Well I worked on the cooler some more today. Took some pictures and thought I would share them.
After you talking about wiring in the Ranco unit permanantly, I started thinking about it. While I decided against cutting the factory power cord, I did decide to go ahead and afix the Ranco temp controller to the cooler permanantly.
First I installed the temp sensor. I tried just hanging the cord out the door and shutting it but there was some pretty good gaps around the seal I wasn't happy with. So then I decided to take a look around the unit and see if there were any good spots to try and stick it through. The best one I could find ended up being the spot that the factory thermostat temp sensor entered through into the inside of the unit.
I took off the thermostat (TS from here on out
) cover. And found the wire probe lead. There was a plug of some black sealent. I pulled it off and you can see the metal of the case were they had drilled, was larger then needed for the stock TS sensor. SO I went to the inside and in each corner of the cooler plate in the back of the unit was small ruber caps. Pull them off and there is a screw under each one. I removed the screws, and the cooling plate comes loose. I carefully moved it out of the way until I could see the hole of the casing on the inside that the stock TS sensor comes through. Also larger then needed here, I decided to use this spot. I took my screw driver and shoved it through the foam insulation that was showing on the side of the stock wire lead. It went right through to the spot on the back.
The only problem was that the plastic of the ranco sensor was too big to go through the left over space in the stock hole. So I took the ranco apart and saw that the sensor was soldered to the board of the unit. I just cut the wires and ran the cable through the small hole in the back cooler wall. Then put connectors on the wires and connected them back up.
This shows the outside of the back wall of the cooler with the temp sensor lead ran through it:
The back side:
The temp sensor mounted inside:
Next I took the ranco and alligned it up on the back of the cooler where I wanted it. I took a small precision screw driver to mark the spots on the back of the unit through the mounting holes on the back side of the ranco's plastic casing. Now I had 4 small marks where the screws would need to go. I used a small 4D sized finishing nail and a hammer and used the nail to pierce through the metal of the cooler. This gave me a real small hole, only big enough to allow the screws to start into so that when I tightened them down they would stay snug.
This shows the holes and the nail stuck in one for the mounting screws:
And the screws ready to mount:
This shows the ranco attatched to the back of the cooler.
Here is the ranco with the temp sensor re-connected:
At this point I re-worked my power wiring. I shortened the female side of the plug-in up considerably. Also I zip tied and tucked in the power cord from the cooler so it is nice and tidy back there. Plugged the two together and here is the finished product: