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Old 03-06-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
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Default Input sought on old Firestone keg

I got in on the classifieds keg buy and all were in good shape and held pressure.

2 were Cornelius, one was Cornelius-clone Firestone (visually identical except for relief valve); the final one is the one I want input on.

It is stamped Firestone Challenger (no V-anything visible). It has a weird straight-sided oval lid and flat seal:


Do normal corny orings work on these lids? If not, anyone know if McM-Carr carries them?
I ordered a stack of the normal corny rebuild rings from McMaster. I don't want to tear it down and potential break any nonreplaceable parts until I know what's what. These are my very first kegs and I am not the sharpest tool in the shed.

There is weird low spot in the bottom that is visible internally and externally:


If this low spot is intentional, what does it for? It is so evenly spaced and perfectly formed that I don't think it is dented into that shape. Maybe it's a debris trap?

If I won't be able to get replacement seals for it I suppose I could use it for soda kegging. To use with beer I absolutely need to replace the rubber parts. Any thoughts?

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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Removing the large O-ring is not going to damage it. Just remove it and place it on top of a new one and see if you have a match.

Can't tell you on the dent/no-dent, maybe it had a different dip tube at one time that needed the space.

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Old 03-06-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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I've got one of those, and the normal O-ring fits. What doesn't fit are the inner O-rings on the gas/beer sides. There are weird plastic spacers. I found this website: Reconditioning Old Firestone Soda Kegs that I'm going to try. I had to order the 000 beveled faucet washer, and I'm waiting for that to arrive. Once it does - I'll let you know if it works. Oh, and the gas diptube is non-standard and can't be found anywhere either. I read somewhere online about drilling it out to make it standard, but I haven't done that yet.

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Old 03-06-2009, 01:14 PM   #4
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I have one of those kegs as well. The dip tube has been replaced, the usual one on that model goes straight down from the post into that divot. Normal lid O-rings will work. Mine has a crappy plastic gas-tube, I wish it was SS, but on the other hand I'm not sure I really need it anyway (No one has ever given me a good reason to have a dip tube on the gas side except that it helps the poppit work on normal kegs)

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Old 03-06-2009, 06:41 PM   #5
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Yeah, a divot for the tube to sit in makes sense.

Glad to hear the lid orings fit. If anyone finds a source for the plastic spacers please chime in.

BTW, I read somewhere that some folk are taking a regular gas dip tube and cutting it seriously short so that it does not reach the narrowed point in the gas in side on these old kegs. I would imagine that widening that constriction would allow use of a standard gas in dip.

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Old 03-06-2009, 11:31 PM   #6
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I just finished rebuilding one of these guys.

No o-ring needed on gas tube.

This o-ring for the liquid tube (slightly different shape than a normal one since the dip tube is bigger than a normal one):
DIP TUBE SEAL-SPARTENBERG @ Williams Brewing

Here are the plastic spacers:
FIRESTONE NYLON INSERT @ Williams Brewing

The lid o-ring is the same.
The poppet o-rings are the same.

This keg makes its seal by pressing those nylon spacers onto the large flat areas on the gas post and the top of the liquid tube. For this type of keg, I'm pretty sure that it would work perfectly fine without the gas tube since it does nothing for the poppets. As long as your plastic tube is in one piece, I see no reason at all to replace it. There isn't much point in throwing money/parts at a problem that doesn't exist.

When you put the posts back on, you'll notice that it takes some serious torque to compress the nylon spacers.

Also, that dent in the bottom is because the tube normally just goes straight down, or at least mine did.

Good luck!

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:35 AM   #7
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I ordered a few of the pieces from Williams, thanks for the links.

I have the day off tomorrow so I am going to tear down, clean, sanitize and reassemble my kegs. I'll report back how it goes.

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Old 03-09-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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I have one of those too. Mine had some sort of crude, homemade spacers.

The regular lid o-rings work but mine needs some decent pressure before it seals. But it does seal tight.

I found a flat washer that fit's perfectly around the plastic gas dip tube (the ID is tight around the dip tube and the OD is the same as the dip tube 'flare') and used it under the dip tube and then found some nylon pieces that work perfectly for the spacers...I don't even know what these nylon pieces are...just something I had in the junk-parts-box. I think I used a regular o-ring on the liquid side. I guess my point is that you can get creative and just look for stuff you have lying around plus maybe a quick trip the small parts/hardware section of your hardware store.

I actually prefer the straight liquid dip tubes.

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Old 03-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #9
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I tore down, cleaned, replaced rings, and reassembled the three "normal" kegs. They are holding pressure and are not blowing leak bubbles, so maybe I am not hopeless.

The old firestone is still disassembled waiting for the seals from Williams.

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Old 08-22-2010, 07:44 PM   #10
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Soooooo, has anyone been able to find suitable replacement poppet valves for these old Firestone kegs or do you have to order new posts assemblies with the poppets included? Has anyone had any luck finding replacement o-rings for the poppet valves? Mine are dry-rotted and the poppets look like they would work if I can get some new o-rings on them.

Thanks.

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