Chinese diesel heater install

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Chinese diesel heater install

Postby Astrocurious [OP] » April 1st 2020, 2:55pm

Hi all,

Just before Christmas I fitted a parking heater to my van.

I took a chance with one of the cheap copies rather than a proper webasto or eberspacher as I couldn’t justify spending nearly £2000 on something I would only use a couple of times a month. Overall the project cost around £250. It took me 2 or 3 days spread over a couple of weeks as I wasn’t in a rush.

I will let the pictures do most of the talking but please ask if you want to know anything.

First off was a bench test

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This heater ran really well and threw out lots of heat. I went for the 2kw version.

As I was having problems with my rear heat/ac I decided to rip that out and install the heater in its place as well as underneath the van. This way I could also use the built in air vents fitted in the roof.

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During the process of ripping out the ac I did actually find the cause of the slow leak - it was a missing o ring. Too late though as the rest of the set up was already on the floor.

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Lots of pipe work

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This left a nice space for me to run the heater hose and place a small 2.5litre fuel tank. I was aiming for small as I would only be using it for a couple of hours at a time.

I cleaned this up and drilled the first big hole.

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Next was to cut a hole for the cabin fresh air intake. I did consider running this outside but I was wary of co2 if I left it under the van. I cut the hole underneath the bench seat on the opposite side of the van

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I did spend a bit extra and got some pipe insulation. This was for under the van and behind the rear panel. The idea was to keep the heat in the pipe so it reaches the air vents rather than letting it soak out along the length of the van.

These pictures show the rest of the install. It was difficult to get a good picture of the whole layout so I had to take a few at different angles. Basically the heater has been fitted where the spare wheel would go.

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I did manage to fit in a trip to Paris as well - it was a project review meeting for work but lucky me, I stayed in a very nice part of Paris.

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The last couple of pictures show the install inside the van. It looks very tidy. To fill the fuel tank you just remove the air vent and pull it out.

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So what’s it like?

Well for a cheap unit I thing it feels pretty solid. You have to take time to pump the fuel through before starting although that’s probably because I don’t use it very much. The system has an automatic start up and shut down routine so make sure you allow it to run through this before turning off any power.

I’m running paraffin rather than diesel. This should stop a lot of the plug fouling problems you hear about

the cabin temperature increased by 10 degrees centigrade in 20 minutes. It would get warmer quicker if I didn’t have such a long run from the heater to the vent but it keeps things comfortable.

Don’t forget to add a co2 detector in the van as well

Thanks

Sean
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby AstroWill » April 1st 2020, 6:45pm

Thanks for the writeup!
Astrocurious wrote:Don’t forget to add a co2 detector in the van as well

Great tip, this is applicable anywhere you have a closed space with a fuel burning appliance. :thumbup:

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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby sixsix » April 6th 2020, 10:55pm

This install will help a few more people w/ confidence to achieve an interesting modification.
.

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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby Wiley » April 17th 2020, 5:41am

I bought one of the Espars a couple years ago, but have been watching posts on these Chinese knock offs, I think these are a great way to go if you don't mind dealing with a diesel source.
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby konybravo » April 17th 2020, 9:17am

Great wright up! I would recommend fabricating some sort of shield/box, even better if sealed off well, since the spot you put the heater, is the most exposed to dirt, and water, because of it being the low pressure air zone, while vehicle moves, thus sucking up everithing, that gets air born. That usually is the most rotten spot in a vehicle.I'm speaking from experience- my VW T4 had such heater factory fitted. They're fitted, underneath the van, on the driver's side, behind drivers seat, along the rocker. From one point on, I started having constant issues with it, since I'm always in an aggressive climat environment - by the sea, or in the mountains. These heaters, have pretty delicate components, and need to be well protected.
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby tungtide » April 17th 2020, 12:28pm

Great write up Kony. I obtained a small electric heater from the back of a Pepsi truck. Yours is better as you don’t need an outside power source. How much noise does it make?
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby konybravo » April 17th 2020, 4:36pm

tungtide wrote:Great write up Kony. I obtained a small electric heater from the back of a Pepsi truck. Yours is better as you don’t need an outside power source. How much noise does it make?

This is astrocuriouses wright up, not mine. :) I installed mine inside, behind driver's seat. I expected it to be lowder, than the one in my previous van, where it was outside, but I was pleasantly surprised, that it isn't. On it's lowest speed, you practically need to fogucus, in order to hear it. On the highest setting the noise is like from your HVAC- no mechanical sound, just the airflow.
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby Astrocurious [OP] » April 18th 2020, 11:58am

Thanks Kony,

I did think about protecting the heater and have got some lightweight steel sheet to make some form of cover for it.

When I refurbished the rear axle last year I spent a lot of time underneath the van cleaning and Sealing it. It didn’t look too dirty when I was fitting the heater so I thought I would take a chance.

The heater isn’t noisy. You can hear it but it’s just the air passing through the system rather than any burning or mechanical noise.

I installed my setup about two months before you posted yours. If I had seen your sooner then I might have considered fitting the unit inside as well.

I lose a bit of heat because of the long ducting runs and there are a couple of sharp turns as well but I wanted to use the ceiling vents installed during the conversion. This also dictated the site of the heater. They are pretty compact though and can go almost anywhere. The important point is getting the exhaust gases out.

Thanks
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby AstroWill » April 18th 2020, 4:19pm

I like that you mounted it outside the van, saves interior space for things that absolutely should/need to be inside.

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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby sprinter » April 20th 2020, 5:23pm

I mounted my 2kw unit (even on lowest setting, pumps out a lot of heat) up between the chassis and body below the sliding door. Both intake and vent are inside the vehicle to draw in warm air. I only run the heater while stationary, so didn’t bother to plump the burner intake to a less dirty location. You can see video with the install location and jerry can mounted on the back door:

https://youtu.be/DOZmyav-_R0
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby AstroWill » April 23rd 2020, 7:44am

Looks good Sprinter! I really like that location as well! Do you have install pictures or just the video?

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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby sprinter » April 24th 2020, 2:13am

Sorry, I didnt take any install pictures... just the video showing final result
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Re: Chinese diesel heater install

Postby AstroWill » January 12th 2021, 4:25am

sprinter wrote:Sorry, I didnt take any install pictures... just the video showing final result

I would probably move the filter to before the pump, and maybe put a little more angle on the pump.

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