Optimus 323 partial breakdown

Discussion in 'Optimus No:323' started by toonsgt, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. toonsgt

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    As is often the case, checking for info on another post, I decided to go ahead and teardown my 323. As previously discussed elsewhere on the site, it is nearly identical in operation to the Coleman single burners. The pump uses an o-ring instead of a leather.(may have to upgrade that) The Quicklite valve is very interesting.

    Removing 5 easily accessible screws and compression nut gets you to here:
    1313536654-Opt323__9_.JPG

    The Burner:
    1313537045-Opt323.jpg 1313537061-Opt323__10_.JPG

    The generator with control valve. Interestingly, this can't be removed without cutting the compression sleeve off.
    1313537284-Opt323__19_.JPG 1313537299-Opt323__20_.JPG 1313537314-Opt323__22_.JPG 1313537373-Opt323__27_.JPG 1313537386-Opt323__28_.JPG 1313537399-Opt323__29_.JPG

    The Quicklite valve is a very interesting design. Notice the schrader valve on in the right port.
    Off position:
    1313537738-Quicklite.jpg

    Light position. The beveled barrel depresses the schrader valve, introducing air into the generator from the top of the tank along with fuel:
    1313537811-Quicklite__1_.jpg

    Run position. The schrader valve is released, shutting off the air to the generator:

    1313538048-Quicklite__2_.jpg

    Reassembled and lighting: 1313538410-Opt323__38_.JPG

    15 second later, in the run position:
    1313538468-Opt323__39_.JPG

    Replaced the seal where the large nut attaches to the Quicklite valve, as it was leaking there. I attempted to remove the quicklite valve with soft jaw pliers(aka "sweet lips" to you US Army mechanics) but it wasn't cooperating. It's working fine, so left it alone. I'm not positive that it's even threaded, but I didn't want to risk damaging it to find out.

    This stove is infinitely adjustable from the photo above to a VERY low simmer.

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. Tea belly

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    Mike, thanks for taking the time and effort to doccument your stripdown another very helpful post.

    Malcolm.
     
  3. toonsgt

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    No problem. It was an easy teardown that I'd been meaning to do for some time. Gotta be careful on these as spare parts are nearly if not totally impossible to find. I re-read my posts and wasnt' to clear on a major point.

    There are two schrader valves in there. One for fuel/air and one for fuel only. As the bevel rod slides across, from off to light, it opens the fuel/air valve. Going to run it closes the fuel/air valve and opens the fuel only valve.

    Lots of folks knock these stoves(323/324) pretty hard. Mine always lights and cooks and simmers well. I know it won't run for hours without refueling and if I use an oversize pot on high, the knobs will probably melt. Knowing that, I avoid those situations. That said, it won't make my top ten list either.

    Mike
     
  4. itchy

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    Thanks. I have been curious about these little stoves for a long time but never got my hands on one.
     
  5. DAVE GIBSON

    DAVE GIBSON Subscriber

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    my favorite knuckle burner!..to tell the truth i only got one to go with a orange tent,pack,canteen and a some other 1970's "wilderness orange" gear.
     
  6. orsoorso

    orsoorso Subscriber

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    The problem with such stoves (323) are the schrader valves: the original ones will last long, but once the rubber seal in them is hardened, the stove have a fine tendency to fireball while preheating.
    The today commonly avauilable schrader valves, the ones you get at your tire shop, have a seal that will last 2 or 3 hours in whitw gasoline, few minutes in automotive petrol, if you are lucky.
    I had to change the schrader valves seal on mine 323, using tygon microtubung, and it works ok now.
    Please, NEVER light a 323 indoor, or near something that may catch fire: the schrader valves failure is unpredictable, and at Optimus Sweden they told me thar failure was the reason sor discontinuing the model (replaced by the 324, that in some way was even more dangerous).
    Have fun
     
  7. toonsgt

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    Orsoorso,
    I had exactly the same experience with a couple of coleman easilite products that use schrader valves. Thought it would be a good idea to replace them. They worked great for about 2 minutes. Wrong type of rubber in the ones I got. Mistakenly thought they were all nitrile. Not so much. Put the old ones back in and they're still running strong.

    Mike
     
  8. David Shouksmith

    David Shouksmith Subscriber

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    I've got one of these but it's been mislaid for years. Oddly enough, I came across it earlier today whilst looking for something else.

    Having seen this, I'll give it a look at and see whether I can increase my confidence in it. It did work at one of the Newark Meets, but I can't say I was that impressed. It did come with partially melted control knobs... :doh: