Gas/Diesel Heater DIY Install Guide for Vans (Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster) | Espar AS3-B2L

Gas/Diesel Heater DIY Install Guide for Vans (Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster) | Espar AS3-B2L

Espar-AS3-B2L-Heater-Installation-in-Ford-Transit-Header-1920
Photo of author
Updated:

Below you’ll find the entire installation process for the Espar AS3-B2L gas heater in our Ford Transit van. However, as the same principles apply, this guide is also relevant for diesel heaters installed in other vans (Sprinter, ProMaster).

We chose the newest Espar AS3-B2L gasoline heater because of a few features we really like: automatic altitude adjustment up to 13,000 feet, easy to install (pre-wired kit), and the EasyStart Pro Controller has a built-in room temperature sensor.

We also had a gas heater in our previous van, and it made our full-time winter vanlife adventures possible and kept the van warm in temperatures as low as -31°C (-23F). So now that we’re converting our second campervan, we are installing a heater again without hesitation. We hope this guide helps you!


1. Theory


1.1. Gasoline/Diesel heaters In a nutshell


Gasoline/diesel space heaters generate heat by fuel combustion. The fuel is typically sourced from the vehicle’s main tank, which is very convenient since there is no need to monitor and refill an auxiliary tank. So long as you have gas in the tank, you’ll never run out of heat. Nice! That being said, they also require some electrical power to energize the fuel pump, the “glow plug” (to ignite fuel during startup), the fan, and the controller.

Webasto Espar How It Works Diagram

Gas and Diesel Heaters
Fuel/power consumption and other specifications

2KW Petrol
ESPAR AS3 B2L
(min – max)
WEBASTO 2000STC
(min-max)
Fuel consumption
(L/h)
0.14 – 0.260.14 – 0.27
Power consumption
(W)
11 – 26
< 80 (startup, under 2 min)
15-30
< 90 (startup, under 2 min)
Altitude adjustment Automatic up to 4,000m (13,000ft)Manual up to 10,000ft
Dimensions
(mm)
310 x 115 x 122310 x 120 x 118
Weight
(KG)
2.52.6
2KW Diesel
ESPAR AS3 D2L
(min – max)
WEBASTO 2000STC
(min-max)
Fuel consumption
(L/h)
0.10 – 0.270.12 – 0.24
Power consumption
(W)
6 – 27
< 90 (startup, under 2 min)
15-30
< 90 (startup, under 2 min)
Altitude adjustment Automatic up to 4,000m (13,000ft)Manual up to 10,000ft
Dimensions
(mm)
310 x 115 x 122310 x 120 x 118
Weight
(KG)
2.52.6

About the fuel & power consumption: Keep in mind that the heater doesn’t run all day. In cool temperatures (5°C | 40F), you might only need to run it for an hour or two in the morning/evening. The colder it gets, the longer it has to run during the day to keep you warm.

One of the major benefits of the gasoline/diesel heaters is that they generate dry heat because they are vented heaters.

VENTED HEATER

The combustion air (outside air) is completely isolated from the cabin air (inside air). The heat is transferred from one to another via a heat exchanger. As a result:

  • Heating greatly lowers the relative humidity (RH) in the van.
  • There is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Vented heater (Espar/Webasto/Propex)

Non-vENTED HEATER

The combustion air is the same as the cabin air. As a result:

  • Heating greatly increases the relative humidity (RH) in the van (water vapor is a product of propane combustion!).
  • There is a high risk for carbon monoxide poisoning (a window or fan MUST be opened to vent the carbon monoxide)
Moisture-Condensation-Control-Van-Conversion-Mr-Heater-Buddy
Non-vented heater (Mr Buddy and such)

Dry heat is a BIG DEAL because it helps prevent mold issues, which could ruin your van and your health. We have a LOT to say about moisture and condensation management, but that’s out-of-scope of this current article… we highly recommend reading this later though:

1.2. Choosing the right size


Webasto and Espar both offer a 7,000 BTU (2 kW) model or a 13,650 BTU (4 kW) model.

While you might naturally want to go for more BTU (more heat is better, right?), there is a catch: a more powerful heater will run on “LOW” more often. When gasoline/diesel heaters run on “LOW” for extended periods, they tend to develop carbon buildup issues (very hard soot deposit) in the combustion chamber and that phenomenon gets worse as you go up in altitude. Too much carbon buildup and the heater will stop working. That being said, you can operate your heater for years without carbon buildup issues by choosing the right size, following installation requirements, and operating the heater correctly. To learn more about the issues we had with carbon buildup and how we successfully “fixed it”, scroll down to the section: “Carbon Buildup/Sooting Issues“.

We won’t lie, it is difficult to come up with specific guidelines for choosing the right heater size as there are many variables involved.

Heater size variables

Van size

A large van requires more energy to heat and maintain because it has more square feet to heat.

Insulation type

The heater must compensate for the heat loss. The more a van allows heat loss (poor insulation), the more the heater has to work.

Carbon buildup prevention

Oversizing your heater might sound like a good idea to ensure you get enough heat; unfortunately, this can lead to carbon buildup issues. This variable alone makes our choice much more complicated because getting the right size heater is critical.

Insulated window covers

Windows are a major contributor to heat loss. Properly insulated window covers are essential for winter van life; they minimize heat loss and also make the living area more comfortable (otherwise, it’s very cold near the windows).

Location

We spent some time in the Arizona desert in winter, and it gets quite cold at night. We used our heater in the mornings and evenings. On the other hand, we spent an entire winter in Canada (and near the border of Alaska), and that is on a whole different level. It is not unusual to have -30°C (-22F) for days or weeks, day or night. Having a reliable heat source is critical for safety when it’s that cold!

Interior layout

A van with a “garage” setup like ours requires fewer BTUs because the garage is not heated as much. With our living space in front of the van, having the Webasto installed under the passenger seat is ideal for us. In addition, heat rises, so our “elevated” bedroom area is always nice and warm. On the other hand, installing the heater under the passenger seat might not be ideal for a layout where the living space is in the back.

Rough Guideline

Combining all the variables above makes it hard to provide clear guidelines… That being said, after spending two winters full-time in our van in the USA and Canada, here is our opinion on which size heater to get:

7,000 BTU (2 kW)

The best all-around solution for winter vanlife down to 10F (-12°C). It’ll still be enough to keep your van warm in colder temperatures, but it’ll take longer to warm up a completely frozen van (left alone without heating for a long time). That’s what we have in our van, and it kept us nice and warm in temperatures as cold as -22F (-31°C) during two full-time winter vanlife adventures.

13,650 BTU (4 kW)

It is worth considering for a van layout without a permanent garage under the bed (which means more space to heat). It is also worth considering (for any van layout) if you expect frequently to be in temperatures below 10F (-12°C) because it has more power to warm up a completely frozen van (left alone without heating) faster.

Again, that’s our opinion, and we don’t pretend that’s the absolute truth. Ask around, and you will get all kinds of recommendations. When getting a recommendation from someone else, ask how long they’ve been using their setup, in which conditions, and if they’ve had any issues. Most reviews come from people who just finished their installation and are very excited to share it…  

1.3. What brand/model of heater should I buy?


The two original players in the gasoline/diesel heaters are Webasto and Espar. They both offer high-quality products backed by customer support via a network of dealers (Webasto Dealer Locator | Espar Dealer Locator). If you’ve been following us for a while, you know that we invest in quality components; it’s a philosophy that we used for our entire build, and it has paid off. For this reason, we highly recommend one brand or the other.

We now prefer the latest generation of Eberspacher heaters (aka Espar) over Webasto because they are partially pre-wired (simplifies the installation), feature a built-in automatic altitude adjustment module (nice!), and come with the EasyStart Pro controller (which has an integrated room temperature sensor). It looks like Espar listened to their customers!

Eberspacher (Espar) Logo
Gasoline
7,000 BTU (2 kW)
Espar AS3-B2L
ItemBuy Link
Ford Transit Kit with EasyStart Pro controllerEsparParts.com
ProMaster Kit with EasyStart Pro controllerEsparParts.com
13,650 BTU (4 kW)
Espar AM3-B4L
ItemBuy Link
Ford Transit Kit with EasyStart Pro controllerEsparParts.com
ProMaster Kit with EasyStart Pro controllerEsparParts.com
Diesel
7,000 BTU (2 kW)
Espar AS3-D2L
ItemBuy Link
Sprinter Kit with EasyStart Pro controllerEsparParts.com
13,650 BTU (4 kW)
Espar AM3-D4L
ItemBuy Link
Sprinter Kit with EasyStart Pro controller
EsparParts.com
About EsparParts.com

EsparParts.com has been an authorized Espar distributor and service center since 1989 and is located in the USA (Michigan). That means you get genuine Espar parts, and your warranty will be honored. Order with them to ensure to get a North American kit (adapted to the fuel composition we have here), which is different than the European kit (sold by Amazon, Heatso, or some of the other online e-commerce sites). The rubber fittings from the European kit have been found to crack over time in certain occurrences!

Their kits are tailored for specific van models (Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster). For example, our Transit kit came with a bracket to easily install the fuel pump in the correct orientation – a detail we really appreciated!

Webasto Logo

That being said, Webasto is a solid choice as well if that’s what you prefer:

ItemBuy Link
Webasto Air Top 2000 STC (2kW)Heatso.com
Webast Air Top EVO 40 (4kW)Heatso.com
Webast Air Top EVO 55 (5kW)Heatso.com

Interesting fact: The footprint dimensions (floor cutouts) are the same for the 2kW/4kW Espar and Webasto; it’s the dimensions of the heater itself that are slightly different:

Espar AS3 Dimensions (2 kW)

Espar AM3 Dimensions (4 kW)

Webasto Air Top 2000 Dimensions (2 kW)

About Knockoffs

There’s actually a third option: the knockoffs (aka Chinese Diesel Heaters) which are based on expired Espar/Webasto patents. Like most knockoffs in this world, they look similar on the outside but are quite different inside. The design is copied, but the components are replaced with cheap and low-cost alternative. As a result they are not as reliable as the Espar and Webasto. Many people are running them in their van, but we don’t like to gamble on such important and sensitive equipment. But that’s us!

1.4. Where to install in a van?


The location of the heater plays a role in heat distribution and hence, your comfort. The ideal placement of your Webasto/Espar depends on your interior layout. 

Forward, under the passenger seat

In most vans (Transit, Sprinter, ProMaster), the passenger seat base has plenty of room for a heater (even if you add a swivel); therefore, it’s the most common place to install a Webasto/Espar. It works great with the “raised bed/garage” interior layout because heat distribution is quite uniform. That’s exactly the setup we have in our van:

Cold air is sucked in from the passenger feet area (that’s the coldest place in the van), warmed up, and then expelled at floor level towards the kitchen. As a result, the floor, the living room (swivel seats area), and the kitchen are nice and warm:

Faroutride Van Interior Swivels

Hot air rises, so the bedroom area is also nice and warm. Shutting the curtain minimizes the heat transfer between the kitchen and the garage; in other words, there’s no need to heat the garage. BUT when it’s very cold outside (like below -15°C), heating the garage is necessary so it doesn’t freeze and to control the relative humidity (prevent condensation). So we open the curtain as needed. Therefore, if you are building a winter van, we don’t recommend completely closing the garage to allow some heat transfer.

Faroutride Van Interior (1200px)

Centered or at the back

Another popular layout features a galley that runs through the entire van length, with a table that can convert to a bed in the back. With this interior layout, there are more square feet to heat, and the heat distribution is not as uniform. So, if the heat source is installed at one extremity (e.g., under the passenger seat), the other extremity might not be comfortable. We would consider installing the heater in the center (with 2 hot outlets apart from each other, maybe?) if we had this layout.

1.5. Noise reduction


One of the downsides of gasoline/diesel heaters is the noise, but there are ways to minimize it:

Fuel pump ticking

PROBLEM: Webasto/Espar uses a diaphragm pump; each tick sends a specific amount of fuel. The fuel dosage is controlled by increasing/reducing the ticking frequency. This ticking noise is transferred to the van’s body and can be heard/felt inside the van.

SOLUTION: Kits from EsparParts.com includes a rubber mount for the fuel pump. This is very effective at isolating the ticking noise! Nothing else to do here 🙂

HACK: For Webasto’s, mount the fuel pump with a Quick Fist to reduce the ticking noise tremendously; after doing this, we stopped hearing the noise inside the van. This is shown in our Webasto Install Page.

Combustion air exhaust noise

PROBLEM: Fuel combustion generates noise, reminding of a small jet taking off. This noise is heard mostly outside, not inside.

SOLUTION: Installing an exhaust silencer (Webasto | Espar: included with the EsparParts.com kit) reduces the noise quite a lot.

NOTE: An exhaust silencer adds air restriction, so try to keep the combustion intake + exhaust length under 2 meters.

Combustion air intake noise

PROBLEM: Some of the noise from the combustion can also be heard from the intake.

SOLUTION: Installing an intake silencer (Webasto) helps to reduce the noise. It also acts as an air filter.

Cabin fan

PROBLEM: The cabin fan is quite noisy.

SOLUTION: Not much to do here!

NOTE: The cabin fan noise is constant (white noise); even if it’s quite loud, we don’t mind. This is the SOUND OF HEAT, so you’ll learn to enjoy it 😉 The powerful fan expels the hot air with a lot of velocity, increasing air circulation in the van and drying your ski boots really fast.

1.6. Carbon buildup/sooting issues


Any gasoline/diesel heater (Webasto, Espar, etc.) is subject to producing soot if the combustion conditions are not ideal. The soot can either be a fine powder or a super hard material that deposits on the surface of the combustion chamber (carbon buildup). Too much soot or carbon buildup will eventually clog the heater, and it will stop working.

The air-fuel ratio is critical for a complete combustion reaction. The perfect theoretical air-fuel ratio is referred to as the “stoichiometric combustion reaction” (Google it!). In this condition, all the fuel is burned completely, thus minimizing the rate at which secondary byproduct (soot) is produced. But we don’t live in a perfect theoretical world, so the actual combustion reaction will either be lean (less fuel in the air-fuel mix) or rich (more fuel in the air-fuel mix).

Webasto Combustion Chamber Carbon Buildup

Effect of air-fuel ratio:

Lean burn

(Lean air-fuel ratio = Too much oxygen)

Lean combustion (not enough fuel in the air-fuel mix) occurs when the heater is used at a lower altitude than it is programmed for.

Lean combustion does not damage the heater, but it results in slightly less heat.

A lean burn is more difficult to identify; it’s similar to a clean burn.

Clean burn

(Adequate air-fuel ratio)

Clean combustion (perfect mix of air VS fuel) occurs when the heater is used at the altitude it is programmed for.

A clean burn is the best compromise between the amount of heat produced and the pollutants (soot) generated. A heater that burns cleanly requires less maintenance.

A clean burn produces a minimal amount of white fumes coming out of the exhaust.

Rich burn

(Rich air-fuel ratio = Too much fuel)

Rich combustion (too much fuel in the air-fuel mix) occurs when the heater is used at a higher altitude than it is programmed for. It can also happen when there is too much air restriction in the exhaust (exhaust too long, no drain holes, too many bends, silencer, etc).

A rich combustion produces soot. The soot deposits in the combustion chamber and the exhaust and can become extremely hard (a.k.a. carbon buildup).

A rich burn produces dense, darker fumes coming out of the exhaust. A very rich burn condition sometimes produces small explosions (the extra, unburned fuel suddenly ignites).

So a rich burn is the condition that promotes soot and carbon buildup. Okay, but how can we avoid it? This page contains all the information to prevent it, but here is a recap of the most common causes:

Carbon buildup causes and prevention:

Installation

Exhaust too long.

Sharp bends or too many bends.

No drain holes on low point.

No constant downward slope.

Operation

Heater fired up for less than 10-15 minutes.

Heater running on “Low” for too long.

Frequent ON/OFF cycling (without running on HIGH).

Before shutting down, “boost” it for 10 minutes.

Altitude

Adjust your heater for high altitudes and leave it there at all times.

If your heater has automatic altitude compensation (Espar), you have no adjustment to perform.

At very high altitudes (let’s say 7,000ft and up), try not to let your heater run on “low” (even if it’s adjusted for high altitude).

If prevention didn’t work…

If your heater suddenly stops working for no reason or doesn’t want to start, there is a good chance it’s clogged with soot or carbon buildup. There is no specific fault code for that; the heater will throw a bunch of different codes. At this point, you most likely have to change your burner assembly (combustion chamber). We did it for our Webasto in our previous van, and we documented it here:

1.7. Effect of altitude (and how to mitigate)


The concentration of oxygen lowers with altitude. This has a huge effect on combustion engines or anything that burns fuel, in fact. The correct air-fuel ratio is critical for the combustion reaction to be complete (to burn all the fuel and minimize byproducts).

Gas/diesel heaters are designed to work at sea level. The air-fuel ratio is ideal at this altitude, and the heater burns “clean.” But as soon as you go up a hill with your van and gain altitude, the air-fuel ratio starts to change: there is less oxygen, and the heater burns “rich” in fuel (as described in section: “Carbon Buildup/Sooting Issues“). If you spend most of your time at lower altitudes, the amount of pollutants generated is small, and the heater should be able to “clean itself” when it runs very hot (HIGH). If you spend most of your time at higher altitudes, the amount of pollutants is such that the heater can’t clean itself and will eventually clog with soot/carbon. As a general rule, 1,500m (5,000ft) is considered high altitude and you might have to take action if you spend an extended period (a few days) above that altitude:

Altitude adjustment

Automatic

Espar S3/M3: Up to 4,000m (13,000ft).

Espar S2/M2 (previous generation): Up to 3,000m (9,800ft).

Webasto Air Top Evo 40: Up to 2,200m (7,200ft).

Manual

Webato Air Top 2000 STC RV: The diesel “RV” version can be adjusted with the High Altitude Switch.

Webasto Air Top 2000 ST/STC: Must be manually adjusted (see Webasto Air Top 2000 High Altitude Adjustment Procedure).

1.8. Installation requirements


Gasoline/diesel heaters operate reliably with adequate installation, but many requirements must be met. Don’t give yourself a tap in the back if the heater starts on the first try; the success of your installation is confirmed after a few hundred hours of run time! A few oversights, and you’ll find yourself blaming the damn thing when it fails down the road! So pay attention to the installation requirements, and everything will run smoothly. This advice applies to all brands (Espar/Webasto/knockoffs) of petrol or diesel heaters since they all work on the same principles.

What follows is not a complete list, it’s examples of common mistakes. Make sure to read the OEM manual of your brand/model specifically, as requirements may differ.

Combustion air hose

Keep lengths per manual. The combustion air hose intake + exhaust length should ideally be less than 2 meters. The smallest bending radius is 50mm, and the total allowable bend is 270°.

More length and bend increase air restriction, which can result in carbon buildup issues.

Exhaust silencer

An exhaust silencer increases air restriction.

Keep the intake + exhaust short if using a muffler.

Exhaust dumping

Exhaust must not be dumped under the vehicle; the exhaust pipe must end outside the vehicle’s edge.

Carbon monoxide is lighter than air and will pool under the floor, eventually making its way inside the van. Exhaust gas could also re-circulate into the intake and, therefore, create a rich gas/oxygen mixture, promoting carbon buildup.

Exhaust constant downward slope

Try to route the exhaust on a constant downward slope.

Vapor is a byproduct of combustion, and water in the exhaust needs to be drained.

Exhaust drain hole(s)

Try to avoid low points. If it cannot be avoided, drill a drain hole (3/16″) at each low point in the exhaust pipe.

Vapor is a byproduct of combustion, and water will pool in low points and completely block the exhaust. Not convinced? This photo shows how much water is drained out of the exhaust, that’s huge!

Fuel tank pickup

Some vehicles have auxiliary fuel tank ports, which facilitate installation (there is no need to drop the tank to access it). That’s great except often, these ports do not meet the heater’s specifications. For example, Espar and Webasto require a 2mm inner diameter fuel line (Espar Petrol, such as the AS3, requires an even smaller 1.5mm inner diameter to prevent cavitation), but on the Ford Transit, the auxiliary fuel port has a 4mm inner diameter. Using an out-of-specs auxiliary fuel port means the fuel line will lose its prime (multiple start attempts will be required) and potential problems at high altitudes (carbon buildup).

Note that we did use the Transit auxiliary fuel port on our first van and indeed had issues with the fuel line losing its prime. The heater worked fine mostly, but if we can do better, we will. For this reason, even if our new Transit has an auxiliary fuel port, we are dropping the tank and adding the OEM Espar fuel pick-up pipe (see Installation section).

Fuel line connection

Insert the fuel lines in the butt joints until they are in contact. This is to prevent cavitation (bubbles) from forming.

Espar-Webasto-Fuel-Line-Bubble-Butt-Joint

Fuel line lengths

  • Fuel tank -> pump:
    • Airtronic S3: max. 5 meters.
    • Airtronic M3: max. 2 meters.
  • Pump -> heater:
    • Diesel heaters: max. 6 meters.
    • Petrol heaters: max. 4 meters.
Fuel pump close up annotated

Fuel pump orientation

Install the fuel pump orientation per owner’s manual.

The EsparParts.com kit includes a mounting bracket that automatically orientates the fuel pump per requirement! (For the Ford Transit at least, we can’t confirm for other vans sorry)

Fuel-Pump-Orientation,-Espar-S2-and-M3

Fuel line clamps

Use fuel hose clamps only. Tighten the screw all-the-way until the two arms touch each other.

Worm gear clamps do not provide uniform sealing pressure, and as a result, air bubbles might form on the low-pressure side.

As we mentioned, this is not an exhaustive list. Read the manual! Don’t have time to waste and read a manual? Then you should reconsider installing the heater yourself (or building a van yourself?) because requirements are critical for any system to work properly and safely (electrical, plumbing, propane, etc.) 😉 


2. Espar AS3-B2L heater installation in a Ford Transit van


Below is how to install an Espar AS3-B2L in a Ford Transit van. The installation differs slightly for different van models, but the same principles apply.

Time

25 hours

We had a lot to figure out, but we hope this guide helps you finish the job faster than us! 🙂

Cost

$1,650 USD

Material

ITEMQTYDESCRIPTIONBUY LINK
Heater kit1See “What brand/model should I buy?” section.EsparParts.com
Cutout locator and Mounting Plate Template
(optional)
1To easily find the location of the heater under the Ford Transit passenger seat
(avoid drilling into the frames under the floor).
FarOutRide
M6 rivet nuts4To make the mounting plate removable for heater maintenance.Amazon
Heat sheath sleeving1Radiant barrier for routing over van’s exhaust.Amazon
M6 bolts, washers, nuts
(stainless steel)
VARExtra hardware for various tasks.
Tools

ITEMDESCRIPTIONBUY LINK
Rachet and power drill
with metric sockets and various drill bits
Various.
10in socket drive extension barTo remove fuel tank.Amazon
T-25 torx bitTo remove the inverter from the bracket (optional).Amazon
Painter’s tapeTo protect surfaces from scratches.Amazon
2-5/8″ hole saw with mandrelTo make the hot air vent cutout.Hole Saw | Mandrel
Center punch
(optional)
To punch hole center (prevent the drill bit from roaming on the surface)Amazon
Files, sanding paper, isopropyl alcohol, primer, paint, Q-TipsTo seal the trimed edges and prevent corrosion on bare metal.
Oscillating tool with metal blade.To trim the inverter’s studs flush to the floor.Amazon
Jigsaw with metal blades (thin and thick)To modify the mounting plate and make the cutout in the floor.Amazon
Rivet nut toolTo install rivet nuts.Amazon
Wire stripperTo strip wire insulation.Amazon
PliersTo crimp electrical connectors.
Angle grinderTo cut the combustion air exhaust
(we had a Dremel so that’s what we used).
Amazon

2.1. Heater installation under the passenger seat


2.1.1. Remove the passenger seat

Remove the 2 screws in the front with a 10mm hex socket:

Remove the 2 screws in the back with a 10mm hex socket:

Disconnect the wiring harness with a 7mm hex socket and detach any clip attached to the seat:

Put the seat aside and remove the liner to get access to the seat pedestal:

If you have a Scopema swivel seat installed (how to install: faroutride.com/swivel-transit), remove the swivel adapter with a 5mm hex bit. There is no need to remove the seat from the adapter, so skip the steps shown below (except you still need to disconnect the wiring harness!):

2.1.2. Remove the inverter (as required)

Our van came with an optional power inverter. If you want to keep it, you can relocate the inverter on the vertical wall of the pedestal (the wall near the driver side). Since we will make our own electrical system, we decided to discard it (it powers a single 400W outlet attached to the passenger seat pedestal).

Remove the inverter/bracket assembly from the floor with a 10mm hex socket, and disconnect the electrical connectors:

If you want to reuse the inverter, remove it from the bracket with a T-25 torx bit and an 8mm hex socket:

2.1.3. Remove the seat pedestal

There is a plastic liner at the bottom of the passenger pedestal:

You can trim it to facilitate the next steps:

Remove the four 15mm screws and then the seat pedestal:

Seat pedestal removed!

2.1.4. Make the hot air outlet cutout

In our previous van, we located the hot air outlet as close to the center of the van as possible. We REALLY liked this location, so we are doing the same again!

Mark the hole contour and center. You can use the 67mm (2-5/8″) hole saw as an aid:

Use a center punch to mark the center of the hole (optional, but it prevents the drill from roaming on the surface; highly recommended for your build!). Then pilot the center hole with a 1/8″ drill bit (or such). At last, make the hole with a 67mm (2-5/8″) hole saw:

Debur with a file (or a deburring tool), smooth the edge with sanding paper, clean with Isopropyl alcohol, and then seal with primer and topcoat:

Note: Some YouTubers recommended daubers (shown below), I still prefer Q-Tips for relatively short edges…

2.1.5. Trim the inverter’s studs flush

Trim the two inverter’s studs flush:
(first time using an oscillating tool 😬)

Success! This thing makes it SO easy! It doesn’t cut like butter, but the final result is dead flush and clean:

2.1.6. Find the exact location of your heater

This step is a HUGE time suck. There are simultaneous things to watch for:

  1. The heater’s intake (facing front) must have enough clearance (for adequate airflow ingestion).
  2. The hot air duct is very rigid, and the heater must be positioned so that it’s possible to connect the air duct from the heater to the outlet.
  3. The inverter studs bulge up slightly, it’s not an ideal surface (you want a flat surface).
  4. Undercarriage frames must NOT be drilled.

While I thought I would just “make” the cutout and move on, I actually spent most of the morning (yep) finding the location of the cutout by transcribing the undercarriage frames using the spot weld (mostly). The areas between the dashed lines are no-drill zones:

Here’s what’s happening under the floor:

The EsparParts.com kit comes with a mounting plate. It’s a generic plate to accommodate various installations, it is a bit larger than what we need for our specific case. The sides of the plate will be trimmed as follows (hatched areas), and new holes will be drilled to match the holes present in the foam seal:

This is to clear the bulge (near the inverter’s stud), and to clear the valley in the floor, which could both prevent a good seal between the mounting plate and the floor (very important to avoid carbon monoxide from being ingested inside the van). This is also to clear the no-drill zones (undercarriage frames):

2.1.7. Modify the mounting plate

The final result after trimming the four sides with a jigsaw (thick metal blade). Note that the four original holes are gone, what we see below are four holes that I drilled to match the foam seal holes (included with the kit):

The foam seal was trimmed to match the new contour (this photo was taken a few steps later…):

Note: I was on autopilot and painted the mounting plate. This is actually stainless steel and doesn’t have to be painted 🙂

Making it easier for you!

After spending the morning searching for the cutout location and how to modify the mounting plate, I spent the afternoon working on.. a template. I won’t have the chance to use the template myself (the job is already done), but YOU can use it and save A LOT of time and hassle! 🙂 It’s included in the Builder’s Package.

Cutout Locator

Drop the template over the inverter studs to find precisely where the cutout should be, as well as the holes matching with the mounting plate:

2kW Heater Cutout Locator Ford Transit Passenger Seat-1
Mounting Plate Template

Use the template to modify (or make from scratch) the mounting plate for a 2kW heater (Espar/Webasto):

2.1.8. Make the cutout in the floor

First, drill a small hole to validate the location of the cutout (better safe than sorry) and drill a hole large enough so that the jigsaw blade can pass through:

Trim the contour with a thin metal blade:
NOTE: Use painter’s tape to protect the surface from the jigsaw! I forgot, and there are scratches all over the floor…

Meanwhile under the floor:

Drill the four holes that will attach the mounting plate. I will be using M6 rivet-nuts, so I drilled the holes to 9.0mm – 9.15mm with a 23/64″ drill bit (per Threaded Inserts Guide):

Debur, smooth, clean, prime, and paint all bare metal. I had several scratches from the jigsaw, not my finest work but hey no big deal… at least I won’t do that mistake when installing the Maxfan!

Install the four M6 rivet nuts. Gasoline/diesel heaters require periodic maintenance, so using rivet nuts will allow the heater to be removed and reinstalled easily:

Rivet nuts installed! We’re getting somewhere!

2.1.9. Route the electrical harnesses to the passenger seat

Now is a good time-saving opportunity! We will route the electrical harnesses (lead harness, EasyStart Pro harness, fuel pump harness) into the passenger seat pedestal, while the pedestal is still absent.

We will route the harnesses under the center plastic trim and into the passenger seat pedestal like so:

First, pull up to remove the plastic trim:

Remove the two nuts with a 15mm hex socket:

Here is what you will find under:

Route the lead harness, EasyStart Pro controller harness, and fuel pump harness from the driver side to the passenger seat pedestal:

Note: I chose not to use split loom tubing because the plastic trim will encapsulate and protect the harnesses.

Make sure to route the correct extremity of the harnesses, as shown below:

Reinstall the plastic trims:

2.1.10. Install the heater on the mounting plate

Install the heater on the mounting plate:

Close-up:

Note: Also install the heat sheath over the fuel line! (not shown below, but shown in the next photo)

2.1.11. Install the heater under the passenger seat

Route the intake, exhaust, and fuel line through the cutout (the fuel line goes over the vehicle exhaust, towards the driver side as shown below in Fuel Supply):

NOTE: I already reinstalled the seat pedestal, but next time I would do it after I’m done installing the heater…

Secure the heater assembly with four M6 screws (as always, stainless steel):


2.2. Fuel supply


Many vans have an auxiliary fuel port, which can theoretically feed a gas/diesel heater. However, it’s been found that these aux ports are often out-of-spec (e.g., the inner diameter is too big) and this can lead to issues in the long run (difficulty priming the fuel line, issues at high altitudes, etc.). That’s the case for the Ford Transit, and that’s why we are installing the pick-up standpipe included in the kit, instead of using the auxiliary fuel port. It’s more work for sure, but we’d rather get it out of the way now and have peace of mind down the road… let’s go!

Ford Transit Aux Fuel Port Webasto
Auxiliary fuel port adapter for the Ford Transit.

2.2.1. Drop the fuel tank and Install the pick-up standpipe

Lessons learned

The fuel tank work was, without a doubt, the least enjoyable part of the heater installation. Not necessarily because it was more difficult, but mostly because of the fuel situation: I worked in the garage (heavy wind and dust forced me inside) and I spilled gas when removing the sender unit: the whole house smelled gasoline for a while. On top of that I didn’t feel great because of breathing too much gas vapor… So I would definitely do things differently next time:

I underestimated the fuel left in the tank after driving it to empty. Next time I would drive it to empty, disconnect the fill fuel hose, and really make an effort to siphon as much gas as possible. A cheap fuel siphon would work great, I think.

The sender unit is designed to retain fuel to mitigate the slushing effect when the tank is nearly empty. When removing the sender unit, make sure to drain it fully. Fuel will slowly drain by the bottom, but you may also have to drain it from the top. I made the mistake of removing it and putting it on the floor: it drained itself on the floor through the small valve at the bottom. Not proud of this one.

Driving on RhinoGear Ramps MAX (16,000 lbs capacity) will make the next steps more enjoyable (always use the parking brake AND wheel chocks). If you don’t have ramps, that’s fine too, but from what we’ve seen from others, you will have to jack the van a bit to be able to slide the tank out:

Mark the fuel straps (#1, #2, #3, #4) for subsequent reinstallation (we have the 32-gallon extended-range tank, not sure if the “normal” tank has 4 straps):

Remove straps #2 and #3 with a 13mm socket and a 10in extension bar:

Place an ATV jack (or such) under the tank to assist with the removal. Here is my poor man’s Multi-Level-Fuel-Tank-Jack-2000-Station (the tank is just a big plastic box; it is not that heavy if emptied properly):

Unsnap the fuel line between straps #1 and #2:

Unsnap the fuel lines at the front of the tank. You will have to hurt SpongeBob a bit:

The tank can be slowly lowered, but make sure there is enough slack in the fuel and electrical lines while doing so:

There are 3 fuel lines and 2 electrical plugs to disconnect on top of the sender unit. It’s not as easy as it sounds, so we will review them one-by-one:

  1. Push the red tab away.
  2. Push down on the grey tab.
  3. Pull the connector:
  1. Push down on the tab.
  2. Pull the connector:
  1. Push the green tab up.
  2. Pull the connector.
  3. Repeat for the red tab:
  1. Pull the red tab up (you may have to spread the arms away and wiggle a bit).
  2. Pull the connector:

This is at the front of the tank:

  1. Pull the red tab.
  2. Pull the connector:

Disconnect the fill hose with a 7mm socket (only if you emptied the tank first!):

Slide the tank out of the van. Sit down, relax, regroup. Be happy but don’t celebrate just yet; there is more work to do:

This is a Transit without a fuel tank:

In the subsequent steps, keep the area clean to prevent dust and particles from entering the tank! Use clothes, vacuum, and compressed air as required.

Remove the 3 nuts with a 10mm socket:

Remove the plastic retainer:

Use a hammer with a softer-ish material (e.g. wood) to unlock the metal lock ring:

The sender unit is free to go! Gently pull up to remove it. It’s very tight but it goes:

Angle the sender unit to clear the float through the fuel tank cutout:

There will be fuel left in the sender unit!! You can drain it by pressing the valve underneath (we know because when putting the sender on our floor, it started to drain all…)

Let’s examine this strange creature:

Another angle:

The Espar pickup standpipe will be added somewhere around here:

There is an electrical connector underneath, not much space to work with. Here’s a tip: place the standpipe’s washer on top and use a flashlight. The washer can then be “seen” from underneath. Use the washer to find the exact location of the standpipe:

Pilot the center of the hole with a 1/16″ drill bit, 1/8″, and finally with a 21/64″ drill bit. Make sure plastic doesn’t fall into the sender below, and be careful not to damage the electrical connector underneath…

Insert the standpipe. The pipe will have to be bent to clear the float (see next steps), so the location you choose now is important. The clocking I chose interfered with the plastic lock ring, but it miraculously worked by clocking it slightly counterclockwise (it was extremely tight). Below is how I would do it if I had to start over (more clearance during reinstallation later):

Clock the standpipe to its final position. Bend the pipe to clear the float. You want small, gentle bends. Too much, and the center will kink and restrict the flow! Leave the interior nylon protector during the bend operation (maybe it helps prevent kinks). Make sure the float clears the standpipe during its full travel (move the float up and down):

Insert the standpipe fully and trim it to your desired length. If the pipe goes all the way to the bottom of the tank, you may wake up one day with an empty tank… But the reason we cut it is to account for the “spring” when reinstalling the sender unit into the tank (try it: press on the top of the sender and notice how it “springs” down). If the pipe is too long, you won’t be able to reinstall it fully. So we trimmed about half an inch using a Dremel with a metal cutting disk:

Remove the nylon insert before trimming. Clear the hole after trimming (make sure it is full size and not clogged):

Insert the washer and nut:

There is no room for a wrench, so insert a long 12mm socket. Finger-tight, then add about a quarter turn (I used vise grips onto the socket for the last quarter turn):

Gently reinstall the sender unit into the tank (careful with the float and the standpipe), then reinstall the metal lock ring and plastic retainer. Remove the nylon insert if you didn’t already (in the standpipe), then install the butt joint and fuel line:

I had to relocate the fuel clamp to prevent chafing, see next photo)

Bring the tank back under the van and reconnect all the fittings on the sender, the fuel line at the front, and the fill hose. We indicated below how we would clock the standpipe if we had to start over (because the butt joint and fuel hose clamps are very tight, we got lucky that it doesn’t chafe on anything!). And at last we encapsulated the fuel line in 1/4″ split loom tubing:

Make sure to insert the connectors fully, all the way, before locking them in place!

Reinstall the fuel tank (remember to snap the fuel lines back into place). You can seize the opportunity to install the fuel pump bracket when reinstalling strap #3. Here is a photo from the future to show how it goes:

That’s it. You can pass out now.

2.2.2. Route the fuel line between the fuel pump and the heater

Route the fuel line over the vehicle exhaust from the heater towards the driver side. Use a stainless steel pipe clamp to keep the Espar fuel line as far as possible from the vehicle exhaust (heat shield):

The pipe clamp is secured with a stainless steel M6 bolt. Drill a 1/4″ diameter hole (smooth, prime, and paint the edges) through the floor for the bolt:

2.2.3. Install the espar fuel pump

Use the bracket included in the kit to install the fuel pump onto the fuel tank’s strap (ours is mounted on the 3rd strap counting from the front. Note: we have the extended fuel tank):

  • Ensure the fuel pump is oriented correctly (15-35° up, and arrow pointing in the fuel flow direction).
  • Push the fuel lines firmly, all the way into the butt joints. The fuel lines should be touching the fuel pump.
  • Use fuel hose clamps and tighten the screw until the two arms of the clamp are touching each other.
  • We enclosed the fuel line into 1/4″ split loom tubing, but we intentionally left a few inches of the fuel line exposed before and after the fuel pump, to visually inspect the fuel flow (line primed? bubbles?):

2.3. Combustion air system


2.3.1. Combustion air intake

From the heater, route the combustion intake, secure it with zip-ties (or such), and then install the end sleeve. We chose to install the combustion intake as shown below. This way:

  • It is far enough from the exhaust and prevents reingesting the exhaust gas.
  • The intake noise is less audible since the end of the pipe is located in the center of the van (rather than pointing out).
Cutting the intake pipe

You can use a carpenter knife to cut the intake pipe.

2.3.2. Combustion air exhaust

From the heater, route the combustion air exhaust, secure it with metal pipe clamp(s), and install the end sleeve. We chose to install it as shown below. This way:

  • There is a constant downward slope, and no low point (for condensation evacuation).
  • The silencer is attached to the vehicle structure per the owner’s manual (with an M6 rivnut installed into an existing hole, and the bracket is included in the EsparParts kit).
  • The exhaust is dumping over the van’s edge. The tip is attached to the factory running board (we added a spacer to an existing fastener).
Cutting the exhaust

Espar’s manual recommends cutting the exhaust pipe using an angle grinder with a stainless steel cutting disk. We don’t have an angle grinder, but a Dremel with a metal cutting disk worked fine!


2.4. Electrical wiring


The Espar AS3-B2L comes (mostly) prewired; they made the electrical part quite simple. Nice! The connections are the power (positive and negative wires), lead harness, fuel pump, and EasyStart Pro controller:

Espar heater electrical wiring connectors

Here is a great shot provided by the very helpful folks at EsparParts.com! It is a layout showing all the electrical connections to make:

2.4.1. Lead harness

The lead harness connector is pre-installed; simply connect it to the heater unit (as shown in the photo above)!

2.4.2. EasyStart Pro Controller

First, remove the cap and keep it (it will be installed on the controller’s harness). Install the connector that mates with the lead harness near the heater unit. Here is the order of the components:

Crimp the connectors using pliers:

The lower wings are crimped to the wire insulation to prevent pullout:

Push each wire firmly into the connector in order to match the colors:

Gently insert the orange thingy:

Here is how it looks inside:

On the other end of the harness, connect the EasyStart Pro connector AND the cap that was previously removed from the lead harness:

Note: This cap contains a resistor and must be installed!

How you route the harness depends on your layout/installation. We are just starting our conversion at this time, so we designed and 3D printed a temporary control panel to house the EasyStart Pro controller:

2.4.3. Fuel pump

First, install the fuel pump connector that mates with the lead harness near the heater unit. Here is the order of the components:

Slide the rubber seals over the wires and crimp the connectors using pliers:

Insert the two wires into the connector:

Final result. You can now connect the fuel pump connector to the lead harness:

The routing of the fuel pump harness depends on your installation. In our van, we routed the harness through the floor via the pass-through hole that we created in the wall behind the driver seat:

The harness is then routed to the fuel pump. Use split loom tubing to protect the harness and secure it with zip ties:

At last, plug the harness into the fuel pump (the connector is already pre-installed):

2.4.4. Electrical Power

The power cables are at the far end of the lead harness (away from the heater unit). Most people, including us, connect these wires to their house battery bank (aka auxiliary system) via the fuse block. In this case, there is no need to use the inline fuse included in the Espar kit.

We still haven’t built our electrical system… so for now, we will temporarily use the vehicle’s electrical system to power the Espar. Therefore, we need to use the inline fuse included with the kit as follows:

We are using the CCP2 (on the driver seat pedestal), which is capable of providing 12V power up to 175A, and is always hot (unless the power-saving function of the vehicle kicks in! In this case, it may cut power when the van is parked):

NOTE: Remove the fuse from the fuse holder when making the connection! Insert it after your installation is final.

For the negative connection, we are temporarily using the BEMM recommended ground point between the passenger and driver seat:

DIY Electrical System

Designing and building an electrical system isn’t exactly straightforward… there are so many concepts to grasp: solar power, alternator charging, shore power, 12 volts, 120 volts, inverter, battery bank, etc. But with our background as engineers and full-time vanlifers, we’re in a good position to make this intimidating task within your reach and help you put the pieces together with the following guide and wiring diagram!


2.5. Hot air SYstem (cabin)


Reinstall the passenger seat pedestal and connect the hot air flexible pipe from the heater to the connection socket:

Note: The pipe is very rigid; it is quite difficult to make it fit… but it does fit with a bit of perseverance and patience!

Same same but side view:

Note: There is about an inch of clearance between the pedestal and the heater’s intake (front), even if the photo makes it look like less!


2.6. EasyStart Pro Controller


You can familiarize yourself with the EasyStart Pro controller:

Workshop Menu

The workshop menu gives you access to the following:

  • Display language.
  • Display brightness and contrast.
  • Factory reset.
  • Temperature sensor (use the sensor in the controller, or use the sensor in the heater unit).
  • Hour counter (actual operating hours of the heater).
  • Maintenance interval warning.
  • Rear and clear error codes.

To access the workshop menu on the EasyStart Pro: enter the settings menu, then press the back button for more than 2 seconds:

You’re in!


2.7. First startup


All done? Great, let’s start this thing! 😶

1. Power the Espar system by inserting the inline fuse, or by inserting the fuse into your fuse block:

NOTE: Make sure to use the correct fuse. The EsparParts kit includes a 20A fuse for 12V systems, and a 15A fuse for 24V systems.

2. Follow the prompts on the EasyStart Pro controller: language, 12h/24h, time, day, units, etc:

Note: The “Control Sensor” prompt allows to read and control the temperature from the sensor located in the heater itself (“Air Heater”) or use the sensor inside the EasyStart Pro controller (“Control Unit”). We recommend the latter, because the temperature near the heater (e.g. under passenger seat) is generally not representative of the living space temperature.

3. Make sure you have enough gas in the tank. Otherwise, the pump will suck air, not gas! (yep, that’s a very common mistake):

Check fuel level in tank

4. Set the heater to the maximum temperature (to make sure that it starts and runs for the whole test):

5. The fan should slowly ramp up. Here we go! After a few seconds, the fuel pump will start ticking. At this point, go to the fuel pump and check that the fuel line is priming (fuel is coming out of the fuel tank, through the pump, and slowly making its way toward the heater).

Note: Because it’s the very first start and the fuel line is empty, it may take a second startup attempt for the fuel to reach the heater. No worries, this is normal! Access the Workshop menu and clear the error code and start the heater again (as required):

Note: Bubbles in the fuel line are an indication that some joints were not properly made. In this case, make sure that the fuel lines are fully inserted in the butt joints and that the “wings” of the fuel hose clamps are touching (the screw is fully tightened).

Espar-Webasto-Fuel-Line-Bubble-Butt-Joint

6. Success? Don’t turn off the heater just yet! Remember:

  • Short cycles are not ideal for carbon buildup. Always run the heater for at least 10 minutes, so that it reaches a high temperature.
  • It’s good practice to run the heater at maximum intensity for 10 minutes before shutting it off. It helps keep it clean and prevents carbon buildup.

7. Always shut down the heater with the EasyStart Pro controller. Do not just cut electrical power; the heater needs to complete its shut-down procedure (i.e., evacuate residual fuel and heat to prevent overheating and damage):


Congrats, we did it!


3. On second thought


3.1. Espar vs Webasto


We installed both Espar and Webasto heaters (Webasto Install Guide), and we have to say the Espar is easier to install because most of it is prewired. And the kit from EsparParts.com makes it even easier! Very pleased with that.

We just completed the Espar installation, so it’s still too soon to comment on reliability. We will report back when we have more to say!

One thing we prefer about the Webasto is the controller (MultiControl HD). It is more intuitive to use, and we like that you can set a timer for each day of the week (seven timers instead of three on the Espar). That being said, it’s not a dealbreaker!

As it turns out, we also prefer the Webasto Rotatable 360-degree Hot Air Outlet over the included Espar outlet. That’s because it blows the hot air near and parallel to the floor instead of “into it”, which nicely warms up the floor uniformly (instead of overheating a specific spot). That is specific to our installation (Transit passenger seat), and we found that out in our previous van. So we’re sticking with it! We went ahead and replaced it:

3.2. If we had to start over


Finding the precise location of the heater under the passenger seat definitely took longer than we thought; we would definitely use our Template if we had to start over 😅.

We learned on FarOutVan #1 (Webasto) that using the auxiliary fuel port can be problematic, so we feel good knowing we installed the pick-up standpipe this time.


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11 thoughts on “Gas/Diesel Heater DIY Install Guide for Vans (Transit/Sprinter/ProMaster) | Espar AS3-B2L”

  1. This is very comprehensive. I installed my Webasto about 6 years ago and this brings it all back (for better or worse). I’ve also decarbonated my Webasto once and replaced the burner, gaskets etc. (actually not too bad of a job). I read somewhere that you can internally sleeve/line the auxiliary fuel port on the (lowered) gasoline tank so that you do not have to drill a new hole (or completely remove the tank and sender unit). You ream out the auxiliary port just a little. Did you look into this approach? I might try and retrofit mine this way. BTW just installed your shore power box inlet, went easy and looks great.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the guide! I will plan to use your template for my heater install. I hope that heater works well for you. There are reports online about bugs with this particular model not working properly. I am thinking I may go with the Velit brand which is about half the price with good reviews and comparable features. I am also going to try and do a “catheter” install, running a smaller ED fuel line down inside the factory fuel port into the tank, avoiding having to drop the tank to install the standpipe. Rixen sells a kit for this which I purchased.

    Reply
  3. Awesome guide. Thanks for sharing! I also wish I’d seen this about a month ago when I went through the exact same install — always nice to commiserate with other DIYers on such a complex install.

    I’m really stoked how similar our installs looked actually – makes me feel much more confident about my choices. I also went with a short fresh intake hose bending towards the center of the van under the exhaust. I was a bit concerned with heat from the exhaust pipe, but I’ve seen this routing used in multiple builds now!

    I’m super curious what your fuel pickup install looked like – hope you share that part of the process soon.

    If you or anyone else in this thread a curious to see a video walkthrough of the install here’s my install following a very similar process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKKKpEl2vEc&ab_channel=MadebyCory.

    Reply
  4. Wow! That is by far the most comprehensive How-To Installation doc I’ve ever seen on Espar/Transit. And probably on air heater installations in general. Awesome! As you point out, the details are really important with these things. And you cover them well.

    I just wish it came out a couple of months ago. (I just installed an AS3-B2L in my Transit.)

    Couple questions:

    1) I went back and reinstalled my combustion exhaust silencer “flat” so it didn’t have a low spot to collect water. Think I’m over-thinking that? I think I saw an illustration with it that way.
    2) I had to straighten out my air exhaust to prevent “p000115 overheat” error codes. (I installed mine like your previous Webasto placement.) And just to be really sure, I also made a hole in the seat pedestal just in front of the intake so the intake air comes from outside of the pedestal. I’ll be interested to see if you have any issues with your AS3-B2L in that regard.
    Oh yeah, and
    3) My kit came with a fuel line with an even-smaller ID (1.5mm) to use between the dosing pump and the heater. Instructions say “optional”. Know anything about that?
    Oh yeah and
    4) I think you’re supposed to put that “remove and discard” connector on the “unused” EasyStartPro connector. Maybe doesn’t matter?

    (Okay. Four questions.)

    Thanks for all your work. Best site out there by far (out).

    Reply
    • Thank you for the kind words!
      1) I had the same questions and couldn’t find anything about that in the documentation. Some illustrations are shown with the silencer flat, some with the silencer the other way… I was surprise there is no drain hole in the silencer. So I’m still undecided on what’s best! I will try to contact Esparparts and see what they have to say.
      2) Never had that with the Webasto, thanks for bringing it to my attention. If it happens I know where to start troubleshooting…
      3) I don’t know about that, sorry.
      4) I didn’t put it and it seems to work fine. How did you came up with this? Instructions somewhere?

      Thanks!

      Reply
      • 4) I think there were a couple places but I know “Riding Roads and Trails” mentioned it in his blog about all the saga he went through to get his espar heater dialed in.

        https://ridingroadsandtrails.com/espar-heater-installation-and-troubleshooting/

        Scroll down and there’s a graphic with the text:

        “A key thing to note on the wiring harness. There is a cap with the 120Ω resistor on the EasyStartPro branch of the harness that must be moved to the EasyStartPro harness connector. This is one of the most common errors made in the installation process according to Espar support.”

        Cheers.

        Reply
        • I just heard back from Ray at EsparParts, and you are correct. The cap must be reinstalled! I just updated the instructions accordingly.
          Thank you SO MUCH for bringing this to my attention! Strangely my heater was working fine, but I’m sure it’ll save me some hassles down the road.

          Regards,
          Antoine

          Reply
          • Regarding 3). For the S3 from the pump to the heater it is recommended to use 1.5mm ID fue line, see technical documentation page 33. The reason for the smaller diameter to the heater has to do with fuel cavitation caused by the pump which happens much more with gasoline than with diesel due to its physical properties. The smaller diameter keeps the bubbles small and helps prevent flameouts.

          • Good catch, I updated the page accordingly. I also need to swap the butt joint for the one that is 1.5mm.
            Indeed, the longer tube (to be installed between the heater and the pump) provided in my kit is 1.5mm ID tube (it is labeled as “4 x 1.25” on the tube).

            Thanks a lot for the clarification! 🙂

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