Instructables

Coleman dual fuel conversion for old stove?

Hi everyone, can anyone tell me the difference between dual fuel Coleman camp stoves, and the stoves for Coleman fuel only? Can I convert single fuel, older stove, to use unleaded gasoline? Coleman fuel in my area is about $7 a gallon. Thanks! uncle jack

jamesfishin4 years ago
This is possible with some money, the first thing is that you have to change out the generator to a duel fuel set up. A new generator may cost you $40 or you can look around for an older stove. If the stove was made before 1970 most will burn both naphtha or gas with no issues (but in Canada) the gasoline will burn more dirty and cause the generator to get gummed up and have to be replaced. In Canada you can not bun gasoline in your Coleman with out causing some real damage. The extra chemicals we (I am Canadian) put in our gas is really hard even on duel fuel stoves. I collect older Colemans.
I a a neever used colman model 288A70 has istuctions and new matels insd te glass for sale mae an offer jcagle12@msn.com
vsinger3 years ago
"Classic" Coleman stoves will work fine on the cheapest grade of unleaded gas you can find, but will light easier (and burn hotter) on Coleman Fuel or other "White Gas" products. I have been using a mix of gasoline, Gumout, and Charcoal Starter in the several stoves I recently purchased used at local yard sales and thrift stores.

1. If you use gasoline, buy the cheapest regular unleaded gas you can find
a. Higher grades contain more clogging additives
2. Avoid "Winter Blend" or "RFG" fuels unless you dilute with Coleman Fuel or charcoal starter
a. These grades of gasoline contain 10% or more Alcohol, which will break down the rubber o-rings in the valve assembly
3. If stove starts to "sputter", or is hard to light, try a tank of unleaded mixed with a bottle of Gumout before your next trip
a. This seems to work well for cleaning the inside of the generator (the part that runs through the flame ring)
4. If the stove is leaking fuel around the valve assembly, or is spraying raw fuel (not fumes) - stop using at once.
a. Leaking fuel means that you may need to replace the o-rings
b. Spraying raw fuel means you may have overfilled the tank - always fill tank on level surface - don't "tilt" it to try to get more fuel into the tank
sprints3 years ago
If you can convert an old stove to propane by changing out the generator, it seems reasonable that changing the generator to a dual fuel generator ( $15) should work. The seal issues raised here seem mute because the replacement pumps ($10) and are for stoves or lanterns of all types. This only leaves the the cap ($7) seal to contend with which should be a minor issue, if it is an issue at all. I might be worth trying the $15 generator option, if it does not work and you do buy a new duel fuel one you will still have a recommended service part for your new one.
seandogue5 years ago
At a guess it's the seals.

My family grew up using an old Coleman "White gas Only" stove.

When I grew up and moved out and bought my own, I purchased a newer Coleman that allows both white gas and Unleaded gasoline. I have only purchased white gas once in the last 20 years for the stove, and that was only because it was the only way to get fuel at that location aside from driving 20 miles or siphoning it from my vehicle. I chose to pay the premium rather than get a mouthful of gasoline...

It's quite possible that the seals used in White gas only stoves are inferior to those used in dual-use stoves.

Temperature *may have something to do with it as well, although I suspect it's the slight difference in the chemical makeup of the petroleum Naptha (white gas) vs unleaded-gas.

Regarding the use of leaded gas, I'm not sure that's such a good idea, regardless of wear and tear, since there's LEAD in that gas, and at least some of it will end up in any unstoppered pot or pan used to cook...

I suspect you CAN convert the stove, although I'd be hard-pressed to tell you which seals you need. Contact Coleman. They *may help you if you're able to talk to the right person...(otherwise they'll just tell you to buy a new stove...)

Okay...I looked up O-Ring material data for both Naptha and Automotive gasoline, and I suspect that the original seals used in Coleman stoves were Hydrogenated Nitrile or Polyacrylate, which are sufficient for Naptha but poor for gasoline.

Looks like Buna-N (or maybe virgin Teflon or Flourocarbon) is the best best for a replacement o-ring that works for both solvents. But that's just best guess on my part...Contact Coleman for the definitive answer, especially since I haven't address temperature affects.... There are several others that have high effectiveness for both solvents, but I have no experience at all using them.
Hmm..just visited Coleman dot com Looks like the Coleman-fuel-only stove uses Neoprene seals in at least the pump/tank assembly, so I think I may be on to something regarding seals... and warn in both parts lists that use of parts for one in another stove type can be dangerous etc... They have a contact number...call Coleman customer service @ 800-835-3278 for more answers. best of luck!
unclejack (author)  seandogue5 years ago
Yes , thank you I contacted Coleman and you are right , use only Coleman fuel or buy a new stove. Thanks Jack
Sorry to have been the messenger... :( At least you know now.
I *AM surprised though, that you can't purchase a new tank and tube assy for dual fuel and be done with it.. Did you ask about that possible solution? Or did they brush you off? Or did they tell you that there are seals in the burner assembly that will fail with auto gas?
lemonie5 years ago
Well what it is can be found in here.
I believe that part of the expense is in the purity & low volume sales. White spirit (aka Stoddard solvent) isn't the exactly same but would probably work.
Gasoline isn't the same either, but might work too. However, you might have problems with things "gumming-up" (I really don't know).

L
unclejack (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Thanks for the input, I finally got p/c straightened out, sorry for the delay
Stoddard solvent is a mixture of a variety of components and more closely resembles Kerosene rather than Naptha. Having worked in close proximity to large quatities of Stoddard solvent for seven years (Aviation Fuel nozzle test stand engineering), I would never use that crud.
slimmerpete5 years ago
In England, where I am, for the first twenty years that I used my coleman stove, I could not get Coleman fuel, so used 2 star(leaded ) petrol. I had to replace the generator tube once!
WEDGIE5 years ago
you can use aspen 4 t or spirit based panel wipe as it is the same chemically as coleman fuel
see http://www.spiritburner.com/fusion/index.php