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Old 07-11-2012, 15:15   #1
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Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

It being that time of the year here again in the Pacific Northwest, I went to fire up our Webasto HL32D heater for the first time yesterday. The boat, and this unit, are new to us, but the heater tested okay during trials. However, when I turned it on, it would only blow cold air for two cycles, then go into shutdown mode. Some white smoke came out the exhaust (and, more disturbingly, the cold air intake).

I followed the troubleshooting advice and checked the fuel feed to the heater, which was fine. Then, I went to pull the glow plug and check it and... out came a stump!

Whether or not I busted it off getting it out, or whether that was the original problem that kept it from lighting, I'm now faced with figuring out how to extract the broken-off stub from the heater so I can put in a new one. Of course, it's mounted in a terribly awkward position so I can't actually see the hole for the plug, but I could feel a small stub (not enough to get any grip on) in it. I tried a magnet, but I think it's probably ceramic and that didn't work.

Does anyone more familiar with these units have any bright ideas for how I can extract the stub of the plug? And, secondarily, does it sound like a broken glow plug could have been the source of the original issue I was having, or should there be something else I should be after before replacing the plug?
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:21   #2
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Had a similar unit a few years ago and was also installed in an impossible location to service. After considerable wasted time, I found the best solution was to disconect the unit from the vent system, remove it and replace the igniter. I recall the service from Webasto was pretty prompt. Unit ran fine for several years after that. Phil
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:26   #3
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Thanks, Phil... did you have to take the whole thing apart to get the igniter out, or was it fairly easy to extract once you could get at the top of it?

I guess, if I unmount it, I can always just turn it upside down and let gravity do the work... assuming the stump isn't jammed somehow.
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Old 07-11-2012, 15:36   #4
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

It was a while back but as I recall, I took off the face plate and half the igniter fell out... it was cracked evidently. i think it took some jimmying around with a jewelers screwdriver to get the bottom part out. The new igniter just slipped right in... I think I ordered 2 from the manufacurer because I recall having a spare that was in the parts drawer when I sold the boat. Good Luck... you need the heat in the PNW. Phil
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Old 07-11-2012, 17:06   #5
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

http://www.suremarine.com/manuals/we...t32-repair.pdf
Page 18 of the manual shows how to remove the different types of glow plug.
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Old 07-11-2012, 17:49   #6
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
http://www.suremarine.com/manuals/we...t32-repair.pdf
Page 18 of the manual shows how to remove the different types of glow plug.
Funny, that was exactly the diagram I was looking at when it happened!

Unfortunately, it doesn't mention what to do if the bottom part of the plug is no longer attached to the top part!

Phil, thanks, I'll pull the unit down and see if I can fish the stub out of the hole with some pokey things. I hate that delicate, fiddly work... reminds me of those stupid toy vending machines where you have to fish around with a hook. I was never any good at those, either.
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:06   #7
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Called the local Webasto dealer today, and it turns out they no longer make that plug, anyway. Glad I didn't go to the trouble of fishing the old one out before I checked. Surprises me that you can't get the plugs anymore, though, I thought those were pretty commonly replaced parts.

So, I guess I'm actually in the market for a new heater. Anyone have any brand recommendations that have better product support than Webasto?
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:46   #8
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Check out some of the commercial fishing boat supply outlets in your area. They were a popular little heater on some of the gillnetters and smaller seiners in your area years ago and they may have a stock of the old glow plugs. Let your fingers do the walking. Good luck, Phil
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:54   #9
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

That's another great suggestion, Phil... thanks. There are a few local shops here I have had good luck with previously, certainly worth a look to see if they happen to have some older spares around before I have to pitch the whole unit.
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Old 08-11-2012, 13:57   #10
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
Called the local Webasto dealer today, and it turns out they no longer make that plug, anyway. Glad I didn't go to the trouble of fishing the old one out before I checked. Surprises me that you can't get the plugs anymore, though, I thought those were pretty commonly replaced parts.

So, I guess I'm actually in the market for a new heater. Anyone have any brand recommendations that have better product support than Webasto?
What voltage do you need, 12 or 24v?

https://sales.butlertechnik.com/weba...lug-12v-479594

These guys supplied my Webasto.

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Old 08-11-2012, 14:05   #11
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Hi Pete,

Thanks, I actually found those guys when I was looking earlier; it is a 12V, but that's not the right plug. Apparently there were two kinds used in the HL32. The manual shows them both, and it provides a part number for the one you link to there (which was also how I found it). The other one, which is definitely the kind I have, it doesn't give a part number, just calls it a "pencil-type glow plug." Which I haven't been able to find by searching, so I took the guy's word for it.

Interesting though, I wonder if it could still use the one you linked... I don't think it would fit in the receptacle I have (no way to screw it in), but again, it's worth another look I suppose.
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Old 08-11-2012, 14:11   #12
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Butler technique are a small family business are were very helpful answering my questions. They might have one sat on a shelf wondering how they are going to sell it. The made me up a 60mm 90 degree bend from Eber / webasto parts by routing around the shelves until they found the parts that fitted correctly. Send them an e mail.

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Old 09-11-2012, 09:15   #13
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Thanks, Pete... another excellent suggestion. I'll do that.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:56   #14
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

A little late to the party I know but just in case, but both the glow plug, old heated coil type part # 479594A and your ceramic glow pin, part # 29886A are still available so if you Google Webasto 29886A it should pop up a supllier in your area, though I am an offical Webasto service centre I am in london UK so it would make no sense for me to offer to supply.
It is worth removing the unit to do the job anyway as doubtless a heater of that vintage will be ready for a good decoke which can be done at the same time. If it is any help I can email a copy of the proper workshop manual and parts list for the HL series.
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Old 09-12-2012, 19:06   #15
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Re: Webasto heater... broke off glow plug

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
Called the local Webasto dealer today, and it turns out they no longer make that plug, anyway. Glad I didn't go to the trouble of fishing the old one out before I checked. Surprises me that you can't get the plugs anymore, though, I thought those were pretty commonly replaced parts.

So, I guess I'm actually in the market for a new heater. Anyone have any brand recommendations that have better product support than Webasto?
Spoke to a guy in Canada who sold both Wabasto and Espar. According to him the Espar unit is MUCH more reliable. I have two espar units, D-4, and find they work well for me.
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