Subzero 550 Fridge Repair

A friend of mine had a Subzero 550 fridge/freezer that is about 20 years old. It has separate compressors for the fridge and freezer. The fridge side is no longer holding temperature. Sometimes it's OK, other times the temperature rises. He had the Subzero dealer out to diagnose and they told him the compressor is bad, should change that, evaporator, and convert from R12 to R134. Bad news is they want $4K, which is a rip off. Looks like they figure they can get it, since a new unit is $10K.
The rest of it is fine. My first thought was, does it even need a new compressor? Is that kind of behavior, holds temps most of the time, goes up in temp other time even indicative of a compressor failure? In my experience, they either work or they go completely, never seen one intermittent. My first thought was maybe it's the thermostat, the compressor cap, fan, etc. I had him check though and he says that when it's not holding temp, the compressor and evaporator fan are running, so that would seem to rule the other stuff out.
So, I did some research online and the compressor is actually made by Embraco, an EMI30ER1. I found it online, including shipping for as low as $130. Looks like it's good practice to replace the evaporator too, because that's a common failure. Found an aftermarket supplier for that for $200. I guess that R12 is still available and legal, but I guess given the circumstances, better to convert to R134?
So, looks to me like a fair repair guy should do this for ~$500 in parts, $500 in labor = $1000? Does that sound about right? He has another independent type repair guy coming that he found from a neighbor who recommended him to give another opinion. I suggested that when the guy gets there he should let him make his diagnosis and as soon as he says it needs a compressor, he should say, "yeah, that's what Subzero said, it's an Embraeco and I see it's available online for $150..... So they know you're smarter than the average bear before he works up the quote.
Any other thoughts?
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On Monday, September 28, 2015 at 10:03:00 AM UTC-4, trader_4 wrote:

Is it related to if the freezer compressor happens to be running at the same time or not?
Mark
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On 9/28/2015 10:02 AM, trader_4 wrote:

It has separate compressors for the fridge and

CY: The fridge compressor is the smaller one. DAMHIKT.
He had

CY: The old hermetic compressors typically fail all at once. This up and down temp doesn't sound like a bad compressor. I'd first clean the condenser.
Bad news is they want $4K, which is a rip off. Looks

CY: Hope he gets kissed for that much money. And some chocolates.

CY: Sounds more like thermostat, or dirty condenser. Wish I was there, to look over the situation.
My first thought

CY: Right, compressors usually go klunk and die all together.

CY: If you get to the point of replace condenser, R409a is a drop in replacement. R416b is a little cheaper, and also works fine. I doubt you need it, though.

CY: I'd tell the guy the symptoms, and let him (or her) look the machine over.

CY: I hate price chiselers like that.

CY: Clean the condenser. Wonder what was the operating pressure while the system was running? Low side port is usually available.
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On Monday, September 28, 2015 at 11:37:56 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Who's chiseling? It's just a statement of fact as to what the part can be obtained for so that the repair guy knows he's done some research and he doesn't get another $4K quote.
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On 9/28/2015 11:46 AM, trader_4 wrote:

CY: "Well, my price is..... take it or leave it."
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On Monday, September 28, 2015 at 11:48:45 AM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

That's fine, I never said anything contrary. All I suggested was that if you're an educated customer and let the repair guy know it, you may find that he has less room to hose you and give you an inflated quote.
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"trader_4" wrote in message
A friend of mine had a Subzero 550 fridge/freezer that is about 20 years old. It has separate compressors for the fridge and freezer. The fridge side is no longer holding temperature. Sometimes it's OK, other times the temperature rises. He had the Subzero dealer out to diagnose and they told him the compressor is bad, should change that, evaporator, and convert from R12 to R134. Bad news is they want $4K, which is a rip off. Looks like they figure they can get it, since a new unit is $10K.
The rest of it is fine. My first thought was, does it even need a new compressor? Is that kind of behavior, holds temps most of the time, goes up in temp other time even indicative of a compressor failure? In my experience, they either work or they go completely, never seen one intermittent. My first thought was maybe it's the thermostat, the compressor cap, fan, etc. I had him check though and he says that when it's not holding temp, the compressor and evaporator fan are running, so that would seem to rule the other stuff out.
So, I did some research online and the compressor is actually made by Embraco, an EMI30ER1. I found it online, including shipping for as low as $130. Looks like it's good practice to replace the evaporator too, because that's a common failure. Found an aftermarket supplier for that for $200. I guess that R12 is still available and legal, but I guess given the circumstances, better to convert to R134?
So, looks to me like a fair repair guy should do this for ~$500 in parts, $500 in labor = $1000? Does that sound about right? He has another independent type repair guy coming that he found from a neighbor who recommended him to give another opinion. I suggested that when the guy gets there he should let him make his diagnosis and as soon as he says it needs a compressor, he should say, "yeah, that's what Subzero said, it's an Embraeco and I see it's available online for $150..... So they know you're smarter than the average bear before he works up the quote.
Any other thoughts?
I am retire Refrigeration person to be honest I would not do it for $1000. "why" changing refrigerant it is always? problem, Capillary tube need to be change, filter drier has to be change the old compressor are not made for new R-134 refrigerant. It will also have rerated cooling capacity what effect will that have is in ? "Considering Warrantee"?
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