Tilley X246 1954-56 - My new fettling project.

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Polybus, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    OK - so after the success of my Coleman 200 and Tilley X246A - onto my third lantern.

    I think its a Tilley X246 - 1954-56 model - but I'm happy to be corrected if necessary.

    Day 1:

    Here is the old girl before I have got at it.....

    Tilley(Lo-Res)001.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)002.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)003.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)004.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)006.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)005.JPG Tilley(Lo-Res)007.JPG

    The only thing I have done so far is spray penetrating oil on anything that will unscrew.
     
  2. JEFF JOHNSON

    JEFF JOHNSON United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Happy fettling!:thumbup:
     
  3. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Cheers Jeff,

    A quick question if I may.

    My last Tilley (X246A) had a slightly different knob on the control valve. On that model the knob just pulled off.

    Any idea how this knob comes off?? I have tried both pulling and screwing and neither has so far worked, and I fear I am getting to the point of applying enough force to break it if I am trying the wrong method.

    So?? Pull or Screw for this model?

    This is the control valve knob on this Tilley that I want to remove.

    Control Valve Knob.JPG

    STOP PRESS: I've got it off - it screwed off anticlockwise as per @Tony Press in this post:

    Removing Tilley X246 Control Valve Knob
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  4. Graham P

    Graham P Australia Subscriber

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    If it aint broke dont try to fix it (leaking,and you have tightened the collar) replace the o ring.
    They are normal thread anti clockwise to undo, most are rather tight remove from lamp grip the shaft with pliers and leather strip so you don't tear the shaft and leather and pliers for the knob
     
  5. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    So it came apart without too many issues (except maybe the control valve knob) - everything looks to be OK, but of course very dirty.

    So let the cleaning commence.

    20190914-009 - 1955 Tilley - Whole Lamp.JPG 20190914-010 - 1955 Tilley - Fount.JPG 20190914-011 - 1955 Tilley - Vent Outer.JPG 20190914-012 - 1955 Tilley - Vent Inner.JPG 20190914-013 - 1955 Tilley - Globe.JPG 20190914-008 - 1955 Tilley - Control Valve.JPG 20190914-014 - 1955 Tilley - Control Valve.JPG 20190914-015 - 1955 Tilley - Pump.JPG 20190914-016 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG 20190914-017 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG
     
  6. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    And now you will probably need a new burner. It is always unwise to fully dismantle an old burner since the air intake tubes tend to have burnt inner threads and once removed they often won't screw back and seal right. Taking the dome off to clean out the main casting is about all you should do with burners like that. Having said that if the inner air tube threads are in good condition then the burner has not seen too much use and will probably work very well. It's just not wise to find out. ::Neil::
     
  7. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Oh bugger!!!!

    They say that experience is something you get after you need it.

    All I can do now is hope for the best.

    Thanks as always for sharing your knowledge @Mackburner
     
  8. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    You might get away with it. The image is not too clear but if the threads on the air intake tubes are undamaged and screw back in OK to lock down tight then it's not been used a lot and the burner will probably be OK. Those threads burn away and come out OK but often don't bite when you try to screw them back so they will only sit in there lose and leak air and fuel/air mix and generally bugger up the mixture. Just something to remember with Tilley and don't do it again please.

    Tilley burners die of old age and are about the only lamp burners better not dismantled for cleaning. Old and worn they aften work, if perhaps not all that well, but frequently dismantling equals destruction and scrap. ::Neil::
     
  9. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    They seem to lock down tight - but I guess the proof will be in the final lighting.

    @Mackburner If (and only if) I have damaged the threads by disassembling, and the threads don't lock in well, is there any value in trying to clean them up with a Tap/die or thread chaser?

    Thanks once again for the tip - I'll make sure to never risk damage again by removing the air intake tubes.

    At this stage I guess I just need to hope for the best and chalk it up to experience.

    We'll all have to wait for the Money Shot to see if I've stuffed them up or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  10. Henry Plews

    Henry Plews Subscriber

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    I very much doubt it. The threads that screw into the body of the burner are very fine and if the burner has had a lot of use, the threads will have burnt away. If the threads aren't too bad, exhaust pipe repair paste may save the day.

    Henry.
     
  11. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    If things turn ugly when I try to light it - I'll have a go at saving it with Exhaust Pipe Repair Paste.

    Thanks for the tip @Henry Plews
     
  12. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    I'm going to post some detailed photos of each section as I clean it.

    Here's the globe:

    Didn't do much with this - just washed in warm/hot soapy water. Even I couldn't stuff this one up.....I think :mrgreen:

    Now nice and sparkly clean.

    20190915-025 - 1955 Tilley - Globe.JPG 20190915-024 - 1955 Tilley - Globe.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  13. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Now - here's the burner.

    I tried to clean it up.

    Unfortunately - my first step was to disassemble it - I now know that was a bad move.

    Next was a degrease with engine degreaser - got a lot of the soot and dirt off - quite a good improvement.
    Then a good wash in hot soapy water - didn't seem to improve much over the degreaser.
    Then 00 Steel Wool with AutoSol - improved again, but as you'll see, not fantastic - but it's not on display so this is as far as I'm going to take it.

    20190915-018 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG 20190915-019 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG 20190915-020 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG 20190915-021 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG 20190915-022 - 1955 Tilley - Burner.JPG

    I've done what I can to carefully clean up the threads for the photos - basically just washed them in Carb Cleaner and tried to get all the crud out of the threads with a cloth, nothing more destructive than that.
     
  14. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Vaporiser:

    Jet cleaning pricker still in tact.

    Pulled the Rod/Spring combo out - Gave it a clean with carby cleaner - then 00 Sandpaper as per @X246A (Broadlander) video to clean up the rod. It is a bit bent (but no kink), but I don't know how to safely straighten it out, or even if I need to. It feeds back into the tube OK, and I can press it with my finger all the way through so the pricker comes through and out of the jet, so I'm not sure I need to straighten it.

    The tube - soaked in Carby Cleaner for a couple of hours. Then a good clean out with a pipe cleaner. I kept filling it with carby cleaner, let it soak and then empty it out and scrubbed with a white pipe-cleaner - kept repeating that until the pipe cleaner came out clean.

    00 Sandpaper to clean up the outside - and the vaporiser was done.

    I gather this is a really important component - any suggestions on how to clean it better?

    I have read many times about the Heat/Quench process, am I right in believing that only needs to be done when the vaporiser is quite clogged with carbon, or should I perhaps do it with every vaporiser I am trying to clean?

    20190915-030 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG 20190915-027 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG 20190915-029 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG 20190915-026 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG 20190915-028 - 1955 Tilley - Vapouriser.JPG
     
  15. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Polybus

    Those air tube threads look ok.

    If you’ve got zinc grease put some on the threads before tightening them back up.

    Cheers

    Tony

    Edit: No need to heat and quench if your vapouriser is clean...
     
  16. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    I've been coating the threads with Copper Grease.

    I know it is good for an anti-seize compound, but it also has extra high temperature stability.

    Can I ask why you choose Zinc grease?
     
  17. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Brain fade. I meant nickel grease... have both copper and nickel grease, but my nickel grease is rated to the highest temperature (1315°C).

    Cheers

    Tony

    @Polybus
     
  18. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    I think your burner will be OK. The air tube threads look pretty good.
    With a lot of use they can get to look like this.
    !!Til Burner fixed nozzle air tubes.jpg
    These three are from a 1930s PL53 with an older fixed nozzle burner but you can see how they gradually destroy themselves. If you assume the female threads are also burnt away then you can see why you don't try to take these out. I only dismantled this burner because they are not a common burner now and I wanted to photograph all the parts. ::Neil::
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 15, 2019
  19. X246A

    X246A United Kingdom Subscriber

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    @Polybus

    Hope you found the video useful.

    Good luck with your fettle.

    Regards Jeremy
     
  20. AussiePete

    AussiePete Australia Subscriber

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    Well done on your fettle. I too use nickel anti seize paste on all threads associated with heat. It seems to work well
    Cheers
    Pete
     
  21. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    I've been spending a bit of time trying to get the fount looking good.

    I'm a bit disappointed with the results, but I'm not entirely sure what to do about it. There is a bit of pitting, and patches worn through to the brass(??) underneath the plating, and I don't think there is much I can do about any of that.

    I did read a post where someone just polished right through the plating to expose the brass underneath, but I'm not sure I'll try that at this stage of my fettling experience.

    What I've done so far is just Auto-Sol Metal Life Saver and 00 Steel Wool, followed by Auto-Sol Metal Polish and 00 Steel Wool, followed by another go with Metal Polish but this time buffing with a soft cloth.

    Anyway - it does look quite a bit better than before, but again, not fantastic.

    20190919-031 - 1955 Tilley - Fount.JPG 20190919-032 - 1955 Tilley - Fount.JPG 20190919-033 - 1955 Tilley - Fount.JPG 20190919-034 - 1955 Tilley - Fount.JPG 20190919-035 - 1955 Tilley - Fount - Base.JPG

    The photo of the base was a small experiment, you may notice that I've done 2/3 of the base and not done the other third, just to see what the difference was.

    So now I can start replacing seals and putting it back together.

    Any Suggestions/Advice on how to improve the pitting and/or where its worn through to the Brass? The only option I can think of is perhaps having a go at DIY Nickel plating it, and I don't think I want to have a go at that until I've done some practising on other bits and pieces.

    Polybus
     
  22. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Control Valve:

    Check Valve removed and disassembled - Knob removed collar removed and washer removed - and the lot cleaned in ultrasonic cleaner.

    20190919-037 - 1955 Tilley - Contrtol Valve.JPG

    New PIP put in, two new washers on the control arm.
     
  23. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Pump:

    Completely dissembled and cleaned in ultrasonic cleaner.

    Rebuilt with new leather pump washer and new PIP

    Also replaced the large rubber seal between fount and pump.

    20190919-036 - 1955 Tilley - Pump Assembly.JPG
     
  24. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    Nice Try - FAIL!

    I got everything back together and pressurised the fount and opened the control valve - made all the right noises - time for a test run.

    Blue Flame Test:
    Some nice fresh kero in the tank - pre-heat - light......

    20190919-038 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG 20190919-039 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG 20190919-040 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG

    I assume this is not what the Blue Flame Test is supposed to look like.

    There is a nice even bunson type flame at the top, but then of course there is the large/long flame you can see in the pictures, and I'm not sure what's causing it.

    I'll keep fettling (or is that fiddling!) and see what I can do to improve things - and hopefully get some words of wisdom from the forum.

    Polybus.
     
  25. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    @Polybus

    Reduce the pressure and see if you get bluer flame at 1/2 or 1/4 the length of your yellow.

    Your last photo looks ok to me. I’d test it with a mantle.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  26. Tony Press

    Tony Press Australia Subscriber

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    Ps. You’ve got your tank about as good as it will ever be. You’ve got a fine working lantern.

    Cheers

    Tony
     
  27. Mackburner

    Mackburner United Kingdom Founder Member Subscriber

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    The plating on these was never all that good. Looks fine when near new but tney always pitted badly and you can never really do much about it. It is not nickel though so if you do look to replace the plating it would have to be stripped to the brass and polished first. I think you are as good as it will get for now it just wants a mantle and firing up. ::Neil::
     
  28. Graham P

    Graham P Australia Subscriber

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    In the post that Tony linked to above "Jones the Lamps" device is what I use with the addition of 2 screws to clamp it tight.
     
  29. Polybus

    Polybus Australia Subscriber

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    OK - thanks guys.

    @Mackburner I'll live with the plating - it still looks pretty good - and it shows the lamntern has a history - so I'll display it proudly O:)

    Here are some photos after trying it with reduced pressure as per @Tony Press - these are with about 20 pumps.

    One thing I have noticed is there seems to be a little leak coming out of the top of the vapouriser. So when I pre-heat (with no pumps pressure in the fount) as the pre-heat progresses, I start to see a little bunson flame develop out of the generator - and when I try to close it down, the bunson flame doesn't disappear completely.

    I think I need to look at the check valve on the bottom of the Control Valve - its a new pip - so I might just pull it off and make sure all the seats are nice and clean and the pip is making a good seal - I can't think of anything else that might be causing that leak. Any tips from the forum?

    20190920-041 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG 20190920-042 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG 20190920-043 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG 20190920-044 - 1955 Tilley - Blue Flame Test.JPG

    Once I have that leak issue solved - time to test it with a mantle :mrgreen:

    @Graham P - sorry I don't quite understand your post. Was that meant for me? the link you refer to by Tony doesn't appear on my computer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  30. ColinG

    ColinG United Kingdom Subscriber

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    The suspence, the suspence!
     

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