Tilley lamp not getting pressure.

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Kenster197, Dec 4, 2023.

  1. Kenster197 United Kingdom

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    Good afternoon all,

    I was given this Tilley lamp by my mother, was my grandad's before, whilst he was a lighthouse keeper.
    It seems to be in very good condition, however the tank won't build up pressure.
    I am 100% confident that the tank is completely sealed, which leads me to think that I have an issue with the pump - I apologise now if any of my terminology is wrong!
    I bought a new set of seals, but they do seem to be generic, and the one that I think I might need isn't there.
    I'm not sure what style of lamp it is, or when it actually dates to.
    It seems that when I'm pumping there is absolutely nothing happening. If I take the pump apart and blow through the outer casing, then air is getting through. The inner part of the pump feels 'loose' and the seal inside the knob part doesn't seem to be doing anything at all.
    I did fit a new leather 'part' inside the pump, which I soaked overnight in oil. But, it still feels as though no air is being pumped into the tank at all.
    My gut tells me it's going to be something very simple - to someone that knows about these things - but I have ran out of ideas.
    I do also need to source a new piece of gauze for inside the stem, as I think the one I removed may have been in there for decades!!
    Hopefully someone can help.

    Cheers

    Kenny
    PS. Apologies if I should not be uploading all photos as full size images. Globe.jpeg Number.jpeg Pump 1.jpeg Pump 2.jpeg Pump split.jpeg Pump washer.jpeg Tilley TL11.jpeg
     
  2. Fireexit1 United Kingdom

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    Hi Kenny - welcome to the forum. Most Tilleys follow similar builds and all pretty much are the same in operation.

    There should not be a seal under the pump cap - that belongs elsewhere. There should be a seal under the large ring that holds the pump in place. Make sure you got the old one out as they can go very hard and can be mistaken for metal.

    The pump has a valve on the base of it. you should have put a new seal in that and it should be held closed with a spring. You should be able to feel the air coming out of the pump if you operate it outside of the lantern - just like a bike pump. You should not feel air escaping from anywhere else on the pump

    If you bought a new genuine Tilley SP1 kit the pump seal is wrong as it is square. If you bought a different kit you should have everything you need (two round seals with no holes in them, one for the pump and one for the cock)

    This video from one of our members should help:

    Many part names can be gleaned here: What do I call this part?: Tilley

    It is very worth getting going as it is a nice example
     
  3. Kenster197 United Kingdom

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    Really appreciate you taking the time to get back to me. I’m pretty sure that I did get the kit you mentioned, can you possibly advise me which one I should get, the Tilley FL6 kit that I’ve seen advertised on here?
    cheers
     
  4. Fireexit1 United Kingdom

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    The same fellow - fettlebox does a service kit for tilley lanterns - the FL6 one is not what you want as it has a bigger pump. The Tilley washer kit will do. His are made of viton a synthetic highly fuel resistant rubber.
    Or you could just order the control cock seals, but I would go for the kit as the viton will outlast the ordinary ones.
     
  5. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Welcome, @Kenster197.


    That is a great lamp to own, and getting it going will give you great pleasure.

    I’m working off my iPhone, but I suspect the washer that’s under the pump cap is for the vapouriser-to-con control cock join.

    The letters and numbers on the rim, and the gallery with internal springs indicate the lamp is at least older than mid 1940s. As the control cock is not plated, it may be a replacement, so the next time you unscrew the control cock measure how deep it is from the top of the stem (handle) to the bottom of the space that the control cock screws into (see here).

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  6. Ian Bingham

    Ian Bingham Subscriber

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    Nice lamp. If the pump travels its whole length easily (too easily) the leather pump washer is not sealing. Most probably it needs more oil and its edge spreading, but it is just possible it is not assembled correctly on the pump.rod.

    If the pump won't travel its whole length with ease, and builds up pressure, the small valve at the end of the pump tube will be stuck. Undo the hexagon and free it.

    Replacing all seals is a good precaution against unwanted experiences.

    You'll need a new mantle in due course but you can check it's burning well and working without a mantle if the glass is removed. If the glass remains in situ, it may well break.
     
  7. Buggerlugs

    Buggerlugs Australia Subscriber

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    Very nice lamp, welcome and you have got plenty of help.
    It will be a simple problem Tilley lamps are very basic to get running, but being your first it's all new to you.
    The video will help you learn, watch it a few times if you need to.
    Good luck mate, I can't wait to see it running.
     
  8. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Welcome aboard!:thumbup:
     
  9. Jean J

    Jean J Subscriber

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    What a great looking lamp you’ve inherited Kenny. Just one thing that could improve it would be to swap the brass control cock for an earlier chrome one. Just nit-picking I know.
     

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