Optimus Stove Storage question

7:23 p.m. on December 29, 2009 (EST)
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Hey everyone,

Building my kit and I found an optimus stove with the book, pump and box! I grabbed it up at $60. It is like the one in this youtube.com video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOOipuUIv20

I think it has never been used. Anyway I went to the sporting goods store and got a can of white gas for nine dollars and it works great. I have a question. Should I store it with the gas in it? It may be a few weeks before I get out as I still have some items to get for my kit.

9:39 p.m. on December 29, 2009 (EST)
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Best to store the gas out of the stove, just a good habit to get into. I should take my own advice.

10:04 p.m. on December 29, 2009 (EST)
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Ah, yes, the Hunter 8! As alan says, it is best to store any stove with the fuel tank empty. Emptying the tank of all fuel is sometimes a bit of a challenge, but it pays off in the long run. The one in the youtube is pretty well used - someone really banged it around. By the way, do not get tempted to remove the heat shield on the fuel tank - some people think they are lightening their load. But that means the tank can overheat and overheating can lead to spectacular explosions. The ill-fated Wilcox expedition on Denali in the 1960s "lightened" their 11R's (a larger version) by removing the heat shields, which ultimately caused a number of problems (although the explosion that caused one of their tents to vanish in a flash was due to refueling one of the stoves in the tent while the stove next to it was running full tilt - do not refuel a hot stove, and do not refuel within 20 feet of a running stove!).

The Hunter is an excellent stove, though a bit on the heavy side.

10:48 p.m. on December 29, 2009 (EST)
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I will find a container to put the fuel in when the stove is in storage. I want to find a extra fuel can to take with me. I am not sure if a plastic water bottle would work or not. I guess i could run a test on that. I am a safety first person so I won't be modding the Optimus. I would also to expect it to explode if you removed the heat shield.

1:45 p.m. on December 30, 2009 (EST)
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Get one of the aluminum or titanium fuel bottles that is marked as such. A plastic water bottle will interact with the gas, if you store the gas for any length of time. The fuel bottles are the ones used with stoves like the MSR Whisperlite and Simmerlite, the Optimus Nova, Primus Himalaya, etc, by inserting a pump and attaching a fuel line. They have a cap that is used during fuel storage that has 2 holes that are exposed by unscrewing the cap a turn or 2, one to let the fuel flow out in a narrow stream that will go into your Hunter fuel tank, the other the vent to let air in to displace the fuel as you pour it out. Most of them have a point on the edge of the cap to help direct the fuel stream.


Typical bottle (MSR) - They come in a range of sizes.

 


The cap - you can see the point and the hole for fuel pouring -


Some people carry a small funnel, some with a screen to do some filtering of "junk" in the fuel.

7:42 p.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
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Thanks for the advice I got two 22 ounce bottles with the lids for $28.00 I think that is an OK deal.

10:19 p.m. on January 15, 2010 (EST)
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have to say i have stored my svea123 for years, yes years, with gas in it, in my garage. had to clean the nozzle, but the bugger torked-up. of course, i agree with BillS...do the right thing and take out the white gas.

9:54 p.m. on January 18, 2010 (EST)
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I just inherited a Svea 123 that was purchased in the 60's and hadn't been used for 35-40 years. It still had fuel in it and it did light however with only a yellow flame and never got to the blue stage, burning very smokey too. I will empty the fuel and use new Coleman fuel. I did find the nozzle cleaner pin-type thing. How far is the pin supposed to go into the nozzle? I would really like to clean it. Anything else that I should do for maintenance? I think that the gastank cap seal needs replacing too, anyone know where to get a new gasket? Thanks for any info to get this beautiful little burner working to its' potential.

10:39 a.m. on January 20, 2010 (EST)
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Pick up a jar of carbeurator cleaner and add a capful to a tank of fuel. Burn a tank of gas and then see what happens. That may be all you need to do.

9:45 a.m. on January 27, 2010 (EST)
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Jeff, search this site for svea123. There was a place that sold replacement parts.

5:03 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
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A&H Enterprises (www.packstoves.com) has the parts for Svea, Primus, Optimus and a number of other backpack stoves. I have been dealing with them since the 1960s (though I think they are owned by a different person these days). The old style Svea 123 parts are at http://packstoves.net/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=10_51&zenid=ae78b962f51faeaa334003f390ee9311 . The new style Svea 123R parts are at http://packstoves.net/cart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=10_38&zenid=ae78b962f51faeaa334003f390ee9311. The main difference between the 2 is that the 123 used an external cleaning needle, while the 123R has an internal cleaning needle. We have both models, plus the very similar Primus 71L. My preferences, in order, are the Primus 71L, the Svea 123, and the Svea 123R. I admit the 123R is prettier - but then it is also new and unused, where the 71L and 123 have seen many hours of use in multiple countries from a low of Death Valley, to a high somewhere in the Canadian Rockies, summer heat and deep winter cold. Only time any of them failed me was when a fuel cap gasket had gotten too old and wouldn't hold pressure. It sounds like this is part of your problem (from the flame behavior). A&H has the cap gaskets, as well as both styles of fuel cap (regular pressure relief valve and pump adapter version). I do NOT recommend using carburettor cleaner. The jet cleaner needle goes in to the holder. You can remove the jet for easier cleaning (misuse may have built a fair amount of carbon deposit). Depending on how much cleaning was done, the orifice might be enlarged, in which case, get a replacement jet from A&H. Also, sitting that long may mean you need to replace the cotton wick ($7.50). Be very careful in removing the stem (do NOT use the fuel control valve as a levering point - only use a properly fit open end wrench - exact size, of course). You may want to just send the stove to A&H for an overhaul.

5:17 p.m. on February 1, 2010 (EST)
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I have been burning off the fuel cooking with the stove. I figure gear that is not used is gear that will fail you when you need it. I can cook almost anything with the Optimus. I have also broke out the dehydrator and made some ingredients to use when cooking. I expect when I get it all together and sorted out I will make a youtube video.

11:55 p.m. on February 18, 2010 (EST)
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Thank you for all this good info. I do have a couple of more questions.

Why would a wick need to be replaced? Is it actually harmed by being in the gas for 40 years?

Does anyone know what is included in the repair kit for the Svea 123? The website for A&H does not give any details. I called both numbers repeatedly and it is always busy. They have not replied to my email inquiry. Are they still in business???

All I probably need is the gasket for the gas cap, gasket for pressure relief valve, and possibly a wick.

My SVEA 123 has very little use on it and I would believe it to be in excellent condition, except for being in storage with fuel in it for about 40 years.

I sure would love to put it back into 100% shape and start using it.

Thanks for all your help.

5:24 p.m. on February 27, 2010 (EST)
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In answer to Jeffy86 and as a caution to DrReaper, regarding the need to replace the cotton wick: when the fuel tank is depleted of fuel with the stove still running, the wick will no longer be saturated with the fuel that keeps it insulated, causing it to scorch. A scorched wick won't effectively transport fuel, and the stove runs very poorly, if at all.

3:40 p.m. on February 28, 2010 (EST)
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Jeffy,

Are you saying that the stove has been stored for 40 years, unused during that time, with the fuel in the tank? If so, you need to completely disassemble the stove and clean it thoroughly. Fuel that old will have lost most or all of the more volatile components, leaving deposits that can clog the fuel line and valve. Also, the various gaskets (fuel cap, and in the valve stem - but I suggest replacing the whole cap rather than trying to overhaul the pressure relief valve) have probably deteriorated and need to be replaced. The field kit contains those parts. You might need to replace the wick as well, since it will have a lot of the "lacquer" deposited in it and might not wick well (you might be able to dissolve the deposits by soaking in fresh Coleman fuel (be very careful, since naptha is explosive - do the cleaning in the outdoors, lots of ventilation).

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