Info: Refrigerator

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Removing Fridge to Gain Access for Repairs (e.g., replacing components, testing for refrigerant leaks, etc.)

Issue: The black metal box housing the compressor and condenser does not give much room to work.

Also, the refrigerant lines run on the inside of the black metal box and outside corner of plastic fridge, and cannot be easily tested for leaks.

Solution: One solution is to remove the fridge, and then separate the plastic box from the black metal box. If you keep the two boxes close together, you may not have to remove the flat evaporator (held in place with plastic two piece push pin rivets)

The black metal box is open on the top and the front side (removable screwed front panel), so you'll have easier access to all the components. The screws holding the black metal box to the plastic fridge box nearest the closet are inaccessible without removing the fridge.

Confusing Instructions: The Repair Manual CD is a bit confusing on how to remove the fridge. It seems to suggest removing the cabinet and fridge together. In other instructions, it seems to suggest removing the plastic white box piece from the black metal box base by disconnecting the flat evaporator and temperature sensor from the plastic fridge portion. There is also a photograph of the rear of the cabinet and fridge together, with bolts holding the cabinet and fridge together on the closet wall side.

Alternative Removal Steps (Not tried yet):

Please correct any alternative facts.

1. Remove the cabinet.

There are lots of threads on how to do this in this subforum. The Repair Manual CD is helpful but also confusing.

There are screws in the middle partition of the cabinet which screw into the fridge (an angle piece).

2. Fridge Alone.

With the cabinet gone, you should see the fridge in three layers.

The first layer is the white plastic fridge box.

The second layer is the black metal box. The black metal box has flanges on its top and screws into the white plastic box. Half the screws are inaccessible (nearest the closet). Also, the refrigerant lines and temperature sensor wire go to both boxes.

The third layer is the plain metal base which is glued with thick white rubbery stuff to the floor. There are two (2) bolts which go through the top.of this base and into the bottom of the black metal box.

Note: You'll.remove the white laminate piece held by four screws onto the bottom of the black metal.box front panel. The white laminate piece covers the third layer.

3. Unbolt Two (2) Bolts and Fridge is Free.

If correct, the fridge is free after removing the two bolts. You will leave the third layer base in place, and have no reason to cut the white rubbery stuff.

Pick up fridge and move to workshop.

4. Separate the white plastic box from black metal box by unscrewing the screws in the black metal box flanges.

Take care with the refrigerant lines. The corner of the white plastic box has a piece of retaining plastic held in place with plastic two piece push pin rivets.
 
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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
As mentioned in prior posts, the Electrolux-Dometic experts on our RC1160 and other Westfalia fridges or coolboxes set up shop as cool-and-more.de.

I emailed them (in English) about the possibility of them providing (a).a full fridge, (b) just the mechanicals, precharged with refrigerant, but not the box and lid, and (c) parts precharged with quick connects (my Westy has no easy connection).

They can do any of the above (RC1162 replacement), all precharged mechanicals mounted on a wooden plate, etc. Specific price information would need to be from them.

Here is their response which they said I could share.

Quote:


Of course we can support spare parts like sensor, evaporator, compressor......

To ship a quick connect system is possible but difficult.

What`s possible, is to prepare the full retrofit kit with BD35F compressor and evaporator prefilled on a wooden plate.
This can be easily mounted inside the existing compartment.
Never done before but possible.


What we can offer from May 2020, is a complete like to like replacement box called RC1162 with integrated foamed evaporator and the new BD35 compressor kit. Same size like the RC1160.

The lid will definitely not produced anymore.



The easiest way in the us, you find a cooling expert that can braze the copper parts parts and charge the system with R134a.

We have all necessary parts on stock. Just have a look at

www.coolandshop.de

If there is a need to buy some parts, just send us a mail.

If you need a prepared kit, we can find a solution for safe shipping.

For that, the price needs to be calculated.

Feel free to share these informations with your Airstream folks.


BR

Cool & More
 
Something I recently discovered, is that the 60L designation refers to the "Gross Volume" (as listed on the data plate) of the fridge not the usable interior food storage capacity.

I wanted a little more capacity in my rebuild, so I ordered a National Luna 80 liter fridge and when it arrived I was shocked by how cavernous the interior was. This prompted me to very accurately measure the interior of the Westfalias fridge to calculate it's usable capacity, which is 44.1 liters.

I did the same for the National Luna and it was 79.3 liters. I am going to downsize to the NL 65 liter size. Lesson learned at the expense of paying for return shipping on a 90lb box. :bash:
 

Camp

Sprinter Westfalia
Here's a picture of the Westfalia basket I got from Gunzl. It will be a little while before a test fit, but just measured the basket. Dimensions are closest to what is stated on Serial Kombi (27.5cm x 17.5cm x 22cm). In "American", it's just under 11 inches long edge to edge (handles).

Stores:
https://www.vwbusshop.de/epages/Gue...hops/GuenzlClassicParts/Products/218001210055
https://www.serial-kombi.com/en-GB/...-t4-9/1990-6/2003-california-westfalia-n39510

Reference:
https://forum.james-cook-freunde.de/viewtopic.php?t=3092

Part #/etc:
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=844645&postcount=3
 

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Jan M

Member
Here's a picture of the Westfalia basket I got from Gunzl. It will be a little while before a test fit, but just measured the basket. Dimensions are closest to what is stated on Serial Kombi (27.5cm x 17.5cm x 22cm). In "American", it's just under 11 inches long edge to edge (handles).

Stores:
https://www.vwbusshop.de/epages/Gue...hops/GuenzlClassicParts/Products/218001210055
https://www.serial-kombi.com/en-GB/...-t4-9/1990-6/2003-california-westfalia-n39510

Reference:
https://forum.james-cook-freunde.de/viewtopic.php?t=3092

Part #/etc:
https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=844645&postcount=3
Thanks for this information, I've really missed a basket in the fridge. I have now ordered the basket from www.vwbusshop.de.
 

Camp

Sprinter Westfalia
Thanks for this information, I've really missed a basket in the fridge. I have now ordered the basket from www.vwbusshop.de.
Glad you were able to order one. I'm guessing they are no longer being produced (like most old Westfalia parts). I was able to find one additional store, but it's even more expensive at €44.95.

https://www.poptopshop.nl/a-25764389/t4-accessoires/koelkastkorfje-california-t4/#description

Finally was able to test fit the basket in the fridge as well. Picture attached below.

Result: Perfect Fit!
 

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grozier

Member
It’s too bad that old-style 1 qt milk cartons are so hard to find in the US. In Europe, the 1-liter versions are the perfect height for this basket.
 

Jan M

Member
Glad you were able to order one. I'm guessing they are no longer being produced (like most old Westfalia parts). I was able to find one additional store, but it's even more expensive at €44.95.

https://www.poptopshop.nl/a-25764389/t4-accessoires/koelkastkorfje-california-t4/#description

Finally was able to test fit the basket in the fridge as well. Picture attached below.

Result: Perfect Fit!
I received the basket today and put it in the fridge. It was also a perfect fit.
 

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Camp

Sprinter Westfalia
I have a question for those with the original fridge storage containers/rack. What color Buchsteiner containers did you receive from Westfalia/Airstream? New owner of the fridge from Westy 248 here, and it came with the unused original containers as follows from top to bottom:

Buchsteiner Freshbox 350ml (3x) - Clear with Blue Lid
Buchsteiner Klickbox 2515 (2x) - Green
Buchsteiner Klickbox 2516 (1x) - Clear

From the pictures I have seen of other Westies, they all appear same except the Klickbox 2515 models. Those I have seen in green, blue, or one of each.

I have tried to located and source spares, and all appear to be available except for the Freshbox. Well before this current crisis, finding German home goods stores that ship to America was an issue. I was able to get the 2515, but the seller chose the color at random, then stopped offering the option to ship to America. They arrived a month later, and fortunately were the green I was wishing for, albeit much more lime green than the circa 2005 vintage Klickbox. Otherwise, they are identical except for changes in the text on the bottom.

Anyone receive anything different when new? Thanks in advance!

As someone who used to be missing the rack and containers before they came with the fridge, I'd say they are not very necessary if you too are missing them. The original ones received were unused so don't plan on using as well. A much better solution for actual use (and the Westy owners who don't have the original rack and tubs) is what I stumbled upon by accident with a Klickbox Vario sourced from the US:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=84591

Side Note: I'm slightly disappointed Westfalia or Airstream didn't choose to put branding on the tubs the way MyProtein did on the Buchsteiner ones in the link above. From the Buchsteiner website, only a 500 piece minimum run is required. If they had this same minimum in 2004/2005, just the Airstream Westfalias alone would have nearly met this for the 2x 2515 models! I'm the kind of weird person that really wants a container that says 'Westfalia' on it!

http://buchsteiner.com/index.php/buchsteiner-klickboxen-packaging
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
As I mentioned previously, Cool-and-More.de (former Electrolux/Dometic fridge.employees specializing in Westfalia fridges) are now offering the RC-1162 replacement for our RC-1160.

Changes include a foamed evaporator panel (integrated as part of the foam box), updated Danfoss BD35 Compressor, a different condenser (which is positioned differently), and perhaps no fan.

The condenser looks like a regular fridge condenser and not the original finned one in our Westies.

The black metal panel also looks a bit different.

The price is 1590 Euros plus shipping but should contact them to get price without VAT. It does not include the lid. The first link is Google Translated but doesn't show photos. The second link is in German and shows photos.

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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Defective Fridge? Here are the options:

1. Diagnosis and Repair

If you can find a refrigerator specialist with knowledge of the 12 volt Danfoss/Secop BD35F compressor, the specialist might be able to repair. I'd suggest looking for folks who fix Dometic, Novakool, and other 12 volt fridges with the Danfoss BD35F compressor.

If you're lucky, it may only be the Danfoss controller which can be easily replaced. Or an electrical issue.

BUT, if you're unlucky and there is a lack of coolant, then you'll need to find the source of the leak which may be difficult.
Our Westy system does not have any valves to add more coolant R134, so a valve will also need to be brazed onto the Danfoss compressor.

2. Replace All Mechanicals

If you are unable to repair because too much damage to difficult parts (evaporator, finned condenser, corroded coolant lines, etc.), then you might consider replacing all the parts.

Cool-and-More.de has all the parts and you could ask for a quote to put it all together and deliver to the USA.

Another option is to get a kit. There are kits from Dometic, Vitrofrigo, and Indel which include just about everything. The most important thing is that the components are all precharged with the R134 and the components can be hooked up with quick-connectors. So no need to charge with R134.

Dometic Waeco Coolmatic: Of the various kits, the best fit appears to be the Dometic Waeco Coolmatic CU-85 with the VDK-18 flat panel evaporator. The CU-85 puts the compressor, condenser and fan in a compact package. Although the condenser is positioned vertically and not horizontally like our Westy, it should still work. The VD-18 evaporator is 9.85" tall and 14.76" wide, so it is slightly taller than the original Westy of 8 inches.

Vitrifrigo: The Vitrifrigo kits are much cheaper but there is no option which provides a compact size. The closest ND35CR3LQV is almost 11" in length. This may still fit. The corresponding Vitrifrigo PT2-Q flat panel evaporator is about 10" tall x 14" wide, so it should fit.

Indel: The Indel kits include the evaporators. None of the kits seem to be a great fit as the evaporators may be too large. The "2001" labelled kit has a non-finned condenser and a small boxed evaporator.
 
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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Unfortunately, the prices of the various kits are more than a brand-new fridge. (Too bad one can't take the components of a new fridge.) The Dometic Waeco Coolmatic CU-85 is about $800-900, and the Evaporator VD-18 is about $200. But some prefer the authenticity of an original Westy, more or less.

3. New Fridge

As mentioned earlier, Cool-and-More.de has a complete RC-1162 fridge if one needs a new box.

There are several small fridges which might fit within a heavily modified cabinet. These are regular type fridges so one would need to cut out the front of the cabinet and figure out a different door for the sliding door.

The primary advantage of these new fridges is their much lower cost and future easy replacement.

Popular fridges for VW Westfalia campervan replacements are the Dometic CRX50, the Indel Cruise Elegance 49, and the Truckfridge TF49. These fridges are almost the same size and often used by VW Westfalia owners to replace their old fridges. These fridges may be a bit too deep at almost 20" deep. Their width of 15-16" and height of 21" might work.

The fridge height has to be a bit less than the cabinet height as the wheel arch may be in the way.

Smaller fridges include the Vitrifrigo C39, C42, and C45. These are less deep.

All these fridges have side opening doors which would be a bit of a hassle to use in the small Westy kitchen.

Another option is to remove the fridge cabinet totally, and replace the area with a portable top-loading fridge. These are much cheaper than built-in fridges. You'd also have the ability to move the portable fridge elsewhere as needed.


If anyone has any other thoughts, please add. Thanks.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
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