Check Valve Removal

Also known as:

Methods in no particular order or sucess:
Flathead Screwdriver
Screw extractor
Coleman Check Valve tool
Coleman Collectors custom tool

The check valve is a small piece of brass that sits at the very bottom of the pump plunger cylinder. It screws into the fount and over the years gets locked down there. It is installed tightly in the first place but dirt, oil and some gas gets into the threads over time and it doesn't usually like to come out. And, because it is brass, the slot in the top will strip out real easily.

There are several options for removing a check valve:

1. Flathead Screwdriver:

(info from Oldtown Yucca - Frank Bebb with author permission)

The following procedure will give you the best chance of success with a large flathead screwdriver.

But I want you to know that it still may not work.

Should you strip out the check valve you can  have it removed with an easy-out (see below).

But first let's try and get it out with a screwdriver.

Fig 1

Fig 2

If you look down inside of the pump plunger cylinder you'll see the check valve down there (Fig 1).

You'll see that the top of it is slotted. The "perfect" screwdriver for this job probably doesn't exist.

This would have a blade width of 1/2" and a blade thickness of 5/16".

Finding a screwdriver that thick would be real tough.

So I recommend you find the thickest one you can. And, if possible, take a file or a grinding wheel to make it 1/2 wide.

If the blade is too wide it will hit the sides of the fount and won't go into the check valve slot.

Your intent here is to get a good bite in this slot and you may have to modify a screwdriver to achieve it.

Once you have a screwdriver that will work you'll need to have someone hold the fount for you (Fig 2).

You'll also need to attach either a wrench or vice grips to the screwdriver so you will have some torque.

Do not apply any force to the screwdriver until it is perfectly centered in the cylinder! If it is off-center the blade tip will not be square to the bottom of the slot and it will strip it out.

With one hand hold the screwdriver handle...apply a real good bit of downward force while making darn sure the handle is centered in the cylinder.

 Then use the wrench or vice grip to unscrew the check valve.

 The result will come will either "pop" and come loose or it will strip the slot out.

All I can say is "good luck" here...

2. Screw extractor:

(info from Oldtown Yucca - Frank Bebb with author permission)

That rotten *#&$ no-good son-of-*@*#$% check valve.

Those of you who have fought with them and know what I mean. Enough is enough.

These tools could be found in hardware stores

All three here are made by Vermont American but compatibles are easy to find. Part number 21916 is a "T-Handle Tap Wrench" . The large screw extractor is a #4 and the part number is 21814. The small extractor is a #3 and is part number 21813.

There are numerous styles of check valves and the tools I'm describing here should not be used for all of them.

Not to be used on:

242 or early 242A without the air stem.

a 2-mantle lantern prior to the 220D/228D .

In the case of these check valves you will still need to use a blade tool to remove the valves.

Any check valve that you NEED to re-use cannot be removed with an extractor!

Check valves are for safety and for safety Re-use only if necessary!

Luckily 95% of the Coleman lanterns on the planet use a "standard" check valve and replacements are still available.

They came with 2 different size air stems, old and new, and this is why I recommend you get both extractors (#3 and #4).

The #4 will work for most original check valves--they are those that have a larger air stem.

Modern lanterns, from the 80s or so on up, use a smaller air stem and the #3 extractor is used here. Also, replacement check valve P/N 200-6381 uses a small airstem and 5 years down the road when you go to replace the replacement you'll need the smaller one...

Okay so look at the picture at the top of the page again.

At the top you will see the T-handle tool, with the #4 extractor in it and an original 1952 check valve attached to the end.

With the tool as shown, it took me less than 5 seconds to remove.

At the bottom you'll see the #3 extractor with a more modern check valve attached.

On the right you'll see the two different size air stems. The one with the red paint on it is an original and you'll see that the threaded end is significantly larger than the new easy to tell them apart.

The #4 extractor is just a tad bit larger than the T-handle wants to accept.

I gently pried open the teeth with a screwdriver and she fit right in. The #3 fits with no problem.

To re-install a check valve one only needs a good sized flat tip screwdriver and a little caution. Snug the check valve, don't lean on it. Someday it will have to come out again.

But what if you have the "other" type of check valve?

Well you'll need to use a blade tool. If you have a 242 or 242A without the air stem you might have to cast a glance at your power drill.

But if you have the 220B or C or an LQ427 a properly fitting blade will work just fine.

3. Coleman Check Valve tool

I have and used an original Coleman check valve tools I have both the Canadian and US versions (don't remember which one is which)

and decided to add some images and dimensions if you want to make your own

All dimensions are in millimeter (mm) sorry for all that use the imperial method but we are metric 




4. Coleman Collectors custom tool

Originally designed by Matthew Reid and now manufactured by Dan MacPherson this is in my mind the best tool available out there for Coleman check valve removal.
How to Use The Check Valve Removal Tool:
1. Determine which of the two threaded rods to use by removing the air stem from your lanterns check valve. (8-32 or ¼-32 thread)
2. Hand screw the rod into the check valve at least finger tight. Try and get it to bottom out and engage as much thread as possible.
3. Slide the tube down over the rod.
4. Gently turn the tube until the “ears” or tangs drop into the slots cut in the check valve. Note: Make sure that the ears are fully engaged in the slot.

5. Drop a washer onto the rod and then screw on one of the 7/16” nuts (1/4-20 thread) and tighten just enough to eliminate any play in the tube and lock it into place. Caution: Do not over tighten as the brass threads in the check valve may strip!
6. Use an adjustable wrench and fit it to the flats on the exposed end of the tube.
7. Hold the fount in a solid grip and give the wrench a solid turn counterclockwise. Avoid side loading the wrench. The check valve will pop loose and you will be able to remove the entire assembly with the check valve attached.
8. Clean and loosen the BB and when free, screw the check valve back into the fount, or use a new replacement valve.
Caution: Do not reinstall the valve too tight!
This tool is not plated and will rust if left in a damp environment. A light coating of oil is recommended for storage.

So if you want one let me know and I can connect you to Dan

Pics  by: Dennis Elliott & Jeffrey