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Author Topic: ProHeat/Webasto/Espar.....?  (Read 3277 times)
zubzub
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« on: December 24, 2011, 06:05:10 PM »

Still looking for Aux heat to help cold starting on my T4.  Looking around online so far basic consensus on the smaller Webasto is that there are internal maintenance parts that are so expensive that you get close to full replacement costs quickly. Seems the Espar units have less expensive parts....
Lots of Proheat X45 around.  This is a bigger unit for my van, but it will end up on my bus in the long run (more for cabin heat than warming engine).  Anyone know if maintenance bits are reasonable on the Proheat.
Money is tight these days, I do not want to buy a used unit and get drilled for replacement parts, and there is no way I can drop $1.5K on a new unit.  Used is always a gamble, I'm used to that, jsut trying to weigh the odds.
Any and all input appreciated.
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gcyeaw
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2011, 05:12:17 AM »

  I installed an X45 two years ago. I have to admit it was a little overkill. It makes the typical low frequency rumble of a home oil burner. Anything near the compartment in the coach that can rattle/vibrate will, particularly the hidden stuff you can't get to. As far as heat it is great. I live in the North East and work on the coach interior in the winter. I can fire up the Proheat and get the interior warmed up from 15 or 20 degrees in 1/2 hour or so. I let the engine warm up a bit longer if I plan to start it. 

  A friend installed an Espar unit which drops into a low power mode once things are up to temperature. It is pretty annoying in high power mode, but quiets down very nicley once it drops down to low power mode. If I had it to do over I think I would go for the Espar with the low power option.
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Gardner
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zubzub
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« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2011, 06:40:35 AM »

Thanks...good to know.  Not too much user knowledge out there.
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2011, 07:29:57 AM »

I'm not sure how much help this will be but we have a ProHeat - I believe its an XL900.  Once I figured out exactly how it works it has been wonderful but it about drove me nuts the first couple of years we owned it.  When I showed it to my trucking guru mechanic friend he said they had some of them in their trucks and he didn't have a clue how they worked because they simply never gave him any trouble.  Webastos on the other hand he could tell me lots about fixing them. 

Based only on my experience there aren't a lot of "maintenance bits" on the ProHeat, at least not ones that will need to be replaced at great cost.  I clean mine when I remember to, which turns out to be every couple of years.  It doesn't run a whole lot because we actively try to avoid winter but it probably gets 100 or 150 hours of run time annually.  There's a rinky dink little paper filter that should be changed if you run it in dusty locations, which we don't.  There's a glow plug / spark plug like thing that apparently can fail but hasn't been a problem for us.  The big problem that I had was a flaky fuel pump and once I got that figured out the furnace has worked really well.  The reason I had so much difficulty troubleshooting mine was A) I didn't RTFM and B) ProHeats work on a very different principle than Webastos.  They both burn diesel to make heat but on the ProHeat the fuel is delivered by a venturi effect created by a small fan moving air through the nozzle.  On the Webasto the fuel is pressurized to the nozzle but on the ProHeat there is no fuel pressure at the nozzle.  Right now I need to find a burner tube for mine but otherwise I haven't spent 5c on it in just about that many years.  And its still working just fine.  I had it apart for cleaning and noticed that the end of the burner tube is getting pretty rotten so I thought I should replace it.
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R.J.(Bob) Evans
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luvrbus
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2011, 07:50:09 AM »

Pat, if you are looking for just a starting aid use the intake pre heat system it has been around for years Cummins still uses the system to heat the intake air then buy a small Espar air heater for inside heat,check around the marine docks I seen used diesel fired air heaters made by all the manufactures for under 500 used many times if I remember they were 6000 to 10,000 btu

good luck
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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2011, 08:02:45 AM »

Had the Webasto coolant heater on the hockey team's 102D3/S60. I had some work to get it working again when I took the bus over. Got the service manual emailed to me from Eskimo Refrigeration in Calgary. Mostly dried up, cracked wiring because of engine compartment heat exposure. Replaced the nozzle and a couple of small parts that I can't remember now. It's been good since. Once a year, you have to spend half an hour changing the nozzle, cleaning around the chamber, etc. It does make a low kind of rumble while running, and there is the fumes off the exhaust pipe. But that is far outwheighted by the benefits. It will preheat the engine at -30* in an hour so that it starts like on the 1st of July with no smoke, and you have heat and defrost in the coach right away. And in a conversion, you could use the hot water for all kinds of other things too.

Merry Christmas,

JC
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JC
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2011, 08:10:02 AM »

You guys are confusing me which is not hard to do btw, I thought he was looking for starting help on VW transporter has nothing to do with a bus ?

good luck
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zubzub
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2011, 09:53:59 AM »

It is a bit confusing....I noticed that around here the used big heaters cost about the same or less than the little ones.....so I thought maybe get a big one that I can use on my bus in the future....plus I like the overkill of using the big one on a T4.  It also seems the Proheat X45 is a tough old thing, and the little pick up/ van heaters seems to be throw away items.  That being said, it will be tough to mount a Proheat X45 under my van....although there is room, service will be awkward.
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Bob Belter
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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2011, 07:24:19 PM »

Ahoy, ZubZub,

The ProheatX45 is a VERY fine unit.  Has built-in-test to define any fault, so that you dont need to haul it/send it to a shop to fix it.  You can do it yourself.

The one in my Eagle is 'bullitproof'.  No problems.

Enjoy   /s/     Bob
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TomC
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2011, 09:12:02 PM »

You want a cheap block heater-install a 1500 watt electric block heater.  Run it for two hours before leaving.  You have an 6-71-how hard is that to start in cold weather?  I know many truckers in Canada are still running 2 stroke engines just because they start much easier in winter. If your engine is in decent shape, starting in cold weather should not be a problem.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
zubzub
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2012, 04:49:29 PM »

well this post was always about my little work van which has a 5 cyl 2.5L 4 stroke in it, and it sure does not like the cold.  I have 2 31s in it but when it goes below -5C it is hard to start and at -15C it will not start unless it has been plugged in for 1 a couple of hours....then no problem.
Never did find a decent proheat etc for a reasonable cost so I thought I would try my luck at always pluggin it in......all good 'til this weekend.  Cold snap after a snowstorm, no parking within 100' of my house.  Tried recharging both batteries, but the little starter motor just does not have the juice to crank the cold oil fast enough.
So I pulled out my Coleman stove.
http://tgmarsh.faculty.noctrl.edu/lantern/coleman413fstovewilson.jpg
like this one, and as if  Coleman knew I was going to need to take the lid off, it has sprung tabs so the lid comes right  off.  Lit up the stove  with both burners at high, slid it under the oil pan, plenty of snow around the drift I had parked in as a wind break, 20 mins later hot enough to turn over quickly and start my little van.  It was kind of a PITA but really not too bad, usually I can park in front of my place, so this should do it for the winter, by next year I will have a Proheat in there as this engine is just getting older and I don't imagine it getting better.  Years ago I knew of farmers that started their tractors with a hubcap full of diesel and a roll of TP as a wick, round here don't figure my neighbors would like that, the coleman was quick and no soot to boot.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2012, 04:51:29 PM by zubzub » Logged

scanzel
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2012, 04:56:59 PM »

Ebay just had 3 Proheat X45's go. What kind of price are you looking to sepend for a Proheat ? I have seen them on Ebay go fo less than $800.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2012, 04:11:53 AM »

I have a few X45 Proheat working take outs for $400 each plus shipping from Delaware. I have mine plumbed in 2 zones of hot water baseboard and a flat plate exchanger for endless instant hot water. My coach will maintain 70 with outside temps near 0
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