Vigilant 1977 damper issue

billh2 Posted By billh2, Feb 1, 2013 at 10:09 AM

  1. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    This problem just cropped up this morning. When I tried to switch the damper to vertical position, it wouldn't stay in place, just falling back to horizontal. I had a hot fire so I couldn't look to see what was going on. The damper seems to go completely vertical, just won't stay that way. The quick peek I took didn't show any obvious blockage.

    This stove has probably been here for 30 years. I've lived here for 5. I assume that the previous owners never refurbished it. I'm guessing that there is a build up on the edge of the damper that prevents it staying in the full upright position. It's going to be several hours before it cools down enough to check it out. What should I be looking for?
     
  2. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    Just a follow-up. When my stove cooled down to 450 degrees, I got the damper to stay in the vertical position. This seems to suggest the hot fireback expanded to block the damper. I'm reluctant to spend $400 on a new fireback. Perhaps I can grind down the pinch point. I'm guessing a 100 degrees expanded the fireback less than 1/16 of a inch. Any suggestions?
     
  3. defiant3

    defiant3
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    Dec 23, 2010
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    Unfortunately, this is a classic case of warped fireback. Replacing it could be fairly minor,or require major surgery depending on whether it's a 1 piece or 2 piece fireback. 1 piece must be converted to 2 as that's all that's available anymore and is way better AND way less than $400.00. Look for the head of a bolt (7/16" hex) in the upper right corner of the fireback. Shouldn't be hard to find. Use a flashlight if you need to, stove must be cold of course. If it's there, yay, you have a 2 pc. If not, suckin wind w/an old 1 pc. Let us know, we can talk further bout what to do! Grinding ain't gonna get the "biscuit buttered".
     
  4. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    Well, I do have the 1 piece. But if the horizontal hairline crack I found continues across, I will someday have a 2 piece fireback. So what do I do? I see fireback kits for $423. Can I just replace the fireback and not the sides, etc.? I was planning to rebuild the stove this summer anyway.

    I notice that the IC has something called a "damper retainer" that my IA doesn't have. Does the 2 piece fireback come with that retainer? Is it needed?

    Thanks.
     
  5. defiant3

    defiant3
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    Dec 23, 2010
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    That fireback kit comes with everything you need, including tie rods and cement. And yes, when it'sover and the dust clears, you'll have a damper retainer and much more. This is good business. Compared to the cost of replacement, it's not alot of money, and what you end up with is a fully rebuilt stove that should work as new and be good for 5-10 years or so before it needs anything substantial. By the way, next time all you'll need will be upper and lower fireback, currently about $150.00 wotrh.
     
  6. defiant3

    defiant3
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    Dec 23, 2010
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    There are 2 things that can make this not worth doing:

    1 look carefully to be SURE there isn't a crack in the bottom. It's a thing that happens and the bottoms are NO LONGER AVAILABLE.

    2 check the bottom edge of the doors to be SURE that they close as tightly there as at the top. On many old Vig.s, the doors warp so there isn't a seal at he bottom any longer. Front & door assy. can be replaced, but now we're into more $, maybe too much.
     
  7. remkel

    remkel
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    Good luck with that fireback. The kit makes it easy to do.
     
  8. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    I'll check the bottom before I order the kit. The doors look fine.

    Is there any advice (or a thread) about removing old cement and cleaning (eg. wire wheel brushing) the exterior surfaces in preparation for repainting?

    Thanks for the guidance.
     
  9. Kenster

    Kenster
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    I'm curious how you get the thing out of the house. Heavy monster, isn't it?
     
  10. fbelec

    fbelec
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    it's easy to remove the stove by yourself. i took out my defiant myself. a piece at a time outside for a deep cleaning then back inside for reassemble.
     
  11. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    Well, I ordered the kit and it sat in the barn for 3 years. The Vigilant sat in the kitchen unused as well. Last week I decided to install the new fireback kit, new cement and new gaskets. Since it weighs 300 pounds, I disassembled in the kitchen(very messy), cleaned and painted it in the barn and reassembled it in the kitchen. Put about $500 and 18 hours into it(drilling out one of the bolts was a groan). I made a video of the whole process and hope to post soon to youtube. I see that a refurbished Vigilant is for sale on Ebay for $1,800.
     
  12. defiant3

    defiant3
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    $1800.00?????? I am definitely not charging enough for my rebuilt Vigilants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  13. begreen

    begreen
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    He has several rebuilt VCs for sale. Also has a Resolute for $2150 ;lol Wonder if that same person has the Brooklyn Bridge for sale this week only for $20,000.
     
  14. billh2

    billh2
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    Jan 21, 2013
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    I just started a fire to set the cement as required. Noticed some light smoke coming from a couple of places around the top and the left door, early in the burn. Seems to have stopped after 30 minutes. Is this just burning off chemicals(eg. paint, etc.) or did I do a lousy job sealing the top and door? My next fire won't be until December.
    BTW, my wife and the neighbors think I'm nuts to have a fire going in the middle of July. But I had no choice, directions say have a fire within 30 days.
     
  15. begreen

    begreen
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    Might be materials baking. I would do another couple break-in fires on a cool day before you have to close the windows. A fresh paint job will need the stove top to get up to 500F to bake it in. There will be fumes and some smoke in the process. It's nice to have the windows open and a fan blowing out the fumes to outdoors while doing this.
     

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