Heater is old but really runs well with two issues.
1) lighing pilot can be a little difficult due to significant air flow from heater through pilot opening when the cover is open - it is okay if you use a lighter - but matches blow out.
2) pilot always goes out after three days - light again and it runs for three day and out again.
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The pilot ofifice probably has a bit of dirt in it...to get it out you will need to take the pilot apart and clean it out...this can be fairly difficult on those heaters and getting it back together can be a pain...pay attention as you take it apart...blow our the tip with canned air like you would use to clean your keyboard...
Sometimes the "hood" or the cover over the flame will bend up over time and you will also have to bend it down a bit to get the pilot flame onto the thermocouple...make sure the thermocouple is also pushed all the way up in the holder...
Sounds like the thermostat for the blower motor (not the gas thermostat) has shorted. Remove front cover on stove. Follow the wires from the blower motor back to the blower thermostat. Replace with new one. Blower model # DRB-1.
Empire faw 40 makes a loud bang when starting up. There are three burners. The pilot light is on one burner. When the furnace starts, gas is lit on that burner and the flame is passed on to the other burners by a small channel that can get stopped up. You just have to remove the burners and clean the channel with a small file, like on a finger nail clipper. This can be difficult due to the pilot assemble being attached with two bolts. The bolt on the right has to be removed with a short screw driver. You can not get a socket on it. After you remove it there is enough play to remove the bracket and gas burners.
Either a restriction in the gas train, low gas pressure or a bad gas valve. Check the pressure on the gas line when on pilot and again when the burners are running. Depending upon what type of gas it runs on, you should have at least 4" W.C. if Natural Gas and 10" W.C. if Propane. If gas pressures test good and all valves are open, you are looking at replacing the gas valve.