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Excited New VC Vigilant Owner

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by d9v1f4c, Sep 25, 2011.

  1. d9v1f4c

    d9v1f4c New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Delta, PA
    Where do I begin... Originally when I decided to put a wood stove in our home and began looking friends of ours bought a coal stove to replace there wood stove and were going to give us there old VC Defiant (which had warping and cracks and needed some work, but free is free) I began researching and finding out as much as I could about it, but the crack and warping lingered in my head and as a firefighter and 911 dispatcher safety is a huge thing for me. I decided to look elsewhere...hello craigslist!

    With a price range of $200 (haha) I began looking. Found a nice VC Defiant Encore (newer model, ceramic coated, mint condition) for $150 like an hour after he posted it. I, stupidly, for once decided to wait and talk to the wife instead of just call and finally called a day later and he had sold it that morning. Thinking $150 was a mistake, I asked him and he said "Yea, I guess thats kinda low huh? My phone has been blowing up..." Beat myself up about losing that for a few days. Everything else I found either needed to much work or was "junk"

    Enter VC Vigilant. Found one about 45 min from me, seller believed it was a "Franklin type" but from the pictures I believed it was a VC Vigilant and was terrified I would get up there and it would be a Scandia or something, but I def did my homework on different features and what not, basically confirming it was a VC. It said is need door glass on one side, she estimated $90 but I already found it online for $40-ish. So the best part about everything is it was $50, I didn't wait to talk to the wife lol I talked to the lady and we went to check it out. I had to remove it from the fireplace (pictured) the entire 4ft section of pipe and back were entirely filled with creosote. I started to inspect it; missing glass, ceramic handles broken, NO Warping, NO Cracks, 2 Piece Fireback, Thermostat intact, needs painted and new seals. I couldn't believe it.

    I also want to let everyone know that, atleast in my model Vigilant, you can basically get 75% of the internals out without completely taking it apart. I was able to (in order of removal) remove the smoke shelf, tab & screw at top right of upper fireback, damper handle (but not damper yet), upper fireback (lift up then out of groove), then damper, and the ash fettle, and griddle. See pictures below and check out all the access I now have to clean. Some stuff takes some wiggling and moving but without too much difficulty in about a half hour I did it and I did it all without removing the reversible oval pipe connector.

    I have read just about every article on VC Vigilant on this website and have learned a great deal of info from all of you (greatly appreciated). I did have one question, on the outside of the stove where the sides and front and back all come together at the seams it appears some of the cement has fallen out, would it be beneficial for me to put some putty into the seams and grooves (without take the entire stove apart)?

    Again thanks for all your help and if you have any questions let me know! Sorry for the lengthy post I'm just really excited and believe I been bit by the wood stove bug :)

    -Jarrett

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  2. d9v1f4c

    d9v1f4c New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Delta, PA
    Some more pics of it broken down.

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  3. d9v1f4c

    d9v1f4c New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Delta, PA
    and some more...

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  4. littlalex

    littlalex Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    Hewitt, NJ
    d9v1f4c - Welcome to Vig World. Unbelievable bargain. I inherited a Vig when I purchased this house and have used it as an emergency heater but this year will do most of the heating with the stove.

    The Vigilant owners on the forum are getting fewer and fewer as they move on to newer EPA stoves. The point being that you might have to wait a while to get an answer to a question.

    Judging how quickly and completely you tore that baby down I don't really have anything to add to you info base presently. I'll just venture an opinion and wait for one of the heavyweights to jump in. I'd say stick some stove and gasket cement in those spots and you should be good to go.

    Look forward to trading info during this Winter.

    Again, Welcome Aboard!
    Littlalex.

    P.S. - If you haven't already started you will be buying STUFF for your stove - chainsaw, splitter, maul, assorted tools and gauges (hell I'm looking for a junker small body pickup to haul wood). Suggest your first "aftermarket" purchase be a thermo for your stove top or flue.
  5. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Loc:
    No. NH
    Good one! Yes, by using furnace cement in caulking tube it's possible to sort of inject the stuff right into the seams and it hel;ps. Not like a rebuild, but it helps. Do this from the inside as well. You can use a wet sponge to tidy up afterwards and everyone will think you're a pro after a good hose down with hi-temp stove paint. The 1200 degree paint of course, not bar-b-que black. Any other questions, just throw 'em out there and happy heating!!!
  6. Kenster

    Kenster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    1,593
    Loc:
    Texas- West of Houston
    I have a stove manual for my Vigilant. Is there a separate Rebuild manual? How much does this thing weigh? Might be a challenge to get this thing out of the living room. I could rebuild on the front porch so it would only be about 15 feet to the door. Just can't scratch up the wood floors. My bride wouldn't appreciate that.

    Other than needing to replace the gasket between the back of the stove and the 45 degree connector piece, (Is that 3/16 gasket?) I'm not seeing any other leakage. Some cement is gone but no light shines through. I replaced the griddle gasket last year.
  7. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    I have a rebuild manual (at least most of it :) ) send me a pm and I will forward it to you. Heck, I don't need it anymore (one of those old Vigilant owners that has moved on to the new EPA stoves).

    As for weight, I want to say somewhere around 400 (others feel free to chime in on that). The way I always moved mine was by placing a piece of plywood onto the hand truck and strapping the stove to the hand truck.

    Filling the cracks will help with the air leaks, but a full breakdown is best. You already have the two piece fireback- good, as they do not make the one piece anymore and those tended to crack.

    Once you get her back together, give her a coat of paint, and fire her up you are going to be very happy with that old girl. Lots of heat coming your way!
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Good luck with the project. Hopefully you already have it back together by now. How is it working for you?

    And not to pour salt on a wound, but I picked up an enamel coated Encore this summer for $350.

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