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Old 03-08-2011, 18:49   #1
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Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

Ok, so we left the boat (at a marina) for a two week spurt only to return to my small 110v Fridge open with a gentle "knocking" sound from the rear... Yup, it's burnt all up....
So my wife and I went searching for parts for the old unit today. It's an Adler Barbour. I wasted the old evaporator trying to make space... ok, I punctured a hole in it with a knife and ripped it out in anger... On a side note, "Knives and thin metals = many holes..."
Anyway, back to the search. We were able to find an old one at a junk yard for boats place.
I have attached a few pics of what I have. It's a really BIG one...!
I may have to expand my cold storage a bit...

So, I am asking for help on how to install this thing. I don't have a clue, however I am VERY mechanically inclined!
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Old 03-08-2011, 20:58   #2
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

Bite the bullet and start with a new one.
The rust on that thing ought to be a clue, it's a hunk of junk.
Mine looked almost as bad as yours when I repaired it, but if I had it to do over, I'd have chucked it.

To make it work, you will need the help of a professional with soldering/brazing skills, a vacuum pump, the whole nine yards.
You will then MAYBE have an operating unit (for an indeterminate time).

Don't do it.
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Old 03-08-2011, 21:34   #3
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

...oh, hey, ... I never thought of that!?... Woops! Yes I did,.... let's see.... Why didn't I just start all over....hmmm.... Oh, I remember... I'M POOR!
Dude, I live on a sailboat! While some folks have the money to just replace things, I have to make due with what I have...

That is not rust, it is dust... I stated that I was mechanically inclined, so, that means I would know that a rusted piece of "thin" aluminum would not fair well under a bit of pressure...

..... sorry, that got out of hand there...

As far as the soldering goes, I think I have a pretty good idea how to do that...

I came here to ask for some "practical" advice. Does anyone have any?
thx....
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Old 03-08-2011, 22:09   #4
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

atraitees,
What your showing there is not that old it's a R-134 machine.
Do you have a ice box on your boat?
Get the model number off the coil and condenser, look them up.
Is it a 12 or 24 volt unit? is the next question.
Most of them are dual voltage but not all.
The Evaporator is called a "roll bond" evap. Try not to flex it. The lines will have to threaded through the side of the box and extended to the condenser line. you can use flare fittings.
You will need a new filter dryer in the line also. arrow towards the evap.
After all your lines are connected you will need a vacuum pump, gauges, and or the help of an hvac tech to charge it. WARNING! these units only hold around 5 ozs! not pounds of gas. just the hoses on the gauges hold about 3 ozs. Wiring is quite simple, but must be sized right. You will need battery banks if your away from shore power for your on board charger.
the wiring and thermostat connections are on the control module.

good luck, hope this helps a little!
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Old 03-08-2011, 22:18   #5
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

A man of my own heart. Crush and rend. BFI rules (Brute force and Ignorance)

Seriously, I'm not mocking you. I too have punctured an evaporator....

Right now I have received a new condenser and evaporator today in the mail. The one in my boat is old and tired. I did spend some time looking at fixing it and decided that I wanted to spend some time on other things other than fixing it again RSN (real soon now).

Sadly I do have a job that keeps the money flowing but keeps me from the boat, blue skies and warm water. It does allow me to remove the 30 year old fridge and replace it with new. Hopefully the new will give 10+ years of trouble free service.

Help for your quest can be found on Kollmann's site KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist

The advice you were given is actually quite sound and we do understand low budget sailing. It is just that we also understand the gravity of the fix.

In a prior life I might have assembled nuclear detonators or perhaps I just might have a mechanical bent. In any case I made my choice....

Copper tubing is easy to solder. Look out for pin holes and don't get any flux into the vacuum side of the tubing. If you do, good luck. Try a flux remover. You should put it under as hard of a vacuum as you can and keep it evacuated for a while. This is to get any residue to outgass. The tubing should hold a vacuum forever.... Otherwise you are outgassing or you have a pinhole.

I'll leave it up to others for advice on recharging, refrigerant and oils.

Regards, Ethan
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Old 03-08-2011, 22:30   #6
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

That's what I'm talking about! Awesome info. Thanks so much.
I do have an Ice box on the boat. This compressor was attached to it. It worked great until I decided to go all Rambo survival knife on it...
Not sure what the model number is on it. It is 12v.
The only issue I had for the evaporator was that the line was cut a bit short. I was also wondering what other parts I needed to pick up and where or what kind of shop I might find them at.
As far as power goes,.... I have 6 sealed AGMs (4 hooked up) at 90Ah each... A good friend of mine got them out of a library that was re-doing their solar panel set up.
I have two separate chargers, a 90 Amp and a 40 Amp. I run the 40 off of sure power and the 90 from my Honda 2k...

So sorry, I meant no disrespect. It just seemed a bit obvious is all...

Thx again for all the help.
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:34   #7
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

you should fit or if it has one replace the small filter drier into the high pressure (tiny small line) from the compressor to keep out dirt from blocking the orfice in the evaporator.
And make sure to vac it down and see if it holds a vacuum.
I used solder the kind used for household copper pipes for repairing the lines.
I used PAG oil with r134a when repairing a fridge that was originally r12.
it only takes a few ozs, I weighed it in with a scale to get the charge correct.
The steel line had rusted and dumped out all the charge.
This is a midsized standard house fridge non frost free model.
I remember draining out the old oil from the compressor.

the first start up it cooled for a few minutes and then stopped due to water freezing left in the system, so the second time I left the vac pump on for 24 hours. And it has been good since then.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:02   #8
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

atraitees,

I wasn't kidding, nor did I mean any disrespect when I said what I did.
I too, am mechanically handy and fix everything myself as long as tools to do a project are either at hand, can be borrowed or purchased for less than a king's ransom.
I used to have my own gauges for refrigeration when we cruised Mexico back in the R12 days.

For your sake, I hope your project goes well, but having been through more than a couple of refrigeration repairs with two different boats, I've seen enough challenges to try to save you some grief.
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:24   #9
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

A recent repair I had to do was on the evaporator. The polyurethane coating was failing. Rust was forming and progressing under the coating. I could peel off large pieces. The areas still attached I used a coarse rotary brush to clean off the remaining coating. Dismayed, I noted that even where the coating was sticking, some rust was forming under the coating.
Using the rotary brush cleaned it well. It was a difficult job to get off all the coating from evaporator.
I took out the screws holding the evaporator, removed the back plate that was riveted and carefully pulled it forward and twisted it till I could get in to all areas. To work on the fridge, I flipped it over on its top.

After cleaning it, next was a wondering what to coat it with.
I settled on spray on Rustoleum black rust converter for the primer
Then two brush coats of Rustoleum countertop enamel ( a clearanced item customer reject one qt was only $2.50)
lastly Rustoleum Epoxy enamel for appliances in a spray can.

Finally when putting it together, the rear screw which holds up the evaporator would not bite.
I took a chisel and can opened a 2 by 2 inch square of the outer case on top.
Cut and pried out a section of the foam insulation.
what they used to hold the screw was a thin sheet steel plate. The plate hole was rusted out.
So I used a new nut and screw. I greased the screws with lithium waterproof grease. And glued the nut in place with PL premium poly construction adhesive, keeping the glue away from the threads, hope the grease will let me take it out if I have to later.
Put the foam back in
Bent the steel back down
Sealed with more Pl, that is great waterproof stuff.

I certainly hope this holds up.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:14   #10
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Re: Re-fitt'n the Fridge . . . HELP !

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
atraitees,

I wasn't kidding, nor did I mean any disrespect when I said what I did.
I too, am mechanically handy and fix everything myself as long as tools to do a project are either at hand, can be borrowed or purchased for less than a king's ransom.
I used to have my own gauges for refrigeration when we cruised Mexico back in the R12 days.

For your sake, I hope your project goes well, but having been through more than a couple of refrigeration repairs with two different boats, I've seen enough challenges to try to save you some grief.
No worries my sailing brother! Thank you for the advice. I was a bit ... Sarcastic as well. My apologies.
With all that said,.. I may have to sport some cash after all. Seems the new evaporator will not fit in the hole... That is sad.. such a good deal OK.. lol
My estimate on building a new hole was way more than a simple fix... Story of the life is it not! Lol
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