Saturday, May 16, 2020

white gas to propane cook stove conversion

15 May 2020

I have been using a Coleman 425E dual burner cookstove that I refurbished. I made a mount for it in the right rear of my 109 land Rover.  You can read about that here;

While it did the job and has some advantages over propane I really wanted something that burned cleaner and was easier to store. Plus I could use the propane for my Lil buddy heater.
   Once I made up my mind I pulled the trigger on a used Coleman stove on Amazon. The description said the box showed wear and tear, and gave no hint that the stove itself was damaged.
    When I opened it up I could see things were in disarray.

Further inspection showed the left burner was at an angle.

I looked and could see the burner was bolted to the bottom pan and the pan was bent. Below you can see the bend and normal burner/pan connection.

I removed the burners and valves to see what was what.

I took the pan to the garage and using body tools flattened the pan back into shape.

Now the burner sat properly.

I put the stove back together and fired it up to make sure it worked.

I tried boiling some water with my Stanley cookset and found the space between the bars on the grill were dangerously far apart. So I made some grills(?) out of expanded steel, wishing I had stainless...

These worked like a champ and showed an uneven burn circle on both burners, Interestingly.
    After a cup a joe I went to mount it in my 109, Crap! it wouldn't fit in the same space as my white gas stove!! Trust me I tried many ways to make it fit. I really wanted it by the rear door for easy access and permanent stowage. You know 1 less thing floating around.
     But I just couldn't get it to fit and didn't come up with any other spot for it.

So I took a break and went down for the mail with my neighbor John. He had offered me a couple weeks ago, a lightly used propane stove he had but had lost the propane cylinder adapter. Checking out his stove I found it was a discontinued brand Northwest Territories, sold thru Kmart. So I passed on it and bought the one I got.
    John came up to see my stove dilemma and while talking to him I came upon my solution. He gave me his old stove and I took it, but didn't use it. It did give me some comparison points though as it is virtually the same size as the white gas 425E stove.
Here is all 3 stoves laid out for comparison.

So I McGyvered it. I gutted both of my stoves

And did a test fit of the propane burners into the gas stove

Then I saw my idea was doable so I marked for the valves and drilled 5/16" holes for the them.

I used a 1/2" pipe knockout punch for the adapter hole.

Followed by some Creative tubing bending and the right side burner hole had to be drilled to 5/16" also.

I reinstalled the knobs and the grill, hooked up the adapter while checking for fit.

Added a propane bottle and fired it up! The burners sit in the same spot as the gas ones.

While that took hours to do I decided that I wanted to add the inner pan from the propane stove, thinking that it would add some heat protection to the exposed tubing. That I would do the next day.

16 May 2020
     I started out by marking the centerline and splitting it in half since it was longer than the 425E. Then I could visually center the burner over the correct hole and mark other sections for removal. Once each side fit I installed a 1/8" pop rivet in each end to keep it in place where they overlapped. Then I could test fit the whole shebang.

It looked good to go except that it flopped around :^(  Next up I bent some 1/8" x 1" flat stock and made some supports. Drilled where necessary and bolted them in after painting with high temp silver.

Now that it sat good I put 2 more poprivets in the centerline.

I really wanted to solder it so the pan was leakproof but I just couldn't get it..... So I painted everything up with the high temp silver to hide my flaws.

And after lunch and dry paint I put the 425E back together. I suppose I should call it a 425P now...

In order for the lid to fit I had to notch the back corners about 1/4" x 2" and the front corners were hanging up a little so I angle cut those.
The last McGyvering I did was to add a rare earth magnet to the inside of the lid. This will keep those wind guards from flopping around when opening and closing the lid. I attached it with Shoe-goo, otherwise it slides around when the guard is pulled open.

And it all fits in the 109! :^)

UPDATE 6 Oct 2021

I put all the white gas stuff back in and bought a Stansport propane converter;

I also dumped the expanded steel gill and made a simpler fix;

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