GE Clean Steel 4.3 Kegerator Conversion

Update: Full writeup available

Picked up a counter-high refrigerator today for a kegerator project.  I would have preferred one of the all-refrigerator units such as the Sanyo 4912 or Danby 4.4, but I absolutely could not find one of them in Milwaukee.  Wal-mart has the Danby available for free drop-ship but it’s $240.  The Sears outlet center did have a  Sanyo  but it was really beat to hell and cost $190 on top of that.

I eventually decided upon the GE Clean Steel 4.3 (model number SMR04DASCS) as Sam’s Club had it for $140.  The drawback to this fridge is that the freezer unit / evaporator needs to be bent down in order to make way for the kegs and draft tower lines.  However I figured that because it was cheap it wouldn’t be such a huge deal if I screwed up that part.  I did read an account online of someone cracking the refrigerant line while bending the freezer down.

However it turned out that bending the freezer wasn’t too hard.  The weakest part of the assembly is the union between the evaporator and the line,  so as you’re bending you’ll feel that part want to give first.  I focused the bend on the line and avoided kinks or cracks.

The freezer bent all the way down
The freezer bent all the way down
Bent Refrigerant Line
Bent Refrigerant Line

Next up was replacing the door insert.  I used big rectangles of HVAC panning primarily because I couldn’t find the whiteboard material that everyone else uses for this project, and because it looks kind of cool.

Replacement Door Panel
Replacement Door Panel

One piece wasn’t quite big enough so I riveted two of them together.

The last part was making a hole for the gas line.  I used a 1/2″ drill bit to make a hole for my 9/16″ OD gas line in order to get a snug fit.  I positioned it in the upper-right part of the back wall.

Gas Line from the Outside
Gas Line from the Outside
Moved Temperature Control and Gas Line
Moved Temperature Control and Gas Line

Without any trimming of the shelf supports two cornies just barely fit.  The second one tends to stick out some but thanks to the removal of the door insert the door closes just fine.

Tight Fit
Tight Fit
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3 thoughts on “GE Clean Steel 4.3 Kegerator Conversion

  1. I’ve got the same fridge and am in the process of converting it. I found that the CO2 tank will fit on the ledge behind the kegs, so I was planning on leaving it inside the fridge, too.

    I’m nervous about bend the freezer down out of fear that I will crack the cooling line, but I think that if I cut one of the two rubber handles off the kegs then they will slide in under the freezer.

    The main thing I am wondering about right now is whether there is anything hidding inside the top of the fridge. I want to drill through the top and install a tower, but I don’t know if there is any electrical or cooling lines hiding in the top.

    Any ideas?

  2. Just make sure that the freezer line is room temp before bending it, and then go real slow. Put more the stress on the line closest to the wall because the weakest spot is at the junction of the line and freezer panel.

    As for the top, there is only one line going across the top, it’s about 4″ from the front. It’s easily identifiable by letting the fridge run and feeling for the warm spot.

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