200A and 202 reproduction
frames back
in stock.
lundmonkey
Last night I attempted to light a 237 that a friend recently purchased at a flea market and I had the first scare, since I began collecting.  The lantern had what appeared to be an old used #21 size mantle (which got blown off by the explosion) and a small amount of fuel in the fount.  I tightened the fuel cap, made sure the valve was closed, turned the generator pricker rod up (closed), pumped it approx. 35 times, filled and lit the preheat cup with denatured alcohol.
Normally I would wait for the preheat cup to burn ALL the alcohol while watching for the mantle to flicker, before rotating the pricker rod to the down position and slowly opening the valve.  This time however, before I had a chance to rotate the generator pricker rod...POW!  An explosion, smoke, stink and luckily no flame.  Once the lantern was safe to handle (and I changed my underwear), I removed the now 'soot caked' vent and globe and was able to see that the generator had ruptured....see pics below.
This is the first time I have ever experienced a ruptured generator and would appreciate an 'experienced' explanation of what caused this explosion.  PLEASE NOTE:  I am requesting an 'experienced explanation' and NOT speculation due to safety issues. 



THIS ALSO SERVES AS A GREAT REMINDER TO KEEP A FIRE EXTINGUISHER HANDY AT ALL TIMES...always light lanterns outside...and wear eye protection!!
Ed Toner - GA
ICCC #917
  • "We own nothing in this life.  We simply assume possession for an unspecified period of time."
  • "I've never been this old before, and I'll never be this young again."
  • "Never let the facts get in the way of a good opinion!"
  • "75% of the people make up 3/4 of the population."
  • "In two short days, tomorrow will be yesterday"
  • "Enjoy life...it has an expiration date!"
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Dego
Wow glad your ok. Ive never had a problem like that but i know Steve Cullins had one blow up on him awhile back. Hope someone has a good explination because i burn my 237s all the time.
I can stop when I want to....... But why?
Looking for a 7-80 anything
Steve
Coleman 500cp Fanatic #0001
ICCC# 1114
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ehodges
Just glad you weren't hurt! Never seen or heard of that before, so I'm no help explaining it!
Blue Grass Texan
275 Appreciation Syndicate, Sears and Goldbond Collectors#22
BernzOmatic Appreciation #027
Coleman Blues 243 #113
Ed Hodges
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5fivesix
How does the tip on the gen look? It appears that gen is nasty the only thing that would make sense is that the orface got cloged up and it had fuel in the gen while you preheated it built up pressure and did not have any where to go so the pressure escaped at the weakest point.I've seen things like this at the shooting range where people who reload ammo forget to put powder in a round and get a squib and the next round the gun explodes I would think this is the same concept if you have pressure building up in a sealed tube with a tiny hole to release the pressure if that hole got cloged up that would explain it was the pricker rod intact was the cleaning needle stuck in the tip I've had the pricker rod bend and break off in a gen before
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Nevada_Ed
In the past this has been attributed to some water in the fuel, a steam explosion. And I am thinking it is the mostly likely scenario, as only the transformation of water to steam will have the force (energy) to do what is shown in the pictures.

Ed

Ed

There are 10 kinds of people in this world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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SteveRetherford
PLEASE NOTE: I am requesting an 'experienced explanation' and NOT speculation due to safety issues.

i dont think enough of us have had this experience to give you an experienced explanation .


did this happen cuz the tip cleaner was up and closed or almost closed off and any room for presure to escape . i have never lit em with this tip up and wonder if thats all it it is . i dont think tip up is in the lighting directions . just speculating Ed !!! no real answer for ya
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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SteveRetherford
Ed , look this over
http://internationalcolemancollectors.com/ocp-instructions/Coleman237AInstructions1970.pdf
it says to have the tip cleaner down !!!

so just knowing a tiny  bit about a physics i wonder if tip up is operator error ? and that is what caused this ?

[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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SteveRetherford

so you were trying to lite it like a EURO style kero desighn lantern ? if so remember it does not have a posative shut off like a coleman  , so the presure built from preheating a euro style genny will  help presurize the fount and not keep it contained inside the generator . its containing all the presure in such a small (generator ) space led to this i believe ???

is this sounding like what may have happened  ? one doesnt necisarlily need to have had this experiece to try n help , as i think i can see what happend ?

and the force of steam or vaporized water would make this even more likely more so than fuel as they dont expand equaly hot water vapors expands way more than fuel .
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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MotorcycleDan
SteveRetherford wrote:
PLEASE NOTE: I am requesting an 'experienced explanation' and NOT speculation due to safety issues.

i dont think enough of us have had this experience to give you an experienced explanation .


did this happen cuz the tip cleaner was up and closed or almost closed off and any room for presure to escape . i have never lit em with this tip up and wonder if thats all it it is . i dont think tip up is in the lighting directions . just speculating Ed !!! no real answer for ya


I will second what Steve said. If you had the tip cleaner in the up position, there is no where for any fuel vapor to escape to. When you pre heat the genny, there is some left over fuel in there. It needs somewhere to go. If there were a slow leak in the main valve, you would be adding more fuel that is trying to vaporize. Again, no place for it to go but Boom!

I have seen my 639 have a very faint flame in the mantels at the end of the pre heat from the left over fuel. Turn the fuel on and instant light. 

 I would put a new genny in there, rotate the cleaner, and leave it down when lighting.
Dan ICCC #900
ICCC Treasure
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lundmonkey
Thank you all for the comments and help to understand what happened.  After reading the above comments and a conversation with an experienced member, I am convinced the problem was one or both of the following:
  • Pricker rod in the 'UP' (or closed position)
  • Old and/or contaminated fuel - there was a thick tar like substance literally caked around the eccentric block, which could not be seen until I removed the damaged generator
I sure learned a valuable lesson and hope others will benefit from this experience and supportive information.

BTW - I am giving thought to becoming a spokesperson for Hanes Underwear.  My bodily reaction to that explosion is a testimonial to the garment strength of their undershorts!!
          
Ed Toner - GA
ICCC #917
  • "We own nothing in this life.  We simply assume possession for an unspecified period of time."
  • "I've never been this old before, and I'll never be this young again."
  • "Never let the facts get in the way of a good opinion!"
  • "75% of the people make up 3/4 of the population."
  • "In two short days, tomorrow will be yesterday"
  • "Enjoy life...it has an expiration date!"
Quote
Majicwrench
IN my short time in this hobby I have learned NOT to try and light a "new' lantern till I have flushed the font. WIth only a collection of 20 or so, I have seen several with water in font and several with various variaties of mystic materials.
  Clean font first.
           Keith
 
Keith
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RoyAcuff
Ed, I thank you are a complete NUT.  I have no objection for you to become a spoke person for "Hanes" but for God's sake please do NOT model any of their wares.

Scared in Texas !!!

Roy
Roy in Burnet, Texas - K5WSC
ICCC # 996
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hurricaner
Yep, contaminated fuel and a plugged orifice tip, that's a recipe for disaster,  glad you were not hurt. 

Sam
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SteveRetherford
im sure glad there was no injury to you or the lantern , other than the generator . i think we can all learn something here and im glad you shared this with us . water in fuel = no good !!! heated water steam creates far more outward force than heated fuel .
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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Deanofid
Water will certainly do it, if it has no way to escape.  The water to steam volume
ratio is 1700:1.  In other words, one cubic foot of water turned into steam occupies
1,700 cubic feet. 
A drop of water in that generator would expand to such a huge volume the generator
would have no chance of containing it.  As soon as a tiny crack starts in the genny
tube, the water would flash into true steam, and that's where you would get it
blowing out a hole in the gen.

Dean
Dean - <a href="http://www.deansphotographica.com/machining/projects/projects.html>Machine Shop Projects</a>
ICCC #1220. Turd-anon #18

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Quote
Oldlanternman
yes i think water in the top of the gen could do this.  kinda makes you think about lighting them in the house and especially the petromax and its clones with old fuel.
-WICKIE SPECIALIST-  -"Wickie Pat"-
"Wake up Mister Freeman, Wake up and smell the ashes." - G-Man, Half Life 2
Quote
SteveRetherford
Ed , maybe your ready to start wearing some  DEPENDS instead of Hanes LOL :-) i couldnt help myself Ed :-) !!!
[DrSteve2]    Steve , Keeper of the Light !!!
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Birdman

Thanks for posting this! Great to pass on lessons learned. I will certainly pay more attention to what's in my founts.

Has anyone ever heard of this happening w/ a CF lantern? Typically not pre-heated, but could it happen during operation? Just wondering.

Tom

Tom
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate #400
The Coleman Blue's 243's #103      
"A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way"
Mark Twain
Quote
rangler
Wow, I need to modify my lighting technique.  My usual method of lighting a 237 is exactly the way you did, fill cup, tip cleaner up, open valve, right before preheat flame goes out, tip cleaner down, mantle lights.  

I think this needs to be posted somewhere, permanently available for everyone to be aware.
---Randall----ICCC member #1143---
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Jim_l
I can't see the logic in turning the tip cleaner up before lighting.
What was you're thinking there, either you or rangler ?
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Jim-- Coleman Blues Member #014
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rangler
My logic (or lack thereof) was/is to have the fuel preheated in the gen....valve open and ignition occurs when tip cleaner turned down. 
---Randall----ICCC member #1143---
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Deanofid
I guess we should assume that Coleman knows more about lighting these
lanterns than anyone here.  They say, tip cleaner lever down, pump up fount,
light preheat cup, before cup goes out, open valve.  It works, too!

In the older instructions for a 237, it specifically says, (in BIG letters),
BE SURE LEVER IS LEFT POINTING DOWN SO CLEANING NEEDLE WILL BE
OUT OF THE GAS TIP.
I guess they don't want the needle in the gas tip when you light it.

Dean
Dean - <a href="http://www.deansphotographica.com/machining/projects/projects.html>Machine Shop Projects</a>
ICCC #1220. Turd-anon #18

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Quote
Flash
+1 on Nevada Ed. That is the most likely cause.
The original $8 dealer.
Quote
nickkruzan
Wow scary
eBay handle: OldCampingStuff
ICCC#1205
Quote
lundmonkey

Response to Jim_l
My logic was similar to that of rangler...I figured having the valve closed and the tip cleaner in the 'UP' position contained the heating, which made perfect sense until last night!!!

Response to Deanofid
Quote:
I guess we should assume that Coleman knows more about lighting these
lanterns than anyone here.  They say, tip cleaner lever down, pump up fount,
light preheat cup, before cup goes out, open valve.  It works, too!

In the older instructions for a 237, it specifically says, (in BIG letters),
BE SURE LEVER IS LEFT POINTING DOWN SO CLEANING NEEDLE WILL BE
OUT OF THE GAS TIP.
I guess they don't want the needle in the gas tip when you light it.

Dean


Hey Dean - Based on your wording, I couldn't tell if you were injecting a bit of humor (which is fine), being sarcastic (also fine) or being serious.  I can assure you that I do not assume to know more than Coleman about lighting these lanterns (except for the 1/4 turn nonsense).  I did not have a copy of the instructions or experience with 237's and as is said, "hindsight is 20/20"!!
The one thing I do know is that I'll never make that mistake again!!  

Ed Toner - GA
ICCC #917
  • "We own nothing in this life.  We simply assume possession for an unspecified period of time."
  • "I've never been this old before, and I'll never be this young again."
  • "Never let the facts get in the way of a good opinion!"
  • "75% of the people make up 3/4 of the population."
  • "In two short days, tomorrow will be yesterday"
  • "Enjoy life...it has an expiration date!"
Quote
lundmonkey
Quote:
Wow scary

Hey Nick - scary AIN'T the word for it...after that explosion, I considered changing my moniker from 'lundmonkey' to 'poopypants'!!!!
Ed Toner - GA
ICCC #917
  • "We own nothing in this life.  We simply assume possession for an unspecified period of time."
  • "I've never been this old before, and I'll never be this young again."
  • "Never let the facts get in the way of a good opinion!"
  • "75% of the people make up 3/4 of the population."
  • "In two short days, tomorrow will be yesterday"
  • "Enjoy life...it has an expiration date!"
Quote
Deanofid
Ed 'poopypants' (that's humor!);
I meant to be serious.  If it sounded funny, that's okay, but it wasn't supposed
to be sarcastic.  This darn typing stuff sounds different to everyone!
I even read it a couple of times before I posted.  It probably sounds different in
my head because I'm in the 'other' 25% of the population. 

Dean
Dean - <a href="http://www.deansphotographica.com/machining/projects/projects.html>Machine Shop Projects</a>
ICCC #1220. Turd-anon #18

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!
Quote
rangler
Ed @ Lundmonkey, Thanks for the lesson (totally sincere).  By sharing your near-miss situation, you probably saved me from having the same thing (or worse)  happen to me. I am on my third or fourth 5 gal. container of kero this season.
Thanks, Randall. 
---Randall----ICCC member #1143---
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manul
Could there also be a stress crack in the gen body?
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lundmonkey
Quote:
I'm in the 'other' 25% of the population

...very observant my friend... lol!!  
Ed Toner - GA
ICCC #917
  • "We own nothing in this life.  We simply assume possession for an unspecified period of time."
  • "I've never been this old before, and I'll never be this young again."
  • "Never let the facts get in the way of a good opinion!"
  • "75% of the people make up 3/4 of the population."
  • "In two short days, tomorrow will be yesterday"
  • "Enjoy life...it has an expiration date!"
Quote
Scouterjan
DAMM Ed, glad your OK, I think Steve ended up with a broken globe hitting his face, I guess this might be a wake up call for all of us, BTW no modeling Haynes, PLEASE
Jan


Mitakiuye Oyasin " All My Relations"
Quote
campmaster
Thats why you DO NOT leave the pricker rod UP with preheat cup running. Thats not what the instructions from coleman say. You just made a bomb. Pressurized gas with nowhere for it to escape. 
 Never heard of anyone doing that. 
 Light the cup and wait. When 3/4 of whats in the cup is burned off you open the valve. Having spun the tip cleaner 3 or 4 times before lighting the cup or during its warm up. To make SURE there is nothing caught in the gas tip.

Myself having seen a "blowout" where the expanding gas blew stuck debris out of the tip and exploded in a fireball in the lantern... i ALWAYS spin the tip cleaner during warmup now. 
ICCC Member #1045

Dave
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campmaster
Of course after i posted that i read all the other posts. You guys already handled it.  lol

The water/steam deal is crazy. i guess im like many others, i nearly always dump the lantern and tear it down first. So many thing usually wrong. Bugs in collar, or stuck FA tube if it has one. 
 
ICCC Member #1045

Dave
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Weirdnerd
In the Euros ( Petromax) this can not happen, as the pricker/excentric block/foot valve are in linear fashion, the check valve ( foot valve) is spring operated, and any excess pressure inside the generator will vent into the fount, I had something different happen, where the valve itself was too wide and acted as a pump, when I rotated the tip cleaner, the spring loaded foot valve pushed fuel into the generator, causing a flare up. I am still due to change the valve.
Can't sleep, squirrels will eat me....

If you need a Sun Flame Generator Model 100-107 ( for Sunflame lanterns models 105, 106, 107 and 110) give me a PM, I have close to 80 of those, 15 bucks each.


Werner
Quote
JimDouglasJr
During pre-heat, the objective is to heat the spring and gen body so that fuel can be introduced and begin to vaporize right away.  You wouldn't want to necessarily preheat the fuel without anywhere for it to expand.
Fuel or water, both would want to do just that if trapped.
Steam engines actually work on that principle. 
Kyle. Kaptain Kamplite - America's Finest Lantern Fettler.
Coleman 275 Appreciation Syndicate and 243 Blues Member #0031 &  J.C. Higgins aficionado.
“If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” Buddhist quote.  Brand-X Super Hoarder.
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hurricaner
This is why I have always felt it was unsafe to convert a suitcase stove to kero. In order to preheat the gen you have the clean out needle blocking the orifice when the valve is closed. If you have any water in the kero you have a small pipe bomb, just not worth it, but there were several members on this board that disagreed.

Sam
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Gasman64
Dear Mr. Ed "Brownshorts" Toner,
     Thank you for sharing this with us, and I'm glad it wasn't any worse.  There are alot of interesting comments in this thread, and your up-close pictures were interesting, too; thanks for them.  Glad you were OK.  I think I would have also fouled my drawers, had this occurred to me.
Steve    ICCC #1012
"1200"
 
        
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SilkliteJon
Ed,
Which explosion was bigger--the gen or the hanes? Glad you didn't get hurt and I tend to agree with the steam scenario. I had a gen burst on me with a Mil-Spec. One does tend to say "Oh $*1!", then do it when something like this happens.
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curlyjoe_99
Ed glad you have moved to the positive side of this event and shared your thoughts.
I too typically clean a new purchase but realize that more than once I have not checked a buddy's, or even a stranger in need, lantern that I have helped get running while we were camping. I must have unconsciously  presumed that they would do the same checks as i would. hm....
Robert (AKA Curly)-- Heart-of-Texas! "Keep 'Em Working"  
MILSPEC_OPS & 275 Appreciation Syndicate Member #9999

In Search of (ISO): evidence of a 220/228 series lantern dated 2/63    

Quote
weasel
I agree.  I believe that its just as important to post our successes as well as our failures.  Yes, if it happened to me, there would have been a "code brown".
Derek.

Looking for (Cdn where possible): 3-2006, 11-2007, 11-73 (Something nickel) 5-79 ( Something pretty for my wife ), 2-47, 10-48.
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adelcoro
Ed, i just noticed this post
Contact Steve Cullins, the same thing happened to him
Torch lighting can be the cause of this but its not your case. 
The gas tip must of been blocked and the fast mounting pressure made the 
whole case blow. Torch lighting is one cause of this.
Contact Scullins he knows more about what happened.
It also happened with an old 237 kero gen.
Im glad your ok. 

I often think about what happened to Steve,, now you!!! 

I think these old kero gens should just  be replaced with new ones
automatically , especially if they have been sitting there for 20 years or more.
no questions asked. It should be a rule. 

Agostino

ICCC 957
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JimR
I believe that it is highly probable, or at least possible, that the cause of the rupture was internal combustion in the generator tube. If the generator tube had air/oxygen via atmosphere in it and the cleaning tip was up so as not to allow the fuel to purge the air from the tube when the fuel valve was opened - then what took place was a type of "diesel" effect. When the fuel valve was opened, the pressurized fuel entered the generator tube, with the existing air in the tube, and the heat generated by the fire in the preheat cup caused the detonation, or combustion. Just a theory, but theoretically possible.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt
Quote
Jim_l
hurricaner wrote:
This is why I have always felt it was unsafe to convert a suitcase stove to kero. In order to preheat the gen you have the clean out needle blocking the orifice when the valve is closed. If you have any water in the kero you have a small pipe bomb, just not worth it, but there were several members on this board that disagreed.

Sam


This makes sense, I agree, but if you were to start the stove with the valve open and no pressure in the tank, like a soft start on a kero lantern I think it'd be OK.
You'd want to be sure anyone else that used it or bought it from you knew this too.
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Jim-- Coleman Blues Member #014
Quote
gusty60
+1 to what jim douglas said
Quote
parris001
Deanofid wrote:
Water will certainly do it, if it has no way to escape.  ..........

Dean


Best explanation I've seen yet. 

In a previous chapter of my mechanic career I was a Detroit Diesel mechanic. This was back in the days of the old 2 stroke engines. If we ever got one in that was white smoking real bad from just one cylinder usually, we always knew it was a water in the fuel related failure. The tip would be blown off the fuel injector from the water getting trapped right in the very end. Cylinder temps would come up to the point of combustion, and BAM, water would flash boil and pop the tip right off of it...........

Good call Deanofid.......
Quote
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