Project 502

Instructions and How-to from members. Safety posts.
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Project 502


Post by Murff »

I got inspired today when I read a reference Roger made to a Newby (montanatim) regarding Project 500.

So, here is Project 502!

This is an early 502 from 1962. The stove looks like crap and needs to be repainted, but with this project, it will be about "functionability" over physical appearance.

(I apologize for the bluriness in some of these pics! Good thing I'm not a surgeon!)

First, remove the three screws holding the grill on the burner bowl:

Then remove the clip holding the pump plunger and remove the pump plunger. This will make the next step a bit easier.

Next, remove the nut holding the fuel line to the generator:

Now, loosen the nut holding the valve/generator assembly and remove it

Next, remove the three screws holding the burner rings assembly:

The next part, removing the lower burner piece, is the hardest part of diassembling a 502 stove. This can be done in a couple of ways.

The first way is with a large channel lock pliers:

Get a good grip on it and, if you are lucky, the lower burner piece will loosen. If this is stuck really tight, you may need to spray the threads with some WD-40 and let it soak for some time. You may also heat the threads with a propane torch and then quickly quench and cool it with a squirt bottle full of water. Sometimes doing this several times will loosen it.

Another method is to use an oil filter wrench, like this one:

I picked this up at Sears for under $15.00, if I recall correctly. It works very well:

Once you have this part out of the way, your 502 will look like this:

Now remove the Burner Bowl and you will see three screws holding down the burner support. Remove these three screws:

With the burner support loose, remove it, the bunson, U-tube and collar assembly:

We could have done this earlier, but now remove the valve wheel from the valve assembly:

Next, take your now pretty much stripped 502 and turn it upside down and put it in your bench vice like this:

Now being very careful, grasp the fount and turn it counter-clockwise to loosen the valve assembly from the fount. Try to keep the fount level. This is a bit harder on a 502 as compared with a lantern with location of the valve assembly hole being on the side of the top instead of the middle.

Once you get the valve assembly loose, take the fount out of the vice and remove the valve assembly. Now, tighten the fuel cap and get an appropriate sized screw driver and remove the screw from the fuel cap. You should feel the screw give a bit of a "snap" when it loosens. If you don't feel the snap, you will have to tighten the fuel cap even more. You may need to put something on the fuel cap to protect it, like a piece of rubber, and tighten the cap with pliers to kep the insert from slipping. while you loosen the screw.

Remove the fuel cap insert:

and then, using a propane torch, burn out the old fuel cap gasket.

It will get all puffy looking after a minute or so.

Let the old gasket cool.

Now we are going to remove the check valve. This is best done with a Mathew Reid designed, one time made by Bob Frank, Don Burchell and now made and sold by Dan MacPherson, tool. There are other methods that can be found elsewhere on the Forum.

That pretty much concludes the disassembly part of Project 502.

For cleaning, I am using Simple Green:

After spraying it on nd letting it set for a few minutes, I use a small bristle brush to clean around all of the tight areas on the fount:

Next, I put on a coat of car wax. this will protect what paint is left on this tired fount:

It looks a bit better, considering...

Here, I am cleaning the collar assembly and bunson U-Tube with the product in the background:

The next parts were cleaned with a wire brush or steel wool and elbow grease:

Next, we remove the feed tube assembly from the valve:

Once it is removed, take out the f/a tube rod & spring. Be very careful not to bend the rod!

Now take some 0000 and clean the rod. It is best to wipe the rod with steel wool in one direction, toward the bottom end. This will decrease the chance of bending the rod.

Now clean the outside of the fuel/air tube with steel wool. This can also be soaked in vinegar.

Cleaning the inside of the tube is easy with carburator cleaner:

I get this from the local auto parts store:

Now take the fuel/air rod and slip it in the hole at the bottom of the fuel/air tube. This will help make sure that hole is clear.

Now remove the rod from the tube. Blow into the top end of the tube and plug the bottom hole. You should feel air coming from the top side hole. Now cover the top side hole and blow into the tube again. You should feel air coming out the bottom hole. This means the fuel/air tube is clear.

Now we can steel wool the rest of the valve assembly and generator assembly.

As long as we're cleaning parts with steel wool, now's a good time to get this item cleaned:

The 0000 steel wool does a great job of cleaning the pump cap, shaft and thumb hole holder!

As long as we have the pump plunger out, may as well oil the leather.

The bottle is a bit large to pour on the leather, so I use this

Pour some on both sides of the leather and work it into the leather with your fingers. You can also just let the leather soak in a small cup of the oil, too.

Next, steel wool the check valve stem. This will allow smoother operation of the pump plunger.

For you new kids that have yet to take out a check valve, here is what one looks like:

Clean the check valve with Carb cleaner.

You can use steel wool to clean the grill

...and the pump plunger clip!



Hopefull by now your fuel cap insert has cooled. Find a sharp tool to pick out the old now burnt gasket:

Next time you have your teeth cleaned, ask you dental hygenist for an old one of these:

Old gasket removed with new gasket ready to go on the insert.

New gasket installed.

Here, we have all of the parts cleaned and ready for the reassembly:


First, take your gas cap insert and put it on the fuel filler hole:

Now, put the fuel cap on and tighten and insert the screw in the hole and tighten it.

Next, take your complete valve assembly and put ot into the fount and tighten it. Try to remember roughly where it was oriented when you removed it.

At the beginning of this project, I mentioned that this was an early 502 stove. These were made on 501 founts as Coleman reused everything they could. Sometime during production, Coleman relocated the pump plunger on the fount. Here is Project 502 next to a newer 502 so you can see the difference:

Next, install your check valve and then your checkvalve stem and pump plunger.

Put the clip on the pump plunger:

Put some fuel in the fount:

Make sure the valve wheel is closed and pump up the stove. For those of you that don't know, here is how to check if your checkvalve is working correctly: After you have pumped up the fount 50+ strokes and before you close the checkvalve air stem, put your thumb lightly on the pump plunger air hole. Does the pump plunger try to "rise"?

If it does, the check valve is leaking air. It needs to be taken out and cleaned or replaced. This is where a checkvalve removal tool comes in handy!

Next, take your frame collar, bunson and bunson U-tube and assemble as so:

It should kind of hold i
tself together.

Now, start your screws, but leave them loose until you start them all:

Her's a tip: If you don't have one of these lights, get one:

I own one of the shorter lights, but this one is not only good for use on Project 502, but is also good for checking the condition deep inside of any fount!

This is where it comes in handy:

Once you have all of the screws started, tighten them down, but don't go crazy or you will bent the frame coller on the edges.

You may have to adjust the valve assembly so it lines up with fork on the bunson:

Next, install the burner bowl:

In these next two photos, you can see that lower burner plate and lower part of the bunson U-tube are threaded.

Put the lower burner plate on the lower U-tube threads and tighten. I just use my fingers and get it as tight as possible and then snug it just a bit with the chennel lock pliers:

Now put your burner rings on the lower plate and center and then put the upper burner plate over the rings:

As you can see in the above photo, when I put the upper burner plate on the rings, I have one hold down screw in one of the holes. You can see the receiving hole as you put the plate on top of the rings.

Get a sharp pointed tool and use it to line up the last two screw holes to attach the top burner plate

The LED light will help again to line up the last two holes.

Once started, tighten the screws a bit but not tight!

Before you tighten the screws, get the burner rings straight. A small screwdriver helps here:

All lined up and tightened down:

Get your generator assembly and install it and tighten down the nut to the bunson fork:

Get the fuel line as square to the generator assembly as possible. If it is a little askew, that's okay.

You can square it up with the fuel line nut, as long as it is close:

Now, tighten the fuel line nut:

Install the valve wheel:

Your now near completed 502 should still have pressure in it. Let's test and make sure, open the valve wheel but just a little. Does it sound like it is pushing air and then fuel? That is what you should hear!

Okay, almost done! Next, put the grill on the stove, line up all of the screws and tighten:

And now, we test it! Turn the regulator stem so it is pointing away from the stove, light your match or lighter and put it near the burner rings. Open the valve wheel and light the stove:

Since the fuel is just getting started through the generator, give it a few moments to get over it's spitting & sputtering. Once it smooths out, opent the valve wheel all of the way!

Well, that concludes Project 502. Hope it helps in your own rebuild!

Added 3/15/11: Exploded Stove Diagram

If you have any questions, post here or send me a Private Message


Name: Murff   ICCC Member #726 
Coleman Blue's 243's #002   Ebay Handle: Happy-campers2 
EX-ICCC Newsletter Editor & Full time Coleman Addiction Enabler
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Project 502


Post by Marxman »

Nice how to Murff.

The oil wrench is a great idea. I have done the channel lock plies method and have ruined a few lower burner parts.


The 275 is so ugly it is the reason Waldo is hiding.

Project 502


Post by Bubba »

I just got a 502 that needs FMRing.Good job Murff!Attaboy!I may take mine to Sears to test drive that wrench,LOL.-Bubba


Project 502


Post by Quest_Td »

Wow! Excellent writeup Murff! Thank you.


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Project 502


Post by Murff »

Project 502 is now complete. It will sit here for a day or two and then be moved to the How-To Forum.

I hope it helps those of you rebuilding a 502!

Name: Murff   ICCC Member #726 
Coleman Blue's 243's #002   Ebay Handle: Happy-campers2 
EX-ICCC Newsletter Editor & Full time Coleman Addiction Enabler
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Project 502


Post by Scouterjan »

nice tutorial Murff, I bet it took you longer to post the pictures than to do the rebuild

Mitakiuye Oyasin " All My Relations"
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Project 502


Post by BCosby »

Very good job Murff!! I got to get a single lung stove. Haven't found one in the wild yet. One of these days.

"Exceptional Engineering is easily outdone by the Exceptional Idiot"
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Project 502


Post by Flash »

Wow thanks, Great pics, I also always wanted to see a check valve.
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Project 502


Post by Quicklite »

Is that the actual name of that little rachet wrench.."oil wrench"? Gotta get one for my Coleman tool chest. Thanks for that info. -Q

Jules Sooo out of storage space, BUT always room for just one more ARC lantern.
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Project 502


Post by Murff »

Actually Jules, it's an oil filter wrench. Too much time loading pictures and typing!

Name: Murff   ICCC Member #726 
Coleman Blue's 243's #002   Ebay Handle: Happy-campers2 
EX-ICCC Newsletter Editor & Full time Coleman Addiction Enabler
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Project 502


Post by Frank_B »

Thanks for the great write-up and all the pictures, Murff! YOU DA MAN!!!

Frank B

(makes me want to tear into my ugly 502 instead of going to work today)
Frank B
"Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati"