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drew502
02-07-2014, 12:12 AM
I have the factory Espar booster heater (not auxiliary options) on my 2004 T1N 140. But in the two years that I've had my (used) van I have not run it. It occurred to me that I should figure this out since the temps have been in the teens around here for the past couple of days.

After starting the vehicle, I engaged the power for the booster heater and absolutely nothing happened (except the red led light turned on for the power button). I have read through numerous threads including the Espar files but the information is quite scattered. Is there a concise summation of troubleshooting and repairing the booster heater? Odds being odds, what are the three most likely reasons that the unit would not function at all? There is only a 1/4 tank of gas right now, is that enough to have the booster run if it was working?

My mechanic skills are very basic but I can normally muddle through the simple things.

Thanks!

MillionMileSprinter
02-07-2014, 12:24 AM
Pull it out, use 1/2" black pipe to connect the hoses and take the espar apart. Clean it well. Test the fan and the glow plug with a 9v battery. Make sure everything is working. Mine just needed a good cleaning.

autostaretx
02-07-2014, 12:40 AM
Yes, the heater (at least the Aux heater) has a fuel-level sensor, and 1/4 tank is its cut-off point.

The booster heater (once you turn it on) should wait about 15 seconds or so, and then start making a quiet thup-thup sound (under the floor under the US driver's seat) as it starts "pumping" fuel.
About a minute or so later, it will try to ignite.
That can take a while (i think it gives itself at least 3 minutes), and then exhaust should start coming out of the US driver's front wheel well.
Once it ignites, there will be a (kind'a) quiet-but-getting-louder roar as the "barn burner" gets going.

It may not start once the coolant gets above 180 F.

--dick

Kubbie
02-07-2014, 01:47 AM
I was in your shoes a few weeks ago. Bought my van used and the booster never worked.
I wish I took pics when I worked on mine last week - I can describe it from my head because I can visualize each step since it was easy, but now not too clear when I try to put it to words.

1. Read this thread to learn some more: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18131
2. Verify your electric coolant pump works - if not, easy to replace and I got the ebay one for $60. (http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=280039&postcount=11) You can put 12V to the leads and listen if it spins.
3. Make sure it is not a blown fuse to your booster heater.
4. Call Ray at esparparts.com and order the gasket and seal 20.1820.99.0001.0A - you will need this to put your espar heater back together.
5. Once the gasket arrives, pull the heater out - pull the front grill, driver's headlight assembly, then you will be sitting there staring at it. Don't try just from above.
Although it sounds like a bunch of work to get to it, it is not. Just have a good torx set and a metric socket set. Careful with the intake air tube, mine was in good shape and was able to reuse it, exhaust - not so much.

There are two coolant lines to the espar, if you plan to drive the van with it out (like I had to), you will need to connect the lines.
If you do have a bad electric coolant pump, you can use the old one and the hose clamps to keep all your coolant from flowing out. Or a 90 degree hose barb.

6. Take apart the espar. Also - easy, and give it the burner a good cleaning. Brake cleaner, carb cleaner, I even used some of my gun cleaning solvents and a tooth brush.
Scrape away all the gasket material, as well as the seal between the combustion chamber and burner. Clean the carbon from the screen wick in the "D" shaped opening in the burner.
Clean the flame sensor and glow pin.
Check the fan motor that it's not siezed, I sprayed mine with electrical contact cleaner. Then a drop of light oil on the motor shaft.

7. After a thorough cleaning (post some pics here and I can let you know what my opinion is of clean), put it all together.

8. If the exhaust pipe is charred, you might need a new one. Mine was so burnt on to there that it crumbled apart. Link to the cheaper ebay one is in the thread above.

9. Top off coolant, as I lost about a quart or so in the in and out process.

I did this process, started the van and hit the booster button. After about 30 - 45 seconds for the glow pin to warm up, it started up for me. Lots of smoke at 1st as stuff burns off, but now I use it couple times a day with these temps. Love it!

Good luck, hope that it just needs a cleaning or pump, as they are cheap fixes and well worth it. We'll chime in to walk you through it if you get stuck.
If it is a bad dosing pump, I can't help - mine was good and I didn't have to change it.

Rob.

drew502
02-07-2014, 03:52 AM
Thanks Rob; I read through the post that you linked and saw that you were in the same boat. Similar to you, I'm trying to get down to brass tacks and not go down to many rabbit trails with all the posts. Your post here is a good summation and I will try and apply it and see what I can work out. First things first, I'm going to fill the gas tank, cross my fingers, and see what that yields.

Aqua Puttana
02-07-2014, 12:12 PM
This rabbit hole has a video in the first post which I found very accurate and helpful.

The German site also has some good pictures.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30384

This one lists the tools needed among other things.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30427

vic

MillionMileSprinter
02-08-2014, 06:21 PM
After trying to order parts from esparparts.com online and having Paul call me, I would suggest that anyone ordering from them for the first time should call and order over the phone. Saves alot of confusion.

davisdave
02-08-2014, 06:50 PM
The owners manual says that the aux heater will run down to about 4 gallons in the tank (p.131) I believe this is true for the heater booster...i have run it a little below 1/4 tank. I thought it was limited by standpipe?:idunno:

Aqua Puttana
02-08-2014, 06:58 PM
After trying to order parts from esparparts.com online and having Paul call me, I would suggest that anyone ordering from them for the first time should call and order over the phone. Saves alot of confusion.
Good suggestion. :thumbup:

On-line didn't work so great for me either. I ended up on the phone too. vic

bc339
02-08-2014, 07:44 PM
The owners manual says that the aux heater will run down to about 4 gallons in the tank (p.131) I believe this is true for the heater booster...i have run it a little below 1/4 tank. I thought it was limited by standpipe?:idunno:

Yes, you are correct. The standpipe goes through the fuel level sensor.

Bruce

drew502
02-09-2014, 08:24 PM
The weather has put a bit of a kink into this project.

57736

drew502
02-12-2014, 08:15 PM
Seems like I read somewhere that the outside ambient temp must be below 39F for the booster heater to operate: is this true?

Aqua Puttana
02-12-2014, 09:26 PM
Seems like I read somewhere that the outside ambient temp must be below 39F for the booster heater to operate: is this true?

That has been discussed here. It was presented as true for all of the heaters.

The final word as I recall is that it affects 2010 + model years only. Application of Federal regulations was mentioned.

vic

autostaretx
02-12-2014, 10:04 PM
Seems like I read somewhere that the outside ambient temp must be below 39F for the booster heater to operate: is this true?
As Aqua/Vic said, it only is true for the NCV3.
I've run my 2005's Aux Heater at ambient temps up to 60F or so (testing it).

--dick

Graphite Dave
02-13-2014, 01:37 AM
As Aqua/Vic said, it only is true for the NCV3.
I've run my 2005's Aux Heater at ambient temps up to 60F or so (testing it).

--dick

My 08 with Espar is not restricted to 39 degrees. So early NCV3's are like T1N's without the temperature requirement.

My 5 KW Espar has stopped working. As expected the local Mercedes dealer said they do not have any experience repairing them and referred me to two Espar service places. I suspect the service places will say they do not work on Espar's modified by Mercedes because they are not standard units. Kind of being between a rock and a hard place courteous of Mercedes. How difficult are they to remove in a NCV3? Might have to do it myself. The Mercedes diagnosis report states a problem with the blower. The last time I tried to use it a got large white cloud and strong smell of diesel and no start. Maybe first thing to do is unplug the connector and see if there is any corrosion, clean and replug?

OrioN
02-13-2014, 02:02 AM
I suspect the service places will say they do not work on Espar's modified by Mercedes because they are not standard units. Kind of being between a rock and a hard place courteous of Mercedes.

Why 'borrow' from the future or fabricated grief for a non-existent event? :idunno:


The Mercedes diagnosis report states a problem with the blower. The last time I tried to use it a got large white cloud and strong smell of diesel and no start. Maybe first thing to do is unplug the connector and see if there is any corrosion, clean and replug?

The blower would need to be running in order for glowpin & pumps sequence to occur (create smoke). However, the blower could have stalled from debris a short time after and created a 'cold' start or white smoke. But, it sound too like a clogged glowpin tube screen/vent. Typical/standard maintenance for an Espar Service Centre, or even a DIY as there are many document available for said. :thumbup:




:popcorn:

Graphite Dave
02-13-2014, 02:15 AM
I will find out if either of the two places in SF bay area will work on it.

How difficult is it to remove it on a NCV3? Will read what is on the forum before I do anything.

OrioN
02-13-2014, 02:20 AM
I will find out if either of the two places in SF bay area will work on it.

How difficult is it to remove it on a NCV3? Will read what is on the forum before I do anything.

Too easy... just a few (5) hose clamps (coolant in/out, fuel in & exhaust in/out), and mounting bolts. You will need coolant hose clamps to keep the coolant loss to a minimum.

drew502
02-16-2014, 11:16 PM
So, I have a full tank of gas and checked fuses #1 and #6 (legend on inside of fuse cover shows both of these fuses for booster heater) and both fuses are good. Still, nothing happens when I turn on the switch; the REST function does not appear to work either. I suppose I will unplug and clean the electrical connector prior to taking the unit out and tearing into it in earnest. There is a sticker on the drivers seat pedestal that indicates I have a Hydronic D5 WZ. Any thoughts on trouble shooting order are welcome.

glas1700
02-17-2014, 12:01 AM
If the REST function doesn't work, check the electrical circulation pump on the firewall first and replace it if needed, before you dig into the ESPAR as it has to work for the ESPAR to run.

drew502
02-17-2014, 12:13 AM
If the REST function doesn't work, check the electrical circulation pump on the firewall first and replace it if needed, before you dig into the ESPAR as it has to work for the ESPAR to run.

EDIT: The REST function apparently is working. Turned off the key and engaged REST function and the fan kicks on and blows warm air through the vents. (I initially tried the REST function with the key ON - Doh!)

What would be the next thing to check?

Thanks again to all for the help so far.

cahaak
02-17-2014, 12:57 PM
When you turn on the REST function, make sure that it blows warm air out for a good 10 minutes. The rest function can work without the elec water pump working, but it will cool down rather quickly as the warm coolant is not circulating. So, check that. Also, with the rest function on, you can hold your hand on the pump and fell if it is working.

What I check next is to see if the booster heater will run with the van actually running and driving. You can turn it on, drive the van a short ways and then pull over and park it with the engine running leaving the booster heater on. You should be able to get out of the van then and hear the booster heater exhaust running and often it will continue to run getting enough circulation from the engine water pump to distribute the coolant.

If #1 option does not work - bad elec coolant pump. If #1 works, but #2 does not, then bad ESPAR fuel pump or bad ESPAR.

Chris

drew502
02-17-2014, 08:53 PM
When you turn on the REST function, make sure that it blows warm air out for a good 10 minutes. The rest function can work without the elec water pump working, but it will cool down rather quickly as the warm coolant is not circulating. So, check that. Also, with the rest function on, you can hold your hand on the pump and fell if it is working.

What I check next is to see if the booster heater will run with the van actually running and driving. You can turn it on, drive the van a short ways and then pull over and park it with the engine running leaving the booster heater on. You should be able to get out of the van then and hear the booster heater exhaust running and often it will continue to run getting enough circulation from the engine water pump to distribute the coolant.

If #1 option does not work - bad elec coolant pump. If #1 works, but #2 does not, then bad ESPAR fuel pump or bad ESPAR.

Chris

Where is the electric coolant pump? I think that I heard a pump running in addition to the fan when I operated the REST function. But, I should double check as you suggest.

cahaak
02-17-2014, 09:11 PM
It is on the firewall, drivers side. There is a coolant hose from the EGR going to it. It is about 1/2 way up the firewall.

Chris

drew502
02-17-2014, 11:55 PM
I drove the van and turned on the Booster heater with the van cold and the Booster does not come on. Ran the van up to operating temp then turned it off and turned on the REST. I can feel some vibration in the Electric Coolant Pump and fluid moving in both the hoses connected to it.
So, I've ruled out:
1. Adequate gas in the tank
2. Fuses
3. Electric Coolant pump
Next, I will check and clean the electrical connection that goes to the Espar. If this yields nothing, then I suppose it's time to remove the Espar and clean it.

drew502
02-18-2014, 01:01 AM
It's not that there is any shortage of information on the forums about the Espars (Thanks Vic et. al.). However, in the event someone stumbles onto this thread looking for additional guidance here is a troubleshooting algorithm from one of Vic's links: http://www.boatelectric.com/Service%20Depatment.htm

calbiker
02-18-2014, 04:47 PM
With all these espar threads, I tried to activate my espar. It did not fire up. I did a test run about 6 years ago (and it worked), but haven't tried it since.

My troubleshooting centered around measuring voltages at the espar-sprinter 8-pin connector. Before accessing the connector, you need to remove the headlight. Getting the connector off the headlight is a bit tricky. Jam a screwdriver into the slot to release the locking mechanism. Then use a larger screwdriver to pry the connecter from the headlight housing. I then used a needle-like probe to poke a hole into the wire insulation to measure voltage.

These measurements may help your troubleshooting. I do not have the espar timer circuit.

Pin 1: 12V always there, even with ignition off
Pin 2: ground; verified with ohm meter to battery ground.
Pin 3: open
Pin 4: Dosing Pump power. Should be 12V, but I get zero volts.
Pin 5: Perhaps test connector
Pin 6: Water circulation pump feedback. 12V indicates pump is operational.
Pin 7: Espar heater control turn-on. 12V with espar switch ON.
Pin 8: open

That's as far as I've gotten. I don't get dosing pump power. Don't know why.

Cal

OrioN
02-18-2014, 05:09 PM
With all these espar threads, I tried to activate my espar. It did not fire up. I did a test run about 6 years ago (and it worked), but haven't tried it since.

My troubleshooting centered around measuring voltages at the espar-sprinter 8-pin connector. Before accessing the connector, you need to remove the headlight. Getting the connector off the headlight is a bit tricky. Jam a screwdriver into the slot to release the locking mechanism. Then use a larger screwdriver to pry the connecter from the headlight housing. I then used a needle-like probe to poke a hole into the wire insulation to measure voltage.

These measurements may help your troubleshooting. I do not have the espar timer circuit.

Pin 1: 12V always there, even with ignition off
Pin 2: ground; verified with ohm meter to battery ground.
Pin 3: open
Pin 4: Dosing Pump power. Should be 12V, but I get zero volts.
Pin 5: Perhaps test connector
Pin 6: Water circulation pump feedback. 12V indicates pump is operational.
Pin 7: Espar heater control turn-on. 12V with espar switch ON.
Pin 8: open

That's as far as I've gotten. I don't get dosing pump power. Don't know why.

Cal

Dosing pump receives 'pulsating' current, and controlled/timed by the units ecu. Certain parameters (start-up procedure & no-faults) needs to be met before the ecu releases the electrons.



.

drew502
02-21-2014, 03:02 AM
The grille and headlight are off. I unplugged the electrical connector to the Espar and spritzed it with a little WD40 and then applied a little electrical connection grease and tried to fire the Espar . . . nothing. Onward and upward; the Espar is coming out and it's going to get a good cleaning (and scolding).

drew502
02-21-2014, 06:14 PM
A few more questions:
1. How do the intake and exhaust hoses attach to the Espar unit?
2. Where is the dosing pump and how do I check it?
3. Must the ECU be reset if there have been multiple failed starts?
4. And the million dollar question: In order, what are the most likely remaining reasons for the unit not firing other than it being dirty? (For example: dosing pump, blower fan, Glow plug, ECU, etc.)

OrioN
02-21-2014, 06:17 PM
4. And the million dollar question: In order, what are the most likely remaining reasons for the unit not firing other than it being dirty? (For example: dosing pump, blower fan, Glow plug, ECU, etc.)

Fuse.

drew502
02-21-2014, 06:20 PM
Fuse.

Thanks, but as I indicated in post #25 of this thread, I've already checked the fuse.

Updated Trouble Shooting List:
1. Adequate gas in the tank
2. Checked Fuses (#1 and 6)
3. Electric Coolant pump
4. Inspect and clean electrical connection to unit (have not tested with volt meter)
5. Removed fan cover with Espar in place and the fan spins smoothly.
6. Checked connection integrity at dosing pump (have not tested with volt meter)

drew502
02-23-2014, 04:31 PM
The Espar is out and looks very clean. Both the air intake and exhaust are completely in tact and the unit looks like it has never been operated. I took the cap off that covers the fan in the unit, and the fan looks clean and spins freely. Before I continue taking the unit apart, I would like to check the dosing pump and have a couple of questions about it:
1. Can the dosing pump be checked without the Espar connected?
2. How do I go about checking the dosing pump?

Thanks for any guidance!

OrioN
02-23-2014, 04:38 PM
The Espar is out and looks very clean. Both the air intake and exhaust are completely in tact and the unit looks like it has never been operated. I took the cap off that covers the fan in the unit, and the fan looks clean and spins freely. Before I continue taking the unit apart, I would like to check the dosing pump and have a couple of questions about it:
1. Can the dosing pump be checked without the Espar connected?
2. How do I go about checking the dosing pump?

Thanks for any guidance!

The pump operates by receiving current in 'pulse'. In other words, a constant current will induce 1/2 cycle of a pumping action, and secondly... burn it out.

Using a 12v source that is switched, rapidly open & close the switch to create a 'pulsing current'. Do this with the pump's fuel intake attached to fuel/fuel line and see if you are able to prime the pump or get it to flow.


PS.... be patient.

Aqua Puttana
02-23-2014, 04:54 PM
...
1. Can the dosing pump be checked without the Espar connected?
2. How do I go about checking the dosing pump?

Thanks for any guidance!
On one of the sites I visited it was suggested that some people have used a turnsignal flasher to set a pulse for the pump. (It needs a pulsed supply.) That would verify pump operation and whether it was actually trickling out fuel. To verify the dosing output, which is critical to proper operation, then the only test I know about requires the 90 second pulsing supplied by the powered up Espar module.

Be aware that the pump is a dosing or metering pump. It supplies a repeatable volume of fuel. Don't expect the pump to pressure fuel out. It will more trickle out.

vic

calbiker
02-23-2014, 04:54 PM
You can probably connect a 9V battery to pump.

OrioN
02-23-2014, 05:01 PM
On one of the sites I visited it was suggested that some people have used a turnsignal flasher to set a pulse for the pump. That would verify pump operation and whether it was actually trickling out fuel. To verify the dosing output, which is critical to proper operation, then the only test I know about requires the 90 second pulsing supplied by the powered up Espar module.

Be aware that the pump is a dosing or metering pump. It supplies a repeatable volume of fuel. Don't expect the pump to pressure fuel out. It will more trickle out.

vic

I made a 'priming setup' switch to use with me kerosene tank for the annual maintenance/kerosene burn. I use a 'thumb'/clicker switch I got from Mouser.com. Others use a miniature round hole rocker switch that works with a thumb. Using the 'priming setup' is important, as the Espar will fault 4-6 times while trying to prime if I allow the startup sequence to do the priming. It plugs into my cigarette light. The other end has a Espar 2 prong connector.

drew502
02-23-2014, 06:05 PM
This dosing pump business is taking me out of my depth . . . . so a few more thoughts. The vehicle came from southern California and I think it is very likely that the Espar has been run very little or not at all. So I'm still wondering:
1. What the most likely issue(s) would be?
2. Does it make more sense to check the Espar fan and glow plug before messing with the dosing pump?
3. How common are dosing pump failures? Is it possible for the dosing pump to simply lose it's prime through non-use?

Thanks!

OrioN
02-23-2014, 06:10 PM
This dosing pump business is taking me out of my depth . . . . so a few more thoughts. The vehicle came from southern California and I think it is very likely that the Espar has been run very little or not at all. So I'm still wondering:
1. What the most likely issue(s) would be?
2. Does it make more sense to check the Espar fan and glow plug before messing with the dosing pump?
3. How common are dosing pump failures? Is it possible for the dosing pump to simply lose it's prime through non-use?

Thanks!

Before the glowpin lights, or the dosing pump ever receives a 'pulse', the start-up sequence requires the unit to start the blower and recirculator/coolant pump to confirm they are functional (no blockage in the vent tube, coolant is flowing). Next, it will fire up the glowpin. Then, when the temp sensor 'feels' heat, it will start the doser.

Yes, the doser could be dry-seized... but, that can be tested as described/prescribed above... in the words of Dr. Laura: "Now go do it!"

drew502
02-23-2014, 06:18 PM
Before the glowpin lights, or the dosing pump ever receives a 'pulse', the start-up sequence requires the unit to start the blower and recirculator/coolant pump to confirm they are functional (no blockage in the vent tube, coolant is flowing). Next, it will fire up the glowpin. Then, when the temp sensor 'feels' heat, it will start the doser.

Yes, the doser could be dry-seized... but, that can be tested as described/prescribed above... in the words of Dr. Laura: "Now go do it!"

There is a saying in diagnostic medicine that goes: "When you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras". I'm trying to work from the most likely problem to the least likely. :cheers:

1. What the most likely issue(s) would be?
2. Does it make more sense to check the Espar fan and glow plug before messing with the dosing pump?
3. How common are dosing pump failures? Is it possible for the dosing pump to simply lose it's prime through non-use?

robbin
02-23-2014, 07:15 PM
Before the glowpin lights, or the dosing pump ever receives a 'pulse', the start-up sequence requires the unit to start the blower and recirculator/coolant pump to confirm they are functional (no blockage in the vent tube, coolant is flowing). Next, it will fire up the glowpin. Then, when the temp sensor 'feels' heat, it will start the doser.On my 2004, there is no confirmation that the coolant pump is working (don't know if something is broken or that is by design). With the pump non-functional, it still starts up and heats up. It shuts down when the overlimit temp is reached.

calbiker
02-23-2014, 07:29 PM
You also want to start with the least effort to troubleshoot. Have you checked the voltages at the connector? Use a sewing needle to poke a hole through the insulation. I used rubber cement to cover up the holes later.

I suspect we have identical failures. I ran my espar for about 5 min (that was 6 years ago) just to see it run. Nothing since. Anyways, my meter testing shows the dosing pump isn't being activated. The controller probably detected a fault and shutdown operation.

Cal

I'm trying to work from the most likely problem to the least likely.

calbiker
02-23-2014, 07:46 PM
There's no *real* conformation on any espar that the coolant pump is working. It checks that there's 12V at the motor. It assumes if there's 12V then the coolant pump is working.

Cal

On my 2004, there is no confirmation that the coolant pump is working (don't know if something is broken or that is by design). With the pump non-functional, it still starts up and heats up. It shuts down when the overlimit temp is reached.

Cheyenne
02-23-2014, 08:54 PM
Do not forget that (IIRC) 5 failed starts will cause the MB electronics to initiate a 'Lock out' which can only be cleared by MB Star Diag or something equally powerful. A 'run of the mill' code reader cannot reset this lock out.
When I bought our Sprinter the Espar appeared to be very little used but would not fire up, a trip to a friend who had a SDS revealed that the glow plug had failed and that the Espar was then locked out. I double checked the glow plug was at fault by measuring it's resistance, replaced it and it fired up first time. I got the resistance figures for checking the glow plug off an Espar website, possibly this one... Link (http://www.esparofmichigan.com/techsupport/pdfs/Hydronic%204-5/Hydronic4_5.pdf).

Keith.

Aqua Puttana
02-23-2014, 11:28 PM
Not to be argumentative...
Do not forget that (IIRC) 5 failed starts will cause the MB electronics to initiate a 'Lock out' which can only be cleared by MB Star Diag or something equally powerful.
I've read that too, but my experience shows otherwise. I tried my Espar Booster heater with no ignition or proper operation response various times over my 6 years of ownership with no lockout. I believe that lockout completely depends upon the failure mode.

A 'run of the mill' code reader cannot reset this lock out.
That contradicts your statement below highlighted in blue.
(The Espar scan tool can also reset module issues when properly connected.)

When I bought our Sprinter the Espar appeared to be very little used but would not fire up, a trip to a friend who had a SDS revealed that the glow plug had failed and that the Espar was then locked out. I double checked the glow plug was at fault by measuring it's resistance, replaced it and it fired up first time.
After I corrected the problems in my Booster Heater it fired up without any hesitation. No Espar or SDS intervention needed. Again, I believe that lockout may be based upon the failure mode detected by the Espar (or Sprinter other modules).


I got the resistance figures for checking the glow plug off an Espar website, possibly this one... Link (http://www.esparofmichigan.com/techsupport/pdfs/Hydronic%204-5/Hydronic4_5.pdf).

Keith.
Espar of Michigan provides some great information and support.

The information that I post above is based upon experience and observation. I have no data.

:2cents: vic

drew502
02-24-2014, 03:00 AM
Update:

First - Thanks so much for all the replies!

I took out the unit and checked the glow plug, blower motor, temp sensor and everything checked out. The unit was very clean and looked like it had only run a couple of times at the most. I reassembled the unit and installed it and it fired up! It was about 45F ambient temp so the unit fired and ran at high speed for a few minutes then cycled to low and then shut off. I do have a few follow up questions:

1. How long should the Espar run with outside temps around 45F? The temp gauge on the dash did not move from 110 before the Espar shut off. Presumably the coolant warms up faster than wherever the dash temp gauge takes it's reading?
2. I still have the original coolant in the vehicle (only about 35k miles on the Sprinter). Can I mix coolants and top off with a different coolant; say Zerex G05? (I probably should just change out the coolant anyway.)
3. Does the dash fan in the cabin have to be on in addition to the Booster switch in order to get the Espar to fire?

Thanks again to all who replied! Next I need to do the wiring mod to allow it to run with the engine off.

Cheyenne
02-24-2014, 11:37 AM
Not to be argumentative...

I've read that too, but my experience shows otherwise. I tried my Espar Booster heater with no ignition or proper operation response various times over my 6 years of ownership with no lockout. I believe that lockout completely depends upon the failure mode.


That contradicts your statement below highlighted in blue.
(The Espar scan tool can also reset module issues when properly connected.)


After I corrected the problems in my Booster Heater it fired up without any hesitation. No Espar or SDS intervention needed. Again, I believe that lockout may be based upon the failure mode detected by the Espar (or Sprinter other modules).



Espar of Michigan provides some great information and support.

The information that I post above is based upon experience and observation. I have no data.

:2cents: vic

Hi Vic and thanks for your comments on my reply.

I'd like to add that when initially connected to MB SDS my Espar was definitely locked out and that after ascertaining the glow plug was at fault I took great care not to try it again until I had replaced the glow plug so I did not risk locking it out again.
So to answer your second point, when I replaced the glow plug the unit was already 'unlocked' following my earlier connection to MB SDS and hence fired up first try.

It seems that an internal Espar fault will lock out the unit after 5 failed starts whereas an external fault (eg Water pump failure) only causes the Espar to shut down on overtemp and hence does not cause a lock out.

Hope this helps explain things a little better.
Keith.

drew502
02-24-2014, 06:02 PM
The Espar will not start now.

When the Espar ran yesterday, it only ran for a few minutes before it cycled from hi to lo and then off. I assumed (w/o knowing) that it reached operating temp in short order and shut off since ambient temps were @ 45F. Given that all the values were in order and the Espar ran, I'm pretty much at a loss as to why it won't run again. I did notice that when the Sprinter is running, I do not feel any coolant fluid going into or out of the Espar Is this normal?. REST appears to function properly after shutting off the engine so the Electric Circulation Pump seems to be working.

Any thoughts?

drew502
02-25-2014, 08:55 PM
Anyways, my meter testing shows the dosing pump isn't being activated. The controller probably detected a fault and shutdown operation.

Cal

What faults will cause the dosing pump not to activate?

OrioN
02-25-2014, 09:10 PM
The Espar will not start now.

When the Espar ran yesterday, it only ran for a few minutes before it cycled from hi to lo and then off. I assumed (w/o knowing) that it reached operating temp in short order and shut off since ambient temps were @ 45F. Given that all the values were in order and the Espar ran, I'm pretty much at a loss as to why it won't run again. I did notice that when the Sprinter is running, I do not feel any coolant fluid going into or out of the Espar Is this normal?. REST appears to function properly after shutting off the engine so the Electric Circulation Pump seems to be working.

Any thoughts?

I wonder if there is a second and dedicated for the espar circuit pump.... :hmmm:

One that is not working, and thereby the engine temp. didn't boo, and perhaps caused the espar to overheat, shutdown and fault.... just a wild guess.


.

calbiker
02-25-2014, 09:20 PM
I'm assuming your failure scenario is identical to mine. Though you didn't measure the dosing pump voltage, I bet you would have also gotten 0V. So you tell me, what fault did you fix?

My gut feel it's the glow plug or the sensor associated with it. The glow plug needs to be hot before the dosing pump gets activated. 0V at the coolant pump will also prevent dosing activation, but that's not our problem.

Edit: I now see your espar failed again. I suggest you take those voltage measurements. It's a simple test and could shed some light.

Cal

What faults will cause the dosing pump not to activate?

drew502
02-25-2014, 09:28 PM
I'm assuming your failure scenario is identical to mine. Though you didn't measure the dosing pump voltage, I bet you would have also gotten 0V. So you tell me, what fault did you fix?

My gut feel it's the glow plug or the sensor associated with it. The glow plug needs to be hot before the dosing pump gets activated. 0V at the coolant pump will also prevent dosing activation, but that's not our problem.

Cal

I know that the dosing pump worked when I reinstalled the espar and it fired 2x. My feeling is that the espar overheated and shut down. I did not pre-fill the espar with coolant . . . I'm wondering:
1. If the air void was too big for the ECP to purge and this caused the espar to get hot and shut down?
2. If so, would this fault keep the espar from firing again?
Also:
3. Does coolant circulate through the espar during normal main engine operation w/o the espar on?
4. Does coolant circulate through the espar when the REST function is engaged?


I have not checked the voltage for the dosing pump or Electric Circulation Pump. However, the Espar did start a couple of times and ran for several minutes.

I did check values for the following items:

Glow Plug resistance = .9 Ohms

Flames sensor Resistance = 1.04 K/ohms

Cold Sensor Heat Exchanger - 18 K/ohms
Hot Sensor Heat Exchanger - 17.9 K/ohms

12 volts in the Main Harness at Main Plug

Espar Fan spins freely with 9 volts applied

Aqua Puttana
02-26-2014, 12:53 PM
Since you asked...

I'm away from my normal resources so much of the reply will be from memory. That is always dangerous.

Update:

First - Thanks so much for all the replies!

I took out the unit and checked the glow plug, blower motor, temp sensor and everything checked out. The unit was very clean and looked like it had only run a couple of times at the most. I reassembled the unit and installed it and it fired up! It was about 45F ambient temp so the unit fired and ran at high speed for a few minutes then cycled to low and then shut off. I do have a few follow up questions:

1. How long should the Espar run with outside temps around 45F? The temp gauge on the dash did not move from 110 before the Espar shut off. Presumably the coolant warms up faster than wherever the dash temp gauge takes it's reading?
The coolant flow to the Espar is from the engine block. I'd think the engine temperature gauge should be fairly representative of the coolant temperature range that the Espar sees. The Booster controls somewhere around 167F to approx.180F. At 45F, if the engine was cold, then the heater should run for a while. I assume the engine was operating so the main coolant pump should be circulating coolant.

2. I still have the original coolant in the vehicle (only about 35k miles on the Sprinter). Can I mix coolants and top off with a different coolant; say Zerex G05? (I probably should just change out the coolant anyway.)
Zerex G05 coolant is a perfectly good coolant for your Sprinter. It even shows on the BEVO list.

3. Does the dash fan in the cabin have to be on in addition to the Booster switch in order to get the Espar to fire?...
No. Not when the engine is running and in OEM Booster mode.

The Espar will not start now.

When the Espar ran yesterday, it only ran for a few minutes before it cycled from hi to lo and then off. I assumed (w/o knowing) that it reached operating temp in short order and shut off since ambient temps were @ 45F. ...

The Booster controls somewhere around 167F to approx.180F. At 45F, if the engine was cold, then the heater should run for a while. I assume the engine was operating so the main coolant pump should be circulating coolant.

What faults will cause the dosing pump not to activate?
Based upon my experience I can tell you that 2 each failed ignition attempts will cause the Espar to lock out and not run the dosing pump. That lockout is not "permanent" and will go away with a complete engine off and restart cycle.

My guesses as to "permanent" Espar module lockout are:

Glow plug shorted or open.
Flame verification sensor open or shorted.
Either Espar body temperature sensor shorted or open.
Combustion air motor shorted or open.
Combustion chamber overtemp detected.
Note: Combustion chamber as opposed to coolant chamber overtemp which I don't believe causes a lockout. I base that guess on some comments here where people have heard the Espar gurgling and popping prior to shutdown when their aux electric coolant pumps weren't operating. I believe the gurgling and popping noise is the uncirculated coolant being boiled just before the overtemp sensor kicks the unit out. As I recall, replacing the pump cured the problems. I don't recall any complaints of lockout.

There is a basic pre-start test routine the Espar goes through prior to the first ignition attempt.
From memory.

At some timeduring the process the Espar module is polled for lockout condition. I presume that is an early step.

The combustion fan does a quick ramp up during verification.
Continuity is verified on the following: GP, Flame Verification Sensor (it is a basic temperature sensor, not a flame sensor like a Kanthal rod.), coolant chamber temp sensor, combustion chamber temp sensor. There may be more stuff I'm forgetting.
If all is OK, the GP is energized and the combustion fan is engaged to a medium range speed.
After a timeout for air purge the dosing pump is energized for about 90 seconds. The unit has no actual flame verification so during that pump cycle a timed interval ramps the combustion fan up to a high(er) speed on the assumption that ignition took place.
The flame sensor is next polled to see if the exhaust gas temperature rose appropriately. If no to that, then the dosing pump shuts off, and the fan ramps down to an air purge cycle to prepare for the next ignition attempt.
If the 2nd attempt fails the unit is put to temporary lockout.

I have no data to support the above comments.

I know that the dosing pump worked when I reinstalled the espar and it fired 2x. My feeling is that the espar overheated and shut down. I did not pre-fill the espar with coolant . . . I'm wondering:
1. If the air void was too big for the ECP to purge and this caused the espar to get hot and shut down?
Yes.
2. If so, would this fault keep the espar from firing again?
If it kicked out on combustion chamber overtemp, then probably.
3. Does coolant circulate through the espar during normal main engine operation w/o the espar on?
Yes.
4. Does coolant circulate through the espar when the REST function is engaged?
Yes, as long as the Aux Electric Coolant pump is working.

I have not checked the voltage for the dosing pump or Electric Circulation Pump. However, the Espar did start a couple of times and ran for several minutes.

I did check values for the following items:

Glow Plug resistance = .9 Ohms

Flames sensor Resistance = 1.04 K/ohms

Cold Sensor Heat Exchanger - 18 K/ohms
Hot Sensor Heat Exchanger - 17.9 K/ohms

12 volts in the Main Harness at Main Plug

Espar Fan spins freely with 9 volts applied
The readings above look generally OK to me, but I have no reference data.

I always filled my Espar with coolant after installation. My experience is that coolant would flow back from the hoses, so maybe it would automatically fill anyway.

IF the Espar coolant chamber was empty and the combustion chamber high temperature sensor triggered a shutdown, then that may trigger a "permanent" lockout.

I would recommend using some wire taps for some testing. If you tap into the "Enable" and the "pump verify" wires then they can be temporarily jumped to the battery positive for a run test. The wire colors are called out in some of my other posts.


As an aside.
Hi Vic and thanks for your comments on my reply.

I'd like to add that when initially connected to MB SDS my Espar was definitely locked out and that after ascertaining the glow plug was at fault I took great care not to try it again until I had replaced the glow plug so I did not risk locking it out again.
So to answer your second point, when I replaced the glow plug the unit was already 'unlocked' following my earlier connection to MB SDS and hence fired up first try.
That explains it.
It seems that an internal Espar fault will lock out the unit after 5 failed starts whereas an external fault (eg Water pump failure) only causes the Espar to shut down on overtemp and hence does not cause a lock out.
I basically agree, but I don't recall reading a number of failed attempts (5?) being mentioned. I would think that a glow plug open or shorted condition detected in the pre-start check would be an immediate lockout. I have no data.

Hope this helps explain things a little better.
Keith.
Yes. Thanks.

vic

drew502
02-26-2014, 05:26 PM
Thanks Vic; awesome thorough response that informs the analysis!!! I owe you one (or 10) Oregon craft beers.

"I would recommend using some wire taps for some testing. If you tap into the "Enable" and the "pump verify" wires then they can be temporarily jumped to the battery positive for a run test. The wire colors are called out in some of my other posts."

What will this test establish?

drew502
02-26-2014, 07:31 PM
So, the Espar OCD spiral continues . . . :wtf:

1. Assuming an overheat fault occurred due to an air void in the Espar, it seems like this would be analogous to a fault caused by a failed ECP. IF so, then it seems like this would cause a "coolant chamber overtemp" (temporary lock out) vs a "combustion chamber overtemp" (perm. lock out)?
2. W/o a diagnostic tool, is there a definitive way to know if a permanent lockout fault has occurred?
3. What is the least expensive Espar diagnostic tool available that will remove the lockout (if it is in fact locked out)? Given the # of Espar issues folks have, it seems like this might not be a bad investment.

When I took the unit out to inspect it, it was evident that it had not been run much if at all (which is not surprising since it came from So. Calif.) I did not clean or repair the Espar but when I reinstalled it, it started. At some point in this process I also checked and jiggled the electric connector to the dosing pump. Since the Espar unit showed no issues, my new theory is that the dosing pump connector had some corrosion and that messing with it allowed it to make connection and for the espar to start. But, due to my failure to preload the Espar with coolant, the ECP was not able to purge the air void and the espar shut down due to high heat (lack of coolant) before the main engine could purge the air void.

Aqua Puttana
02-27-2014, 12:50 PM
So, the Espar OCD spiral continues . . . :wtf:
...
2. W/o a diagnostic tool, is there a definitive way to know if a permanent lockout fault has occurred?
A DRBIII dealership scan tool with proper card and connector can access the Espar. I've not heard of anyone successfully accessing the Espar with a DAD to date.

3. What is the least expensive Espar diagnostic tool available that will remove the lockout (if it is in fact locked out)? Given the # of Espar issues folks have, it seems like this might not be a bad investment.

...
An Espar dealership can plug into the unit on the bench. I believe that Thermoking repair shops can also do that. There is a connector cable to PC computer interface which I've seen that requires proper software program.

I'd think that a Dodge dealership which works on Sprinters DRBIII would be the most likely local avenue for you.

vic

Edit: Have you tested for 12 volts at the connector on the constant (red wire), enable, and pump verify pins? Maybe you lost a fuse?

drew502
02-28-2014, 01:10 AM
Does anyone know if there is a 7 day timer that works with the D5WZ that will show fault codes AND clear them? The ESPAR code reader is north of $300 and the POS stealership wants $120 just to plug in for 60 seconds and clear the code.

drew502
02-28-2014, 07:09 PM
What about this unit?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HEATERS-DIAGNOSTIC-USB-INTERFACE-for-Eberspacher-Espar-Hydronic-Airtronic-Edith-/230910157246?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item35c35161be

It says that it will read fault codes and clear lockouts.

OrioN
02-28-2014, 07:10 PM
What about this unit?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HEATERS-DIAGNOSTIC-USB-INTERFACE-for-Eberspacher-Espar-Hydronic-Airtronic-Edith-/230910157246?pt=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item35c35161be

It says that it will read fault codes and clear lockouts.

It requires Edith... are they selling you Edith?

drew502
02-28-2014, 07:12 PM
It requires Edith... are they selling you Edith?

I've read (and been told) that EDITH is a free download.

OrioN
02-28-2014, 07:18 PM
I've read (and been told) that EDITH is a free download.
Where does this adapter plug into?

drew502
02-28-2014, 08:24 PM
Where does this adapter plug into?

I'm not clear on that either . . . :idunno:

OrioN
02-28-2014, 08:35 PM
I'm not clear on that either . . . :idunno:

You will need to splice into the harness... google this technique.(James Cook)

drew502
02-28-2014, 08:50 PM
I talked to the tech at my local Dodge Stealership about plugging into the Espar Diagnostic Tool. During the discussion he mentioned twice that you could clear an Espar lockout by simply unplugging the Espar wiring harness . . . which is clearly FALSE. And they want a shop rate of $120/hr to poke around in the dark trying to fix something that they obviously do not know very much about? Really? This is why I would like to find a cost effective diagnostic tool.

OrioN
02-28-2014, 10:45 PM
I talked to the tech at my local Dodge Stealership about plugging into the Espar Diagnostic Tool. During the discussion he mentioned twice that you could clear an Espar lockout by simply unplugging the Espar wiring harness . . . which is clearly FALSE. And they want a shop rate of $120/hr to poke around in the dark trying to fix something that they obviously do not know very much about? Really? This is why I would like to find a cost effective diagnostic tool.

http://www.lubricationspecialist.com/tools-diagnostic-code-readers/

Call Craig, he may be of help to you.




.

bc339
03-01-2014, 03:13 AM
If you would like to enable your 7 day timer to read and clear fault codes, you will need to make a minor wiring modification.
Here a link to the instructions: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24416

Bruce

drew502
03-02-2014, 12:24 AM
If you would like to enable your 7 day timer to read and clear fault codes, you will need to make a minor wiring modification.
Here a link to the instructions: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24416

Bruce

bc339 - Will the 7 day timer work with my OEM Espar D5 WZ?

Will the 7 day timer allow the Espar to run with the engine off? and if so, for how long?

Do you have a picture of your 7 day timer mounted in the dash?

bc339
03-02-2014, 05:32 AM
The 7 day timer is an Espar option and will work with a number of coolant models - D5WZ included.

Yes, the timer does allow the Espar to run with the engine off, up to 120 minutes and is programmable to start and shut down on any day you like, hence the 7 day timer name.

Here's an image of where the timer is located on the instrument panel - I had the timer removed for dis-assembly of the panel.

Bruce

drew502
03-02-2014, 05:35 AM
The 7 day timer is an Espar option and will work with a number of coolant models - D5WZ included.

Yes, the timer does allow the Espar to run with the engine off, up to 120 minutes and is programmable to start and shut down on any day you like, hence the 7 day timer name.

Here's an image of where the timer is located on the instrument panel - I had the timer removed for dis-assembly of the panel.

Bruce

Thanks Bruce! I may give this a go.

(And that Chick-fil-A cup in the first pic has me hankering for one of their chicken sandwiches . . . but alas, no Chick-fil-A's out west.)

bigmill
03-04-2014, 05:51 AM
Can anyone tell me why the 120 minute limit? Is there some recommended rest time or can I turn it right back on after it times out. Thx

davisdave
03-04-2014, 06:32 AM
I believe you can get rid of the 120 minute time out by applying 12v to pin 10 of the 7 day timer. Page 3 of manual...

Using the Heater Manually with the Vehicle Accesory “On”
(Optional wire on pin 10 is connected to the ignition lock)

Instead of wiring to ignition, wire to 12v always on. I think they do it so you dont run the battery down if you leave it on:idunno:

58241

Aqua Puttana
03-04-2014, 12:51 PM
Can anyone tell me why the 120 minute limit?

... I think they do it so you don't run the battery down if you leave it on:idunno: ...
That'd be my guess too with a starting battery rather than a deep cycle battery supplying the power.

Is there some recommended rest time or can I turn it right back on after it times out. Thx
The same basic Espar heater is used for space heating in boats. They often run continuously in that service. No rest period is necessary.

vic

bigmill
03-04-2014, 03:32 PM
Thanks Aqua Puttana and Davidave. I want to put in a house battery so I'll rewire the heater when I do.

drew502
03-04-2014, 05:29 PM
Here is a link to a pretty nifty animated video that summarizes Espar operation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcIWRRoSFzw

drew502
03-05-2014, 07:32 PM
If you would like to enable your 7 day timer to read and clear fault codes, you will need to make a minor wiring modification.
Here a link to the instructions: http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=24416

Bruce

My Sprinter did not come with a 7 day timer so I'm guessing that I do have the wiring harness in the dash to plug the timer into. What is entailed in making a wiring harness for the 7 day timer?

davisdave
03-08-2014, 07:59 AM
"What is entailed in making a wiring harness for the 7 day timer? "

research. too much free time:tongue: why you wanna do that? probably similar to "wiring heater booster to run from switch" you need to apply 12v to two wires at the heater booster...blue and black/blue/green dot wire. Im guessin' pin 2 of 7day does this (Switch control to heater).
You still need to turn coolant pump on. relay to green/red wire in dash? you want dash fan, more relay/wires/terminal added behind shifter? sorry, best i could do at this hour:cheers:

bc339
03-08-2014, 02:32 PM
It wouldn't be hard, just time consuming.
A small shopping list:

Enough 18AWG wire (multiple colors of your choice or a way to mark them) to run 6 leads from the timer to the heater
Terminals at both ends - the terminals at the heater use a silicone sealing plug that is attached to the terminal.
(Bosch or Tyco terminl connectors) http://www.bosch-connectors.com/bogscoca/category/3
http://www.te.com/catalog/menu/en/17703?BML=10576,17560
A crimping tool that will crimp non-insulated terminals
A pin release tool
7 day timer connector

Bruce

drew502
03-10-2014, 12:15 AM
Went back through and tested the fan with a 9 volt battery, power at the electric circulation pump (11.4 volts), fuses, connections at the ECU and dosing pump, resistance at glow plug and heat sensor, and everything checks out. The one variance was that the values at both the Cold and Heat Sensor were at 14 K/Ohms this time instead of 18 K/Ohms last time; weird (Checked them at the plug this time and at the leads last time). The unit is clean and the intake and exhaust are clear, wicking screen is in place. Bottom Line - The Espar still does not fire, the circulating fan does not spin during start up sequence, and the dosing pump does not come on, the Espar does not even attempt to fire. Seems like maybe my battery is failing? I don't know; I'm done . . . . epic FAIL.

drew502
03-10-2014, 05:55 PM
Anyone in the PNW have an espar diagnostic tool?

Anyone have any experience with Rixen Enterprises in Sandy, Oregon?

I'm also still wondering about how this unit is suppose to plug in to the Espar?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/230910157246?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

OrioN
03-10-2014, 06:08 PM
...winter is just abooot over... :rolleyes:

drew502
03-10-2014, 06:11 PM
...winter is just abooot over... :rolleyes:

Not helpful :thumbdown: I still want to get it going.

Cheyenne
03-10-2014, 09:22 PM
Went back through and tested the fan with a 9 volt battery, power at the electric circulation pump (11.4 volts), fuses, connections at the ECU and dosing pump, resistance at glow plug and heat sensor, and everything checks out. The one variance was that the values at both the Cold and Heat Sensor were at 14 K/Ohms this time instead of 18 K/Ohms last time; weird (Checked them at the plug this time and at the leads last time). The unit is clean and the intake and exhaust are clear, wicking screen is in place. Bottom Line - The Espar still does not fire, the circulating fan does not spin during start up sequence, and the dosing pump does not come on, the Espar does not even attempt to fire. Seems like maybe my battery is failing? I don't know; I'm done . . . . epic FAIL.

It really sounds like your espar has exceeded the number of failed starts and has been 'locked out' by the stupid MB diagnostics. This is exactly how mine was when I bought it, no attempt to start, no fan, no fuel pump...

The only way that I know is to get connected to MB SDS and get the unlock cleared, that was the answer to mine (as well as a failed glow plug).

You may be able to clear it with an espar 7 day timer with the diagnostics connected but this will entail a mod to your sprinters wiring.

Keith.

drew502
03-10-2014, 09:46 PM
Thanks Keith - Yes, I've considered the possibility that it is locked out. I did get it to start twice (even though I did not clean or fix anything after taking it apart and checking it out) but it would not start again after is shut down. It did seem to stop prematurely after it started, so I suppose a lock-out fault could have been triggered during it's operation.

Cheyenne
03-11-2014, 10:14 AM
I've finally found a reference in the MB Service manual to espar lock-outs!

It's on page 140 of the 2006 User manual linked to here... Link (http://aie-services-2.net/Sprinter/2006_VA_UserManual_Sprinter.pdf)

Here is the reference...

"140 UNDERSTANDING YOUR INSTRUMENT PANEL
AUXILIARY HEATER – TIPS FOR COPING WITH
PROBLEMS
NOTE: After three successive attempts to start the
heater, a malfunction will be recorded in the integrated
diagnostic system and no further operation on
auxiliary heater will be available (lock-out). The work
to annul the lock-out must be carried out at an
authorized Sprinter Dealer.
The heater either does not switch on or automatically
switches off:
• Insufficient fuel, fill up the fuel tank. Start up heater
two times, until the fuel lines are filled.
• The auxiliary heater will automatically switch off if
the fuel level is under about 4 US gal (15 l).
• The fuses in the fuse box are damaged. Electric
fuses.
• The battery voltage is too low, an undervoltage
protector switches off the heater if the battery
voltage falls below about 10 volts.
The heater motor does not run
• The battery voltage is too low, check the battery.
Batteries.
• The fuses in the fuse box are damaged.
Electric fuses.
• The heater motor is damaged.
Overheating
• The air channels are clogged.
The heater can be restarted once the fault has been
repaired. When this is done, the heater should be
switched on and off.
• The heater will remain switched off after it has been
overheated a number of times (about 10 times in
succession). Have the fault repaired by an
authorized Sprinter Dealer.
NOTE: Repairs should only be made by an authorized
Sprinter Dealer

drew502
03-11-2014, 05:35 PM
@ Cheyenne - The info is useful. However, my situation is different than successive start attempts. I took out the Espar, checked voltages, intake/exhaust, fuses, connections. Put it back in and it started - I shut it down after 30 seconds - then started it again - after the second start I let it run and it ran for about 2-3 minutes and then quit - after it quit, it would not start again. The point being, there were not multiple failed attempts, just 2 starts - quit - and no more starts.

MillionMileSprinter
03-11-2014, 05:52 PM
@drew502- did you just check it out when you removed it, or did you dissassemble it? I believe that when the espar shuts itself down prematurely, the overheat temp sensors are somehow involved. I have rebuilt a couple of Espars now and have consistently seen the wires to the temp sensors corroded and even broken. I would start with those.
I also had an Espar that would randomly work and not work. As a last ditch effort, I sprayed the main plug going from the Sprinter into the Espar with electrical connection cleaner. VIOLA! problem solved.
Good luck!

drew502
03-11-2014, 06:24 PM
@drew502- did you just check it out when you removed it, or did you dissassemble it? I believe that when the espar shuts itself down prematurely, the overheat temp sensors are somehow involved. I have rebuilt a couple of Espars now and have consistently seen the wires to the temp sensors corroded and even broken. I would start with those.
I also had an Espar that would randomly work and not work. As a last ditch effort, I sprayed the main plug going from the Sprinter into the Espar with electrical connection cleaner. VIOLA! problem solved.
Good luck!

Thanks T2T - Your theory on the temp sensors is quite plausible and here is why. When I had the Espar out and apart, the voltages on the temp sensors tested ok at 18 K/ohms. However, I did not pre-fill the espar with coolant prior to starting it which would leave an air void that would need to be purged. So, it may be that the air void was not purged quickly enough and triggered some sort of lock-out overheat fault?? OTOH, everything I've read seems to indicate that you must have multiple successive overheats before it locks out (as opposed to just one).

bc339
03-12-2014, 12:18 AM
Here are a few images of the two temperature sensors that are located in the water jacket. The heat breaks down the insulation, wires break down/short, the the Espar fails to start. I managed to nurse mine along for two more years by coating them with high temp rtv until the insulation broke down at the connector.
You can inspect the condition of the wires without having to completely pulling the heater out. Just remove the larger black cover. You will have to remove the fuel line, the water lines and the fasteners for the cover. It's also a lot easier with the left headlight out of the way.

Bruce

drew502
03-12-2014, 12:39 AM
Here are a few images of the two temperature sensors that are located in the water jacket. The heat breaks down the insulation, wires break down/short, the the Espar fails to start. I managed to nurse mine along for two more years by coating them with high temp rtv until the insulation broke down at the connector.
You can inspect the condition of the wires without having to completely pulling the heater out. Just remove the larger black cover. You will have to remove the fuel line, the water lines and the fasteners for the cover. It's also a lot easier with the left headlight out of the way.

Bruce

Thanks Bruce.

I did inspect the temp sensors and checked the values when I had the Espar out. The sensor wires looked unscathed and tested @ 18 K/ohms with ambient temps of about 45 F. My Sprinter came from southern California and the Espar was very clean and looked like it had been run maybe once. So none of the components that make up the system have seen any meaningful use. It's possible that the sensors were damaged when the Espar ran for a few minutes w/o being pre-filled. However, I tested the values at harness again and they were @ 14 k/ohms which was in range given the ambient temps. Interestingly, when I had the Espar out and went through it, I did not repair anything prior to reinstalling it, and then it fired up twice. It seems like it is either locked out or there is something out of the normal range of possibilities.

Aqua Puttana
03-12-2014, 01:09 AM
... OTOH, everything I've read seems to indicate that you must have multiple successive overheats before it locks out (as opposed to just one).
My memory is that the two temperature sensors in the aluminum body monitor two separate areas of the Espar. One is immersed in the coolant and the other is in the combustion chamber. I am not referring to the flame sensor.

Reviewing the Espar video I was not able to determine for certain either way whether the temperature sensor furthest from the fan assembly is in liquid or in the combustion chamber.

IF what I remember above is correct then there may be different lockout responses for one sensor seeing too high a temperature as to the other. One going high may lock out immediately. The other may be more lenient in the lockout response.

Regardless of whether anything I said above is true or not, you now really need to get a scan readout to determine whether the Espar is locked out or not. To do otherwise will just keep you going in circles.

:2cents:

vic

P.S. - The resistance of any temperature sensor will vary as to the actual temperature of the sensor at the time of the test.

drew502
03-12-2014, 01:28 AM
My memory is that the two temperature sensors in the aluminum body monitor two separate areas of the Espar. One is immersed in the coolant and the other is in the combustion chamber. I am not referring to the flame sensor.

Reviewing the Espar video I was not able to determine for certain either way whether the temperature sensor furthest from the fan assembly is in liquid or in the combustion chamber.

IF what I remember above is correct then there may be different lockout responses for one sensor seeing too high a temperature as to the other. One going high may lock out immediately. The other may be more lenient in the lockout response.

Regardless of whether anything I said above is true or not, you now really need to get a scan readout to determine whether the Espar is locked out or not. To do otherwise will just keep you going in circles.

:2cents:

vic

P.S. - The resistance of any temperature sensor will vary as to the actual temperature of the sensor at the time of the test.

Thanks Vic - That makes complete sense; and yes, time to get a code reader on it. Intuitively, it makes sense that if there is no coolant in the chamber (as opposed to coolant not moving as in the case of a bad electrical circulation pump) that the former could trigger a more complete lock out. In any event, I will report back when/if I get it sorted and hopefully the community can benefit.

drew502
05-19-2014, 12:24 AM
I took the Sprinter to Rixen Enterprises in Sandy, Oregon. They were able to plug the Espar into their EDITH system and pull the stored code. It came up as: "Fault Code 65 / Flame Sensor - short circuit, overload, or earth short". So, we replaced the Flame Sensor and it immediately fired and has ran w/o issue ever since.

My takeway - I had checked the resistance values for all the various parts (and connection integrity) when I had the unit out initially and they were all proper and w/in range. When I reinstalled the Espar after initially taking it out, it fired up and then quit after about 2 mins. Because I had just checked all the resistance values, I presumed that I had caused a overheat event (b/c I did not pre-fill the Espar with coolant) and I did not recheck my values . . . odds being odds, it seemed unlikely that a part would fail after a brief 2 minute run cycle. However, the odds did not hold up since the Flame Sensor failed and the unit was not locked out. Had I rechecked all my values, I would have discovered the faulty flame sensor.

As a side note - Jim Rixen and his crew are top notch. They were friendly, thorough, professional and very fair with what they charged. If you live in the PNW and/or are visiting and need help with an Espar, I highly recommend Rixen Enterprises in Sandy, Oregon.

Thank you to all who offered assistance on this thread . . . now you know, the rest of the story.