Help creating / bending Coleman 400 Generator

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Boron40, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. Boron40 United States

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    You guys are amazing. I am new to CCS and I thought I knew a lot about stoves but after coming here I find I know nothing. I don't even know how to follow along on your discourses. Some of you talk about whipping up a valve via brazing and machining and I am thinking, "WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?"!

    I've decent mechanical skills, but I've never worked in a machine shop, etc. And then somebody offhandedly mentions converting a generator from one stove to another. OMG! That never entered my brain but I am up for it.

    Does anybody have advice and/or pics or a tutorial on how to do that. I need a generator for the Coleman 400 and 400A. The one with the integrated 2nd valve with the black "knob" or "nub".

    I'm a Coleman backpack-stove guy. Unfortunately, they're NOT even remotely usable for real backpacking due to weight and size constraints. I love the 400 and 400A (kudos to the 576!!!). FANTASTIC, BRILLIANT STOVE!!! Not a fan of the 400B (hate it) or all the other single burners. (With the exception of the APEX I & II, Fyrestorm, and Denali but I digress! FYI: These, are fine for backpacking!)

    s-l1600.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2021
  2. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    As for those genius fettlers here, many of us longtimers are in awe of them, too!

    Welcome to CCS.
     
  3. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    I would guess the Coleman 400 stoves have travelled thousands of cumulative miles in the backpacks of CCS members, so I am sure many will not agree with your assessment of that stove.
     
  4. Majicwrench

    Majicwrench Subscriber

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    My 576 was one of my very first Coleman stoves. Hated it till I read----and faithfully followed to the letter----the instructions on how to light the silly thing
     
  5. Boron40 United States

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    Hi BradB. I hope its OK if I have an opinion. I certainly didn't mean to ruffle any feathers. If others think its not a good stove I am fine with that. I still think it's a FANTASTIC, BRILLIANT STOVE!

    I came to this site looking for help with generators, not much else. Some of the guys here seem like brilliant engineers!

    To me, the Peak I Model 400-499's engineering is the best, hottest, smallest, lightest, toughest, indestructible, most-stable, longest lasting, cleanest burning, quietest and least finicky stove with fantastic flame control and wind-resistance attributes at all temperatures and elevations (down to 8 degrees F and up to 11,500' personally) and all weather conditions ROLLED INTO ONE STOVE ever made! But its not a purist's backpacking stove! I have not used it for backpacking in well over 2 decades.

    I am sure in every one of the categories I mentioned above there must be at least 2 or 3 or more stoves that easily best it! But I don't believe there is another single stove out there that can best it in ALL those categories and that's why I love it! It's a bomb-proof little performer! And if there are I'd love to know about them.

    Many people seem to love and admire those uber-light stoves they have to field strip regularly to keep them running after 1 week's use. That never occurs with a 400-499! In fact, people dig them out after 20-30 years sitting in the basement and fire them up with the old, stale fuel in them and they light right up. To me that's pretty impressive. I've seen it myself a number of times after at least 8-10 years on stoves I resurrected!

    For whatever reason I never have issues lighting these stoves. I even have very few issues lighting the Coleman Fyrestorm Ti stove. Somehow, the balance of pump-presssure, valve-opening (and closing and opening) all seems to work out for me and I get them up and running quickly without much issue.

    I use the the uber-light Coleman Fyrestorm Ti stove when backpacking. I really prefer white gas and not cannisters. It uses both! I tend to do backpack trips in the western US between 8-14 days and elevations around 8,000' - 14,000'.

    Still looking for help with the 400-499 generators. THX!
     
  6. Fettler United States

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    You can't make incendiary (heh) drive-by remarks disparaging one of the finest backpacking stove designs ever made without invoking the ire of old (and new) trail dogs! What did you think would happen, lol.

    Granted, they aren't "ultralight" but that is just a niche market for ODC types known to remove the paper hang tag off tea bags and probably have spread sheets on all the different gram weights of various chap stick and dental floss manufacturers.

    The higher weight overall is offset somewhat in that it has enough fuel capacity to last numerous days without need for carrying an extra fuel bottle. They are particularly well suited to cold weather camping.
     
  7. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    That does set a high bar.
     
  8. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

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    @Boron40 Welcome aboard. You will draw fire by making disparaging remarks about pretty much any stove ever invented because there are supporters of just about every stove ever invented here and all defend their favorites faithfully. Personally I'm a fan of the AGM No.20
    AGM Backpack stove No.20

    Don't worry though the partisanship is friendly, about like what you'd experience stating your beer preference.

    Check Old Coleman Parts for your generator. If you don't find it listed don't despair, drop Rob an email and ask. The website only lists items in stock and that changes day-to-day.
     
  9. BradB

    BradB United States Subscriber

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    If you can figure out how to make this generator you could likely start a small business making replacements. This generator is simply not available unless some lucky sleuth finds a stash of them in the back of an obsolete outdoor store.
     
  10. itchy

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    @Boron40

    Do you need to fabricate a generator or might a rebuild be possible? I may still have an old generator that started leaking around the threads -- replacements were available at the time and that is what I did.
     
  11. IvanN

    IvanN United States Subscriber

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    @Boron40, welcome! I can’t help with the generator. I can agree that Coleman stoves are incredible in their ability to start up even after years of sitting unused. My own favorite backpack stove is not a Coleman but I do make allowances for extra size and weight when it comes to a good stove. (I also don’t cut the handle off my toothbrush or cut the borders off my maps). Don’t give up on finding a replacement generator.
     
  12. Boron40 United States

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    Funny stuff! To Fettler and cottage hill Bill: THANKS for the feedback!
    To snwcmpr - well said! It does seem to me to be a high bar!
    To BradB - you're right. They haven't been available for ages! Yes, the dream is to stumble into an obsolete outdoor store or hardware store and find a dozen of them. All priced at $13.99!
    And finally to itchy: if you do have an old one lying around please let me know. I'd like to make arrangements to get it from you. I would love to hear from you.

    As I read through only a few threads I noticed a person named presscall /John in Lancashire, United Kingdom who seems to know everything technical about stoves and seems to know how to build technical things easily. Maybe that's not true but he seems to be the Great And Powerful OZ! I am sure he could fabricate a 400-499 (aka 400) generator but that is beyond my capabilities.

    I'm sure if one spent the time and the money one could find a machine shop that could reverse engineer it and build one. This is America, after all, and you really can do virtually ANYTHING if you throw enough money at it. But I am sure that route would be cost prohibitive for me!
     
  13. lanevitt

    lanevitt Subscriber

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    I too have become an avid fan of the 400A stove... along with the 400B, they are brilliant simmer stoves, so real cooking makes these stoves my first choice. I have learned a lot about these stoves and now collected... too many.
    and still after more. Any 400A generator found to be totally blocked are kept and am now attempting to find a reliable and effective method of salvaging these rare things. more power to you Boron40 and great to read your personal opinions on these darlings.

    Andrew.
     
  14. cottage hill bill

    cottage hill bill Subscriber

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    I don't have experience with anything newer than a 502. Is it possible to use the heat/quench process to decarbon these generators? I don't know enough about the way the valve is attached to the generator. @Boron40 Can you post some pics of the generator off the stove?

    @presscall John, you have been summoned. I made all the proper chalk marks, lit the candles etc.
     
  15. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Like the genie in the bottle, Reese, your wish is my command - sort of.

    Alas, I can perform no miracles on Coleman generators of this size. Nearest I got to trying was in THIS post where I tried heat/quench/ultrasonic clean/compressed air.

    Finally, defeated, I sliced along the length of the generator to see where the internal crud preventing it from working properly was lodged and why the various ‘treatments’ hadn’t dislodged it.

    The hard carbon deposit was here …

    08A7FD4D-3079-4869-933C-14B84EF89D71.jpeg


    … and only the cutting disc of the Dremel dislodged it. I concluded that it was immovably bonded to the interior wall of the tube and only mechanical scraping or cutting (as with the abrasive cutting wheel) could shift it. It gave me even more cause, if needed, to avoid burning pump gasoline - with consequent deposition of additive residue - in my stoves.

    94359C88-1BDE-45B1-A2F2-68EF8B6435BA.jpeg


    Hi Andrew, good to hear from you. I hope you hit upon a successful way to restore your treasure trove.

    John
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  16. Cookie

    Cookie United States Subscriber

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    Are you looking for part number 400-5891 for a 400A701 ? What is wrong with the generator ? Are you looking to rebuild your current one, make a new one from scratch, or locate a new one ? I passed up one of these stoves recently for $40. I'll look in my area if I know exactly what to look for. One of our local hardware stores still has coleman generators on the shelf. I can go look :)...you never know lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
  17. Boron40 United States

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    Incredibly funny!!! OMG! THX!
     
  18. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

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    We all lined up on both sides of the aisle also.
     
  19. Boron40 United States

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    John-
    You did a fantastic analysis. Your dissection of the generator was amazing. And your conclusion/observation that the "large" "open chamber" at the jet contained the "hard carbon" was fantastic!!!

    I've wondered forever what exactly was the "problem" inside a "dirty" generator. Yeah, I knew it was "clogged" and burnt-on gunk was the most obvious culprit but I was just working with assumptions and generalizations.

    I really don't know what "hard carbon" means. Is one "hard carbon" the same as another? I looked online and they make chemicals designed to dissolve "hard carbon" deposits on pistons, heads and valves, etc.

    I wonder, hypothetically, if one faithfully soaked a stove generator submerged for 24 hours in carbon-dissolving chemical annually would the generator stay perfectly clean forever? Next, I wonder if we soak a dead or dying generator can be cleaned-out and revived?

    If that chemical actually works and if there is any sort of open passageway still left inside for the chemical to gain access then maybe it may resurrect them? This "dead-end" is now somewhat of an "open issue" thanks to you waiting further testing and experimentation by me and others as time allows! Thank you for peeling back the darkness.



    etc
     
  20. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

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    Maybe. I’ve not encountered the stuff, but in THIS post Herkel said,
    ”Might work” the guy said, so possibly he’ll return with a verdict some day.