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April 19, 2012

Test Fit the Refrigerator and Getting ready for the Install

Test fit the new refrigerator
I took the doors off the refrigerator to check the fit.  Even with the door off, it just barely slid by the narrow part of the van aisle.  It just barely gets into the cavity due to the cabinet face trim.  I can recess it a bit over a half inch and still have room for the lock to swivel and the compressor just clears the rear inner wall.  So, the cavity is ready for the actual installation.  

There are two things that help the refrigerator keep cold while using as little battery as possible.  That is insulation and ventilation for the compressor.  To ensure maximum insulation, I am adding as much insulation as the cavity will allow.  I'm using Reflectix foil bubble and the pink foam boards I got at Home Depot with a rating of R-5 for 1".  The insulation will be cut so the compressor will have plenty of air flow.

There is about 3" above the refrigerator that I will fill with the foam.  I am installing the ASU remote control above it along with a thermometer.  It is a little tricky to get all the parts in the right order so I don't end up not being able to reach something.

I used to test computer installations so I know the value of having detailed and accurate checklists for complicated installations.  I sat down and listed all the steps I need to get it insulated and installed and not have to backtrack at some points.  Below is the list I made to insulate and install the Isotherm CR130 refrigerator.

I didn't like how the DC wires were routed and tied to the side of the compressor cage.  I had to clip the cable tie to get it past the cavity trim and it needs to be fed to the rear of the refrigerator anyway to connect to the DC wires.  I pushed shrink wrap tubes over the wires to protect them, then routed them on the top of the compressor cage, then down to the bottom by the side of the fan and out the bottom in the back.  I cable tied them so they are neatly secured.  Earlier, I had used needle nosed pliers to squeeze the connectors on the ASU wires so they had firm connections.  I coated them with some dielectric grease to protect the connections.  I fed a couple of cable ties around the ASU to make sure it stays connected and doesn't work loose.  I also cable tied the excess wire for the ASU Remote to the top of the ASU so it stays in place.

Install Isotherm CR130
Ensure the fuse is removed from the Refrigerator fuse block #7
Prepare the refrigerator
Open the light inside the refrigerator and remove the 24V festoon bulb and insert the 12V light. Replace the cover.
Get ASU remote unit cord and plug into the bottom jack in the ASU
Route the cord to the top and front of the refrigerator, leaving the rest of it inside
Using needle nose pliers, press the connectors on each of the wires going into the ASU to make a firm contact
Reinsert each wire in the correct spot
Remove the red and black power wires from the cable tie and wire cage on the side of the compressor
RE-route the wires to the rear of the refrigerator
Label each wire
Connect the 12 gauge red and black wires (cannibalized from the old refrigerator) to the red and black power wires on the refrigerator
Tape the connectors to keep them solid
Cable tie them to keep them tidy
Tape them to the back of the refrigerator
Ensure the ASU is firmly mounted and use cable ties if needed
Thread the thermometer outside wire on the hinge side, over the top of the freezer, behind the wires to dangle in the back of the interior
Place the thermometer into the freezer for safe keeping
Remove the door
Remove the screws to the top bar
Remove the screws to the top hinge
Tip the fridge and Remove the screws to the bottom hinge
Remove the door and set aside
Remove the lock bracket
Drill L bracket holes into top metal trim and refrigerator top

Prepare the cavity
Adhere ¼” spacer to bring inner stick to flush with trim for L Bracket to secure fridge – at top
Top Trim Needs to be removable
Cut 1/2” x1 1/2” x12 1/2” Left side Bracket
Cut 3/4” x2 3/4” x11 11/16” Left side maple face plate
Cut 1/2” x3 1/2” x9” Right side recess
Cut 3/4” x 2 3/4” x 1/4” trim
Glue trim to right end of face plate
Glue nut to small L brackets
Affix L brackets to upper shelf bottom for left side
Drill holes for screws and bolts
Test fit
Sand each piece
Stain each piece
Varnish each piece
Affix the bolt receiver into the bracket
Affix left side bracket to existing top trim on inside
Set aside the other two pieces

Insulation Leave air space for compressor ventilation
Cut and fit the Reflextic for the Inside wall of the van skin
Adhere with Al tape leaving an air space
Cut a double thickness of the Reflextic using small squares for air space
Cut and fit the foam board for the sides
Leave opening for compressor
Run to the top of the cavity, less 1 inch
Cut the right side upper side into 3” strips to make room for compressor to slide in
Cut and fix foam board for top recess
Install into the top cavity side to side
Install side foam boards to support the top board
Cut 2 foam boards to insert into top cavity behind the trim boards
Set aside
Cut and fit the foam board for the fridge rear, missing the compressor
Place but don't secure in the back of the cavity
Be sure there is room at the top edge as the van curves inward, shave as needed
Cut and fit the Reflextic for the floor, use screws to keep in place
Reflextic on the refrigerator:
Cut Reflextic for the fridge top, missing the compressor
Cut Reflextic for the fridge back, missing the compressor
Ensure the wires are free of the insulation
Adhere the Reflextic with tape
Cut small squares and affix in grid to the Reflextric exterior for air space, both top and rear

Install the refrigerator
Lift the refrigerator into the cavity and push half way in
Screw the door hinge flanges back into the top and bottom, leaving out the screw needed for the L bracket
Feed the thermometer wire thru the upper hinge
Screw the lock flange back into the right side top, leaving out the screw needed for the L bracket
Screw the top metal trim back on
Close and lock the door
Push the fridge into the cavity, adjusting the foam boards as needed
When nearly in, Screw in the L brackets onto the top of the fridge
Push to 1/8” before the end of the face trim.  Adjust until even with the face trim, shim the feet as needed
Drill the screw holes for the L brackets in side of wall
Screw in the Brackets until tight
Insert the 3” side wall foam pieces on the right side
Insert the top foam pieces adjusting the ASU wire and Thermometer wire as needed
Test for function and security
In the back, connect the RED wire to the refrigerator's RED wire
In the back, connect the BLACK wire to the refrigerator's BLACK wire
Affix the foam board to the back of the refrigerator ensuring the compressor has air flow

Install the Trim/ASU Remote/Thermometer
Place the right recess board in place and affix with bolts screwed into the L bracket nuts
Affix hook to secure the thermometer
Install the ASU Remote
Feed the ASU wire thru the Remote bracket and affix to the board with the supplied screws
Dress the excess wire behind the board with cable ties
Insert the jack into the ASU Remote
Place the remote into its bracket and affix with the supplied 4 screws
Ensure it is turn off, in the middle position
Take the thermometer out of the freezer and dress the excess wire behind the board after hooking it onto its hook
Make sure the wire goes thru the upper hinge
Insert the 15 amp fuse into the fridge fuse #7
Turn the ASU Remote to Manual ON to test the refrigerator
Place the face plate on the right against the bracket and flush with the frame
Affix with the trim washer and brass bolt
Ensure the rear insulation is in place and the compressor has air flow
Return the vent to its cowl

Clean the refrigerator and return the glass shelves and drawer to their places

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