Thread Number: 72555  /  Tag: Ranges, Stoves, Ovens
Conundrum, What would you do?
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Post# 958601   9/22/2017 at 14:43 (367 days old) by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

I have a beautiful 1956 GE Speedster range in my cabin that's been in my family for 43 years. I love it. It works perfectly except this year the oven thermostat failed on it. I am still trying to find a good used or NOS replacement for it so I can keep using the original oven controls working in the way it was originally set up. It has dual oven control knobs; one side to select Bake, Broil, etc. and the other for temperature selection. Using a new generic thermostat would force me to bypass the Bake/Broil selector and not use the original temp selector knob.)

I've been looking for another range to buy in order to use it as a parts donor. I just came across what looks to be a 56/57 Stratoliner unit. From the limited amount of research I've done, the Stratoliner looks to be a way more high-end unit than the Speedster. The link at the bottom will take you to a brochure showing all the cool features of the Stratoliner.

I haven't been over to see the Stratoliner yet but I've been told it's been stored in a basement for decades. They say none of the burners work. Because all four are not working I suspect the problem is not the burners and is something else like maybe fuses or wiring. Would you agree?

What I like about the Stratoliner more than my Speedster is that it has 3 different sized burners; the Speedster just has two; one 8 inch and thee 6 six inch. It really could use one of those 6 inch burners to be larger. The thing I like about the Speedster over the Stratoliner is that the Speedster has the burners at both sides of the cooktop and a large working area in the middle whereas the Stratoliner has all four burners to the left and a large cooking area on the right. I guess it's just an aesthetics thing. Visually, I like the symmetry of the Speedster over the asymmetry of the Stratoliner. Maybe that's a dumb reason to prefer one over the other.

Keep in mind too that the Speedster has some sentimental value for me because my late mother used to love that stove and it's been in my cabin for 43 years. On the other hand I know it's just a stove and my mother would've loved the stratoliner just as much if she had found that unit in the first cabin we bought and not the Speedster.

In any event, let's assume I buy the Stratoliner and find that I have a choice between making the Stratoliner fully functional using parts from my Speedster or vice versa. In that situation, what would you do? Which one would you choose to keep alive and why?


Post# 958607 , Reply# 1   9/22/2017 at 15:28 (367 days old) by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

Update: Just got the model number of the Stratoliner. It looks to be RB46A-55. Is that a 1955 model or is the year represented by the A? If yes, what year is represented by A?

The model number of my Speedster is CJ405NA1 and according to the service manual, the N signifies 1956. 40 is supposed to represent width in inches but my Speedster is actually 42" wide. On this one it has 46. It couldn't be 46" wide could it?

The nomenclature used for the Stratoliner appears to be a little different than that used on their 1956 models so I'm guessing the Stratoliner is not a 1956. The control knobs are styled a little different on it too which also seems to suggest a different year of manufacture. What year is it?

Also, sadly, it looks as though the original oven temp control knob is gone and has been replaced by something more modern suggesting the thermostat and controller is not original on it. How disappointing. :-(

Post# 958613 , Reply# 2   9/22/2017 at 16:29 (367 days old) by DangerBoy (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)        

On second look it appears the B in the Stratoliner model number may actually be a D. So it maybe RD46A-55 W. The W likely signifies white.

The R could mean Range or, according to this, may mean August 1958.

If anyone can help me fully decipher this model number I'd sure appreciate it.

Post# 958638 , Reply# 3   9/22/2017 at 19:23 (367 days old) by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

I know what you mean about the role sentimentality plays in situations like this.   I gave away my mom's '49 Westinghouse range that she had used for almost 60 years.   Maybe if it had been in a cabin where it was only used occasionally, it would still be in the family, but it wasn't something I wanted to have for daily driver.  It went to a good home.


Can you store the Speedster if you replace it with the Stratoliner?  It might make you feel better about evicting it from the kitchen where it has faithfully served for so long.  I suspect the Stratoliner is higher up the model line than the Speedster, and thus more desirable to own and use.  I actually prefer the work space to the side (the Westinghouse had that layout) as opposed to between the burners.  It comes in handy in kitchens where counter space is lacking.


At the end of the day, the Speedster is just a stove.  I can't say I miss the '49 Westinghouse at all.  It was a true survivor and a symbol of the many, many meals it had produced for gatherings with family and friends as well as on an everyday basis, but I much prefer using my late model range instead.


I've seen threads here in the past that talk about the various GE models, so you may want to do a search for them.  I don't know if you have access to the "Super Searchalator" feature, which is located at top right on the main forum index page.  It may only be available to upgraded members. 


There's no shortage of knowledge among some of the members here with regard to GE ranges.  Give them some time to reply.

Post# 958695 , Reply# 4   9/23/2017 at 10:11 (366 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        
Congratulation on your Speedster

Many GE thermostats are interchangeable. You could determine this by going into a parts supply place or website with the model numbers of the two ranges and see what that situation is. With GEs, the oven selector switch is often the one with the greater variables. It is very possible that the thermostat from the other range might fit your older range, but you should check first. If you do have to replace the thermostat, a proper replacement thermostat should not negate the function of the oven selector switch. \


There were so many GE ranges manufactured that there are bound to be replacement parts somewhere and the internet now greatly facilitates and simplifies finding them, but you will have to do the initial research for the part number.  After that, it is often as simple as doing a Google search for the part number.

This post was last edited 09/23/2017 at 13:18

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