1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

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1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:07 pm

I have a 1950 Coleman camp stove that has run great for 66 years (my dad's). This past week I was camping and half the time when I started the stove I could only get a tall (8") orange flame and the other half the time I would get a nice hot blue short flame. The stove either worked or didn't. If the stove started with a tall orange flame, it never settled down. I would have to shut the white gas supply off and hope that if I waited a while it would work.

I am assuming something has finally clogged or went south, but don't know where to start and am hoping someone here already has a good idea of what needs fixing.

Thanks.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby KennethW » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:01 pm

Are you leaving the air control lever up long enough to heat the generator? Are you using coleman fuel ?
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:13 pm

KennethW wrote:Are you leaving the air control lever up long enough to heat the generator? Are you using coleman fuel ?

Yes, I have tried everything from 1-5 minutes on the lever with no change in performance. Also tried various positions on the fuel control knob. I only use Coleman branded fuel.

However, your question raises an interesting issue regarding what would cause the generator to stay cool even after the lever is left up for some time? I know the pump is solid as I get good back pressure after 20-30 strokes. Given how simple the system is, I assume you rely on temperature to vaporize the fuel and the pressure to deliver it to the burner.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby KennethW » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:54 am

I am no expert. (there are expert's on this form) It sounds to me like your generator is dirty and need replacement or cleaning. The generator is the tube over the flame.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:46 pm

Coleman's knowledge base pretty much points to the generator either not getting hot enough or not being able to lean out the air:fuel mixture with the lever in the up position. So, first step is to clean out the two small holes near the generator. We'll see if that helps.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:07 pm

OK, here is what Coleman actually says:

On a liquid fuel stove, outside air and fuel from the generator are mixed at the Bunsen where the generator plugs into the manifold behind and above the burner. On the manifold, right behind where the generator plugs in, there are two holes that draw in air to mix with the fuel on the way to the burner. If either or both of these holes are blocked or if a spider or insect enters these holes and build a nest or web sac inside the manifold, the fuel and air mixture will be incorrect and there will be a large yellow flame at the burner that will not settle down to blue.

First, I have some questions regarding what parts are called what. Please feel free to correct any misunderstandings:

1) The generator is the long horizontal tube that comes out of the fuel tank.
2) The Bunsen is the square box that the end of the generator plugs into.
3) The manifold is the horseshoe shaped flattened tube that comes out the back of the Bunsen and then connects to the master burner body.

If I have this correct, the Bunsen has a huge hole at the bottom big enough for me to put my finger into and I can see light coming in where the bottom is pressed onto the upper body. Based on the Coleman troubleshooting information, I would have expected to find two small holes at that location, but I don't see anything like that.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby wagondude » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:30 pm

You are correct in what you are finding. If the bunsen and manifold are clear, start looking into the primary burner. There could actually be a nest in there as well as stuff from any cooking spills. Take the screw out of the top of the burner and pull the top plate off. under there will be a stack of flat and crimped "washers" that make the burner openings. Pay close attention to how they are stacked sou you can put them back. While you have it apart, clean the cross tube and the secondary burner as well. Not sure why the Coleman instructions mention two holes (maybe a design change without updating printed information), My '64 stove also just has the one big square hole in it.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:39 am

Coleman sent me a picture where the two small holes are supposed to be. Clearly, the design has changed since 1950 if there are really two holes there. I am going to take the generator apart and clean it to see if that makes a difference. I will also check the burner and blow some compressed air through the manifold. Not much else to do unless I find something broken.

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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:02 pm

Since the resolution on the picture sent by Coleman is so low, I have no way to see if there are really holes on the lower side. I think it is much more likely that the CS rep didn't know what she was talking about or the picture isn't from a manifold that has the smaller side holes. Here are the pictures from mine.

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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:03 pm

ok, disassembled the burners and generator. I blew compressed air through the manifold and cross tube and all appears clean. I took the generator apart and found that spring was stuck in the tube. I am soaking it in denatured alcohol now to see if I can get the spring out to clean it and the inside of the tube. No idea if that would cause my issue.

UPDATE: Soaking in denatured alcohol did loosen up the spring and I was able to get it out. I took a wire brush to it and then used the spring to clean the inside of tube.
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:46 pm

I put the generator back together and the flame issue is cured, at least I think so. I will have to test under different temperature conditions to see if being cold in the morning makes a difference.

What I did find is that I have a fuel leak at either the Bunsen or past the threads of the protector tip. I have the tip fairly tight, but don't know if I can use any type of pipe dope to isolate which has the leak. It sure looks like the leak is past the threads. You can see in the picture I have a nice blue flame at the burner, but that nasty orange flame at the leak.

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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Mukilteo » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:19 pm

Here are two valuable resources for you.
First is the Coleman Collectors forum with tutorials and many knowledgeable people to help the beginner.
http://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/
Second is Old Coleman parts. The best place to get old parts.
http://www.oldcolemanparts.com/home.php
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:05 pm

Mukilteo wrote:Here are two valuable resources for you.
First is the Coleman Collectors forum with tutorials and many knowledgeable people to help the beginner.
http://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/
Second is Old Coleman parts. The best place to get old parts.
http://www.oldcolemanparts.com/home.php


I wrote to Old Coleman Parts about the correct generator part number as Coleman gave me a number that my schematics say does not fit my version. Never heard back.

I will try the other link to see if they have any suggestions on fixing the leak.

Thanks
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Re: 1950 Coleman Camp Stove Flame Issue

Postby Hennesseystealth » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:26 pm

Leak was from the threads at the end of the generator. Surprising how much torque I had to apply to get it to seal. I was worried I was going to bend the generator. Well, if it lasts another 66 years it will be someone else's problem. :R
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