Wesbasto 2000 STC Heater Installation
I installed the heater a couple of months ago, but I havenít had a chance to write it up.
I went with Wesbasto gasoline powered heater so I didnít have to add a second fuel source. It seems that the diesel version is a bit cheaper and maybe a little more reliable, but there were mixed reviews on that.
I decided to put the heater in the cabinet under the fridge, just inboard from the wheel wells. It was not an ideal location, but the best location considering the trade offs. I know the heat will rise to the fridge, but I figure we will only run the heater when its cold, so hopefully there will not be much a negative efficiency with the fridge from having the heater below. I added a layer of rigid foam insulation in the cabinet above the heater to help insulate the fridge.
In this location the warm air outlet is in the isle, and the cold air intake is at the back of the cabinets, behind the sofa.
This location put the under-van exhaust and fuel input just inboard of the van frame and aft of the fuel tank. This should be a fairly protected, but allows access for the installation.
The first step was to cut a 4Ē hole in the plywood floor and insulation. From there I cut a 3-3/4Ē concentric hole in the metal van floor. I painted the cut edges to eliminate the risk of rust. I used a piece of ABS pipe to ďlineĒ the hole through the plywood floor, down to the metal floor. I used silicone to seal around the pipe at the floor, below the van, to make it air tight and weather tight.
I couldnít find the proper sized metal pipe, but since the working temperature of ABS is just above the exhaust temperature of gasoline, so I think it should be okay. I also smeared an ~1/8Ē layer of silicon on the ABS pipe to add some insulation. I decided, since Wesbasto has a plastic fuel line just 1/2Ē away from the exhaust, this ABS pipe should be safe.
The heater kit included a square mounting plate. I put the included heater gasket between the heater and the plate, and made a closed-cell foam gasket for the perimeter of the square plate. To make it easier I attached the exhaust, air intake and fuel lines before attaching the mounting plate to the floor
Under the van I routed the exhaust above the frame, through the muffler and build a bracket to hold the end of the exhaust pipe to the pinch weld of the van body.
The cold air intake was easy to terminate just above the fuel tank. I used zip ties to hold everything in place.
The fuel is sourced through a filtered petcock that I installed in the 1/4 npt port in the bottom of the tank. The petcock is a little exposed to damage, but I hope it will be okay. It does extend below the fuel tank, but there is a risk of a rock hitting the petcock and breaking it off. This could leave me stranded with an empty tank. I may change it to the transitional siphon tube in the future.
I also used a QuikFist to mount the fuel pump, rather than the included band clamp. I read that this will dampen the pump cycles and make it a little more quiet.
The electrical install was pretty straightforward. Just connecting 12V power and plug in the control panel.
I then spent a full day trying to start the heater. No matter how many times I tried, it would not start. I used gas filled syringe to prime both sides of the pump, but still no go. I even remove the pump and placed it below the fuel tank so it was a gravity feed, and still no fuel from the output of the pump. It was pretty frustrating because we had a camping trip planned in southern Utah and my wife was excited to have heat for the cold mornings. But no matter what I did, no fuel would flow through the pump. Well we went camping and had to use our Buddy heater in the mornings.
I went back a forth with Heatso a few times, but nothing would help. Finally I removed the pump from the van and did some bench-top testing. I still could not get the pump to move fuel through. In desperation, I back pressured the pump and then noticed a piece of yellow plastic in the intake fuel port. When the pump is shipped, they place yellow caps on each of the fuel ports. It appears that the cap was impacted and the impact cored a piece of the plastic cap, with the cored piece tightly fitting in the fuel intake port. This completely blocked the fuel from passing through to the pump. I used a dental pick to grab the plastic piece out of the port. After reinstalling the pump, the heater fired up on the first try.
Since installing the heater I have not had a chance to use it further. I have taken out the temporary electrical system so I can build the cabinets. Once I have the heater back in the van, I will pass on how well it works.