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Old 15-10-2011, 20:46   #1
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Boat: Catalina 30,Mk2
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Espar D3L

Hi all, I have and Espar D3L, on Coriolis, it was installed in December 1989, I bought the boat in May, 2011, and just tried to fire it up today, no luck, got a second shutdown with no ignition. I noticed a spare glow plug in the spare parts kit, I don't know if this is the old one, or a new one.
Anyone have experience with this heater?

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Old 16-10-2011, 05:35   #2
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Re: Espar D3L

You might try giving Boat Electric in Seattle a call. They are the West coast distributors and have helped me out on my Espar. Espar's require CLEAN fuel. If it hasn't been used for awhile, maybe change the inline fuel filter, make sure the inline fuel pump is pumping, then look at the flash codes that come up on the control when it fails to start. Alos, you need to clean power conections to the unit, as the glow plug sucks 20-25amps at start up

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Old 16-10-2011, 06:51   #3
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Re: Espar D3L

See the

D3LC compact Air Heater Installation Troubleshooting & Parts Manual

Espar Technical Manuals Archive:
Espar - Technical Manual, Operating and Instruction Guides - Archive

Espar Troubleshooting Guide (from Boat Electric)
Trouble Shooting

And a previous CF discussion:
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 16-10-2011, 14:26   #4
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Re: Espar D3L

I've had quite a bit of experience keeping a D3 (same age as yours) running. They are actually amazing simple/efficient heaters.
Two most common (for me) issues were - the heater was above the fuel supply pump - if the hose clamp was slightly loose, it would allow fuel to drain back after stopping - trying to re-start 2 or 3 times would "re-prime" and be back to normal. Check the exhaust on your start attempts - no smoke at all = no fuel.
2nd most common was a lack of voltage - as mentioned, the older ones draw 20amps on startup, and there is internal voltage checks on startup - my original wiring harness was obviously not allowing enough juice. I ran a parallel 12V+ from the fuse to the heater connection and that fixed the problem.
Let me know if you need any more "hints"
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Old 16-10-2011, 14:44   #5
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Re: Espar D3L

Welcome to Espar ownership!

Shutdown without ignition is pretty much par for the course. They're great when they work -- which they often do, but not always.

You need to decoke and service it every year in any case, or the odds of a successful start will get worse and worse.
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