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Old 08-05-2018, 05:56   #1
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Question White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

Hello to all.

I don't post here very often but I do enjoy using it as a resource when the chips are down. My Dad has an X-412 (1995) that I sail quite frequently and as I prepare for heading out to the coast in the next couple of days he brought up an issue I had the last time I was out there.

Turning on the Espar heater (description above- we've always just called it the Espar) and it will whir and click the way it always has but then a white smoke will come out of the exhaust. Not steam... So "something" is resulting in a failure to ignite the fuel. That much is clear.

I've done some research about the problem- I am aware that there are a few potential causes including electrical resulting in insufficient power being transmitted to the glow plug or residue in the combustion chamber / across the plug head. I'm not very technically minded but those things do make sense... Of course there's the potential that the plug needs to be replaced outright.

The part in question is 25 years old- Part# 3730104 and in talking with him he's done a cursory look online and came up empty. I told him I'd see if I could dig a little deeper... so here I am hoping someone in this community has experienced similar problems before and been able to work around them.

Initial searches on Google Machine for the part in question get me the same results that he had:



So... assuming that I can go through the various problem solving measures- ie: Check current to the plug, clean the combustion chamber, ensure that the head of the plug is not foiled... If the problem continues is there an alternate / equivalent part that you have used with success or is it just time for a new unit since the parts the product need are truly end of life?

Or are they?

I can get a propeller for a P-47 Jug if I know who to talk to... Is there a secret stash of marine supply parts somewhere?

Thanks again for any insights.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:05   #2
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

I had the same problem with my Ardic Diesel Heater on our old boat. It was indeed an issue of not enough power getting to the glow plug. After the problem began, I could start the heater by letting the main diesel engine run ten minutes before starting the heater. The alternator on the main engine raised the battery voltage enough to increase the power that the glow plug received. This might be a good test for you to do.

I ended up replacing all the wires in the heater that lead to the glow plug. All connections were spade connectors, so it wasn't too difficult. That solved the problem.
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Old 08-05-2018, 06:22   #3
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

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Originally Posted by BjarneK View Post
I had the same problem with my Ardic Diesel Heater on our old boat. It was indeed an issue of not enough power getting to the glow plug. After the problem began, I could start the heater by letting the main diesel engine run ten minutes before starting the heater. The alternator on the main engine raised the battery voltage enough to increase the power that the glow plug received. This might be a good test for you to do.

I ended up replacing all the wires in the heater that lead to the glow plug. All connections were spade connectors, so it wasn't too difficult. That solved the problem.
I'll definitely try that out... Every time we've tried turning the heater on the boat has been moored so having the engine running is a great suggestion.

I'll continue looking for a secret stash of plugs in the meantime but when I'm out there I'll try it and report back.
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Old 08-05-2018, 07:01   #4
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

Possible cross http://www.ihr-autodily.eu/files/Kat...RU_2011_12.pdf
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:33   #5
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

It's possible that there is a new plug that replaces the part you listed. I have seen this before with other engines. Good luck with it.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:43   #6
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

Clean and slightly crimp all the spade connectors.
They loosen up over time.

I expunged as many as I could find from my boat.
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:49   #7
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

Eno,

Edit [Was: I didn't catch which model Espar you have.] I don't know of the similarities between Espar models and the Volvo Ardic 042-D.

In case it is similar, my boat came with an older [1999] D5LC hot air [Airtronic] model. [Parts still readily available.] This also applies to the newer model Espars Airtronic heaters.

There are two primary causes for white smoke in the Espar Airtronic heaters [assuming ignition is successful]:

1) [Most common] If it happens upon ignition and goes away after a minute or two, the fuel atomizing screen the glow plug fits inside of needs to be cleaned [or most likely replaced.] When the screen is removed, also clean out the small [~1/8" combustion air hole in the side of that chamber, in the top 1/3rd of the cavity.]

Performing both of the above will eliminate the white smoke at start-up.

2) White smoke continues for long periods after combustion, or never stops...

This happens when the pencil eraser sized fuel filter in the inlet side of the metering pump needs to be replaced. Simple and cheap. [Note- DO NOT unscrew the top of the fuel pump or you will be purchasing a new one...]

Always perform the tasks in #1 first, then if unresolved, move on to #2.

In case this is helpful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:59   #8
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

I have an old Ardic which refused to ignite, I was advised to get both a new igniter and a flame control sensor. The latter because it would get a layer of sot over years and cause problems if not cleaned or replaced.

In order to save some money I did my best to clean them both and went over all connectors inside the heater and on the path to the battery. This did the trick.
Anyway I ended up buying the spares for potential future repairs - they are still not used and the Ardic has been substituted by a diesel water heater and radiator. Where are you based?
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Old 08-05-2018, 09:29   #9
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

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Originally Posted by Groathill View Post
I have an old Ardic which refused to ignite, I was advised to get both a new igniter and a flame control sensor. The latter because it would get a layer of sot over years and cause problems if not cleaned or replaced.

In order to save some money I did my best to clean them both and went over all connectors inside the heater and on the path to the battery. This did the trick.
Anyway I ended up buying the spares for potential future repairs - they are still not used and the Ardic has been substituted by a diesel water heater and radiator. Where are you based?
Hey Groat- The boat is around Victoria BC but the folks and I are both in Alberta. I'd certainly like to keep that possibility on a list of alternatives as the problem solving continues.

@ArmydaveNY I did find a "crossover" plug here:



I'm thinking this may do the trick as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Eno,

Edit [Was: I didn't catch which model Espar you have.] I don't know of the similarities between Espar models and the Volvo Ardic 042-D.
Cheers! Bill
To be really honest Bill we've always just called it an Espar- or "the" Espar... and without being on the boat to better describe it it may not be an Espar at all but instead a proprietary system (Ardic 042... etc). I'm coming into this problem as an absolute noob but trying to get close enough with some of the model / part numbers that folks like yourself who know more about it can weigh in. I'm sorry if I've confused the issue with some of the terms / names I've used- frankly I'm just hoping for the best and right now that is not having to replace the entire system so I sure appreciate the input.


A big shout out to everyone so far- this is fantastic feedback. No wonder we all wave at each other out on the water!
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Old 08-05-2018, 10:14   #10
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

You are a bit far away as I am based in Scotland and Norway.

Here is a link to an Ardic manual with good description and circuitry: http://www.marinpartner.no/documents...Ardic_042D.pdf

Not quite sure which version you got, though there are manuals for other Ardics on this site. The manuals are written in several languages, including yours.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:38   #11
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Re: White Smoke: Volvo Ardic 042-D Diesel Heater.

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Originally Posted by Groathill View Post
You are a bit far away as I am based in Scotland and Norway.

Here is a link to an Ardic manual with good description and circuitry: http://www.marinpartner.no/documents...Ardic_042D.pdf

Not quite sure which version you got, though there are manuals for other Ardics on this site. The manuals are written in several languages, including yours.
Thanks Groat- appreciate it.
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