Dinosaur Replacement Norcold Boards

February 7, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Service Issues, What's New 

As I have said in the past I’m a huge fan of Dinosaur brand replacement circuit boards. The only problem I have had was with the new Norcold “N” series- they have very complex circuit boards, along with many different models, so I doubted that Dinosaur would ever come out with an N series replacement board.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Dinosaur N series board

Dinosaur N series board

This new board replaces the following Norcold part numbers:
621267,   621667.001,   621268,   621268.001,    621269,   621269.001,
621270,   621270.001,   621271,   621271.001,   619360,   619361,   632168.001

You can read more about it at the Dinosaur website

Obsolescence- finding parts

December 9, 2008 by · 12 Comments
Filed under: Op-Ed, Service Issues 

I wrote a blog post about cleaning the Norcold burner on my RV.net blog. On the refrigerator I was working on at that time (a Norcold 662), I needed to simply replace the burner.
I grabbed a new burner off the shelf, installed it, and everything was good to go.
I then went to re-order that burner, and found out that Norcold now considers anything over 10 years old to be obsolete.
Now- our current travel trailer is a 1977 model- just over 30 years old. It’s still in good shape (though it does suffer a bit from the ‘shoe makers children’ syndrome)- but I can still buy

1977 Airstream

1977 Airstream

factory parts for it, though a door lock is a mind numbing $500+, simply because it is hand machined, but I can still buy one.
On the Norcold burner, there is a new burner that will fit right in. The only difference is the original uses a compression connection, with a ferrule and copper sealing ring, and the new one uses a flare connection. A modification to a flare connection should not be at all hard, and it really wouldn’t be hard for Norcold to come up with a retrofit kit- a more reasonable one than the $200+ kit they have for the 900 series. All the kit would need would be the burner and a new tube (soft aluminum). I just cannot see telling a customer that their perfectly good 1996 refrigerator is not repairable because I cannot get a $30 part, and they have to spend $1200-1500 for a new one. On the other hand- I take a bit of liability on my shoulders by modifying a part like this, so…..

Even though I grew up in a very affluent period (relatively), a large reason was my parents remembering and observing the old adage- “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

I’ve also been running in to range parts being not available (safety valves and thermostats)- this time due to mercury content. While I understand this a bit more, it still isn’t easy to deal with.

Ah, well….

–Chris

Dometic and Norcold expand recalls

May 16, 2008 by · 29 Comments
Filed under: What's New 

Hmphh… all recalls, all the time ;)

Thanks to the many members of the RV.Net Forums, I found out about a couple of expanded recalls (the service centers are always the last to know!).

Norcold has expanded the recalls on their 1200 series “4 door” models to units built before February 2001 (the old cutoff date was March 1999). The official Norcold recall site still doesn’t have the information, but it can be found in this letter from Norcold to the NHTSA, which spells it out (basically, you are looking for the cooling unit serial number (not the refrigerator serial number), which is on the outside tank of the cooling unit- the new recall adds cooling unit serial numbers from 1008701 to 1273700.

The Dometic recall has expanded to add refrigerators built between May 2003 and September 2006- they have updated their recall web page to include this information.

The expanded Dometic recall- adding another ~750,000 to the ~925,000 refrigerators already recalled may have something to do with the recent change in cooling unit policy- adding another $40-50 million has got to hurt a bit.

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