Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

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Tgarner01
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Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#1

Post by Tgarner01 »

This recently came up in another thread and since I had one giving fits today I thought I'd share my process.

So you got a new cap gasket, oiled your pump leather, filled up with fuel & tied on some new mantles... You're ready to fire your grandpa's old lantern you found in the garage that has not been lit in 40 years correct? Sometimes that works, but often you open the valve the 1/4 turn and wait and wait and wait to hear the spitting of fuel and air coming through the generator but it never happens... This is a sign that your F/A (fuel & air) tube is restricted on the pickup end.

Sometimes you can pre-heat your generator and open the valve all the way to allow the metering rod to come clear of the pickup orfice and bypassing the air circuit. Basically like a Quicklite... Sometimes doing this a couple times is enough to allow the pickup to start allowing fuel between the pickup orfice and metering rod...

Then there is also times that no amount of opening and closing the valve will allow the metering rod to open as it has become stuck in the pickup orfice... As in this case. No amount of banging the lantern around would allow it to free up, so it was time to tear it apart. I like to fix these correctly... Not wish them well... It only takes a couple minutes to have a 220/228 stripped of it's guts. No sense in not fixing it correctly.

I and many others have covered how to disassemble these, so I will skip that step and start right at the dirty F/A tube.

Here is the dirty orfice with the valve closed and the metering rod protruding as it should.

Image

Now here it is with the valve all the way open, still with the metering rod protruding... This is not correct so we must disassemble further.

Image

Here is the dirty F/A tube removed and inverted showing even gravity and the help of a spring won't free the stuck metering rod.

Image

Some oven cleaner and a soft brush scrubbing cleaned the old fuel and verdigris from the F/A tube allowing for easy disassembling. So now we need to use some 0000 steel wool to polish the metering rod, especially on the pickup orfice end.

Image

Next we want to carefully scrub the pickup orfice. The trick here is too use something that won't remove any material from the orfice itself... Too large of an orfice will give a rich start up procedure. Altho I don't normally, the go to here is using a toothpick to scrub the orfice so that's what I have pictured.

Image

Incase you forgot, here is the correct orientation of the F/A assembly

Image

Now let's try again. Valve closed, metering rod protruding correctly.

Image

Now valve open and metering rod retracted correctly!! Woohoo! Let's reassemble the lantern.

Image

About a 1/4" of fuel in the fount pumped up ready to rock.

Image

Open the valve 1/4 turn about 15 seconds of air then the sound of spitting fuel that we listen for. Give it a flame and let it generate for a bit and open the valve all the way.

Image

This whole process took less than 15 minutes to complete. Why would we want to spend half a day fiddling and sprinkling fairy dust on it trying to wish it better?.. just fix it correctly👍

There's a common misconception that the fount needs to be full of fuel in order for the instant lighting system to work correctly... That is not the case. With a properly working F/A assembly there just needs to be fuel above the inner fuel tube of the F/A tube... A full fount will get a fuel/air mix quicker of course as the level is closer to the gen orfice.

My goodness... If I don't say F/A tube or orfice again for the next year it will be too soon 😳

Hope this was of some help to somebody 👍
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#2

Post by Leviticus_Tomethreus »

Hahaha. Fantastic instructional post!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#3

Post by Gunhippie »

Great tutorial, Toby!

I cut to the chase and just remove and clean everything on every lantern and stove I fettle. It's an extra minute or so to know I won't have to do another tear-down to fix something I missed.
Last edited by Gunhippie on Wed Sep 15, 2021 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#4

Post by D421 »

Great write-up and pictures Toby. I tend to clean F/A tubes on any lantern that looks or acts the least bit suspicious.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#5

Post by austin65uri »

Yes, very nicely done Toby!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#6

Post by Deanofid »

Yep, I'm with ya; Take it apart and just clean it and have it done with. Besides that, over the past few months fairy dust has skyrocketed in price, just like lumber. I dunno what's going on, but have my suspicions..
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#7

Post by Srp15 »

Excellent write-up and instruction on cleaning the F/A tube. I will put it the good use. Thank you!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#8

Post by uvarmint »

That was great! Even tho I am fluent in F/A operation, you gave me an ah ha! moment with the too large of a pickup hole giving a rich light up experience. I have at least one I may want to just replace the current F/A assembly
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#9

Post by ecblanks »

For the record, in Toby's example above, a preheat is not going to light that lantern, as no fuel can enter the bottom orifice.
Preheat only works if the rod is retracting, but the bottom orifice is gummed and isn't allowing in enough fuel to the air mix during the light-up phase.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#10

Post by Sierra_Roadrunner »

Thanks for your simple, easy to understand step by step pictures and instructions Toby . This should help the novice and serve as a refresher for those more advanced that forget procedures as time marches on.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#11

Post by Ridge Runner »

Nice pics and to-the-point process—good show, Toby!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#12

Post by RLW-67 »

Nice write up.

I've only done a couple, but I take them all apart and just do it from the get go. As you pointed out, a few minutes is all it takes and that's cheap peace of mind in my book.

I take apart brand new fishing reels when I get them and clean them out too... because I like fiddling with stuff.


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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#13

Post by Tgarner01 »

Thank you all for the kind words. I try to do these how to posts when I have a project that needs something done, but I often forget 😁 hopefully it will help someone in the future.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#14

Post by Bob1774 »

Nice job, with good photos to help the first timer!
I'm sure somewhere in the archives is a similar tutorial, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt if one of the mods agreed that this is an updated keeper.
The only thing I would add, is that with the price of good mantles, some may hesitate to destroy and then take a chance on two more mantles to get to the root of the problem, and just continue their frustration. If in doubt, or short on mantles, the lanterns can safely be fired up without mantles, although a generator pre-heat is helpful. After confirming the fuel/air circuit is running correctly with a couple of nice blue flame jets, add the mantles and enjoy! Well, after turning off the lantern and letting it cool!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#15

Post by MYN927 »

A great write up. With all the pictures and not-to-lengthy explation, it is clear and concise.
That should benefit both the old timers and newcomers.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#16

Post by MartyJ »

excellent tutorial both the pictures and writing style. Thanks Toby
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#17

Post by mtaylor4902 »

I’m new to this forum, but have already found it to be a big help. I’m in the process of re-building a 220F (11/69) lantern. I have rebuilt another Coleman lantern and a Coleman stove, but neither required a complete, ground-up rebuild… so in many ways, this is my first. The problem I’m having is the following: having gotten everything back together, when I lit the lantern the mantels burned very weakly and yellow. Also, a couple of black spots (maybe a quarter of an inch in diameter) appeared on the mantels. I should add that before lighting the lantern, I pressurized it and slowly opened the valve. I heard the typical hissing of air being released inside the burner, but the hissing never changed to a “spitting” noise. I suspected air, fuel and/or air-fuel mixture problems. I disassembled the lantern and checked the burner assembly. I had cleaned it thoroughly before, but re-cleaned it just in case. It looks fine… no bugs, spiders or nests! Next, I checked the air/fuel tube. I re-cleaned that too and it seems to be working very smoothly. I then put it back in the valve assembly and was surprised by a couple of things. When the valve is closed, the metering rod protrudes correctly. When I open the valve ¼ turn, there is no visible change in the position of the metering rod. In fact, it seems to stay in that position until I open the valve 1 ½ turns and then it pops down with a slight click. If I close the valve, the metering rod moves back up very smoothly. The rod itself seems to be in good shape… it’s clean with no nicks, etc. It does have a very, very slight bend in the middle… but it’s very slight. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#18

Post by zoomkat »

"When the valve is closed, the metering rod protrudes correctly. When I open the valve ¼ turn, there is no visible change in the position of the metering rod. In fact, it seems to stay in that position until I open the valve 1 ½ turns and then it pops down with a slight click. If I close the valve, the metering rod moves back up very smoothly."

One common reassembly error is to put the fuel control rod spring on top of the fuel control rod instead of underneath. When the fuel control valve is opened, the spring should push the fuel control rod up and out of the fuel pickup orifice. Your description of "pops down" and "moves back up" is not clear to me. I have lanterns that have fuel control rods that seem to "pop up" when the fuel control valve is about half way open.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#19

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mtaylor4902 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:21 pm I’m new to this forum, but have already found it to be a big help. I’m in the process of re-building a 220F (11/69) lantern. I have rebuilt another Coleman lantern and a Coleman stove, but neither required a complete, ground-up rebuild… so in many ways, this is my first. The problem I’m having is the following: having gotten everything back together, when I lit the lantern the mantels burned very weakly and yellow. Also, a couple of black spots (maybe a quarter of an inch in diameter) appeared on the mantels. I should add that before lighting the lantern, I pressurized it and slowly opened the valve. I heard the typical hissing of air being released inside the burner, but the hissing never changed to a “spitting” noise. I suspected air, fuel and/or air-fuel mixture problems. I disassembled the lantern and checked the burner assembly. I had cleaned it thoroughly before, but re-cleaned it just in case. It looks fine… no bugs, spiders or nests! Next, I checked the air/fuel tube. I re-cleaned that too and it seems to be working very smoothly. I then put it back in the valve assembly and was surprised by a couple of things. When the valve is closed, the metering rod protrudes correctly. When I open the valve ¼ turn, there is no visible change in the position of the metering rod. In fact, it seems to stay in that position until I open the valve 1 ½ turns and then it pops down with a slight click. If I close the valve, the metering rod moves back up very smoothly. The rod itself seems to be in good shape… it’s clean with no nicks, etc. It does have a very, very slight bend in the middle… but it’s very slight. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!
The metering rod should stay in place at the 1/4 turn... This allows the F/A tube to mix in air with the fuel being delivered to the generator... Then once the valve is nearly opened all the way the metering rod starts to move upward past the tapered end of the valve stem which then allows for a strait fuel delivery. I will see if I can locate a cutaway of a valve assembly add that will explain it better.

Here you go. Have a look at these illustrations.

viewtopic.php?p=202844
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#20

Post by mtaylor4902 »

"Your description of "pops down" and "moves back up" is not clear to me."

zoomcat, sorry, that wasn't said very well. What I meant was this... as I open the valve, the fuel control rod stays in the same place (closing the orifice) until the valve turns 1 1/2 turns and then the rod pops up suddenly, opening the orifice... it's not a gradual opening that I would expect. When I close the valve, the fuel control rod moves smoothly downward, closing the orifice.

Toby, thanks for the illustrations! So looking at the pictures, I would expect that as the metering rod moves upward past the tapered end of the valve stem, it would move up gradually, thereby gradually opening the orifice. Mine stays in the same position and then pops up suddenly. Maybe that's not a problem.

Besides fuel / air problems, is there anything else that could cause the mantels to burn weakly and yellow?
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#21

Post by Bob1774 »

Besides fuel / air problems, is there anything else that could cause the mantels to burn weakly and yellow?

Sometimes when you do a complete tear down, the fuel circuit still has some debris that gets clogged in the tip of the generator. Try spinning the tip cleaner repeatedly while the lantern is fully burning, and make sure you have pumped it up sufficiently.
You mention looking for spiders and nests, but unless you ran a wire through, they are sometimes not visible.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#22

Post by mtaylor4902 »

Thanks Bob,
I'll try spinning the tip cleaner repeatedly, as you suggested. Regarding the spiders and nests, I used my air compressor to blow out anything that might be up there and then used a small (soft) wire brush to clean out places I could get to... the one place I couldn't get to is the mixing chamber... I'll try to run a wire through and see what happens. Thanks again!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#23

Post by zoomkat »

"Besides fuel / air problems, is there anything else that could cause the mantels to burn weakly and yellow?"

The fuel control rod may be sticking a little, but as long as it is fully up when the fuel valve is fully open, then that part is functional. Once the fuel control valve is full open, spin the cleaning lever and pump the tank back up good and see if the mantles get brighter. One thing to watch for is fairly quick tank depressurization. A lantern left in the start mode or with a stuck down fuel control rod will depressurize fairly quickly. Was this the original issue with the lantern? There is a remote possibility for the inner fuel pickup tube to have a crack, be loose, or air leak, for some reason.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#24

Post by Gunhippie »

mtaylor4902 wrote: Thu Sep 16, 2021 8:50 pm Thanks Bob,
I'll try spinning the tip cleaner repeatedly, as you suggested. Regarding the spiders and nests, I used my air compressor to blow out anything that might be up there and then used a small (soft) wire brush to clean out places I could get to... the one place I couldn't get to is the mixing chamber... I'll try to run a wire through and see what happens. Thanks again!
There are several species of critters that like to build nests in tubes and holes that a compressor won't budge. Carpenter/Mason bees and Mud Daubers are the first that come to mind.

H2O2--Hydrogen peroxide--does and excellent job of breaking up most of these nests. A piece of bicycle control cable, frayed out on one end and spun with a drill works wonders for cleaning out some tight places if the peroxide fails.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#25

Post by zoomkat »

"H2O2--Hydrogen peroxide--does and excellent job of breaking up most of these nests."

Be aware that hydrogen peroxide can cause almost immediate rusting of unprotected steel surfaces. I like a little detergent in a cleaning solution as it helps break down water surface tension aiding penetration of materials.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#26

Post by Gunhippie »

I wasn't suggesting it be used for steel. Just for the air tubes and mixing chamber--which are steel on newer models, I know.

When I want steel to rust immediately, I use hydrochloric acid. It's even faster than peroxide.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#27

Post by sgodwin47 »

So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#28

Post by Tgarner01 »

sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:49 am So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
Sam I've used everything. Like you I have used red lock-tite on valves that have been overtightened and are therefore loose when clocked correctly. I've used silicone which I find to be a little messy. Blue lock-tite seems to work fine. Even installing the valve with threads dry seems to work well.

What I seem to use most is actually frowned upon be most here, which I do often it seems 😁 Yellow Teflon tape. Now you have to be aware of your clocking when reinstalling. Count your threads on removal and reinstall the same or check the height of the valve every turn until centered as you like.

Sam do what you feel best. Like I mentioned they all work for their intended purpose and don't let anyone tell you what you use won't. You will know 👍 happy fettling.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#29

Post by Sam_McCord »

Here is another vote for just removing the valve and giving the f/a tube a good cleaning. How else can you forget to reassemble the f/a to the valve, completely reassemble the lantern, and then realize the f/a tube is laying on the workbench??? Good times!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#30

Post by D421 »

sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:49 am So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
Samuel
I have never put sealant on a F/A tube. I would like to hear if others do.

I'm a blue loctite guy for the valve to fount connection. I do want to try the hardening Gasolia, just haven't found it locally.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#31

Post by sgodwin47 »

D421 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:10 pm
sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:49 am So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
Samuel
I have never put sealant on a F/A tube. I would like to hear if others do.

I'm a blue loctite guy for the valve to fount connection. I do want to try the hardening Gasolia, just haven't found it locally.
Bad terminology on my part, I actually mean the valve to fount connection. The Gasoila I have used to work great when I had to change nozzles, hoses, and swivels on gas pumps as a convenience store manager, but straight-up fireball on a 220. Very exciting, but I like boring...
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#32

Post by sgodwin47 »

Tgarner01 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:49 am
sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:49 am So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
Sam I've used everything. Like you I have used red lock-tite on valves that have been overtightened and are therefore loose when clocked correctly. I've used silicone which I find to be a little messy. Blue lock-tite seems to work fine. Even installing the valve with threads dry seems to work well.

What I seem to use most is actually frowned upon be most here, which I do often it seems 😁 Yellow Teflon tape. Now you have to be aware of your clocking when reinstalling. Count your threads on removal and reinstall the same or check the height of the valve every turn until centered as you like.

Sam do what you feel best. Like I mentioned they all work for their intended purpose and don't let anyone tell you what you use won't. You will know 👍 happy fettling.
I like your style! So, I'm really going to come see you someday if I get a chance. I'm working for the Red Cross out of Cape, and at some point I'm probably gonna head out to our Springfield office for a few days to work with our reps out there. If I do, I'll be in touch and try to make it to Aurora. I really wanna see that collection!
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#33

Post by Tgarner01 »

sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:44 pm
Tgarner01 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:49 am
sgodwin47 wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:49 am So, I know this has been discussed ad nauseam in other threads, but... Toby, what do you use for thread sealant when you reinstall the F/A tube? I was using some Gasoila sealant, because I know it's made for fuel and shouldn't degrade. However, it also doesn't really set and was very helpful in letting me experience my first good fireball... I've started using red Loctite, and it seems to work well (and dries pretty close to the original brown), but I'm curious what you use.
Sam I've used everything. Like you I have used red lock-tite on valves that have been overtightened and are therefore loose when clocked correctly. I've used silicone which I find to be a little messy. Blue lock-tite seems to work fine. Even installing the valve with threads dry seems to work well.

What I seem to use most is actually frowned upon be most here, which I do often it seems 😁 Yellow Teflon tape. Now you have to be aware of your clocking when reinstalling. Count your threads on removal and reinstall the same or check the height of the valve every turn until centered as you like.

Sam do what you feel best. Like I mentioned they all work for their intended purpose and don't let anyone tell you what you use won't. You will know 👍 happy fettling.
I like your style! So, I'm really going to come see you someday if I get a chance. I'm working for the Red Cross out of Cape, and at some point I'm probably gonna head out to our Springfield office for a few days to work with our reps out there. If I do, I'll be in touch and try to make it to Aurora. I really wanna see that collection!
You're welcome anytime 👍 thank you for your work with the Red Cross.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#34

Post by Murff »

Two observations to Toby's great pictorial.

The metering rod inserted up from the bottom of the pick up tube will remove and crude and not enlarge the whole, in lieu of a tooth pick.

For valve sealant, I use Permatex #2 not hardening thread sealer.
permatex.png
With Toby's permission, I can move this thread to the Tch Assist Archive.

Murff
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#35

Post by Tgarner01 »

Murff wrote: Fri Sep 17, 2021 8:43 pm Two observations to Toby's great pictorial.

The metering rod inserted up from the bottom of the pick up tube will remove and crude and not enlarge the whole, in lieu of a tooth pick.

For valve sealant, I use Permatex #2 not hardening thread sealer.

permatex.png

With Toby's permission, I can move this thread to the Tch Assist Archive.

Murff
Murff you're welcome to do with this post as you please.
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#36

Post by Tigerfans2 »

I need to sit down with Murff with some libations and have a good old time, old man argument😎

I posit that once the varnish has formed betwixt the hole and the rod, reinserting the cleaned and polished rod will not efficiently remove said varnish as the rod will simply be centered in the varnished hole from which it came.
I'm a big fan of using the round wooden, non brass destructing toothpick to root out the varnish much as one uses one's finger in one's nose to root out boogers.
I believe using Dean's electron microscope could settle this argument.

BTW,
spot on post Toby
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#37

Post by Chub380 »

Could the F/A tube be a reason for a lantern not burning as bright as it should? I just picked up a 1962 200a oiled the leather took the top all off and cleaned the burner and air tube took the generator apart and cleaned it all real good the spring and packing came right out so I could clean everything real nice. Put a new peerless mantle on and tried it and it just doesn’t get a nice white. The check valve is leaking a tiny bit but not enough that I couldn’t keep good pressure on the font anyone have any other ideas? I’ll try to post a pic of it
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#38

Post by Chub380 »

You can see the difference in the pic in one that seems to be running good and the other just so so
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Re: Cleaning a F/A tube with metering rod (long winded)

#39

Post by Chub380 »

They are both 99 mantles actually peerless 24a maybe I should be using 21a/2c-hg
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