Thread Number: 79639  /  Tag: Refrigerators
GE Americana Refrigerator - Several Questions
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Post# 1035401   6/15/2019 at 10:54 by mixrman (Eutaw, Alabama)        

A few days ago I bought a 1964 Americana Refrigerator in Calera Alabama (thanks to Sarah Perdue who posted the Facebook Marketplace ad on this site...). Anyway- It was not exactly as shown in the ad, but it does work. It had been stored under a shed roof attached to a barn for 2 years and had rust, dirt and mold all over. Oddly enough, my wife - who is only a sort-of fan of vintage, loves it! I am working on cleaning it up to use, and although it will need to be painted, looks OK. I have a few questions for the group:

1. There is a 'shield' of some sort under the coils beneath the freezer (looks like some kind of heavy tarpaper/carboard stuff - same material as the cover over the compressor compartment). I am sure it must be to help channel the air over the coils. The trouble is there is some insulation (probably original) attached to the shield and some over the top of the coils... it is absolutely, unbelievably filthy. Should I leave it in place or try to remove it?

2. The freezer drawer is very hard to open. I am guessing that there is some sort of lubricant on the ball bearings that has gotten hard. Should the rollers be cleaned so there is no lubricant? Or cleaned and a new lubricant put on them? If lubricant is needed- what kind works in a freezer?

3. finally - does anyone have any of the following parts I can buy:
a) A shelf for the fresh food section (I have only one)
b) The egg bin
c) the meat bin for the fresh food section
d) the grille that goes on the front below the freezer drawer - mine is missing
e) the ice tray and ice bin for the freezer (this one has the self-filling feature - but the trays are missing)

I appreciate your help!

PS I will post some photos after I get it cleaned up...

Post# 1035407 , Reply# 1   6/15/2019 at 13:51 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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The freezer door on mine and on the smaller GE is a little difficult to open and close, and does require a little force. Both of my refrigerators were fairly clean, so it may just be some wear on the wheels after so many years. Or, there may be some paint off of the tracks which makes it a little rougher. I ended up getting some food grade silicone spray that did make things go a little easier.

Post# 1035534 , Reply# 2   6/17/2019 at 11:34 by mixrman (Eutaw, Alabama)        

Well- I got it all cleaned up and in place. It seems to be working just fine! I took some pictures, but forgot the camera at home- so will post photos tomorrow. I discovered a trick for removing surface rust (maybe something everyone knows- but it was a new idea for me). Since the finish is shot anyway- I scrubbed with Brillo pads - then rinsed. Next, because the rust was still an issue, I decided to try some rust remover (can't recall the brand- it comes in a little copper color plastic bottle). It worked like a charm. Though the finish is still far from perfect- it will do until it is painted. Cleaning the coils was not fun at all. Had to use an air gun attachment on my air tank to blow out all the mess (I think Mr. Mouse had built a house). Also- the freezer drawer rolls much easier since it is cold... also I thoroughly cleaned the roller and tracks.

Post# 1035540 , Reply# 3   6/17/2019 at 12:05 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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Congratulations, John! Is Linda delighted?

And how did you get it home? I'm seriously contemplating a trip to Louisiana for this Hotpoint Combo. The idea of loading up one of these monsters is a bit daunting.


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Post# 1035550 , Reply# 4   6/17/2019 at 15:21 by mixrman (Eutaw, Alabama)        

Sarah: Linda actually really likes the Americana! I am surprised and happy about that.

The seller and his young (20 something) nephew helped me get it into my small pick-up truck. It fit up against the back of the cab between the wheel wells. covered it up and tied it in very securely. Drove slower and more carefully than I usually do--- no quick stops or fast turns. Got it out with the help of a local teenager. Pretty much just slid it out of the truck onto the porch. got it into the house by myself. I say go for it with the one you are considering! You have built-in helpers! The Hotpoint will be perfect with your cooktop. I say go for the oven too! Then all you need is the sink and dishwasher. There is a house on 5th Ave in Tuscaloosa near mid town that used to have a super-cool ancient (mid to late 50s) kitchen aid dishwasher that would be just what you need. I think it was stainless steel

Post# 1035604 , Reply# 5   6/18/2019 at 10:27 by mixrman (Eutaw, Alabama)        

Here are some photos of the Americana I bought last week - after cleaning. It took 2 days of scrubbing and removing rust to get it looking like this. Unfortunately, the before photos did not turn out. Just picture it covered with surface rust and mold and you will get the idea. It is now in our kitchen humming away and keeping things nice and cold! I will repaint it later- probably turquoise - since the original finish is not in good shape.

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Post# 1035608 , Reply# 6   6/18/2019 at 10:59 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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That's pretty darn neat.  Congratulations on your find!



Post# 1035615 , Reply# 7   6/18/2019 at 11:45 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        
Love it!

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Iím negotiating with the seller of the Hotpoint now, but I might be a fish in a barrel on this one. Iíve never seen one like it, and itís perfect.

Post# 1035648 , Reply# 8   6/18/2019 at 15:19 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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Speaking from experience from when I was much, much younger and able to look down and see my feet, that Hotpoint is not quite as heavy as it looks. 

Post# 1035656 , Reply# 9   6/18/2019 at 17:01 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Just beautiful! Congratulations!

Post# 1035678 , Reply# 10   6/19/2019 at 00:23 by sarahperdue (Alabama)        

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I've bought the Hotpoint. Will post more on my mid century kitchen thread.

thanks, All

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