Coleman 550B field maintenance

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by skorpiius, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    Hi, I've decided to start expanding from my car-camping norm and head out for overnights on the trail. The key cooking apparatus that I'm bringing is my (somewhat heavy) Coleman 550B. To reduce the odds of having a malfunctioning stove hours from civilization I thought it would be good to bring a small maintenance/repair kit. I know there is a kit "available" as NOS, this: Exponent™ Stove Maintenance Kit

    But I'm wonder if the items there are actually what is likely to fail while out in the woods. I'm thinking failures might be more in the way of o-rings or other seals rather than a generator, although the included pump cup might be a good candidate.

    Thoughts? Should I track down the kit or make my own with different parts?

    -Chris
     
  2. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Take a look at the video below. Around the 15 minute mark the poster shows the O-rings on the valve spindle and at around 9 minutes those on the fuel/air stem. Potentially you could have leaks with those, the spindle in particular due to frequency of use.

    Maybe check those for wear prior to your camping season and replace if necessary. Old Coleman Parts as a source somebody? Or complete valve assembly as a spare more probably.
     
  4. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    There wasn't any video link but I like where you're going with that. My thoughts are to do annual inspection/maintenance, and maybe bring a complete valve assembly or similar along with me on trips.
     
  5. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner Subscriber

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  6. Tron

    Tron Subscriber

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    I used this stove for hiking/camping for many years, all I ever brought in the field was a spare generator.

    The NRV does not fail, at least not to the extent that you can not use the stove. The pump cup does not fail either. Or maybe it will dry out if you never use the stove and never oil the pump cup (there is a little hole in the collar for oiling the pump), mine has lasted three decades of heavy use.

    I would not rebuild the control valve in the field, but take care of it at home if the stove is not working correctly when you test fire it before the trip.

    I do think a spare generator AND tools to replace it is a must.

    Kind regards
    Tron
     
  7. HunterStovie

    HunterStovie United States Subscriber

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    @skorpiius

    First my disclaimer, I've only replaced parts on used stoves purchased from their previous owners to get them back up to speed. That being said.

    I've only had one part fail me far from home and it was the rubber pump cup on a 508A stove which has since been replaced with leather.

    It worked fine during the summer and failed while winter camping due to the cold temps. Luckily it was not my main stove.

    Mike
     
  8. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    Curious why a generator. Would a generator fail in the field by way of clogging? At the moment I only use Coleman fuel so I'm wondering if there is any worry there.
     
  9. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    That is a great reference, thanks
     
  10. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    Good to know. Currently I'm only doing 3 season camping so I don't expect to have to light the stove at temps below 0C/32F, but if I ever take it out during the winter I'll grab a leather cup
     
  11. Tron

    Tron Subscriber

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    I only us clean white gas, still the generator can "go off" after a lot of use. I have cleaned several, heating them with a blow torch.

    Tron
     
  12. ArchMc

    ArchMc Subscriber

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    I'm going to +1 @Tron on this. I think the main spare part to carry is a generator. Unless you can disassemble/maintain it in the field (and I don't think you can on this model), it represents a single point of failure for your stove. It's also a good idea to take the spare o-rings -- they weigh nothing, in any case.

    Yes, a generator can clog in the field.

    ....Arch
     
  13. Tron

    Tron Subscriber

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    I can expand a little on generators, they do clog in use, no matter how clean your fuel is. It is not a huge problem, generators are relatively simple to replace, not to expensive to buy and they can be cleaned. But you do not really know when they are going to give problems, the stove can work one day and have problems the next, even though the generators usually last a long time. It is one of the reasons I moved away from the small Coleman stoves for actual field use. I have never had to clean or rebuild stoves like the Optimus SVEA, Nova or Optifuel in the field, stoves without a generator. So when I am far away from home, have to rely on the one stove I brought and don't want to be doing field maintenance I bring one of the Optimus stoves.

    I still think the 550B is an excellent stove, and I use it a lot on short trips, car camping etc. I love the instant ligthing, no preheating, and excellent simmering.

    Tron
     
  14. skorpiius

    skorpiius Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone, time to put together a small kit!
     
  15. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    If you have a known good generator, the only items I would carry would be a fuel cap gasket and the o ring that often fails on the valve. I replaced the fragile cold weather blue one with a normal viton one. I don't camp at -30°.