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  #16  
Old 11-01-2012, 07:02 PM
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CoogarXR CoogarXR is offline
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Something that comes to mind that was junk, was any 8-track to Cassette adapter I ever tried. They all eat tapes. A swell idea, poorly executed.
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  #17  
Old 03-10-2013, 09:27 PM
Rod Beauvex Rod Beauvex is offline
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Yes, there was lots of crap even before manufacturing started going overseas. I suspect the fact that there were lots of repairmen and things were easier to fix back then and that makes the problem seem less worse today than I really believe it actually was back then. There is good stuff out there that will last more than a year or two, and guess what? It's still more expensive than most people want to pay.

I see this sort of "everything today sucks" attitude alot from the gaming circles. People forget, whatever the era, that for every Asteroids, Pac Man, Mario, Sonic, ect, there were dozens of terrible games. Same things applies everywhere esle. Stereos. Tvs. Appliances.

Last edited by Rod Beauvex; 03-10-2013 at 11:58 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:17 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamakiri View Post
Dunno yet, to be honest. I'm just going to get it down there and make the decision at some point after I go through the whole thing, cleaned spotlessly, and working.

Like I said, it's gonna be a winter project, and we have looooong winters here
This winter seems extremely long. Even you folks out East, seen more than your share of nasty weather.
We should be used to it, in the mid-west.
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  #19  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:20 AM
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Kamakiri Kamakiri is offline
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I ended up getting the Kelvinator partially apart, and the amount of grease, rust, and deterioration from wherever it had been sitting that was hidden by nice, shiny porcelain was the death knell for the unit. I ended up parting it out for other projects, but after the 8th or so 1/4" screw head snapped off from rust, that was it, and the project was scrapped.

I had to make more room for televisions anyway, and I've repaired more sets over this winter than I have in many years....
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  #20  
Old 03-14-2013, 07:27 AM
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Of all the appliance manufacturers that the USA had then, I cant think of any that were known as junk... and I used to live across the street from a used appliance dealer growing up. Some of the later (early 1960's) GE front loaders might qualify. I remember seeing many of them rusted out internally while we were scrapping them out.

My mom had a 1962 Philco-Bendix front loader washer-dryer that ate spin solenoids about every 4-6 months until the repairman found a larger more robust solenoid that would fit to replace the OEM unit that failed. Then, it lasted for years.
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  #21  
Old 03-14-2013, 06:24 PM
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Most vintage appliances were built pretty well. For instance, I manage an apartment property that was built in 1972, and we have several apartments with their original GE electric ranges. My mother is still using the 40" range that she bought in 1968, and she has a refrigerator in the garage that my grandparents bought in the early 50's.

In the 80's, appliance manufacturers started really cutting costs. Refrigerator interiors and washing machine tubs went from coated steel to plastic. Whirlpool (once second only to Maytag in washing machine quality) was one of the first major companies to switch to direct drive, thus spelling an end to long-life washing machines.

These days most home appliances are pretty much disposable. The market and the manufacturers have changed so much since I left that business in 1998. Mergers and consolodation have left GE and Whirlpool as the last two American full-line appliance makers. Take washing machines for instance, Whirlpool machines can be bought under the names of Whirlpool, Estate, Roper, KitchenAid, Crosley, Magic Chef, Norge, Admiral, Maytag, Amana, and even some Kenmore models.

Last year I had to finally give in and replace my washing machine. Since Maytag is now just a Whirlpool with the Maytag name plate attached (along with a $ increase), I decided to call a friend of mine in the repair business and ask his opinion. He said to buy the cheapest model I could find that had the features I had to have.....and when it fails to simply throw it out and replace it. He said there was not a washing machine on the market today that would be likely to last past the 8 to 10 year mark. He advised me not to spend more $$ thinking it would equate to better quality any more.

The cheapest quality home appliances from 30 years ago are built better than just about anything you can buy these days (with the exception of a few high-end luxury brands).
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  #22  
Old 03-14-2013, 09:23 PM
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I've got a washer and dryer by Whirlpool. Nice avocado. Built in 1970. I have a feeling that they are here to stay. Both are working just fine 6-8 times a week.

New belt, inlet water valve, and a pump on the washer, and a new belt and drum rollers on the dryer. Both of the machines are clean as a pin... no lint anywhere.

My local appliance parts house no longer has any parts for these incredible machines.

My kitchen is old stuff, too. Big SUB ZERO refrigerator-freezer with a pair of new thermostats (it has 2 compressors) a big Magic Chef gas wall oven built in 1970... There was one just like it in the kitchen set of THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY on TV back in the day.

I like older appliances. As long as parts are available, I will fix them.

Last edited by holmesuser01; 03-15-2013 at 05:38 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-15-2013, 03:39 PM
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Kamakiri, sorry the stove was a bit of a bust. Cleaning up vintage kitchen grease is the worst. Too bad it didn't rust-proof the stove better. On your comment about the inefficient use of space on the range top, my mother loves to talk about growing up in the 40's, and the intense lack of kitchen space in most homes (well, at least in the area where she grew up). Her mother had a similar stove, and that large slab of porcelain on the right side was the food prep area, given that they didn't really have any counterspace. Just a long sink that had been adapted from a hand pump, and the accompanying tilt board for the dishes to dry on.

As for horrible vintage appliances, there were plenty of them, especially the crummy off-brand stuff that came from drug stores in the 30s and 40s that were copies of name-brand appliances. I'm thinking of smaller stuff like sandwich grills, toasters, etc. Where the plating was thinner, flimsy sheetmetal, fewer heating elements, less insulation, etc. We don't see much of that stuff today since it worked so poorly right out of the box, it was tossed in the following decades.
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  #24  
Old 03-16-2013, 09:11 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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There's a website called "Drug store appliances", that shows a lot examples of the low end appliances. Some were never used.
If you look at the pre-war Allied catalogues, they have some examples of inexpensive appliances, that they sold.
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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I've ran across several cheap "drugstore" fans from the '40's and '50's that were past saving. Most of the ones that I couldn't fix had either bad bearings or broken oscillator mechanisms. Of course, the bearings might have held up longer had people lubricated them properly. OTOH, the better fans (Emerson, GE, Westinghouse, Hunter, etc) usually are fixable without any serious issues. Still, the cheap drugstore fans are better than most of what comes out of China today. In fact, I have several cheap fans that run fine; but, I keep them oiled.
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  #26  
Old 03-16-2013, 11:20 AM
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Got a few ZERO fans around here that run fine after oiling, and some that just sit there and look good... I've removed the cords on these, unfortunately.
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  #27  
Old 03-16-2013, 12:54 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by holmesuser01 View Post
Got a few ZERO fans around here that run fine after oiling, and some that just sit there and look good... I've removed the cords on these, unfortunately.
I have a small desk fan. What's strange about it, is that it has a universal motor. It's a Signal brand. They were still in business, into the 60's.
I would guess mine is an early to mid 30's model.
IIRC, Signal is a New York firm. New York still had a lot of DC districts.
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  #28  
Old 03-18-2013, 03:12 PM
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DavGoodlin DavGoodlin is offline
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Washing machines! (rant alert)
Yes, I was one of the fools that thought buying a Maytag in 2004 was a slam-dunk.
A year (a few days beyond warranty) later, the leaking started followed by bearing failure that sounded like a frieght train during spin cycle.
My "small-town" type dealer showed mercy by covering the repair but advised me to buy a service contract. Since I don't play losing games, I pushed my luck and it failed again last month. My store sold me the tub-seal repair kit and main bearing for $120. The kit was cheaper there than at appliance parts dealers and, as evidenced by the dusty parts boxes, nobody was having these lemons fixed anymore after 9 years.
My washer had the plastic tub and seal assembly made in Maytag's "other" plant in Searcy, Arkansas. Not a new design and not a good one either.

After getting the washtub out and seeing how crappy it really was, I decided to return the unopened parts and look for a used older Maytag or new washer. Laundry was piling up fast, and the impossible transmission shaft seal was not coming loose from the corroded aluminum hub. I also was not about to invest in the spanner wrench and puller and add to the losses...

The decision was made once the salesman at the store said Speed Queen still makes thier stuff in Wisconsin. and they sell mostly to people who value function over looks and extra silly features.
I once delivered SQ for a Zenith-Sony-Admiral dealer in Allentown, noting the lack of washer repair calls they had!
Before I bought, I called Alliance Laundry Systems (maker of Speed Queen) to ask why Consumer Reports threw them under the bus and then rating top-loader models by LG and Samsung way at the top.... Their reply "we dont play the energy star game, we build a washer that washes...and lasts" The cycle time is much shorter than all the others but the loads are smaller. Water levels and temperatures are also compromised in the energy star quest. Since I have a well, its not really an issue.

Maytag was on its way downhill by 2002 after chasing the "Boutique" market with the trouble-plagued front-loading Neptune model in the late 90s. It was sold to Whirlpool in 2006 and the Newton Iowa plant closed. I bought a new Whirlpool washer in 1988, selling it with my old house after 10 years of trouble-free service. But even Whirlpool is probably not the same anymore.

Last edited by DavGoodlin; 03-19-2013 at 08:03 AM. Reason: typos
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  #29  
Old 03-22-2013, 06:17 PM
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OvenMaster OvenMaster is offline
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Up until the 70's, my family bought Roper-built Kenmore washers and electric stoves... when you couldn't afford anything better. The belt-driven washers never failed to leak or break belts every few years. It got to the point where we had the washer sitting crooked in our little laundry nook/alcove with a steel beer serving tray underneath the leaky pump that I would empty for my mom after every load.

In 1993 or so we got a simple two-cycle Whirlpool built Kenmore direct-drive top load washer. Except for an imbalance problem when a rubber thingy got misaligned a couple of years ago (fixed by yours truly after watching a YouTube video), it keeps clunking along and gets a full load done in just 35 minutes.
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  #30  
Old 03-23-2013, 09:12 AM
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Yes, DaveGoodlin, Maytag quality was pretty much a memory by 2004. The Maytag plant in Newton, Iowa turned out the original Maytag washers (porcelon tub and cabinet, two-belt drive models). These were real machines; the internal components changed very little from the introduction of automatic washers in the 50's until the plant closed.

Maytag also owned the old Norge plant, which turned out a much cheaper machine that in no way resembled the real Maytag washers fron the Newton, Iowa plant. Often, these plastic tub machines were sold under the "Performa by Maytag" moniker. I think there at the end (when Maytag was grasping straws to try and stay in business) that just started selling both lines under the Maytag nameplate. When Whirlpool bought out Maytag, the first thing they done was to close down the Newton plant as they were only interested in the Maytag name so they could sell their low-end product at a premium price. The general public will pay more for a Maytag thinking it's still the same quality product it used to be back when Maytag was really Maytag.

Speed Queen is the last really well-built washing machine on the market today. They are a little hard-to-find these days as they mainly sell to mom-and-pop appliance stores. The big-box guys would have a hard time selling a plain looking model with a big price tag, even though it's worth the extra $$ to buy real quality. For instance, I live in Knoxville, TN (a decent sized town) and there are no Speed Queen dealers here or I would have considered one back when mine went south. The Speed Queen home laundry line is basically the same as their commercial laundrymat washers (minus the change machine).

So now I am using a $279 direct drive Admiral (made by Whirlpool). It's a cheap direct-drive noise maker, but it washes well and as long as it doesn't get overloaded, the direct drive plastic parts will usually hold up OK. For what I paid for it, I'll be happy if it passes the 5 year mark.
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