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Old 09-09-2016, 09:38 AM   #1
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Dropping the tank for Espar D2 install

After a year of consideration I have ordered an Espar D2 and am planning to install next week. I've read all the posts I could find (thank you everyone) and think I have it pretty well figured out. The big part for me is dropping the 46 gal TF tank and what complications I may encounter in doing so. I have a transmission jack lined up and an extra set of hands. Anyone with experience doing this your input would be greatly appreciated.

I plan on replacing all the strap bolts while I'm at it. We had a front one fail last spring while doing a rugged cross peninsula trek in Baja Sur which allowed the 3/4 full tank to drop enough to rub on the drive line (That'll wake you up). I'm going to be doing this project 20 miles from the nearest parts store so if anyone happens to know the size of bolts holding those straps in place it would be great to know ahead of time.

Thanks for any help offered - Joe
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:55 AM   #2
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I just dropped mine on a 2013, it's the 33 gallon driver's side plastic tank. Make sure you have as little fuel in it as possible. Don't jack up the van until you drop the tank or at least release it, it'll sit on the straps. Definitely put a jack on it while you undo the strap bolts, that will help. You have to siphon through the filler hose and need to disconnect that. Mine had a plastic grate in there to prevent siphoning. I had to double over my siphon outlet tube to get it suck gas into the bulb.

The hardest part for me was figuring out all the different Quick disconnects. I almost lost it when I got the fuel pump. Every one was different, electrical and fuel. Chilton actually had a section on that. I broke the fuel line retainer clip and had to order another fitting just for the clip. Just watch the lines and such as you drop it down so as not to yank em.

The nuts took a 16mm socket. I might have a very different setup though. My straps have a T on the shaft side that goes in a slot, then a threaded end that goes up into the frame with a nut that secures it. Take the nuts off and it hinges out. All my fuel and emissions lines were tool less. You might need a fuel line disconnect tool, if they are the push in kind that locks in. I bought one but didn't need it.

Probably took me an hour or so after siphoning. Next time it would take me 20 minutes.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:55 AM   #3
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Did you purchase the high altitude kit also for it? I had a D2 in my last van and it was one of the best mods. Mine came bundled with an Underbunk AC unit that I had Derek from CCV install. He also installed the used Transferflow tank I scored off a member here. My D2 was the older molder and had two fuel pumps, one for low altitude and one for high. Newer models it is controlled all electronically. Despite us having to hook up the wiring last minute in the middle of the night Derek did a good overall job of my install and I never had any issues with it. I say this because some folks do have issues but it seems more with the bigger unit.

Make sure where you mount it you leave enough space around it for airflow. The Transferflow tank should already have an extra aux fuel port. I can dig up some photos of needed of the tank uninstalled. Otherwise Derek or other members may have more input on installation tips.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
I just dropped mine on a 2013, it's the 33 gallon driver's side plastic tank. Make sure you have as little fuel in it as possible. Don't jack up the van until you drop the tank or at least release it, it'll sit on the straps. Definitely put a jack on it while you undo the strap bolts, that will help. You have to siphon through the filler hose and need to disconnect that. Mine had a plastic grate in there to prevent siphoning. I had to double over my siphon outlet tube to get it suck gas into the bulb.

Probably took me an hour or so after siphoning. Next time it would take me 20 minutes.

Thanks Flux - super helpful. Funny thing I hadn't driven the rig for a while and found that the tank was FULL. We've been on what my navigator calls the gas guzzler tour to burn 30+ gal of diesel so it won't weigh too much when i drop it. Great chance to take afternoons exploring some places we haven't seen in years. My plan is to drop it with maybe 15 gal in it. The tranny jack will be able to hold the weight. If any think this is a bad idea pls chime in.

That is great news - all much appreciated. Joe
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:29 PM   #5
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Thanks KTM - I've a pretty good spot for it under the couch. I did not get the high altitude kit. Guess we'll find out if we need it in a couple weeks in Glacier and Banff. Did order the muffler though. Joe
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:21 PM   #6
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bigriver - if you have the dreaded TF 46 gal short fill (only able to put in 42 gals when empty), consider doing the vent mod while the tank is dropped.

We really like our Espar!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 04:30 PM   #7
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I just had a regular jack, and empty I can pick the tank up by myself. I took out about 20 gallons and every time I hefted 5 gallons to drain into my other car, I was glad I did. A transmission jack would do wonders though.

I want one of those D2's and will have a separate diesel tank for it. What a kick butt little unit those things are!! I better get an interior first though, some seats, 4x4, pop top.........
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:22 PM   #8
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You'll definitely want to use a piece of stout plywood to spread out the load. I know this is not what you want to hear, but just for others who find this, the Aerotanks have a drain plug and also do away with the straps. You have flanges instead that mount to the frame. I know, you don't have an Aerotank but if you ever have to replace your tank this is a big advantage.

2 people, plywood, a jack and some patience is what you need. I would get under the van a day or two before and spray the threads on those strap bolts with PB Blaster. Hopefully there's no rust under your van. If there is I would just buy the straps and hardware beforehand and cut the old off. It may be expensive but those strap bolts can be a nightmare if you have rust or a propane tank/etc. in the way.

Good luck!

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Old 09-09-2016, 06:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
bigriver - if you have the dreaded TF 46 gal short fill (only able to put in 42 gals when empty), consider doing the vent mod while the tank is dropped.
I've never got more than 40 in mine....usually 39 at best.

I've also searched around here for the instructions but couldn't find them. I know they are here someplace cause this is really the only place I find useful info, but I can't locate the instructs again �� If someone knows the right terms to search with, please post a link up for the search impaired.

Also, I thought I had read that the transfer flow tanks had aux leads off them from the word go. Is that correct, or have i been concussed one to many times?
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:23 PM   #10
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I haven't had mine ou since its orignal installation. I was able to get it installed in one long evening with my daughter who was about 9 at the time. My recollection is that it was absurdly heavy (about 150# versus maybe 30# for the shortened 29 gallon unit). A floor jack took care of the positioning, however.

The one issue I remember was the bolt for the front tank strap bolt. It was so tight that it rubbed against the driveshaft u-joint flange assembly. I had to cut the bolt flush with the nut to avoid the rubbing, after installing the tank. There is no way someone could R&R the tank without a new bolt up front. The bolt currently is too short to reinstall and tighten the tank strap.

As an aside, if I ever had to replace the fuel sender in my tank, I would cut a hole in the floor and make an access hole like my Volkswagens come with from the factory. I know this is a relatively common practice with high mileage exepeditors who run Express vans; their fuel pumps do not last as long as they should. It might me an option for the Espar installation.
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