Thread Number: 71157  /  Tag: Refrigerators
Help with Old GM Frigidaire Refrigerator
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Post# 941893   6/5/2017 at 12:55 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

I have this 1970s vintage fridge in red at my up north cabin. It gets used about 8-months out of the year. It works, but has started to make some rather scary sounds, bad enough my buddy and I thought we had an animal in the place when we first heard it. Now, when you open the door, it goes "BLAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH". Best I can describe it, pretty loud too.

I'm wondering if perhaps just a fan is going bad? Maybe two fans? When you open the freezer door, there is no off switch, so you can hear the fan/compressor grumbling away, which is not new. The noise in the upper half is.

Is it worth fixing or if I should replace it? It's kind of cool but not super retro, other than the color.



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Post# 941896 , Reply# 1   6/5/2017 at 13:23 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Ok, a few possibilities

panthera's profile picture

1) The flowing cold fan is in the freezer or way down deep behind the right crisper. They eventually suffer worn out bearings and make similar sounds. A standard kit fits these just fine (they'll tell you they don't work, they don't exist, blah blah blah but I've done a 1967 and a 1965 with them in the last two years so, yeah, OK.)

2)It's possible something fell into the fan or broke an impeller or it came loose on the shaft and is hitting something when it turns off (when running, it moves nearly 3 millimeters out from the frame).

 

In any event, it's reparable, worst case a universal kit. Just have a made up Whirlpool number for the idiots when you go into the store or order it online.


Post# 941899 , Reply# 2   6/5/2017 at 14:03 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

Thanks. What exactly do you mean by a "made up Whirlpool number"?

Post# 941939 , Reply# 3   6/5/2017 at 17:35 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Bad fan motor. Get the model number, and post it here. Can get complicated to fix, but certainly worth fixing.

 

Model # may be stamped on the back, or look on the side of the crisper drawers for a model tag.


Post# 941957 , Reply# 4   6/5/2017 at 20:03 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
made up number man's

panthera's profile picture
A model number for a real whirlpool so you don't have to listen to the Tom-fool idiots tell you it can't be done, too old, etc.

Post# 941982 , Reply# 5   6/5/2017 at 22:05 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
70s FD Refrigerator With Noise In The Freezer

combo52's profile picture

I am assuming you have a top freezer model, if so you either have a bad fan blade, a bad fan motor or a another very common problem with these refs was an ice build up from the automatic defrost function where the water does not drain properly and builds up and freezes and starts hitting the spinning fan blade.

 

If you think it might be ice you can shut down the ref for at least a few days [ unplugged with both doors open ] then turn it back on and if you don't have the noise for a week or longer it was likley an ice build up.

 

Getting to and repairing the fan area of these refs was a PITA, unless you are really in love with this ref you may want to replace it with something more energy efficient that will also keep your food better and longer.


Post# 941985 , Reply# 6   6/5/2017 at 22:36 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Not fun but doable

panthera's profile picture

I wouldn't classify replacing these fans with changing the belt on a Whirlpool belt drive washer from the 1950's but there's no question but what it is a project.

Still, I've done two fairly recently and if I can, anybody can.


Post# 942110 , Reply# 7   6/6/2017 at 18:20 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

The worst ones were the ones that used the square nuts BEHIND the housing holding the fan in place.


Post# 942169 , Reply# 8   6/6/2017 at 21:34 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Oh, yeah

panthera's profile picture

BOTH of the two I did recently had those dratted nuts. What were they thinking?

Well, I know what I was feeling.

However, it's all good. I did one on a brief visit from Germany to the 'States back in the late '80s - little young to blow out, but, well, it did. Replaced the bearings by using two top bearings from VM record players. Still working, today.


Post# 942208 , Reply# 9   6/7/2017 at 07:02 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

This is a bottom freezer model. I will have to look for the model number the next time I go up, it will be at least a couple weeks.

Post# 942215 , Reply# 10   6/7/2017 at 07:56 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Red Bottom Freezer FD Ref

combo52's profile picture

Well its not a 70s model for sure, FD probably only ever made about one bottom freezer model [ ever ] in red around 1968-9.

 

You can disregard most of what I said about what the problem is and what to do about fixing it on a 60s BF ref. The most likley thing that may be wrong with this ref is just a worn out freezer fan motor.

 

Post a picture of your ref if possible and even a recording of the noise it is making, we can give much more accurate advice that way.


Post# 942447 , Reply# 11   6/8/2017 at 09:08 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

Heres is the sound (link to youtube video).

Only pic I could find was one of my mom standing in front of it about 20 years ago. Sorry, not very helpful.




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Post# 942458 , Reply# 12   6/8/2017 at 10:16 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture

Sounds like the fan hitting the housing and coming to a stop. Is this fridge designed so the fresh food compartment fan stops when the door is opened? 


Post# 942464 , Reply# 13   6/8/2017 at 10:45 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

Yes

Post# 942519 , Reply# 14   6/8/2017 at 18:45 by goatfarmer (South Bend, home of Champions)        

goatfarmer's profile picture

Fan motor, either going bad, a bad fan blade, or something in the blades. Looks like a 67-68 refrigerator,I don't recall Frigidaire's being red then. Maybe a repaint?


Post# 942532 , Reply# 15   6/8/2017 at 19:38 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Poppy Red and Sunshine Yellow

panthera's profile picture

Were, despite the official cannon, still on offer in 1967-68. We have a Custom Deluxe Refrigerator in Sunshine Yellow from 1967, which officially does not exist. And it's originally this color, not repainted.

Ditto a 1968 dryer in poppy red we saw in a home recently. Unfortunately, it got sent to the Habitat Restore who metaled it - they don't 'do' old appliances.


Post# 942537 , Reply# 16   6/8/2017 at 19:43 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Poppy Red and Sunshine Yellow

panthera's profile picture

Were, despite the official cannon, still on offer in 1967-68. We have a Custom Deluxe Refrigerator in Sunshine Yellow from 1967, which officially does not exist. And it's originally this color, not repainted.

Ditto a 1968 dryer in poppy red we saw in a home recently. Unfortunately, it got sent to the Habitat Restore who metaled it - they don't 'do' old appliances.


Post# 942901 , Reply# 17   6/10/2017 at 16:46 by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        
If it's from the 60's

and the factory finish, the color is probably "Matador Red".

"Poppy" was shaded, and introduced later. In '77 the shading was removed and it became "Terra Cotta".


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Post# 942941 , Reply# 18   6/10/2017 at 20:22 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
Tom,

panthera's profile picture

You're right.


Post# 943129 , Reply# 19   6/11/2017 at 23:11 by PhilR (Quebec Canada)        

philr's profile picture
These fridges are quite rare, I have never seen one in Matador Red like yours.

Please post pictures showing the interior of both the fridge and refrigerator sections and from the exterior too.

If you find the model number, let us know it. I have some service documentation for similar ones but I think I'm missing the "L" line from 1967 and a part of the 1966 "K" line. I do have the 1968 "N" line information.

I'd like to find one like this from 1966. Same color as yours.






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Post# 943170 , Reply# 20   6/12/2017 at 11:10 by kd12 (Arkansas)        
1920s tech

Square nuts on a 70s fridge? Sounds very 1920s. I would never have guessed they would have used those on a modern appliance.

Post# 943176 , Reply# 21   6/12/2017 at 11:34 by cjhsa (Grand Rapids)        

Not a repaint. Custom ordered direct from the factory. My parents were really weird about that sort of thing. My cabin is full of treasures, like Widdicombe and Baker furniture, even a Herman Miller rolltop desk. Too bad they all smell like a 50-year old cabin in the woods in need of a new roof. They should have invested in a better roof.




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