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Refer Madness: Improving the Dometic 182B
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:28 am    Post subject: Refer Madness: Improving the Dometic 182B Reply with quote

[Original Post]
My fridge is running:
1. On 110V AC yes fins feel cool after a half-hour or so
2. On LP yes fins feel cool < half-hour. But not while driving, PO says it "blows out" but he gave me the impression that is should work while driving, any input?
3. 12V DC I don't think so. How long does it take for the cooling fins to feel cool in this mode?

[For Fridge Info Go to the Bottom of the Thread]


Last edited by Methanolab on Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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mightyart
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read this, it explains alot. Go to www.vanagon.com on the left side of page click on "info", then click on "articles & essays", then scroll down to the bottom of page for "refrigerator info."
these articals will answer all your questions.
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crukab
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go with "Panama Red" or "Alcapulco Gold" Wink
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know crukab, we may have met each other in a previous life.
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Stanagon Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crukab wrote:
I'd go with "Panama Red" or "Alcapulco Gold" Wink


I thought "refer" might bring out some interesting comments Laughing

Crukab, you going to Buses by the Buoy this weekend? I'm heading up tomorrow with my son Ben, Jim Phillips and possibly Scott Castle.

Randy in Maine, if you are there introduce yourself, if we haven't already met. I'll be in my Medium Blue '81 Westy non-deluxe (as in no stinkin' propane).

-Stan
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gee Stan I would love to go as last year it was right down the road from me, here in Old Orchard. I went for a few hours and it looked like everyone was have way too much fun.

I am kind of busy right now getting my bus all ready for a little 6 week vacation to the left coast and back since we leave on Thursday. My wife is getting a little freaked out because it is not running (minor problem) and not inspected (also minor). Did I say I don't have a mounted spare yet (even more minor)?

They really do have way too much fun at that one.
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Gary
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randy in Maine wrote:
Gee Stan I would love to go as last year it was right down the road from me, here in Old Orchard. I went for a few hours and it looked like everyone was have way too much fun.

I am kind of busy right now getting my bus all ready for a little 6 week vacation to the left coast and back since we leave on Thursday. My wife is getting a little freaked out because it is not running (minor problem) and not inspected (also minor). Did I say I don't have a mounted spare yet (even more minor)?

They really do have way too much fun at that one.


If you're coming across I40 in Oklahoma, I am 10 miles off the Interstate. There is a KOA place 1 mile north, while I am 10 miles south. I have 10 acres, so mi casa su casa.
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dometic 182B Service Manual:

http://www.telusplanet.net/public/gary2a/rack/DometicRMB182B/DometicRM182B.pdf


Last edited by Methanolab on Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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crukab
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Stanagon"]
crukab wrote:
I'd go with "Panama Red" or "Alcapulco Gold" Wink


I thought "refer" might bring out some interesting comments Laughing

Crukab, you going to Buses by the Buoy this weekend? I'm heading up tomorrow with my son Ben, Jim Phillips and possibly Scott Castle.

Randy in Maine, if you are there introduce yourself, if we haven't already met. I'll be in my Medium Blue '81 Westy non-deluxe (as in no stinkin' propane).

-Stan

Sorry to jack your thread again c-walk........ But no Stan I'm not going to BBB,I work most sundays during the school year, I will be @ Johnson Vt. next weekend, and for the 1st time @ the Transporterfest in Mass. 9/26 !!
C-walk , a couple #'s for you to try - Dennis Haynes 516-563-8248 John Hamill/John's Car Corner 802-722-3180 -- theses guys are long time
Bus guys - they should be able to point you in the right direction, there #'s are from a LIMBO news letter.
Tom
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats cool, me thread es sue thread. Or something like that besides it keeps people thikning about my LP hiss.
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tom and everyone for the input. There are some people around here I know that have been into VWs and busses for a while I just dont feel like bugging them right now. This is too much easier. So thank you for catering to my laziness/busyness.

Anyhow, I retested the fridge and it seems to be "running on all cylinders" so that is good. It only seems to be getting down to about 64 degrees on either electric or 52 on propane but that was only after about an hour or two each for the electric and a couple hours on the gas. I guess it could take 12 - 24 hours for the whole thing to get the proper temperature like a regular refrigerator, huh. I also found out from Dometic and my local RV dealer that you can't recharge the ammonia coolant in these bad boys, does anyone know that to be false? I took the fridge out and am going to piddle with it and do all the things that are supposed to make it run better. I got a 12v transformer and will try it out indoors on 12 and 110v for extended periods to see what happens. The vanagon.com stuff is pretty good info, it is also nice to have the repair manual which is available on .pdf from http://www.telusplanet.net/public/gary2a/rack/DometicRMB182B/DometicRM182B.pdf
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2004 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pulled the fridge and everything is going well. It gets down in the twenties on both electrical sources. With the fridge out I realized that the geniuses at Westphalia really screwed up the Dometic. The fridge door is connected to the cabinet panel not the fridge! The back of the cabinet panel has a latch plate, two hinges, and multiple screws setting it off of the refrigerator and there is only a thin stiff vinyl seal between the panel and fridge front (that doesn't seal).

So, I recessed the latch plate and hinges and removed the superfluous screws. Then I put 3/16" thick foam stripping on the fridge front behind the cabinet panel. I had to shave the back of the latch on the panel to get everything to fit (probably the reason for the random screws in the back of the panel). I also put the foam seal where the refrigerator door seal meets the fridge front. Now when you shut the door you can feel and hear the thhwoof of the airtight box closing.

Then I made a shroud that directs the flow of the little matchbook sized radio shack fan over ALL of the cooling fins. The fins I had removed, cleaned and remounted to the cooling plate with fresh thermal grease. I wired the fan right through the fridge wall instead of around the edge, disrupting the door seal, as the PO had. And I am going to run it to a micro toggle switch on the plate with all the fridge controls.

The rear fan for the heating fins had deteriorated past functioning so I replaced it with the card deck sized fan that was in the fridge from the PO. So rebuilding the Dometic 128B is going well and producing good results.

Next, I want to clean the burner box and the seal plate in the vent cover. Making the vent tubes the same length, as Dometic suggests is the solution to the pilot blowing out while the vehicle is in motion, does not make any sense to me because they are different diameters and the vent housing is designed to have them be different lengths. I found out that my LP regulator was bad so I probably had that problem because I wasn't getting enough LP pressure. Later.

(Yes, I want to change this into a fridge refurbish thread).
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Methanolab
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 06, 2005 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay here is the latest for the fridge:

I finally got to test this out and it did the trick so well I thought I should share it. Many people complain about the dometic fridge not holding a flame while driving. Vanagon.com says that dometic says it is a problem with the lengths of the vent tubes being disimilar. But don't get you hack saws out just yet. In the dometic service manual it mentions the importance of haveing a good seal between the vent plates and the side of the van. In going over my system I found that one of the round vent plates on the outside of the van is made out of aluminum. It is mounted with three screws. The soft alluminum plate deforms because of the screws used to mount it. The screws end up looking like they have been countersink into the plate. But since the plate has actually deformed and the material behind the screwheads stayed the same thickness it sets the plate away from the body of the van. What I did to correct this was grind off the extruded nubs around the screw holes then simply reinstall the plate with large diameter, thin washers on the screws. And it now works great!
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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have made all the usual modifications to my Dometic fridge and although it provides lots of cooling to the fins in all modes, I think the inside should be cooler. I have a nice fridge/freezer thermometer ( that I use to monitor the temperature of the cooling fins (freezer) and the air (fridge) simultaneously.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RYRADY
I have observed that even with the cooling fins at 20 deg F and the fan circulating air in the fridge, the air temperature averages around 45 deg F.

Well, I then noticed that the plywood portion of the fridge door isn't even seating completely against the cabinet front, so I suspect the fridge isn't sealing completely and that the fan may actually be driving cool air out of the fridge faster than normal!

Here are my questions:
1. Other than listening for the fan around the door edge or feeling for cool air around the edge, are there any good techniques for determining gaps in the door seal? A thermal image would suit me well, but I don't access to such a camera Smile I don't think that measuring the thickness of the door plus gap plus seal is the best way either, but it's better than nothing.
2. Does anyone have any photos of how they improved the door seal? I would really like to see what Methanolab did to his door.

Thanks,
Pat
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On my fridge, I found that one or two of the screws holding the plywood frame to the fridge box were stripped. This didn't help the sealing quality of the door. Something to check?

To check door seal, try using a piece of paper, dollar bill, ciggy paper, to check for gaps.

Find a spot where you know door seals, and check for a snug fit at this point with of paper between door seal and fridge. Then put that same paper between seal and fridge at other spots to determine which parts of the door aren't sealing. If that makes sense.

Neil.

rumitcu wrote:



Here are my questions:
1. Other than listening for the fan around the door edge or feeling for cool air around the edge, are there any good techniques for determining gaps in the door seal? A thermal image would suit me well, but I don't access to such a camera Smile I don't think that measuring the thickness of the door plus gap plus seal is the best way either, but it's better than nothing.
2. Does anyone have any photos of how they improved the door seal? I would really like to see what Methanolab did to his door.

Thanks,
Pat

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry.

What was I thinking!?

It seemed like a good idea, but obviously I haven't tried this method.

I just went downstairs to look at a spare Dometic. This method doesn't look possible. The door itself would be in the way.

Apologies.

Neil.


Vanagon Nut wrote:

To check door seal, try using a piece of paper, dollar bill, ciggy paper, to check for gaps.

Find a spot where you know door seals, and check for a snug fit at this point with of paper between door seal and fridge. Then put that same paper between seal and fridge at other spots to determine which parts of the door aren't sealing. If that makes sense.

Neil.

rumitcu wrote:



Here are my questions:
1. Other than listening for the fan around the door edge or feeling for cool air around the edge, are there any good techniques for determining gaps in the door seal? A thermal image would suit me well, but I don't access to such a camera Smile I don't think that measuring the thickness of the door plus gap plus seal is the best way either, but it's better than nothing.
2. Does anyone have any photos of how they improved the door seal? I would really like to see what Methanolab did to his door.

Thanks,
Pat

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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering what you were thinking Wink

I have been trying to think of something that I could place along the seal line that would provide an indication of where good contact was being made and where there was none, but I haven't been able to come up with anything.

I really feel like getting this seal figured out is going to provide a big increase in fridge performance that will make it pretty sweet. When I got the van about 3 months ago, I told my girlfriend that i was going to get the fridge working properly come hell or highwater and I think I'm almos there!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rumitcu wrote:
I was wondering what you were thinking Wink

I have been trying to think of something that I could place along the seal line that would provide an indication of where good contact was being made and where there was none, but I haven't been able to come up with anything.

I really feel like getting this seal figured out is going to provide a big increase in fridge performance that will make it pretty sweet. When I got the van about 3 months ago, I told my girlfriend that i was going to get the fridge working properly come hell or highwater and I think I'm almos there!


Oh I wasn't really thinking, but was harkening back to my days as a musical instrument repairman. (brass mainly, but *some* reed instruments, i.e. on a clarinet, one way to test the pad seal with a cig paper)

Maybe chalk dust (blue stuff) on the seal? A little WB grease? (yes. messy)

I can't recall off hand, (and my spare refer is "buried" right now) but is there a way to remove the face from the plastic part of door?

Neil.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have been trying to think of something that I could place along the seal line that would provide an indication of where good contact was being made and where there was none, but I haven't been able to come up with anything.

I don't know if this would work or not but what about double-stick tape? Attach it to the door seal, close the door and open it very carefully and see where contact isn't being made.

Or perhaps adding the suggeted chalk-dust (the kind they use in a chalk-line snapper) to the frame and seeing how much is attached to the tape upon opening.

It's an interesting physics project...
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rumitcu
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I like this idea! I will try putting double sided tape around the perimeter of the fridge and will put chalk dust along the door seal, close the door, and see where there is dust and where there isn't! And then I'll post the results.
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