1950 Vintage Kelvinator Fridge FM-R door disassembly?

David Andre

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Messages
3
Location
St Louis MO
Hi,

I recently acquired a 1950 Kelvinator FM-R fridge in fantastic working condition. The chassis/body and inside of the fridge is in great shape with almost flawless paint - but the door has some "patina" (no dents, just scratched and worn spots in the paint). I would like to repaint the door but to do it correctly I want to take the door apart to remove the chrome handle hardware, decorative trim and plastic trim/badge. I just cannot figure out how to get the inner door skin off to gain access to the inside. How are these doors assembled?

I am an accomplished painter, having painted cars, motorcycles and even a few restored vintage industrial tools. I am trying to match the paint as best as I can to the original white. The original paint seems a bit more of a subtle cream white rather than a stark bright white like the inside of the fridge is. Is there any info out there regarding the type and color of paint these appliances were painted with? White is not just white, you know..:)

Thanks for any help!

Dave
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
40,687
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Usually a bunch of screws hold the liner to the door all the way around.
Is there any info out there regarding the type and color of paint
Not that I know of.
 

David Andre

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Messages
3
Location
St Louis MO
Thanks Rick. Now that I pried the hardened seal off, the inner plastic or fiberglas (?) liner is held in with clips similar to old-school car interior panel clips. Now I am trying to figure out how to release them without damaging anything. Ideally I don't want to destroy them as I would like to re-use if possible when I reassemble. I have plastic panel release tools for cars but these clips are more stout than those can handle so I may need to find a better tool for the job. As for the paint, after a thorough clean and buff of the chassis with Finesse It compound the paint is a bit brighter white. Standard appliance white may be just fine in the end, but we'll see.
 

David Andre

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2020
Messages
3
Location
St Louis MO
Got it all apart. Slow and patient, no damage. All hardware off and nearly done with sanding already.

The insulation is 70-year old fiberglas or similar fibrous material. Kind of brittle and messy. Is there a better insulation now available or is the old stuff just as good as anything else? While it’s all open I might as well upgrade if there’s something better.
 

Dhetz68

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Indiana
Got it all apart. Slow and patient, no damage. All hardware off and nearly done with sanding already.

The insulation is 70-year old fiberglas or similar fibrous material. Kind of brittle and messy. Is there a better insulation now available or is the old stuff just as good as anything else? While it’s all open I might as well upgrade if there’s something better.
David, did you pull the workings out of the back of the machine? I’m currently working on a model FM-L. I have all 8 screws out of the large lower back panel and can see the compressor mounted/with it, but it will not come out. What am I missing?
 
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