[Vwdiesel] espar vs webasto coolant heater?

Sandy Cameron scameron at compmore.net
Tue Jul 4 14:02:25 EDT 2006

At 03:53 PM 03/07/2006 -0800, you wrote:
>The 1994 1.6TD FrankenJetta needs to be able to start in -20F after
>sitting for 14 hours.
>I'm considering the webasto blueheat ($1695 installed) or an espar
>hydronic 4 ($1232 kit) system.

Here in eastern Ontario, the global warming (?) has resulted in tolerable
winters, with only a few days a year around zero F.  A few weeks ago, a
local FLAPS (Princess auto) had a cute little 800 Watt genny, 2 stroke, (can
you say easy cold weather start?) , pick up with one hand, made in China,
that takes up little room in the trunk.
$138 CD.

In case of 40 below, (yes, it has happened here) I have "warmed" snowmobile
engines with a propane torch for an easier start, so should work for the
genny too, in the event of -40 temps.

My solution to starting goldie at the powerless snowmobile camp this winter.

Half an hour with the 350 watt block heater gets me a summer start, (and it
has an 8 amp 12 volt output too, for "freshening" the battery

Any 1000w genny will blast your block heater, battery warmer, and boost
charger, for less fuss, muss, and bother than a plumbed-in fuel burner. And
you can make toast, light the camp, and maybe pump water with it too.

Don't have to carry it around in the summer either.

I do have one of those cute little diesel burning coolant heaters used on
big trucks, (Wintermiser), but never got around to the necessary plumbing
and control arrangements it required. Also looks like I would have to mount
it on the front bumper or in the trunk, as it is just a tad big to go under
the hood (takes a little more room than a good size battery)

I might make it into a "hot water boiler" (using antifreeze) to heat the
cabin at night when the fire goes out.

Trouble is all those 12 volt motors loading the solar power, minimised by
the lack of winter sun. It has one for the burner, and another for the
circulating pump.

On the other hand, the small espar is compact, and well received by the
yachting classes, and if you are near the ocean, you will be able to find a
dealer nearby.

Fooey, the little genny, (5 hours run time) is a simple, elegant solution.


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