The Coleman Thread (3 Viewers)

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They all build and hold pressure. I don't hear a hiss at 1/4 turn but I do get a gurgle when fully open.
 

John McVicker

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The tubes that run up from the fuel tank to where you attach the mantles may be plugged up. If so you will need to remove & clean them out.

Coleman stuff is a lot like a car engine…fuel, air, spark and it will fire up. You might not be getting fuel up to the mantles.
 
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Thanks to everyone for your help.
 
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If they've been sitting awhile, spiders seem to love to make webs in the air tubes which, no matter how hard you blow them out, you really need a pipe cleaner up in there to clear them. Mud daubers also seem to like to build nests in air tubes.

If they're building pressure and you can hear them spit a little and then hiss, then there's nothing wrong with the tank, pump, or fuel valve. The only things left are the generator "pricker" or the air tube. Most generators are good for the life of the lantern at the rate with which they get used, as long as you've never run unleaded gas through it.

Also, any fuel that's still a liquid will burn fine. I've lit 20+ year old Coleman fuel and it burns just like brand new stuff.
 
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Yesterday's restoration project, a 200K

lrYS2ZK
 
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Very nice looking specimen of a 220H! The 220 series ended with the "K" model (*functionally identical) in June of 1986, so yours is one of the last few model years of production. I'm a fan of the last of the 220's, as they have the original, old style aluminum pump cover instead of the modern plastic fitting, and yet have the updated stamped steel mixing chamber at the top, instead of the classic cast metal assembly. This makes the last of the run an interesting mix of old and new, classic and modern.
 
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I've got a 220F in pieces sitting around the workshop right now. All the brass bits are cleaned and ready to reassemble and so is the font but the frame is stewing in Evaporust. I put it in yesterday before dinner and plan on taking it out sometime tomorrow afternoon. I'm hoping for a quick reassembly and good performance. If these two 220s burn similarly to each other, I'm going to use them for some head-to-head mantle tests to sort out what sort of mantles burn whitest these days since production of, well, everything, ain't what it used to be.
 

John McVicker

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^^^

Depending on which lantern I’m using I’ve had good results with Peerless mantles.

65E84B03-4F47-4B9F-8031-AB45FC60A313.png
 
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^^^

Depending on which lantern I’m using I’ve had good results with Peerless mantles.
The thing is, Peerless isn't Peerless anymore. I found some at the hardware store and was really disappointed at how dim and yellow-red they were compared to their reputation. In fact, they were worse than current production cheap Coleman mantles from Walmart. I sent them to a safety lab at the local university and it turns out they weren't radioactive which means they switched to Yttrium instead of the older Thorium formula. After some back and forth on another forum, there's at least two separate product lines appearing under the Peerless name and in identical packaging. There's no way to tell which version you have unless you know who imported them into the US. American Mantle is importing Peerless mantles that are doped in Yttrium and not radioactive. These are duller and redder than the Coleman current production. Some guy named Sam (not joking) is importing different Peerless mantles in the exact same packaging but he's special ordering mantles that are doped in Thorium and therefore radioactive. Unless you have a way to detect radiation, there's no way to know which you have. Supposedly, the Thorium-doped mantles should be whiter and brighter than any Yttrium-doped mantles. However, I've seen some user reports that say this isn't the case anymore. So, I have the following lined up:

1) Current production Coleman mantles in the green-and-white plastic packaging
2) Current production Coleman mantles in the red-gray-black paper packaging
3) Vintage Coleman Silk Lite mantles
4) Peerless mantles from the hardware store, apparently imported via American Mantle, and known to be non-radioactive (Yttrium)
5) Peerless mantles sourced from a vendor that buys from this Sam guy what are maybe Thorium doped.

The first thing I'm going to do is to take them over to the university and have them all measured for radioactivity. I know options 1, 2, and 4 will be cold. I know #3 will be hot. The question is whether #5 will be hot and, if so, is it as hot as #3. I suspect I will find that the new Peerless mantles imported via Sam are nowhere near as radioactive as the old Silk Lite mantles and that's why there's people complaining about being disappointed in Thorium mantles when compared to their reputation.

After having the lab measure their activity, I have the tools to measure the color of the light they produce and the intensity of the light they produce. Given that the internet will argue over anything and will fight to the death to insist that any measurements you make that don't match their preconceived notions must be a mistake, I'd also like to take pictures of different mantles on the lanterns at the same time so that it's harder for people to argue about it. That's probably a vain hope. They'll argue even if I set the lanterns in front of them, I'm sure.
 

John McVicker

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You are absolutely correct…I get my Peerless from Amazon as well as other locations on line. You can still find Peerless mantles made with Thorium.
 
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You can also build up a store of the original Coleman SilkLite mantels if you're quick on ePay or like to scout your local garage sales. There were a TON produced and purchased for camping boxes which never got used. I picked up about 5-6 mantle 2-packs from a garage sale that were mostly SilkLites for $2 for all of them. I've also bought up a good supply at ~$4/ea on the evil auction site.

When you're working from a finite supply, it makes you selective about which lanterns get the special mantels, given their delicate nature. The ones that I camp with get the cheapies,...
 

surfpig

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Paying attention. I've finally exhausted my supply of mantles I got in Mexico years ago...

My current job is analyzing stuff for elemental content. I know I can do yttrium, not sure about thorium. I can do a library spectrum search and probably figure it out, It's in the lead range of elements. shouldn't be too tough.
 

surfpig

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Paying attention. I've finally exhausted my supply of mantles I got in Mexico years ago...

My current job is analyzing stuff for elemental content. I know I can do yttrium, not sure about thorium. I can do a library spectrum search and probably figure it out, It's in the lead range of elements. shouldn't be too tough.
So, send me all your vintage mantles!

:lol:
 
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There has been some contention about lantern mantles. Rather than trusting everything I read on the internet, I decided to put my money where my questions were and buy one of everything and figure out the truth behind the marketing and the old wives' tales. My personal background to this is relevant as my undergraduate major was a BFA in Photography and I worked in the photographic industry in several different roles for almost half my life. This has led me to be pretty darned picky about light, have a greater than normal sensitivity to what light looks like, and to owning the tools to measure it properly.


For this test, I prepared 2 Coleman 220 lanterns and spent a significant amount of time (and mantles!) confirming that they would burn at the same output reliably, repeatedly, and predictably in order to make this a fair test. Obviously, this test was done with the Coleman #21/Peerless 2C-HG mantles given the choice of lanterns. I sourced the following types of mantles:

1) Coleman green-and-white plastic packaging. Bought at Walmart any time over the last 15-20 years. I don't make sure to FIFO my mantle inventory so I can't be more specific than that.

2) Coleman red-and-black paper packaging. Bought at Walmart in June of '22.

3) Coleman Silk Lite mantles in green, red, and white plastic packaging. Vintage unknown.

4) Peerless standard plastic packaging. Bought at the local hardware store in May or June of '22

5) Peerless standard plastic packaging. Bought at Old Coleman Parts in June of '22


I first took all the mantles to the Environmental Health and Safety office at the local university to have their radioactivity measured. As expected, the two modern Coleman mantles were cold. No traces of Thorium at all. The Peerless mantles sourced from the local hardware store were also cold and this is a distinction that the internet is not at all clear about. There are two parallel import paths for Peerless mantles and there's no way to tell them apart. You have to know, and trust, your retailer to know which kind you're getting. As expected, the Coleman Silk Lites were fairly radioactive, indicating a relatively high Thorium content. Not dangerous to handle, but you wouldn't want to sleep with one on you pillow for a few years. The Peerless mantles sourced from Old Coleman Parts were also radioactive, but very, very weakly. They had MUCH less Thorium in them than the old Silk Lites. The 2C-HG mantles had about 1/4 the Thorium concentration of the Silk Lites while the #111 (not part of this test but bought and measured at the same time) Peerless mantles had about 1/8 the concentration of Thorium compared to the Silk Lites. I suspect this is explains the majority of the results and user reports on the internet that say at that the modern Thoriated mantles just aren't living up to their reputation when compared to modern Yttriated mantles.

qbSXRk3.png


Second, using an illuminance meter and a fixed test apparatus including several metal shields to make sure that the meter could only "see" one mantle at a time, I measured the illuminance produced by each mantle type. It's not really a technically accurate statement, but think of this as how bright the mantles are. The Silk Lites really knocked everything else into a neatly cocked hat. They were meaningfully brighter than anything else. Between the red and black paper packaged Coleman mantles and the Thoriated Peerless mantels from OCP, a normal observer under normal conditions would be completely unable to tell them apart. A highly skilled observer under ideal conditions with a carefully constructed test being able to view both at the same time might be able to tell the difference but they're so close that it's not even worth talking about. Between the R&B Colemans and the G&W Colemans, a skilled observer under normal conditions could tell the difference but a normal person would probably never notice even if you asked them to take a look. The only mantles that really stood out were the Peerless mantles from the hardware store which were noticeably dimmer. The difference was large enough to jump out at people who didn't even know why I had all this set up without me prompting them to look carefully. They're about half as bright as the other modern options and one quarter as bright as the Silk Lites.

GXFjgNs.png


Third, I measured the color of the mantles. The first component of the measurement is the Coordinated Color Temperature in degrees Kelvin. There were some critical differences here. If you've ever gone to the store to pick out a lightbulb and they sell offerings of 3000K, 4100K, 5500K, etc. this is what they're talking about. The second component of the measurement is the green-magenta shift off the value of a black-body radiator. This, you can comfortably ignore because the tint shifts were all very small. A normal person would be unable to tell even under ideal conditions. The Silk Lites measured at 3000K, which is frankly much better than I expected any of these to do. That's halogen light territory! The Thoriated Peerless from OCP, the G&W Coleman, and the Coleman R&B were all yellower (lower CCT) but not by a large amount. After years of trying to teach the public to see light, I'm confident that most people would be unable to notice the difference between the Silk Lites and either the R&B Colemans or the Thoriated Peerless from OCP. By the time you get down to the G&W Colemans, a normal person might notice the difference between them and the Silk Lites but I wouldn't put money on it. A few people might be able to reliably tell the difference between the Coleman G&W and the Thoriated Peerless from OCP but that's even less likely. Once again, the standout is the Yttriated Peerless from the hardware store, which were pathetically red and everyone would readily identify them as inferior even in real world conditions.

1rabwCc.png



So what's the summary of all this? First, don't buy non-Thoriated Peerless mantles. They're just bad (in comparison) mantels. You can easily see that they're worse than all the others and the measurements back that up clearly. Second, if you can easily get Silk Lites, they are better than anything else I tested but not by a lot. If they're super expensive where you are or just hard to get in general, you don't really need to feel like you're missing out on performance. Between the Coleman Green and White Plastic Packaged mantles and the Coleman Red and Black Paper Packaged mantles, the R&B are slightly better. Enough better to grab them if both are on the shelf. Between the Thoriated Peerless mantles from OCP and the R&B Colemans, well, I don't think the difference (either in subjective appearance or objective measurements) is big enough to justify any additional cost or hassle to get the Thoriated Peerless. They're just not enough better than the modern Colemans to care.

I guess my final summary would be get Silk Lights if it's easy to do and you can afford them or get the Red and Black Paper Packaged Colemans if they're enough cheaper or easier to find to make a difference to you.
 
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Outstanding analysis, Sir! If you were to copy and paste this over at The Coleman Forum (The Coleman Collectors Forum - CCF - https://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/) you would likely be greeted as a long lost brother, worthy of admiration and showered with kudos and thanks for all eternity - and I mean this honestly!

That whole forum has been passing old wives tales about the truth behind modern vs. vintage mantels for YEARS with very little scientific research. Give it some thought, and THANK YOU for taking the time to add facts to a well-worn topic that has never had a solid answer.

Now I feel vindicated in my past few years of buying all the vintage SilkLite mantels I could find,
 
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Outstanding analysis, Sir! If you were to copy and paste this over at The Coleman Forum (The Coleman Collectors Forum - CCF - https://www.colemancollectorsforum.com/) you would likely be greeted as a long lost brother, worthy of admiration and showered with kudos and thanks for all eternity - and I mean this honestly!
Actually, the mostly just came up with reasons it wasn't valid in order to fit their pet theories. A few were pretty appreciative, but far from all.
 

reddog90

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Last week I went through some coleman stuff I plan on taking to SAS. I got a 413H for free from a friend earlier this year and fired it up first. It needed nothing except fuel and seems to be running fine. When I turn the valve fully off, I still hear slight hissing from the generator. I unscrewed the cap to release the tank pressure and the hissing stopped. Screwed the cap back on and the slight hissing came back, I guess from residual heat in the generator building some pressure? Should I rebuild the valve assembly at some point? Is it dangerous to take this fuel tank on the trip and/or will it leak in the truck (I also have a 413G that I can steal the fuel tank from or just take that stove instead).

Also fired up my 502 for the first time in a long time. Is this flame clean enough? I'll probably only use it for coffee. My 2 and 3 burner stoves seem to burn much cleaner.

vlLRjJE.jpg
 

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