Waeco low cost Repair Option

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 08, 2013 at 22:28
ThreadID: 105421 Views:3018 Replies:2 FollowUps:13
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Recently a Patrol sank in a swamp and while quick on the winch the mucky water rose high inside the car and covered most of the fridge compressor.

Unfortunately in the rush to get the car out no one switched off the CF-25 fridge.

Now these little fridges are pretty tough , espically the well known BDF-35 compressors and the electronics are conformally coated but the nasty water got thru and the fridge would simply not start with an indicative $500 repair cost.

As the fridge is $749 new it was sort of hard for the owner to decide what to do.

These fridges have an electronic commutator which means that the motor unit sort of has two windings with a common earth and if you quickly touch 12vdc across each winding in turn the motor will kick over for a split second.
I did this to both windings and this validated the there is a fair chance you haven't stuffed the sealed compressor unit.
This probably meant the control unit that provides the pulsed power to the motor was stuffed.

OK, so the owner searched EBay and up came a control unit for approx $270.
Still a lot of cash and it wasn't considered worth the gamble.

There is a lot of good info out there on Danfoss stuff and we found something titled
Danfoss-Troubleshooting.pdf
Note - maybe someone else could add to this post - as I note that the document seems to refer to a company name of SECOP
(Sorry don't have a full link. I figured its worth carrying this document around just like
I carry manuals for everything I can)

Now reading this document it became apparent that there is another control unit for other similar fridges.
It isn't plug compatible but from the document I figured it could be and it appears to be an asian made item (SECOP ?) at only 1/3rd the price on EBAY.

A week and $75 later a baby sized control unit arrived (part 1010630).
It had different connectors etc but an hours work with a soldering iron and Lo and Behold the basic fridge worked again.
Taking advantage of the notes I hotted up the fridge a little and now it cools better than new.

The owner is now very happy, and the moral of this story is that like so many things a little knowledge, diagnosis and searching could save one a lot of expense, and the bush a lot more pleasant with a cold glass of chardonay in hand over summer.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Shaver - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 05:12

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 05:12
Now had it been a 200 Series Robin it would have floated ! I have a CF- 45, good little fridges. Danfoss was bought out by SECOP (AURELIUS AG) in 2010 & manufactures the compressors in Europe & China to the same specs. All the new WAECO'S here have the Chinese Compressors.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 07:38

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 07:38
A Jeep or Landy would have broken down and not made it to the swamp and therebye saved the fridge. :-)
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Follow Up By: Shaver - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:50

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:50
mikehzz

I didn't want to elaborate or say too much, but you are right on the money. I believe Robin is still trying to get the mud out of his Patrol with mixed results. I was informed that he was also been looking on Ebay for large Balloon Tyres !
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:54

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:54
Thanks Shaver that explains a couple of things.

Have you got ESP or something Mike - the Rovers didn't make the start of the real swamp.




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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:54

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 09:54
A Toyota would have got you to the swamp but not driven in and therebye saved the fridge.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: Shaver - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 10:00

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 10:00
Jeez Robin when I saw the Vic Plates it explained everything !
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 10:25

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 10:25
Shaver, an unfortunate cross we have to bear in Vic is that we 4WD drivers get on very well with the land managers through the MOU with our peak body Four Wheel Drive Victoria. What this means is that our tracks do not get closed at the whim of "greenie" infiltrated land managers who get scared that we may sue them if we hurt our little finger on one of there bumpy tracks. This together with our weather can lead to thousands of tracks that become very interesting at times. I wish we could charge all the interstate 4WD's that use Victorian tracks a fee as we would become a very rich State.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 11:17

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 11:17
Not ESP...I own a Jeep and a Landy and like poking fun at myself. :-)
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 11:26

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 11:26
The Toyo needed even more help Chris



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Follow Up By: Shaver - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 15:14

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 15:14
Cheers Robin ! You know I am only stirring the pot ! It's a Cane Toad thing.
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Follow Up By: SDG - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 18:05

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 18:05
Met a bloke once, who was trying to sue NSW Nat Parks, because he nearly lost an eye, after a branch hit him through his open window as he was driving down a track.
Doubt it got approved, but with todays society, who would know.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 06:23

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 06:23
Hello Idler Chris,

Got a deal for you. We will stay off your Victorian tracks, if you stop coming north in winter.

I thought we are all AUSTRALIANS, looks like I was wrong.

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Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 14:23

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 14:23
G'day Robin
If the start relay fills with crap then it possibly won't start despite the rest being "coated". So it possibly wasn't affected and just the relay was at fault. The compressor is sealed and shouldn't let water in as it's internals don't leak out.

It is good there is a variant of the control units but you didn't give and pics or lead colours or any guidance so anyone else in a similar situation can also get theirs going again.

So, for the less skilled and well heeled in the forum community it would be good if thing if the info was able to be used so they too could save a $ or $$.

I feel sorry for the people who have had to throw a fridge away or pay for expensive repairs which may have been simple to do, but the owners don't have the ability or skill.

Perhaps the giving of instructions can be of benefit to them too, as it is they don't have the info so even a friend who is "handy" still can't make their fridge run.

You also omitted the hotting up info which may be useful to someone else.

The forum is to help people, just telling of your successes doesn't appear to.

Cheers
Ross M
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 15:18

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 15:18
Hi Ross

Yeah probably could have written more but didn't want to turn it into a lecture - I reserve that for explaining the benefits of petrol patrols.

Also there is at least one technical error in the document referred to and I spent some time working the damm thing out from first principles.

Actualy the control unit doesn't have a start relay, there is one on the user interface as below , and I agree that its often a likely suspect, just not in this case.


I'll explain a little for others.

These fridges have essentially 3 sections.
1/compressor, 2/ control unit which plugs directly into compressor, 3/ 3rd board which is a user interface.

The document doesn't make any reference to the 3rd board which I expect is the only one designed by the end company e.g. probably Waeco.

The 3rd board used to implement a series of user push button switches but later versions had a digital readout.

The document describes how to implement basic operation of the fridge via the control board and does not describe a user interface.

So I got this fridge working without the user interface by hard wiring it to basic operation , then found the cheap module and wired it in instead.
Along the way I determined that a mosfet in the motor driver circuit had blown out on the original control board.
I can't see the type of mosfet - but one rainy day I might try to replace it.

Hotting up
Basically the fridge speed is controlled by a resistor value, and some models have an overide button called turbo mode which maximises this, and drops back to a slower speed for normal operation.
I optimized this resistor both for max and a faster normal running.
Target resistor values are shown in the document but are physically located on the undocumented 3rd party user interface
and better left alone.

Also the new control board is much smaller and allows for a second fan to be fitted.
(Its not my fridge - but I have similar and will mod mine when I get a small enough fan as its a good move).

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Follow Up By: Ross M - Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 17:23

Monday, Dec 09, 2013 at 17:23
Strange it doesn't have a relay to start the compressor, the CDF35 clicks each time but as Wacko's do they change things cos they can.

Will it cool down to -275 with the extra speed? or just a bit more than usual -14?
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