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Old 06-24-2006, 05:45 PM   #1
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Dometic RM 3804 repair!

-or-how you can fix your dead fridge!

earlier this summer i discovered the dreaded ammoina smell coming from my fridge!

so i decided to fix it myself, and here is how i did it!

after doing some research on prices and availability if found the fine folks at nu cold. here is their site. http://www.nucold.com/index.htm

they offer rebuilt cooling units on an exchange basis, they ship you a unit. you replace it. you send the old unit back.

the total cost of this project was $529.00 plus some odds and ends at the harware store.

it was not terribly difficult, just time consuming.

john
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:48 PM   #2
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the new unit

here is what i recieved about one week after my order.

new fridge in a box, note the tube of thermal mastic... more on that later.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:50 PM   #3
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removal process

next i removed all gas and electrical connections...
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:53 PM   #4
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then i removed all 6 of the mounting screws. two are in the outside compartment, four are on the inside. interestly, airstream uses a slightly different mounting system than dometic calls for. instead of screws on the top and bottom they put them in at the sides. it actually made it easier!
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:56 PM   #5
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then i removed the freezer plate and the screws for the cooling fins in the refer compartment.
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Old 06-24-2006, 05:57 PM   #6
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now it is time to remove the thermostat...i swung the tube out of the way to prevent damage.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:00 PM   #7
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now the freezer plate comes out
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:02 PM   #8
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time to peel out the old caulk! there is a bead hiding under the bottom. the folks at the factory had put duct tape on both the fridge and the cabinet so the old silicone came right out! note the aluminum frame the fridge rides on.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:06 PM   #9
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time to yank that sucker out!

doors are taken off, then the tug o war starts!

the cabinet makers at airstream really are good! there was almost no wiggle room! as a matter of fact it took myself and good neighbor dave to yank it out of it's moorings! a liberal dose of silicone spray on the sides didn't hurt either!
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:08 PM   #10
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here is the fridge ready to come out the door and head for the waiting saw horses in the shop....
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:13 PM   #11
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once i had the fridge in the shop i removed the flue baffle and associated hardware...
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:15 PM   #12
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now i opened the control box and removed the three control cables.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:19 PM   #13
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this is a shot of the removal of the four screws on the burner assembly.

note: keep track of these as it is important to put the same ones back in! more on that later...
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:20 PM   #14
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time for a break posting... gotta go see how my beer is cooling!

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Old 06-24-2006, 06:31 PM   #15
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now it is time to remove the 120volt heater assembly.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:33 PM   #16
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after removing the mounting screws the entire burner assembly can be removed as one unit... gotta love modular design!
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:36 PM   #17
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then i removed the four mounting screws.

two at the top one on the left side and one at the bottom behind the burner.
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:41 PM   #18
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out comes the unit!

after removing the tape around the cooling unit head i grabbed a large crow bar!

this is the tricky part, after consulting nu colds web site i found the perfect place to pry the cooling unit out of the reefer!

looks scary but it just popped right out!
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:44 PM   #19
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here is a view of the back side of the box with the unit removed... just a big styrofoam box... an expensive styrofoam box!
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:46 PM   #20
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here is a shot of the old and new side by side...all down hill from here!
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