R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

Instructions and How-to from members. Safety posts.
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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#1

Post by manul »

I tried to restore 2 old R55s with 50% success (ruined one and got the other one to work like new).

Here is the algorithm I developed:
Step 1: taking the generator apart.

-unscrew the tip (easy!)

-make sure the inside of the tube is wet (packing may contain asbestos)

-unscrew the tip cleaner lever and pull it out (Not so easy, some heat to soften graphite packing should help, don't force it out too vigorously or you can break the excenter - this is how I killed the second R55)

- take a sewing needle or some other similar object and use it to gently push the cleaning rod from the tip side. It should fall out from the other end together with a brass mesh screen.

Step 2: cleaning the generator tube.

Older R55s contain some wool-like stuff that can be asbestos, so I used a little brush to clean it out in a glass of vinegar (the tube was submerged in vinegar all the time). The packing was wet all the time, so there was no hazardous dust.

When I dissected another R55 that I destroyed trying to take apart, I found that the tube is also lined with some paper-like material on the inside (1-2 layers). It was evenly brown, looked strange and when I tried to light a tiny piece of it, it turned very light grey (asbestos paper???).

So I took my another R55 tube to work and submerged it into 50% sulfuric acid to destroy the rest of packing and gunk. The solution in the test tube turned brown and there was quite a stink of rotten eggs coming from it (hydrogen sulfide). Apparently there were a lot of sulfur compounds in the gunk, which is interesting. After that I washed the tube in water.

Step 3: repacking and reassembly.

-packing:

I used glass fibers to pack the the R55 tube. You need just right amount of fibers to be able to insert the cleaning rod back into the tube without bending the needle. I can't tell exactly what is the optimal amount of packing, so be careful if you decide to try.
-Insert the cleaning rod:

There is a cylinder with a hole in it's side on the base of the rod. Make sure this hole is facing the cleaner lever because this is where this lever will be attached.

-Re-install the cleaning lever:

If graphite packing is still good, it can be reused, if not - teflon tape worked perfectly for me. When putting back the cleaning lever, make sure that excenter clicks into the hole in the base of the cleaning rod. This should not be hard to do.

-Clean the brass mesh screen and gently push it into the tube with a match.

-Put the tip back. I had to replace the enlarged old tip with a newer V tip.

Put the gen into the lamp, test it for leaks in a bucket of water and it's ready to vaporize fuel again! Mine is now working in a Quick-lite table lamp.

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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#2

Post by manul »

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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#3

Post by manul »

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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#4

Post by manul »

Thanks. I don't think the method is perfect or even complete. I'd love to get more R55s to refine the procedures so that they can be used by everyone.
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#5

Post by wsryno »

mpars wrote: This thread should be moved to the technical archive after a period of time! Good info.

+1

I might be trying this tonight!
Sometimes a lantern is just a lantern. Bill. ICCC #1430
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#6

Post by pogobratt »

Thanks Manul, I had no idea what the inside looked like, whether there was an ecentric block inside or not, and what the packing was like. Good info, I think I may give it a shot to see if I can pull this off.

Steve
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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#7

Post by manul »

Eccentric block here is the cylinder with a hole in it which is attached to the the cleaning rod.

If someone is going to try it - I'll greatly appreciate comments and suggestions.

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Kevin
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#8

Post by Kevin »

Thanks for posting, manul. Interesting and informative.
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Jim_l
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#9

Post by Jim_l »

I've disassembled and cleaned a few of these but didn't see any packing or paper, unless it just came out with the carbon that I cleaned out of them.
It's been a while since I worked on one but it seems to me that mine were basically empty tubes with the cleaning rod going through them.
Matthew 5:16: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Jim-- Coleman Blues Member #014
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legendre
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#10

Post by legendre »

manul wrote: The solution in the test tube turned brown and there was quite a stink of rotten eggs coming from it (hydrogen sulfide). Apparently there were a lot of sulfur compounds in the gunk (...)

Or in the sulfuric acid.. ;-)
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#11

Post by Darren »

I'd love to get more R55s to refine the procedures so that they can be used by everyone.

How many do you need? Maybe we can work something out.
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StanDahl
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#12

Post by StanDahl »

legendre wrote: [QUOTE=manul]The solution in the test tube turned brown and there was quite a stink of rotten eggs coming from it (hydrogen sulfide). Apparently there were a lot of sulfur compounds in the gunk (...)

Or in the sulfuric acid.. ;-)
That thought had occurred to me also!

It seems like one R55 I took apart (before I knew any better, and not all the way as you've done) was easy to clean, and another since then impossible. I guess there was more than one type of gut design?? I don't remember the details, sorry.

I wonder if wrapping the stem with stranded copper wire a la the Nevada Ed rebuild would make them even better?
John - ICCC Petty Bureaucrat #CMLXII...
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#13

Post by aephilli »

StanDahl wrote: I wonder if wrapping the stem with stranded copper wire a la the Nevada Ed rebuild would make them even better?

I was also thinking the same thing. And to think even more than might be safe, would a small wad of bronze wool below the screen act as a "filter" maybe?
Albert
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lamplighter44
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#14

Post by lamplighter44 »

[QUOTE=Jim_l]I've disassembled and cleaned a few of these but didn't see any packing or paper, unless it just came out with the carbon that I cleaned out of them.

Very interesting.. Maybe someone else had cleaned it before and could not repack it and left it empty.. In which case, did it work as it should without the packing? Any pulsing? I have an old R-55 and don't know how good or bad it is.. I may try a rebuild on it. If yours pulses, I may try a wire wrap in it in lieu of the asbestos packing.. I have been heavily exposed to asbestos already.. I don't want any more.
















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JRdaSconnie
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#15

Post by JRdaSconnie »

I may have to try this on a R55 that I castrated to get the nut off to put on a Q77 for a slant.
It'll buff out.

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Jim_l
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#16

Post by Jim_l »

lamplighter44 wrote: [QUOTE=Jim_l]I've disassembled and cleaned a few of these but didn't see any packing or paper, unless it just came out with the carbon that I cleaned out of them.

Very interesting.. Maybe someone else had cleaned it before and could not repack it and left it empty.. In which case, did it work as it should without the packing? Any pulsing? I have an old R-55 and don't know how good or bad it is.. I may try a rebuild on it. If yours pulses, I may try a wire wrap in it in lieu of the asbestos packing.. I have been heavily exposed to asbestos already.. I don't want any more.

lamplighter,
Someone pointed out in a later thread that the insulating tube was designed to expand to the outside of the generator, so it could be that I just couldn't see it in there due to the fact that both the top and bottom of the genny tube is smaller than the main part of the genny, at least with the jumbo type R55.
Jim
















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aephilli
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#17

Post by aephilli »

Old jumbo R55 I did recently had a fair amount of asbestos (cardboard?, paper?) in it.
Albert
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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#18

Post by manul »

According to the patent and a dissection of an old R55 I did, there is a rolled sheet of asbestos paper inside of the wider part of the tube. It was just inserted into the tube and anchored itself inside by trying to unroll, evidently. Modern ones can use ceramic fiber or glass fiber paper, you can find it on ebay. I think trying to put in glass fibers like I did Isn't a good idea, but some fireproof paper would be a perfect fit.
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Motor7
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#19

Post by Motor7 »

I think I am going to try the "Nevada Mod" on mine....anyone else tried it yet on a R55?
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#20

Post by curlyjoe_99 »

don't have an R55 but would be willing to purchase one of the functional rebuilds, for my CQ, if anyone wants to recoup some of their costs.
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manul
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#21

Post by manul »

I don't have any more dead ones to rebuild, so no rebuilds available.
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Chucker
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#22

Post by Chucker »

I've disassembled two new ones this winter and found both to be empty in the tube except for the pricker.

I used brass screen/mesh about 1 1/2 in. tall to wrap around the pricker. I also added some graphite tape as they were both starting to seep while running at the cleaner and were bottomed out with tightening.

Both function as needed on two QL lamps converted to kero. No, I didn't have to put a smaller tip on them to burn the kero/Klean heat. Works well.
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R55: Servicing the Unserviceable

#23

Post by Bob1774 »

Recently acquired a L427 with a R55 on it, but the pricker wire was gone and found this post looking for help. I disassembled it as described. Next, I cut off the 1/16" rod, right at the base of the larger section that has the hole for the lever. Drilled out the 1/16" remains of the pricker tube, and then inserted a good pricker wire/tube with the little "j" hook cut off to length, comparing to the original allowing for the portion inserted in the drilled out tube. Crimped it, and seemed good to go after checking the pricker wire running through the tip.

Now, to get that lantern back together and try it out!
Bob
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