Don't take this personally but I'm going to play devils advocate...
You bought a "new" 40 year old stove that was recalled by the original Dickenson company a few years after it was made? You've done some good experimenting with different home made superheaters ect. But did you ever order and buy the ones made by the current
company? The width, size, shape, and thickness gauge are all going to have effects on heat retention and ulitmately the burn. I'd try buying
all the current
baffles the new company recommends for the burners. They've probably gone through all the testing to make it work it's best.
It also sounds like they also strongly recommend the dampner which I'd have been more than happy to try after cleaning
I'd be curious as to why the originals were recalled and what is dangerous about them? Do they leak exhaust
gasses (smells and ache eyes), or have air leaks
into the combustion chambe not allowing good burns? Or if running properly will the burner top get too hot for the aluminum
and will it then melt or bet distourted?
I don't think you should be so quick write off all "new" dickenson heaters and stoves because you're trying to make something work that the original company gave up on, recalled, and presumably sent their customers a different unit. I wouldn't expect any really helpful support from the company that didn't make, test for a solutions, and ultimately recall
the product. If it's been recalled there is probably a good chance it's dangerous and there may be some liability in helping you get a recalled product working.
Say they tell you to do x and y, and you do it. Then the issue, why it was recalled, pops up fills the cabin
with CO2ect and kills you. Now they told you how to fix it so they were saying it was safe now they are liable, and out of business...
I know you probably paid a pretty good price
for the unit, but it doesn't seem the you're at all concerned with why they were recalled. I'm cheap
too, I've got an old shipmate heater that I cut new leather seals
for the pump from an old pair of shoes (now thats cheap!). I buy second hand as often as I can, but sometimes you get burned. You've got every right to be peeved at whomever sold it to you
I didn't see any mention of do you have the proper amount of head
(height about the burner) on the supply tank?That being said I hope you can get it running reliably, and kudos to all who've offered up suggestions. Don't forget a good carbon monoxide detector in the cabin as a part of any combustion heater install.
Vino, you're a far more patient man than I good luck!