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Silverbulletsmith

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Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #1 
I found an infrared heater at the flea market about two months ago, but passed on it mostly because I knew nothing about it, didn't have much scratch available, and had plenty of other projects on the bench at the time.

Over the interim, the thing kept eating at me, and I decided to make the one hour drive up there this past Saturday to take another look at it. I figured if nothing else, that big ol' fount would make an excellent frankenkerosumthin'.

It was still there, and I talked to the guy for a while about it and center draft lamps. He agreed to throw in a center draft lamp wick to sweeten the deal, so I picked it up. It came with a new still in the box mantle (in addition to the mantle mounted on it).


It's pretty rusty, has paint drips on it, and the grill is broken in 4 places.



JB Weld is good stuff, but this is probably not the best application for it. Not visible here, the mantle has two holes in it, one about the size of a pencil eraser.

Took a hell of alot of pre-heating with the torch, but IT LIVES!!
Stripped the thing down to the nuts and bolts and blasted the fount, frame/ handle, and mounting plate. Set the grill to soak in citric to loosen up the rust.

After blasting and a blow-off, painted with charcoal grey and set the painted parts in the de-humidified basement to dry.

Scrubbed the grill to remove the rust best I could, straighted up some of the bent places and brazed up the broken joints. I then painted it with black hi-temp BBQ paint.

Applied copious amounts of elbow grease and a little Simichrome polish to the reflector after giving it a thorough scrub down with 0000 steel wool and water.


Built a large pre-heat cup with a set-screw to locate it on the genny, Replaced the cock to fount seal with a 242 cap seal, and the genny to cock seal with two o-rings that just happened to fit pretty well.  Tilly did a really good job on their sealing surfaces, they have a series of concentric rings that bite into the gasket material to provide seal. Haven't seen this before, nice touch. Greased cardboard would probably work just fine as gasket material in these joints.

After about four hours in the basement, the painted parts went in to the oven for 1-1/2 hours at 175f. Everything went right back together nicely and
              VIOLA!!!!!





Here's the pre-heat cup I made for it. It's made with a 1" cap, brass center tube, and held in place by a 10-32 set-screw.

I patched the two holes in the mantle with furnace cement AKA "Versa-Chem Muffler Weld". This went into the oven with the painted parts, and then an additional hour or so at 250f while I re-assembled the rest of it. I got an additional "brand new" mantle with the heater, but as long as this works OK, I'm saving that back.


Here she is pre-heating. The cup works really well. The large size holds plenty of alcohol for the lengthy pre-heat these things need.



And here she is!

Notice the weave pattern in the red reflection. That is a highly magnified reflection of the weave of the wire mantle.

The reflector is extremely efficient, even with a compromise reflective coating like mine has. The reflected infra-red beam is no more than about a foot in diameter about four feet in front of the heater, and can be felt at least eight feet away.

Things I need to get are; a new "compass" and glass for the fuel level gauge and a new ceramic tube and a couple of other parts for the burner head.

I enjoyed this fettle, and am impressed with the unit's performance. Might look around for another one to get in shape before winter.

Please let me know where I can get the fuel level gauge parts if you know of a source.



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RR_RES

Super Poster
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 1,817
Reply with quote  #2 
Good work!  Surprising to me how these throw the heat.

Didn't see you mention it, but I would inspect the nrv washer. 

I believe those holes on the mantle are suppose to be there.  Mine has those also.  Not exactly sure why those are there but I'm guessing they were holes for a jig to hold the mantle in place during manufacturing.
SteveRetherford

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Dr. Coleman™
Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 16,673
Reply with quote  #3 

nice job on the preheater cup !!! the whole thing looks good now .  i have one of these and there fun to get going . i have one of the little clamp on jobs but dont think i ever used it . there is a funky heat can to aid the pre heat over the preheater cup , we have one of those


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Silverbulletsmith

Senior Member
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RR_RES
Good work!  Surprising to me how these throw the heat.

Didn't see you mention it, but I would inspect the nrv washer. 

Oh, and those holes on the mantle are suppose to be there.  Mine has those also.  Not exactly sure why those are there but I'm guessing they were holes for a jig to hold the mantle in place during manufacturing.


The new-in-box mantle that came with it has no holes.

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SteveRetherford

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Registered: 12/11/08
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Reply with quote  #5 

i have two of these heaters and both of mine have the 2 holes near the bottom . dont realy know the purpose ..  i think its those focus 5 coleman propane heaters , they also have a hole in there mantle/burner ball .


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GasPrescue

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Glenn Knapke
Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 8,064
Reply with quote  #6 
Steve is correct. All of my burner screens on Tilleys have 2 holes about the size of BB's, one located directly across from the other and just as well...the focus 5 burners have 1 hole on them

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SteveRetherford

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Posts: 16,673
Reply with quote  #7 

these mantles with the holes in em are made of wire , but tilly also sold somekind of a fabric mantle similar to A COLEMAN  sorta in that it makes light that fits these i dont think those have the hole in em .


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campmaster

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Mr. 3 Burner
Registered: 01/29/11
Posts: 5,380
Reply with quote  #8 
The holes are most likely a form of burn control/heat control designed into the mantle.
 Well at least SBS has a test subject now. 
 His NOS one has no holes and now his orig has none. So we shall see how well this all holds up.

Ive wanted one of these for a while, this thread isnt helping..lol

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Scouterjan


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Registered: 12/11/08
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Reply with quote  #9 
nice job on that Tilley, Dave, get 1, you will like it
Jan

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Christopher_OR

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Reply with quote  #10 

I have one, love it, and like you, knew squat about it when I got it.

Have learned a lot since then, mostly from the good folks here on the board.

That little brass pip on the top of the fount near the handle is a pressure indicator, and more often than not is not working correctly due to being gummed up. A drop of kero to lube it is about the only remedy. Diagram of it here, with how of operation, bottom of the page:

http://tgmarsh.faculty.noctrl.edu/lantern/tilleyhouseholdlampspre1945.html

That fuel level gauge is an interesting bugger. It seals with a lead washer, so once you undo it, it'll almost always leak kero if you try to reuse it. I'd go to the hardware store and select a metric O-ring as a replacement--forever after you can just hand-tighten the plug, and undo it to drain the fount as you need.

The plug itself is brass with a bent rod, cork float and bar magnet on the back end. Front of house is the gauge bezel that just snaps into place, corresponding steel bar attached to the needle. Gauge operates magnetically through the plug. Magic! My gauge didn't work properly until I popped the gauge bezel out and cleaned the corrosion so the steel bar/needle could swing freely once again. Let me know if you can't get it to work properly--I may have a line on a spare.

PaulM here on the board is a UK member with access to spares for reasonable prices. Very nice gentleman to deal with.

Needle points to 12:00 for full and 6:00 for not-so-full, which is after about 36-40 hours of continuous operation on that 6-liter tank.

Edit: Forgot one more thing. The ceramic tube, and other parts related to the mantle support are available as "SP4", for service pack 4 on the base-camp.co.uk website:

http://www.base-camp.co.uk/tilley.html

Possibly available from PaulM as well.


__________________
"Life is about turning the things you want to do into things you've done." --KRD

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." --Samuel Clemens

"Everyone looks good in the fish eye lens that is the side of a Coleman fount." --raly13

ICCC #947
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A turd is something you flush.
-----------------------------
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Christopher_OR

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveRetherford

these mantles with the holes in em are made of wire , but tilly also sold somekind of a fabric mantle similar to A COLEMAN  sorta in that it makes light that fits these i dont think those have the hole in em .

This would be one of the asbestos mantles. Not recommended to use.


__________________
"Life is about turning the things you want to do into things you've done." --KRD

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." --Samuel Clemens

"Everyone looks good in the fish eye lens that is the side of a Coleman fount." --raly13

ICCC #947
Coleman Blues #041
A turd is something you flush.
-----------------------------
76501 00037
Silverbulletsmith

Senior Member
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #12 
AAAAHHHHHRRRGGHHH!!!!

You are right, I am wrong!

I didn't see the holes when I looked at the new mantle, but now that I check, they're sure there.



However, one of the two was about three times bigger than the other and ragged looking, not a nice round hole like you see here.

Thanks!

Any how, it seems to be working well and I'll see how it goes.

I did inspect the NRV, and it was in surprisingly good shape. The rubber disk looked almost brand new and it seems to be working perfectly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by RR_RES
Good work!  Surprising to me how these throw the heat.

Didn't see you mention it, but I would inspect the nrv washer. 

I believe those holes on the mantle are suppose to be there.  Mine has those also.  Not exactly sure why those are there but I'm guessing they were holes for a jig to hold the mantle in place during manufacturing.

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Silverbulletsmith

Senior Member
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #13 
Christopher,

I read with great interest the threads you posted as you were educating yourself on these things, that's how I picked up most of what I know about them to date. Those posts really helped a lot.

The pressure indicator isn't working, it is permanently proud about a 1/16th. I may fiddle with it , but I don't find it at all necessary. Sure would hate to crack that internal diaphram.

The gauge, though, I'd love to get working. The compass cartridge is smashed, but the rest of the gauge assembly seems to be OK. If you know where to get a replacement compass cartridge I'd really appreciate that info.

Thanks for your help!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher_OR

I have one, love it, and like you, knew squat about it when I got it.

Have learned a lot since then, mostly from the good folks here on the board.

That little brass pip on the top of the fount near the handle is a pressure indicator, and more often than not is not working correctly due to being gummed up. A drop of kero to lube it is about the only remedy. Diagram of it here, with how of operation, bottom of the page:

http://tgmarsh.faculty.noctrl.edu/lantern/tilleyhouseholdlampspre1945.html

That fuel level gauge is an interesting bugger. It seals with a lead washer, so once you undo it, it'll almost always leak kero if you try to reuse it. I'd go to the hardware store and select a metric O-ring as a replacement--forever after you can just hand-tighten the plug, and undo it to drain the fount as you need.

The plug itself is brass with a bent rod, cork float and bar magnet on the back end. Front of house is the gauge bezel that just snaps into place, corresponding steel bar attached to the needle. Gauge operates magnetically through the plug. Magic! My gauge didn't work properly until I popped the gauge bezel out and cleaned the corrosion so the steel bar/needle could swing freely once again. Let me know if you can't get it to work properly--I may have a line on a spare.

PaulM here on the board is a UK member with access to spares for reasonable prices. Very nice gentleman to deal with.

Needle points to 12:00 for full and 6:00 for not-so-full, which is after about 36-40 hours of continuous operation on that 6-liter tank.

Edit: Forgot one more thing. The ceramic tube, and other parts related to the mantle support are available as "SP4", for service pack 4 on the base-camp.co.uk website:

http://www.base-camp.co.uk/tilley.html

Possibly available from PaulM as well.


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Lamp_Doctor

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UPSIDE-DOWNUNDER
Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 578
Reply with quote  #14 
The date of this model heater is middle of 1960 onwards has the locking type pump.
And the fuel gauge is mounted at front of tank.
Bob .

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RR_RES

Super Poster
Registered: 02/24/11
Posts: 1,817
Reply with quote  #15 
Grant, I also thought those holes didn't belong there when I got mine. 

Is it true that these models were made specifically to be imported to the U.S.?
 
Jim_l

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Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 7,516
Reply with quote  #16 
Nice job.
I have the older style.
I ought to make me a preheater cup like that. Good idea with the set screw as long as you don't over tighten it.
       Jim

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Reply with quote  #17 

Nice heater and work you did on it. I found a R5 last Feb. but only with the lamp head and no heater head and no pre heat device they made. I made on very similar to what you did except I used a 30-06 case. And I then made a mantle from a Coleman 1111 I happened to have. 

Randy


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Christopher_OR

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Reply with quote  #18 

I made a little preheat cup for mine and it works great when I don't want to fiddle with the butterfly clamp, but mine also came with the preheat chimney.

Grant, thanks for the kind words. That pip being proud, you have a shot at fixing it. I'd try a light lubricant (really, a drop of kerosene is what was recommended to me) and try pressing the plunger to see if it will at least budge. Press, don't tap. If you mushroom that plunger in the slightest, game over. You also might, while it's proud, try a little fine emery cloth around the rim of the plunger to help free it. As long as you don't manipulate the travel too much you should be fine, but my guess is that it'll work with a bit of fiddling, or it won't ever. Mine works, but not well. When I have noted that my plunger has moved at all from the bottom of the sleeve, it's pressured enough. This is about 70 strokes of the pump with a full tank of kero. To get the plunger level with the top pf the sleeve is 250-300 pumps, which is too much. It'll run, but flames dance far away from the burner grid down to the bottom of the mantle. Inefficient.

Yours looks like it runs well, so I wouldn't worry about the patched holes.

Try contacing PaulM via email (or better PM) to ask if he has a spare gauge for the Tilley heater. I bet he will, and if not I have a spare to send you. I got mine from him.



__________________
"Life is about turning the things you want to do into things you've done." --KRD

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." --Samuel Clemens

"Everyone looks good in the fish eye lens that is the side of a Coleman fount." --raly13

ICCC #947
Coleman Blues #041
A turd is something you flush.
-----------------------------
76501 00037
Silverbulletsmith

Senior Member
Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher_OR

I made a little preheat cup for mine and it works great when I don't want to fiddle with the butterfly clamp, but mine also came with the preheat chimney.

Grant, thanks for the kind words. That pip being proud, you have a shot at fixing it. I'd try a light lubricant (really, a drop of kerosene is what was recommended to me) and try pressing the plunger to see if it will at least budge. Press, don't tap. If you mushroom that plunger in the slightest, game over. You also might, while it's proud, try a little fine emery cloth around the rim of the plunger to help free it. As long as you don't manipulate the travel too much you should be fine, but my guess is that it'll work with a bit of fiddling, or it won't ever. Mine works, but not well. When I have noted that my plunger has moved at all from the bottom of the sleeve, it's pressured enough. This is about 70 strokes of the pump with a full tank of kero. To get the plunger level with the top pf the sleeve is 250-300 pumps, which is too much. It'll run, but flames dance far away from the burner grid down to the bottom of the mantle. Inefficient.

Yours looks like it runs well, so I wouldn't worry about the patched holes.

Try contacing PaulM via email (or better PM) to ask if he has a spare gauge for the Tilley heater. I bet he will, and if not I have a spare to send you. I got mine from him.




OK, so you just emboldened me to run it up to a higher pressure than I have till now, and it appears that the pressure indicator has moved up noticeably at about 120 pumps. I just put a drop of 3 in 1 oil on it, so we'll see.

I have PMed PaulM.

What is your opinion of the optimum burning condition judged by the appearance of the burner? Right now at the 120 pumps and a low fuel level, I've got bright glow in the lower half of the mantle, lesser in the upper half, and the blue jets are about 3/16-1/4" long.

Also, it seems to run pretty much odor free except for start-up and shut-down , and even that isn't bad at all really.

I'm thinking about looking around for one of the smaller ones. This thing rocks!

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Silverbulletsmith

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Registered: 03/16/12
Posts: 237
Reply with quote  #20 
Christopher,

I just let the pressure off the fount and the indicator plunger definitely moved down. It lives at about 1/16" proud at zero pressure.

I think I'll pressure it up to raise it back up again and see if there are any burrs or whatnot preventing it from retracting fully.

It'll have to wait 'till after work, though.


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Scouterjan


Coleman Canada
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Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 24,408
Reply with quote  #21 
you will love those heaters, I have both sizes, really crank out the BTU's
Jan



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Scouterjan
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Registered: 10/27/13
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #22 
I just got a Tilley R55. It has the lantern accessory but is missing the heater head. I was wondering if you had one or knew where to buy repair parts or accessories for this R55.
If you have an extra heater head, I would gladly pay you a fair price for it.
Also, do you know where to buy replacement kits?
Thanks for your time

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