Eberspacher Diesel Heater problem

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 01:22
ThreadID: 129688 Views:6986 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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When starting the Eberspacher diesel heater the fan winds up to speed without igniting the diesel and then shuts down. This repeats until I shut it off. She who knows everything reports that we ran it out of fuel at some stage - so may be a problem with an air lock or similar.

Any suggestion for a simple fix before we head to the repair shops?

Cheers John
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Reply By: Bill & Rose - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 02:45

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 02:45
Diesel engines are fiddly to prime after running out of fuel. But this does not sound like your problem if it ran okay after running out.

If it won't start immediately after running out then loosen a nut or two where the fuel line enters the engine and use the rubber knob or similar to manually pump the fuel and then re-tighten and try again. And again. Pump a fair bit of diesel through the line before trying to restart to get rid of air locks. If it tried to restart a few times there could be a lot of air in the line.
AnswerID: 588412

Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 02:55

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 02:55
John our Webasto self primes but can take 5-6 starting cycles, depends on how far the tank is away from the furnace, I'm not up with the Eberspacher but I'd let it try a few more times before looking for tech help.
AnswerID: 588413

Reply By: JohnS - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 16:52

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 16:52
It could be a number of things. I had a bit of trouble with ours with 2 separate faults @ different times that, the end result was it wouldn't ignite.
1 - First fault was due to failing batteries. The heater on initial start up draws quite a bit of current in order to ignite due to it having a glow plug. If your batteries are low or dying it will not start. You will also notice a considerable amount of smoke being generated. Also on the display a fault code will be generated which if you look it up in the manual will indicate low voltage. (this could also be caused by a poor electrical connection)
Invariably this fault will cause the screen in the combustion chamber to carbon up. This then will need to replaced and de-carboned. A prick of a job by the way.
OR 2 - The fuel pump isn't working. This is located a short distance from the fuel tank and makes a quiet ticking noise when operating. It can still make the ticking noise but be clogged. To see if it's working disconnect the fuel line on the heater side of the pump and see if it's pumping diesel when operated. Our fault with the pump occurred after a period of no use and the cause of the pump not pumping was a clogged/gummed up small ball bearing on the output side of the pump. Care must be taken when disassembling as the ball bearing is held in by a tiny spring, also the thread is extremely fine and care is required. If the pump is at fault you could try rinsing/soaking it in metho first before dismantling.
Good Luck
If you do a web search you will find instructions on both the above procedures
AnswerID: 588414

Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 20:23

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2015 at 20:23
Thanks John.

"A prick of a job" LOL that's right up my street - NOT. I have discovered whilst doing the google search that there is an authorised agent in Warwick, not very far away. But I will have another fiddle with all the electrical stuff before I head up there. I would not like to arrive and give him a handful of bits with a suggestion there might be a spring or two missing!

I have added all your suggestions to my "Fix it" File.

Thanks John
AnswerID: 588415

Reply By: Trakka - Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:44

Thursday, Feb 26, 2015 at 22:44
Hi John,
we had similar issues 2 years ago in the gold fields, ended up replacing glow pin plus screen and also fitted new fuel tank as diesel had "gone bad" leaving lots of varnish like substance encrusted on walls of tank.

There is quite a lot of information available on Eberspacher website and also Espar parts (google search will find those places). They clearly advise a dose of good old kerosene in the diesel - most of their heaters are installed in vehicles throughout Europe (much colder than anything we get in Oz.

The local Dometic agent in Geraldton advised me to dose the diesel with a product called F10 which is a fuel conditioner and clears up any condensation/bad stuff in fuels. I have done both F10 & kero and haven't had any issues since.

The fuel pump is self priming so no issues if tank runs out of fuel, there is no priming pump (on my system installed by BT), if loads of whitish smoke emits from exhaust then you can be sure that the glow pin is heavily carboned up and in need of cleaning/replacing.

Inside of fuel tank is a very fine mesh filter which first became blocked so I removed it and installed a second filter beneath the van and before the fuel pump so that it can easily be replaced if required.

As previously suggested open the fuel line along the way to the heater to ensure fuel is getting through - this is how I found the blocked filter in the tank - I started at the delivery side of the fuel pump and worked back to the tank. Also do not change the angle of the fuel pump as it is required to be set that way. The info from Eberspacher clearly advises that. I could send you the docs that I downloaded if you like but would need your email address - send a member message if you like.

We hit the road again tomorrow.

Good luck,Peter G
AnswerID: 588416

Follow Up By: muddywaters - Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 19:15

Tuesday, Mar 10, 2015 at 19:15
Hi Peter,
We run 10% kero all the time in the diesel, Inhibits the growth of slime and algae ain the diesel does not affect the operation of the heater and seems to start better [quicker] not that we have used it much. We have found it to be very economical on fuel.
Regards Andrew
FollowupID: 856405

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