Coleman® Model 200A
Born in February, 1962

Coleman Country

Make it shine!

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Always tilt the lamp or lantern to place the Filler Cap above the Fount when releasing pressure. This ensures that air (and not fuel) will be released.

How to Light an old Coleman® Lantern

These instructions were written to help you safely light and operate an old lantern that you have not lit before, or has been in storage for a very long time.

An old or dirty lantern can quickly turn into a raging inferno if you don’t know what you are doing and/or are not careful.

First, please take the time to read our Lantern Safety page.

If you have no previous knowledge of the lantern you are working with, or if you do not know how long it has been sitting, please perform each step.  This will help you confirm that your lantern is safe to use, and that it functions as in should. If you need to make any repairs, I will provide links to other sections of this website.

Please click here to see an exploded view of a lantern that will open in a new browser. 

1.  Remove the ventilator and globe, then spray the lantern with a household cleaner like Simple Green®.  Remove as much dirt and dust as you can and remove the old mantle(s).

2.  Remove the fuel filler cap and pour all the old fuel into an approved container for disposal. You can find a local hazardous waste recycling facility by doing an internet search. 

3.  Smell the fount.  If it has a strong really sharp smell, that is varnish from old gasoline that has gone stale.  Varnish can coat the internals and block them.  If it smells real bad you might need to tear it apart to clean the internal parts.

Unless you know it is less than a few years old, always replace the fuel filler cap.  A new replacement cap is critical for safety and will keep your lantern pressurized longer.

4.  Wash out the fount with a small amount of clean fuel or denatured alcohol.  Install the cap and shake the fount vigorously for a few minutes, then pour it out.  Repeat until the liquid coming out is clear.  Reinstall the cap when finished.

If the fount is excessively rusty please refer to our rebuild pages for help.

5.  Make sure that the valve wheel is turned fully clockwise to the closed position.  Rotate the pump handle counterclockwise one full turn, place your thumb over the hole in the end and give it a few pumps.  If there is no resistance when pressing down on the pump, you will need to repair it before continuing.

6.  Pump the lantern 25 strokes.  Press the pump handle down and lightly place your finger over the hole in the end.  If the pump raises, you need to clean or replace your check valve.

If you need help removing the generator please click here.

7.  Remove the lantern's generator. Place your finger over the hole in the air intake tube where the generator just came out of. Use an air compressor to blow-out the burner assembly by holding the air nozzle under the burner cap(s) and blowing air up into the lantern.  This will clear dirt and insect nests out of the tubes. Reinstall the Generator.

If you need help installing the Mantle(s) please click here.

8.  Install a new mantle or mantles on your lantern. Hold a match or lighter to the bottom and allow it (them) to burn completely.  Allow to cool.

9.  Fill the fount at least half-full of fresh gasoline or camp fuel.  Tighten the filler cap and give the lantern 20 pump stokes.  Allow it to sit for a few minutes while you watch for leaks.  Any leak is unacceptable and must be located before you light it.

10.  If your lantern has one, spin the tip cleaner a few times and leave it in the down position.  Open the valve one-half turn and listen.  At first you should hear hissing air being released inside the lantern, followed by the "spitting" sound of fuel about 5 seconds later.  Once this starts, close the Valve. 

If you cannot hear the fuel exiting the Generator after 10 seconds or so, open the valve another full turn to see if it helps. If you still cannot hear a spitting sound you must troubleshoot the problem.

11.  Light a match or lighter and hold it below the mantle(s).  Open the valve one-quarter turn and wait for the mantle(s) to ignite. 

12.  Once the mantle(s) start to burn steady (but dim) open the valve all the way and pump more air into the fount for maximum brightness. 

13. You can adjust the light output with the tip cleaner stem or the valve, depending on the model. Click here for an owner's manual on your lantern if you don't have one.

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