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  1. #1
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    1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration



    Hi there, I posted this in July 2012 -

    http://www.refrigeration-engineer.co...or-suggestions

    Life just got too busy and I put the restoration on the back burner. Recently I held a garage sale and was overwhelmed by offers for this fridge. It made me want to make time in 2015 to restore this fridge. As this was on R 12, Obviously a retro-fit is on order. Keeping the entire project original will be a challenge in itself. It is not my priority to keep it all original. I would like a great looking, efficient retro fridge.

    I have a couple of questions before I tear into this project.. (if you were me)...

    1. Would you paint this 'Fire Engine Red', A real nice 'Pearl' color or try to find the original color and go for that?.. (my current preference is 'Pearl').
    2. The Compressor is open circuit and I haven't yet looked into the integrity of the condenser and evaporator coils. What would your suggestion be as to what compressor/refrigerant to use. As you can see by the photo's, There is plenty of room to put system with a condenser fan motor and plenty of room in the evaporator for a TX valve.

    Any suggestions on any part of the restoration would be most welcomed.

    Thanks for reading

    - Petekelvinator 2.jpgKelvinator 1.jpg
    Last edited by Hools; 02-01-2015 at 03:34 AM.



  2. #2
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Personally I would try and get it as close to original as possible

  3. #3
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Thanks JonJon, You are probably right however, I am not going to get the original compressor from anywhere. I can only assume that by 'original', you are referring to the paint work.

    Please feel free to elaborate on your above post. Would love to know whether to keep it as a capillary system or change the metering method.

  4. #4
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Capillary I would blow through your evap and condenser with nitro incase there's any blockage

  5. #5
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    .

    I'd keep the original evap with the capillary, prove they are ok
    with OFN and then replace the whole underneath with a small
    self contained condensing unit.

    You will need to get specific numbers to be exact but the comp
    can't be that big, 1/8 maybe 1/4 HP but get the details of the
    original or do some web research for technical info.

    As for colour if you want the outward appearance to be as near
    the original as possible then you need to colour match it. If colour
    is not too much of an issue, then it doesn't matter.

    I would avoid red, it would look like a coke fridge and that might
    not be the appearance you want.

    Regards

    Rob

    .
    .. ... -. .----. - / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / --. --- --- -..

  6. #6
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Not red please,old English white for me anything that promotes coca cola a def no no ,Xmas used to be green until the other side of the pond changed it.and someone must have an original somewhere come on guys protect the heritage!!!

  7. #7
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Apology just googled it sorry for any offence!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    That compressor should have a metal tag showing the Horse Power.
    From memory, i believe the compressor spun at 940 RPM.

    A common mistake restorers of Vintage fridges do is to focus on shiny finishes before checking if the pipework is intact. The Evaporator will have worn thin over the years and Wives with blunt knives would have attacked the constant ice build up.

    The pipe work will have a mineral oil "residue"...so using R134a and synthetic oil is not recommended.
    R409a refrigerant is still available in Australia as a substitute for R12. Mike.
    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

  9. #9
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Thanks for your advice guys. I have stripped it down and have started rubbing it back. The body really is in excellent condition and apart from 1 small bit of rotten timber, everything else is great too.
    You guys will he happy to know that the colour is staying original and I'll be posting process pics soon.
    Especially thanks to Mike.. R409a is exactly what I'll use.. Cheers for that..
    I see your from FNQ.. I bought this fridge in Cairns for 20 bucks.

  10. #10
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Should be 1/8 hp s88 in old Kelvinator language. There will be a super fine strainer on the end of the condenser prior to capillary that needs to be cut out, it will have a chalky substance in side. Prior to modern driers they used methonol added to the system to stop them freezing up. If you want it to be super original looking and seeing the comp is dead, remove it and there will be a continuous weld around the base. Either grind this off or cut it off and put the new modern tiny compressor inside then this will hide the comp. Make bloody sure whatever comp you use runs on mineral oil even if you have to tip out the oil it comes with. PAG and ESTER are so detergent they will strip out every bit of crap and block up the system, trust me on this one, I have had brick driers in big plant that looked like they were dipped in tar. Good luck, good project and wish you well.

  11. #11
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Hools View Post
    Thanks for your advice guys. I have stripped it down and have started rubbing it back. The body really is in excellent condition and apart from 1 small bit of rotten timber, everything else is great too.
    You guys will he happy to know that the colour is staying original and I'll be posting process pics soon.
    Especially thanks to Mike.. R409a is exactly what I'll use.. Cheers for that..
    I see your from FNQ.. I bought this fridge in Cairns for 20 bucks.
    Reckon i'm somewhat late in replying to O.P.
    Thanks to "deekay" from Northern Territory....Top end of OZ, for bringing this thread back.
    Hope to hear from "Hools" on his progress.
    BTW: FNQ in "Hools" comment means Far North Queensland.
    Last edited by mikeref; 26-02-2015 at 08:59 AM.
    To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.

  12. #12
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    Re: 1950's Kelvinator Refrigerator restoration

    Nice to see others restoring vintage stuff!
    I finally finished my first monitor top and have it purring away in the kitchen as we speak.

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