Step 5: Installing the New Door Panel
With all of the screw holes accurately marked, I drilled all of the holes slightly larger than the screws. With all of the holes drilled, I placed it on top of the door, and checked the hole alignment. I used the drill to slightly enlarge any holes that didn't line up perfectly. When it all looked in line, I placed the rubber seal and metal strips in place. I carefully held everything in place while peeling the rubber back to expose the hole, and started in the centers and worked my way to the corners. I found it easier if I didn't tighten the screws completely until they were all in place.
After the seal and new door panel were on, I re-installed the door onto the fridge. A quick check confrimed that I would now be able to fit 4 fermenters and two one gallon growlers on top of the shelf, essentially doubling the capacity.
Many fridges rely on the door panel to push a switch to control the light. I used this to my advantage to check the seal of the door, by turning the fridge on, the shop lights off, and checking all sides of the door for any light leaking out. Afterwards, I temporarily taped the switch down so that the light stays off all the time. I may attatch a small block to the door that will activate the switch if the lack of light becomes a problem.
A couple of days after putting my door back on, I realized that the door had a good seal most of the time, but would shift slightly if the door were leaned on, and the seal would no longer be as good. After a little messing around, I discovered that the bottom hinge pin hole in the door had become elongated over time, allowing the door to shift slightly. I realized that I could switch the swing of the door to solve this issue. I had to remove both the fridge and freezer doors in order to switch the handles and hinges to the other sides. As an added bonus, the new door swing is actually a little more ergonomic for the location I chose for it in my shop.