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Old 03-11-2013, 14:52   #1
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Espar vs webasto heaters?

Pros and cons of either heater? and what's the difference between a truck and marine unit (besides the more than double the price)? Considering installation of one of the smaller units. No room for a bulkhead heater. Will probably instal myself.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:10   #2
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Pros and cons of either heater? and what's the difference between a truck and marine unit (besides the more than double the price)? Considering installation of one of the smaller units. No room for a bulkhead heater. Will probably instal myself.
The espar ( eberspacher) truck and marine heater body are identical , truck scrap yards can be a source of units.

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Old 03-11-2013, 16:29   #3
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

Yes the truck kits are quite different from the marine kits. Here's just a few of differences..

*Marine unit has different fuel line, not plastic. The plastic fuel lines in the truck kit do not meet ABYC, USCG or minimum standards your insurance company may want to see depending upon where you are..

*Marine kit has marine specific software to minimize lock outs. On trucks they know where the fuel tanks are in comparison to the fuel metering pump. Not so on boats so the software is different.

*The truck kit comes with very little duct hose & less supply/return outlets/inlets

*The truck kit does not come with exhaust lagging.

*The truck kit does not come with a muffler and some marine kits do.


*The truck kit does not come with double walled marine SS exhaust hose it is single wall and not recommended as safe for marine use.

*The truck kit does not come with the exhaust fitting for the transom

*The truck kit does not come with a marine mounting bracket, they mount them on a floor. Floor mount is steel not SS.


*On some models the marine kits use a larger duct hose diameters and heater outlets to make up for the longer runs in boats.

*Truck kits don't come with exhaust condensate drains (some marine kits don't either)


I have installed a number of Espar's for folks trying to save a buck. It always costs more, in the long run, when you buy a truck kit off eBay or the net compared to a marine kit.

I would urge you to buy the unit from whomever will stand behind it and service it locally. I would also not install an Espar without the digimax thermostat. These stats allow you to re-set codes and trouble shoot the codes. The service tool for this cost over $1000.00 and the Digi-Max D-1000 stat costs under $100.00

I would also not advise a tee into an existing fuel line. The fuel metering pumps need the small diameter pick up the Espar ships with, or a custom one with small ID, or they tend to lock out and cause problems especially on boats that heel and the pick up may expose.
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:48   #4
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Almost the exact for Webasto
And the warranty is void if a truck unit is used on a boat
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Old 03-11-2013, 16:53   #5
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

When making your decision on Webasto vs Espar, be sure to take a look at the 12V power consumption requirements for each. I have a Webasto hydronic unit, and it is a pretty big 12V energy hog. I seem to remember (but not sure) that Espars use less 12V but more diesel. I'd rather have units that use less 12v, it is hard to make enough 12V in the winter without auxiliary generator or engine alternator.

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Old 03-11-2013, 16:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Yes the truck kits are quite different from the marine kits. Here's just a few of differences..

*Marine unit has different fuel line, not plastic. The plastic fuel lines in the truck kit do not meet ABYC, USCG or minimum standards your insurance company may want to see depending upon where you are..

*Marine kit has marine specific software to minimize lock outs. On trucks they know where the fuel tanks are in comparison to the fuel metering pump. Not so on boats so the software is different.

*The truck kit comes with very little duct hose & less supply/return outlets/inlets

*The truck kit does not come with exhaust lagging.

*The truck kit does not come with a muffler and some marine kits do.

*The truck kit does not come with double walled marine SS exhaust hose it is single wall and not recommended as safe for marine use.

*The truck kit does not come with the exhaust fitting for the transom

*The truck kit does not come with a marine mounting bracket, they mount them on a floor. Floor mount is steel not SS.

*On some models the marine kits use a larger duct hose diameters and heater outlets to make up for the longer runs in boats.

*Truck kits don't come with exhaust condensate drains (some marine kits don't either)

I have installed a number of Espar's for folks trying to save a buck. It always costs more, in the long run, when you buy a truck kit off eBay or the net compared to a marine kit.

I would urge you to buy the unit from whomever will stand behind it and service it locally. I would also not install an Espar without the digimax thermostat. These stats allow you to re-set codes and trouble shoot the codes. The service tool for this cost over $1000.00 and the Digi-Max D-1000 stat costs under $100.00

I would also not advise a tee into an existing fuel line. The fuel metering pumps need the small diameter pick up the Espar ships with, or a custom one with small ID, or they tend to lock out and cause problems especially on boats that heel and the pick up may expose.
Great info - thanks
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Old 03-11-2013, 19:52   #7
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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Yes the truck kits are quite different from the marine kits. Here's just a few of differences..

*Marine unit has different fuel line, not plastic. The plastic fuel lines in the truck kit do not meet ABYC, USCG or minimum standards your insurance company may want to see depending upon where you are..
US specific , EU versions have plastic pipe as per road versions , irrespective of code , either pipe works fine

Quote:

*Marine kit has marine specific software to minimize lock outs. On trucks they know where the fuel tanks are in comparison to the fuel metering pump. Not so on boats so the software is different.
Lockout software is market specific and also version specific. My airtronic has no lockout , in talking with Eberspacher they mentioned lockouts have been removed from Airtronics and significantly increased in hydronics. Irrespective lockouts are not an issue on a properly installed and maintained unit

Quote:

*The truck kit comes with very little duct hose & less supply/return outlets/inlets

*The truck kit does not come with exhaust lagging.

*The truck kit does not come with a muffler and some marine kits do.

*The truck kit does not come with double walled marine SS exhaust hose it is single wall and not recommended as safe for marine use.

*The truck kit does not come with the exhaust fitting for the transom

*The truck kit does not come with a marine mounting bracket, they mount them on a floor. Floor mount is steel not SS.
All these are merely extras and can be purchased if you need them , the marine kit has woefully too little pipe anyway. Buy it all on fleabay

Quote:

*On some models the marine kits use a larger duct hose diameters and heater outlets to make up for the longer runs in boats.

*Truck kits don't come with exhaust condensate drains (some marine kits don't either)

I have installed a number of Espar's for folks trying to save a buck. It always costs more, in the long run, when you buy a truck kit off eBay or the net compared to a marine kit.
I've installed three 2nd hand truck models with purchased marine accessories. ( Including Ebespacher and non Ebesspacher marine exhaust parts, the skin fitting is outrageously priced) The basic Eberspacer body is identical to the truck unit things you mentioned are merely accessories. The truck market is a useful source of 2nd hand units nsyalbeit they tend to be the small models. Also busses and ambulances for the bigger ones. Eberspacher has never actually made a specific marine unit ( only accessories ) and in fact in the UK, they have issues with running on GAS Oil, which boats use as opposed to DERV which trucks use.

Quote:
I would urge you to buy the unit from whomever will stand behind it and service it locally. I would also not install an Espar without the digimax thermostat. These stats allow you to re-set codes and trouble shoot the codes. The service tool for this cost over $1000.00 and the Digi-Max D-1000 stat costs under $100.00

I would also not advise a tee into an existing fuel line. The fuel metering pumps need the small diameter pick up the Espar ships with, or a custom one with small ID, or they tend to lock out and cause problems especially on boats that heel and the pick up may expose.

Thermostats are readily available on fleabay as are many third party pipes , unions and outlets. ( including pre lagged pipe) at fractions of Eberspachers prices, the air doesn't mind about the maker of the pipe

I had a long conversation a few years with them ago re direct taps. If you follow Eberspachers instructions to the letter ,especially the orientation of the tee, there is absolutely no problems with a direct tap.

The airtronic units are easily self installed ( and the stainless bracket can easily be fabricated ) its also useful to learn how to dismantle and service them, again not a complex job

Ps nice range of skin fittings and double walled hose on eBay ( made in turkey ) reasonable prices

Most Eberspachers give trouble from being lightly used on boats as few boats are used in the winter. My current one is installed 7 years and fires up without a missing heartbeat
.

Don't drink the manufacturers Kool-Aid

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Old 03-11-2013, 20:29   #8
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
US specific , EU versions have plastic pipe as per road versions , irrespective of code , either pipe works fine



Lockout software is market specific and also version specific. My airtronic has no lockout , in talking with Eberspacher they mentioned lockouts have been removed from Airtronics and significantly increased in hydronics



All these are merely extras and can be purchased if you need them



I've installed three truck models with purchased marine accessories. The basic Eberspacer body is identical to the truck unit. All the things you mentioned are merely accessories. The truck market is a useful source of 2nd hand units albeit they tend to be the small models. Also busses and ambulances for the bigger ones. Eberspacher has never actually made a specific marine unit ( only accessories ) and in fact in the UK, they have issues with running on GAS Oil, which boats use as opposed to DERV which trucks use.




Thermostats are readily available on fleabay as are many third party pipes , unions and outlets. ( including pre lagged pipe) at fractions of Eberspachers prices, the air doesn't mind about the maker of the pipe

I had a long conversation a few years with them ago re direct taps. If you follow Eberspachers instructions to the letter ,especially the downward facing tee, there is absolutely no problems with a direct tap.

The airtronic units are easily self installed ( and the stainless bracket can easily be fabricated ) its also useful to learn how to dismantle and service them, again not a complex job
.

Don't drink the manufacturers Kool-Aid

Dave
Dave,

I have a number of customers who have purchased truck kits thinking they will save money. By they time they are done building a unit to meet the safety standards for North America it is usually cheaper to buy the marine unit here...

Things such as finding metric heater duct or metric copper fuel line is not an easy task and very expensive over here. Dealers here know this so they really stick it too you on parts pricing.

For example the truck guys generally stock just 6' lengths of metric duct. If you need a 15 footer you need to buy from a marine dealer or find an on-line source in the US or Canada which is much easier said than done..

In a perfect world the down facing T works. However when you sail into Newfoundland and fire up the Espar before firing up the engines fuel pump, but the tank pick up had drained back when at sea, and the unit locks out (they do that for the NA market) you are kind of screwed unless you have a stat than can do a reset. I had a customer who this happened to. All it took was re-priming the metering pump but they exceeded their three lock outs before it primed again. No one locally had the reset tool and they did not have the digi stat..

That said the marine kits don't come with that stat either and even with a marine kit you still need parts but overall the marine kit is less costly to start with on this side of the pond, I have done it both ways....

Also if you want tech support very few of the marine dealers/re-sellers will talk to you if you have a truck kit on a boat. Conversely the truck guys often don't want to help you if you installed a truck kit on a boat. Something about the litigious society we live in. Some folks just give up and call me and almost every time it is a truck kit conundrum they have been battling with..

Espar North America is also not much help when you do truck in a boat and they fiercely protect their marine distributors. Sad but true here in North America.

Seeing as the OP is in Canada and not Europe he will be dealing with different fuel line, lock outs, differing software etc.. etc..

Yes the base heater is perfectly identical, and the "marine version" is made up of parts and software changes, but the parts over here, if bought onesy, twosy are usually more than just starting with the marine kit.

Trust me I see what you guys pay for parts over there when using google and I wish we had access like that here but we simply don't. Over here the Webasto kits are significantly less money than Espar. If properly installed I don't see a heck of a lot of reliability difference between either and they are both pretty easy to service.

For me Webasto is easier to deal with than Espar North America but I install more Espars, likely due to name recognition..

If a DIY wants to install their own they can ignore the fuel piping standards, the dual walled exhaust pipe etc etc, if they want to, but I can't, that litigious thing again..
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Old 03-11-2013, 20:38   #9
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More good info from experience - thanks Dave. The thread kind of lays out many of the issues for install, like fuel pickup, exhaust, warranty considerations, thermostat and sources for third party components. .

I really want one if these heaters but sticker shock and the need to self maintain have been a barrier. If I try a used/piecemeal approach, at least ill know what I'm getting into. I have a very good location for installation I think, that's a start.
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Old 03-11-2013, 20:47   #10
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

If you're planning on doing our own install and don't care about a warranty you can save a bundle… FWIW I find Espar units easier to repair than Websato. I've been a dealer for both in the past (by way of disclosure). If you do care about a warranty be sure what you choose is warranted for a marine installation.
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Old 03-11-2013, 20:48   #11
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Eberspacher has ripped people off in the marine word for parts , like fittings and piping , now there are several sources on eBay or online for the accessories like air piping exhaust systems etc. you can easily build a " Marine compliant" unit if you want to from third party accessories and a bit of DIY

The lockout issue is really a non issue , any Eberspacher should fire or restart and fire within the lockout period , from a totally empty fuel line , occasionally you may have pull the fuel line from the heater body and let it pump out the air , but usually not

The lockout issues has a curious history. Eberspacher placed lockouts on some Hydronic and Airtronic models and then removed them , to my knowledge the current European models ( airtronic ) has no lockouts , and the hydronic has been increased to 10 ( from memory) there are various kits that will reset the lockout. ( it's an utterly stupid idea anyway )

I've never seen any issue with a fuel line draining back , in fact I've never seen it happen , if the diesel inlet uncovers , you have far more issues then worrying about if the heater will start. Lol

My current heater install used a dedicated tank pickup , which regularly uncovers as the tank gets below a third , the heater always re-primes by at most 2 starts ( ie 4 firing cycles ) , always install the pump, exactly as per Eberspachers specifications. I've seen too many " professional" installs that have this wrong

Not jossing with you MS, but EBerspacher kept too much " white mans magic" in their marine units for way too long, theybwere( are) notoriously secretive about telling you what's really underneath , as you quickly realise they are skimming the marine market

Support your local marine business folks , always buy the approved marine units , installed by a professional , pay the bucks. However dont switch off your brain , if you fancy a bit of DIY , they are very applicable and there's loads of feedback on the web, especially UK/Europe forums , where they've been fitting them for 30 years

Dave
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:17   #12
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

All the responses have been enlightening to say the least, lots of good info and food for thought. I have a good location on the boat and some time to tackle a project like this. Read an article in "Good Old Boat" about a DIY install of a used "truck" unit so at least I know its doable. Some of the dealers in Canada sell a "Marine Kit" so I'm going to have to call to see whats included, as the double wall exhaust/intake pipe is something that makes sense, along with a few other "marine" fittings. Any and all advice is appreciated, Thanks.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:37   #13
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry Connolly View Post
All the responses have been enlightening to say the least, lots of good info and food for thought. I have a good location on the boat and some time to tackle a project like this. Read an article in "Good Old Boat" about a DIY install of a used "truck" unit so at least I know its doable. Some of the dealers in Canada sell a "Marine Kit" so I'm going to have to call to see whats included, as the double wall exhaust/intake pipe is something that makes sense, along with a few other "marine" fittings. Any and all advice is appreciated, Thanks.
Good Old Boat Magazine Review Copy

Note a lot of the truck ones did not have outlets that connected to piping, so you need a outlet cover, these are available on ebay

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Old 04-11-2013, 11:55   #14
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

Bought a used Webasto Airtop 2000 from a truck on Ebay for $300.
Spent another $350 on thru hull, exhaust, fuel line, vents, etc.
Now nice and warm for $650!

No problems from the Webasto so far and all the accessories were
available at Sure Marine
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:16   #15
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Re: Espar vs webasto heaters?

This is a little out of my normal bailiwick. I have an unfortunate amount of personal experience.

Most of the forced-air heaters cut back on fan speed once the boat reaches a steady temperature. For weekend use that's fine. For liveaboard application it doesn't work so well.

I had to do three complete rebuilds on a Webasto in four years. I replaced the Webasto with an Espar and have had a much better experience.

After lots of time on the phone with Webasto (in the US and Germany, limping along with high school German) and Espar (US only) I learned a lot. What I was told aligns with my experience. I had no issues with performance in Europe. Both companies said that US diesel was a problem, exacerbated by liveaboard use.

As the fan is stepped down combustion efficiency declines which leads to carbon build-up in the combustion chamber. The Webasto is tougher to rebuild. In addition it easier to get an Espar to recover without a rebuild.

Running a gallon of kerosene (based on recommendations from Webasto, Espar, and two different technicians at two companies that work with both Espar and Webasto) through the heater every four to six weeks has really helped to keep the combustion chamber clean in continued liveaboard use.

I don't have enough data to reach deterministic conclusions. Based on my experience, I'll buy Espar over Webasto, plumb in a one gallon kerosene tank with a Y-valve into the main diesel tank, and turn the heater down or off when I leave the boat so it runs full on when I turn it back up.
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