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Old 10-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #15
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Don't know how many folks know this but, the mantles used in these old lanterns are radioactive. They contain thorium and that is what makes the mantle harden after it is lit. That is why you are advised not to use it in doors. I worked at Oak Ridge National Lab and almost every geiger counter was calibrated with an unopened mantle package.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:30 AM   #16
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Don't know how many folks know this but, the mantles used in these old lanterns are radioactive. They contain thorium and that is what makes the mantle harden after it is lit. That is why you are advised not to use it in doors. I worked at Oak Ridge National Lab and almost every geiger counter was calibrated with an unopened mantle package.
hmmm, so I can glow in the dark like the lantern... Cool !!
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #17
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Monkey,

We have a collection (well, not a collection per se more like an accumulation) of Coleman lanterns. Most are single mantel and none are as new as yours. The are fueled and hanging in strategic places for when the lights go down again.

So,
If the little Up To Light lever does not move easily, disassemble the lantern and undo the compression nut that holds the generator (vertical brass tube in place and carefully remove that tube. Inside it will be a rod that has a tiny thin wire on the end. It is hooked into the UTL lever. Be very careful of those parts.
Will the UTL lever turn now?
If yes, then the problem was in the generator. I will get to that later.
The UTL lever is in a packing gland and if it won't move, you will have to loosen it up and put a little bit of oil in there.
When that moves, it moves the rod in the generator up and down. The fine wire on the tip of the rod is important. That wire does two things, one is to throttle down the flow while it is liquid - kind of like the choke on a gas engine, the other is clean the orifice in the top of the generator. If you take the rod and try to gently push it into the orifice and it doesn't want to go, then get a can of carburetor cleaner and try to wash the generator clean.
Once you get all the parts working right, put it all back together and burn a pair of mantels on it an go.

When you get good at it, you can use the lantern to burn the mantel and the use the spark of the new mantel to light the lantern.

Matt
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:39 PM   #18
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I grew up in Wichita Kansas. Had Cessna ash trays, Beach model planes an Uncle at Boeing. Everyone did. And a permanent burn in the palm of my left hand from putting my hand down on the brass knob on top of a Coleman lantern in order to pump it up when the first pump began to wear off. Right of passage.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:11 PM   #19
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Once again, I just can't thank all of you enough.. Mattc,, great detailed info !! And off note, njs42, I worked a couple months (many moons ago) in Wichita KS, doing hydraulic mods on our aircraft for what was then Air Midwest. Seemed like the wind never quit blowing... As I get older,, these old 'family' things mean so much more to me... I can't wait to fire it up !
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:16 PM   #20
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Keep one gas lantern and one stove in the RV and 2 lanterns and a stove at the house for emergencies. Also have one propane stove I picked up at a garage sale and figure I'll pick up a propane lantern or two before all is done.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #21
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That PDF is fantastic !! Part numbers and everything !! Thankyou SO MUCH !!!!!!

Took me about 1 minute to find it using Google.. (Hey, I used good search terms) I do a lot of Googling.

I also have one in the basement here, Had it for a long time now. They work great.. True story....

When Daughter was in college, before we got the RV, The lights went out in Detroit.... I came home from work (I got off work at 11pm) Went out to the trailer we had before we got the "A", grabbed a tub labeled LIGHTS, got out a couple of colemans including one of those,, Fired them up and hung them up inside, House was nice lit up all normal like.. Daughter did her homework to the sound of cars suddenly stopping and backing up in an attempt to figure out how come WE had lights.

I think I had one gasoline (Coleman fuel) and 2 propane lanterns, Around 400 Watts of light, going in the living room and kitchen.

Daughter arrived at class next morning, handed in her homework.. Most of her classmates... Handed in excuses .


Once we got the "A" with the Onan, I did it differently (Electrically)
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #22
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Ok, now for the safety crew since I grew up on these too. Don't make the dumb mistake of deciding to check the nut on top if it has been running. Instant blisters.

For some trivia. I don't know if the current mantles will do it but the ones in the past will make radiation detectors activate. So will old airplane instruments that had their dial faces painted with glow in the dark paint.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:16 AM   #23
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I have another question,,, or two... Can I polish the "outside" of the brass parts such as with Brasso etc,, (inside the globe) to make it look new again ? I wouldn't want any reaction with the flame/heat. And,, is there something special I need to do as in travel in the motorhome,, to prevent bouncing too much ? I figure these were made to travel,,, I just don't want to pull it out of a basement storage in our older P32 chassis, and have the mantels or such falling apart... Thanks again, Monkey
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #24
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I have another question,,, or two... Can I polish the "outside" of the brass parts such as with Brasso etc,, (inside the globe) to make it look new again ? I wouldn't want any reaction with the flame/heat. And,, is there something special I need to do as in travel in the motorhome,, to prevent bouncing too much ? I figure these were made to travel,,, I just don't want to pull it out of a basement storage in our older P32 chassis, and have the mantels or such falling apart... Thanks again, Monkey
It does not take much jarring to turn a mantle to dust once they are burned. No big deal just put others on.

These are pretty sturdy but thinking it over (it's been a long time) store it up right in some manner where it will stay that way, protect the glass, bleed any pressure in the tank, make sure the knobs/levers are off and perhaps secure the hanging wire so it does not flop.

When family camping as a kid I remember ours road unceremoniously in a cardboard box along with other stuff in the rear of the station wagon. It was unscathed having suffered all the abuse five children and two adults, wind, rain, dust, snow, heat, cold and neglect could throw at it and lit every time.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:41 AM   #25
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PS: As far a cleaning there is nothing like the patina of age to endear yourself to one of these; which would be my preference.

But I would not hesitate to clean the brass with brasso if I was so inclined. Remove cleaner as best you can and if you do burn off will be slight if any. Use common sense, follow directions on product containers.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #26
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PS: As far a cleaning there is nothing like the patina of age to endear yourself to one of these; which would be my preference.

But I would not hesitate to clean the brass with brasso if I was so inclined. Remove cleaner as best you can and if you do burn off will be slight if any. Use common sense, follow directions on product containers.
Thankyou njs42.. (Norm) After some thought,,, (I'm tired), I may just leave it "vintage" looking... And when traveling, I'll put on our list a couple extra mantels...
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #27
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Heres the straight info from the colman factory; Do not use unleaded gas in a coleman lantern, never, never, never, even in the dual fuel colmans; they will burn unleaded but you will be replaceing parts real fast. burn either coleman fuel or the off brand that you can buy for a little less; trust me on this, I"ve been down this road.

Useing anything but coleman fuel or the off brand fuel will plug up the generator with junk real fast.
If the generator gets pluged the fuel won't get to the mantels and they either won't burn or if they do burn won't be very bright.
I have two lanterns that I"ve had for 40 years and they both work great.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:20 PM   #28
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I was at a Walmart in Cortez, CO last month and they had several of the white gas Coleman lanterns in stock. I couldn't believe it! I thought they quit making them years ago, you know, too dangerous and all that BS. Guess I was wrong.
Ahh, the hiss of a gas Coleman lantern brings back memories of my childhood like nothing else. Dad tending the campfire and shadows from the lantern on the canvas sides of the tent as I drifted off to sleep. Some of my best childhood memories were made tent camping in the early 60's.
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