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2019 T250 LWB EL High Roof 3.5L EcoBoost
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Discussion Starter #1
Have a new model Espar S2/M2 B4L Airtronic gasoline heater ready for install, with the Easy Start Pro controller . Wondering about the pros and cons of where to locate the heater in the van. Best options appear to either be under the passenger seat or somewhere between the wheel wells, under the fixed bed platform in the back. Behind the driver seat is not an option because I will be putting that seat on a swivel and don't want the box under foot when the seat is turned around.

Some concerns are: mounting difficulty, exhaust pipe placement, running fuel line over the van exhaust, proximity to fuel tank, noise, and wiring for power.

I've read here that the under-seat installation is difficult due to the position of the structural beam(s) underneath. Is that true?
Regarding wiring for power, the van will have 2 LiFePO 100Ah house batteries in the back, in addition to a single OEM LA battery in the stock location under the driver seat. There is currently a single-post CCP which will be used to recharge the house batteries from the alternator.
 
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One forum member had a different idea for a location, And since you only have a single Transit battery...

 

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2017 Ford Transit 350, Quigley & Ecoboost
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I just installed a Webasto gas heater in front of the wheel well on the drivers side. There is a open location under that area so holes can be drilled without worry and the exhaust routing is very short - basically straight down and slightly aft, exiting in front of the rear wheel. Another member used the same location on the passenger side with equally good results (Where I got the idea, BTW).

The fuel line routing is quite short on mine and goes away from the engine exhaust - no worries about wrapping, etc, to protect from the exhaust heat.
 

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I put my Espar S2/M2 B4L under the passenger seat. For sure doable, just tight and takes some serious planning to ensure your holes are lined up properly. The one caveat with putting this big heater under the passenger seat, the fresh air heat duct will need some modification, meaning there is not enough clearance to just vent the thing straight out with a nice hole. I had to build a wood box thing that will hide the hole I had to cut in the seat metal base so it looks nice and pretty. Ill try getting pictures up when i get it all buttoned up tonight or tomorrow.

IF you have a place to install it where its not under the seats- Im sure you will have an easier install. I didnt want to lose precious drawer space with my build for 2 adults and two teenagers.
 

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2019 T250 LWB EL High Roof 3.5L EcoBoost
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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting! I like both ideas (under driver seat and in front of the wheel well) vs under the passenger seat. Thanks idahoconv for confirming the difficulties with the passenger seat install. I'm leaning towards the rear install though since it seems the driver seat install requires several mods to the battery space. We will have cabinetry on both sides in front of the wheel wells. Will just have to decide if we want to give up that drawer space to the heater.

I'm still not a fan of running the fuel line over the exhaust if I can help it. I know that putting it above a heat shield and covering it with the split wiring loom casing protects it well enough though.

idahoconv and others, are you happy with the performance of the new version of the B4L? I had been reading about problems with the old version and was pleased to find the updated version for sale now, as it incorporates the high-altitude fuel metering automatically.
 

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In addition to under-body concerns, also pay attention to interior air flow. For example, if you curtain off the cab, you may not want your inlet air coming from behind the curtain.
 

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2020 High-Extended AWD EcoBoost Cargo with windows
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We did the passenger seat on our current Sprinter. Will be doing near the rear wheel on the drivers' side for the Transit. With it under the passenger seat, we lose heat every time the door opens - to the point that going through the cab is a better idea in the cold. We use a heavy curtain between back and cab; so the cab is good for that purpose and will likely continue for the next build. Also, it has to really fill the van before it gets warm back at the head of the bed; new install will be blowing right at the base of the bed. Finally, the exhaust near the slider is an annoying smell whenever leaving that side; we want it going out the back of the driver's side on the next install.
 

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Interesting! I like both ideas (under driver seat and in front of the wheel well) vs under the passenger seat. Thanks idahoconv for confirming the difficulties with the passenger seat install. I'm leaning towards the rear install though since it seems the driver seat install requires several mods to the battery space. We will have cabinetry on both sides in front of the wheel wells. Will just have to decide if we want to give up that drawer space to the heater.

I'm still not a fan of running the fuel line over the exhaust if I can help it. I know that putting it above a heat shield and covering it with the split wiring loom casing protects it well enough though.

idahoconv and others, are you happy with the performance of the new version of the B4L? I had been reading about problems with the old version and was pleased to find the updated version for sale now, as it incorporates the high-altitude fuel metering automatically.
I installed the new version of the B4 under the passenger seat last year. I like the location and install wasn't too difficult. The heater has been causing me a few headaches though. I have no air leaks and did a fuel pump test per Espar but the unit will still sound like it is surging and throws a H1 service due code periodically on startup. I have run it on Kerosene per Espar tech support and the unit runs flawlessly. Fires right off and runs great. I've heard that the ECM has been reprogrammed and may have different run times for the fuel pump, etc. . . I'm planning on taking it directly to an Espar service dealer next week to see what they think. Espar tech support has been good but seems to only want to go so far with a DIY installation.
 

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Boy I am really torn between getting a Propex or a gasoline Espar. The propex seems drop dead reliable but a pain to fuel properly (under van RV tank would be my preferred choice). Espar would be much easier to fuel but I hear soooo many stories about the **** units being problematic.
I’m in a quandary. Does anyone have the correct answer and will be willing to make this choice for me and accept all the responsibility of making that choice? Mainly all the bitching I will do when I have to install, fuel, troubleshoot, and generally live with it.
I guess neither choice is a forever type of thing but when you’ve done it once you really don’t want to remove, sell, buy and install a different method.
 

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2019 T250 LWB EL High Roof 3.5L EcoBoost
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for that info gregoryx. Those are the little tips I was hoping for. They also support my continuing to lean towards the installintion in the back. Our bed will be lengthwise and so our heads will be way at the back.

Chainman1, I appreciate your input on the seat install being doable. I'm just not hearing additional pros that would sway me. Not good to hear of your fueling problems with the new unit. Let us know if they get resolved.
 

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See my post about installing my diesel Espar under the driver seat (single battery). Driver seat is far more accessible from below, but you have to carve a hole through the conductor section of the fuse assembly on the back of the driver seat base. There's enough room if you have a single CCR point because you can bypass the single conductor. If you've got three CCR points, carving a hole for the heat duct might not be feasible. Espar under driver seat
I went whole military-industrial complex, replacing the Ford gasoline fueling assembly with a diesel one so I could use the DEF port to fill a separate undercarriage tank with kerosene for the heater. It worked out fine, but my retrospective advice is KISS - match the heater fuel to the van fuel and put the heater somewhere in the cargo area.

PS - I shelled out for the Espar altitude correction unit because I'm already a mile high and travel mostly in the Rockies. Worth the cost.
 

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I installed the new version of the B4 under the passenger seat last year. I like the location and install wasn't too difficult. The heater has been causing me a few headaches though. I have no air leaks and did a fuel pump test per Espar but the unit will still sound like it is surging and throws a H1 service due code periodically on startup. I have run it on Kerosene per Espar tech support and the unit runs flawlessly. Fires right off and runs great. I've heard that the ECM has been reprogrammed and may have different run times for the fuel pump, etc. . . I'm planning on taking it directly to an Espar service dealer next week to see what they think. Espar tech support has been good but seems to only want to go so far with a DIY installation.
@Chainman1

I have the new B4 as well and it threw the H1 Service code this morning when I took it up into the snow around 6k feet. I tried starting the heater and it it chugged and chugged before throwing the H1 Code followed by heavy gasoline smell outside (no leaks).

I pulled the fuses and waited about 10 minutes and it did fire up after that, kinda frustrating to have to futz around with such an expensive heater :)

I am super curious to hear about what happens when you get it serviced!
 

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I have the Espar B4L heater installed under the passenger seat. I used a lot of tips from the Webasto installation guide at FarOutRide.com to deal with the issues you described such as protecting the fuel line over the exhaust system and dealing with the tight space underneath the van. I used the suggested ratcheting wrench as well as a cheap right angled screw driver. I drilled a few holes in the front wall of the seat pedestal to improve airflow for the intake and of course had to cut a hole in the back sloped wall for the output. It took a few tries to cut the output duct to the right shape to deal with the abrupt change in angle. I'm still in my build phase so I've only used it a few times but so far it has been great.

A few parts I used:




Part CK4Z-9B210-A from oemfordpartsdirect.com

Espar mounting plate

I have a 2020 model and did not need to relocate the jack from under the seat or modify its mounting as mentioned on FarOutRide. Using the provided exhaust hoses I was able to bring the exhaust back to about the middle of the slider opening, pointing out to the side of the van. I suppose if I had the slider window open I could get some exhaust fumes back into the van through it, but I don't see why I would ever run the heat with that window open. If necessary I have rear windows that also open.

To help with noise I added a little Thinsulate to the interior sides of the seat pedestal and on half the floor, and I covered the piece closest to the heater with foil tape for a little extra heat protection. I don't know how much sound it is absorbing because I did not to a "before" test, but I don't find the noise inside to be bothersome. It is about the same as the heater in my old fiberglass travel trailer. The heater is a bit noisier outside the van, and I hesitate to run it early in the morning at a small campsite full of tents. I have the exhaust muffler on but not the optional intake muffler. Most of the noise seems to come from the exhaust pipe.

I don't have my full electrical system in yet. For now I ran a single jacketed wire pair from the CCP to inside the pedestal (going under the floor mat) and put the Espar-provided mini fuse box in there with the required two fuses. I will probably leave that there and run a single new wire pair in from my DC distribution box once that's in place.

142657


142658
 

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Boy I am really torn between getting a Propex or a gasoline Espar. The propex seems drop dead reliable but a pain to fuel properly (under van RV tank would be my preferred choice). Espar would be much easier to fuel but I hear soooo many stories about the **** units being problematic.
I’m in a quandary. Does anyone have the correct answer and will be willing to make this choice for me and accept all the responsibility of making that choice? Mainly all the bitching I will do when I have to install, fuel, troubleshoot, and generally live with it.
I guess neither choice is a forever type of thing but when you’ve done it once you really don’t want to remove, sell, buy and install a different method.
I am going with the propex (vs diesel ___). I am already using propane for my shower, stove, & outdoor firepit so adding another appliance is going to be easier to me than dropping the fuel tank etc. I will be venting the tank through the floor (it will live inside) and plumbing with copper & flare fittings. Propane is more expensive than diesel but my van is a 5 figure toy anyways. I don't want to deal with maintenance of the diesel or gas heaters either. Parked in paradise or far out ride have good pros/cons.
 

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I think I have the final fix for my heater. After talking with Eberspaecher technical support, and eventually the North American training manager, I got a mated replacement of the fuel pump and the ECU. The original fuel pump did not pass the fuel pump quantity test so I replaced it first and the heater would still not run consistently. After I changed the ECU with Software Version 04, the unit fired up flawlessly and has been running error free ever since. It now runs like when I used kerosene as a fuel source. Apparently the new SW has a much different start up sequence to help eliminate the inherent air bubbles that can occur with gasoline.

FWIW, I was told by the trainer, was to avoid buying from HEATSO. He said that Eberspaecher has been having numerous issues with the heaters that they are selling
 

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2020 AWD Transit 250 MR
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I installed my Espar on the drivers side near the wheel well. I don't think I have the skills to install it under the seat and I also wanted the exhaust on the drivers side and not by the big door. There's a lot of room to work under the van in that area as well. However, it did take me hours to finally drill the holes!! LOL
I've been using mine for a few months and its been working great, the parking lot of the ski resort I use it at is at about 8200 feet and about 95% of the time it's started on the first try. It takes the van about 10 minutes to heat up to 60 degrees no matter what the temp has been outside but I haven't been below zero yet.

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I was actually about to buy from Heatso, did they say where a good supplier was for a US based customer??


I think I have the final fix for my heater. After talking with Eberspaecher technical support, and eventually the North American training manager, I got a mated replacement of the fuel pump and the ECU. The original fuel pump did not pass the fuel pump quantity test so I replaced it first and the heater would still not run consistently. After I changed the ECU with Software Version 04, the unit fired up flawlessly and has been running error free ever since. It now runs like when I used kerosene as a fuel source. Apparently the new SW has a much different start up sequence to help eliminate the inherent air bubbles that can occur with gasoline.

FWIW, I was told by the trainer, was to avoid buying from HEATSO. He said that Eberspaecher has been having numerous issues with the heaters that they are selling
 

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I got mine fast from Heatso for $1,370 including shipping, the same model as you're looking at. It did get held up in customs for a few days.
 
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