Sprinter Van Espar Install Cut

berkeley

New member
I had a professional install my espar heater because I didn't want to mess it up. Really expected the precise individual cuts for the intake and the exhaust. Was surprised to see this big hole next to the frame rail (conventional install spot under the seat). What do you think? Am I being particular or is this lazy work? Structurally sound given proximity to frame rail?
 

Attachments

luckworthy

'09 2500 144" cargo
I don't think you're being particular, that would really bother me. I installed my own and even with me being what I consider to be a novice, I was able to get the three holes cut and lined up without too much effort. I would expect more from a 'professional'.
 

ddunaway

Member
It looks like they mounted it to a plate instead of directly to the floor. I think that’s a better method. It allows one to mount at a precise location not at an angle. One can get it closer to the side for example and leave room for other equipment.
 

berkeley

New member
It looks like they mounted it to a plate instead of directly to the floor. I think that’s a better method. It allows one to mount at a precise location not at an angle. One can get it closer to the side for example and leave room for other equipment.
I didn't think about the plate being superior. Good point. I was just nervous with the size of the hole near the frame rail given its a unibody. But I'll admit that I don't know anything about impact of modifications to unibody. Maybe my naivety is what is making me nervous.
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Have they treated the cut edges of the floor or just left bare steel?

If not treated then rust will soon set in!

Keith.
 

elemental

Dis member
I had a professional install my espar heater because I didn't want to mess it up. Really expected the precise individual cuts for the intake and the exhaust. Was surprised to see this big hole next to the frame rail (conventional install spot under the seat). What do you think? Am I being particular or is this lazy work? Structurally sound given proximity to frame rail?
I've been surprised at how "professionals" solve problems sometimes. I've learned to ask installers "how" (at a high level) they will install something before they begin to avoid being surprised (and unhappy due to unmet expectations) afterwards. Labor cost efficiency is a trade-off with installation techniques; knowledgeable DIY can often achieve more precise technical results than people are willing to pay for at $100/hr or $150/hr "professional" rates. (Quotes around "professional" because some who charge are not really worthy of the implied status.)
 

Montucky

Member
I'm with the others. I don't see that as professional work - especially since I don't see any evidence that they applied any paint or sealant to the raw metal edge where they cut the hole - or in this case the gigantic rectangle.. I'd treat that straight away or it will start to rust out pretty quickly.
 

ECU

Well-known member
I had a shop install my side windows. They cut the holes 1/2" too big all round.
 

Sunny&75

Member
Is the hole cut to big? Looks like an air gap on the right side of the photo. Are we looking inside the van or from underneath outside?
 

berkeley

New member
It looked like they sprayed some gray colored rust protector. You are looking from underneath outside. No air gap - that is a compressed black foam gasket that is placed between the floor board and the mounting bracket from the inside.
 

Outlookela

Member
Reality is a professional has to make money and get it done, hopefully delegating the job to the least experience person in shop. Home crafsman will fiddle all weekend and do a better job.
 

berkeley

New member
For sure. I get that. I'm cool with that trade off as long as it is structurally and functionally sound and either hidden or aesthetically pleasant.
 

sanomechanic

Active member
I had a professional install my espar heater because I didn't want to mess it up. Really expected the precise individual cuts for the intake and the exhaust. Was surprised to see this big hole next to the frame rail (conventional install spot under the seat). What do you think? Am I being particular or is this lazy work? Structurally sound given proximity to frame rail?
I would be pissed. That's terrible workmanship.
 

rollerbearing

Well-known member
Looks pretty typical of the semi-tractor/big rig type installations I've seen videos of. They used a gasketed mouting plate. I'd just spray some rust protecting primer/paint on any raw edges and caulk around the cutout opening to keep stuff from building up on the "shelf" gap between the floor and mounting plate. Also dab some caulk on the mounting plate to floor sheet metal screws where they punched through the floor.

The mounting plate will get hot and the hot areas will start to rust out. You'll see this on a lot of the plate mounted used units. In some ways perhaps better to have the plate rust out and be consumed versus the actual van floor (for those tightly fit custom hole installations).
 
Last edited:

Top Bottom