Rebuilding VC Resolute Acclaim

bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
Earlier this year, when I cleaned my 8 yo VC Resolute Acclaim, I had a broken right arch brick, and behind it the combustion package was badly deteriorated. I posted on it then. The rest of the stove looked intact. I decided to rebuild it.
The best prices I could find were on eBay, $235 for the combustion package, and $240 for a set of arch bricks and sealing plates.
It's hard to find rebuilding instructions in one place, but from searching this forum, and others, I found the upper fireback had to come out to replace the combustion package which just sits on the stove back and is held in place by the fireback. People had mentioned the fireback was prone to warping, but mine looked good.
I purchased a gasket kit for $33 from eBay, and replaced all the gaskets as I went along. It came up about a foot short on the 5/16” for the flue cover, but the seller quickly sent me the extra at no charge.
With the fresh gaskets I needed a drift to line up the bolt holes on the fireback and sealing plates. I stuffed some used gasket in the small gaps between the sealing plates and the combustion package. Incidentally, the new sealing plates were unnecessary because the old ones looked good. They are held in place by Phillips head screws, rather than bolts, and might be a problem removing if the slots accumulate creosote.
I've always had a problem opening and closing the damper, especially by mid-season, so I smoothed the damper ears and fireback hinges, and coated them with graphite. The damper tabs have a “V” shape, and I installed them with the point against the ear to prevent any slop in the rotation. I adjusted the damper ramp to make up for the new gasket. Time will tell how this works!
I troweled in furnace cement in the front corner seams, and anywhere else that looked like it needed it, then installed the new arch bricks and old side bricks. I rehung the front door and adjusted the latch for the new gasket.
I considered giving the stove a new coat of Stove Bright, but being so close to the burning season, I didn't want to smell up the house. It can wait till next spring.
 

bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
Still burning like a champ, but the bypass damper is hanging up after less than 2 weeks. I have to wonder whether the upper fireback, or the damper plate, or both expand enough when warm to affect their operation. I'll try adjusting the ramp where the damper rod slides to see if that makes any difference. I was smooth as silk when cold.:confused:
 

bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
I just let the stove cool down a little, backed off on the damper adjustment, and now it opens/closes smoothly again. Won't know if this is the solution to my problem until the stove heats up again, but it's easy enough to adjust.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
Keep us posted. It would be good to know if the new refractory parts are more durable than the old stuff.
 

defiant3

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2010
892
No. NH
Yeah, you're describing symptoms of a warped upper fireback, hopefully I'm wrong. I know you said it looked good so ok, but it doesn't take much to make it weird. When I service Acclaims, I almost always just do the UFB. It's not an expensive part and it extends the time between service. Just sayin. Good job tho!! And I agree about the Phillip's head screws!
 
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bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
I backed off on the damper adjustment too much, and the plate opened on it's own in the middle of the night. Tightened up a little, and now it's smooth again. I HOPE the fire back isn't an issue!
 

bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
Just finished cleaning out the VC Acclaim after a good season of non-stop burning. The bypass damper worked fine once I had the damper ramp adjusted. There was less than usual ash accumulation behind the sealing plates, and the Phillips head screws weren't a problem removing. I vacuumed the combustion package as best I could. Does anyone ever take it apart to clean it out? I'm going to spray the stove with Stove Bright later this spring to give it a good chance to dry before next fall. Quite happy with last years rebuild!:)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
Stove Brite dries very quickly. It can be recoated in an hour typically.
 

warrenoliver

New Member
Mar 13, 2019
8
mcfarland, wi
I just replaced my Resolute Acclaim earlier this year. I was tired of chasing my tail with replacing the combustion package every 2-3 years and dealing with warped fireback and damper and also the arch and side bricks cracking. I finally bit the bullet and bought a PE Super Classic. I can't believe the difference in the amount of heat and efficiency of the stove. The old VC heated up quickly but it also cooled down quickly and didn't keep a bed of coals very long. I thought I would really miss the top load feature but I guess now I don't have to load it so often that it really isn't an issue for me. You really will be amazed at how much more efficiently the new stoves run.
 

bilvihur

Member
Feb 28, 2012
35
Mid-Hudson Valley
Thanks for that input. One of the main reasons for choosing the VC Resolute Acclaim was that I could install it in front of the downstairs fireplace with its horizontal flue pipe fitting just under the brick lintel (27"). If the new combustion package and arch bricks last as long as the originals, I'll be satisfied. Did you ever disassemble the combustion package to clean it out?
 

woodstovelover

New Member
Dec 27, 2018
21
chimney
I just replaced my Resolute Acclaim earlier this year. I was tired of chasing my tail with replacing the combustion package every 2-3 years and dealing with warped fireback and damper and also the arch and side bricks cracking. I finally bit the bullet and bought a PE Super Classic. I can't believe the difference in the amount of heat and efficiency of the stove. The old VC heated up quickly but it also cooled down quickly and didn't keep a bed of coals very long. I thought I would really miss the top load feature but I guess now I don't have to load it so often that it really isn't an issue for me. You really will be amazed at how much more efficiently the new stoves run.
I have a 30 year old VC Resolute Acclaim this stove has no fire bricks just cast iron. Are all these problems unique to the newer models?
I admit I'm not a 24/7 user just weekends and evenings but my stove has been used 30 years straight with no issues. Am I just lucky or were the
older VC Resolute Acclaims made better?
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,288
North Eastern MA
The older stoves were definitely built better. I had a 1980 VC Resolute which I sold and up till at least a few years ago was still in use. The older stoves were simpler but less efficient and burned dirtier.

VC went thru some turnover in ownership starting back around 2007 I think and quality suffered at the same time the stoves were becoming more complex.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
I have a 30 year old VC Resolute Acclaim this stove has no fire bricks just cast iron. Are all these problems unique to the newer models?
I admit I'm not a 24/7 user just weekends and evenings but my stove has been used 30 years straight with no issues. Am I just lucky or were the
older VC Resolute Acclaims made better?
That sounds like the original Resolute (I, II or III), not the Acclaim series which has a refractory combustion box. The Acclaim's refractory innards did not stand up well to 24/7 heating. We had the Resolute I and loved it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
Do you know the model number? The Resolute Acclaim came out in the early 90's. Are there 3, metal arch inserts in the back of the stove protecting the refractory chamber?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, you could be right. Now that I think about it I think that line started around 1988. It was their first EPA stove. If so, that makes it an 0041. Does it have the shaker grates?

It's hard to tell the model with the ash in there. After it is cleaned up and the back plates are wiped down I think you will find that there are 3 plates there with the secondary ports underneath. Behind the plates is the refractory chamber.
 
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woodstovelover

New Member
Dec 27, 2018
21
chimney
Yes, you could be right. Now that I think about it I think that line started around 1988. It was their first EPA stove. If so, that makes it an 0041. Does it have the shaker grates?

It's hard to tell the model with the ash in there. After it is cleaned up and the back plates are wiped down I think you will find that there are 3 plates there with the secondary ports underneath. Behind the plates is the refractory chamber.
Yes, it does have shaker grates with a removable handle for shaking coals or ash down into the pan
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,578
South Puget Sound, WA
Definitely an 0041. Troublesome stove, unfortunately, that needs frequent rebuilds if used regularly.