PROJECT MILSPEC 2018 Edition
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So, you’ve just purchased your first MILSPEC lantern and it needs a full cleaning.
Suggestion: Take a before pic with your digital camera or phone to show the clocking or orientation of the valve wheel, the frame and the air tube.
2. Remove the glass panes.
3. Remove the old Mantle
4. Loosen the Jam Nut with the multi-wrench or a 9/16.
5. Remove the generator.
6. Loosen the butterfly nut.
7. Slide the flat washer off
8. Slide the air tube frame away from the 45Deg Adapter
9. Turn the frame cage so that the slot is in-line with the 45Deg adapter.
10. Tilt the frame up and over the 45Deg adapter
11. this is the field strip point
12. Remove the valve wheel and replace the screw so it doesn’t get lost.
13. Remove the frame collar.
14. Using the 9/16 socket and extension, slide it onto the valve nut. Take a ½-inch wrench and remove the 45Deg adapter.
Note: there have been times that I have had to use the bench vise or even turn the assembly on its side to get enough leverage to break the adapter loose.
Now we will show how to disassemble the older style air tube frame from the lantern.
15. You will need the multi-wrench to loosen the hex nut at the base of the frame
16. Loosen the nut a little at a time
17. Take a ½-inch wrench and unscrew the 45Deg adapter. - tip: place the 9/16 deep well socket and extension on the valve to keep the bottom in place. (see above pic step 14)
18. Loose & ready
19. Once the 45Deg adapter is loosened enough, it will spin free
20. Unscrew until you can lift the air tube frame free of the lantern.
21. To remove the valve assembly, you have a few choices. In this pic I am using the 9/16 socket as a lever with the pump handle as the stop against the table surface. Caution not to bend the valve body!!! using a 9/16 socket/wrench is safer
You can use the pump as a stop or you can go to the bench vise and turn the lantern upside down and pinch the valve assembly in the vise and unscrew the fount from the valve assembly
Get some additional leverage by hooking another wrench to an open end wrench. Use your own discretion here!
The remaining steps are performed on a spare valve assembly.
22. Remove the FA tube from the valve assembly with a 3/8 wrench.
23. Slide the rod and wire out of the FA tube.
24. Remove the nut from the bottom of the FA tube write down the number of turns. When re-installing the rod should only stick through the pickup enough to catch your finger nail and no more than a piece of paper thickness or it may not be able to clear the pickup when fully open and be stuck on the air circuit.
25. This particular FA tube comes completely apart to allow for cleaning of the inner tube and the quick start slot.
The arrow indicates the slot. you WANT to clean this completely.
26. Disassemble the valve assembly
27. Inspect the tip of the valve. Look for a groove or other damage. See arrow
28. Check the valve packing. Note the order of the two brass rings the smaller one has a taper that faces the retaining ring not the graphite packing. clean the valve shaft from where the larger ring ends and then slide the three pieces toward the knurled end of the valve stem. then clean the portion that is now exposed. IF there are any bumps, cuts, or crud on the stem, DO NOT try to slice or remove the packing over it as the packing is not flexible and will be destroyed.
29. Adjust the FA rod depth if needed. See red arrow – this is how the FA rod is supposed to look. any higher and you risk the top of the rod protruding too high into the valve body and getting bent. once that happens, you will be buying a replacement valve body.
30. When reassembling the valve into the body, the main valve goes in first, then the FA tube. My personal preference.
Close the valve all the way before inserting the FA tube back into the assembly.
31. Unscrew the pump and rod and inspect.
32. Tip cleaner on the multi-wrench.
33. The tip must be removed for cleaning, but go from out to in. I took this pic while installed in a home made generator- it didn't last. Tip: make a long wire pricker from scrap with a .004 -.006 wire about 1/2" in length and you can clean the tip from the inside. make it short and you can store it in the parts well.
34. Take a minute to clean up the paint a bit.
35. Here I am showing another trouble spot on the MILSPEC lantern. The area where the air tubes connect to the burner manifold gets full of carbon, crud, and spiders. While you have it apart scrub the tubes, AND this area, as well as you can with a brush or medium to stiff wire. You should be able to see your wire here when you feed it from the inlet to the top.
36. (new) this is the burner tube orientation. Note the flat spot on the tube that feeds into the burner cap. if you install the other way, your lantern will only run bright on the air circuit but will flood or overdrive the mantles when fully open due to air flow restriction.
37. (new) this is a image of how the generator fits into the mixing chamber. the narrow part of the generator should fit about 1/2 in initially or a touch less. IF everything else is set correctly and your MILSPEC is not brilliantly bright, take a flat tip screw driver and push down on the top of the curve and hold for a minute. if the mantles bet brighter you need to adjust the generator to this spot. if you go too far, you will have to use channel locks and pull the generator up a bit to reach the sweet spot. often the adjustment is less than 1/16" but it does make a difference.
Keep the fount insides clean. rinse it yearly as crud can accumulate. fill the fount with clean fuel or alcohol and swish it around and pour the fuel out into a container. repeat until you have no debris or chunk coming out as these break down and can get drawn up into the generator and once burned off can easily clog the top of it or the tip.
Most MILSPECS, once they are really clean, will run nicely. If your lantern is stored for a time, enclose it in a plastic bag and seal the top with a twist tie. This helps keep spidey out f the lantern. If left in the open, taking the air tubes off and running a wire through them before use will greatly help your lantern perform to its potential but you risk damaging an already used mantle in the process. So, you have to choose.
Lastly, PLEASE DO NOT add COMMENTS as this is a simple how to.