Coleman 201 with a few issues

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Nonzo, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    I was given a Coleman 201 recently. The donor told me that he thought it had last run about 35 years ago! I was therefore amazed (and impressed) that it fired up without any hassles.

    Although the lamp runs ok, it does have some issues which I'd appreciate some help with.
    1i
     
  2. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    Sorry, I don't know what happened there.

    The 201's issues are:
    1 The leather pump cup is disintegrating. I have a spare (which I got for a Tilley X246). Are these cups a standard size?
    2 The washer that retains the leather cup appears to be a spring-fit into a slot on the pump spindle. Should it simply prise loose with a screwdriver?
    3 When in the pre-heat phase, the mantle lights up way before the meths in the cup is burnt out. This suggests that the stop-cock/control knob is leaking. Would a washer kit contain what I am likely t need to remedy the leak?
    4 The stop-cock needs only to be opened a fraction for the lamp to burn at full intensity. However the knob is able to turn a couple more complete revolutions to no effect. Is this normal?
    5 When the fount is pressurised, some fuel leaks out under the collar. Is the remedy likely to be as simple as replacing a washer?
    6 Overall the lamp is in good nick although the collar with the operating instructions on it is badly stained and some of the printing has worn off. Are replacement collars available and, if so, where from?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice/suggestions before my inexpert enthusiasm turns a working lamp into a non-runner.
     
  3. phaedrus42

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    Hi Nonzo,

    The 201 is a fine little lantern and I'm sure it will serve you well after a decent fettle.
    To answer your questions in sequence:
    1 The leather pump cups are a standard size on Colemans but are not compatible with those on Tilleys.
    2 The spring washer clip is made of fairly soft metal and can be prised open for removal. Flatten it again very slightly for re-use.
    3 It is not unusual for there to be a little paraffin in the generator if the lantern was stored under pressure. The fuel valve may have a very slight leak. It should not be a problem in use but you can try closing it more tightly by hand a few times. It is a brass on brass needle valve and it unlikely to be worn out to the extent that the valve or stem would need replacement. There is no washer there except for the graphite fuel valve stem seal inside the box nut.
    4 There is no brightness control on these lanterns, so it is normal for it to be at full brightness at a fraction of a turn.
    5 If the fuel valve is closed and seals properly there should be no leak. If the fuel valve leaks you are probably getting a dribble of paraffin running down the generator or air tube. onto the top of the fount inside the collar.
    6 Replacement collars are not available new as far as I know. You may be lucky enough to find a good second hand one in South Africa or you could try www.oldcolemanparts.com in the USA.
    Search there for "201 frame rest". These printed aluminium collars tend not to age well.

    I may be able to put you in contact with a knowlegable collector within driving distance of your area if you need assistance. Just send me a PM by clicking on my name below the pic on the left and then click "start a conversation"

    Hope this helps,
    -Phil
     
  4. Henry Plews

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    @Nonzo

    Phil replied while I was looking at oldcolemanparts web site. No 201 collars either new or used I'm afraid.
    The pump cup on my 201 (dated 3 81) is neoprene but no matter. The correct cup is 7/8 inch diameter, if you have difficulty finding one where you are, they are available from the Fettlebox.

    Henry.
     
  5. phaedrus42

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  6. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    Many thanks for most helpful info, gents.
    It sounds as though the only real fettling required is to replace the leather cup. I'll try Packrat.
    It's a pity that collars are not available but I'll give mine a good clean with soap and warm water and see how that helps.

    Cheers, Peter
     
  7. george

    george Subscriber

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    Love to see it when you finish!:p
     
  8. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Yes, I’d love to see it also when it’s finished :D
     
  9. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    Thanks George and Pete. Your enthusiasm is inspiring! I will certainly post some pics when the job is complete.
    The fettle has suffered a setback in that I have managed to damage the generator :rage:. I hope that it will be salvageable but in case not, a new one is on order. In the meantime I am giving everything a good clean. Found lots of dead moths and crud inside the collar under the frame.

    I may start a thread in order to gain some expert insight into overhauling generators. They are finickier than I thought....

    Peter
     
  10. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Nonzo

    No need to start a new thread for your generator:

    Post a picture and tell us what went wrong. Unless the nipple/jet is damaged, or the brass tube split, they can usually be salvaged.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  11. Nonzo

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    Thanks Tony. That's encouraging.

    Well here goes:When I took off the generator to clean it, I found that the spring was stuck tightly in the tube. I extracted it with difficulty but in doing so I must have distorted the spring. I say this because despite having cleaned the tube and spring thoroughly, the spring will not slide easily back into the tube. In fact I cannot get it in more than about 3/4 of its length. Worse still, even with the spring outside the tube I am unable to push the pricker rod all the way back through the spring coils.

    To my surprise the spring is not 'springy' at all. When bent it does not spring back to its original shape but stays in the bent position. This is unlike the spring in the YouTube video I watched on how to service a generator.

    Several questions arise:
    1 What is the purpose of the spring/coil?
    2 Does it matter that mine is a coil of wire rather than a spring in the accepted sense?
    3 Would it affect performance of the lamp if I get as much of the spring into the tube as I can and then cut off the excess- say 20% of the springs overall length?
    4 I presume that when re-assembling, one should insert the pricker rod inside the spring before putting the spring into the tube?
    5 How does one locate the hairlike pricker wire into the hole in the jet nipple without damaging it? There is NO 'wiggle-room'.
    6 Why is everything so much more complicated than one anticipates? :lol:

    20180318_095114.jpg 20180318_095114.jpg 20180318_095114.jpg
     
  12. Martin K.

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    Hi @Nonzo ,
    the "spring" is in fact just a coil of wire and serves several purposes: It centers the needle rod, it enlarges the inner surface of the generator where the fuel gets heated, and it forces (most of) the fuel to go a longer way to get to the jet. In fact there are other types Coleman Kerosene generators which even have two coils fit into each other.

    First you should thoroughly remove all carbon residues from the coils and from the inner side of the generator. Then you could bend the coils gently such that they will easily fit into the generator. While doing this you can try to push in the needle rod once in a while and look whether the coils are still straight.
    The needle is very fragile, so take special care of it while handling the needle rod.
    The needle should be safe to operate when assembled because the rod is centered by the coils and the needle itself is centered by the inner bore in the jet.

    I have always positioned the coil in the generator first and then loaded the needle rod. Please make sure that the jet is not blocked when assembling because that will easily bend (and damage) the needle.
     
  13. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    Thanks, Martin, for your most helpful response. I now know a bit more about generators.

    After more cleaning as you advocated, and through patience and persistence I am able to fit the full length of the coil back into the tube. Partial success. But when I tried to insert the the pricker rod, it would only go about 1/3 of the way in.
    I removed the coil and tried inserting the rod. Same result. Obviously some coils were out of alignment. So I looked through the coils as through a tunnel. All seemed fine - I could see the 'hole' along the length of the coil through which the rod must pass. So why wouldn't it? It must be bent.So I checked that. The rod is as straight as a die.

    So I tried again. And again.. and again....Inexplicably I have a pricker rod which defies the basic laws of physics :doh:.

    So feeling inept and somewhat discouraged, I await arrival of the new generator which is on order. It will be good to finish this fettle and regain some sense of positivity.

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  14. Tony Press

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    @Nonzo

    Don’t feel discouraged. That has happened to me. I think it’s because in re-twisting the coil to get it back in, some coiled bits form a narrower internal diameter.

    I’ve replaced the coil with fine brass mesh in some Coleman kerosene generators because of this problem.

    The other thing to do, is to take the coil out of the generator again, insert the needle, take the tip off the generator, reinsert the coil with the needle in place, make sure the pricker moves freely, then put the tip back on.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  15. goldwinger11

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    @Nonzo . Sounds like your generator still has a carbon buildup inside it.
     
  16. Nonzo

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    Thanks Tony. I'll try that.... in due course.

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  17. AussiePete

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    Good luck mate. I found perseverance and working and reshaping delicately sometimes overcomes an alignment issue, basically a small step at a time.
    Peter
     
  18. phaedrus42

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    I've used a steel ruler and granite counter top to straighten out recalcitrant pricker rods and spirals. Keep the hooked end of the pricker rod off the edge and roll it between the ruler and surface while pressing down on the ruler. On the 201 the spiral is aluminium and quite soft.
     
  19. Nonzo

    Nonzo Subscriber

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    The fettle is finally finished and the 201 is fully operational once more. Many thanks to the numerous individuals who played a part in bringing about this minor miracle - my first 'proper' fettle.

    A couple of blokes said they'd like to see the final result so here is the evidence:

    The lamp as it was given to me: 20180226_082935.jpg
    After cleaning and replacing the generator: 20180322_170538.jpg
    And proof that it works: 20180322_181258.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Andrew T

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    A good result.
     
  21. phaedrus42

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    Well done, Peter! It may be the first of many.
     
  22. george

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    Well done!!!:D/
     
  23. Tony Press

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    @Nonzo

    Excellent!

    Warning: you won’t be able to stop now.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  24. ROBBO55

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    Congratulations Nonzo your lantern has cleaned up nicely and is burning brightly. :clap:
     

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