New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

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williaty
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New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#1

Post by williaty »

I just bought my first-ever liquid fuel lantern off ebay and it arrived today. The lantern is a Coleman 290 "The Powerhouse" stamped 8 of 86. Regardless of the fact that the seller promised it functioned properly, I have several questions about it and one definite problem. Keep in mind that this is my first liquid fuel Coleman and maybe some of the stuff I'm about to ask is normal.

1) The globe isn't positively retained by anything. I mean that it rattles loose inside the lantern. On my (much newer) propane Coleman lanterns, the globe has some springy metal fingers pressing against it so that it can't rattle but can expand with heat. Is rattling normal for this model?

2) The pump plunger will hiss when not moving if you leave it loosened. If you push it to the bottom and tighten it to lock out the pump, the hissing stops. Is this normal or something I need to fix?

3) The pump plunger doesn't always seal on every stroke. Probably 1 out of 5 strokes it drops to the bottom of its travel without resistance but builds pressure the other 4 out of 5 times. Again, is this normal or something I need to fix?

4) This is the big one. I put on two new #21 mantles, burned them off, filled the font about half way with actual Coleman Fuel, and tried to light the lantern with the valve wide open as the instructions on the side of the lantern call for. It took FOREVER to get anything to light. During this time, I had the hiss of air moving but no gurgling sound that you guys have all written about. Then it puffed and went out. I tried to light it again and, again, it took a while before it lit and it flared for a little longer before going out. On the 3rd try, it stayed lit but hardly had any flame. It took it longer than I expected to transition from flames to glowing mantles. When it did start glowing, it was really dim/weak. After a few seconds, I got a bright pulse of light and then back to dim. This repeated on an irregular schedule the whole time I had it lit. During the bright pulses, it *might* have been as bright as it should have been but I'm not sure. In between pulses it was definitely too dim. I've included a link to a video below. The changes in brightness which you can see happening on the frame of the lantern are real, not changes in the camera exposure level.

https://youtube.com/shorts/bowcuaqVLVQ?feature=share

So, where do I start on troubleshooting this? Like I said, I've never touched a liquid fuel pressure lantern before.
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Coldwaterpaddler
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#2

Post by Coldwaterpaddler »

If the pump cup is skipping, it's either dry or its a neoprene pump cup and needs to be replaced or both. A bad pump cup means you're not adding as much air pressure to the tank as you think and this might be the cause of the pulsing.

I have a 1986 290 right here and it rattles just like yours. This is normal. The next year
1987, Coleman came out with the 290A and it has the globe springs like your newer lanterns.

If the pump plunger is hissing, it might be that it is clogged with oil or fragments of a old and falling apart pump cup.

Bottom line . . . Begin by inspecting the pump cup.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#3

Post by sleebus »

#2
When you're done pumping, you always screw the pump down. Sounds like your checkvalve is leaking a bit. That may go away with use, but for now not really a concern IF you can get it pumped up enough

#3
Sounds like you need to put some oil in the pump. It's probably dry. It should pump with every stroke and not miss

#4
Very normal for an extended first start if the lantern is dry. It can take a long time. You also may want to flip it back and forth between clean and run as you may have some carbon that's dislodged. A blocked orifice may also lead to a slow start. You may not have it pumped up enough. You should pump until you feel strong resistance.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#4

Post by zoomkat »

Without reading all the post (long), pulsing is typically caused by fuel starvation to the generator. 95% of the time the fuel starvation is due to low tank pressure due to an air leak somewhere. Note that Coleman lanterns lose a lot of tank pressure when starting and need to be pumped back up good and tight once they are running. Try pumping the tank back up after starting and see if the pulsing goes away. If the pulsing does not stop, then there may be an air leak that needs to be located (typically fuel cap gasket).
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#5

Post by Majicwrench »

Fix the pump so you can get in enough pressure. You should be pumping 30 or so pumps (effective pumps) then lighting, then a few more pumps as it warms up. Or just follow the directions :) fixing the pump, getting enough pressure, will probably solve a lot of your issues.

A little hissing out of check valve (pump is fine, just shut air stem (turn clockwise.)
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#6

Post by JimL »

As stated, the pump needs oil, whether or not it's leather or neoprene. Like a leather pump cup, a neoprene pump cup should also be flared, as small as it is. It won't flare out like leather but it does tend to make a difference for a little while. Note that the neoprene pump cups are consumables or expendable items, but you can sometimes get more life out of them with flaring and oiling.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#7

Post by williaty »

OK, since I am waiting on the seller to get back to me on whether or not he wants me to rip into this thing, I did what non-invasive troubleshooting I could given the advice I've gotten here. First thing I did was to pump the pump until the pressure was high enough that the arthritis in my thumbs wouldn't let me push any harder. Then I tried to light it. Opening the valve got me a hiss but no gurgle and I wasn't able to light it at all. I decided this probably meant it wasn't picking up fuel, so I increased the fuel level in the fount from about 3/4" to almost up to the fill plug. I then pumped it rock hard and lit it. After 10 or so seconds of having the valve open, it finally lit with a pretty good pop and then started burning properly in about 20 seconds. The light output was stable and high (pretty much as bright as my propane #21 mantle lanterns). However, after a while I noticed I had licks of flame coming out the top of the vent. I took the vent off and tried to decide where the flame was coming from. It seemed like maybe the InstaClip mantle wasn't sealed tightly against the tube, so I replaced it with a Peerless mantle I found at the hardware store (and I picked up a pump service kit which I won't install until the seller gets back to me).

On relight, the lantern was again unstable/pulsing. This time, it was *mostly* full brightness with occasional dimming before it recovered. I confirmed that it was pumped up rock hard and that didn't help any. After being on for maybe 10 minutes, the pulsing was less severe, but no less frequent and I had flames coming out the vent again. Taking the vent off, I can't tell if the flames are coming *through* the mantle or leaking out the top of the generator tube, which is right next to the mantle.

So my symptoms are now:

a) Won't pick up fuel from the font when the fuel level is less than 3/4"
b) Unstable brightness even once warmed up but not every time
c) Flames coming through one mantle or possibly coming out the top of the generator.

What do I try next?
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Coldwaterpaddler
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#8

Post by Coldwaterpaddler »

It appears that the pump is working now. Did you oil it? Previously, it skipped a lot. Your latest description makes it sound like you've got the pressure you need.

Check out this to see what the internal parts look like, https://sklcolorado.wordpress.com/2020/ ... e-lantern/

It's possible the generator gas tip isn't tightened properly.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#9

Post by zoomkat »

"Keep in mind that this is my first liquid fuel Coleman" and "waiting on the seller to get back to me on whether or not he wants me to rip into this thing,"

I don't know what the deal is between you and the seller, but I suggest you take a chill pill and get an understanding of the lantern operation before you ever touch a wrench. You might want to restart the lantern, following the Coleman instructions, with a full tank of fuel and the tank pressurized tight. Assuming this lantern's fuel control knob has only "off" and "run" (no "start" position), open the valve fully open to start (no in between positioning). Once it is up and running, quickly cycle the fuel control valve off/run a couple of times to make sure the generator orifice is clear of starting debris. Then make sure the tank is pumped up good again. It is somewhat frequent in the forum for persons to think something is wrong with a lantern when the real issue is operator unfamiliarity with the lantern.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#10

Post by williaty »

Coldwaterpaddler wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 11:56 pm It appears that the pump is working now. Did you oil it? Previously, it skipped a lot. Your latest description makes it sound like you've got the pressure you need.

Check out this to see what the internal parts look like, https://sklcolorado.wordpress.com/2020/ ... e-lantern/

It's possible the generator gas tip isn't tightened properly.
The pump still skips. However, with enough pumping, it'll eventually get up to pressure.

The seller has now given me the go-ahead to take it apart to clean out the air tube and generator, so I'm looking for information on how to do that now. I had some guides for the older lanterns bookmarked but from reading on here the 290 is going to be quite different.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#11

Post by Coldwaterpaddler »

I show some of that on my blog post. Check that out and let us know what questions you have.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#12

Post by A Seabee »

I have a few of these newer lanterns. the lack of a separate pricker is one of the big negatives on these. normally you'd spin that lever a few times before and during light up. lots of these lanterns were dual fuel and people ran regular gasoline all the time. so you end up with a dirty generator tip and no easy way to punch through the gum and varnish at the tip. there is a pricker rod that goes up and back down every time you operate the knob, but that's only once if you follow the instructions. I suggest you crank that knob open and closed several times before attempting to light. listen for the spitting as you manipulate the knob. light your lighter/match, stick it in the hole, turn the knob open, and watch it light. after it gets to burning and the gen gets a little warmed up, crank that knob again a couple times, then return it to full open. once you get it running semi well, keep cranking the knob closed and back open, even when it's fully warmed. the lantern shouldn't/won't stop running but it will help clean out some gunk in the generator tip
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#13

Post by A Seabee »

[/quote]The seller has now given me the go-ahead to take it apart to clean out the air tube and generator, so I'm looking for information on how to do that now.
[/quote]

I wouldn't bother asking his permission. it's a 40 year old lantern. read up. study the OCP site, and lantern diagrams. search in the search bar here. we can talk you through anything. you would think that a lantern would be at the peak of their development after 80 or 90 years, but unfortunately Coleman went backwards. they replaced leather with neoprene, brass with plastic. make the best of it. you can still get some good service out of it
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#14

Post by zoomkat »

" I suggest you crank that knob open and closed several times before attempting to light."

If the tank is pressurized when you do this, you are asking for a flooded condition. YMMV
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#15

Post by A Seabee »

zoomkat wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 7:29 am " I suggest you crank that knob open and closed several times before attempting to light."

If the tank is pressurized when you do this, you are asking for a flooded condition. YMMV
my mileage has varied on this. if I try it on my 275 it will flood for sure, but on these, I've had good luck. I do it real quick 2-3 times. then do it more after it's running

if you're worried about flooding, then do it unpressurized
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#16

Post by williaty »

I took the lantern apart a little bit today in between working on my van.

The burner caps and screens look unharmed and don't have debris setting on them. The burner tubes, to the extent I can see up them, look clear. The air intake tube, sighted from the bottom end, looks completely clear. This lantern, thankfully, has a metal eccentric block in it. The test is still running but, so far, I don't have any leakage out the top of the valve with the tank pressurized, the valve closed, and the generator removed.

The only thing I ran into so far was the generator was really hard to remove because it kept binding at the top and wouldn't move upwards enough to allow me to get the pricker rod unhooked from the top of the eccentric block. I'm actually not sure how I'm going to get it back in. Upon removal, the inside of the generator seems very clean and the pricker rod plus the smaller/inner spring removed easily. The outer/larger spring is 100% stuck in the generator. It'll rattle and twang a little but there's no way I'm getting it out without ruining it. The generator itself is bent slightly. Most of the bend is concentrated towards the tip of the generator where it necks down but some of the bend is in the main body tube. The total bend is 3-4mm at the top of the generator.

Is a bent generator going to produce the symptoms I'm getting (pulsing and flame coming out of the top of the vent)?
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#17

Post by Rustytank »

Bending from heat cycles is pretty common. If it's minor no worries. I still think you're having pump problems. As far as removing the generator loosen the burner cage bolt to give you some room. Mine is tight like that
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#18

Post by JimL »

I've had lanterns bend generators like that but have found that the lantern doesn't care if the generator is bent. Just know that if you remove the internals, you'll need to re-insert them the way they came out, following the bend. If you still have it out of the lantern, check the generator tip to make sure it's snug. Don't wrench on it. Brass is soft and you can tear the threads right off of you try to go too tight.

One thing I didn't see above, so if you did this, I missed it. Did you look inside the fount for any debris floating around in the fuel? Sometimes the fount liner will begin to disintegrate and a piece can cause a blockage in the fuel pickup tube. A good sign of this is if you shake the lantern to swish the fuel around when it's dim and it immediately brightens back up.

Lastly, you may know this, but in case you don't, do not open the fuel cap for up to two minutes after shutting the lantern down. It can take a while for the fuel in the generator to finish burning off. It's especially hard to see the dim glow during the day. After you think it's out, open the valve for a second. If it lights right back up, it wasn't yet completely out. :)
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#19

Post by A Seabee »

in addition to possible liner disintegration, the pick up/fuel air tube is a plastic piece on these lanterns. they can crack, and they can get plugged in ways that make them run weird. if you get that far into it, maybe just think about replacing it.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#20

Post by bluepen61 »

I suspect not enough fuel is getting to the generator tip. Try: 1 Remove, inspect, and clean the guts of the generator. 2 Remove and inspect eccentric block. 3 Replace Schrader Valve. 4 Replace fuel/air tube 5 flush fount and fill with new, clean Coleman fuel.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#21

Post by stickandrudder »

williaty wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 8:11 pm I took the lantern apart a little bit today in between working on my van.

The burner caps and screens look unharmed and don't have debris setting on them. The burner tubes, to the extent I can see up them, look clear. The air intake tube, sighted from the bottom end, looks completely clear. This lantern, thankfully, has a metal eccentric block in it. The test is still running but, so far, I don't have any leakage out the top of the valve with the tank pressurized, the valve closed, and the generator removed.

The only thing I ran into so far was the generator was really hard to remove because it kept binding at the top and wouldn't move upwards enough to allow me to get the pricker rod unhooked from the top of the eccentric block. I'm actually not sure how I'm going to get it back in. Upon removal, the inside of the generator seems very clean and the pricker rod plus the smaller/inner spring removed easily. The outer/larger spring is 100% stuck in the generator. It'll rattle and twang a little but there's no way I'm getting it out without ruining it. The generator itself is bent slightly. Most of the bend is concentrated towards the tip of the generator where it necks down but some of the bend is in the main body tube. The total bend is 3-4mm at the top of the generator.

Is a bent generator going to produce the symptoms I'm getting (pulsing and flame coming out of the top of the vent)?
I found it’s easier for generator removal to loosen the retaining nut under the generator nut and back that all the way up the threads. This allows the entire assembly to move up a half inch and gives you plenty of room to remove and replace the generator without “binding” on the top.

You can try pouring in a bunch of seafoam engine cleaner into the white gas in the fount and running the lantern for a while. It could just be a dirty gen. Soak it in denatured alcohol. Boil it in a citric acid mix for a hour. Or replace it.

Also could be a bad/blocked valve in the fuel/air tube. You can replace the schrader valve or just buy a new fuel/air pickup for $6 off oldcolemanparts (our parent site). You can clean the old one, make sure the bottom pickup hole isn’t blocked and make sure the oring isn’t cracked.

The flames you’re seeing could be over-flame maybe coming out the mantle? Just try pumping a little less and see if it stops. Good luck!
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#22

Post by bluepen61 »

williaty wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 8:11 pm The only thing I ran into so far was the generator was really hard to remove because it kept binding at the top and wouldn't move upwards enough to allow me to get the pricker rod unhooked from the top of the eccentric block. I'm actually not sure how I'm going to get it back in. Upon removal, the inside of the generator seems very clean and the pricker rod plus the smaller/inner spring removed easily. The outer/larger spring is 100% stuck in the generator. It'll rattle and twang a little but there's no way I'm getting it out without ruining it. The generator itself is bent slightly. Most of the bend is concentrated towards the tip of the generator where it necks down but some of the bend is in the main body tube. The total bend is 3-4mm at the top of the generator.

Is a bent generator going to produce the symptoms I'm getting (pulsing and flame coming out of the top of the vent)?
Were you successful at reducing the pulsing?

Secondly, I noticed your post above on removing/replacing the generator. The 290 series, you remove the burner then you remove the generator. Then, when replace the generator, tightening the jamb nut loosely, then install the burner, after which tighten the jamb nut (which holds the generator).

I have seen bent generators and I am not sure how that happens other than heat or possibly abuse/accident. 290's run HOT and they tend to over burn slightly. Is the burner centered properly in relation to the frame (if any), base, and ventilator? Adjust as necessary. Abuse sometimes bends the burner and one has to straighten back. If you replaced the burner, check to make sure you have the correct one. I understand Coleman made at least two burners for the 290 with slightly different dimensions/construction. I am not sure I have the manufacturing break was for this change.

And I know this is a stupid question that probably has been asked elsewhere in this thread, but have you visually inspected and cleaned the air tube? Bug webs and their debris sometimes cause lanterns to burn strangely.

Let us know what reduces the pulsing in your lantern. We (well at least me) are curious what fixes this phenomena.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#23

Post by williaty »

bluepen61 wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 10:06 amWere you successful at reducing the pulsing?
No. It runs without pulsing when the font is absolutely, completely, brim full but as soon as the fuel level in the font drops the pulsing starts.
And I know this is a stupid question that probably has been asked elsewhere in this thread, but have you visually inspected and cleaned the air tube? Bug webs and their debris sometimes cause lanterns to burn strangely.
Yes, I've cleaned out the air tube

Next I want to try replacing the generator and FA pickup tube since those are good suspects for inconsistent delivery problems and the FA tubes especially are known problems as they age.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#24

Post by sleebus »

williaty wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:24 pm No. It runs without pulsing when the font is absolutely, completely, brim full but as soon as the fuel level in the font drops the pulsing starts.
Have you checked the generator for the cardboard tube packing? If there is not sufficient packing in the generator, the fuel will reflux down into the fount when it vaporizes. This happens less when the fount is completely full. Sounds very similar to the problem you are having.

I did a video of this happening on a different lantern, a 236. Might be worth a watch to see if the symptoms in the video are similar to yours.

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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#25

Post by JimL »

I rebuild my generators, but don't reuse the ceramic(?) tube, but use a bronze wool wrap instead. If there's any pulsing/flickering, I add a wee bit more to the base of the generator and that eliminates it.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#26

Post by zoomkat »

"Next I want to try replacing the generator and FA pickup tube since those are good suspects for inconsistent delivery problems and the FA tubes especially are known problems as they age."

Just back to basics, pulsing is generally due to low pressure in the fuel tank. The fiber tube does seem to act as a buffer against fuel flashing pulsing and oscillations. If the fiber tube is missing or saturated with carbon/tar products. As to the fuel pickup tube, about the only issue there that might result in pulsing would be a leak in the tube that would allow air loss into the fuel pickup resulting in low tank pressure. I'd suggest that when the pulsing starts, you check the tank pressure to see if it is low. If it is low, then there might be a crack or opened seam in the pickup tube that allows tank air/pressure to escape when the the flaw is uncovered by fuel.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#27

Post by sleebus »

JimL wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:16 pm I rebuild my generators, but don't reuse the ceramic(?) tube, but use a bronze wool wrap instead.
100% agree with you there. My 236 makes short work of those fiber tubes. Went looking for bronze wool at home depot yesterday, left disappointed. Huge store, no stock. Lame. Definitely want to use that stuff though, I think the cardboard tube made it about 3 tanks worth lol
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#28

Post by zoomkat »

"Went looking for bronze wool at home depot yesterday, left disappointed. Huge store, no stock. Lame."

The DollarTree has Brillo® pads.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#29

Post by williaty »

zoomkat wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 4:54 pmJust back to basics, pulsing is generally due to low pressure in the fuel tank.
Nope, not responsive to fuel pressure.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#30

Post by JimL »

sleebus,

You can order the bronze wool at Home Depot online and they will let you know when it's available for pickup. Ace hardware may also still stock it.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#31

Post by zoomkat »

"Nope, not responsive to fuel pressure."

Then the only observable physical change in the lantern between steady operation and pulsing is fuel tank level change (base on your diagnosis). The fuel pickup orifice may be getting clogged to reduce fuel flow to the generator, but I don't see a repeatable method for this to be happening, and a clogged fuel pickup orifice would result in fairly rapid loss of tank pressure.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#32

Post by sleebus »

JimL wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:49 pm sleebus,

You can order the bronze wool at Home Depot online and they will let you know when it's available for pickup. Ace hardware may also still stock it.
Jim, thanks for the tip, looks like the Ace on the way home has some. :D
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#33

Post by bluepen61 »

sleebus wrote: Mon Jun 13, 2022 3:35 pm
Have you checked the generator for the cardboard tube packing? If there is not sufficient packing in the generator, the fuel will reflux down into the fount when it vaporizes. This happens less when the fount is completely full. Sounds very similar to the problem you are having.
Coleman never used "cardboard" tube packing in the 290 generators to my knowledge. The substance was in essence banned from general use.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#34

Post by sleebus »

bluepen61 wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:58 am Coleman never used "cardboard" tube packing in the 290 generators to my knowledge. The substance was in essence banned from general use.
Ok. Sounds to me that whatever was used for packing, or performs the function of packing, has failed.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#35

Post by zoomkat »

"Coleman never used "cardboard" tube packing in the 290 generators to my knowledge. The substance was in essence banned from general use."

I think the replacement generators for a 220 lanterns still have a fiber tube in them. OCP sells a replacement fiber tube for generators, where did you get your info on the "substance" being banned?
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#36

Post by Kgam1020 »

The 290 generators don’t have a fiber tube in them, the use a duel spring like a 237 generator.

Image

This generator came out of a 3/86 290 Powerhouse.

Image

Image
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#37

Post by zoomkat »

"The 290 generators don’t have a fiber tube in them, the use a duel spring like a 237 generator."

If the 290 generators did not have fiber tubes, then that pretty much eliminates the possibility of a fiber tube causing the issue.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#38

Post by Kgam1020 »

zoomkat wrote: Tue Jun 14, 2022 4:59 pm "The 290 generators don’t have a fiber tube in them, the use a duel spring like a 237 generator."

If the 290 generators did not have fiber tubes, then that pretty much eliminates the possibility of a fiber tube causing the issue.
Yup.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#39

Post by Kgam1020 »

If the OP’s lantern needs to be completely full of fuel to run then the feed tube assembly should be replaced. It’s cheap and easy. Take the whole generator apart and clean everything until it’s nice and shiny. Once the original feed tube is off the valve, I’d open the valve and spray carb cleaner through the valve. Making sure the whole fuel system is clean. Then reassemble.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#40

Post by zoomkat »

"If the OP’s lantern needs to be completely full of fuel to run then the feed tube assembly should be replaced."

I agree, but the OP previously said "Nope, not responsive to fuel pressure." in post #29. When a crack in the fuel pickup tube is uncovered, the tank will depressurize fairly quickly, resulting in pulsing. Trouble shooting is only as good as the info provided.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#41

Post by GrayClay »

Just a quick note here as I watched your video: you were running the lantern without the vent or globe in place.
This will cause the generator to run much cooler which could cause the pulsing/surging. So if you have not tried it, run with the vent and globe installed.

Pulsing/surging is fundamentally a mechanical/harmonic oscillator. Stable pressure from the fount forces the liquid fuel into the generator where it is vaporized. The expansion from vaporizing causes increase in pressure, forcing the liquid back down towards the fount. ...rinse and repeat with a period usually from 1-2 seconds.
The key to oscillation is damping it.

They don't often occur in my(limited) experience but can be infuriating to solve at times.
Any oscillation must be damped to stop. Usually changing the material in the generator (brass wool, etc) has worked for me. As well a change in fount pressure usually has some effect. (either higher or lower pressure could change the oscillation)

As others have suggested, it's also possible a problem with the FA tube, the fuel orifice at the bottom could be partly clogged.

Good luck and I would be curious to know the final solution!
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#42

Post by williaty »

GrayClay wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 12:31 am Just a quick note here as I watched your video: you were running the lantern without the vent or globe in place.
This will cause the generator to run much cooler which could cause the pulsing/surging. So if you have not tried it, run with the vent and globe installed.
Good point. It does it with the lantern fully assembled and I had taken it apart to work with it before I finally realized I needed a video to show you all.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#43

Post by zoomkat »

Something that might need to be considered is that the pulsing is just an artifact of its design. A key point being that apparently this lantern does not have a fiber tube in the generator like the earlier lantern generators do. I would think the fiber tube would provide a more stable vaporization in the generator than a metal coil would. In the older lanterns I think people have reported pulsing when they run a generator without a fiber tube. A simple thing to try is to start the lantern up with a full tank, pump it up again after the lighting, and let it run. If it runs for an hour or so without it shutting itself down, then that might be as good as it gets with the design. Just saying that its generator design is different and might allow some slight pulsing compared to the earlier generator designs.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#44

Post by JimL »

If it's pulsing/flickering, something is wrong, and it's the generator. As I stated above, if it's doing that, I add a little bronze wool in the base to resolve it. It's a lot cheaper than replacing the generator.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#45

Post by Definitely_game »

JimL wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 4:20 am If it's pulsing/flickering, something is wrong, and it's the generator. As I stated above, if it's doing that, I add a little bronze wool in the base to resolve it. It's a lot cheaper than replacing the generator.
I've been wanting to try the bronze wool. How do you get it into the generator without disturbing/distorting the pricker ? Do you roll it up prior to insertion or just stuff into the gen with a toothpick or something?
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#46

Post by JimL »

DG,

Use less than you think you'll want to use and just gently stuff it in at the base. It's been a while, but most likely I just use my tiny pocket knife with a screwdriver blade on it and tuck it in. If you're having to jam it in, you''re using way too much bronze wool.

Don't remove the pricker rod. Leave it in place. If you were to rebuild a gen, you'd put the pricker rod through the spring before wrapping the spring with the bronze wool. If you do it after, I think you can be guaranteed that the tip wire will catch on the bronze wool and be damaged or destroyed.
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Re: New-to-Me Coleman 290 is pulsing/surging

#47

Post by Definitely_game »

JimL wrote: Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:06 am DG,

Use less than you think you'll want to use and just gently stuff it in at the base. It's been a while, but most likely I just use my tiny pocket knife with a screwdriver blade on it and tuck it in. If you're having to jam it in, you''re using way too much bronze wool.

Don't remove the pricker rod. Leave it in place. If you were to rebuild a gen, you'd put the pricker rod through the spring before wrapping the spring with the bronze wool. If you do it after, I think you can be guaranteed that the tip wire will catch on the bronze wool and be damaged or destroyed.

Thank you sir.
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