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Thread: MSR Whisperlite Stove

  1. #76
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    I use the aluminum shield that came with my stove. It reflects the heat, but also warms up and melts the snow underneath it. I keep an eye on it when melting snow so it doesn't tip. Plywood is a fairly good insulated and stable base for the stove.

  2. #77
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    I use the aluminum shield that came with my stove. It reflects the heat, but also warms up and melts the snow underneath it. I keep an eye on it when melting snow so it doesn't tip. Plywood is a fairly good insulated and stable base for the stove.
    I went ahead and tried it yesterday in my yard and it was fine. Stayed nice and cool and provided a very solid base. Used a windscreen I had purchased instead of the included one. Slightly heavier but much more convenient to use. I regularly touched every thing with a bare hand to make sure nothing was heating up at all. I left the whole set up in my garage last night so I can try again today under colder conditions to see how the stove performs.

    And of course, I thought of another question: should I be putting something under the fuel bottle as well so it doesn't get colder? I just left it in the snow and it seemed fine. I assume because you can pump the tank during use that even if the cold contact reduces pressure it is not a huge deal. But for ideal performance should I put it on a coozy or a glove or something?
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  3. #78
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    Wrap your fuel bottle with duck tape or something similar. If it's cold, the bottle will cause frostbite if you touch it with bare hands.

  4. #79
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    So I've run the stove 4 times now, once from room temperature conditions and 3 times from my garage (unheated) in 36-37 deg F temps and light winds and light rain on one day. Lit by lighter, match and fire steel. Did have 2 follow up questions now that I've actually used this type of stove.

    1) Other than the room temp priming/lighting (which was flawless), every time I primed and let it burn down until flame was almost gone and then turned regulator on the flame did not initially ramp up and get strong. It got large and orange so I turned regulator off and let that burn down until almost out (it was pretty large in some cases), turned regulator on again when it was nearly out and it fired right up. I assume this is because I did not use enough fuel to prime so it burned off without sufficiently heating burner? I've been turning regulator on to same place and counting to 2, then turning off (per the manual). Next time I light I plan to count higher before lighting. I assume this is the "variable" part of priming that is temp dependent and that requires the practice. The definition of "almost out" is pretty vague too. I guess that also requires practice to judge how big of a flame it takes to light.

    2) When I'm all done and packing everything up the plunger in the fuel bottle (I've been leaving it installed per conversation earlier in this thread) stays in the up/out position and has enough pressure to prevent pressing in and staying in. I've tried unscrewing the filter from the bottle slighty to "burp" the air out of it as well as opening slightly the on/off knob on the filter and neither relieves the plunger pressure. When I unscrew a little fuel drips out of the threads too. Is that normal? Seems like a bad thing having the plunger extended where it could get bent and not work properly. Is there another way to do this other than the obvious removing of the filter from the bottle? Several people indicated they leave filter in bottle while in backcountry so curious how they handle this situation.

    Appreciate any feedback on these items. Thanks.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  5. #80
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Hi Daytrip,

    1. An initial yellow-orange flame when you first crack the regulator is normal (assuming your new stove behaves the same as a Whisperlite). To minimize issues with this initial flare up, when I'm first starting it, after priming flame has mostly died down , I always just crack the regulator for as short a time as possible and immediately close it again. This usually results in a manageable yellow-orange flame that dies down in a couple of seconds. I repeat this 'burping' process once or twice, and usually the second or so time I burp it, the flame comes out blue. People seem to have problems with this initial step. The initial flame is yellow orange, and they seem to think if they open the regulator MORE that it will improve things. That's when fireballs erupt. Also, the initial flare up is worse if you don't prime the stove well enough, but it doesn't really sound like that's the problem here. FYI, I've always found that it's better to over-prime than under-prime. If you over-prime, you get a bit more of the yellow orange flame while you're priming, but I always found that completely manageable, as long as I had the wind screen set up. On the other hand, if you under-prime, you're definitely going to get a substantial flare up when you first burp the regulator, and it'll take quite a few more burps before your flame is blue, because the stove won't be up to temperature yet. Again, this is where I see people have problems/fireballs.

    2. I always removed the pump from my fuel bottle. I found the plunger would sometimes extend, making it vulnerable to breaking. Actually, for one or two trips I left the pump in the fuel bottle, having seen others do it, and on one occasion I broke a chunk off. It was still serviceable, but I thought it riskier to keep the pump in the bottle than to detach it and keep it separate, usually near the top of my pack where it was less likely to be damaged. It takes almost no time to put the pump in, so I didn't think that time savings was worth the increased risk of damage to such a critical piece of gear.
    Sure. Why not.

  6. #81
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    On the whisperlight, if the plunger move up it means the check valves arent seated.

  7. #82
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Hi Daytrip,

    1. An initial yellow-orange flame when you first crack the regulator is normal (assuming your new stove behaves the same as a Whisperlite). To minimize issues with this initial flare up, when I'm first starting it, after priming flame has mostly died down , I always just crack the regulator for as short a time as possible and immediately close it again. This usually results in a manageable yellow-orange flame that dies down in a couple of seconds. I repeat this 'burping' process once or twice, and usually the second or so time I burp it, the flame comes out blue. People seem to have problems with this initial step. The initial flame is yellow orange, and they seem to think if they open the regulator MORE that it will improve things. That's when fireballs erupt. Also, the initial flare up is worse if you don't prime the stove well enough, but it doesn't really sound like that's the problem here. FYI, I've always found that it's better to over-prime than under-prime. If you over-prime, you get a bit more of the yellow orange flame while you're priming, but I always found that completely manageable, as long as I had the wind screen set up. On the other hand, if you under-prime, you're definitely going to get a substantial flare up when you first burp the regulator, and it'll take quite a few more burps before your flame is blue, because the stove won't be up to temperature yet. Again, this is where I see people have problems/fireballs.

    2. I always removed the pump from my fuel bottle. I found the plunger would sometimes extend, making it vulnerable to breaking. Actually, for one or two trips I left the pump in the fuel bottle, having seen others do it, and on one occasion I broke a chunk off. It was still serviceable, but I thought it riskier to keep the pump in the bottle than to detach it and keep it separate, usually near the top of my pack where it was less likely to be damaged. It takes almost no time to put the pump in, so I didn't think that time savings was worth the increased risk of damage to such a critical piece of gear.
    Thanks. It did seem like the 2nd crack of the regulator gave me a nice "prime flame" which led to an efficient lighting. Figured the technique could be better, which with more practice I'm sure it will.

    On the fuel filter and removing it after each use, that was my intention but I wondered how wet with fuel it would be removing and how to wipe it down so it wasn't an issue stored in the pack after. That's when several people mentioned just leaving it in, which is fine if the plunger stays in down position - which I now know it doesn't at least on my stove.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  8. #83
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    On the whisperlight, if the plunger move up it means the check valves arent seated.
    Check valves being the on/off knob? I don't see any other valves, externally at least. I've carefully checked all the connections after use to look for dripping gas, smell of gas, etc. Everything seems tight.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  9. #84
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    I dont have my whisperlight handy but on my Dragonfly pump, the check valve is in the tip of the pump. Its just a rubber ball held in with a spring. In order to understand how the pump works there are some basics to understand. The fuel pump actually pumps air into the fuel bottle rather than fuel. The pump seal is a leather cup attached to the plunger. The leather is formed in a cup so that when its lifted up it lets air past the leather seal and into the cylinder that the plunger slides in. When the plunger is pushed down the rim of the leather cup expands and seals against the cylinder walls which causes the air in the cylinder to pressurize. The only place it can escape is out a hole in the bottom of the cylinder. The hole is blocked from the outside of the cylinder with a rubber like ball that is made of material that is not impacted by the fuel. The ball is held in place against the hole with a spring. the other side of the check valve is vented to the inside of the fuel bottle through a tube. When the pressure in the cylinder exceeds the pressure in the fuel bottle, the rubber ball will lift the spring and will flow into the fuel bottle until the pump hits the bottom of the cylinder. When the plunger is lifted, the leather cups outer diameter gets smaller and the rubber ball is pushed back into the hole by the spring sealing the pressure in the tank from escaping out back through the pump cylinder.

    If the ball or its seat is plugged with debris it may not seat and then pressure in the tank will push either air or fuel back up the pump cylinder and out the pump and may lift the pump rod up (sometimes it doesn't ) and will leak all over the place. On the Dragonfly, its obvious when the check ball lifts the spring. If the plunger is pushed down when its not in the fuel bottle it will build up resistance and then release it and if you put the finger on the end of the tube that goes in the tank you will feel a puff if air.

    I had one of the defective Dragonfly pumps long ago, it worked but was on its way out. I had another stove and set it aside. While doing an AT section hike a year or so later, with my pocket rocket for cooking I found a Dragonfly pump abandoned in shelter. It looked like someone had tried to pump used motor oil through it. It was gummy. I threw it in the pack and at some point when I got home I cleaned it up thoroughly by disassembling it and soaking it in white gas and didnt even need to replace the seals and its the one I still use on the rare occasions when I use it for larger group cooking.

    The defective dragonfly pumps was a black mark on MSR, they came out with a newer design that cured the defect but they refused to give free replacements yet would gladly sell the new design.
    Last edited by peakbagger; Yesterday at 06:51 AM.

  10. #85
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I dont have my whisperlight handy but on my Dragonfly pump, the check valve is in the tip of the pump. Its just a rubber ball held in with a spring. In order to understand how the pump works there are some basics to understand. The fuel pump actually pumps air into the fuel bottle rather than fuel. The pump seal is a leather cup attached to the plunger. The leather is formed in a cup so that when its lifted up it lets air past the leather seal and into the cylinder that the plunger slides in. When the plunger is pushed down the rim of the leather cup expands and seals against the cylinder walls which causes the air in the cylinder to pressurize. The only place it can escape is out a hole in the bottom of the cylinder. The hole is blocked from the outside of the cylinder with a rubber like ball that is made of material that is not impacted by the fuel. The ball is held in place against the hole with a spring. the other side of the check valve is vented to the inside of the fuel bottle through a tube. When the pressure in the cylinder exceeds the pressure in the fuel bottle, the rubber ball will lift the spring and will flow into the fuel bottle until the pump hits the bottom of the cylinder. When the plunger is lifted, the leather cups outer diameter gets smaller and the rubber ball is pushed back into the hole by the spring sealing the pressure in the tank from escaping out back through the pump cylinder.

    If the ball or its seat is plugged with debris it may not seat and then pressure in the tank will push either air or fuel back up the pump cylinder and out the pump and may lift the pump rod up (sometimes it doesn't ) and will leak all over the place. On the Dragonfly, its obvious when the check ball lifts the spring. If the plunger is pushed down when its not in the fuel bottle it will build up resistance and then release it and if you put the finger on the end of the tube that goes in the tank you will feel a puff if air.

    I had one of the defective Dragonfly pumps long ago, it worked but was on its way out. I had another stove and set it aside. While doing an AT section hike a year or so later, with my pocket rocket for cooking I found a Dragonfly pump abandoned in shelter. It looked like someone had tried to pump used motor oil through it. It was gummy. I threw it in the pack and at some point when I got home I cleaned it up thoroughly by disassembling it and soaking it in white gas and didnt even need to replace the seals and its the one I still use on the rare occasions when I use it for larger group cooking.

    The defective dragonfly pumps was a black mark on MSR, they came out with a newer design that cured the defect but they refused to give free replacements yet would gladly sell the new design.
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I'll take mine apart and have a look at it. I wouldn't think anything would be clogged already being new (and I'm using the MSR "Super" Fuel - which is supposed to be very clean) but who knows. Better to check than wonder.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  11. #86
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    Lot to be said for doing a practice autopsy before you need to. If I am going to depend on something I try to make sure I understand it. That's why my goal is to own old vehicles preferably without computers like my Unimogs

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