Video: How to fit the Mikuni MV Airo 2kw Diesel Heater

Video Transcript

Hello and welcome to this video from Kiravans looking at the MV Airo 2 diesel heater for your campervan conversion. In this video I'm going to unpack the contents and go through quickly what every component does as you fit it into your van. Then we'll take a look at how you fit it into a Volkswagen T5 van and also give you some instruction on how it operates once it's in the van.

So let's take a look at what's in the box. Okay, so what have we got?

First of all, you've got the diesel heater unit here. Now this can be mounted either inside the van or underneath the vehicle. If you're going to mount it inside the van, you'll need one of these fitting kits, which is designed to go underneath the driver's seat in a VW T5 van.You basically drill a large hole, place this in and bolt it to the floor and then the heater fits on top of that. If you want to fit your heater underneath the vehicle, you'll need one of these stainless steel brackets, which bolts onto this chassis and this is how I'm going to fit one today. So we'll look at this in more detail.

Now if I go through this from the fuel tank up to the heater and then into the van, you'll see the process involved. So very quickly we start off by dropping the fuel tank from the van, taking out the sender unit, drilling a small hole in the top of the sender unit and inserting this fuel pipe into it. Now this needs to be cut to the right length depending on what kind of vehicle you're putting it into.

From here, we have a fuel line like this, which then goes to the fuel filter and into the fuel pump, which is suspended off the vehicle chassis with this rubber mounted rubber spring mount. From the fuel pump, you then have a little bit more fuel line, which takes the fuel to the heater unit. The fuel goes in here. Also underneath here we've got the electrical cable, which runs off to power the pump with this wire. This inlet here is for fresh air for combustion into the unit, so this draws air from outside the vehicle. This one here is the exhaust. Okay, so that goes on there and then you get to your actual heater. One end sucks in cold air and the other end blows out hot air and your hot air gets to your van through one of these using the plastic vent.

Inside the vehicle you've got your wiring loom which takes power from your leisure battery, plugs into the unit. You need 12 volt electric for these initially to spark it to light the flame and then also to drive the fan as it's working. Also incorporated in this is the digital control panel and timer and specifically for these kits we also have this nice feature which is a temperature sensor which can be mounted somewhere useful in the vehicle so that when you set your thermostat the heater.

So it looks like a lot of bits, but actually once you get started it's not too bad. You also get some instructions with the kit and let's take a look at how it's installed. Okay, so this is the vehicle that we're going to be putting the heater in today. It's a standard Volkswagen T5 2010 model and it's really important before you start this job, make sure that your diesel tank is pretty empty. So this one, the light has come on to say that it's nearly empty because as you lower that digital tank done if it's full of diesel, it's just physically too heavy to manhandle.

The first step to fitting one of these heaters is to get the fuel tank dropped down from the bottom of the van. It's located in this area under here. There'll be some plastic panels to remove first and then you'll see the big black plastic fuel tank and it's got three metal straps holding it up. Six bolts need to come out and then you drop your fuel tank down. Just be careful because it may be heavy and you could put some wooden blocks or something underneath to support it.

Before lowering your fuel tank, you'll need to disconnect these two diesel pipes just in front of the tank and then release your fuel filler pipe by undoing the small screw holding the cap on. Taking out the cap. You may want to slacken off the little metal door at this point and then you remove the plastic trim by pushing it to the right at the top before levering out the bottom. Then finally undo this nut here.

This bit here is called the sender unit. This is a spring loaded device that goes down into the diesel tank and then your diesel pipes are here and it's a pressurised system. So what we need to do is un-pop these two fuel lines, unscrew this and take the sender unit out. To pop these off, they've just got a little tab on the back. You push it in, just pop those off like that. While it was under the van, I disconnected the electrical connection here with a little red tab, which pops up.

Now this locking ring that holds the sender unit in the tank is really tight, so you can use a piece of wood and a hammer to loosen it like this. Once you get the locking ring off, the sender unit will pop up a little bit and you just need to gently take it out. Be careful not to bend the fuel gauge float, which is on a wire at the bottom. You'll see it when you get to this point. So just angle it and take it gently out. Now the sender unit will be full of diesel, so have a bucket ready to empty it into.

Once you have the sender unit out of the van, we need to drill a hole to put the standard pipe in. So if you look underneath, there's a little down stand plastic pipe, which needs to get drilled out and on top there's a square imprint. So in the middle of that square, I put a little dot and you'll need to use a six mil drill bit and basically just drill down through the top of the sender unit, which will remove the little plastic down stand below. It's a good idea to do some protection just below to stop any plastic going into the sender unit. I've used paper towels here.

Once you have your hole drilled in the top, you'll need to cut your metal fuel standpipe down to length and for a T5/T6 fan, you want it 19 centimetres long from the underside of the right angle. A sharp hacksaw will get through it quite well and then you'll need to deburr the end with a metal file just so that no contamination clings onto it once it's in the fuel tank. You feed the standpipe down through the top of your sender unit now through your new hole. Put the little nut on, make sure the O ring is still in place at the top of it to get a good seal and you'll notice the the pipe goes down behind the translucent sprung pipe. You can tighten this all up with a couple of spanners. Then the next thing you need to do is get one of the fuel pipe connectors, put that onto the metal nozzle and with a Jubilee Clip tighten the whole arrangement up.

Now you can return the sender unit to the fuel tank. Again, taking care with the fuel gauge float. The rubber seal takes a bit of work to get in and then just press the unit down in the top. You'll notice there are two arrows, one on the tank and one on the sender unit which need to line up and that's the final position for the unit. Put the locking ring back on, screw it down and then use your piece of wood and a hammer again to tighten it up fully.

Then once you have this done, it's a case of getting your fuel line and pushing it well into the rubber connector hose and securing with one of the Jubilee Clips. Now you can reconnect the two diesel pipes that just pop back onto the sender unit and all three of these fuel lines can now be clicked into the plastic clips that are already on the side of the fuel tank.

Next up you'll need to attach the fuel filter in line with the fuel pump using the short lengths of fuel hose. They've each got an arrow on them to show the direction of fuel flow from the tank to the heater. You will also need to attach the rubber fuel pump clip like this. With the diesel tank fitted back under your van you'll need to reconnect these two diesel pipes. You can now attach the filter and fuel pump assembly to this black bracket located just in front of your fuel tank using the washer and nut provided. Connect the fuel line from the sender unit to the filter end and another length of line to the pump end which will head off towards the other side of the van. Notice the way this pump assembly is at a slight incline.

Moving over now to the driver's side of the vehicle you need to install the cold air inlet pipe by drilling a hole in the doorstep and installing the vent like this. Screw a length of ducting onto the back of the vent and then feed it through the hole in the metalwork of the van. I drilled a slightly bigger hole in the metalwork than I did in the plastic step. This can then get secured with a Jubilee Clip on the back.

Now it's entirely up to you where you choose to have your warm air outlet in the van, but in reality there aren't that many places where you can get clearance to drill up through the floor of the van and have it coming out somewhere useful. So I've gone for an area under the driver's seat and then a length of ducting going to a panel in the back of the seat base and coming out of a vent there. This setup allows me to have enough room left to put a leisure battery under the driver's seat and the small hole you can see in the floor is one that's already in there when the van left the factory. It comes with a rubber grommet in it and is really useful for passing the wires down through the floor.

The heater unit itself gets this small rubber gasket on it first, so thread the wire through and then place on the bottom of the heater. This provides cushioning. Place your stainless steel metal bracket on oriented like this and then use the washers and nuts to secure it onto the eater. Now you can connect your cold air inlet for combustion using the Jubilee Clip and also your exhaust pipe. We've chosen to mount this stainless steel bracket on the chassis member as shown. Now it involved drilling two seven and a half mil diameter holes and then using an eight mil tapping bit in order to create a thread. We then used our M8 bolts with sprung washers and lock tight to secure the mounting plate under the van.

The first wiring job is a simple one. It's just using the black cable provided to extend the wire from the heater unit over to the fuel pump. Connecting up the main wiring limb takes a little bit longer. The only connection below the van floor is the one for the heater connector, which plugs into the main heater unit. Everything else goes above the floor. Your remote temperature sensor can be mounted somewhere in the van that's useful, usually in the front half of the vehicle due to the length of the wire. The battery positive and negative obviously go to your leisure battery and your control panel can be mounted somewhere useful again in the back of the van.

When mounting this control unit, you'll need to drill a hole big enough to get the two plastic connection blocks through and also put on the rubber mount on the back of the unit and secure with a single screw through the middle of it. Okay, so I'm just under the van, I'm recording this on my iPhone so the quality is a bit poor. Just to give you a quick overview of the heater installation under the van, this is obviously our mounting plate that we've screwed up into this chassis member here with a couple of threaded bolts. We've tapped out the threads, used a sprung washer and some Loctite and tightened that right up to make sure they don't come out over time. Our heater is mounted to that.

We've got our fuel line coming in here which goes off and I've put some of these covers back on again, but it runs off to the other side of the van to the pump. This is our combustion fresh air intake, which I've just cable tied here and left it pointing down so no moisture can get up into it. The exhaust pipe I have run over here and drilled a small hole in the van there and put a clip on, a metal p-clip to hold it and I've cut a hole in the plastic tray so that it can fit back up there. Don't let this touch anything because it's going to get really hot as the eater burns.

This is our pipe which goes up through the bottom of the van, comes out under the driver's seat and our cabling, this is our main wire coming out of the heater. It comes along here. I've just cable tied it all together. There was quite a lot of spare, so I've put that up there, cable tied it all up in place. Then this one here runs off and up through this grommet under the driver's seat to the battery and to the control panel. There's one more wire here which goes across to the fuel pump.

So that's basically it for the under van installation. Just before we go into testing the system, there was one bit I glossed over and that was the connection of this fuel line from the fuel pump across and underneath the van and connecting into the heater unit with another short length of fuel pipe. Once you've got everything connected up, you can test your system by pressing the button on the right hand side of the controller once or twice and then clicking the thermostatic temperature up to a desired level. After a few seconds, you'll hear the unit start up and it'll attempt to start pulling diesel through the system. You'll need to go through this process three or four times. You can speed up the shutdown process by pulling the fuse out and then putting it back in again, and after three or four times you should find that it actually fires and starts producing some heat. The time taken is really just to get the diesel through the system.

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