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Old 02-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #321
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater install continued:

Next up is work on the exhaust. When I bought this heater it can with a section of flexible exhaust hose. In this picture you can see it laying between the black hot air ducting and fuel pump.


The section I have is too short for what I want to do and a new hose is around $30. Pretty steep price for a piece of thin flexible metal hose. For a cheaper alternative I'm going to use 3/4" steel electrical conduit (EMT).

I'll also be using one of these. It's called a Eberspächer/Espar Exhaust Silencer. I call it a muffler.

Normally these mufflers don't come with the curved tubing on each end. This particular muffler came with a Eberspächer Hydronic heater I bought on ebay UK. Got a killer deal on the heater. Unfortunately, according to a email I later received from a Detective Constable from the Serious Crime Team of the Bedfordshire Police (UK)

there's a possibility the heater was stolen from GM Motors in Luton. So I'm assuming the curved bits are needed when installing this muffler into whatever type of vehicles they make at the GM factory in Luton. By the way the Detective Constable wrote that they didn't want the heater back. Just the serial number.

Planned out how I wanted to route the exhaust from the heater and didn't need the curved bits on the muffler so cut them off. The cutting off of both ends is Mistake 1, but I'll come back to that.

Here's the funny bit. I've had the muffler for months waiting for when I got around to this project. So I cut the ends off the muffler then the very next day I get the email from the Bedfordshire Police. Good thing they didn't want it back.

The original idea was to use the flexible hose to connect the heater exhaust to the muffler then use electrical conduit on the other end of the muffler. The flexible exhaust hose and the cut ends of the muffler both have an Outside Diameter (OD) of 22mm = 0.87". The electrical conduit is 3/4" Inside Diameter (ID) but has an OD of around 0.90".

These are all around the same size so nothing can be slipped into anything else and clamped into place. Have to come up with different ways of mating them together.

To mate the exhaust hose and the muffler I'll add an insert to one end of the muffler to create a smaller OD tube that the exhaust hose can be clamped around. To create the insert I cut off a short section of the conduit.


Clamp the conduit section in the vise then use a hacksaw to cut out a small lengthwise section.




Take the conduit section. Squeeze it closed with pliers then insert into the end of the muffler.




Weld the insert into the muffler end. Then clamp the muffler to the workbench and grind off the worst looking bits of the weld.




Test fit the flexible hose onto the muffler with welded insert.



Mistake #2: The insert should have been longer but I won't find that out till later.

Create another insert for the end of the conduit that will go onto the other end of the muffler.


Weld the conduit to the muffler. I probably didn't need the insert for this weld but it was the first time I welded two tubes together. Kinda like training wheels.


Shorten the flexible hose to the length I plan on needing.


Do a test fit of the exhaust system onto the heater.


After fitting it into place I realized that my first plan had some flaws. Originally the exhaust would have a downward slope but mounting it in that position would be a problem.


While I'm lying under the van turning this problem over in my mind Tiger wanders over and tells me he has an idea.


He suggested using one of the 180 degrees curved tube ends but cut it into a 90 degree curve. Excellent idea!


This will allow the exhaust to run parallel to the underside of the van and be mounted to the bottom of the "C" pillar.


continued -
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #322
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater install continued:

So I weld back onto the muffler a piece that I had previously cut off. That was my mistake #1 from the previous post. I should have seen that ahead of time.


With the flexible hose fitted onto a new insert on the end of the curved tube section.....


....check the positioning of the outlet end of the conduit.


I'm going to use the other 180 degree curved section of curved tubing on the outlet end of the exhaust conduit.




Shorten the end of the conduit. Cut the 180 in half so I have two 90 degrees. Rotate one section 90 degrees in relation to the other piece and weld together. Then weld onto the end of the conduit.




Pretty up the welds with the angle grinder.


Here's the completed exhaust system.


I'm laying under the van doing some test fittings when I look at all the snow piling up on my coat and realize a blizzard has rolled in. Call it a night.


Different day. Back under the van figuring out how best to attach the exhaust.


In this picture you can see a structure above and to the right of my gloved hand. This structure lines up with the vertical support that runs along the inside right edge of the side door. I have no idea what the official name is but I know the "A pillar" is what the vertical edge of the windshield is attached and the "B Pillar" is the vertical support just behind the front seats where the seat belt assembly is attached. So I'm going to call this the bottom of the "C Pillar".


I'll fabricate a simple bracket that attaches to the side of the C pillar and holds the exhaust system in place. The pillar is 4" wide. Cut a piece of 1" wide flat stock the same length.


I'll use screw clamps to hold the conduit part of the exhaust system against this bracket. Screw clamps work best when used on round objects. You can see the amount of overhang on each side of the conduit with the 1" wide flat stock. If I didn't reduce this overhang then the screw clamps would deform as they were tightened.


Reduce the width of the 4" long piece of stock that will run along the edge of the exhaust conduit. Cut off another short piece of 1" wide stock.


Weld the two pieces together then drill a hole for a 1/4" bolt.




Drill a hole into the right side of the C pillar. In this photo you can see some of the rust repairs I was working on this past fall until the weather got too cold. You can tell I'm not finished since it's not silver colored yet. I ground off all the rust and rustproofed it then reinforced the area with fiberglass matting. The only advantage to the rust damage is that I can now reach into the bottom of the C pillar to insert a bolt through the hole and hold the head with a wrench when needed.


Bolt the new bracket into place then use a couple screw clamps to hold the exhaust system on the bracket.


Hook up to the heater exhaust.




How it looks from the outside.


If you look at the bottom of the previous picture you get a good look at the padding I've been using when working under the van. You can see it in other pictures too. It started out as a package of interlocking foam floor pads for use on in the van. I changed my mind about using them on the van floor so they ended up in my garage pile of van flotsam and jetsam waiting to be taken back to the store. One day while lying on the cement under the van in the cold weather it suddenly hit me I could use the pads to lay on. I could kick myself for not having thought of this before. They are perfect for this. The padding is easier on the back and it keeps me off the cold and damp and doesn't absorb moisture like cardboard or old rugs (two things I've used before). There's a term for not being able to think of a new use for an object. Functional fixedness.

continued -
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Old 02-12-2011, 05:45 PM   #323
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater install continued:

With the new exhaust system in place fire up the heater. I found three problems right off the bat. Problems 1 and 2 are leaks in the exhaust system. In these photos you can see smoke leaking out of the new muffler.




It's leaking from from around where the tube enters the muffler and also from where there the two halves of the muffler body join. I'd wondered if there was a problem with just his one muffler but another owner has wrote that they had the same problem.

I also have smoke leaking from where the flexible tube joins the curved end of the muffler tube. This leak is Mistake #2 I wrote about two posts ago. I'm thinking that if I'd made the insert the flexible hose fits over longer then it might not leak.

More problematic than both of these is that I can't get the heater to run correctly. Here is the symptom.
1.) Fan starts.
2.) Clicking from the fuel pump starts.
3.) White smoke begins flowing from the exhaust end (and the leaks).
4.) It's at this stage that the fan should kick into high gear and the Webasto start producing heat. Doesn't happen. It just keeps producing smoke and never kicks into high gear.
5.) After a certain amount of time the pump stops clicking. I'm assuming this is because the flame detector hasn't detected flame.
6.) The fan continues to run purging the last of the smoke from the exhaust.
7.) Heater shuts down and flashes error code
8.) To restart the heater need to first completely remove power (not just turn off).

With some experimenting I found a way to get the heater to start. First disconnect the fuel line from the bottom of the heater and start the heating sequence. Have a container to catch the fuel when the pump starts clicking. Wait until step 4, see above, then reconnect the fuel line and the heater will kick into high and start producing heat.
Works every time but this is no solution. I've bought this heater used so there is a possibility that it could have a coking problem. Some people have written that running the heater with kerosene will help de-coke it. Since I'm already using kerosene. fire up the heater then let it run for a couple hours.
No improvement.
I've been itching to see what the heater looks like inside so I'm going to go ahead and disassemble it and see if cleaning it will help.

Warning: I've never done this before so I might not be doing it correctly. This would probably void your warranty. I'm not responsible if you break your heater. Legalese blah blah blah.

Remove the heater from the van.


To hold the heater while working on it I've taken the mounting plate that came with the heater and attached it to a couple blocks of wood.




Remove the Electrical Connection Cover.
Slide the blade of a screwdriver under the edge of the Electrical Connection Cover and pry up.


This exposes the top of the Control Unit. The wires run into the X6 Connector. Unplug the X6 connector from the Control Unit. There is no connector lock so it should just slide off.

Notice the X6 connector is keyed with two ridges along one side and one ridge on the opposite side so it can only be inserted one way.


Lay the Electrical Connection Cover with connector off to the side.


Remove the Heater Air Inlet and Outlet Covers.
There is a trick to getting the cover off.


Lift up on either side of the cover just enough so the small lip clears the edge.


Then slide to the side.


It will release.


Do the same for the Outlet Cover.


Remove the Upper Housing Shell.
There are four tabs (two per side) that secure the Upper Housing Shell to the Lower Housing Shell.


Squeeze above the tabs on the Upper Shell while pushing on the tabs with the screwdriver.


It will pop right off.


continued -
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Old 02-13-2011, 04:33 PM   #324
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater installation continued:

How the heater appears with the Upper Shell removed.


To remove the Lower Shell look on each side of the heater about the mid point and you will see this small round catch. Pull the side of the Lower Shell away from the catch till it pops out. Do this on both sides then lift the heater from within the Lower Shell.


You'll have to lift the Heater Air Intake from the Lower Shell at the same time.


Put the shell off to the side and place the heater back on the mounting platform. Before preceding I want to point out a few things.


Wrapped around the Heat Exchanger is the Insulation or more appropriately in this case, what's left of it.


The Webasto repair manual name for it is "Insulation" so I'm assuming it's original purpose was to insulate the Heat Exchanger from the plastic of the outer shell. All that's left of mine is a thin metal band and some felt-like material scraps.


On the top of the Control Unit there is a small round electrical component wired into the X9 Connector. This is a 10K ohm thermistor. A thermistor is a type of electrical resistor whose resistance changes with temperature. It's what the heater uses as it's air temperature sensor. If you were to wire up an external temperature sensor, this is where you'd connect it.


Also on top of the Control Unit is the CO2 Adjustment. From the manual: "The CO2 contents of the exhaust is adjusted with the potentiometer on the control circuit board.The air heater is preset by the manufacturer with respect to the combustion and heating air fan fitted. After adjustment by the manufacturer the potentiometer is in center position."
When a heater is changed for high altitude operation this is where the adjustment is made.


Remove the Control Unit next. There are a series of five connectors along one side. From left to right these are the X1 to X5 Connections.


On the Control Unit just above where the connectors are attach is a segmented colored strip. Each color corresponds to the color of the connector wire plugged in below it. Unplug the five connectors.


Remove the two screws on the top of the Control Unit that hold it place.


Lift it off.


A quick word about one of my little helpers. I take a plastic ice cube tray that was no longer used since it had started leaking. Write sequential numbers above each "cube". As I take something apart I place the screws in the tray in the order that I remove them. Helps greatly with reassembly.


Next remove the Combustion Air Fan assembly. Look to the side where the two pairs of wires are underneath this clip. One pair is yellow and the other pair isn't.


Slip the wires out from under the clip.


Next there are five screws to remove but you want to be careful you don't remove the wrong five. In the following picture there are three screw visible. Remove the ones on the right and left but not the one in the middle.


Here's the view on the lower front side. I've already removed the upper right screw and am about to remove the lower screw. Don't remove the screw in the middle.


I was careful in the order that I removed the screws in case one was different but they are all the same.


Very Carefully separate the Combustion Air Fan from the Heat Exchanger. There is a gasket separating the two parts that might be reused if handled carefully.


The heater oval base and Heat Exchanger are cast as a single piece. Since the fuel pump wiring is part of the Combustion Air Fan the wires must be pulled up through the base to completely separate the Combustion Air Fan from the Heat Exchanger.


Set the Combustion Air Fan off to the side.


You can see the gasket stayed attached to the Heat Exchanger.


Very gently pull the gasket away from the Heat Exchanger. No tools needed. Be careful not to bend it.


This one is in good enough shape to use again.


continued -
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:09 AM   #325
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater install continued:

Inside the Heat Exchanger is the Burner Insert.


Four screws hold the Burner Insert in place. The first two screws I'm removing also secure the Spoiler.




The Spoiler protects the wires for the Flame Sensor and the Glow Plug. Notice how the yellow wires for the Glow Plug are wrapped around the Spoiler. Also notice the brown wires going behind the metal fuel tube. These will both be mentioned again.


Set the Spoiler off to the side.


The two sets of wires pass through the side of the Heat Exchanger inside Cable Grommets.


Push the Cable Grommets through the side of the Heat Exchanger using my finger. No tools needed.


After pushing the Cable Grommet through pull the wire in after it. The X connector at the end of the wire will fit through the Cable Grommet hole.


Remove the last two screws securing the Burner Insert.




After removing all the screws the Burner Insert is still held in place by the fuel tube that passes through this Grommet.


Outside view.


Very Gently pull up on the Grommet with a pair on needle nose pliers. Pay attention to the Burner Insert while doing this.


The Burner Insert should raise along with the Grommet.


Look at the top left corner of this picture. You can see the the inlet end to the fuel tube where the fuel line would normally be attached. The Burner Insert can't be raised any higher since that fuel tube's movement is restricted by the oval base plate.


Looking a the edge of the Burner Insert and you can see it's stuck to the Combustion Tube.


Use a screwdriver to gently pry them apart.


Once the Burner Insert is separated from the Combustion Tube let the Combustion Tube fall back into the Heat Exchanger. The Burner Insert can now be tipped up and out.




continued -
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:02 PM   #326
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Re: Hal The Van

Webasto heater install continued:

The view into the other end of the Burner Insert. Inside on the right hand side you can see the "coking" build up. At the "9 o'clock" position is the Flame Sensor. Directly below it is a hole in the mesh screen. Through the hole the bottom end of the Glow Plug is visible.


Looking into the Combustion Tube inside the Heat Exchanger.


Lift out the Combustion Tube.






The inside of the Heat Exchanger


The tip of the screwdriver is pointing at a piece of what's left of the gasket that fits between the Heat Exchanger and the Combustion Tube.


Use a razor to remove the old gasket.


Dump out the gasket remains.


All the different heater parts.


Next up remove the Glow Plug and clean it. Remove it's hold down screw.


Glow Plug wouldn't come out. It was rusted firmly in place.


The repair manual reads that the Glow Plug is not to be twisted and must be handled with "the utmost care". The manual suggests using "creep oil" to loosen but I tried Liquid Wrench instead.


Let it soak for a couple days without any success. Tried everything I could think of to try and finesse the Glow Plug out and it just wouldn't come free. Never having messed with one before I didn't know how much force I could safely apply. It's a least $60 to replace if I wasn't careful.


Had an idea. I fabricated a cable so I could hook the Glow Plug directly to the 12 volt batteries.


Hooked it up to the batteries until it glowed red. Took but a few seconds.


Waited till it cooled down then the Glow Plug popped right out.


continued -
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:24 PM   #327
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Re: Hal The Van

Unbelievable! To me all that is Rocket Science. Good on you, Man. I cannot do all that, but it does inspire me not to be so timid about the few things I can probably do, but have been procrastinating on. Whew!
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:06 AM   #328
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Re: Hal The Van

you STILL da man bro
doing that AND taking decent pics
thank you

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:53 AM   #329
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Re: Hal The Van

greatest home build thread of all time. I read every installment avidly and bemoan my shoddy labor.

I'm glad you have an adult supervising the whole show. skritch his head for me.

p
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #330
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Re: Hal The Van

Thanks guys.

As to supervision, Bob's on deck so it's a "her".
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