Coleman® Model QL327
Undated, circa 1920

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Special Tools





Tilt your lantern or stove tank slightly when de-pressurizing, or removing the fuel filler cap. By tilting it to one side and placing the fuel filler cap at the top of the fount/tank, you greatly reduce the chance of liquid fuel spraying all over the place when it de-pressurizes.

Troubleshooting a Lantern or Stove That Won't Light

One that fails to light can be very inconvenient, really frustrating and sometimes even dangerous.

If you have an old stove or lantern that you just received or one that has been put away for an extended period of time, please click here (for lanterns) or here (for stoves) before troubleshooting. Those instructions show you how to prepare a dusty old appliance for use. Stoves and lanterns with insect nests inside can be very dangerous.

Pressurized fuel is forced up into the stove or lantern valve via a fuel tube. The valve passes the fuel to the generator where it is converted to a gaseous vapor. This vapor is sent to the burner and is ignited to produce a flame. This flame produces heat in a stove or incandesces a mantle on a lantern.

The problem of an appliance not lighting is usually caused by one of two things. Either the generator is clogged-up with soot, or the fuel & air tube is blocked by dirt or varnish.

Lanterns. (go to stoves) Give it 30 or 40 pumps to really pressurize it well. If you have a tip cleaner stem, turn it a few times and leave it down. If you don't have a tip cleaner stem, cycle the valve on/off a few times.

Open the valve one full turn (or about 1/2 way on a modern lantern) and listen. You should hear air hissing at first, then a "spitting" sound once fuel is introduced to the generator.

1. If it does exactly what I describe above, the lantern is operating normally and should light. If it is catching fire but never lights, you have a blockage in your burner. Please visit the "dirty lantern" instructions to clean it.

2. If the hissing sound continues for more than 30 seconds, open the valve fully counterclockwise.

If the hissing continues, your fuel & air tube is most likely blocked.

If it starts spitting, the metering rod in your fuel & air tube has restricted movement and/or the return spring has collapsed. Sometimes you can cure this by allowing the lantern to run as the fuel passing through the system will help clean it. If the spring is weak, you'll need to remove the fuel & air tube to stretch and/or clean it.

To learn how the fuel and air tube works please click here. Instructions on how to remove the fuel & air tube are part of the rebuilding pages.

3. If you do not hear anything, you are blocked somewhere, and we need to find out where. With the fuel valve turned off, use a wrench to loosen the jamb nut at the base of the generator about one full turn. Use a rag to catch the fuel, then turn the fuel valve back on.

If fuel starts leaking from the base of the generator, the generator itself it plugged. I recommend you replace it.

If nothing happens, your valve/fuel & air tube is completely blocked and you'll need to remove them. Instructions on how to remove them tube are part of the rebuilding pages.

Stoves. Take the tank out of the case and give it 30 or 40 pumps to really pressurize it well. Rotate the lighting lever a few times and leave it pointing up.

Hold a rag in front of the generator to catch any fuel that comes out. Open the fuel valve slowly about one full turn and watch and listen. You should hear air hissing at first, then see a stream of fuel shooting out the end of the generator.

1. If it does exactly what I describe above, the tank is operating properly and the stove should light. If it doesn't, there is a good chance that something is blocking the manifold and that can be extremely dangerous. Please visit the "dirty stove" instructions to clean it before continuing.

2. If you hear air coming out of the generator but do not see fuel flowing after about 15 seconds, spin the lighting lever around a few more times.

If fuel starts to come out you probably have a dirty fuel & air tube. It is possible that an extended burn will help as the fuel passing through the system can clean it. But you might need to remove the valve and clean it.

If fuel still does not come out, the fuel & air tube is blocked.

To learn how the fuel & air tube works please click here. Instructions on how to remove the fuel & air tube are part of the rebuilding pages.

3. If you do not hear anything, you have a blockage somewhere and we need to find out where. Turn the valve off and use a wrench to loosen the generator tube from the valve body. Turn the tube counterclockwise about three turns. Use a rag to catch the fuel and turn the valve back on.

If fuel starts leaking out from this generator/valve connection, the generator itself it plugged. Click here to learn how to clean and/or replace a stove generator.

If nothing happens, your valve/fuel & air tube is completely blocked and you'll need to remove them. Instructions on how to do this are part of the rebuilding pages.

If you get stuck, the fastest response will come from the Old Town Coleman Facebook page. You can also send an email to info@oldtowncoleman.com. Good luck!



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When was it born?

Two men pass in mid-air. The one going down says, "Do you know how to operate a parachute?" The man going up says, "No. Do you know how to light a Coleman stove?"