You can modify a standard, typical micro switch available at many places or, you can get an exact replacement from GE parts placed or you can try www.repairclinic.com or you can try a FixYa.com advertiser.
You are correct in trying the safety interlock switches ... they cannot stand the opening and closing of the door while the machine is running. To improve the live cycle of these tiny switches is NEVER open the door while the oven is operating.
You are wise to quit using this microwave! Based upon your description, I believe the component in the mcrowave that generates the microwave energy, called the magnetron, is failing. The smell you are experiencing is likely due to the higher electrical load the magnetron is drawing in its failing state, and the overloaded wiring is getting dangerously hot.
The magnetron can be replaced by a service technician, though not always easily or cheaply. Look in your phonebook under appliance repair and make a few calls. Depending on the feedback you receive, you may decide its time to retire this hardworking unit for a newer one.
In regards to fitting a new unit in the existing space, there are lots of over-the-range units out there that will fit standard cabinet dimensions. I recommend measuring the dimensions of the opening (width of the space between the cabinets, depth from back wall to cabinet face, and height from underside of upper cabinet to bottom of the cabinets on either side) and take the measurements with you to your preferred appliance store. Let the salespeople help you find one that fits.
The thermostat you
replaced was probably the one for the hood vent exhaust fan. It is a
normally-open device. When you jump across it, that turns on the
exhaust fan. So it has nothing to do with this problem. This
is usually caused by either a bad door switch or a loose door switch
mount, which are pretty simple problems to fix. Even though a door
switch clicks, it may still be bad inside.
or mount trouble is usually caused by slamming the door or by opening
door while it's cooking without hitting the Stop pad first.
plastic mounts inside the microwave which hold the door switches and
onto which the door latches lock when you close the door.
The screws on these
mounts may be loose. If they get too loose, the switches will not be
a broken tab on the switch holder, allowing the switch to rotate just
out of position. This tab
can be hard to see, since it is under the
bottom edge of the switch.
If the switch mount is broken, it's usually more economical and
safer to add a dab or two of hot glue to the mount to secure the
switch. Let it cool for about 30 minutes before using.
One test that sometimes
helps is to
gently lift up (and/or push down) on the door or handle as you try to
start it. If it works or tries to work, then it's a door switch mount
door alignment issue.
You can find helpful
exploded view diagrams and order parts by entering your full model
There should also be a "mini-manual" hidden inside the unit behind the control
panel or hidden on the left side behind the grille, which is very
helpful when troubleshooting, & testing.
our Web site, we have a video available showing how to remove a typical
over the range control panel assembly in under 5 minutes.
If you only need a
switch, you can order a universal type here for $5 postpaid.
happy to help you with free advice and we'd appreciate your thoughtful
rating of our answer.
Feel free to contact me directly (and please remind me of your
full model number) for more information & help.
If you were to log on to the
manufacturer's web site, I think you will be pleasantly surprised as
usually one is able to download, by model number, Customer
Instruction Manuals, as required.
Just Google the manufacturer's name and
follow the links. Make certain you are directed to the manufacturer's
web site as some search engines direct you to other sites and they
charge for the information that is normally free of charge.
Your in luck. With nothing working it's your fuse (20 amp). If the light was still working or anything else, it most likely would not be worth repairing. The fuse looks like one of the old round car fuses but it is not. It's a special 20 amp fuse made for micro waves out of ceramic. You can order them over the internet. One site is www.partselect.com. This is a part number for one that cost $3.84 PS2163369. You can use this number or if you can find you model number and enter it on the site. You can buy it with a credit card from them
DON'T remove the cover yourself unless you fully undertand the SAFETY issues involved in working inside a microwave oven. A microwave oven is possibly THE MOST DANGEROUS common consumer product to service.
Usually with these doors, the latching parts tend to loosen up at times, thus requiring some re-adjustment and tightening. Sometimes they get a bit warn and require to be replaced.
The handle by itself about $40, apparently GE doesn't know how to
make a door handle that will hold up for more than a year or so. I just bought a new door off of eBay for $20 + $20 shipping ... a deal compared to the $135 + tax and shipping that most of the web sites want!
All you need is a phillips screwdriver and a 5/16" socket. To get to 3 screws that anchor the TOP hinge, simply remove the vent grill (open the door and remove the 2 white screws that hold it in
place). To get to the 2 screws that anchor the BOTTOM hinge, simply
remove the 6 screws that hold the grey bottom pan of the microwave in place. The pan will swivel down, remaining attached in the back panel.
Once you've removed the 5 hinge screws, the door should pull pretty
much straight out.
Reverse the procedure with the new door, which should come with hinges attached.
Could be that the place the spring sits in is a little broken, so theres no stop for the spring. open it up and see if there's anything you can do with it, try some epoxy putty maybe.
Most microwave ovens contain a heavy transformer that produces a lethally high voltage that is half-wave rectified by a diode, smoothed by a capacitor and drives a magnetron. The transformer also provides a low voltage for the magnetron cathode heater.
There are also lightweight microwaves that use an inverter instead of a transformer...
If everything else is ok and power is being supplied to the transformer then one of the above components has failed but testing them is beyond the scope of the handyman, though with care some ohm meter checks can be carried out in a unit that is disconnected from the supply and if the capacitor isn't fitted with a discharge resistor great care must be taken to ensure it is fully discharged before handling it.