MSR FireFly question

Discussion in 'Fettling Forum' started by Got Dibbs, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    I have a question, I managed to get my hands on a Firefly prior to them recalling the stove because of the flimsy fuel line which was made out of the same rubber hose as on the end of the yellow pumps. The fuel line was to brittle to use so I carefully pried apart the metal clamps at the stove end and pump end and replaced it with a similar sized orange rubber fuel line, using the same hardware as original to hold it in. Anyways, has anyone ever seen or dealt with these earlier models? I couldn't find any information on it. I know this is the real deal because it uses almost the same clamps to hold the fuel line on as the later models, only smaller obviously. I'll post photos later once I figure out how. Thanks
     
  2. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    20131121_023257.jpg

    20131121_023946.jpg

    Sorry, I'll take closer pictures of the clamps holding the fuel line on and post eventually.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 28, 2015
  3. presscall

    presscall United Kingdom SotM Winner SotY Winner Subscriber

    Online
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    11,033
    Location:
    Lancashire, United Kingdom
    What sort of hose and clamps is illustrated in the user instructions I see you've got with the stove?

    I'd no idea there was an early version with a flimsy hose. If you'd not said there was I'd have supposed that the inadequate hose was a user-replacement for a perished fabric-covered hose, which I'd always thought was the one and only type fitted to the stove.
     
  4. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    The instructions are exactly the same as all the other fireflies I've seen, nothing particular about the type of fuel line. I purchased this from the original owner who's last name you can see on the instruction sheet. He said that He was contacted about the recall but never had any issues with the stove so didn't see a reason to fix it. I'm away from home and stoves for work, so this weekend I'll take closer pictures of just the fuel line connections and side by side pics of the later fabric braided line for comparison. I'll also go over the instructions better just to make sure. Thanks
     
  5. Metropolitantrout

    Metropolitantrout SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,216
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    What MSR offered for a while was to replace the original rubber hose with something similar to what they use now for their hoses - braided metal. You might try to write them and see if they can help you out. I had mine done by MSR in the early 90's and it runs great and will never break down in my lifetime. If MSR can't help you there are probably other sources for braided metal fuel lines. Automotive and off road specialty shops.

    Plenty of threads on this subject from Doc.

    BTW, You might consider running the new red pump with this stove or rebuilding your yellow pump with new seals. The nice thing about MSR stoves is the new pumps are compatible with the old stoves. IMO the pumps were the Achilles heel of any MSR stove but the latest "red" pump is very reliable.
     
  6. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,848
    Location:
    Plumas County, CA
    I love my FF's. They simmer pretty well and work very well on pots of water for pasta, throwing that big flame out there. I had a virgin one, fired it up once before I found another for cheap. Darn it. Love the old yeller pumps, just refresh the tubing in the end.
    Duane
     
  7. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Yeah me too. It might be overkill but I managed to accumulate 14 FF in the last 4 years. Mostly off of eBay and a few from Craigslist. I go to a weakly flea market here in Ohio but pickings are slim, a couple SVEA 123 ,both original, and one came with an Optimus 88 kit for $15. No MSR stoves though. Usually just Coleman stuff. Got an excellent Peak 1 sleeping bag for $5 last Friday. Do you happen to know anything about the Firefly prior to recall Hikerduane?
     
  8. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    18,391
    Hey, Dibbs,

    I have the first version of the FF, and three other later ones. The "flimsy" hose to which you refer is the same hose that MSR used for the FF, the Whisperlite, and the Whisperlite International. It is not really flimsy, but does get brittle over time. For a VERY short time, MSR would replace that hose on your FF for the cost of $30. However, as the WPL was designed to replace the FF, that replacement program did not last too long. I was lucky and got one of mine done by Mike Ridout, of MSR. Later, the offered replacement hoses, which you could fettle onto your FF, but that program, too, did not last too long, as there are quite a few folks that can't solder or braze, and MSR probably just didn't want to be liable in case of an horrendous fuel leak!!

    Later, I'll post a photo of one of my FF stoves that was retro-fitted. No time today. Hope that this info helps you.
     
  9. hikerduane

    hikerduane Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,848
    Location:
    Plumas County, CA
    Doc is up more on this than I am, I just started collecting 5.5 years ago and never knew about most of the MSR models that came out, let alone all the different brands, living in small towns. Now, I do have about 24 MSR stoves.
    Duane
     
  10. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,708
    Location:
    North Carolina
    An added note about MSR replacing the fuel line.
    I asked them a few years ago and the response was that they offered a discount to buy a new stove. I am a collector, and didn't want a new stove, so I was unable to get the fuel line redone. I put my Fireflies on a back burner, so to speak. (But, they do not leak, at least the last time i looked at them)

    Ken in NC
     
  11. BMurr

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 6, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Have a look at my thread on Sigg Firejet Fuel Line Refurbishment and see if that is of any help, similar issues, hard to find hose but I think I sorted it in the end.
     
  12. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Hello Doc,
    I've seen the picture of your gorgeous Firefly with the retro fitted braided fuel and I love it! Every single one of my now 15 MSR Fireflies all came with the braided white flame resistance fabric except one. The one in question had a clear rubber fuel line with no braided cloth or metal surrounding it. I know you're very familiar with MSR stoves and the pumps. So I know You'll understand what I'm referring to when I mention the clear air tube on the end of all yellow fuel pumps. The tube that always seems to be dried, brittle, broke, or on the verge of crumbling. The fuel line on one of my Fireflies was made of the exact tube used on these pumps. So I was wondering what your take on this is? I believe it came like this from the factory. The reason I say this is because it used the same clamps that hold all MSR stoves with braided fabric together. Except the stoves with medal fuel lines. But with one difference, the clamps are smaller. This leads me to believe it was a do it yourself project. Another question for you is, when you refer to your original Firefly does it have just a clear non fabric fuel line or a fuel line with fabric? Thank you for your time
     
  13. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    18,391
    Howdy, Got Dibbs,

    Interesting question. I most certainly don't know "everything" about MSR stoves, nor does anyone, including the current folks at MSR, sad to say. But, I can tell you what I do know about the pump situation. I own every pump that MSR ever offered for sale, including the first two incarnations of their original pumps, both of which came with my MSR #9. I bought this stove from the original owner, who received it with the now very scarce, white pump and it's interesting square regulating knob. This white pump was MSR's first commercial version, and it had some definite flaws. Due to a poor plastic formula, most of them cracked at the fuel line connecting area, and so MSR redesigned the pump, slightly, using a supposedly better form of plastic from which to mold it. This pump was virtually identical to the original white pump, except that the regulating knob was round, and a brass pin was installed to strengthen that area, and to keep the fuel line gasket keeper in place. The original #9 owner told me that, when his white pump cracked, he contacted MSR, which immediately sent him the direct replacement for that pump, which is the first yellow pump they offered.

    Comparing these two pumps, and later yellow pumps, I see that the air hose at the end of all of these is the same sort of beige/brown plastic/rubber. Most all of those that I've seen have done just as you said: cracked and broken off. I also have the very last incarnation of the MSR yellow pumps, which came with a 1983 MSR X-GK, and it, too, has that same air hose, and it, too, is as hard as a rock, even though it's still complete, and has yet to crack to bits.

    As to MSR using that same rubber for an actual fuel line, I've never seen anything that would lead me to believe that they did. If so, then why wasn't that line used on their very first commercial offering, the #9? It wasn't. So, I have to believe that MSR never used that type of fuel hose, at least for any of their commercial stoves. Maybe a prototype might have had such a hose, but the Firefly was developed far later and therefore, should not have had anything like that, IMHO.

    Last, I have an MSR catalog, and Dealer information packet, dated 9/1/1987, and in it, the Whisperlite International stove was first introduced. This packet includes sales info on how to sell this new stove, against other MSR stoves, including the original Whisperlite, and stoves from other manufacturers. It also shows a photo of the Firefly (nearing the end of it's run with MSR), and it's last pump, which was that last incarnation of the yellow pump, as I mentioned before.

    For me to believe that MSR actually used the same plastic/rubber material for it's fuel line, that they used on the air hose, is very hard to accept. Until further proof that they did this comes to light, I'll have to say that, from what we know right now they did not do it that way.

    I took photos of those first two original MSR pumps, and one of the last incarnation of that series, and will post them soon in the Reference Gallery. As always, we all will continue seeking more information about these stoves, and their pumps. And, as always, we are all still learning, together!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  14. Got Dibbs

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    45
    Thank you very much Doc for all the wonderful information. You always have such nice write ups. I really do hope that one day someone can shed a little more light on the Firefly situation. I fully understand the thinking behind what you're saying and how you got to your conclusion. I personally do not have enough solid evidence to prove my claim. Being only that I've ever seen two examples of what I'm calling pre recall Firefly. Or for that matter if there ever was a recall. I'm going to keep searching and hopefully one day find some documentation, article, or even a picture to help prove what I think on the Firefly subject. Thanks again Doc.
     
  15. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    18,391
    Howdy, Got Dibbs,

    I'd love to see an original advertisement, from MSR, or an old catalog from them, showing the FireFly with that uncovered rubber hose. Where did you read that there was a recall of their earlier version of this stove? The only problem of which I am aware, was back when a certain run of FF stoves had machining chips of aluminum which were clogging the stoves. That one was well know, back then, but never heard about a hose recall. I do believe that I have paperwork, or ads in Backpacker, and other mags, that may well show what we need to know, and will check them this week, and report what I find. Unless such primary documentation comes to the fore, all this is just supposition. Here at CCS, we're all about getting things right, and unfortunately, far too many folks, over the years, have posted solid opinions base on nothing more than supposed memories of another friend, or on rumor, or on a stove that they now own. I am certain that the truth will out, and am eager for that to happen, as, I'm sure, are you, my friend. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. Here's something I read on Trailspace.com , and it is representative of the sort of stuff that can easily be accepted as fact, when, actually, it's just a person's opinion, with no basis in fact, at all.

    "I own a MSR Firefly I have used since the 1980s. The only problem I had with this stove was when it leaked fuel from the coupling joining the flexible fuel line to the stove. I devised my own repair, which unlike the OEM coupling, can be field repaired. Regardless of this problem I love this stove. It is hot as the XKG, but has better simmering characteristics and a more stable pot stand. The Firefly was pulled off the market a few years after its debut, my guess because of a law suit arising from the aforementioned failure mode."
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  16. Pstm13

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    I'm a total new guy but when I repaired mine it had the original white waxy line on both sides of the broken fuel line assembly. I may still have sections of it for a photo confirmation. The replacement line is the same waxy stuff. Instructions suggest heating the tube ends when replacing it. So, my new guy opinion is that fabric was not in the original Firefly fuel line.
     
  17. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    18,391
    Hi, Pstm13,

    Hey, everyone's opinions are always welcome, "new guy", or not! :thumbup: But, as mentioned, quite a few times, now, your experience does not constitute any proof of a flimsy original hose, just because you think so. And, again, as mentioned, quite a few times, now, IF someone can produce an MSR photo, or an advertisement, from back when the FF made it's debut, which clearly shows the the type of hose you believe it may have had, then that will be the proof we all need to solidify all this as fact. Unless you originally bought your FF that way, then you have no idea what may have happened to it between when it was made and when it came to you. Pretty simple stuff, really......

    As truth is what I'm all about, and not "internet mumbo jumbo", which for too often passes for "fact" these days. So, again, let's see some real proof, and then we will know, for sure, how things were originally done. Good to have an opinion, and I appreciate you having shared yours here. But, until some good, hard facts come to the fore, then I'll stick with what I have personally seen and read, concerning the MSR Firefly stove. I was well into stoves by the time the FF came on the scene, and never saw any evidence that it originally had a flimsy rubber hose when it first came out. I bought my very first one, shortly after the FF came out, and it had the cloth-covered hose that we all have seen. I also have every Backpacker magazine from back then, and all the major books that included the FF in reviews on stoves. NONE of them mention, or so, the type of hose that you, and Gotdibbs seem to believe was originally done on this stove. Show me some proof of your opinions, and I'll happily change my mind. But, until that happens, I'll stick with the facts, as I saw them happen, back then, and up to now. Thanks for your thoughts, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  18. Pstm13

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    I have the original repair kit with original instructions and packaging. It is consistent with broken hose on the unit. The clamps on the broken hose appear original and did not appear to have been removed prior to my ownership (you can tell when metal has been re-crimped in most cases).

    I guess it depends on your desired standard of proof.

    I would say this is a civil matter so it should meet the standard of proof in a civil proceeding.

    I believe it does given the facts at hand.
     
  19. Pstm13

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Messages:
    47
    I have the original repair kit with original instructions and packaging. It is consistent with broken hose on the unit. The clamps on the broken hose appear original and did not appear to have been removed prior to my ownership (you can tell when metal has been re-crimped in most cases).

    I guess it depends on your desired standard of proof.

    The inverse to your argument is also true. You can't prove it's not original.

    Thanks for the interesting debate. I just got a Optimus 8R and think I'm addicted.
     
  20. snwcmpr

    snwcmpr SotM Winner Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    16,708
    Location:
    North Carolina
    We love photos here. It is a way of saying what a thousand words cannot say.

    Addicted: How many 8Rs do you have?