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How to convert a Coleman 220 lantern to kerosene (Added preheat cup manufacture)

Discussion in 'Survival Forum' started by coastie, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    The Coleman 220s were made for a long time and in large numbers. They are found everywhere. I find them at yard sales often for $5-10 each. With Coleman fuel at about 9.00 a gallon and clear kerosene at about 4.00, you can save a lot of money on the fuel. It takes about 10 minutes to convert the lantern and about $20 dollars worth of parts.

    The parts are:
    A 200A generator #200A5891
    A 201 preheater cup #201-5101
    An alcohol bottle #201-5511

    They can be ordered directly from the Coleman website.

    [​IMG]

    The preheater in the picture is one I made as Coleman was out of stock.

    1. Remove the vent and globe from the lantern and remove the 220 generator. The tip cleaner lever needs to be pointing up. It takes a 7/16 wrench.
    [​IMG]

    2. Remove the tip from the 220 generator and replace it with the tip from the 200A generator. These do not have to be very tight. You need a small adjustable to remove them. BE CAREFUL NOT TO DAMAGE OR BEND THE THIN WIRE TIP OF THE CLEANING ROD!! It has to be able to pass through the tip to clean it.
    [​IMG]

    3. Replace the modified 220 generator in the lantern. Put the preheater cup on the generator before installation. In the first picture below you can see the tip cleaner and the hole it needs to go in. The second picture shows the preheater cup installed. Replace the vent and globe.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That’s it the conversion is done

    To light:
    1. Fill the lantern with kerosene and pressurize.
    2. Fill the alcohol bottle with alcohol. I am using Iso-heet. Then fill the preheater cup with alcohol.
    [​IMG]

    3. Light the alcohol. Second pic shows it fully lit.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    4. As the alcohol burns down and is almost out, open the fuel valve and the mantles will light.
    [​IMG]

    I found the directions on Doron’s Coleman site. For less than $30 you can have a good kerosene pressure lantern. Kerosene is my fuel of choice for emergencies. It is inexpensive and properly stored lasts for a very long time. I run it in my Aladdin, flat and round wick lanterns, a couple stoves and a heater. If you need to convert it back to Coleman fuel all you do is replace the tip.

    DISCLAIMER: This is for information purposes only. If you do this conversion, you do it at your own risk and are entirely responsible for the results. You are altering a product to use a fuel it was not originally designed to use.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
    6 people like this.
  2. Knob Creek

    Knob Creek NES Member

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    Wow cool post. I got my first 220 for my 13th birthday. That was 45 years ago and it still runs. Since then do you know how many Coleman lanterns I picked up at yard sales for about $2-5.00?'s?
     
  3. SemiAutoSam

    SemiAutoSam Banned

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    I have a collection of about 10 Coleman lanterns and 4-5 Deitz lanterns, this conversion has my attention, my only question is why ?

    I already have lanterns that use kerosene so why convert white gas lanterns to kerosene ?
     
  4. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    The Colemans put out a lot more light vs the Dietz lanterns. I have several Dietz and they are great if you dont need a lot of light. The Dietz use a lot less fuel also. A Dietz running a 7/8" wick is going to run about 110 hrs on a gallon of kero and put out about 12-14 cp. A kero Coleman will give 300 cp and burn a gallon of kero in about 50 hours. To me both have a place in my supplies.
    Most of the older Coleman kerosene lanterns are becoming collectors items and the new ones are quite expensive. 220s are everywhere and the parts are easy to find.
    Coleman fuel is more than twice what clear kero costs so I can store double the fuel for the same expense. For me kerosene is my preferred long term fuel. In sealed metal containers it last practically forever.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. powerman

    powerman NES Member

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    saved for reference. It looks like the A 201 preheater cup #201-5101 is temporalily unavaialbe and other sites showing not availabe, like no more. is there a work around, copper end cap? amazon has the generator for 7.00
     
  6. Jollyprez

    Jollyprez New Member

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    Where can you get clear kerosene for $4 / gallon?

    Thanks!

    Jolly
     
  7. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    I use a 3/4" copper end cap that I cut down to about 1/2" high. Drill an off center hole through it and then solder a 1/2" brass compression ferrule into it. I can take pictures if interested.
     
  8. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    As for the K-1. Buzzy Hanscoms on the on the Northbound side of the Rte 1 bypass in Portsmouth NH. They have a clear kero pump. It was 3.81 a couple weeks ago.
     
  9. Recommended for a "sticky" in the forum. Thanks coastie
     
  10. Please do!!!
     
  11. Twigg

    Twigg Member

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    Seconded. Great post coastie !
     
  12. SemiAutoSam

    SemiAutoSam Banned

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    Found them.
    http://www.newhampshiregasprices.com/Buzzy's_Bypass_Gas_Gas_Stations/Portsmouth/68925/index.aspx

    Buzzy's Bypass Gas Portsmouth NH 603 436 0141

    3.58 for red 4.00 for the clear.

    ETA: for you guys in New Hampshire anywhere near Buzzys, If I were you I would get as much of this fuel as your containers will hold.

    Its 10.00 a gallon on the west coast.

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  13. fbebb

    fbebb New Member

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    Ladies and gentleman, I have to put in my two cents here...hope you don't mind. Please exercise extreme caution with this thread. Coleman gas lanterns were not intended to burn kero and visa versa. Beyond the scientific differences in the two fuels, the lanterns are quite different also. A current gas lantern has a fuel/air mixture feeding the generator while the kero version does not include air into the fuel. The burner air systems are not the same, due to different flash points and air requirements. Gas lanterns like the 200 or 220 series are much more common (in the US) but finding a good used 201, 237 or 639 single mantle kero lantern is not really difficult either. The inherent dangers of burning gas or kero indicate one should only do it with a device engineered for it. I've played with a zillion "conversions" in lamps, lanterns and even stoves but sure recommend for safety purposes alone that you consider the risks. You can find more info on Coleman lanterns and such on my site at www.oldtowncoleman.com if you like. Retired Marine, Idaho born and patiently waiting for elk season next year...Semper Fi all.
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    What are the risks? I researched this a lot before I did it. I understand the differences between the kero and gas lanterns and lamps. The Coleman fuel lanterns have the instant lite system where as the kerosene still has to use the older straight tube with the preheater cup. But by using the preheater cup and then opening the valve all the way you essentially bypass the instant lite system. My understanding is that by changing the tip you are correcting the fuel-air ratio. I looked at a number of posts on the CCF and I didnt see any mention of safety hazards associated with this conversion. There are risks using any of these lanterns as they do have pressurized fuel in them but if there are serious safety issues with the conversions, please let me know and I will delete this post as I dont want anyone to get hurt.
     
  15. Jollyprez

    Jollyprez New Member

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    A Petromax lantern can use either fuel along with gasoline, naptha, jet fuel, and diesel. Now, the big difference between these fuels is volatility. Diesel, jet fuel, and kerosene are basically not very volatile. Fling a match into a bowl of these fuels, and the match will extinguish.

    Gasoline, white gas, etc. will definitely explode with that same match.

    However, once the fuel is pressurized and vaporized, they act much more similarly - one reason why the Petromax works as well as those multi-fuel stoves such as the MSR Dragonfly. The only difference comes into the size of the hole used to squirt the fuel into the mixing area.

    Jolly
     
  16. SemiAutoSam

    SemiAutoSam Banned

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    Maybe someone can identify the Coleman in the top pic. Looks somewhat like a 220 but the Bail attachment is totally not like the other 220 models. It also does not have a pump from what I can tell.

    327, 220D, 242A, 242B.

    [​IMG]

    Chrome tank series.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  17. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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  18. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    Making a preheater cup:

    Materials:
    ¾ inch copper end cap
    ½ inch compression ferrule

    [​IMG]

    Drill a 3/8 hole in the bottom of the end cap. It needs to be off centered so it fits between the generator and the air tube. I put the ferrule on the cap and trace it with a marker.

    [​IMG]

    Using a pipe cutter trim about a quarter inch from the end cap. While not necessary to make it function properly I think it looks better.

    [​IMG]

    Then slide the ferrule into the hole in the bottom of the cap

    [​IMG]

    Solder it in place. I am not the best with solder.

    [​IMG]

    That’s it you are done

    [​IMG]

    Materials cost about $2.00 at the hardware store. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to make one. I think the preheater cups are only a couple of bucks from Coleman but they aren’t in stock. If they were then I would just buy one.

    My disclaimer added to the first post still applies. You are playing with fire and do this at your own risk.
     
  19. powerman

    powerman NES Member

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    The solder doesn't melt witht he heat?
     
  20. coastie

    coastie NES Member

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    Hasnt yet. Most of the heat is actually above the preheater cup.
     

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