Frankencooler Build Tips

Here are a few tips that may come in handy while building your Frankencooler:

  • Always mark the front of your cooler lid with a piece of tape on the bottom. I learned this the hard way.
  • Unlike what I did on my early models, place your pump as far as possible to the side of the cooler floor to give maximum room for ice. Using closed manifolds as I did on my gray cooler and AIR models make this easier.
  • Use nylon 90-degree elbows on radiators with straight connections to route tubing in such a way as to avoid kinks when the lid is closed.
  • When using elbows on smaller coolers with closed manifolds, use longer sections of tubing and route them upwards so they make a gentle arc to the manifolds when the lid is closed.
  • Use heat shrink tubing or solder sleeves on electrical connections on the underside of the lid. Plastic wire coverings are not adequate by themselves.
  • Don’t use the highest flow pumps you can find as they can be noisy. Frankencooler pumps are for circulation, not bailing.
  • Cover exposed radiator faces with pieces of cardboard during construction to prevent fins from being accidentally flattened.
  • Remove all adhesive labels from plumbing components before assembly, as they will eventually come off and can clog pumps and radiators.
  • Use the thickest, highest quality insulation board that will fit into your cooler while leaving enough room for block ice below and plumbing connections above.
  • Cut sheet insulation with an electric knife if you have one. It produces clean cuts with far less mess. Cover all insulation cuts with foil HVAC tape to prevent chipping.
  • The air chamber at the top of cooler needs to be as small as your plumbing will allow.

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