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Coleman lantern acting up for the first time.... help?

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Just wanted to see if anyone here has any expertise with Coleman fuel - Coleman lanterns...


I've had this coleman fuel lantern for about 20 years now. I've never had any problems with it before. Last night at my campsite I noticed that the mantle was badly ripped, and so I placed a replacement on, burned it white, and then re-assembled the unit. Pumped it, and then let it... but I'm getting a high flame coming out, and it's more a yellow glow then I've seen in the past from it. If I adjust the dial down, then the over flame goes away, but it is just not as bright in the past.


It appears that too much fueled air is coming out... and its' flaming out the mantle holes. It's a century brand mantle, not a Coleman brand mantle.


Any thoughts ?

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The brand of mantle shouldn't make a difference.


Are you using fresh Coleman fuel?

The mantles should burn with a bright white light. A yellow, weaker light might indicate bad, wrong type, or old fuel.

Are you getting a sputtering or popping sound sound as it burns? That would indicate moisture in the fuel.


Empty the tank and leave the cap off to allow the tank to dry completely, this might take a few days.

Check for rust inside the tank.

Use fresh Coleman or and other brand of camp fuel.


Another possibility is that the air intake tube is clogged with spider webs. This is the large tube that runs from the base of the globe to the top of the lantern, the gas generator tube insets into the air tube. You will need to disassemble the upper lantern to clean the air tube.


This is a good site for more information which includes drawings and disassembly instructions




(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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My guess is orifice as well, it might be plugged, but I'm guessing it's worn out.


20 years of micro particles (dirt) running through it has widened the hole in the orifice.


Try to clean it, but if that doesn't clear it up, then replace it.

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Yes you can use carb cleaner and yes they do build up gunk over the years.


I've never used anything but Coleman mantels so maybe that might make a difference.

Odd that the problem started after replacing the mantles.


I collect Coleman lanters and have about 30 dating back to 1920, they all work. I've had to fix many of them.


I'd start with the easies/cheapest thing first. Dump the fuel, air out the tank and replace the mantles using Coleman fuel and mantles. That might fix it.


There's not much else that can cause this problem except a clogged air intake or a generator.

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As mentioned by Eagle732, I'll bet it's the generator...if the lantern is 20 years old and has the original generator, it's due for replacement.


I love those old Coleman lanterns! Please keep us updated, I'm interested to see how it goes for you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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