Coolant heater Holy Grail? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old October 14th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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mark kellgren
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Coolant heater Holy Grail?

So we all know webastos and Espars are the beschizzle when it comes to winter pre-heating, and that the kit is gonna cost over $1k. Got it. But in various forums here and there, I kept hearing about factory preheaters in Freelanders. So, doing a lot of searches, I've found that sellers frequently have the "parking heaters" AKA "coolant pre-heaters" routinely for sale on ebay for UK freelanders as used parts. Having scanned several available, they're mostly the Webasto Thermo Top Z model, which is per specs a supplementary heater for the newer efficient diesels that don't generate much heat while running, so this boosts the coolant temp while running just to help out the interior cabin heat. The Z model therefore only is used when the engine is running.

What I also found out was that there is very little difference between the Z model, and the C model (often refered to as Z/C model). The C model is the one that runs without the engine running to preheat the coolant prior to start. I also found out that the only real difference between the two, is the C model has the water circulation pump (some reports indicate that the Z model does have the water pump, but it's not wired...kinda like a difflock on an 03' DII), and does not have the complete wiring and controller. Webasto actually now offers a kit to upgrade the Z model to run as a parking heater (without engine running) and it can use the timer too!

So the C model runs used for $700-$1000US, and the Z model runs for about $150US used. So a used Z model and an upgrade kit (which include a wiring loom and timer) is all that's needed for a full blown coolant heater. Is this it? Is this the dream? Anybody know anymore on this?

I've even found some forums where people have wired the loom themselves and are in business.

Ready...discuss.

Ap
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  #2  
Old October 14th, 2009, 11:34 AM
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Where are you finding them for $150.
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  #3  
Old October 14th, 2009, 07:21 PM
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I used to have a G-wagen with a Webasto heater. I remember it fondly. There are lots of them on German eBay (www.ebay.de) Search for Standheizung Webasto. I saw one already sold (sofort kaufen) for 50.
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  #4  
Old October 15th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Spalding
I used to have a G-wagen with a Webasto heater. I remember it fondly. There are lots of them on German eBay (www.ebay.de) Search for Standheizung Webasto. I saw one already sold (sofort kaufen) for 50.
Holly crap, I just won an auction on ebay.uk for a Webasto Thermo Top Z model which has the water pump, intake and exhaust for 56 GBP ($90) . It came out of a 2006 Freelander. Auction item# 390103722603

All I need is a timer, fuel pump and harness and I'm golden!

I'll report on the install and see if there are any snags, but my theory on this one is that all the Webasto buyers didn't find this one because they didn't use the terms Webasto or Thermo Top in the description anywhere.

There are a bunch of Thermo Tops and D5's on ebay.uk and ebay.de just like spalding said. These are commonly found on Freelanders, VW's, BMW's, Audi's, Mazda's and Ford Transits, without reference sometimes to Webasto.

Both the hydronic and Thermo Top models that are supplemental heaters have the u pgrade kits for switching to timed running without the engine, but from further research, only the water pump is needed to move the coolant without aid of the engine water pump, and the timer (which could bypassed with just a switch as a minimalist approach).

This just moved up my Webasto purchase by about 2 years!
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  #5  
Old October 15th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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This sounds like a great solution. Let us know how the install goes!
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  #6  
Old October 15th, 2009, 05:47 PM
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Yes, please document this as fully as you can, it sounds like something many of us need, especially those of us who end up places below -40C and sleep in the back
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  #7  
Old October 15th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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There is no need for a timer. Just a switch. Wiring and installation is simple. I installed a wireless remote on mine for $20 to be able to turn it on from the house.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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I'm resourcing remaining parts now. As Red90 mentioned, there are many different options for controlling the webasto. I want the 7 day combi-timer myself. This is not only going to be great for when I start traveling to snow country and up north with the family, but combine this with a coolant heat exchanger, and that means showers at the campsite for everyone without having to run the engine! Since I'm getting a eezi-awn T-top when I get back and install on the rear of the rack, I have the shower room, but was racking my brain about how not to have to deal with the diesel exhaust when showering in the awning. problem solved.

anyway, few more things I've learned.

- webasto fuel pumps are different for diesel versus gas
-all the heaters come in diesel or gas. Don't get the wrong one. confirm the model number
-Land Rover factory installed webastos are referred to as FUEL BURNING HEATERS (FBH's)
-here is a thread on someone converting the freelander TD4 webasto from aux to parking (engine off running). You need to be registered in the forum. The conversion of a freelander is much more complex than installing this in a Defender, but there's good info and references in here
-the webasto's you want for over 2.5 ltr engines is the Thermo Top C. as just a supplemental heater (convertable), it's a Z
-you need to search the foreign ebay sites, not US. many european sellers on ebay don't include US by default. I think we are too far out of mind, and many don't like to ship. Even if the shipping description says ie. UK only, or EU only, don't hesitate to ask. That's where the gems come up, because the buyer pool is smaller.
-The 1531 7 day timer doesn't appear to be offered anymore. Grab them while you can.
-There are Espars available too, but the Webasto's seem to be more common as factory fits, and thus easier to find used. I also went with Websto as they look easier to maintain, disassemble, and from what I can tell, the parts are cheaper.
-I'm in Iraq until February, so my install won't be quick. Hopefully, someone else will beat me to the punch.

Follow-up Post:

A US entrepeneur that makes an aftermarket controller and has some good videos demonstrating the wiring on the webasto.
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  #9  
Old October 15th, 2009, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
There is no need for a timer. Just a switch. Wiring and installation is simple. I installed a wireless remote on mine for $20 to be able to turn it on from the house.
The timer is fantastic when you're somewhere that you can't get away to hit the remote but you know you want it on at a certain time... gone to a movie, late afternoon meeting etc. It's nice to just tell it when to turn on and know that when you come out of the play or whatever you can put the significant other into a warm vehicle (makes them much happier about having an otherwise utilitarian vehicle).
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Old October 15th, 2009, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharris
The timer is fantastic when you're somewhere that you can't get away to hit the remote but you know you want it on at a certain time... gone to a movie, late afternoon meeting etc. It's nice to just tell it when to turn on and know that when you come out of the play or whatever you can put the significant other into a warm vehicle (makes them much happier about having an otherwise utilitarian vehicle).
Wireless remotes are easy to get with 2 km ranges, so that tends to solve most of those problems. I find it rare that I know in advance when I want it on. It only needs to be on for 15 minutes normally. At 0 C, they start to power down to low fire at around 15 minutes. At -40 C, 30 minutes is enough. These things put out a lot of heat.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 09:42 PM
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All this and polishing armored vehicles too!!!

Thanks (X10) Mark!!!
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  #12  
Old October 16th, 2009, 03:27 AM
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MORE INFO: Here's the complete wiring loom for the Webasto thermo tops (hard to find online as a part) https://www.carmediauk.com/store/97-...Z/C,-P,-T.html
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Old October 16th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red90
Wireless remotes are easy to get with 2 km ranges, so that tends to solve most of those problems. I find it rare that I know in advance when I want it on. It only needs to be on for 15 minutes normally. At 0 C, they start to power down to low fire at around 15 minutes. At -40 C, 30 minutes is enough. These things put out a lot of heat.
Perhaps I just have a crappy remote but buildings and hills seem to get in the way of mine pretty easily and I can never trust that it actually switched on unless I can see it... They barely use any fuel so with a timer I can set it to run a little longer (60 minutes) than otherwise you'd bother wanting it to run and then have fully defrosted windows and a toasty interior when you are ready to get in. I found that if I'm late by 15-20 minutes it's still warm so I really get an hour window of trying to get back to a warm truck (15-20 minutes after it starts to 15-20 minutes after it's shut down).

It does freak out parking attendants though so just be aware...
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Old October 16th, 2009, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharris
Perhaps I just have a crappy remote but buildings and hills seem to get in the way of mine pretty easily and I can never trust that it actually switched on unless I can see it...
You need a long distance, two way paging remote. The car sends back a signal telling the remote it has started. Around $100 to get a long distance (greater than 1 mile range) with paging.

Webasto sells one as well, that relays the temperature and such, but they are very expensive.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 10:44 PM
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I just bought a brand new freelander FBH kit from LR Series in the UK for 169 GBP. With shipping it was $316 USD. The kit consists of a Webasto Thermo-Top C, a bunch of molded heater hose, fuel pump, some fuel line, and that is about it. I still need a wiring harness, exhaust pipe, and a draw tube for the fuel tank. Those who have these or something smiliar care to share how you plumbed the fuel line from the tank? I've seen Jim C's Espar setup.

Thanks
Ren
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Old November 19th, 2009, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ching
I just bought a brand new freelander FBH kit from LR Series in the UK for 169 GBP. With shipping it was $316 USD. The kit consists of a Webasto Thermo-Top C, a bunch of molded heater hose, fuel pump, some fuel line, and that is about it. I still need a wiring harness, exhaust pipe, and a draw tube for the fuel tank. Those who have these or something smiliar care to share how you plumbed the fuel line from the tank? I've seen Jim C's Espar setup.

Thanks
Ren
There's only one place I've found that sells the wiring harness. It's Carmedia in the UK. I just got mine and it is top notch. All the wires on the loom are actually printed along the length with their function (ie battery +, etc) although in German. the installation and workshop manuals are all available for pdf download on the web with a little searching. they clearly show what is needed to install. I just read that for the T tie in to the fuel line, you must use the Webasto T. I still need to get that.

All the exhaust pieces (incl flex hose) are available from Marine stores in the US. I can provide a link if needed.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 12:11 AM
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I've been looking at espar airtronic D2, waiting on one under $400 (passed on two at $450 already)
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Old November 20th, 2009, 02:15 AM
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Ren,
You and I have the same thing. The ThermoTop Z. The only difference between a Z and a C is the water pump, but like mine, you also have a water pump on youro Z. I guess the Freelanders all had them, which is great.

Can you post a pic of the wiring connection on the heater assembly? Mine shipped home instead of Iraq, and I wanted to get a good look at them.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 08:25 AM
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thanks Mark.

Yeah, mine says Z on the back but the nameplate on the side says C. Dunno what to make of that. It has the pump and there are wires going to it.

heres a few photos of the sockets.

if you can post a link for the exhaust bits that would help too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander
Ren,
You and I have the same thing. The ThermoTop Z. The only difference between a Z and a C is the water pump, but like mine, you also have a water pump on youro Z. I guess the Freelanders all had them, which is great.

Can you post a pic of the wiring connection on the heater assembly? Mine shipped home instead of Iraq, and I wanted to get a good look at them.
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  #20  
Old November 20th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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Cool. I need one of these now
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