Diesel heater fuel tank placement

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gone2day

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I've seen on Promaster forums where fuel tanks have been placed in the engine compartment. The main reason for putting it there (or other external location) is to avoid any chance of spillage and funky smells inside the van.

My '93 Ford van has a large open space right to the side of the radiator that is available if you want to add an auxiliary battery. There's a sturdy base plate there and it seems like a perfect location for a tank. The tank would be at least 15" distant from the exhaust manifold and that should be plenty to avoid ignition.

Diesel isn't nearly as flammable as gas, so would be much safer. Except maybe in a collision?

Anyone have their tank mounted in the engine bay? Or mounted in another external location?
 

tx2sturgis

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Shouldn't be a problem UNLESS you are involved in a collision or for some reason you have an engine fire.

In hot weather, right after a fill up, with high under-hood temps, the tank will probably vent raw fuel, so you MUST provide a drain hose from the tank vent.

Personally, I would not mount a fuel tank in the engine bay.
 

gone2day

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^Thanks for your reply. I hadn't thought so much about heat buildup. Going down the road it would be fine with plenty of air flow but in stop-go it could be a problem. The engine bay would be a good place for a noisy pump,too but probably not the best place from a safety standpoint.

So now I'm thinking of building a box that would seal well and putting it in the PS door well and vented to the outside. I've removed my PS seat and will be using that space to install a 10 gall. fresh tank, a 30L fridge and a tool storage bin. With the pump mounted nearby or placed in the box, it should be quiet enough.
 

bullfrog

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Saw one that was a long aluminum cylinder mounted on top of an extended driver’s side running board/ rock slider on a high top van with no windows or vents on that side of the van. Totally isolated with pump mounted in rubber and locking vented fuel cap. Owner was really pleased as no mess as there would be if spilled inside a compartment, no smells and very little noise transmitted inside the van.
 

gone2day

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^From what I've read online it's better to keep them inside because in really cold weather the diesel will gel and cause problems.

I've seen one mounted on the rear door of a van but you'd have to be careful running the fuel line to protect from chafing/pinching. Plus the cheap plastic tanks that come with the kits can deteriorate from UV. There are some nifty stainless steel tanks available though.

Maybe put it inside the DS rear door with the filler outside? My rear doors have simple FRP panels held on by self-tapping screws and could be sealed up with butyl tape or RTV.

I've got a couple of months yet to figure it out :unsure:
 
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tx2sturgis

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You can use anti-gel diesel additives (or 1-K kerosene) but I dont know if fuel additives will cause problems with the heater you have. (Normally kerosene and diesel are interchangeable in most types of heating appliance but with an imported heater with limited information, we dont know)

Of course additives (or adding kero) raise the overall cost of operation a bit, but its better than finding the unit has become in-operative at 3 am when its 10 degrees outside.
 
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gone2day

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Well it's my first try using one so I went with the Vevor $119 version. So I need to research some more on cold weather use. It will only be used for a couple of months in QZ or Niland, where it won't get super cold. The extra cost of additives wouldn't be great, so an exterior location is sounding better. I remember it getting down to 27 degs. a couple of nights at Slab City one winter and if the heater failed on one of those nights, I'd just break out the 2nd. sleeping bag or fire up the camp stove.
 
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hugemoth

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Anti gel diesel fuel additive works and causes no problems for a heater. Depending on location most stations will sell winter blend diesel during the cold months and that will not gel down into the single digits. Summer blend tends to gel in the mid 20s in my experience. Gasoline can also be added to diesel to prevent gelling.
 

Wrknmannavn

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^From what I've read online it's better to keep them inside because in really cold weather the diesel will gel and cause problems.

I've seen one mounted on the rear door of a van but you'd have to be careful running the fuel line to protect from chafing/pinching. Plus the cheap plastic tanks that come with the kits can deteriorate from UV. There are some nifty stainless steel tanks available though.

Maybe put it inside the DS rear door with the filler outside? My rear doors have simple FRP panels held on by self-tapping screws and could be sealed up with butyl tape or RTV.

I've got a couple of months yet to figure it out :unsure:
 

gone2day

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^Do you get any smell of diesel fumes at all? Or does the tank cap really seal well even with sloshing around while on the road?
 

LoupGarou

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^Do you get any smell of diesel fumes at all? Or does the tank cap really seal well even with sloshing around while on the road?
Only if I happen to spill fuel when refilling the tank. On my tank the cap seals too tight. I have to back the cap off a turn or two to let air in. Then snug the cap down before driving off.
 

jasper

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gonetoday, my '94 Econoline (sliding door, unfortunately) has a 2kw diesel heater and tank mounted to the left, next to the wall. Time flies, now five years. Notice the fuel line enters the top of the tank, which avoids possible leaks from a bottom fitting.

I finally discovered an occasional stink was due to the hole in the cap not having a check valve. It could breathe both in and out. Solved with a small screw removed when using, until swapping caps with a new one mentioned below.

Careful filling at diesel pump while holding a paper towel underneath has worked so far. The tank sits in a cradle, and can be removed to fill from outside.

hugemoth posted a link to a 69.99 all in one heater in another thread. I bought one. It has the larger dimensions of a 5kw unit, it fired up first try and I've run it a few hours. Its fuel cap has a check valve. It does not have the capability to adjust both fan speed and fuel pulse rate. It does have a "plateau setting", which slows the pulse rate for leaner combustion. A mountain symbol shows up on the display.
 

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hugemoth

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FYI The motherboard and controller switch can be swapped out on any of the 5kw or 8kw heaters if you want the ability to fine tune the air/fuel ratio although the "plateau mode" on some units can produce similar results. The 5kw and 8kw heaters are the same except for the switch and motherboard.
 

gone2day

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gonetoday, my '94 Econoline (sliding door, unfortunately) has a 2kw diesel heater and tank mounted to the left, next to the wall. Time flies, now five years. Notice the fuel line enters the top of the tank, which avoids possible leaks from a bottom fitting.

I finally discovered an occasional stink was due to the hole in the cap not having a check valve. It could breathe both in and out. Solved with a small screw removed when using, until swapping caps with a new one mentioned below.

Careful filling at diesel pump while holding a paper towel underneath has worked so far. The tank sits in a cradle, and can be removed to fill from outside.
Thanks. I have barn doors and I may put the heater in the left part of the foot well under a cabinet I have there. That may not work for routing the intake/exh. tubes though. I haven't received the unit yet so I'm not sure how I could run the ducting.

The tank is only 3" wide and would go inside the door with an external fill door but I need to figure out how to protect the fuel line since that door would be used a lot. That would save some interior space. The door panel is FRP and it would be sealed up with butyl tape. Or maybe an access door with gasket.

DSC08190.JPG
 
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gone2day

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FYI The motherboard and controller switch can be swapped out on any of the 5kw or 8kw heaters if you want the ability to fine tune the air/fuel ratio although the "plateau mode" on some units can produce similar results. The 5kw and 8kw heaters are the same except for the switch and motherboard.
Hmm. Are the 2kw models adjustable? Probably won't be a problem if what I have isn't though because I won't be in the mountains during cold weather.
 

tx2sturgis

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I've been in the mountains in summertime LOTS of times when I needed a heater...it can be 100 degrees daytime on the flats...head up to the mountains.....9000 feet.....nice cool air..maybe 80 degrees late afternoon...then later that night.....poof!.... a mountain rainstorm blows thru at midnite and next thing you know it's 35 degrees with rain and sleet.

Brrrr....

You just never know.
 

gone2day

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^I'm thumbing thru the Vevor manual right now to see if it's adjustable:). Yes, I'm aware of how cold it can get in the mountains and got caught one Labor Day backpacking in CO with blowing snow. I'm glad I had a good sleeping bag. I really kinda prefer colder weather though, within limits. Anything above freezing and I'd be OK.
 

hugemoth

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Hmm. Are the 2kw models adjustable? Probably won't be a problem if what I have isn't though because I won't be in the mountains during cold weather.
I know some of the 2kw heaters are adjustable but not all. If the controller has an admin function than it should be adjustable.
 
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