Thread Number: 73813  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
The Brown THUNDERBOX! 1977 American Standard Luxor modernist toilet
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Post# 975048   12/22/2017 at 19:13 (207 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Laugh if you will. I have loved these things since I was a little kid. So cool looking. I've had this one stored for over 10 years and finally decided I am going to install it ( is fully functional with no problems except for it not being politically correct in regards to the water usage...).

Here is what I'd like to know:

I would like a second one of these, preferably in this colour. Maybe to install in another bathroom of mine....but primarily just so I can have a spare SEAT...and tank lid *just in case*! Any of you keen eyed appliance hunters know of one, whether at one of your Re-Store/Habitat haunts or know someone who's got one laying about? I miss these styles, and used to love seeing them in red, orange, lime, etc. way back when. Happy to have this one--even happier if I could find one in a hot funky 70s colour!

I got this at Habitat for Humanity about 10 years ago for under $15. This is one of the scarcer colours, apparently. I see white ones all the time...

There is ZERO rush to find one--if this existing one is all I ever have, fine. However...while it was stored, rats got in it and were trapped awhile. I didn't photograph it, but they ate away at the bumpers molded into the underside of the seat. Claw/chew marks everywhere.

The lid was a bit on the scuffed up side already--many years of it being cleaned and leaving surface scuffs and overall dullness...and I'm wondering what kind of success I might have polishing the thing up? Not sure exactly the composition of the material, feels like a polyurethane or vinyl of some kind...I hear you can shine this stuff up decently but before I try anything I thought I'd see if any of you might have had a go at something like this before. Pretty sure the right "fine" compound and the heat generated by a buffing wheel could work some wonders??

Replacement seats are available new...mostly only in white, beige, occasionally black. Not too sure a brown paintjob on a white seat would work or even be successful/durable. I'll probably have no choice but to try to restore the damned thing. Finding a N.O.S. or even used in this brown is gonna be quite a long shot....but I think the same size was made from about 1966 through the 80s.

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Post# 975049 , Reply# 1   12/22/2017 at 19:18 (207 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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That was the EXACT model toilet in my folks master bath back around 1979. It was in harvest gold. I remember it being the quietest, most comfortable toilet ever. Cost around $500 back then.

Post# 975056 , Reply# 2   12/22/2017 at 20:15 (207 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        

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Your folks and mine both. My mom also had the matching 6' angled back tub with gold handles and jacuzzi jet nozzles...all installed in '78. Somewhere I have a pic of that bathroom....

Post# 975141 , Reply# 3   12/23/2017 at 10:25 (206 days old) by jkbff (Happy Rock, ND)        

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I think that is the toilet we had in the upstairs bath in the house I grew up in.

It has a complex valve system right? If its the one I'm thinking of, dad tried to fix it one time, couldn't find parts so he rigged something and... Mom was PISSED because after he 'fixed' it, we didn't have water spraying down the sides of the bowl any more.

Post# 975148 , Reply# 4   12/23/2017 at 11:47 (206 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

My grandparents had one of those type (low-boy) toilets in their home--it was always kind of exotic. I thought I'd read somewhere that they were impossible to plug up to overflow...assume the overflow in the tank is below the edge of the bowl.

Post# 975154 , Reply# 5   12/23/2017 at 12:33 (206 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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I know that the toilet in the master bath of a house we rented in 1989 was a low-boy but can't recall the manufacturer.  It was silent, which was a nice feature since the master bedroom was small and, as Dave used to say, it was almost like sleeping with your head on the toilet.


That toilet's valve needed to be replaced, as it often allowed a slight trickle of water to run (the flapper wasn't the problem), but the valve was made of china and prone to breakage if messed with, and replacements were no longer available back in 1989.  The only option would have been to replace it with a standard type of valve that wouldn't be silent, so we lived with it the way it was. 


I remember when researching the type of valve needed, reading that toilets of this design couldn't overflow.  If these were still made today in an elongated model and, even better, wall-mounted, I'd consider them.  My guess is that silent operation can't be achieved with 1.25 GPF, though.


Allen, I'm betting that Urban Ore in Berkeley has one of these in their expansive outdoor array of bathroom fixtures right this minute.  I haven't been there in quite some time, but will check on my next visit.

Post# 975161 , Reply# 6   12/23/2017 at 13:17 (206 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The reason low boys couldn't overflow is because the tank was so low that the shut off point in the tank was equal with the bowl just below the top of the rim, so there was no way to put anymore water in the bowl from the tank to cause an overflow.

I have a NoS Kohler Rialto sitting in the basement that needs tank guts, about $100 for that toilet and that's cheap for a low boy.

Post# 975191 , Reply# 7   12/23/2017 at 16:09 (206 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I remember ordering a couple seats for these toilets when I was working at a plumbing supply place in the early 90's. More colors were available at that time.

The house next door to me (built 1968) has a toilet like this in the master bath, in Spice Mocha. The original owner was a plumber who was an American-Standard dealer.

Post# 975200 , Reply# 8   12/23/2017 at 17:01 (206 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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As I recall, with the low-boy no-overflow system, you could swish around the water in the tank and it would cause movement in the bowl.  I never quite understood how it worked but found it odd that there seemed to be no positive separation between water in the bowl and the tank.


Maybe there's a diagram on this somewhere?

Post# 975224 , Reply# 9   12/23/2017 at 19:22 (206 days old) by funktionalart (Phoenix, AZ)        
overflow / water levels etc.

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Yesterday I just put the toilet in place but didn't connect water source yet. I just wanted to fill the tank and bowl manually to see if things were somewhat *kosher*.

I found yesterday that with the tank full and water level in bowl at proper level, it took me many gallons of water added to the already full bowl before it would flush itself out. Level in the bowl didn't seem to rise much as I added water. Pouring even a saucepan full to any standard design toilet usually causes some amount of flushing to occur. It's interesting.

Of course, being a one piece design, there is alot or space/cavity inside the structure which must impact the relationship between water in tank and that in the bowl. The annoying thing I found is that the only way I will be able to remove the seat is to put my arm deep into the recessed area (via inside the tank) and feel around toward the back of bowl...where the securing nuts/bolts for the seat are. Pain in the arse....

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