Converting an M1937 Fire Unit to Propane
By David Jarvela
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The reason for the M1937 fire units was to convert them to propane. I wanted to leave the M2 burners intact, thinking that the ranges would be easier to sell as complete units if the opportunity arose.
At first I tried to do the conversion the lazy manís way. Bob had just sold a cook trailer with two M1959ís with M2 burners that had been converted to propane. After looking at the burners, I realized that I would be out of luck there, unable to do anything short of a total disassembly. It was time to start from scratch.
The first step in my conversion was to disassemble the fire unit. I took it down to the point the cast iron burner/mixing chamber and panel were left. I then folded the air and fuel tank straps down into the frame. Then I sat down and thoroughly cleaned the burner/mixing chamber and all the slots in the burner. At this point I should say that I set the parts aside in boxes, thinking that if it didnít work I would reassemble and sell the fire units, and if it did work, I could sell the spare parts.
I wanted to keep the cast iron star burner for a number of different reasons. First, I knew that it would give better heat distribution than a turkey fryer burner like the ones used by the Red Cross in their conversions (these fryers can lead to pot burn-through), and it would keep the fire unit as close to the original as possible. Last, and maybe the most important, it would be cheaper to convert than to buy a new burner.
David Jarvela is a native of White Pine, Mich. He currently lives in Hoyt Lakes, Minn. Questions or comments? E-mail him at: Yooper_in_Mn@yahoo.com
Copyright © 2000 by David Jarvela. All rights reserved. Used with permission.