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Old 01-25-2014, 02:27 PM   #7
Aqua Puttana
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Default Re: Some 2004 Espar Heater Notes

A Basic Cleaning Procedure from another thread, and some documentation at the end.

Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
To help keep the other thread on track...

I must admit that the heater is nice to have in service. I've been using it to pre-warm the engine and enhance heat output pretty regularly. Now that I have it I would put money and effort into repairs should it go bad.

It wasn't really hard work. The learning process was what took the time. Had I not screwed up my burner screen "wick" I think it would have been easy. But then I wouldn't have learned as much.

My recommendation is to first do a good cleaning. You will need the gasket and graphited ring seal. About 20 bucks.

The gasket and seal kit appears standard for D5 units.
Gasket and Seal
#9 Seal 20 1752 99 01 01
Newer Number = 20.1820.99.0001.0A


You might get away with reusing the gasket, but it is a gamble.

A 2003 probably has the integral fuel pipe burner so you shouldn't need a fuel strainer on hand.

The video in my Database link and my jumbled meandering notes should give you all that you need.
Some 2004 Espar Heater Notes

The critical path for Espar cleaning off the top of my pointy head.

Disassemble per video. Be careful of the plastic combustion fan. My electrical connector retaining clip broke. It's no big deal as the O-ring seal on the connector is very snug.

Gently check that the combustion blower fan spins freely. Kubbie used a 9 volt battery test. Re-install the 4 corner fan cover bolts to help provide protection from bumping the plastic fan.

Remove the burner tube from the housing and clean the combustion chamber soot.

Use carburetor cleaner or alcohol to clean the glow plug chamber. Gently clean the "D" chamber screen "wick" and slot. If the screen over the 3/16" hole was heavily sooted you might consider poking it to open the hole like the burner I show in my other pictures. The newer burners do not cover the hole with the screen (wick), it just surrounded it.

Run a thin wire down the fuel tube and flush with carb cleaner. I suspect that you will see fluid weep down into the cleaned screen "wick" on the 3/16" hole.

Clean and inspect the glow plug. No need to remove it. It should be straight. I'm told that as they age they often curve which is an indication that they may be getting near the end of service life. It still should be good though. The glow pin can be tested with 12 volts DC, but be aware that the design voltage is less. 8 volts is what I recall so apply voltage and watch for a glow. As soon as you see glow remove the power. Kubbie used a 9 volt battery for a quick test on that too.

Clean any soot from the flame sensor pin in the exhaust chamber. No need to remove that for cleaning either.

Clean the "Ignition Air Duct" (Kanal) in the glow plug area. That supplies combustion air to the glow chamber. It is critical.

If your coolant has been regularly serviced I wouldn't disassemble the coolant shell. If it's not leaking leave it alone.

Re-assemble the Espar after cleaning. (I put a drop of oil on the combustion fan opposite end bearing shaft. I couldn't access the fan end bearing/shaft.)

Check the air supply tube in the vehicle to make sure nothing is blocking the air flow. Some creatures may think of it as home.

Install the heater in the Sprinter. Don't connect the exhaust yet. If the exhaust is plugged at all it could impede starting. Run first without it and then connect it later.

Before re-connecting the fuel line you should do the Fuel Quantity Test. I like the Baby Medicine Spoon, but you can just catch and measure for a little over 1 1/2 teaspoons of fuel after 90 seconds.

Type2teach Joel reminds us to check/clean the electrical connector plug contacts. That is good advice. I always spritz all my connectors with WD-40 before assembly. There may be better products available, but WD-40 is handy and has done well for me.

Install the fuel line and test the heater.

After it operates remember to re-connect the exhaust tube.

I thought I'd be smart and put a thin coat of Never Seize on the thick paper gasket to keep it from sticking. That was not a good idea. The next dis-assembly I found the Never Seize soaked into paper layers and caused a bit of delamination. By using a blade upon dis-assembly I was able to separate and re-use the gasket, but installing it dry is my recommendation.

That's basically it. Good luck. vic
I've read that Espar heaters "Lock out" after some failed start/ignition attempts. I don't find that true with my 2004.

Originally Posted by Kubbie View Post
Isn't it true that after a number of failure to fire, the Espar locks itself out and needs to be reset with an MB star tool?
Originally Posted by Aqua Puttana View Post
I've read that. From my research that may be the mode of a native Espar diesel fired heater. I've read that after so many start attempts the native Espar heater locks out and needs to be reset using the proprietary Espar access scan tool. OR maybe the permanent lockouts are related to specific component failures which are monitored by the Espar computer and people assume it has locked out related to a couple start attempts.

My experience:
My 2004 heater main burner never fired for the first 6+ years that I owned my van. I tried it more than a few times over the years. Each time the most I would get was white smoke = unburned fuel. The Ignition Air Duct was plugged solid so the main burner never fired. When the button was pushed the red dash LED would light, the heater would try to start two times in succession and then would lock out, but not permanently. After an engine shutdown and restart it would again give two white smoke cycles.

After I cleaned the burner and screwed up the screen "wick" metering into the glow plug chamber I tried many more x2 white smoke cycles. There was never a permanent lockout. The heater runs fine now.

So, my experience shows that the Sprinterized Espar control module doesn't lock out after a failed ignition sequence. The 2 x start tries are allowed and then it prevents any further starts until power off/on. That is not as described for the native Espar control.
This thread has some good info.

Espar Booster Heater Not Starting - Info near Write-up Status

Some Documentation

10.3.1 ATC.JPG

10.3.2 CHM.JPG

10.3.3 Booster.JPG
DAD NAS (N. Amer. Spec) 2004 140 2500 >330,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash Brush-tone Grey
2006 Freightliner 140 2500HC >183,000+ mi. Arctic Whitewash (Spotted Snow Leopard accents)
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