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

12170 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
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Espar fuel pipe:
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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).
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    • 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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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Great write up dude! Installed my unit with the AUX port per FaroutRide's documentation soon after I got my van but will be dropping the tank again and installing a stand pipe once summer comes back. Heater works fine but feel like it's just a matter of time before issues arise.
From what I recall, the two wire run w/ the pre-crimped connectors is the one you want to use for the fuel pump.
But yeah, that pic is the same as what I received.

And to be'll need to insert said pre-crimped pins into the empty fuel pump connector housing. They did it this way so that you can easily fish the wire through a smaller hole than you'd be able to if the connector was already attached.
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So the Brown and teal color wire are my fuel pump wires right? Those connect into the piece that is in the bag and then into the fuel pump? Also, nobody shows any holes drill in the bottom for the wires to the fuel pump they just are showing intake/exhaust/Fuel l ine holes. You have to have one for the fuel pump power too right?
There's no need to drill an additional hole to facilitate the fuel pump power. That wiring harness allows for an enormous run so you can easily route the power connector out the back of the van via the rear pillar and out of one of the rubber hole covers.
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