I understand it may take 24 hours to get fully cold, but it's turning on for only maybe a half hour or so sometimes and then turns off for several hours and never gets cold again. I haven't left it plugged in a full 24 hours because I'm afraid to leave it in case it could somehow cause a fire or something.
Anyway, before replacing this freezer, I might try replacing the $15 universal thermostat. Remember, the compressor IS running though, I can hear and touch it and feel it running. It stays running even for hours without making the freezer colder though, so does this mean replacing the thermostat could even fix it?
Also someone suggesting the following paragraph and $18 part, but I can't find anything on this freezer that resembles that part, and there's no panels to remove or hidden areas - everything/wires are just snaked through the side wall if need be.
"I think you are probably looking at a bad relay and/or overload for the compressor.. if it gets cold that fast then turns warm the compressor sounds like it is just kicking out.. it could be a bad compressor but then again it could be the components that start and keep the compressor running. Because of the age I am not finding these in stock anywhere but you could just use a universal compressor/relay device in place of.. I have installed thousands and thousands of these back in my service and repair days with about a 80% success rate.. if you want to give it a try it might pay off "
I tried pulling the thermostat out but the capillary tube seems to be secured to something but I can't find where. And this older freezer thermostat has prongs that are different from all the universal types I've seen , I don't think I want to cut the prongs off the wires and try and fix them to a universal thermostat just in case something goes wrong with that.