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  1. #1

    1954 Marvel Refridgerator

    Hello,

    I am a Airstream (travel trailer) enthusiast, and just restored a 1954. When I bought it the original fridge worked like a champ. Two months ago it stopped working. I have called multiple fridge guys here in Memphis and no one wants to touch it. The one guy that did come out said it was the compressor because the fridge was only pulling one amp instead of 2.5; it sounds like its true because it all turns on and runs but no cooling action. But now the guy won't call me back.

    It is an old pancake compressor that has been running for 60 years; here is a picture of the fridge:


    All of the components are under the fridge so they are relatively easy to completely remove. You can see more at www.airstreamfever.com

    So I am inquiring if that is something a smart handyman type of guy like myself could do? I would love to put a 12v system in it for travel purposes; but my ultimate goal is to save this beautiful machine.

    At the very least anyone know of someone in Memphis, TN area that would have the skills/memory to do this?

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Sorry

    I just realized I may have posted this in the wrong forum, if an admin could move it; that would be swell...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    S.C.
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    1,373
    OK... What I'd suggest doing in putting in a Marine Ice Box Conversion (in your box) if you want 12 Volt (and 110). This is Not a Do It Yourself Site but in most all of the Conversions the lines are made where an Technician connects them and no vacuum pump is needed (they come charged). Norcold Conversions are fairly inexpensive for Marine boxes and the better conversions have Danfoss compressors )Coolmatic, . Feet of your unit to properly size the conversion. Defender does have a Coolmatic for an 8.4 cf box that's on Sale.

    Check Defender.com (and ebay) for the Marine stuff. In the Marine unit installation a "Handy Man" should be able to install it but if there's trouble you'd need someone a little more specialized in smaller refers.
    Yes, I know I Shouldn't But I Just Can't Help Myself...

  4. #4

    Thanks

    Its funny you should mention because I just stumbled across a Sailing forum which was discussing the same thing.

    Thank you for the push in the right direction that is exactly what I needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    975
    Good luck!, that's cool even when it don't work.
    Never argue with a crazy man.

  6. #6
    Thanks, it is a good looking fridge.

    After exploring the options I realize I will be able to do it myself, if the $$ allows it in the near to mid future. I definitely want to save the function and style of the old fridge.

    In trying to save cash, would it at all be possible to use my current evaporator box and simply replace the condenser unit? Perhaps use my current thermostat on a 110v/12v relay?

    THe alternative is basically gut everything use the box of the fridge/door. In that case maybe I will expand the box and pet in new insulation...or maybe not.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,270
    The compressor might still be opeational. Usualy when a compressor goes bad it will draw either high amps or zero amps. You could maybe find an appliance repair shop that would let you drop it off and then they could spend some time researching it and figuring it out for you.

    Even if it can be repaired, though, I would take a close look at the wiring to mke sure it is still safe. Also, be ware of asbestos in the wiring and/or insulation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    S.C.
    Posts
    1,373

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by crimminsandrew View Post
    Thanks, it is a good looking fridge.

    After exploring the options I realize I will be able to do it myself, if the $$ allows it in the near to mid future. I definitely want to save the function and style of the old fridge.

    In trying to save cash, would it at all be possible to use my current evaporator box and simply replace the condenser unit? Perhaps use my current thermostat on a 110v/12v relay?

    THe alternative is basically gut everything use the box of the fridge/door. In that case maybe I will expand the box and pet in new insulation...or maybe not.

    Trying to use to original evaporator is going to cause problems, if you find a bored Tech he might take it on as a project but it's probably going to be a Hair Pulling experience if...

    There's several of the boat units look very similar to older 'fridge evaporators that should work. I guessed your unit is 8 to 10 cubic feet.

    With the boat units you could mount the compressor in a different location (or just coil the line and put it underneath).

    My opinion, abandon the idea of trying to use the old evaporator because if you put all new stuff in it's a Bolt and Play and everything is NEW. I've seen the boat units last 15 to 20 years.

    A second thing I've seen people do is buy a standard 110v low end refrigerator and take everything out in-tact and put it in the ice box. I honestly wouldn't advise going this way because it's a Real Pain In The Butt and if you loose the charge, now you still have to pay a Tech to repair it.
    Yes, I know I Shouldn't But I Just Can't Help Myself...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    upper michigan
    Posts
    103
    Quote Originally Posted by ammoniadog View Post
    The compressor might still be opeational. Usualy when a compressor goes bad it will draw either high amps or zero amps. You could maybe find an appliance repair shop that would let you drop it off and then they could spend some time researching it and figuring it out for you.

    Even if it can be repaired, though, I would take a close look at the wiring to mke sure it is still safe. Also, be ware of asbestos in the wiring and/or insulation.
    I was thinking the same thing about the compressor. Low amp draw, maybe lost charge.....it may be repairable. Sounds like trouble finding someone to work on it tho. Unless you're in a hurry, I'd keep looking for someone to try and fix it. I like the retro look......it's cool.

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