1973 MSR #9, with original instructions!

Discussion in 'MSR - Mountain Safety Research' started by Doc Mark, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Greetings, Stovies,

    Quite a while back, I was blessed to come into an MSR #9. This happened through the kindness of a fellow CCS member, who already had a #9, but was in negotiations to get another one. He knew I really wanted one of these, and so decided to put me in touch with the seller, from whom I bought this stove!! Thank you, Duane, @hikerduane , for your kindness and friendship!

    The seller was the original owner, who bought the stove in 1973. And, with the stove, came the original, white, square regulating knob pump...AND, when it cracked, as most of them did, the replacement pump that MSR send him, for free! The package also contained another pump, which ended up being the one the seller used until he sold me his stove. So, here's my MSR #9, and all the goodies that came with it, and also a few that I've added to the package. I carry my #9 in a padded case, meant originally for a hobby light/lamp, and it works pretty good. I think, however, that this special stove deserves something better, and will buy one of the new Outdoor Research padded bags for it, soon!

    A.jpg
    And the contents, include:

    B.jpg

    The screwdriver tool did not come with this kit, but it's an older one from MSR, and works well with the #9. So, it has a new home here. Please note the heavily scalloped burner bell, and also the short, stubby pot support arms. Both are hallmarks of the #9, and you'll not see them on any other MSR stove.

    C.jpg

    Let's take a closer look, shall we?!!

    D.jpg

    E.jpg

    Later versions of the #9 did not have scallops that were this heavy and pronounced. Rather, they were there, but almost indistinct. Here's the fiberboard bottom of the burner setup. You can see it's missing a chip, and deduce that this material was not as robust as one might want. This quickly led MSR to come up with the black, phenolic/bakelite bottom that appears on the #9A, and all other models, until the X-GK made it's appearance in the 1980's.

    F.jpg

    UP next is the MSR "simmering plate", which is, if memory serves, nothing more than the top of a #10 tin can!!! Well, what the heck! It does work, after a fashion, and though simmering is not the strong suit of the #9, it can be done, with careful handling. Note, again, the MSR tool, which did not come with the stove, originally, but with soon to appear, later stove models.

    G.jpg

    Now, onto the pump(s)! Ahhh.... the pumps for the original #9 have a convoluted path, indeed! The original pump was white, and had a square knob on the regulating control. The plastic soon cracked, and MSR developed a replacement, made of a slightly different type of plastic. It, too, either cracked, or became misshapen, or both! So, MSR came out with what most of us thought was the first yellow pump. Of course, we were wrong about that!!

    H.jpg
    The owner of this #9 was interesting in several ways. First, he kept all the stuff that came with his stove, even as the pumps cracked, and were replaced. Second, MSR recommended always moving the heavy paper label/instructions, to whatever pump was being used. And, this owner, did exactly that!! So his poor tag, which is in fairly nasty condition, was moved from the white pump, to the yellow replacement, and to it's replacement, as well. Hence, it's poor, but still readable condition!! You can see the wire, and reinforcement tabs, which have broken free of the label, on the top yellow pump! Cool, actually, that the owner did exactly as MSR recommended!!

    So, moving right to left: The original white pump, the first replacement (or WAS it?!?! More on that soon....), and the second replacement, on which you can see the wire and tabs of the label. I'll include two shots of the label, too, just for fun.

    I.jpg

    J.jpg

    K.jpg
    Note the wire and tabs on the first good yellow pump, which the owner used, after the first two pumps were damaged.

    L.jpg
    Speaking of damage, here's typical damage of the first two pumps that MSR included with the #9. See the crack, just beginning, under the fuel line insert spot?!

    M.jpg

    Another shot of the crack, and also the deformation of the plastic. Sadly, the first yellow pump faired little better, and also deformed in use!

    N.jpg


    O.jpg

    The first good, and fairly reliable yellow pump was the next one, and the owner of this stove moved through them until he had this next pump, which, though in need of a rebuild, is strong enough to keep using, should one wish to do that!

    P.jpg

    But WAIT!!! I told you earlier that the first replacement yellow pump might not have been first, but instead, second replacement!! I have no proof, but after this next pump came to live here, I now have strong doubts that the yellow pump was the first replacement!! I think, instead, that THIS pump was the first replacement sent out by MSR!!!

    Q.jpg

    R.jpg

    S.jpg

    T.jpg

    So, here the first three are, all together, but imagine the two white pumps coming in 1st, and 2nd, with the similar yellow pump coming in 3rd!!! Interesting conundrum, isn't it?!!?! You can see the second white pump already beginning to crack! So, I believe it was #2, and had to be replaced, just like the first white pump did.

    U.jpg

    Now, today, the pump I actually use with this excellent #9, is the newest MSR offering, and it works wonderfully!! However, I also rebuilt the last yellow pump, which I think is the best of that breed, and can use it, too, safe in the knowledge that it will keep working reliably, and safely!

    V.jpg

    W.jpg

    By the way, I dated my stove to 1973 for several reasons. First of all, the seller told me he bought the stove in that year. Next, the instructions have no date on them at all. My thought is that Larry Penberthy did not plan on updating the #9, and thus did not feel it was necessary to date the instructions. Also, when comparing them to what I can see of Mad Monte Dodge's #9 in the Reference Gallery, my instructions and stove are the same as his, and he bought his stove in 1973!

    MSR No:9 - 1973

    I'll post the instructions in a bit. Right now, we need to see some flame shots, don't we!!?!

    X.jpg

    Y.jpg

    And, my most favorite MSR #9 flame shot, which most of you have seen before, is this one!! What a powerful stove the #9 is!! In my experience, NO other MSR version of this family of stoves can best it, when it comes to raw power!!

    Z.jpg

    Below are the 1973 instructions. Note how simple they are, and if you look at what you can see of Monte's 1973 instructions, you will see that they are the same.

    Note the warning in the last box on page one!! ".... if you are not comfortable with this stove, please return it for a full refund"!!! WOW!! That's something very interesting!! I like it!

    Thanks for wading through all this! I love this stove, and after having bought it, and used it, this MSR #9 has vaulted to the top of my favorite MSR stove list!! I hope this has been helpful, and at least thought-provoking, for those of you who, like me, love the MSR #9, and the entire X-GK family!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
  2. snwcmpr

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    :)
    Very nice. Well written.
    Drooling now.
     
  3. Smiles69

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    Yeah, me too. Shouldn't this have been in the classified section?

    Scott
     
  4. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    @snw, Ken,

    Thank you, very much, Good Sir, and also, sincere thanks for helping me put together a totally missing part of the #9 story. You didn't give me permission to mention you, so I did not do so. But, I'll not forget your kindness, and I truly appreciate your friendship!! God Bless!

    Doc
     
  5. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, @Smiles69

    Scott, nah!! Maybe someday..... but most certainly not whilst I'm enjoying it so very much!! When I'm old, and feeble, and need the coin, THEN I might consider selling it. But, not until them!! Thanks for the PT note. I got a smile out of it!! ;) :content:

    Doc
     
  6. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, All,

    Just talked to @snwcmpr , and as it's OK with him, I will tell you that it was Ken who helped who helped me find an important missing piece of this MSR puzzle!! He gave me that second white pump, and after he did so, the pieces of the story began to make more sense! So, big thanks to you, Brother Ken, for your kind generosity, and because you are the good man that you are, I've been able to post the story of my #9!! Many thanks, once again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  7. Retro Camper

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    Thank you Doc for a masterclass in stove information. I'm trying to be loyal to the Optimus brand but these MSR liquid fuel stoves keep winking at me!
     
  8. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, @Retro Camper ,

    You are most welcome, and thank you for the kind words! I dearly love MSR liquid fueled stoves, and some of their cartridge models, too. About the only MSR stove for which I have NO use, is the original V1 Whisperlite International. That one was a dog, but once it was redesigned, with a much larger generator loop, it became a great and reliable model!! MSR have marketed some great pumps, and some that, IMHO, are totally dangerous!! But, as long as you stay away from the crapppy ones, you are good to go!! Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  9. IvanN

    IvanN United States Subscriber

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    A good bit of history that. And well presented, what with the pictures and all! :)
     
  10. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr Subscriber

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    Back story.
    The pump was supposed to be without cracks.
    I could have returned it and gotten a refund. Instead I gave it to someone that would do little more than let it set on a shelf.
    :)
     
  11. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

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    I get first refusal if you ever sell the white pump! If I had only known that stove had the white pump. :(
    I have two prototypes and one whitish yellow pump with a model G. That all yellow pump is rare, have only seen one other for sale since I obtained mine.
    Duane
     
  12. snwcmpr

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    He cannot sell a gift my friend. :)
     
  13. Doc Mark

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    Heiu, @hikerduane ,


    Ken, @snwcmpr , is right. Though I got the original white pump with the stove, from the seller, Ken gave me the second white pump, and that's the one that ties it all together, history-wise!! Interestingly, I've already had an offer to buy the whole kit, but even though the price was generous, I have NO plans to ever sell it, unless dire circumstances would require such a thing. And, then, the price would have to be FAR higher than the offer made!! No worries, Ken: your kind and generous gift is safe with me, Brother!!! I'm still stoked to have finally posted all this, as it's been "waiting in the wings" as it were, for quite a while!! Ken's pump is the glue that holds it all together, though, and so, I decided to go ahead an post this. Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc (who is just finishing his left-over pizza, and beer, and getting back to work..... in a bit!)
     
  14. idahostoveguy

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    Fantastic Mark. Your No. 9 is burning bright and blue!

    Sam
     
  15. Doc Mark

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    Evening, Sam!

    Great to hear from you, Old Friend!! I hope all is well with you and yours, and that life is good! Thanks for the kind words. I love this stove, and trust it, completely!! Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Mark
     
  16. hikerduane

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    Guess I'm confused, but glad all is going well.
    Duane
     
  17. Doc Mark

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    Evening, Duane,

    I figure you're talking about the original white pump that was sold with the 3(, which came with mine, right? Ken's talking about the first replacement for that pump, the other white one, which he gifted me. No matter, as I would be keeping the entire setup as it should be, so as to preserve the history of this stove. But, I understood what you meant, and appreciate your comments! Talk to you soon, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  18. DAVE GIBSON

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    a well know canoe guide and "how to camp" author here in Minnesota called these stoves
    Tinker Toys. he is a fan of the 123 type white gas stoves.
    putting the MSR stove together at every use put to much stress on the parts
    which may be why the pumps crack.
    I have this stove but never used it on canoe trips because the
    gas line looked like it would bend in the pack.
     
  19. Doc Mark

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    Hey, Dave,

    WOW!! You have an MSR #9??!!! That's great, as it's a rare and not oft found model. My first MSR was the X-GK, though I have all the earlier models, now. Did you get the white pump with square regulating knob with your #9? That, too, is exceedingly rare. So, you are a lucky and blessed man, my Friend!!

    As to your friend, would that be Cliff Jacobson, by any chance? I read all his books, back when we lived in Minneapolis, and he was sort of a Guru, when we started canoeing. I recall that he loved the 111B, and took along a SVEA 123 as a backup stove. He considered the MSR stove to be better for backpacking, but didn't seem too impressed with it. In truth, he was wrong about the reliability of the MSR stove, though. My 1973 Model 9 still works just like new. All of the X-GK family are reliable, easy to maintain, and work wonderfully. I think a Model 9, 9A, G, GK, and X-GK would be great for canoeing, as they weigh next to nothing, and are super reliable. In all my years of carrying and using an X-GK, I've never bent anything on it, including the fuel line. Assembling is easy, and does not tax the parts, at all. Regular maintenance is required, changing o-rings, gaskets and pips, just as you do on the 111B, or any other stove. Nah, Ol' Cliff knew a lot, but he was a tad off when talking about the MSR stoves, IMHO. I'd loved to have met him, though. Oh, and the earliest MSR pumps were made of a weak plastic. They got better with the yellow pumps, then went through another "weak" period, when MSR was sold to REI, and other companies. The newest MSR pump is super reliable, and a real workhorse, and I recommend using that one on most all MSR stoves that need such a pump, old, and new.

    I'd love to see photos of your #9, Dave. If you get time, please do post them here. Always happy to meet another #9 owner!! Thanks for posting, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  20. HaakonJ

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    A very interesting, well written and detailed post, @Doc Mark ! I have no personal experience with MSR stoves, but many of them look like solid products. I haven't used stoves with a fuel line and bottle/pump since my horrid experience with a sudden NRV leak from an Omnifuel pump. If I decide to use one again, I might go for an MSR. I'll keep an eye out for the #9 with a white pump ;)

    Håkon