200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.

obijohnkenobe
Greetings everyone!

A few questions on the 550B:

  •  Is it normal for there to be a very slight leak around where the evaporator enters the burner? My new-to-me 550B had the gas evaporator installed, and there was a little leakage. I replaced it with a new kerosene generator and there is still a slight leakage. By slight, I mean 1/16" blue flame coming out of the generator/burner hole. Am I right to assume this is unavoidable because of the inherent design of the stove?
  • I've read that the kerosene generator can be used for gas/CF, but not vice versa. The stove seems to run hotter, at all valve settings, with the gas generator. I would have expected the opposite. Does this reflect what should happen?
  • I picked this up hoping to have more fuel versatility in a pinch, plan to run it on CF or unleaded gas, but want the option to run it on 50:50 kerosene/CF or unleaded... or maybe even 50:50 CF/diesel if it comes to that. With the kerosene generator, is that viable in an emergency situation?
  • I know that someone offered a stainless replacement for the sheet aluminum cylinder that is riveted and with tabs that supports the burner over the tank, as that is considered by some as a weak point. Seems that a slightly thicker solid cylinder, perhaps turned from an aluminum pipe, with some drilled vent holes would be just as good as the stainless replacement. Is this a point of concern with this stove?

A few questions on my Featherlite 442:

  •  I've had this stove since new back in 1997, running CF exclusively. It had been stored for several years, and when I recently pulled out it for inspection/test, I had a brain failure in that I forgot how to use the pump... so thinking the stove might be clogged I put a slug (an ounce or so) of Seafoam in the full tank and have been running it. The flame is a lot yellower and pulses between blue and yellow until the stove gets really hot. I assume this is the kerosene in the Seafoam burning, and that it will go away once I run out of fuel and refill with CF... is that valid?
  • In a pinch, could this also be run with a 50:50 CF/kerosene or diesel, or a 75:25 CF/kerosene or diesel mix? With the factory generator... even if it requires a little pre-heating?

Thanks... these stoves are starting to fascinate me, and I may pick up a new, or new-to-me 533 just to play more.
John Clifford
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Chucker
Hello and welcome John. I will address the 550b as that is the one I own of the stoves you asked about.

"A few questions on the 550B:

  •  Is it normal for there to be a very slight leak around where the evaporator enters the burner? My new-to-me 550B had the gas evaporator installed, and there was a little leakage. I replaced it with a new kerosene generator and there is still a slight leakage. By slight, I mean 1/16" blue flame coming out of the generator/burner hole. Am I right to assume this is unavoidable because of the inherent design of the stove?
  • I've read that the kerosene generator can be used for gas/CF, but not vice versa. The stove seems to run hotter, at all valve settings, with the gas generator. I would have expected the opposite. Does this reflect what should happen?
  • I picked this up hoping to have more fuel versatility in a pinch, plan to run it on CF or unleaded gas, but want the option to run it on 50:50 kerosene/CF or unleaded... or maybe even 50:50 CF/diesel if it comes to that. With the kerosene generator, is that viable in an emergency situation?
  • I know that someone offered a stainless replacement for the sheet aluminum cylinder that is riveted and with tabs that supports the burner over the tank, as that is considered by some as a weak point. Seems that a slightly thicker solid cylinder, perhaps turned from an aluminum pipe, with some drilled vent holes would be just as good as the stainless replacement. Is this a point of concern with this stove?
1. All of my 550's have that bit of candling. No worries in my experience. 

2. Yes, the stove will run nice and hot with the gas vaporizer using gas or Coleman fuel. You can run CF using the kero vaporizer but will have reduced BTU's. Running kero with a gas vaporizer may likely over-flame and smoke. I wouldn't try that unless I have the time to just experiment. 

3. Yes, it will run with a 50/50  blend of a few fuels - CF, kero, RUG (reg. unl. gas), diesel, and maybe even Den. Alcohol (haven't tried that one though). If you want the heat of kero with the CF, I would run 75/25 or 80/20 CF to kero to aid in longer run time before replacing the vaporizer/generator. Kero WILL clog the vaporizer faster. With CF and RUG blends, you should get acceptable performance and more run time before clogging than the CF/Kero blend. 

4. I have not had any concerns with the soft aluminum collars on  mine. I did buy one that I had to pull and straighten or smooth out. Stainless should be just fine and probably better than the original. You may want to keep the original just to make sure you keep operating instructions on it if someone other than yourself could potentially use it.  If this is a stove which WON'T be transported where weight is no issue, put a thicker steel or aluminum pipe in there if you want I guess. NOTE: If you use pots/pans designed for the stove, I wouldn't expected any deformation of the collar. 

Hint; If you want to improve the performance and heat times just use a wind screen that surrounds approximately 75% of the stove. Even doing this indoors and in warmer weather will help heating and conserve fuel. 
Chuck
"...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Romans 5:3-4
Eye-SEE-C-C Member #1333 -- MilSpecOps #003
"Michigan - from the Ojibwa word “meicigama,” meaning “great water.”
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holliswood

The 550b I have did that as well. I loosened the generator and burner assembly. Readjusted everything ever so slightly and haven’t had that issue since. Seems to burn a tad stronger too. 

I highly suggest searching through the site on the procedure for removing the generator on these. If you’re not careful, the generator can be ruined and a replacement generator is/can be expensive. 


Also, welcome to the group from NC! Post some pictures when you get a chance 👍🏻

-Fred

ICCC Member #1871
MilSpec-Ops #1278
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #41
Perfection Heater Collectors #2 
CANADIAN BLUES SYNDICATE #57
Coleman Slant Saver #65

snipesfred on Insta
Big Ferd on YT
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obijohnkenobe
Sure will (post some pictures)! And thanks for the replies. Here are the stoves themselves... I know you all know which is which. The 550B had the original gas generator installed. I switched it for a new kerosene generator after this photo, but before the burn.

442 550b.jpg

I decided to experiment with kerosene in the 550B today. I thought I'd run a series of tests starting at an 80/20 CF/kero mix, then on to 75/25 and then 50:50... and maybe even 100% kerosene. I mixed the first batch of 80/20 up and stored it in an empty Seafoam bottle, but stopped at 80/20. Not because it didn't work... it did. Almost too well. 

550b burning Amish mix.jpg 

Getting the stove to start on 80/20 CF/kero wasn't a big deal. I used a match, heated the generator tube for about 5 seconds and then turned on the juice. The stove started instantly, with a large yellow flame, but within 15-20 seconds mostly settled down to the blue flame. Unlike burning CF with the kero generator, this stove burned much hotter with the kero mix... certainly hotter than pure CF even with the gas generator installed. That was surprising, even though I know kerosene has, what, 30%? more BTUs per gallon than CF. It's almost too hot. The fount was very warm to the touch after a few minutes but I could still touch it near the pump without discomfort. The burner, the burner bowl, and the plenum cover on top of the burner stack/washers all got very hot... the burner bowl was a glowing red and even the plenum was a dark red. This didn't happen with pure CF. And, the blue flames coming out of the burner itself seemed twice as long as with CF. 

In short, 80/20 CF to kero was more than good enough... it lights as easy as CF but burns a lot hotter. I don't know if there's anything to gain by going with more kero... certainly if it keeps getting hotter, to me the answer is 'No!' It's hot enough, kero isn't cheaper enough, and honestly I worry about the stove. Maybe pure (no ethanol) unleaded gasoline is a better alternative... it's cheaper, and I have several gallons of this around with an ounce per gallon of Seafoam as I use it for my motorcycles and ATVs. Maybe I'll swap back to the gas generator and try that next.
John Clifford
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Kansas John

Very nice test John!  I enjoy most of the single burner backpacker stoves.  The 550 series has been the most finicky for me as well.  


If you want a hot tank, get a 530 and boil some water!  Be care when you try to turn the knob to turn it off.  It gets HOT!

welcome from Kansas!

John M. Lawrence, KS
ICCC #1431

Looking for a 214 kero and REI single burner anniversary stove as well as any Coleman born on date 10/77, 1/80
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holliswood
Nice looking stoves John! I love the look of the 442. 
-Fred

ICCC Member #1871
MilSpec-Ops #1278
Coleman Quick Lite Crew #41
Perfection Heater Collectors #2 
CANADIAN BLUES SYNDICATE #57
Coleman Slant Saver #65

snipesfred on Insta
Big Ferd on YT
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obijohnkenobe
Another anecdote on 550B 80/20 performance... I cooked my lunch, a 16 oz can of Progresso Clam Chowder, on the 550B today.

Clam chowder pre pic.jpg

My usual approach at home is to throw this into a Pyrex bowl, put a paper plate on top for splatter, then nuke it for 5 minutes on half power in the microwave for a hassle-free meal. I can cook it on the gas stove in about the same time, but I have to stir it constantly. On the 550B, on low, in 50-degree weather and a slight breeze, using a thin, open-top stainless Peak 1 pot... 5 minutes.
Clam chowder starting to boil copy.jpg 
  
Even on low I had to stir it occasionally. I guess I should try a water boil-off between the two types of fuels... but while that would be interesting it wouldn't change any decisions. So... time for lunch.
Clam chower lunch copy.jpg 

"That 550B is incredible. Never seen anything like it. Tremendous."
John Clifford
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Chucker
Good one John. Always a good idea to know the limits and possibilities of your gear. 
Chuck
"...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" Romans 5:3-4
Eye-SEE-C-C Member #1333 -- MilSpecOps #003
"Michigan - from the Ojibwa word “meicigama,” meaning “great water.”
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busboss
Hi.  I need to replace the plunger cup/seal on my 442.  Does anyone know where to source this part?  I bought it at REI two decades a go and they do not stock the parts.  Thanks!
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arizonacamper
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Shawn 
Owner of Copper State Diesel And Automotive. See my facebook page.

Lanterns are like tools. 
You can not have too many unless your wife says so!!

Gas is what you use for washing parts diesel is for making power!

Coleman blues 243 #147
Coleman 275 appreciation #74
Milspec syndicate #39

Looking for any lanterns or stoves dated 5/63 or 1/72
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