ended up having to make two runs to Home Depot.. luckily neither trip was out of the way!
a warning: brasscraft connectors are not stainless steel, but some sort of polymer. made this mistake and didnt realize until i got home - its been said before, but home depot carries a few ss water heater connectors, but even cheaper is the faucet/toilet connector by watts/floodcraft (which is stainless steel). PITA to find (alteast at my location... everything is a mess!, but it should be there mixed in with those brasscraft lookalikes
Home depot only had 1/2" ball valves, so i opted to size up the brass pieces to 1/2", the outside barb is a 1/2 to 3/8" so i can use the std high temp pvc tubing (still have some leftover from my intitial order from austin homebrew. the 1/2" equip fits fine in the 5 gal "lowes" blue igloo cooler.
I also had the obvious trouble of not being able to find a ss fender washer, or any ss washer that would fit for the inside. I opted to forgo the ss washer. Instead i used the original rubber oring and plastic nut that secured the spigot to the cooler on the inside... this piece fits great, i also threw on the recommended o ring from the parts list. Bulkhead is snug and secure after tightening everything up. No leaks yet, but i still need to give it a full test. Il let you know the results.
The fender washers on the outside (i used 3) would not fit up against the outer wall of the cooler (flat part around spigot is slightly narrower than the washer's diameter. After putting 2 o rings on the 1/2" x 1 1/2" brass nipple and then putting the 3 washers on, it provides enough spacing for the washers. (i might swap these washers out for plates/rectagular metal pieces.
I also used nylon zip ties to secure the ss braid (because i had a big bag of them lying around) and to save $$ (home depot was pricey!)
p.s. Home depot has their orange 5 gallon rubbermaids in for ~$18.. (ymmv?)
I will follow up with some pictures.