A while ago I posted about the glowplug screens in Eberspacher heaters, and making some DIY ones, as the OEM parts are hideously expensive for a piece of stainless mesh (£13).
Above is the old factory screen that I extracted after only 5 gallons of diesel was run through it, it’s heavily clogged up with carbon & tar. The result of this clogging is a rather slow & smoky start of the heater & surging of the burner while at full power.
It wasn’t as badly stuck in the chamber as some I’ve removed, but extracting it still caused the steel ring to deform, this was after using a scalpel blade to scrape the carbon off the rim.
At the time I did some tests with some spare copper mesh I had to hand, but the problem with copper is that it’s very soft & malleable, so didn’t really hold it’s shape well enough. The factory screens are spot welded to keep them in shape, but as I don’t have a spot welder, I am relying on the mesh having a bit of springiness to keep it in place against the walls of the glowplug chamber.
eBay provided a piece of 120 mesh stainless steel mesh, 300mmx300mm for £8. It’s a bit finer than the stock stuff, but appears to work perfectly fine as long as there’s no gunk in the fuel to clog it up.
I cut a strip off the large piece, as wide as the OEM screen, about 32mm. This 300mm long strip is then cut into 4 pieces, each 75mm long. (it’s easily cut with scissors, but mind the stray wires on the edges! They’re very sharp & penetrate skin easily!).
These pieces are just the right size to form a complete loop in the glowplug chamber, and the stainless is springy enough so that it doesn’t deform & become loose.
The OEM screen is multiple turns of a more coarse mesh, but the finer mesh size of the screens I’m using means only one turn is required. Multiple turns would probably be too restrictive to fuel flow.
With one of these pieces of mesh in place, the heater starts instantly, without even a wisp of smoke from the exhaust. Burner surging is also eliminated. Even if the service life of my DIY replacement isn’t as long as an OEM screen, the low price for such a large number of replacements certainly offsets that disadvantage!
A piece of mesh from eBay would provide enough material for quite a lot of replacements, and probably more than the service life of the burner itself!