Project 242B REBUILD

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Project 242B REBUILD


Post by Murff »

I haven't done one of these in a while and thought I would tackle a single mantle lantern this time. As many of you have done a 200A, the 242 is very similar in most aspects and I don't think I can improve much on the Single Mantle Rebuild tutorial: ... antern.htm

However, as much as the 242 & 200A have similarities, there are some substantial differences. This tutorial will attempt to point those out. Before proceeding, please be sure to read it all the way through. If I have forgotten anything, let me know and I will edit this as quickly as possible.

For this project, I found a 242B that is in about average condition. This one was made in March of 1941. Here is the patient:


She is dirty and in a non-working condition. The first thing we want to do is the disassembly.

After removing the bail handle and vent, remove the burner frame hold down nut:

As you can see in the next two pictures, this 242B has a seriously damaged burner frame that someone actually wired together.

Some of you may not realize, but the twin air tubes on a 242 does thread into the burner manifold:

Since the original is pretty much unsafe and useless, this donor will be used:

Next, remove the generator

Here you see the prick cleaner rod hooked to the eccentric block on the tip cleaner. To remove it easily, turn the tip cleaning lever in the up position:

Next, remove the frame rest. You may have to squeeze it a bit to become oblong shaped to get it past the valve stem nut:

Now, remove the screws on the pump plunger:

Don't forget the bottom one:

Here is the pump leather:

Not new, but still in usable condition.

As you can see here, someone put an iron fuel cap on this 242B:

I suppose it worked but we will put back on a more original piece from a donor 242:

One of the last things to come out of the fount is the valve assembly:

The easiest way to do this is to put the valve assembly in a bench vice upside down:

Place your hands on the bottom of the fount and twist the fount counter clockwise and it should loosen easily. Be sure to keep equal pressure on both sides of the fount so you don't tweek it.

Once it has become loose, it will twist off fairly easy:

Lastly, we take out the checkvalve:

Since we are disassembling, now take the valve assembly and remove the fuel/air pickup tube:

Next, and this is one of the major differences between a 242 and a 200A, remove the valve stem nut from the valve assembly:

In the next photo, you can see a lot of black hardened goo on the valse stem shaft:

To make things a bit easier, remove the crap with some steel wool.

Next, slide the valve stem packing nut as close to the valve knob as you can:

In this photo, you can see a ring on the shaft in the groove:

This ring has to come off to replace the valve stem packing:

If you are not going to replace the valve stem packing, you can skip this step!

Try and get a screwdriver into the gap in tne ring. It has a split in it that I hve widened in this photo:

Here, I have the ring opened enough to remove it from the shaft:

Next, remove the valve stem packing ring:

Now remove the packing nut:

Next, we will remove the old valse stem packing. To do this, find an old screwdriver and insert it into the valve stem nut like this:

Hit the end of the screwdriver with a hammer, not hard! The packing is soft and will split easily. After
hitting the screwdriver with the hammer, turn the screwdriver 90 degrees in the valve stem nut and hit it again. Now turn the screwdriver 45 degrees and hit it again with the hammer. Now turn the screwdriver 90 degrees and hit it one last time. You have essentially cut the old packing into eighths. This will make removing it from the nut a bit easier:

Now scrape out what is stuck to the threads with a sharp tool. I use the pointy blade in a Swiss army knife here:

There will be a lot of pieces:

Next, I put most of the brass parts into vinegar for cleaning:


The replacement burner frame went into some diluted hydrochloric acid for about 30 minutes to remove rust and corrosion. When it came out, I hit the manifold with a wire brush and the rest of the burner frame with some steel wool.

24 Hours in vinegar is safer than the hydrochloric acid

Burner frame before cleaning:

After the acid bath:

While the burner frame was bathing, I cleaned the inside of the fount with some gasoline. As the tank rinsed out with little rust, there was no need for the "BB dance".

Next, I cleaned the fount with the old standby, Simple Green.

Fount before cleaning:

I like to spray the fount heavily and let sit for a few moments and then use a small bristle brush to clean it.

Fount after the Simple Green cleaning doesn't look bad:

However, let's try to make it a bit prettier with this:

Some photos of fount after using Mother's:

The same treatment is used on the frame rest.



Now to clean up the vent.


After a cleaning with SG and then some spray glass cleaner:

When not in a hurry, I will usually leave the small parts in vinegar for about 4 hours. I suggest not leaving the brass parts in for longer than that. I once left some 220 valve stems in vinegar for five days once. I had three brass finishing nails when I remembered them.

Here, you see the brass parts just out of the vinegar:

Here, after the parts have been buffed with some 0000 steel wool:

Next, I clean the check valve with carb cleaner:

For some reason, when I first read about burning out the old fuel cap gasket in the earlier tutorials, I felt a bit intimidated. That's why most of my early restoration projects have one-piece fuel caps.

Well, it ain't that hard to do. So, the first thing to do is put the fuel cap on the fount, tight!

Then, remove the fuel cap screw:

Remove the fuel cap and the gasket insert.

If you do not have a propane torch, get one. It is one of the best tools for this hobby!

Take the fuel cap insert and put it on a brick or similat non-combustionable surface. No, a cardboard box will not work.

Heat the insert to burn out the old gasket:

When done, the gasket will look like this:

After the gasket has cooled. take a sharp tool and pry out the old gasket. I like the Swiss army knife pointy blade:

The insert will resemble this when done:

In the next three photos, I start the new gasket evenly on the top of the insert: (sorry for the blurry pic here)

I work the new gasket down slowly with a small flat edge screw driver. Here, the gasket is halfway on:

Here, the gasket is seated nice and flat in the groove:

The last item to make sure is clean, is the fuel & air pickup tube:

First, shoot some carb cleaner into it:

Now take the rod and clean it with some steel wool:

Take the rod and place it into the bottom end of the tube. This will ensure that the hole is clear and will not enlarge it.

In the next photo, please notice the hole in the pickup tube that is just under the "nut" portion of the tube. This is the "air" part of the fuel & air tube.

If you have compressed air, blow out the fuel & air tube. While doing so, put your finger over the fuel pick up hole in the bottom of the tube. You should feel air coming out of the "air" hole. Now put your finger over the air hole(s). (Sometimes, there are two!) You should feel air coming out of the fuel hole. You can also put the F & A tube up to your lips and blow through it to do this test to make sure nothing is blocked.

Lastly, take the spring that came off of the rod and stretch it slightly. As it came out:

I never get the spring stretched very evenly, but here's what I am talking about after it is stretched:

I believe that is the end of the cleaning segment of Project 242B.


First, we will reistall the checkvalve:

Tighten the checkvalve, but not too tight! You may have to remove it again someday!

Next, we will use some Neat's Foot Oil on the pump leather. Put it on both sides of the leather and work it into the leather.

Now, put the air stem into the pump plunger and install the pump plunger into the pump tube. You may have to work the leather a little around the edges to get it in.

Go ahead and put the scews in the pump assembly. If you are like me and wait, it gets real hard to put in the top screw if the burner assembly is on the fount.

Next, get your fuel cap insert and place it on the fuel fill hole:

Put the fuel cap over the insert and tighten it down:

Now put in the screw and tighten it:

Next, we reassemble the valve assembly starting with the valve stem:

First, put on the valve packing nut:

We will need one of these next:

Then, put the valve stem packing onto the stem:

Next is the valve packing compression ring. Do not forget this! If you do, your lantern could become a flaming disaster! (Don't ask how I know!)

Look closely at this ring. One side is flat and the other is concaved. The flat side goes against the valve packing, the concave toward the split ring.

Next is the split ring:

Put the ring onto the groove on the stem:

Next, use a needle nose plier to squeeze the ring back into place in the groove. You may need to squeeze the ring in a couple of places to get it tight.

Here is the valve stem assembly completed:

Next, put the valve stem assembly into the valve:

Screw in the valve wheel all the way and then tighted the packing nut, This can be finger loose as we will tighten up more later.

Next, put the spring on the rod of the fuel & air tube and insert the rod into the tube. Then attach the F & A tube to the valve assembly

There can be a difference of opinion on the next step, but when I install a valve assembly into a fount during a restoration, I use a little Permatex 2 on the valve threads.

Now install the valve assembly into the fount:

When we disassembled this lantern, the valve wheel was over the Coleman embossing logo. I have seen lanterns poitioned both ways. But, since the valve assembly was snugly seated 180 degrees from where it started, I left it at that orientation.

Put on the frame rest next.

Get the generator nut on the generator and install the generator. Put the tip cleaner lever in the up position to attach the tip cleaner rod to the eccentric block, Once hooked, turn it to the down position to hold the generator in place. Tighten the generator nut.

Here's the fount with generator and frame rest in place:

Now fuel the fount about 1/4 full with freshh Coleman fuel. Get your wrench ready for the valve stem packing nut:

S-L-O-W-L-Y pump the lantern about five strokes. Watch around the valve stem packing. You will most likely see fuel leaking. Start tightening the packing nut. This may take a bit of tightening, so take your time. Run your finger under the valve stem and see if it is wet.

If so, continue to tighten. Be sure to not over tighten as your valve will become unbearably hard to turn!

Once you are satisfied the leaking has stopped, pump the lantern some more. Preferrably, 50 strokes or more. Wait about 5 minutes and once more check the valve, and the rest of the foun
t for leaks.

If no leaks, great! Now you can check to make sure that the generator is passing fuel. Open the valve wheel slightly, with a rag or paper towel just above it and on the fount, to catch most of the fuel as it should spray a pretty steady stream. If you do not see a stream, turn the tip cleaning lever several times and see if that clears any obstruction.

Next, install the burner frame onto the fount. Be sure to align the generator into the manifold.

Put on the frame hold down nut and tighten.

Since this lantern is a bit elderly, I thought she deserved an elderly mantle:

Burning off the mantle:

Letting the mantle cool to white ash:

A note of caution here! When you strectch the spring a bit, it allows a little more fuel to flow when the valve wheel is opened. A quarter turn is probably too mcuh. Just open the valve a little when you go to light it!

Lighting her up:

Add the globe, vent and bail handle and Project 242B is completed.

Brent asks the method I used to remove the air tubes from the burner frame assembly. Normally, I would never remove them. Except in this case, the one air tube was broken at the threads. As for removing the second one, I was lucky and it was loose.

Like most stuck threads on Coleman lanterns, there is the heat and quench method. Use your propane torch to heat the threads and I mean "hotter then the fires of hell and damnation"! Then, quckly put the part into water. You may have to do this a number of times. It would be beneficial to have some tube pliers to twist the air tubes without damaging them.

That completes Project 242B. I hope you find it useful in the restoration of your lantern. The other 242s are similar to the 242B and in most aspects are the same. (I know! The pump is different on the 242 & 242A)

Name: Murff   ICCC Member #726 
Coleman Blue's 243's #002   Ebay Handle: Happy-campers2 
EX-ICCC Newsletter Editor & Full time Coleman Addiction Enabler
Part-time Idito and Hater of Turd 275s
User avatar
Posts: 1164
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:45 am
Title: Guy Who Knows Just Enough To Cause Trouble

Project 242B REBUILD


Post by Murff »

Guess I wasn't clear regarding the removal of the air tubes. The only reason the manifold was taken off of the air tubes was because one was broken. I just took the opprotunity to show that the manifold was removable and the air tubes threaded into the manifold. Unless there is something wrong or broken on the burner frame, there is no reason to disassemble it.

Yes, the entire burner frame went in the acid bath. The HCL is basically toilet bowl cleaner, but in this case it was muriatic acid I picked up at the local hardware store. I diluted it by three parts water to z part muriatic acid. If you decide to try it, fill your container with water first and add the acid to the water. If you do the acid first, the water may splash the acid on you. You can dispose of the HCL into your toilet.

This is pretty nasty stuff and after using it, I think I prefer the use of vingar. The vinegar will take 24 hours, but it is not as corrosive or toxic.

Name: Murff   ICCC Member #726 
Coleman Blue's 243's #002   Ebay Handle: Happy-campers2 
EX-ICCC Newsletter Editor & Full time Coleman Addiction Enabler
Part-time Idito and Hater of Turd 275s