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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I installed a Espar B4L in my 2020 transit, under the passenger seat and have a problem with the heater starting when I am at elevation.

I live in Boise ID, at around 3k feet elevation, when down here in the valley my heater starts 99% of the time without issues. When I travel to my local ski area around 6800K feet the heater NEVER starts first try and generally will take around 30+ minutes of trying to get the thing started. Once it does starts at elevation, it will run absolutely fine stopping and starting. When I got back down in elevation it also will always start fine, and then back up to elevation I again have the problem.

Ive completely taken apart the entire gas line from the pickup in the tank all the way to the heater, ensuring rise, fittings, etc are perfect... still have the same problem of getting it started at elevation.

Heatso has been sorta OK to work with, but I feel like they dont really know either. They will be sending me a new ECU (when they get them in a couple weeks).

Has anyone had this problem, is there a trick to getting it started I could use until i get the root cause sorted?

Appreciate any pointers!
 

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Well, their web site said it's ideal for the "Ford Promaster". lol.. Is that the van you have?

****
Who the Espar B4L gasoline heater kit is suitable for
This Espar gasoline heater is suitable for a wide range of vehicles and applications, and is ideal for heating:

  • Trucks
  • Vans (especially the Ford Promaster and Transit)
****

Seriously though a new ECU might help if this is from old stock somewhere. Apparently with the latest ECU this unit no longer requires a high altitude kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think there are many more. Spend some time with the much distained search function on this site.
Quotation marks around individual words. Please post back your action/results when you solve the heater problem.
Thanks for your helpful comments, I needed a lesson on how to use basic search parameters :rolleyes:.. I have read every single post on this site about heaters.
 

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How low do you let your tank get while driving? I've found that the Ford factory fuel line will be above the fuel level when the dash says about 1/3 of the tank. If that happens the standpipe will fill with air and the whole fuel line will need to be purged. On my Webasto it's 2-3 full system restarts to get all the air out, but once it's running it will continue running just fine. Basically anytime I let the tank get below 1/3 tank I expect to need to do multiple restarts to get the system running.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How low do you let your tank get while driving? I've found that the Ford factory fuel line will be above the fuel level when the dash says about 1/3 of the tank. If that happens the standpipe will fill with air and the whole fuel line will need to be purged. On my Webasto it's 2-3 full system restarts to get all the air out, but once it's running it will continue running just fine. Basically anytime I let the tank get below 1/3 tank I expect to need to do multiple restarts to get the system running.
Good question, as I have suspected this as well. I have intentionally kept it over 1/2 at all times to try and reduce this issue and still have the problem.
 

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Not sure if it'd be related, but according to the guy at Esparparts.com you need this standpipe when using the B4L on the transit:

 

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Not sure if it'd be related, but according to the guy at Esparparts.com you need this standpipe when using the B4L on the transit:

Is this an additional stand pipe you have to install in the tank, or replaces the stock extra stand pipe some how? Sounds difficult to me.
 

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Not really sure, but maybe replaces the stock standpipe? My heater is on order. The Espar guy said they had a transit come in with problems, and realized the issue was the standpipe being way out of spec.

The Espar needs a 2mm ID tube, stock is 6mm. That's a huge difference volume wise for fuel going into the Espar, I can imagine that'd cause issues running correctly and proper fuel ratios.
 

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Are you getting any (controller or heating unit) errors? I found that if I had an error (in my case always a non-critical, nuisance type error), that error needed to be "cleared" and then I was OK to start.

I was also more likely to have one of these nuisance errors when going up to elevation and then trying to start my Espar.

Myself, also in Boise ... saw these errors when driving up to Bogus or over to Anthony Lakes, both relatively high altitude - but not THAT high. Additionally, your device should be the newer models that are adjusted to deal with high altitude.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@DrkGrn Yeah - Ive cleared the errors, done factory resets, etc before going up in elevation, and still have the problem. Always get a spattering of error codes after trying to start it at elevation. Yeah it was suppose to be the new model that "just works" at elevation, thats exactly why I spent the extra money on this one :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Not sure if it'd be related, but according to the guy at Esparparts.com you need this standpipe when using the B4L on the transit:

@Muggydude thats insanity if its true, but I suspect its not. If it were a standpipe issue I would assume I would see this issue regardless of elevation.
 

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I have the older Espar B4 model and have used it for over four years in my Transit with no problems. It uses the Ford factory straw and doesn't have an altitude kit (my installer says he checked with Espar and the gasoline models don't need them). I've used the heater at altitude (up to 8400 feet). Also for skiing in the winter.

I've never had a problem starting the heater except when I have let the gas tank run too low. I'm not sure this helps you, but it might add a bit of grist to your diagnostic mill.

Cheers.
 

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@DrkGrn Yeah - Ive cleared the errors, done factory resets, etc before going up in elevation, and still have the problem. Always get a spattering of error codes after trying to start it at elevation. Yeah it was suppose to be the new model that "just works" at elevation, thats exactly why I spent the extra money on this one :)
I'm in the same boat man.

At 7000 feet it takes a try or two. At 8500 feet a few more. At 10k feet I want to punch a wall. At 12k feet I've given up on the heater working at all.

Expensive overcomplicated German sensor nonsense just like their cars. I have a backup propane heater.
 

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Possibly a dumb idea, but what about turning it on at home when you are ready to start the trip and just leave it on until you get home?

I realize that it is sort of a band aid approach.
 

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Please let me know if you find a solution. I bought a B4L from Heatso this past summer, and am having the exact same issues. The heater seems to have a rough time starting, but works most of the time at my home altitude of 3k ft. At 6k, it might start after several attempts if I'm lucky. Over 7k, forget it.

Heatso has sent me a new fuel pump. No change. I've replaced all fuel lines and connections. No change. I've sourced the fuel line directly from a fuel canister to eliminate any issues with the tap/standpipe. No change.

Eventually I found the Repair Instructions Manual for M2/S2 heaters. This describes a fuel quantity measurement test. According to the manual, during initial startup, the pump should run for 105 seconds and put out 14.2ml of fuel. I'm getting barely 9ml and the pump runs for 115 secs. Once I told Heatso this, they said it was probably a faulty ECU. I sent my heater back to them. Supposedly they confirmed it was an ECU issue and replaced it. I just got my heater back (after 2 months). I ran the fuel measurement test again, and no change.

I really don't understand how they could have fixed my heater, when I'm still seeing the exact same faulty fuel measurement values as before. I haven't had a chance to retest at high altitude yet, but it's still only working marginally at lower altitudes, just like it always has.
 

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I wonder if anyone who has ordered from esparparts.com has had issues with their heater? vs Heatso.

Seems a few people who have talked with Espar directly have had Espar tell them they'd stay away from Heatso and that they have problems with the heaters Heatso sells...

Seems to match people's experiences on here
 
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I'm in the same boat man.

At 7000 feet it takes a try or two. At 8500 feet a few more. At 10k feet I want to punch a wall. At 12k feet I've given up on the heater working at all.

Expensive overcomplicated German sensor nonsense just like their cars. I have a backup propane heater.

Getting error codes?
I'm having trouble with mine, but isn't throwing any error codes. Runs fine if it starts, but often takes many, many times to get it to start. Just wants to reset over and over again.
 

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Getting error codes?
I'm having trouble with mine, but isn't throwing any error codes. Runs fine if it starts, but often takes many, many times to get it to start. Just wants to reset over and over again.
Yeah I get tons of error codes. What do I do about them? Contact Germany? Buy a tool? Download an app?

Lol it is the modern way of product support. All digital nonsense.
 
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