Ford Transit USA Forum banner

Espar M2-B4L Transit Install: Standpipe Install & Webasto vs Espar

12169 Views 66 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  rich320
TL;DR I went with the Espar heater vs. the Webasto because it is newer more powerful. This post covers why and the install below. Removing the fuel sending unit and standpipe is difficult and i documented my instructions.

If you are trying to decide between a Webasto Airtop STC 2000 and the newer Espar M2, I will provide my thoughts and details on the decision and the install of the Espar below.

Espar M2- B4l

  • Version 3 Heater from Espar
  • Automatic high altitude adjustment (I live in Montana)
  • 2x as powerful as the Espar (re: Montana)
  • Brushless motor
  • Comes with a thermostat/timer
  • Better fuel pump
  • Price
  • Advanced install (to do it right)
  • Webasto is a quick install with the factory auxiliary standpipe
Webasto Airtop STC 2000
  • Throws plenty of heat
  • Reliable, if installed perfectly
  • Easy install on the transit
  • Less powerful
  • No automatic altitude adjustment. You need to do it manually, requiring the rheostat (not timer controller)
  • If you want the timer and thermostat function, you also need to buy a separate controller, but if you want high-altitude adjustment you need to but BOTH.
  • Very sensitive to altitude.
  • Thermostat is in buried in the wiring harness, in a place that is not very useful.
I went with the Espar heater for the reasons above. I live in Montana and I am always at high attitude skiing or hunting. I want the extra heating power to keep my water system and batteries from freezing. I like the idea of a more reliable/newer heater with built in altitude adjustment. Even though it is more expensive, I still would need to buy two controllers for the Webasto and at that point it is almost negligible.

The one caveat is that you need (should!) install the correct standpipe in the transit for the Espar. The Transit standpipe inside the gas sender unit has a very wide diameter. It looks like at is about ½’’. The orange pipe is for the auxiliary standpipe. If you use this with the Espar (likely the Webasto as well), you will likely have issues. The pump needs to work extremely hard to and you will have issues down the line. If you are a mellow user, not at altitude, weekend warrior, you may be fine for a while. The comparison is if you put a cocktail straw on top of a large drinking straw. It would be nearly impossible to pull liquid through the cocktail straw. See the picture of the size of the Espar fuel line.

Transit sending unit
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Bumper Gas

Espar fuel pipe:
Sculpture Wood Snout Reptile Art

In the Transit kit, sends the appropriate standpipe. When I got it, there were rough instructions for a F150 ecoboost install. This was not the same as my Ecoboost 2020 AWD Transit. But, it can be done. Make sure you have everything setup and ready to go. Have your tools and a work bench ready. You need rubber gloves and eye protection or goggles (ask me why, preferably goggles…). Instruction below:
  • Drop the gas tank. It is way easier if it is empty. If your van is lifted with bigger tires it will not hit the ground with the hoses attached. User a jack. Use something to prop it up on (see pictures). Lay out the brackets in the correct orientation and label the bolts (see pictures).
    Automotive tire Tire Automotive exterior Bumper Asphalt
    • Bag Rock-climbing equipment Rope (rhythmic gymnastics) Strap Asphalt
  • Start discounting everything on the sending unit. Use a very small flat head and a pick. Gently lift the brackets to discount everything. Be gentle and don’t force it. They will come off.
  • The lines are under pressure and can spray gas in your face. Wear goggles and use a rag to cover the connections when you pull them off.
    Font Line Magenta Fictional character Science
  • Pick set

  • Remove the 3 nuts holding on the plastic protective shroud. Remove the shroud.
This is where it gets complicated. You are supposed to use a ‘special tool’ to remove the sending unit, but it is not necessary. You will need a socket extender, socket, and hammer. There are “lock” and “unlock” symbols to show you the orientation you need to unlock the unit. It is lefty loosy righty tighty. You will see indents around the metal locking mechanism. Use the socket with extender and hammer to knock around the metal shroud. Note the orientation of the unit. If only goes on one way with the plastic shroud. Don't forget this. See the YouTube video.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Engineering Gas Bumper

  • Once unlocked, remove the unit
  • Mine did NOT come out all the way. I don’t know why. This made it very difficult.
  • I had to work under the van to install the standpipe.
  • Find the correct spot and drill the hole for the standpipe (8mm). Make sure nothing falls in the tank! I think the drill bit was 5/16, but test this beforehand.
  • Make sure the washer and nut will fit where you drill the hole and make sure there is nothing is in the way.
  • If you are worried about the size of the hole, use a step drill bit to walk it in.
  • Install the standpipe with the washer and the nut.
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Bumper Engineering

  • Bend the pipe around any obstructions.
  • Don’t forget to install the Espar fuel hose before you strap back in the gas tank.

Now it’s time to install the heater! If there is interest, I can cover the heater install as well.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 5
1 - 2 of 67 Posts
I believe that is the case. @Bazz99 helped her do it, IIRC, so same as his. There's a part-number / description for that size-down thing somewhere on here.

That said... it's just not that big of a deal to drop the tank and install the stand-pipe. I can't think of a good reason not to do that. 🤔
I helped install another one a few months ago. A guy reached out to me and asked for some help. His is working great at high altitude too.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I'm going to help Nick do a diesel heater install shortly... going to be interesting to see if the tank install is easier than the drop-the-tank model... 😬
One mistake I made on the last one is the tank wasn't on EMPTY (light on!!), it had a 1/4 tank of gas and that was a lot more work reinstalling it!!
  • Wow
Reactions: 1
1 - 2 of 67 Posts