High Altitude kit for Espar D2 or Webasto Air Top 2000?

Colorado_Al

Active member
Looking to add an Espar or Webasto air heater to my Sprinter. Most of the use will be at above 5000ft and some at above 9000 ft.
Anyone have any experience with them at this altitude? I have seen a high altitude kit for them, but each is about $350.
Do they just adjust the fuel rate to prevent coking based on the O2 available? Can't this just be accomplished by using a lower setting, or restricting the fuel line a bit?

Anybody?

Found a good deal on the Webasto here for $895:
http://www.bunkheaters.com/products.htm

And a similar deal on the Espar here for $899:
https://www.allstatepeterbilt.com/?pid=1.21.87.4&productID=11718
 
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Colorado_Al

Active member
Do they just adjust the fuel rate to prevent coking based on the O2 available? Can't this just be accomplished by using a lower setting, or restricting the fuel line a bit?
Hate to quote myself but according to Webasto, the high altitude system for their unit increases the fan speed for the intake to the combustion chamber to increase available oxygen for combustion.

According to Webasto:
"When the air density decreases as the altitude increases, the Air Top heater increases the rotational speed of the fan and supplies more air and thereby more oxygen into the combustion chamber of the devices. This guarantees an optimum fuel-air ratio, which enables an environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient combustion process."
http://www.webasto-outdoors.com/fil...press/10_2009_Air_Top_Altitude_Sensor_ENG.pdf
Does anybody know if the Webasto Air Top 2000 can be fit with the EVO system?

It appears that the Espar system restricts fuel flow to compensate. Looks like there is an automatic monitor that restricts fuel flow, and a simple switched version that switches to a lower volume pump plumbed in parallel.

The monitor system changes the pulse rate of the stock fuel pump in conjunction with changes in altitude, reducing fuel rate as you go higher:
"The Altitude Compensator is an electronic altitude sensing
device intended for fuel-rate altitude compensation of vehicle
cabin heater units. It is designed to be powered from a vehicle’s
12VDC or 24VDC electrical system, installed in-line
between the heater controller’s fuel-pump drive output and the
fuel pump. Ambient atmospheric pressure and the heater
controller’s fuel pump drive output are continuously monitored,
and the vehicle’s approximate altitude above sealevel
is calculated and updated every 5 seconds based on a linear
pressure-versus-altitude algorithm.
The module’s fuel pump drive output is then adjusted to provide
a corresponding fuel rate that optimizes fuel combustion
efficiency and minimizes exhaust emissions.
"
http://www.espar.com/tech_manuals/H...eaters/High Altitude Compensator 05-2009.pdf

The simple switched version allows you to use a rocker switch to select between two different fuel pumps, the stock one for low altitude and a lower output one for high altitude:
"Install the dosing pump (adjusted to high altitudes) in the
fuel system parallel to the standard dosing pump.
"
http://www.espar.com/tech_manuals/H...econd pump/High Alt. kit with second pump.pdf
 
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scubanw3

New member
I have installed several high altitude modules on Espar products specifically the D2. They work great. This summer we camped at 8,200' in the Rockies and we were glad we were set up for it. They are expensive but well worth if you plan on spending time at high altitude. We have them available and yes they are in the $350 range. Hope this helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
 

Colorado_Al

Active member
I have installed several high altitude modules on Espar products specifically the D2. They work great. This summer we camped at 8,200' in the Rockies and we were glad we were set up for it. They are expensive but well worth if you plan on spending time at high altitude. We have them available and yes they are in the $350 range. Hope this helps.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
Thanks John!
Do you have the automatic Altitude Compensator kit or the manual 2 pump kit that is switched by a rocker switch?
I have property in Colorado that is at 9000' and we are planning on spending some time there with the sprinter.
 

Colorado_Al

Active member
OK Folks, just got off of the phone with Webasto tech support. The Air Top 2000 ST can be manually adjusted for high altitude by the end user. It involves reducing the fuel supply as well, but does not need any other parts. It will keep your combustion chamber from coking up at low oxygen/high altitude levels and will also make for easier starting at high altitudes.

According to Webasto tech support here is the procedure:
At the bottom of the heater there is a pigtail of 2 wires, one brown and one green, that they use for programming the system.
1: Connect the brown wire to ground.
2: Turn the heater control knob to 12:00
3: After a few moments, the LED on the heater control knob will begin to flash.
4: Turn the heater control knob to 9:00 (or even 8:00 if you are at very high altitude)
5: Keep the heater running with the control knob set to 9:00 for 3 minutes.
6: While the heater is running, remove the brown wire from ground.

Now the fuel pump should be set to deliver less fuel, thereby creating a better combustion mixture for high altitude and less oxygen.

The tech said you can change it back when at sea level, but also said it was unnecessary, as the reduced fuel will not cause damage at sea level, just a lower heat output by 100-200 BTU/ hour at the maximum setting. He said that running it lean at sea level will also help to keep the combustion chamber clean. The Webasto Air Top 2000 ST has a max BTU/h of 7000 so you are only losing at most 3%, and you are also reducing your fuel use, albeit marginally. Also, the system has Stepless temperature control, so you can feel free to turn it up 3% to regain your "lost" output all the way up to 97% output.
 

Colorado_Al

Active member
I also spoke with Espar and they said it is not 100% necessary to use the Automatic high altitude kit with their system, or to use the parallel fuel pump system, you can just replace your fuel pump with the high altitude fuel pump $154:
http://www.esparparts.com/fuel-metering-pump-high-p-25174.html
This will again run lean at low altitude, but will not damage the system, just deliver a lower BTU/hour. Again, you will only see the difference at the high end, and most will not notice the small reduction. If you wish, you can also switch out to the original fuel pump when at lower altitudes.
 

Krenovian

New member
Al,
Thanks for your posts and calls to Espar and Webasto. I have a Webasto Air Top 2000 installed in my Sprinter and have used it at altitudes well above 9,000 feet without any problems and it worked great. I had read about soot build up in the Espar units at altitude and was concerned about a similar problem with the Webasto heaters. Based on the above information I'm going to install a switch in the brown lead you describe and locate the switch next to the heater control so I can make adjustments as needed for altitude. Thanks again!

Curt
 

Colorado_Al

Active member
Al,
Thanks for your posts and calls to Espar and Webasto. I have a Webasto Air Top 2000 installed in my Sprinter and have used it at altitudes well above 9,000 feet without any problems and it worked great. I had read about soot build up in the Espar units at altitude and was concerned about a similar problem with the Webasto heaters. Based on the above information I'm going to install a switch in the brown lead you describe and locate the switch next to the heater control so I can make adjustments as needed for altitude. Thanks again!

Curt
I think I'm going to go with the Webasto. About the same price, but no extra parts cost for high altitude adjustment. Good idea to add a switch to ground the brown wire to make easy adjustments! Thanks!
 

Colorado_Al

Active member
I also spoke with Espar and they said it is not 100% necessary to use the Automatic high altitude kit with their system, or to use the parallel fuel pump system, you can just replace your fuel pump with the high altitude fuel pump $154:
http://www.esparparts.com/fuel-metering-pump-high-p-25174.html
This will again run lean at low altitude, but will not damage the system, just deliver a lower BTU/hour. Again, you will only see the difference at the high end, and most will not notice the small reduction. If you wish, you can also switch out to the original fuel pump when at lower altitudes.
Here is the official word from Espar via e-mail:
"You may purchase Airtronic D2 kit with the high altitude sensor p/n 22 1000 33 22 00 so the heater will adjust to altitude automatically with no extra attention needed to it. Older style solution is the second pump and electric switch on the dash board."

Here is a list from their help page of high altitude option:
http://www.espar.com/tech_manuals/High Altitude Kits/

Also, here is their technical support page for all products:
http://www.espar.com/help/
 
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scubanw3

New member
Sorry for the delay in my response, been busy. I have the altitude compensating module. I prefer to have things automatic so I don't either forget to make a fuel metering change or have to hassle with it (even something as simple as flipping a switch). If someone else is using the van they may not be able to deal with it and invariably when you stop for the night is it late and you just want to crash.

Thank you, John
Sprinter Store
http://sprinterstore.com/
A division of Upscale Automotive, Inc.
19460 SW 89th Ave.
Tualatin, OR 97062
503-692-0846
 

d_bertko

New member
I used a regular espar heater (no high altitude kit) in my dry winter camper for two months last winter. worked great at altitude spent most of my time +5000 and some at 9000ft. so my experience is that you don't need it.
https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12482
I'm an East Coaster and have a D2 without an altitude kit. It has worked fine for me all over the Appalachians and Southwest for five years now. But we just got back from a ten week trip through the Northwest and slept many nights well over a mile high. I didn't have a great need of heat since it was almost entirely above freezing---but I can attest that the D2 will not run in automatic mode at altitude.

An example was camping above 8500 ft in Tuolumne campground at Yosemite: the D2 would start up like normal, run for a length of time long enough to warm the interior, and then shut down. It would eventually get cold again inside but the D2 would not restart when the thermostat called for heat. It was possible to shut it off and restart that initial cycle. I assumed I had a broken thermostat until I got back and saw from Espar's tech site that it isn't meant to work that high without a kit.

Just goes to show that even a very experienced user like me can use this furnace for a looooong time without encountering those Western conditions. And we have slept at altitude out East almost every time its hot!

Dan
 

samhop

New member
Just goes to show that even a very experienced user like me can use this furnace for a looooong time without encountering those Western conditions. And we have slept at altitude out East almost every time its hot!

Dan

maybe i have the high altitude kit and don't know it but last winter in the high Rocky's and the Sierras. I had no problems at all. a week at Wolfcreek co. camping in the parking lot that's over 8000ft cold for out west -10 to -20 ambient, with heater on low van stayed toasty and heater ran fine. out there for over two months stealth camping at ski areas Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, ca. ran the heat on low almost the hole time never had a problem with heater restarting or shutting down in two months 80% of the time over 5000ft.

so go figure maybe its the no-gel additive? that is in the winter diesel fuel
 

HoustonPhotog

New member
Colorado_Al said:
At the bottom of the heater there is a pigtail of 2 wires, one brown and one green, that they use for programming the system.

Installed the Webasto and set it for high altitude use. Worked great and was well worth the $900. Thanks www.bunkheaters.com & Webasto!
See here: https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showpost.php?p=112002&postcount=17
I recall you mentioned you set your Webasto for higher elevation... I too am doing the same thing in my install and I'm aware of the procedure in order to do it but I'm curious about this Pigtail with the brown and yellow wire.

Where is that pigtail exactly? is it apart of the main webasto wiring harness that extends out of the heater itself or is it somewhere else I'm missing? thanks!
 
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