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Lets see your IH Refridgerator

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Michael1971

Farmall Cub
Joined
Nov 24, 2018
Messages
337
Points
43
Well I have finally gotten my first IH refrigerator, its a model L-74, which I cannot find any information on online. It has a build date of 4-6-53 and it looks pretty good for 67 years old. There is a crack in the plastic on the bottom of the interior, there is a crack in the handle ,it needs a paint job, and you need to close it in a certain way as the handle return spring is worn out. But that is all forgivable because the door seal is perfect and the compressor works, its sitting happily at 37 degrees in the back of my store. Now I just need a 54-55 fridge and one of the HA92 models.
 

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gillis51

High Wheeler
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
1,240
Points
113
Location
Easton, MA
New to me A-95 made on date 4/51. Not bad for 70 years old. A little beat up on the inside and missing some parts but will make a great beer and soda fridge.

Speciathanks out to Steve Hachey for helping to retrieve this old girl.
 

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TravelerMan79

High Wheeler
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1,092
Points
113
Location
Ottawa, ON
Picked up this thing (Model: L-82; Date: 1953) on Saturday (it was free). Transported it on its side for 500 kms. The guy said it wasn’t working, but did say the compressor “ran”. Changed out the plug, and plugged it in today. The rest of the cord is super brittle, so the whole cord will need to be replaced at some point. The compressor is indeed running, but not sure if the fridge is working. Can’t get an amp draw with my Fluke meter, but the suction line seems to be getting colder than ambient. I’m guessing it must be low on charge, but I’ll let it run for a couple of hours to see if it actually cools inside. I have another meter inside with a temp probe. I have no idea how it is supposed to cool as I see no fan or evaporator coil. Seems the entire inside surface is a one piece plastic shell. So, I’m guessing it cools through conduction. Will report back as I learn more.
 

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Jeff Jamison

Lives in an IH Dealership
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
8,745
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa Pa
Picked up this thing (Model: L-82; Date: 1953) on Saturday (it was free). Transported it on its side for 500 kms. The guy said it wasn’t working, but did say the compressor “ran”. Changed out the plug, and plugged it in today. The rest of the cord is super brittle, so the whole cord will need to be replaced at some point. The compressor is indeed running, but not sure if the fridge is working. Can’t get an amp draw with my Fluke meter, but the suction line seems to be getting colder than ambient. I’m guessing it must be low on charge, but I’ll let it run for a couple of hours to see if it actually cools inside. I have another meter inside with a temp probe. I have no idea how it is supposed to cool as I see no fan or evaporator coil. Seems the entire inside surface is a one piece plastic shell. So, I’m guessing it cools through conduction. Will report back as I learn more.
The freezer is the coil,it should get cold and then cool the rest of the box.
 

TravelerMan79

High Wheeler
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1,092
Points
113
Location
Ottawa, ON
Thanks. Now I see some indentations on the freezer plate that the refrigerant must pass through. I hear a hissing sound inside as well when I open the door, so some refrigerant must be circulating as the conpressor/motor now is hot to the touch. Inside temp did drop 1/2 degree F. Do you know if it is relatively easy to recharge the system? I’m guessing they used R22?
 

Jeff Jamison

Lives in an IH Dealership
Joined
Oct 11, 2001
Messages
8,745
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa Pa
Thanks. Now I see some indentations on the freezer plate that the refrigerant must pass through. I hear a hissing sound inside as well when I open the door, so some refrigerant must be circulating as the conpressor/motor now is hot to the touch. Inside temp did drop 1/2 degree F. Do you know if it is relatively easy to recharge the system? I’m guessing they used R22?
They are R12,they should have pinch off tubes.You need to silver braze the port on and use tool to unpinch then charge.
 

TravelerMan79

High Wheeler
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1,092
Points
113
Location
Ottawa, ON
Ok. Thanks. I see two pinch off tubes near the compressor. What about a bullet piercing tool? I have experience with mobile HVAC equipment but know nothing really of appliance HVAC. I do have a vaccum pump and a R134A 30lb container which I’ve used on my vehicles. It would nice to just use the piercing tool and my equipment. I can braze if necessary as I have an oxy-acetylene torch if needed. I just ordered an IH Parts Catalogue off of eBay that includes my model just to see what I have. I think I’m missing the bottom drawer and maybe a few other things.
 

Greg R

Lives in an IH Dealership
Joined
Mar 23, 2002
Messages
5,651
Points
113
Location
Lebanon, OR
I do have a vaccum pump and a R134A

Nope, don't do it. 134 needs the new oils and compressors prior to 1974 are not compatible with POE oils and HFCs. You can still get R-12 , just need your 608 license unless someone in the biz can help with recycled 12. Bullet valves work in a pinch, but after a couple of years of heat/cool cycles they eventually leak

Retro-fitting is always an option, but the cap tube will need changed and have the appropriate bore & length to go with the refrigerant and compressor . Also the evap and condenser tubing will need a good flush ( Rx Flush R414) so new stuff goes in a clean system.

These old convection/cold plate fridges need time to cool, sometimes most of the day. Check door gaskets with the dollar bill test. Door leaks are notorious for delaying cold or allowing them to run too warm plus icing up the freezer box.
 

TravelerMan79

High Wheeler
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
1,092
Points
113
Location
Ottawa, ON
Great info. Yes, I forgot R134A is not compatible with the POE oils. Its been 20 yrs now since I worked at my former job designing mobile HVAC systems. Seems consenus is to keep orig compressor due to their longevity vs a retrofit. I’ll leave it plugged in overnight to see if it cools.
 

MadMonkMort

Farmall Cub
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
100
Points
28
Location
off battling dragons!
Is it possible to retrofit these refrigerators with more modern compressors and such?
It IS possible, and horribly expensive. Like $1500 expensive, and that was before Trump started his little trade war with China. Talked to the shop that did a refit on my 1954 fridge with a new compressor about a similar refit for my freezer, and because they needed a new condenser coil, it had to be custom made, and the only people even willing to undertake the attempt were in China, and they wanted $3000 just for the coil. That did not include a new compressor, fittings, or any labor. The shop said that before the trade war, the same unit would have cost about $800.
 

MadMonkMort

Farmall Cub
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Messages
100
Points
28
Location
off battling dragons!
Thanks. Now I see some indentations on the freezer plate that the refrigerant must pass through. I hear a hissing sound inside as well when I open the door, so some refrigerant must be circulating as the conpressor/motor now is hot to the touch. Inside temp did drop 1/2 degree F. Do you know if it is relatively easy to recharge the system? I’m guessing they used R22?
You wish they used R22. They used R12, which last time I checked about 2 years ago, was about $600 a lb., and you needed about 4lbs to fill an automotive A/C system, and probably a similar amount to fill one of these.
 
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