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Posted: 6/9/2003 4:33:24 PM EDT
My father in law's 1984 GMC caught fire under the hood yesterday morning. The motor is a 350, Heavy Duty Transmission, 2500 model. The motor is 'new' less than 10k miles on it. (replacement engine) To make a long story short, he had just gotten it back from a 'tune up' (new filters, plugs etc.). While travelling to a family reunion, he noticed 'steam' coming from under the hood. It was raining, so he thought it was rain causing the 'steam.' When he began to lose power, he pulled into a gas station, opened the hood, and then slammed it shut again! The convenience store owner used two fire extinguishers and put out the blaze. The battery melted, the distributor cap looks like melted cheese, most of the vacuum lines are toast, even a water line got singed enough to burst. The motor shows some heat damage to the passenger side valve cover, slight deformation to the cover. How much trouble is it going to be to put this truck back on the road? He has offered me the truck for 'free', just cover his towing cost (@$200.00). Because of family politics, I am going to 'buy' the truck for $500.00 if it is repairable. Question is...it it something that can be done, by an average shade tree mechanic? 1984, Chevy. What am I looking at to replace every hose, vacuum line, battery, shroud, distributor cap, (distributor too?), spark plug wires. Cost? Couple hundred bucks in salvage parts? A week's labor or less? Any ideas? Suggestions? TRG
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:48:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:50:05 PM EDT
Sounds like a good target for Gun stock. [:D]
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:50:12 PM EDT
everything plastic, rubber, neoprene and wire, hose and tube between the firewall and headlights will need replaced. hopefully, you can find a boneyard truck to pull the wiring harness and other crap out of. radiator solder, tranny cooler, etc may be junk. steeing box seals may be history. ball joint boots could be gone. all electronics will be cooked amd probably every electric motor that got hot enought will be, also. it all depends on where the heat got and how long it stayed there. carb may well be toast also. i put two burnouts back on the road in my day...now i just tow them to bulletfest and shoot them. i think i'm getter smarter as i grow older.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:52:50 PM EDT
2 or 4wd? If nothing else it would be worth the time to rewire to get it running as long as the motor is not ruined. Rattle can to fix the paint damage on the hood. I would use it to go to the dump or to beat around hunting. You could always part it out and probably make a few bucks. cruizer
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 4:54:31 PM EDT
[b]Shoot it![/b] Bring it to the shoot in Tx! Aviator
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:08:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DoubleFeed: That would not have happened if he was driving a Ford [devil]
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'67 Mustang fastback year: 1975 same story, happened on a Friday, had it back on the road by Monday. wouldn't happen if he was driving a Ford, My ass! I spent the weekend wiring it.[:D] Fred
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:23:16 PM EDT
Quote: [b]The convenience store owner...put out the blaze.[/b] That's impressive. Anywhere but Texas they would have brought out weenies and marshmallows...or perhaps a goat and some naan, depending. cynic
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:24:02 PM EDT
Yea doublefeed it would not have happened if it was a ford cause SHIT don't burn.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:26:07 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:26:24 PM EDT
It was just 'tuned up' by a shop? Did they mess w/ the fuel filter? I'm guessing it's mounted on the carb.... because if they did, and they happened to screw up and make a gas leak.... Now you know what I'm thinking..... A digital pic might help... but if it's as bad as you say.... a doner truck may help in rebuilding. But melted Batt and dist. cap..that's a bad fire.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:36:51 PM EDT
I've had 2 car-b-ques in my life, and both were total losses. One was in a '82 Audi Quattro Coupe and the other was in a '93 Chevy Blazer. I tried to fix the Audi...I didn't even bother with the Chevy. I also have a knack for having fire at the worst place at the worst time. The Audi burned at the huge toll plaza at the intersection of the NJ turnpike and the Garden State Parkway on a Sunday afternoon in beach traffic. The Chevy went on the Beltway (right at the 270 spur, for those that know) in rush hour traffic.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 5:55:43 PM EDT
I'd make sure that the front tires were ok as well. I had an '86 Mustang SVO go up in smoke on me, that was a heartbreaker, total loss, one of 3000. You should be ok with rebuilding it, but make sure that you paint any heat damaged sheetmetal ASAP as it will rust immediately. Good luck
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 6:08:47 PM EDT
The fire was up high on the engine. The hood has a 24" area of charred paint. Some bubbled above the fender well. I will get a digital pic asap.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 7:11:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 7:33:03 AM EDT
I had a '67 LeMans go up like this. The distributor hold-down bolt was loose, allowing the distributor to rotate 180° out-of-time. It was backfiring heavily through the carb and caught the air filter on fire. I had the hood, fenders, wheel well liners, firewall and cowl repainted. Replaced the carb, distributor, wires, a few hoses and vacuum lines, air cleaner housing and one valve cover. No significant damage. I'd say the truck you're talking about has potential for revival. Heck, I'd start out by putting a battery, new cap, rotor and wires on it, check for leaks and see if it starts. For under a grand, you might have a pretty decent second car. Then put the thing on eBay for $2500.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 7:51:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2003 7:53:34 AM EDT by Bob243]
As far as rewiring/replacing... I would probably go for it. Depends on you skills. I only had 1 almost car-b-que.. the glass filter on my 69 cracked, dumped fuel all over the manifold. When I started it, it ran whatever fuel was in the carb and backfired when it ran out of fuel. that ignited the fuel on the manifild. I was near the house, so I was able to put it out pretty quick. Replaced HEI wiring, cap-rotor, wires, fuel line, filter, winshield washer lines, and the air cleaner. (open element) It was about 100bux and 3 hours to fix. As far as not happening to a Ford, BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAA Tell that to the guy at the shopping center near me that had flames and black smoke pouring out of the hood of his F150 about 6 months ago
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 8:18:12 AM EDT
Maybe you can find another truck with a blown mill.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 8:23:59 AM EDT
sounds like whoever did the tune up messed something up. I mean a truck runs fine for 20years then someone does a engine swap an after you go to the mechanic it catches on fire??
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 8:30:34 AM EDT
I've known of 2 85 GMC/Chebby Silverado's that burned to the ground just like that. Both were 4X4 IIRC. I dunno WTF it is, but something under the dash seems to catch on fire...I saw the aftermath of one and let me tell you there wasn't shit left of it. Steel bands around the semi melted rims, everything inside gone, hell everything aluminum melted in the engine bay.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 9:05:15 AM EDT
Family, smamily, a burned '84 GMC, (I've got an '85), isn't worth $500. Is normal "Family politics" always a "gang bang" TRG??? He'd be lucky to get his $200 in tow fees from a sale. The work will be fairly easy, and prolly run under $300 for parts. Don't forget to change out all fluids, especially engine oil..
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 2:45:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By liberty86: Family, smamily, a burned '84 GMC, (I've got an '85), isn't worth $500. Is normal "Family politics" always a "gang bang" TRG??? He'd be lucky to get his $200 in tow fees from a sale. The work will be fairly easy, and prolly run under $300 for parts. Don't forget to change out all fluids, especially engine oil..
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I goota say, Lib, you hit the nail on the head. I took a long look at the truck and decided AGAINST repairing it myself. Although the repairs can be done, I am going to let my brother in law purchase the truck from his dad, not me. The whole family politics, 500.00 thing was rubbing me the wrong way. By the time I paid for the truck, purchased the required parts, installed the parts, rewired the truck, etc. I would have 1000.00 invested in the vehicle. I can go buy a 'beater' pickup for under that, and not have to spend anytime in the mess under the '84s hood. Thanks for the advice guys. TRG
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:04:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DoubleFeed: That would not have happened if he was driving a Ford [devil]
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My '86 4wd ford hunting rig caught fire on me twice the last 6 years I owned it. Tough truck, but it did get hot in there. I was fortunate enough to put it out both times with minimal damage. I would pass on it with that kind of damage. Sure it is fixable, but you'll have problems popping up left and right before you get it all ironed out, unless you completely re-do everything. MONEY-PIT.
Link Posted: 6/11/2003 3:11:03 PM EDT
Car fire = God's way of saying, "Get a new car!" NoVaGator; Early 80's Audis = Car fire. -934
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