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Old 01-18-2008, 06:57 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ankornuta
The refrigerator tear-down is complete. I've decided to keep the original compressor and "guts", but I need to find someone to restore it for me. I think rebuilding an ammonia-filled compressor is a little beyond my skill level. Do people still restore and work on these things? Are they legal?

List of scary substances discovered in my Airstream so far:
- Asbestos
- Ammonia
- Fiberglass insulation (scratchy!)

Here's a pic of the guts. I almost broke that little copper pipe and then I'd have ammonia all over my garage... That's the freezer compartmenet setting on the red stool. The cooling coils only run around it. It also has these two large pill-shaped wide points on the pipe that comes from the compressor. I wonder what those are for?
From your photo in this post, you definitely have a compressor type fridge, which has probaly R-12 refrigerant in it......NO AMMONIA. Ammonia asorbtion refrigerators require HEAT to operate, and if it was an absorbtion type, you would have a heat source like an electric heating element or LP burner attached to a boiler tube and lots of funny, angled tubing and a chimney vent.

This should be a much easier re-build than an ammonia type.
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:06 AM   #22
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Hey Don. I ended up selling the trailer when I moved to Manhattan for work. A nice guy up in Wyoming has it now and he's on the forums. It looks like he re-tore the trailer down and is doing it from the ground up. I'm excited to see how it turns out for him!

As far as the fridge goes, after really evaluating the type of camping that I would be doing and realizing that I would be off-grid more often than not, I had decided not to restore the fridge afterall but instead to find a new refrigerator which I could mount the old doors too so that it looked vintage, but operated like a new two-way unit. I really think that's the best way to go, to be honest.

If you're dead-set on keeping the old unit, get to know a good HVAC/R guy. One of my business partners in Arizona built wine-cellar cooling/humidity control units and he told me a great deal about how to restore and rebuild these old units. It's pretty much all custom and I didn't find any good resources online.

Hope this helps!

Originally Posted by NorCal Bambi
ankornuta, howdy this is NorCal Bambi in northern California. We have just found a 50's Marvel R12 electric fridge. How did your restoration go? I'd like to restore this one. Maybe even convert it to propane electric. Do you have any suggestions and or names of parts suppliers.
Thanks Don
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