1948 GM Frigidaire MJ-6 Restoration

Hahafunnyguy

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MJ-6
New member here. I've been creeping and combing through a lot of the threads on this forum trying to find as much information as possible on my particular model. I bought this 1948 GM Frigidaire refrigerator in a garage sale about 8 years ago for $50 and let it sit unplugged in a basement until now. I plan on using it in my garage as a spare beverage fridge. I recently plugged it in and it began to work fine for 2 days. On the 3rd day it stopped cooling. The compressor would try to cycle on for about 2 seconds before stopping and continued to do this every couple minutes or so before I decided to unplug it. Judging by the poor condition of the wiring and the addition of what looks like an old capacitor from the previous owner, I've decided to go through and re-wire everything. I'd like to find original part replacements of the plunger style door switch (the internal spring is broken and the plunger is broken at the base), the YG-2 relay, and the same style of 16ga wiring with thick insulation. My Ebay and Google searches have yielded few results so I'm hoping for some help searching from you guys including NLA part numbers for the parts above as well as supercede replacement parts/numbers. I plan on replacing the door seal as well because it's starting to look pretty rough.
 

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rickgburton

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The compressor would try to cycle on for about 2 seconds before stopping and continued to do this every couple minutes
Either the compressor or the hot wire relay is going to be the problem.
and the addition of what looks like an old capacitor from the previous owner,
When these old style compressors stopped running, it was common practice to use a 3-In-1 device with a start capacitor to replace the hot wire relay. This got the compressor running again but was usually just a short term fix and the compressor would eventually go out. Take a pic of the cap and post it here.

Remove the three wires on the compressor terminals (remember where they go). Measure the resistance of the compressors start windings and run windings and then check from each compressor terminal to the compressor body.

I've decided to go through and re-wire everything.
You're going to open a can of worms best left unopened LOL. However, you can get the wire at any of the home centers. Range wire has the thicker insulation but it's not necessary. You can find a replacement for the light switch (probably not the original) by using keywords like, SPST-NC (Normally Closed) light switch or Vintage refrigerator light switch. I'm sure you can find one that will work. There's all kinds available

light switch 3.jpg
light switch 6.jpg
light switch 4.jpg
light switch 5.jpg



We don't have a parts source for vintage machines. Your best bet is going to be places like eBay and Google search. You might be able to find some universal door gasket that will work but cosmetic parts and that exact door gasket will end up being impossible to find. Before you start looking for parts you should figure out why the compressor is not working. If the compressor is bad you got a boat anchor lol.
 

Old Fridge Guy

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There are some very good YouTube videos that explain in detail how to repair the original relay, if it's still there, and how to rewire your Frigidaire. The door gasket is available from Antique Appliances. They sell it by the foot.
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Messages
11
Location
United States
Either the compressor or the hot wire relay is going to be the problem.

When these old style compressors stopped running, it was common practice to use a 3-In-1 device with a start capacitor to replace the hot wire relay. This got the compressor running again but was usually just a short term fix and the compressor would eventually go out. Take a pic of the cap and post it here.

Remove the three wires on the compressor terminals (remember where they go). Measure the resistance of the compressors start windings and run windings and then check from each compressor terminal to the compressor body.


You're going to open a can of worms best left unopened LOL. However, you can get the wire at any of the home centers. Range wire has the thicker insulation but it's not necessary. You can find a replacement for the light switch (probably not the original) by using keywords like, SPST-NC (Normally Closed) light switch or Vintage refrigerator light switch. I'm sure you can find one that will work. There's all kinds available

View attachment 59265View attachment 59266View attachment 59267View attachment 59268


We don't have a parts source for vintage machines. Your best bet is going to be places like eBay and Google search. You might be able to find some universal door gasket that will work but cosmetic parts and that exact door gasket will end up being impossible to find. Before you start looking for parts you should figure out why the compressor is not working. If the compressor is bad you got a boat anchor lol.
I'll attach pictures of the wire layout on my YG-2 relay (the capacitor is wired in series with the center "R" compressor lead), the capacitor (print is not legible), as well as the readings I got on the compressor. I might try gluing the original light switch back together and replacing the spring before I buy an aftermarket replacement. I'm kind of anal about restoring things with original parts or reman parts that still look correct lol. With these readings am I able to determine if the compressor is shot or not?
 

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Hahafunnyguy

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There are some very good YouTube videos that explain in detail how to repair the original relay, if it's still there, and how to rewire your Frigidaire. The door gasket is available from Antique Appliances. They sell it by the foot.
Thank you. Any idea why some models were equipped with YG-2 vs. YT Relay? Maybe compressor compatibility? Or change in parts due to price or quality? The YT seems much easier to find online vs the YG-2. Kind of scary knowing one of the only repro gaskets for this refrigerator goes for $15 per foot, and I need 11 feet of it!

16243205485553437045599248885398.jpg 16243205832872155222052982407572.jpg
 

rickgburton

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With these readings am I able to determine if the compressor is shot or not?
Compressor windings are OK and no internal short to ground. That's good. Something mechanical in the compressor might be going out like the rotor and/or bearings. That would usually make for a noisy compressor.
The compressor would try to cycle on for about 2 seconds
What's the amp draw? I've never rebuilt a hot wire relay. I can tell you how to wire in a ROC41 (3-In-1) if you want.
 

Old Fridge Guy

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Can you test that capacitor? It should be 189 +20% MFD. If the capacitor is bad, when the compressor tires to start the start winding won't be in the circuit. So the compressor will be trying to start on the common and run windings (2 outside terminals on the compressor) only, which it can't do. So after a few seconds the overload trips. The center terminal on the compressor, where the capacitor is wired into, is the start terminal.
 

rickgburton

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Can you test that capacitor?
Set meter on 10K Ω. Touch meter leads to the capacitor terminals. Meter shows several thousand ohms then falls back to infinity.
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Set meter on 10K Ω. Touch meter leads to the capacitor terminals. Meter shows several thousand ohms then falls back to infinity.
Okay I did this several times with different results each time. A few times it went from hundreds of thousands of ohms back to infinity, but then it would start low in the 200k range and climb up several thousand ohms to around 500k before slowly falling back down. Or just started out high and slowly fell back down.
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Can you test that capacitor? It should be 189 +20% MFD. If the capacitor is bad, when the compressor tires to start the start winding won't be in the circuit. So the compressor will be trying to start on the common and run windings (2 outside terminals on the compressor) only, which it can't do. So after a few seconds the overload trips. The center terminal on the compressor, where the capacitor is wired into, is the start terminal.
My meter doesn't have a ųf function I will have to get ahold of one that does and try this out
 

Old Fridge Guy

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Knowing the exact capacitance of the capacitor would be best. But given the inconsistency of your test results I'd say the capacitor is questionable and should be replaced. Have you inspected the contacts inside of the relay? The cover is usually held on by a single phillips head screw or snaps on. You should be able to get it apart without removing the wires. If it's like the YT relay none of the screws securing the wires to the relay attach the cover of the relay to the body of the relay. If you do have to remove the wires to get it apart be sure to label the wires for reassembly. This is where people run into trouble! Taking pictures is good, but labeling is best!
 

Hahafunnyguy

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What's the amp draw? I've never rebuilt a hot wire relay. I can tell you how to wire in a ROC41 (3-In-1) if you want.
I measured the current of the compressor running after bypassing everything else in the circuit, but the amp draw averaged about 5 amps. Post the 3n1 wiring instructions for S&G if you don't mind
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Knowing the exact capacitance of the capacitor would be best. But given the inconsistency of your test results I'd say the capacitor is questionable and should be replaced
In lieu of replacement I'd prefer to eliminate it completely from the circuit since it was never part of the original design.
Have you inspected the contacts inside of the relay? The cover is usually held on by a single phillips head screw or snaps on. You should be able to get it apart without removing the wires. If it's like the YT relay none of the screws securing the wires to the relay attach the cover of the relay to the body of the relay. If you do have to remove the wires to get it apart be sure to label the wires for reassembly. This is where people run into trouble! Taking pictures is good, but labeling is best!
I ended up having to drill out the brass collars that were flared out on both sides of the relay, keeping the relay board from coming out.

20210625_120002.jpg20210625_121356.jpg

After that, I inspected the internals, and aside from the contacts looking a bit charred, everything appeared to be working normally. I wired up the thermostat, the relay, and the compressor per the diagram on the back and the original issue came back; the compressor would buzz like there was a current draw on it for a few seconds, and then the relay O/L tripped and it wouldn't do anything. So I bypassed the thermostat and the relay, and direct wired the compressor. Neutral wire to the common terminal (left) Hot wire to the right terminal, and a jumper wire tied into the hot wire to use on the center start terminal temporarily to get it going. Compressor started right up and began cooling. Is there a way to test the relay contacts or the thermostat to see if one of them is the culprit?
 

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Old Fridge Guy

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Something is going on with that compressor. It shouldn't be drawing 5 amps while running. Slightly over 2 amps, with the cabinet warm and the unit pulling down to temperature would be considered normal. Around 1 amp with a cool/cold cabinet is optimal. That's why the overload keeps tripping.
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Something is going on with that compressor. It shouldn't be drawing 5 amps while running. Slightly over 2 amps, with the cabinet warm and the unit pulling down to temperature would be considered normal. Around 1 amp with a cool/cold cabinet is optimal. That's why the overload keeps tripping.
I'm not sure why the current was so high yesterday but today I tried again and I'm at 1.87A with a warm cabinet.

16247267442866027118391881455439.jpg

How can I test the thermostat?
 

Hahafunnyguy

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Continuity. Off=open On=closed
Continuity was the first thing I checked and it tested out fine. I wasn't sure if there was anything beyond that to check in regards to the capillary. I did clean off the internal contacts with some sandpaper.
 

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rickgburton

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in regards to the capillary.
You definitely don't want to kink it. It has an inert gas inside it that expands and contracts against a diaphragm that opens and closes a set of contacts. When it gets cold, it opens. When it gets warm, it closes
 

Hahafunnyguy

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I was able to bypass the thermostat and the relay seemed to work as it should. Temperatures got down to the teens within a day in a hot garage with a crappy door seal. After testing that out, I wired the thermostat back into the circuit and it seemed to get "stuck". Now it cycles on about every 15 minutes and maintains about 45°F on the "coldest" setting number, 7. This leads me to believe the thermostat is faulty. Any sources for thermostat part numbers or replacement part numbers I can research on the web? A Google search for "Ranco A10-701-004" and "GM Frigidaire YR Thermostat" yields no results for me.
 

Dan O.

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LINK > A30-184 is a universal Ranco cold control that replaces A10-701

LINK > Ranco A30-184 Thermostat (no pic)


The last part # for the relay was 5305876896 but is discontinued. It replaces previous part #'s 01128656, 01128814, 05417228, 05417356, 05850649, 05850691, 05850824, 05876896, 05890835, 05901083, 5417228, 5417356, 5850649, 5850691, 5850824, 5876896, 5890835, 5876896, 5901083. None of which appear to be currently listed on eBay.

JFYI

Dan O.
 
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