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Info on this Heater?
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epowell
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:43 am    Post subject: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

'81 DIESEL....

I am not at all familiar with what this contraption is - I assume it is a heater. Does anyone have some info on this... how it works, is it worth keeping - etc?

I noticed there is a little plastic bulb with some yellow liquid inside (oil) and the attached small rubber hose seems to be wet with this "oil"... ??? Is this healthy?

Thanks
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:48 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this HEATER? Reply with quote

The first pics are of the factory Ebersbacher diesel heater. The last is of some aftermarket contraption. I just pulled a factory heater from a diesel van. The whole unit with wiring, ducts and shield weighs in at nearly 50lbs. There are newer and lighter versions out there that will probably be a better use of your time and money...but, I'm going to try and get this unit running, and either install it in our T4 or my T3.
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Last edited by Zeitgeist 13 on Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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epowell
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this HEATER? Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
The first pics of of the factory Ebersbacher diesel heater. The whole unit with wiring, ducts and shield weighs in at nearly 50lbs.


So what is the point of it? From this heater where does the heat actually come out into the van? I find the DASH heater on Vanagons very good - so what is the point of the heavy extra heater?

Is this heater associated with this box?
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...under the van I can see that the heater hoses are routed thru this box. Is that a separate deal? I think the PO said this is an electric space heater, and there is a knob on the dash which says HEAT, and it seems that from there there is a wire leading to this box. Maybe it works as a combo between heater hose and electric power?

...so my van has 3 separate heating systems?? WFH?
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this HEATER? Reply with quote

I can't help you with the white box, but the Ebersbacher is designed to operate in concert with your factory coolant heater when the van is running, or to heat the space when the van is off. I've had gas versions of these heaters in my '70 Bay, '80 Vanagon and '73 Thing. When they're running, the heat is instantaneous and very robust. If you're planning on camping in cold weather, it's worth investigating how to resurrect the heater. If not, then pull it out and shave 50lbs off of your load.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

our van had this factory diesel heater, the front portion of the heater connects to a short vent that points rearward between the front two seats. on the rear lip of the walk through between the front seats
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

The junction connecting the heater to the rear facing vent should have a flapper valve that also allows the heat to come up through the forward heater box.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

I added a diesel heater to our camper. It sips fuel and will keep the van warm all night long. Ed, knowing you from your posts, attempting to get this heater working is in your wheelhouse. The plan is to use the van as a cabin when visiting. That heater on cool nights will be a godsend. I vote to go for getting it running if you can.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

The ‘bulb’ is the infamous plastic fuel filter commonly seen on VW air cooled engines of our youth... So you’re weeping diesel from the hose at the Filter.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

that first pic you can see the relay that operates the fuel metering device, and the fuel filter is diesel. its t 'd into your gas tank, then the little white box you posted a picture of with teh wire running to it has the fan /blower that pushes the heat. so your heater uses both electricity and diesel fuel to run. the switch has to go to a temperature regulator of some sort that turn the blower motor on and off accordingly to maintain a certain temp...look for a box with lots of stuff in it Smile youll get it going, i would. these heaters are great when running.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

I have one of these I've been weary of using: the po last use of it ended in a no-start condition. Paperwork suggests some kind of fuel vacuum/pressure issue as the repair suggests running the heater with the gas tank lid open to mitigate vacuum issue. I've also been told it is a battery sapper - the owners manual says as much. Anyone have any experience with a working one of these? I'm also curious to get mine working for cold/damp shoulder season camping. I'm game to try to refurb it myself.
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

I would run any aux. heater off of the house battery, and not the starting battery.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

Where that white grill is it looks like someone mounted a second heater core. You would have to look under the van to see if there are heater hoses going to it. In the stock configuration the white grill is where the diesel heater gets it cabin air from. If you look behind it over the transmission there is a fan that blows air from there through the heater to just behind the front seats and up to the heater box in the front of the van. In my case that fan went bad and I could not get a replacement easily and I removed the hole thing from my van. The diesel heaters work quite well and are worth fixing but I only drive my van in the summer so I didn’t fix mine. John
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

I need to take a bit of time to digest all of this... as right now I am busy building my kitchen cabinet.

I will now also be replacing my heater hoses, and notice that one of those hoses gets spliced and goes up to the white grill box... I am wondering if I should now bother to hook up the new heater hose to that white grill box or just bypass it and thereby have just one length of hose from engine to dash?

I will now write the PO and try to find out why there are TWO separate aux heating systems and what gives. I mean, I think he said the white grill box is an aux electric heater (if yes then why does it need the heater hose going to it? ...and if the van has an amazing diesel aux heater, why would I need an aus electric heater [which would surely electricity faster than the diesel heater].
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

You may be looking at it backwards. It is easier to start a warm diesel engine when the temp is zero outside. It's possible, they were circulating heated coolant to warm the engine for cold starts. I'm the wrong person to discuss this since I live in the tropics.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
The junction connecting the heater to the rear facing vent should have a flapper valve that also allows the heat to come up through the forward heater box.


interesting! where is this flapper controlled? or is it run by one of the standard 4 levers on the hvac?
ive noticed in our van the bottom-most lever appears to do nothing... though i can hear it moving something around. perhaps thats it?


also to Ed - i live in bellingham and am getting ready to post all of our original aux heater parts for sale here. if you find yourself needing spares im not too faraway.
i pulled the complete setup, wiring and all.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

If you didn't drop the fuel tank, then the duct that came from the aux. heater is probably still open to the outside. I pulled the tank in order to fix a bad shift rod junction and pulled the heater out at that time. I capped off that duct and left the flapper in the open position for the flow of heat to the rear from the dash. There's a steel rod coming from somewhere up there that actuates the flap, and I assume it attaches to the sliders on the dash.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

yeah i left the tank in place and plumbed the webastos outlet to where the previous diesel heater went. i can feel all the webastos hot air coming through those rear facing floor vents so i assumed that was the only outlet option.

good to know though!
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
You may be looking at it backwards. It is easier to start a warm diesel engine when the temp is zero outside. It's possible, they were circulating heated coolant to warm the engine for cold starts. I'm the wrong person to discuss this since I live in the tropics.


Aha... good thinking > maybe this is it? They could run the heater for 10 minutes in the morning - both warming the cabin AND the engine because Winter startup. Question The van also has an electric BLOCK HEATER (not working) so obviously at one point this van probably lived up north somewhere very cold. Vancouver doesn't get so cold as to be too concerned about Winter cold starts.

I just talked to the PO, >>> he said he had no idea about any diesel heater under the van, so most likely it has not been working for a long time. I think the white grill box is just an electric heater.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

If you've got a solid engine with good compression, then you may not need a block heater here in the PNW, but I can attest that higher mileage 1.5/1.6NA engines do need that extra boost of heat when the weather turns colder than 32F. My first Rabbit had 275k on the original engine and it required a block heater all Winter.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Info on this Heater? Reply with quote

Zeitgeist 13 wrote:
If you've got a solid engine with good compression, then you may not need a block heater here in the PNW, but I can attest that higher mileage 1.5/1.6NA engines do need that extra boost of heat when the weather turns colder than 32F. My first Rabbit had 275k on the original engine and it required a block heater all Winter.


Aha... my 1.6TD in Czech starts all winter long - even in -15C ...but it needs about 20+seconds of glow plugs and a lot of pumping. I'm not sure this is healthy.
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