639C dim in the cold

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jamessveta
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639C dim in the cold

#1

Post by jamessveta »

Hello Everyone,
I finally got my new 639C running today after getting some replacement mantles. I had some trouble burning in the new mantles because they would always get a hole in them when I burned them in. I am using the #11 Coleman mantles. I made sure I was extra careful not to touch them with the match head and I let them cool down for about 10 minutes. Anyway, what I wanted to ask does the 639C Kerosene lantern burns dimmer when it is out in the cold. When I first started it up after doing the heat up procedure with the alcohol it was burning well. I left it running outside for a couple of hours in the cold to break in the new mantles and when I went to check on it the lantern was burning a lot dimmer. I gave it some more pumps to make sure there was plenty of pressure but still seems to struggle in the cold. I'm using KI clear kerosene. Is this something that happens with the kerosene lamps when they are out in very cold weather or is it something that is just with the 639C? Thanks
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Leviticus_Tomethreus
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#2

Post by Leviticus_Tomethreus »

Sounds like the generator tip is clogged a little. I don’t know about the kero ones, but with the newer style white gas lanterns you close the valve and open it a couple times. I’ve heard that might blow up a generator running on kero.
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paulbarrette
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#3

Post by paulbarrette »

jamessveta wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:04 am Hello Everyone,
I finally got my new 639C running today after getting some replacement mantles. I had some trouble burning in the new mantles because they would always get a hole in them when I burned them in. I am using the #11 Coleman mantles. I made sure I was extra careful not to touch them with the match head and I let them cool down for about 10 minutes. Anyway, what I wanted to ask does the 639C Kerosene lantern burns dimmer when it is out in the cold. When I first started it up after doing the heat up procedure with the alcohol it was burning well. I left it running outside for a couple of hours in the cold to break in the new mantles and when I went to check on it the lantern was burning a lot dimmer. I gave it some more pumps to make sure there was plenty of pressure but still seems to struggle in the cold. I'm using KI clear kerosene. Is this something that happens with the kerosene lamps when they are out in very cold weather or is it something that is just with the 639C? Thanks
sounds like you need to pump it up more. I usually start empty and put 10 pumps in while the alcohol is burning. Once it is running I give it 15 more or so. It should run for hours.
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gelane
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#4

Post by gelane »

How cold is it ?

Pump ot up !
I was reading, thinking what an idiot you are, until I realized it was on of my earlier posts !
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JimL
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#5

Post by JimL »

No, it should not burn dimmer. To clean the tip, turn the valve off and back on. Closing the valve moves the cleaning/pricker rod up, driving the tip cleaning wire through the generator tip orifice to remove any obstructions. When doing this with kero, especially in the cold, do this quickly. Kero needs lots of heat to keep vaporizing. If it cools, you could easily end up with flames and soot. Although the valve is adjustable on the 639, do not dim it when running kero. If you do, when you look away, the generator will cool enough that fuel is no longer vaporizing. See above note for flames and soot. A few of us have learned this the hard way. :) You can dim it if you're running the 639 with naphtha (Coleman or Crown fuel).

Just a note, but even if the kero is cold in the fount, it will flow slow enough the generator will have no issues heating it to vaporization during normal operation.

If it is very cold out, I suspect the neoprene pump cup might lose efficiency and you may not be putting in as much pressure as you think. Although the usual complaint is that when it's very cold out, the neoprene pump cup totally fails, and is why a lot of folks swap these out to leather pump cups.
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#6

Post by mnhogrider »

The Coleman mantels that come with it aren’t the best quality. I’ve been using 500 CP Petromax mantles.
I bought new 639C a few years back. I think it’s the only lantern I bought new and a gotta say, it’s pretty disappointing. Seems like every time I want to use it something goes awry.
Last time it would start and burn prime for about 2-3 minutes then start to burn more yellow and develop black spots on the mantle. Tried every trick in the book with no luck. Finally bought a new generator from Mike and now it runs perfect. The original generator had very few hours on it, was clean and looked like new. The gas tip must have been bad.
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adelcoro
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#7

Post by adelcoro »

Even though these are sold as Kerosene burners ,eventually Kerosene fuel will block the generator.
not enough heat to vaporize the kerosene. The European lanterns with preston loop vaporisers were engineered specifically for burning the heavier kerosene, Colemans are gasoline/white gas lanterns.


Coleman fuel will always be your best choice.
specially in colder weather.
Preheat the same way you would with Kero.

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mnhogrider
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#8

Post by mnhogrider »

I agree with Ago. A generator like a 201 even though it’s supposed to be for kerosene just isn’t designed for it. They get plugged up. My Bialaddin, Petromax and Tilley lanterns never seem to clog up.

I know the 639’s run fine on CF but I bought it to run on what’s it’s supposed to run on. It’ll never be a workhorse lantern up at camp. I can’t depend on it
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JimL
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#9

Post by JimL »

I'm surprised you folks are having so many issues running with kero. Regardless, it's not that easy to find the quality Petromax style lanterns where production ended in the early 60's, but after having a Petromax clone myself, I want nothing to do with that style of lantern again. I've been so soured on these, I passed on $10 Aida's a couple of summers ago.

Having to keep the tool handy to adjust the air gap every single time you use it, making certain the burner cap hasn't loosened up, every single time you use it, and having the most inefficient lantern pump on the planet does not make these fun for a lot of people. And if you store the lantern with any pressure whatsoever, the puddle of kerosene you find when the foot valve fails, and it will, just may sour you on these 'Preston loop' lanterns. I want reliability. I want to know that the lantern will start and provide light. I'll stick with Coleman's, whether kerosene or naphtha. And the beauty of Coleman is that the kero lanterns run just fine on naphtha. Naphtha is not a safe option with 'Preston loop' lanterns.

It's really not nice suggesting to someone that wants a new lantern that they get a lantern from the 60's, unless you have something to offer.
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Tgarner01
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#10

Post by Tgarner01 »

JimL wrote: Sun Jan 03, 2021 4:10 pm I'm surprised you folks are having so many issues running with kero. Regardless, it's not that easy to find the quality Petromax style lanterns where production ended in the early 60's, but after having a Petromax clone myself, I want nothing to do with that style of lantern again. I've been so soured on these, I passed on $10 Aida's a couple of summers ago.

Having to keep the tool handy to adjust the air gap every single time you use it, making certain the burner cap hasn't loosened up, every single time you use it, and having the most inefficient lantern pump on the planet does not make these fun for a lot of people. And if you store the lantern with any pressure whatsoever, the puddle of kerosene you find when the foot valve fails, and it will, just may sour you on these 'Preston loop' lanterns. I want reliability. I want to know that the lantern will start and provide light. I'll stick with Coleman's, whether kerosene or naphtha. And the beauty of Coleman is that the kero lanterns run just fine on naphtha. Naphtha is not a safe option with 'Preston loop' lanterns.

It's really not nice suggesting to someone that wants a new lantern that they get a lantern from the 60's, unless you have something to offer.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who has issues with the Petromax style lanterns. 😁
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adelcoro
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#11

Post by adelcoro »

I agree that Colemans are simpler and more reliable.
I guess the more you work on the European models, the easier it gets.
Personally i only light one or two a year and that doesn't help 😊
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Rustytank
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#12

Post by Rustytank »

The Coleman mantles for these suck. You need a bigger mantle to put more heat on the generator. I've had good luck with a Peerless 24a and Lighthouse 625. The Lighthouse is my favorite on big kero burners but 24a is easier to find. The petromax mantels ought to work as well.
And JimL said it right on the petromax style. I love the pmax pattern but it's a lot more maintenance than a Coleman. Sometimes you want simplicity and ease.
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JimL
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#13

Post by JimL »

For what it's worth, if you have a spare generator, you might want to try it. My 639 was much brighter with a replacement. I went a little too nuts with the torch when cleaning the original generator and deformed the flare. The generator wasn't plugged, but I was doing this as preventive maintenance since I rebuild my generators. I was surprised how much brighter the lantern ran with the replacement generator. There was no visual difference I could tell between the two. Well, except for the flare that I damaged. :)
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#14

Post by zoomkat »

You might try mantles that fill out round instead of long. The round mantles will have a side that will be really close to the generator that will get that place on the generator really hot.
jamessveta
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#15

Post by jamessveta »

UPDATE:
Thank you to everyone for your replies and suggestions. I did start the 639C today. I couldn't get the soot off the mantle so I had to replace it with a new one. After 3 new mantles, I finally got one that would burn in without leaving a hole in it. I've never had a problem with the #21 and #95 mantles just the #11 for my 639C. I was extra careful but still after they lit there would be a hole in the mantle. I did order some peerless mantles so I hope they will work better. What I have noticed with this lantern is that it likes pressure, lots of pressure. I pumped it until it wouldn't take any more air. I also noticed it consumes kerosene faster than I thought it would. What I think happened is that it was running out of fuel and it started going dim and sooting up as it was flaming out. I noticed today as I had left it running and I would periodically check on it and I caught it just as it was starting to go out and starting to soot. I shut it off and checked it's fuel level and saw it was empty. I will try and light it again in a few days and see if it still is running ok. I like the 639C just because it is different but I will say my white gas and propane Colemans have been more reliable, economic running, and easier to start up. This forum has been a wealth of information and everyone has been very helpful. Thanks once again it is much appreciated.
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JimL
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#16

Post by JimL »

James,

With just a little patience, a butane torch, if you have one, will burn off the soot on a mantle. A propane torch with its much higher pressure might blow the mantle apart when attempting this.

I don't know if you timed how long you're able to run it with a full fount, but on mine, I filled it and timed it after I got it, and it ran for 8 hours and 36 minutes. If you're only getting a few hours, I suspect that perhaps there was a manufacturing issue with the generator and the tip orifice is too large. If so, this would also contribute to a dimer lantern.

Lastly, some good advice I got from a Peerless rep when asking why my Peerless mantle developed a hole the first time I lit it. He suggested that the very first time I light a lantern after burning the mantle in, to light it with low pressure. You can pump it up all you want after that, just light it with low pressure the first time. If your mantles are only developing holes during burn-in, this won't apply.
-Jim

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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#17

Post by MYN927 »

Under normal circumstances, your lantern should not dim if you leave it running outside in the cold. Of course, there are limits to which this remains true. Its only if you're operating it under extremely cold environments like in the Antartic that you would find some visible dimming.
The problem lies elsewhere, as the others suggested. And like what you've discovered and mentioned in your last post.
jamessveta
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Re: 639C dim in the cold

#18

Post by jamessveta »

JimL wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:41 am James,

With just a little patience, a butane torch, if you have one, will burn off the soot on a mantle. A propane torch with its much higher pressure might blow the mantle apart when attempting this.

I don't know if you timed how long you're able to run it with a full fount, but on mine, I filled it and timed it after I got it, and it ran for 8 hours and 36 minutes. If you're only getting a few hours, I suspect that perhaps there was a manufacturing issue with the generator and the tip orifice is too large. If so, this would also contribute to a dimer lantern.

Lastly, some good advice I got from a Peerless rep when asking why my Peerless mantle developed a hole the first time I lit it. He suggested that the very first time I light a lantern after burning the mantle in, to light it with low pressure. You can pump it up all you want after that, just light it with low pressure the first time. If your mantles are only developing holes during burn-in, this won't apply.
Hello Jim,
Thank you for your reply. The holes in the mantle I'm experiencing is when I pre-burn them before lighting the lantern. I will check to make sure the faunt is full of fuel and light it again and see how long it burns. I will have to get a butane torch to keep on hand as I know they can be very handy.
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