Coleman® Model 500A
Born in May, 1954

LearnWant to know how it works?

Rebuilding Coleman® Single Burner Stoves

If you are not mechanically inclined or are not comfortable working on fueled appliances, I encourage you to send your stove back to Coleman® for repair. Click here for more information.

Access to and use of this information constitutes your agreement with our Terms and Conditions.  The material presented here is for informational purposes only.

Forward.  These instructions are written for Coleman® 502 "Sportster" single burner stoves, but they can also be used for other pressure burners and single burner stoves. The location, fit and function of parts will vary for different models.  You should be able to work through these differences if you understand what you are trying to accomplish.

I encourage you to read the instructions in their entirety before starting.  If you would like a better understanding of how stoves and burners work, visit the Old Town Learning Center. 

Some of the photos you will see here are used in other rebuilding sections of the website. If you see a camp stove or a lantern, don't be alarmed. Many of the appliances have parts in common, and I'm just saving on photos and server space.

Scope of repairs.  These instructions are written for a “full” rebuild, but not every stove will require that level of service.  You don’t want to remove the check valve unless you absolutely must, and you may not need to destroy a perfectly good valve stem packing.  You will be cautioned before starting any step that may not be necessary.

If the stove has not been used in many years, or it is obviously worn out, I recommend you tear it apart for a full rebuild. If the stove is in near-new condition or was obviously well cared for by the previous owner, you might be able to get away with a good cleaning.

Replacement parts.  Most of the parts can be cleaned and reused, but not all.  Purchase the necessary replacement parts before starting work whenever possible. 

Click here to view an exploded parts view of a single burner stove. 

Parts you should always replace, or at least have one spare: 
1.  Fuel filler cap, or the gasket.
2.  Generator

Parts that may be required:
1.  Pump cup
2.  Valve stem packing
3.  Check valve and air stem

Tools & Supplies.  The following table shows the recommended tools and supplies you will need to follow these instructions. 

Fire extinguisher Denatured alcohol
5/16”, 7/16" and 1/2" end wrenches Household spray cleaner
Adjustable wrench
Cotton swabs
Small and medium flat-tip screwdrivers Soft rags
#1 cross-tip screwdriver Rubbing compound (painted stoves)
Channel lock pliers Polishing wax (painted stoves)
Small wire brush Carburetor cleaner
Old toothbrush Penetrating fluid
Rifle bore brush Naval jelly
Bench vise Lime-a-Way® or CLR® (plated stoves
Small flashlight Neatsfoot or light oil
Propane Torch 0000 steel wool
Eye protection  

What happens if you get stuck? You can contact me via the Old Town Coleman Center Facebook page or you can email me at I usually answer emails in the mornings and evenings as I am only semi-retired and still have a real job during the day.

Pictures. Take photos of your stove before starting. During reassembly, you will be able to refer to the pictures should you have any questions about how something was positioned. “Before & after” photos of the rebuild are always fun to see, and we’d love to display it in our Spit & Whittle Club page. Good luck and keep that fire extinguisher close by!

Part I:  Under PressurePart I: Disassembly

Part II:  CleaningPart II: Cleaning

Fire!Part III: Reassembly

Old Town Coleman Home

Coleman Country

"He said Garstecki, 43, was badly burned in a 1978 accident at the Nicolet National Forest because, in part, that design defect allowed vapors to leak from an attached white-gas fuel tank. The vapors then ignited as Garstecki tried to light the stove inside a van..." -The Milwaukee Journal, May, 1981