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Another Gas heater problem
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GSD_Master
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 10:25 am    Post subject: Another Gas heater problem Reply with quote

For some reason the fuel flows back down the line toward the fuel pump when the heater is turned off. By the time the fuel gets pumped up to the heater, it shuts off as a safety mechanism.

Is it normal for the fuel to flow back down the line? If not, how do I stop it?

Thanks.
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Captain Spalding
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Gas heater problem Reply with quote

GSD_Master wrote:
For some reason the fuel flows back down the line toward the fuel pump when the heater is turned off. By the time the fuel gets pumped up to the heater, it shuts off as a safety mechanism.

Is it normal for the fuel to flow back down the line? If not, how do I stop it?

I don't think it's normal. I don't know off hand if there is supposed to be a check valve in the system. One thing that might allow the fuel to flow back down is a loose fuel line connection or a hole or crack in the line.
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crofty
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should stay primed.
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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pump has a check valve in it. It's not supposed to flow back down. Gotta clean or replace it.
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Buckly
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have good luck with the pumps, take it a part and clean it up a but.
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GSD_Master
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Another Gas heater problem Reply with quote

Captain Spalding wrote:
One thing that might allow the fuel to flow back down is a loose fuel line...


I think this might be the case. What type of clamps do you use on the line? It seems like the connection on the heater side of the fuel pump is too small for any of the fuel line clamps that I have.
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Spanky
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can you guys tell if the fuel is flowing???

My fuel lines are opaque black, lined non transparent, etc etc.

I would like to be able to see if the fuel pump is working. My heater ain't heatin.

Spanky
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crofty
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky wrote:
How can you guys tell if the fuel is flowing???

My fuel lines are opaque black, lined non transparent, etc etc.

I would like to be able to see if the fuel pump is working. My heater ain't heatin.

Spanky


The points in the fan control when the pump pumps gas. It's not a constant brrrrrr sound it's clicks. You should see gas squirting out if it's working. Those pumps, if you have the metering type cannot be disassembled as fas as I know.

I've rebuilt quite a few of those heaters so it's possible for the do-it-yourselfer.
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Spanky
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My new thing heater is acting up!

The heater blower runs whenever the switch is turned on. It comes on immediately and runs continuously. There is no heat. The heater pull knob (heat control) will only pull out about 1/2 inch. On my last THING the knob pulled out much farther, maybe 2 inches. I looked inside the little box that the heat control cable goes to. There is a little arm on a pivot. The little arm is only moving a short distance, not the full distance inside the cavity in the box.

On my last thing the fan would not come on until some heat was present.
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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take a look here:
http://veewiki2.webfactional.com/HeaterBN4

I think there's a few problems with your setup.

First, the thermostat is supposed to move freely, and if it doesn't, it's probably frozen up and non functional - which is common. I don't know a good method to fix these - I've worked lubricant into mine just to have it stop functioning a month later. It's likely frozen in the "on" position because the fan is turning on - if it were "off" and the heater is cold, the fan will not turn on.

Have you checked the circuit breaker? If it's tripped, it'll prevent the fuel pump from running. Simple to check, but I'll wager that the fuel pump is probably seized too - also common, but easier to fix.

Quote:
On a VW Thing, the pump is located above the master brake cylinder, under the fuel tank. The pump is a solenoid - it'll give one squirt of gas every time 12v is applied. When the pump is working, you'll get about a pulse every second of 12v. This is driven off of the fan - there is a switch that trips on every couple of revolutions.

When the pump is working, it'll click once every second or so. You can hear it in a Thing if you put your ear near the left-front wheel well. If you don't hear the pump clicking when the heater is running, you can remove the wires feeding it and check to see if it's getting that 12v pulse. If you see the pulse but the pump isn't clicking, then the pump is the issue.

Usually, the pump locks up requiring some maintenance. It's quite hardy, but will freeze up if not used every month or two. Hitting it with a hammer will often fix it - give it a few gentle whacks to free it up and it'll often start working again. If it hasn't worked in a long time, you may have to pull it from the car, wash out all the old fuel, give it a few jolts of 12v direct from the battery (CAREFUL CAREFUL of spark and shooting fuel!) and reinstall.

Note that the polarity of the wires to the pump does not matter. If you look very carefully, you'll see that there are no markings for which lead is which on the pump. The solenoid doesn't care.

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Spanky
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks IAN. (By the way, how did a guy in CALIFORNIA get named IAN? Thought those were all Canadians and Limeys! Wink

I will begin by checking the fuel supply. I did remove and clean the pump last summer when this problem began but it's been 9 months since I drove the car .... so .....
I am curious why the fan is coming on with no heat beforehand. I understood the fan started blowing after there was heat and continued blowing after shutdown until there was cool. It is now running on and off with the heater on/off switch and seems disconnected from the safety cutouts designed in the heater system.

I'll post my results, and thanks again for your trouble on my behalf.

Spanky
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: It Clicks! Reply with quote

The pump is clicking, a little faster than 1/sec. Does that mean the pump is not seized up? If so, I'm going to have to open some fuel lines? Easy enough.
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Ian Epperson
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool! The pump is working. You can remove the fuel line at the heater to see if fuel is coming out - point the line into a jar. It might simply be that it's not run long enough to push the fuel up the line.

If there is fuel coming out, then check the glow plug - it might have enough soot buildup that it isn't functioning. It's supposed to be cleaned annually.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've pulled the pump. There is gas at the end of the INLET hose so the filter is not clogged. Theres nothing emerging at the OUTLET of the pump. I cannot blow through the pump. I've squirted some carb cleaner into the inlet of the pump but it's not flowing through.

Looks like a pump overhaul. I've found a picture of the dis-assembled pump on the RoMTOC CD and removed the inlet tube. There is no strainer on my pump on the inlet side - should be according to the picture. It appears on the picture that there is mischief possible in the fuel check valve assembly "valve body, control valve, valve ball, and spring" on the outlet side of the pump. I will try to open and clean that area next.

This picture only shows 13 parts to this pump. There is no hint of what exists inside the pump housing (part 5) itself.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wish I could post a copy of the Fuel Pump parts picture, but here goes:

I was able to remove the inlet union and the complete outlet assembly. My strainer was stuffed into the pump body. I was not able to remove it, but it appeared clean. In fact all internals in this pump were shiny clean.
With the heater switch on and fan turning and peering into the outlet end of the pump body I could see the little piston moving in and out so the pump apeared operational.

I could remove but was unable to dis-assemble the valve body (control valve, valve ball, spring) so I soaked it in carb cleaner for about 30 minutes.
After reassembly I plugged the power back and slipped the fuel lines on the pump and turned on the heater timer switch. I held the other end of the fuel hose in my hand. The pump made its ticking sound for a few seconds and then the sound abruptly changed. I could feel air being moved out of the other end of the fuel hose in tiny pulses. In about 60 seconds fuel appeared at the end of the line.

I will test the heater operation today and submit a report.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: HEATER WORKING GREAT Reply with quote

Heater working great!

I had never operated the heater with the engine off before this. The sounds were very interesting.

The pump sound changed as it started moving fuel.
The ignition (lite 0ff) of the gas made a whoosh and produced a soft roaring noise, not unlike an old Coleman gas lantern.

Thank you IAN and CROFTY for your interest and help in my behalf.
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
SPANKY
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2008 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats! I just got back from a drive with no top or doors - the heater kept my right foot nice and toasty!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject: Re: HEATER WORKING GREAT Reply with quote

Spanky wrote:




The pump sound changed as it started moving fuel.
The ignition (lite 0ff) of the gas made a whoosh and produced a soft roaring noise, not unlike an old Coleman gas lantern.


That's exactly how it is supposed to sound, Very Happy then you can add to that (when you arrive at the parking lot for work) in the winter "HEY, YOUR DRIVER SIDE FRONT TIRE IS ON FIRE".
I can't remember how many times people would run over to me as I was parking and tell me that because of the "stove pipe" being right behind the tire.
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crofty
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you got it going!
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DUSTY BUS
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you people actually use that gas heater while driving down the road? We fired on up on my buddies thing once that is scary. I havent even tried to turn mine on yet. How do you turn it on anyway? The Gas heater Looks Brand new under the hood. are there any horror stories about these things blowing up due to the heater.?
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