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Old 11-10-2005, 05:58 PM   #1
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1958 Marvel Refrigerator Restoration

While waiting for my Airstream to arrive from the people who are shipping it down, I acquired one of the only pieces the trailer was missing; the original refrigerator.

The one that I bought is in pretty good condition and still runs, but I've decided to completely restore it back to like-new condition. I plan to go through a process like this with every piece of this trailer.

I'll post pictures of the whole process soon. I must say, it's really amazing how well built this refrigerator is and it really is an interesting design.

So far I have:
- Removed the door and disassembled it.
- Removed and disassembled all hinges, chrome trim, door handle and electronic/mechanical components
- Removed all metal pieces (the skin is nailed to a solid wood frame)
- Removed and discarded all old insulation (to be replaced with new, more efficient insulation)
- Removed all old gasket material. I found a place to order the same exact gasket material, new.

Next Steps
- Have all painted metal soda-blasted down to bare metal
- Primer above painted metal
- Paint above metal with solvent-based enamel to match the Princess stove (yellow)
- Polish all chrome, remove any pitting, rechrome if necessary
- Reassemble

The one thing I'm still undecided on is whether to replace the "guts" with those from a new 12 volt refrigerator. I really like the idea of restoring this (and the rest of the trailer) back to concourse quality 1958 showroom floor condition, but at the same time, I do like the idea of making the unseen "systems" of the trailer more modern. Soul-seeking... I think I just need time to make this decision.

Oh, and my trailer FINALLY arrived here in Phoenix from Eugene, OR. Just today. I'm going to pick it up on Saturday.
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Old 11-10-2005, 06:24 PM   #2
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58 too!

We too have a 58 Airstream, nice to have another 58er out there. Check out our blog at http://sweetsovereign.blogspot.com

Ours is a 58 Sovereign of the Road. We are in central NY and the trailer is currently dis-assembled and getting a new floor, new wiring, and then new zolatone. Be sure to tune into www.theVAP.com, as I will talk about the project that is underway often.

Rob
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Old 11-10-2005, 10:56 PM   #3
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58 Rocks

Nice coach! You know, I actually subscribe to your podcast currently, through iTunes. I haven't had too much time to listen lately, but I'll have to remember to take the iPod out to the garage while I'm working on this stuff.

I've been having a lot of fun taking this refrigerator apart and preparing to have it refinished. I think I'll be going through the same "frame off" type restoration with every component on this trailer.

Also... anyone have any ideas on how to remove that sticker from the door (the warranty sticker)? I really want to place it back on the inside of the door after it's re-enameled.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:06 AM   #4
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Man, you have some work ahead of you! You have a source for door Gaskets?? I have a Dometic I am working on.. Good luck getting it in working condition!
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Old 11-11-2005, 07:51 AM   #5
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Hi Ankornuta -

It will be a real challenge to remove the old sticker in one piece and reuse it once the new finish is on the door. Your best bet may be to take a hi-res digital photo of it and print it out to the correct size and apply that. There is such a variety of printer papers, I'll bet you could find one that has a very similair surface finish as the original sticker.

You still have an invitation to stop by and check out my Trade Wind. It may help with some of the decisions on your interior.

Brad
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Old 11-11-2005, 12:09 PM   #6
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Ankornuta

I also have a '58 Marvel refrigerator that I am currently restoring. Will you share your source for new gasket material? I am looking forward to seeing your restoration pics.
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Old 11-11-2005, 02:55 PM   #7
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Gasket Material and Stuff

Brad, I have your number... I was going to call you this weekend, on like Saturday. I'll have my trailer with me

John from Antique Appliances (an appliance restoration place) sent me an email identifying which part number they carry it as, etc:

The gasket material number 1160 is $4.95 per foot and $15 for shipping.

The best “do it yourself” paint to refinish your refrigerator with is made by Zynolite Industries and is called “Klinks”. This is an epoxy based paint with an approx. 90 minute pot life. Once applied, it is extremely durable. You can find this product at Home Depot, Lowe’s or other home improvement centers.

Thanks for the Inquiry!
John M. Jowers
www.AntiqueAppliances.com
e-mail: john@antiqueappliances.com
or
jowersappl@alltel.net

(US Postal mailing address)
AntiqueAppliances
P.O. Box 389
Clayton, Georgia 30525 USA

(physical address for UPS, Fed-X, or freight deliveries)
AntiqueAppliances
30 West Savannah Street
Clayton, Georgia 30525 USA

Phone number: 706-782-3132
Fax number: 706-782-7326
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Old 11-11-2005, 03:00 PM   #8
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Brad, that's a pretty good idea for preserving the sticker. I was thinking about applying a clear plastic tape over the sticker after steaming it for 24 hours or so and then trying to remove just the top (printed) layer of the sticker. But taking a picture and printing it... now that's the easy way to do it! I can't believe I didn't think of that. Hmm...
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:26 PM   #9
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What was the final outcome of your process on converting the old marvel to 12 volt? Thanks, Sully
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Old 03-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #10
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This thread is years old and unfortunately, Ankornuta sold his '58 Airstream as he had to move and didn't have a place for it at the new residence. The new owner is on the forums but I've forgotten who it was.

Brad
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