lever is, making it impossible to put on and take off of a tire, so I threw it out. I have been sort of on the phone with the place where I bought it to see if they'd send me a replacement. The one I got from AutoZone seems bogus too.

One other thing to note is I bought my kit from

And my brackets from

So depending on shipping and fees, coupons, etc, you might be able to shave off a couple bucks, ymmv. Also it looks like the prices on the things I linked to have gone up a little since last year.
Hi Erik!

My VAiR digital pressure gauge has been working perfectly. I always remove it from the air hose after each use and put it back in its bag because of water condensation.

You can try contacting VAIR to see if they can recommend a local installer to check your system. I just talked to Jason the other day and he is swamped with work. So, I don’t how soon he can respond. This is his website https://www.airhornsoftexas.com/

Do you think pics of my install would help you out?
 
Hi Erik!

My VAiR digital pressure gauge has been working perfectly. I always remove it from the air hose after each use and put it back in its bag because of water condensation.

You can try contacting VAIR to see if they can recommend a local installer to check your system. I just talked to Jason the other day and he is swamped with work. So, I don’t how soon he can respond. This is his website https://www.airhornsoftexas.com/

Do you think pics of my install would help you out?

Sure, pics would be nice, if you have any indication of the dual wiring, the correct fuses, grounding, and the hose upgrade that I should look for, it would beat a 6 hour drive each way. Mine seems to take awhile to fill my 37s. Def more than 1.5min, although 37x13.5 is a bigger volume.

Mine is wired to upfitter switch #1.

Yeah I think I just got a bum digital tire inflation gun. This little thumb piece was always very difficult to move, and eventually it just wouldn't budge. I really messed up my hands a bit trying to get it to work a few times. I took care of it in its little pouch, too.

Digital-Tire-Inflation-Gun-200-PSI-min.jpg
 
Sure, pics would be nice, if you have any indication of the dual wiring, the correct fuses, grounding, and the hose upgrade that I should look for, it would beat a 6 hour drive each way. Mine seems to take awhile to fill my 37s. Def more than 1.5min, although 37x13.5 is a bigger volume.

Mine is wired to upfitter switch #1.

Yeah I think I just got a bum digital tire inflation gun. This little thumb piece was always very difficult to move, and eventually it just wouldn't budge. I really messed up my hands a bit trying to get it to work a few times. I took care of it in its little pouch, too.

View attachment 28666
Ok I will try to get some pics for you tomorrow.

I have used that style of thumb lever for a long time. I learned a long time ago not to bottom it out on the stem. Why does that sound so dirty? ?
 
I used upfitter switch number 5 because someone on the forum mentioned 5 and 6 carry more amps.
Also I read that switches 5 and 6 can be changed so to use the switch WITHOUT the truck running.
I’m getting my ARB on board air with Firestone Air bags and I want 2 air valves. One in the bed and a second drilled through my bumper on the area where the plate goes.
My truck goes to the shop this week for that and my Carli Pintop suspension. I will say I freakin nervous about this install. LI NY doesn’t have many decent 4x4 shops. I will be praying for GODS guidance for this shop who feels confident that my truck will come out RAD.
HUGE shout out to Mike B aka RAVAGE
He hooked me up with everything with links to what he’s doing to his rig. Even got a 1 gallon tank. He wants to use air tools on the road. I matched his. GID BLESS BROTHER RAVAGE and all you great brothers helping out so many of us needing help. ??????????
 
This is the best I can do without a lift and just laying on the ground.

Thanks for your photos. I got under mine today (lowered the spare tire) and had a look. Well, this does not look like what the manual says. The guy at WPS decided to wire the two positives together. Also, when I was down at Matagorda this weekend, I noticed that the output pressure was nonexistent and had to limp to the next gas station with 17psi in the tires.

I've been talking to viair, Jason at Texas Air Horns, and WPS to try to sort this out.


IMG_3500.JPG
 
I installed mine myself, if you have question ill be happy to answer any. I ran 8 gauge wire to each compressor from the battery through the relay. it was a pain in the ass but it works
 
Turns out even though I have only one 8AWG wire running to the battery, that part was pretty much fine. Somehow the regulator that was in the air path was not working. Maybe I was using it wrong. But when I took it out, things started working again.
 
Turns out even though I have only one 8AWG wire running to the battery, that part was pretty much fine. Somehow the regulator that was in the air path was not working. Maybe I was using it wrong. But when I took it out, things started working again.
I have never used the regulator. It’s still in the box.
 
I have never used the regulator. It’s still in the box.

My mechanic decided to use the pressure regulator as the thing that the hose from the tank goes into and the male quick connect valve goes into, since it has 2 female ports. I ended up just buying a female quick connect valve from Home Depot and attaching that directly to the hose and zip tying that to the regulator 🤪
 
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My mechanic decided to use the pressure regulator as the thing that the hose from the tank goes into and the female quick connect valve goes into, since it has 2 female ports. I ended up just buying a female quick connect valve from Home Depot and attaching that directly to the hose and zip tying that to the regulator 🤪
Clever solution!
 

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