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Fridge success...and a tip for getting it lit
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grunwin
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Joined: April 05, 2005
Posts: 107
Location: Portland, OR
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:36 pm    Post subject: Fridge success...and a tip for getting it lit Reply with quote

Until today, the fridge in my Westy had never worked. The POs had never used it (had never even filled the LP tank!) and I had not had any success lighting it on gas. I couldn't find anything wrong with it: it had gas, it had a spark, and it worked on 12v and 120v. After pulling my it several times and testing various hypotheses and searching thesamba.com, vanagon.com, and all the obvious and obscure resources I could find, my fridge finally fires up and cools (well) on gas.

Today when my dad and I pulled the thing we explored the spark/pilot compartment more thoroughly than we had in the past. We found that the spark was between the sparker and the heat sensor that keeps the pilot lit once you release the button. On a hunch--and with nothing to lose--we bent the sparker slightly so the spark jumped between it and the actual pilot apparatus. Outside the van (connected to the grill gas tank) it lit like a charm repeatedly. On occasion it benefited from supplemental air delivered via a tube and therapy ball pump but I was able to light it every time. The success continued once we reinstalled! Now my Westy is fully operational and ready for the 3,000 mile haul to Portland, OR, in a few weeks.

As this alteration to the spark is not something I have come across anywhere else, it seemed like a pretty useful tidbit to share. I don't know what the factory set-up is supposed to be but this is working for me and maybe it will work for you too. Good luck.
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r39o
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Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 9548
Location: San Diego
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kewl. One of the last camper things I have to make work. I will include this thread in the list of reefer madness links in the stickies....
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shaker
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Joined: February 12, 2005
Posts: 39
Location: south wales UK
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought the spark had to jump to the sensor in order for the shut off coil on the safety valve to be energised to allow the gas to flow ?
I tryed what you recommended above could not get it to light ,until i adjusted the spark onto the sensor !
anybody else find this too?

1990 vangon gl westy
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danfromsyr
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Joined: March 01, 2004
Posts: 12111
Location: Syracuse, NY
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

has anyone thought (or done) to replace the stock 'sparker' with a BBQ style zap-zap-zap-zap electronic 'pushbutton' one?
http://www.clagrills.com/partsphotopages/IGEIB4-B.htm
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kevtherev
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Joined: December 23, 2007
Posts: 896
Location: the 51st state
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
has anyone thought (or done) to replace the stock 'sparker' with a BBQ style zap-zap-zap-zap electronic 'pushbutton' one?
http://www.clagrills.com/partsphotopages/IGEIB4-B.htm


good idea though electrolux produced just that in the RM212 with an electronic igniter.

another tip for bad performance (cooling) is if you can remove ther fridge and turn it upside down fo a few hours ...this seems to reinvigorate the amonia
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Rodknock
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Joined: April 06, 2006
Posts: 516
Location: Boulder CO
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once last summer when we got to our camping spot after driving for 2 hours, my wife asked me "where's the cooler?" So, with the cooler sitting peacefully at home with most of our food and beer in it, it was time I tried once again to light the fridge. It worked! This time I got a better view angle of the flame through the site glass at the bottom of the fridge, and kept an eye on the LED. I think part of the problem in the past was it was lighting but I did not know it and took my finger off the button too fast.
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