ARB cords and fridge mods

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I am impressed. Generally, I don't re-engineer things until they fail the first time stock.

I am curious though, did you do any before/after measurements to prove out your mods, or are you just going with the general idea that better is better?
Did the fridge need tinkering and can I prove I helped it? No. It's a good product. The shelf is just a little too warm for lunch meat and the area around the fridge stays very warm when it's tucked away in the van. I did the paper demo because it was very obvious the air was rushing below the fins instead of thru them. I proved the compressor stays hot for 25 minutes and between cycles only because I had the tool. My bet is they left out a hidden heat shield above that compressor to save cost. I mean that foam fit like it was made for it and I had fun opening it up.
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
One advantage of buying the new cord is that you can turn the old one into a hard wired cord after you cut the cigarette end off. This fridge is so voltage sensitive (don't get me started) that I used solder connections and shrink wrap instead of just crimp terminals. To be fair I solder most connectors but this fridge needs full charge and full voltage to work. I just wired it right off of the house battries so maybe it will run for more than a day on solar before I have to run the van or the little generator.

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For those electronically challenged refer to this photo to get the polarity correct. The wires have typical markings on them and they come out of the plug straight so keep the left and right straight. Do not guess!

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Foot fetish

The next time you have your metric Allen wrenches out you may want to tighten the feet with the 5mm. Mine have fallen off and have been loose more than once. I found a foot in the driveway and one in the Jeep. Even with the feet on it kept sliding off of my on home brew slider tray. I extended the feet with spacers made from the holes cut in the slider tray. I did not want to fool with tie down straps because it slides under the sleeping platform. I pull my fridge out after every trip and tie downs would be a real pain where I keep it. With the extended feet the pressure is on the aluminum spacer and not on the rubber feet when I slam on the breaks. It drops down in the holes and stays put now. It works really great and since the feet fall off and can get lost I thought I'd add this old mod.

Foot with spacer

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Holes the fridge feet drop into.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
From Michael Kings 6 days overland blog he explains how to get the actual temperature inside the fridge to match the reading on the display. For those without temp probs just get things to start to freeze and guess. It's easy to change.

" How? press the Temp + and - buttons at the same time for about 5 seconds. It will switch into calibration mode and using the same + and - buttons you can change your calibration. After you make the change just leave it and after a few seconds it will automatically save your new setting."

Nice! http://www.6daysoverland.com/2015/08/how-i-calibrated-my-arb-fridge.html
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
Shelf temp after mods

The shelf stays consistently 17 degrees warmer after mods and the floor of the shelf does not feel warm to the touch. Not perfect but I won't worry as much if cheese or the mayo are left on the shelf. Im using it for 4 days near Death Valley next week so real world seat of the pants testing will be a better test. Food was scary warm in the past on the shelf and water did not taste cold but I delt with it by diligently only placing things like fruit and bread like they tell you on it.

Fridge is always kept just above freezing because it stops at night depending on my battery usage and cords or other factors and it will still be cold in the morning. Use a fridge long enough and trust me you can pick a reason but they stop and food gets warm fast without ice. That's also a good reason to keep unused space filled with water bottles and such. The other reason to keep it as cold is to keep the shelf as cool as possible.

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One more cord. This is great for all sorts of charging and as a backup if your vehicles supply to the fridge craps out. I've used this more than once and with all the phones, iPads and such it's nice to jump a charge off af any 12v source. You can run the fridge in the house when the power is out as well. Not sure where I got it but I see them around for sale or you can make one.

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fiddypal

Adventurer
I have a Dometic but the plug looks identical, first thing i did was cut the ****ty cig. outlet plug off and put some quick connects on. Still good to have the cig. lighter for emergency situations or when using other vehicles/power sources that are not setup for my hardwire plugs. (thinking my wifes jeep which has a cig outlet plug at the back door where the fridge would likely reside)

Make sure you use a fuse when hard-wiring! (mine is auto-reset so i dont have to take the back wall down to get to it)

Fuse: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FRHS2BK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FRHS2BK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Quick-Connects: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HCRJUQ4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
For the next mod I drilled a big hole in the bottom and dug out the foam.

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Chuckle chuckle. That got your attention!

The thermistor went bad and everthing froze.

That component changes electrical resistance as temperature changes. It's used to tell the fridge when to cycle on and off. When they fail on this fridge everthing freezes. This is not a quality issue because thermistors fail on million dollar equipment as well. On early green display ARB units the only way to get to the thermistor is thru the bottom. Newer versions have a more freindly location. Quick call to ARB's tech guru Mitch and I had parts and instructions in three days. He even offered to do it if I wanted to ship it to him. Yes, ARB is that good! It's an easy job so here it is: This is the little bugger I was after along with the new thermistor and harness:

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ARB supplied the thermistor, wire connectors, cover patch plate and self tapping screews. I dug the old one out and cut it off leaving as much wire as possible. Cut the new one off of the connector leaving plenty of wire to work with. It's tight and the connectors provided would be the way to go unless you are an expert at soldering tiny wires in tight places. Mine turned out tidy and this shows one of ARB's good connectors and the old thermistor ( little metal can) that was cut off.

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I happened to have silicone heat sink compound but all that's needed is to place the new thermistor in the old plastic housing and tape it to the bottom so you can fill it back with foam. Don't use regular silicone or glue or you will insulate the thermistor from the bottom of the fridge. Sorry for the blurry pic and my tape job to the bottom pic was worse so imagine if you will the thermistor and housing got taped to the bottom.

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Now is time to fill the hole with foam. I suppose you could pack any insulation in the hole but I had a can of spray foam. You know the kind that you get from Home Depot that dries up and won't spray after a month. I put it in a box and shot the can with the .22 Ruger to let out enough foam to fill the hole.

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I'll let it dry, install the supplied cover and report back latter.

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Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
That fixed it and now it cycles like new. It was very nice of ARB to support a fridge as old as this serial number 267.
Here is the cover plate installed that they provided.

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NatersXJ6

Explorer
caliber / brand?

Does it have to be a Ruger .22?

I might have a Remington laying around somewhere...

bah, maybe I can get someone else to shoot it for me...

:ylsmoke:

I love the repair description! thanks!
 

Stumpalump

Expedition Leader
I think I've seen your cover plate before...this is the mounting plate they provide with the ARB compressor:

Thats the part. It probably just happened to be the perfect size. Good for them if they use what they have on hand. The thermistor I believe is the current production. They added 4 screews and two crimp connectors and charged me nothing. How cool is that? A razor knive would cut the plastic so you don't even need a hole saw.
 

jeepermc

New member
You're correct on all of the above. We had some customer assistance who had some refrigeration experience that refused to believe his fridge couldn't be fixed. We sent him a dead fridge carcass and some parts and he located the thermistor and fixed his and told us how he had done it. We figured we could pretty easily return the favor to our customers instead of them having to buy a new fridge. While we can't take credit for doing the actual work coming up with the fix, we're happy we can assist customers with the older fridges. Aside from the connectors, everything we use in the "fix it" kit is re-purposed from something else and the thermistor is the replacement part for the "serviceable" ones.
 
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