For my build on a different Coleman cooler, I ended up buying a piece of PVC pipe, cut it to length, used a dremel to increase the drain hole to fit the pipe, then used food grade silicone to seal either end. My bulkhead grips down on the pipe rather than the crushing insulation. Zero leaks and a nice tight fit for the bulkhead.
I have that same cooler and have been using it for years with a bulkhead conversion and a stainless steel toilet line braid.
It has worked very well.
If the OP really wants to save money, he can skip the bulkhead. Not only is my method less expensive, I found it works better than a bulkhead. I used one for a few brews then went back to the bung/valve setup.
I can't disagree.
I built mine with a bulkhead and have never tried using it with anything else.
The bulkhead can cause the inner liner of the cooler to crack if over tightened. You also may get a very small amount of leakage around the seals that I have never found a permanent way to fix. I've never seen more than a teaspoon on any given brew day (I've had cars that leak more oil daily than that ).
All in all it works but isn't perfect.
Nice idea. I'll keep it in mind the next time I disassemble it.
Denny's setup is far easier and way less on the wallet. For my setup, I wented Stainless steel and Camlock connections for everything.
Below is what I did for my mash tun so I can have a SS 2-way ball valve with Camlock connection, while not crushing the insulation. Most people don't need to go this route. I wanted to give a bit clearer directions so you won't run into issues if you opt for adding the PVC pipe for stability.
Don't cut into the inner wall of the cooler. Leaving the inner wall allows you to use the stock rubber gasket that came with the cooler so you don't lose waterproofing. The bulkhead should fit through the stock washer.
1. Center the PVC pipe over the outer drain hole
2. Draw the outer diameter of the pipe with marker on the outside cooler wall at the drain hole, as tight as possible to the edge of the pipe. I'd recommend using a fine tip marker
3. Use a dremel or similar tool to cut along the inside of the marked circle. You can always trim away, but cannot put back!
4. Cut away the outer cooler wall's plastic and begin to sculpt out the insulation foam to match the diameter. Don't go through inner cooler wall!
5. Do a test fit, and adjust accordingly.
6. Once satisfied with a snug fit, use the marker on the PVC pipe where you need to cut so that the pipe length will be flush with the outer cooler wall.
7. Cut PVC pipe along the inside of the mark from Step 6. Again, better off erring on the side of cut less initially.
8. Do a test fit, and adjust accordingly.
9. Test fit the pipe, bulkhead with outer rubber gasket/o-ring, stock inner wall rubber gasket that came with the cooler.
10. Confirm everything fits nicely and doesn't leak. For good measure, disassemble & toss some food grade/aquarium grade silicon around the PVC pipe, and then reassemble.
This took me all of 20 minutes once I gathered all parts and tools. Tip: Get the longer bulkhead for coolers.