Thought this might be useful for those who are installing or about to install a diesel cabin heater.
Mickey-moused a temp 5 gal diesel tank using the supplied fill tube and a tall 5 gallon plastic gas can, fired up the heater and it ran like a champ.
Cranked up the thermostat and let it run on HIGH for about an hour - no problem except my insulation wrapped exhaust pipes smoked a lot for about 20 mins curing the spray on coating - scared me for a few mins.
A few lessons learned, observations, and things I'd do differently, in order of importance:
- Do NOT install the heater pump on the outside of the rear cabin bulkhead - it acts as a soundboard, Inside the cabin would be a bad idea too. That sucker is ANNOYING and loud with its contant CLACK-CLACK-CLACK-CLACK.
I'm talking about teeth gritting, drive to distraction, eyebrow twisting annoying. No matter what speed its running at.
I'm moving it as soon as I can, wrapped inside light foam placed inside a block of dense foam and glued to the can, not the cabin, so there's no solid path of sound transmission. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
- Dont install your through hull exhaust inside the cabin - do it outside somewhere, the through-hull port is loud, when the heater is on high it's objectionaly so, its not too bad when the cabin warms up and the heater switches to low, I'll be moving it soon, luckily I can use the opening in the hull for a sink I'll be putting in.
- The exhaust pipe gets d@mn hot, the header wrap I used in addition to the insulating sock keeps it from being dangerous, but when the heater is on High I cant keep my finger on it for more than a couple seconds, less than a second on some spots. On low it can be touched with no problem. I'll be adding a bit more insulation in a few strategic spots.
On the other hand the cool-it heat reflecting tape works great, the combusion air intake and fuel lines are cool to the touch, even though they're only about a inch and a half from the exhaust pipe. I'll be using more of that.
- The through hull flange is surprisingly cool, I didnt need to worry about it. It never got more than warm to the touch, even though the exhaust coming out millimeters away will melt plastic and burn your hand quickly.
- The cabin air blower doesnt make much noise, I can hear it, but its not a bother. My fresh air/cabin air mixer valve worked great. When the cabin got smoky I changed it over to fresh air and it blew the smoke out the cabin windows in no time.
- The cabin air blower moves a lot of HOT air when on high, if you put your hand in front of the vent its like holding your hand in front of a 4 inch wide hair dryer. You can't keep your hand there for more than a min. On low its a lot cooler and slower.
- The hot air ducting gets pretty warm too, could only hold my hand on it for about 15 seconds when the heater was on high. Its not in danger of melting rugs or anything - but you wouldnt want it in contact with any electronics.
- I should have used a Wye instead of a T when I split off the main air duct for the window defrosters. Going to have to block the main vent by about 30% to create enough back pressure to get sufficient air to the defrosters. Or I might modify the inside of the T, dunno - I'll give it a bit more thought.
- The heater pumps out a LOT of heat, it got a 9 foot cabin and 6 1/2 foot cuddy from 45 to over 80 degrees in about 15 mins, even with the windows open. I could have bought a D2 and been just fine. I couldnt tell the difference in heat output if I had cabin air or fresh air going.
Thats all I can think of right now, I'm REALLY happy with the heater, with two notable exceptions (the first two).
Hope this helps somebody.