Vision Stone 2 Innards - I finally like this thing!
by, 04-01-2012 at 02:15 PM (468 Views)
Until I bought the Vision Stone 2 tank, I only had experience with the atomizer/cartridge combo, regular cartomizers and eGo-T tanks. Suffice it to say, I was less than satisfied with these. I've vaped for over a year, and I've fallen off the wagon a few times. I blame that partly on myself but mostly on the fact that none of my hardware was doing it for me.
I managed to find GotVapes and the wonderful world of CE2 tanks and cartomizers. I really prefer the top coil variety, by the way. I think I can keep on vaping forever if I continue to use this type of setup. I get a great amount of vapor which is also a great amount of nicotine. They're far more satisfying than anything else and look really cool, too!
The Stone 2 was my first CE2 and I was initially drawn to it because they were going to sell replacement innards. You could unscrew the base and top from the tube, which made cleaning it stupidly easy. I think my kids could clean it! Of course, I'd never let them. I'm not THAT lazy and I'd never let a kid handle something with nicotine juice in it. I also loved the fact that it was so freaking massive. The tank is HUGE and it looks epic.
I filled up the tank as soon as I got it. The first tank I vaped through was fine. Nothing to write home about, but it was still pretty nice. However, the wicks are thick so I had to break it in. The second tank was incredible. I couldn't believe it. The flavor, warmth and sheer amount of vapor it was producing was like nothing I had ever experienced in my time vaping. At this point, I was completely sold on this type of carto/tank. There was no turning back.
About a half of a milliliter through the second refill, things started to go downhill. Now, keep in mind that this is the second version of the Stone tank and this version was brand new so the people who bought the first Stone 2 tanks were basically testing them. Since this item can be completely disassembled, it required some fiddling to get it just right.
I ran across several issues with this tank the first day I had it. It flooded. A lot. I had to be super careful not to turn it upside down or even tilt it too much until it was close to empty or it would flood and gurgle like mad. I had to blow it out countless times. Sometimes, it would flood even when it was standing upright. I'm not sure what might cause that unless there was something at the bottom that wasn't sealed right. I'm no expert modder, so I have very little knowledge on these things. This was something I could never fix.
Secondly, it leaked not only from the bottom, it leaked at the top, too. And a lot of condensation formed on the top cap for some crazy reason. The leak from the bottom was fixable, though. I got some advice from the pros on the GotVapes forum here on ECF and was able to pinpoint the main problem. The o-ring that goes around the base below the threading was twisted and not sitting correctly. After a bit of fiddling, I was able to get it to sit flat against the base like a washer. After adjusting this and screwing the tube onto the base so tight I had to use a leatherman to hold it still while I twisted the tube off, it stopped leaking. I still had leaks from the top, but oh well. I loved it too much for that to be a deal breaker.
The wicks were my third issue. I had two problems with the wicks. One of those problems finally led to the temporary retirement of my Stone 2 tank. I'll talk a bit about the first problem, though. The wicking was great as long as the tank was full to the top of the metal rod before it met the cup. It was fine when it was halfway down. By the time the tank got down to around 1/4 full, it was really hard to get a proper hit. Most of the hits were dry, even if I tilted it, twirled it or turned it upside down. Those also caused it to flood, so it was especially frustrating. If I did re-wet the wicks by tilting and twirling it, I would only get one proper hit from it. After that, it was just crappy dry atty hits. And, yes, I did try fluffing the wicks. That changed nothing. I also adjusted the cup seal so it wasn't sitting so far down against the wicks and that changed nothing. And, finally, I cut the wick slots on the cup a bit to make them larger, which was also ineffective.
The straw that broke the camel's back was when the wick fell apart. Well, only one side of the wick, actually. I noticed that a few threads at the top were poking out and were no longer inside the coil. It wasn't long before it was hanging by a thread and I had to give it up. I was still patiently waiting for the replacement innards to get to the US, so I put it away and stuck with the Vision Extremes that I had on hand. Please understand this one thing, though. I vaped this thing until it fell apart regardless of the issues because it was just.that.good.
Now, to the reason I'm writing this blog post at all, aside from the fact that I tend to write a novel and it seems like I should make it a blog post instead of a forum post. GotVapes finally got the innards in stock and I bought one. The price was excellent compared to the price of a complete tank, and that's a big plus. I knew that I was going to be happy with it just because I could use my Stone again, even if it still had issues.
I'm really happy to report that these new innards transformed my Stone 2 tank into the tank that I was hoping to get in the first place. Every single issue, save one, has disappeared. For some reason, it didn't have an o-ring around the bottom, but that was an easy fix. I just transferred the ring from the old innards to the new one, no big deal. It has not flooded even one time. It frequently flips upside down on my lanyard since it's top heavy and that hasn't even caused flooding. I think that this is due to the new cup seal which is way better than the old one. It fits better and the wick slots are larger, so juice isn't getting into the cup aside from what the wicks deliver. It does not leak from the bottom at all. Not even one tiny drop. I can vape this thing right down to the last drops of juice if I tilt and twirl it at the end and I get several draws before I have to re-wet the wicks.
The only problem that I'm still having is leaking from the top. Since the innards don't include a new top, that's likely going to always be a problem. I'm okay with that, because the pros heavily outweigh the cons. One wick is considerably shorter than the other, but that hasn't caused me any problems. It only barely reaches the top of the base while the other lays inside of it. But it's vaping just fine and wicking perfectly, so I have no complaints.
I'm sad that the Stone 2 tanks and innards are not going to be sold anymore once they run out of stock because the Stone 3 has been released. This is definitely one of my favorite cartos/tanks and I plan to use it until it falls apart. Hopefully, that will be a long time from now.