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Modern Eberspacher heater installation

Have been enjoying the hell out of driving my 930 this winter, but, as i have 934- style headers, not enjoying the occasional nut freezing 20-30 degree days. So i decided to install an Eberspacher BL1C unit. For those not familiar, the E BL1C is a German made, gasoline fired heater that is used for ancilliary heating application such as in trucks and boats.


Most trucks and boats use the 'D' version (the 'D' stands for Diesel and the 'B' for Benzin as the fuel used). Modern compact Eberspacher heaters have been used in these applications for years, with proven safety and reliability. I researched these heaters thoroughly and did not find that they were problematic or prone to failure, or worse, fire. IIRC, early 911's came with Webasto gasoline fired heaters in the front, which were discontinued when heat exchangers became more efficient, not because they were problematic. Webasto BTW was bought by Eberspacher (who manufactured turbos before having that division bought by KKK), so they have been making and refining these things for years

The heater unit is very compact, and weighs only about 10lbs. It has a self-contained combustion chamber, and an intake and exhaust port on the bottom, to which manifolds are attached. Found this cartoon vid on youtube of how it works http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewr7btulJ-w It is controlled by a cockpit mounted thermostat that works via simple knob and digital readout like your house thermostat.

As i purchased mine as a slightly used kit, i did a test run to check for function and make sure the safety features were working. The thing is incredibly quiet (sounds a little bit like a muffled jet turbine), and if tilted past 90 degrees, the pilot light is mechanically killed and the fuel flow stopped. It put out a nice 85 degrees very promptly before the thermostat kicked in.

I decided to follow the lead of the guys who installed one of these in the Bruce Canepa 962 engine powered speedster a while back



I placed it at the bottom of Smug box cover, with holes for the manifolds and fuel lines and a reinforcing plate. This allows for continued access to the smugglers box.




The wiring will be shielded in the box, and the braided fuel line will be run from a small pump underneath the car, taking off prior to the main pump.

Have run 2.5" aluminum tubing to 2 y-junctions made from the old engine bay heater blower. The ducting leads to both the defrost and heater vents. I am not happy with the look of the old ducting, so going to use black SCAT tubing. The vent controls were removed by the PO when the interior was stipped down, but i may run a simple wire hand control to the defroster vent pictured to allow selective vs continuous defrost heat.

Still have to hook up the fuel line and manifold tubing, but pretty clean install so far. Stay tuned.

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Last edited by juicersr; 02-18-2009 at 07:05 PM..
Old 02-17-2009, 08:11 PM
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Neat!
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:58 PM
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Looks like a good solution for heating the cabin.

Are they expensive?
Old 02-17-2009, 09:12 PM
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I have been thinking about this for a while. Nice install. Where did you find the used heater? and for what price?
Thanks,
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammygon1 View Post
I have been thinking about this for a while. Nice install. Where did you find the used heater? and for what price?
Thanks,
Initially i called the Eberspacher rep in the US, Thermo King, and they deal mainly with with the Diesel versions for truckers, as that seems to be the market here. It seems that since the gas versions are more popular in Canada, Eberspacher for some reason (i think) only markets them there. They are very popular in europe as well.

Thus, i did the ebay watch thing for several months before a 'kit' (heater, manifolds, wiring, thermostat, etc) finally surfaced. Most of the stuff that get listed on ebay under 'Eberspacher' or 'Webasto' is old vw stuff, or is 'piecemeal' with a heater here , wiring there, etc. After much patience and waiting, i finally got lucky in that i got the whole kit from a guy in Canada for about $650. The price i got quoted by the Thermo King guys for new ones (if they could get them) was about 3x that not including install. Once i got the kit (the owners manual and install instructions were included) i saw how fairly simple it was

In researching these, i have since found that they are very popular with the Range Rover Defender guys, and VW van guys, as they are sturdy and reliable and hardly ever break, and i have never read about them catching fire or anything
Hell, if Bruce put one in his 650hp speedster, capable of pulling some serious g's on the track, that was good enough for me.

As i havent read here about anyone else doing an install of these, thought i would give it a go.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:18 PM
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This is a great idea for guys who went for bargain headers and now can't see through their fogged up windshields (and are shivering while they try to see). Please keep us updated on the install and any other issues that come up. This has the makings of a great tech article.
Old 02-17-2009, 11:18 PM
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There is another option. I know of a local Porsche racer (Melbourne) who installed a cheap 12v hair dryer to defrost his windows. It works great but our winter are very mild compared to North America.
Old 02-17-2009, 11:27 PM
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Before my heating was plumbed, I tried a 12V heater, and found it useless. It's pretty mild here (southern California), too. For driver comfort, I had better luck with the 12V seat heating pads -- but they won't do anything for the glass.
Old 02-17-2009, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sc_rufctr View Post
There is another option. I know of a local Porsche racer (Melbourne) who installed a cheap 12v hair dryer to defrost his windows.
You know, I saw that the guy that built the electric powered 914 in 'Excellence' a few issues back did the same thing... LOL on the pix of the engine bay showing two travel blow dryers attached to the heater vents! However, i would have concerns about stressing the 911's alternator capacity (A non-issue in an electric powered car!) Those of u with more knowledge of 911 electrics than me can comment.

Jack, thanks. Just getting started, but will keep updates coming. My main concern is for this to be a 100% safe set-up. In that respect, will probably over-insulate and protect all critical components, but that's the way it goes when wading into uncharted waters.
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'79 930/934 replica
80 RSR-look(Now in Sicily)
914/6 2.7 (Projekt 908/3)
1965 Karman Ghia-Class winner 2007 Carrera Panamericana/Ducati 900ss/GhezziBrian STW
D-Zug Produkte/D-Zug.com
Old 02-17-2009, 11:47 PM
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Dude that's awesome! I thought you were joking about this setup - haha no stone unturned with you around that's forsure!
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:25 AM
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Great inguinity! Keep us posted

SC_ruf (we need a name in your sig!) I am not from Melbourne but I've done the same. Several others up here in Sydney too...works great.

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Old 02-18-2009, 02:37 AM
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Will be interesting to see how your going to connect the intake and exhaust and still be able to close the lid on the smuglers box!?
Old 02-18-2009, 07:00 AM
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Perfect for my 64 Carrera as it came standard with a gas heater. Everything already there to hook it up. Pulled my original 30 some years ago, mostly because I never drove it when cold outside. And the 64 was 12 volt as well. Cool or should I say "Hot"!
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Old 02-18-2009, 02:33 PM
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Excellent project!

Please keep us posted. This could be a great alternative.
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Old 02-18-2009, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete3799 View Post
Will be interesting to see how your going to connect the intake and exhaust and still be able to close the lid on the smuglers box!?
The exhaust piping is small diameter and 'accordioned' thus fairly flexible. Will attach first to the heater and then feed through the flange in the bottom of the smugglers box, securing with clamps underneath and away from the body. Will probably just cut a small section of piping for the intake and attach a small air filter to it so that it stays in the smugglers box, with less exposure to elements and debris.

Crummy iphone pix of the thermostat mounted fittingly on my A/C/heater delete panel...even matches my dash.


Bear with me, as i am going out of town for two weeks, but plan to complete when i return.

Like Jack said, i am stoked as much about not having my windows fog up in rain and being able to instantly defrost in the morning as i am about having heat.

Any of you guys with the older gas heaters still using them?

Gabe, yeah, as if i didnt already have enough to do with my SC rebuild
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'79 930/934 replica
80 RSR-look(Now in Sicily)
914/6 2.7 (Projekt 908/3)
1965 Karman Ghia-Class winner 2007 Carrera Panamericana/Ducati 900ss/GhezziBrian STW
D-Zug Produkte/D-Zug.com

Last edited by juicersr; 02-18-2009 at 06:51 PM..
Old 02-18-2009, 06:48 PM
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Nice project.

Did you consider installing inside the smugglers box as the Webasco was? In your photo this unit looks like it could fit. The install on the top of the lid does look like it simplifies the routing of the ducting.

I look forward to seeing updates.

Regards,

Bob Aines
Old 02-19-2009, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for the info, Justin! As I mentioned to you last night, I had an old Wabesto heater in one of my early VW Beetles...I can't remember if it was my '54 or my '62. I'm pretty sure it was installed via the "aftermarket". At any rate, this was in FL where I grew up and I never really needed the heat. Not to mention, there was something about elctricity and gasoline that scared the crap out of me!!!

I might have to consider this option as I have no plans to return to heaterbox style heating. And I agree, there are mornings when I'm sick of my stones rattlin'! I keep blankets in my car for the kids to use! LOLz!
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Old 03-05-2009, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnJL View Post
Great inguinity! Keep us posted

SC_ruf (we need a name in your sig!) I am not from Melbourne but I've done the same. Several others up here in Sydney too...works great.

I can just see the hair dryers (I think)... That looks like the RS way of doing it. Well done

Peter from Adelaide SA
Old 03-05-2009, 06:11 AM
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I HAVE HEAT, DEFROST AND HEADERS TOO!!!!!! (just in time for the end of winter)

Finally finished the install. Took me a little more time than i thought, because i had to hook the front blower up in order for the heat to make its way into the cabin.
Basically, the way i routed my tubing, the heat goes to the defrost and side vents, so the fan has to be utilized. I rigged up a two position switch to the blower fan, to move heat into the cabin

And heat there is!!! I get great gobs of heat coming in about 2 minutes after turning the unit on. It takes a little time for the primer, etc to ignite in the unit before it's up and going. Its was in the forties the other morning, and i had to roll down the windows with the thermostat on the highest setting!!! The thermostat works great and the blower unit, is not overly noisy, even with the car shut off ( i have a Zork exhaust, so cabin noise is all turbo)

I decided to run the fuel line from the return line in the rear for safety, to stay out of the feed line to the engine.

I am very sorry for the iphone photos... i couldnt find my digital before i went to my workshop.

Here is a pix inside the smugglers box, of the backside of the heater, with air filter for the heater and the flexible exhaust tubing exiting below.


Interior shot with thermostat and two postition heater switch to left of engine kill.


Very compact install. Trunk space take up is minimal



I'll try and post some better pix later.
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'79 930/934 replica
80 RSR-look(Now in Sicily)
914/6 2.7 (Projekt 908/3)
1965 Karman Ghia-Class winner 2007 Carrera Panamericana/Ducati 900ss/GhezziBrian STW
D-Zug Produkte/D-Zug.com
Old 03-16-2009, 06:46 PM
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Congratulations, and very cool!

Damn, I want that.

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Old 03-17-2009, 01:29 AM
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