Ford Mustang Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have not posted here for a while, been working and working on my baby. Well I upgraded her a little this winter, Weiand Street warrior intake, Holley 600 manual choke carb, Ford racing wires, Cherry bombs welded on the pipes, and various other bits... Well yesterday like any nice day I decided to go out for a drive and do some errands.. thats when things got bad, real bad :(
I backed her out of the garage, everything seemed fine, then smoke started coming from the hood, so I shut her down, opened the hood and flames shot up back at me. I slammed the hood and ran inside to call 911. It took about three minutes until the fire crew arrived and before they got here, she shorted her starter and was trying to turn over while on fire... that part hits me hard, it like she wanted to run and just said "I can do it" and I couldn't help... Then it stopped turning over, the fire department showed up and put the flames out.
A few minutes after they were done I had to fill out some paper work about the fire. Then I inspected the damage.... oh I felt like falling over. The engine was torched, all my hard work gone, it seems like it was just the top end on fire but some of the steering components were burned. The driverside fender needs complete repainting, the driverside headlight bucket melted, the grille twisted but the pony was saved! The bumper is fine, a little polish and its like new again. The hood, half burned but now warped and the scoop is gone, fiberglass all frayed. The chin spoiler is gone as well.
But the passenger side, and from the doors back to the rear its untouched. The interior amazingly was saved :)
The fire chief says it looks like an electrical fire, and heres where I seem to remember forgetting something.. I put an MSD blaster 2 in it and did not buy a "ballast resistor" because I had electronic ignition in it, Motorcraft box and distributor. I blame myself for this mistake, but the coil was made in china..
I'm torn from this, the one thing i'm good at and look at what it gets me. Has anyone ever been through a tragedy like this? Is the engine fine? I'm so confused and really worried because its the original engine for my baby :mesad:

I'm not going to give up on my coupe, had her for too long its like a part of the family.
I have attached pictures of before and after.

I need to fix all my mistakes, I just hope someone besides myself can learn from this and I hope no one else has to suffer like this.

Kyle
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,624 Posts
That's heartbreaking. But your car can be saved. I personally haven't had my car on fire, but my friend has. His 1969 Maserati Ghibli caught fire. He called the fire department, but by the time they got there it was a melted aluminum shell.

In regards to the engine, I would say, take it apart and look for damage. It could have done alot or maybe done nothing. It doesn't look too bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Ouch!!! i'm sorry this happened to you but..... the important thing is that no one was hurt!
It looks like it can be rebuilt and not a total lose
hope you get her out on the road again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,394 Posts
Your engine is probably OK because the temperature of a surface fire is probably a lot lower than internal combustion.

Lucky you were still in the driveway, otherwise 911 would probably have taken a lot longer.

This thread should solve the "should I install a fire extinguisher on my modded car" question that comes up every once in a while.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
I am sorry for you misfortune. Hopefully the damage isnt too bad.

Looks like its time for me to move the fire extinguisher from my jeep, which usually just sits, to the mustang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys for the positive responses :) And yes the best news is no one was hurt!
I would be pretty upset if it was a Maserati though! thats awful it couldn't be saved.
I have a friend coming over to take a look at her, he's been rebuilding Mustangs for over 30 years now! I'll keep posted on the rebuild, a little piece here and there goes a long way.
Oh and my number one item is a fire extinguisher for my garage AND the Stang.

Thanks again,

Kyle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
2 summers ago I had generally the same problem with my 67 GT-A coupe. I had left my house and was about a mile away when i started smelling smoke. I turned into a small subdivision and popped the hood. Gasoline was pouring out of the screw in filter of my Autolite 4300 carb. By the time i got back to turn the key off she hit the distributor and poof. charred the top end of the motor, burnt the hood, all my hoses and wiring harness for the motor. Strangely enough i had the msd blaster 2 coil as well but had a resister wire in place. Well I had ran to the closest house and beat on the door til someone came out and we used 5 gallon buckets of water to put it out before the F.D. arrived on scene. the most embarressing part was watching the F.D. roll up (which I am a volunteer firefighter ON the said F.D. that showed up LOL) they all gave me hell and still do to this day. When i got home with the car i inspected the damages. Like you, she still had the original engine and such. THANKFULLY the only warped parts i had was the breather, carb, and the hood. Figures, i had an extenguisher in the car 5 minutes before i left the house but just figured i would be back home in no time. if i had only left it in, the fire would not have damaged nearly any of the parts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Sorry for your Misfortune! Just a thought though..... If the FD used water, than you may want to expedite the pulling of your motor, to get it dried out internally. that way it may minimize the amount of money, and effort, it'll take to bring her back to life??? Good Luck, with your repairs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
Sounds like a stuck starter solenoid, with shuting it off and the engine still spinning. My B351 did it one time, I freaked, luckily, got out twisted the positive battery cable enough to pull it loose. +1 on the fire extinguisher, once you start racing, you don't go anywhere without one. Even the golf cart has one riding on board. Get a good one, you can set it in the rear floor. sorry about the whole mess.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,279 Posts
Hey Kyle: I can only imagine how you must feel. Trust me, the damage is physical and can be repaired. You're OK and that's the main thing.

I often work with a friend that owns a body shop that does classics and customs. Last year, he had a customer bring back a 66 coupe that was painted at the shop only 6 months prior. The car had incurred an electrical fire and looked much like the picture you posted. The owner was broken hearted and put the damage through his insurance company. The Insurance Company sent out an independent adjuster who knew nothing about classics. The adjuster took the value that the insurance company put on the car, added up the damage, and promptly totaled out the car. If you're going through your insurance company, stay involved. If you have a specialty company such as Grundy or Haggerty, you are probably OK.

The customer did not want to part with the car or take the payout. So here's what we did. The paint and body was the most expensive part. The hood and fender were warped from the heat. That took up almost all of the insurance money. The customer paid for the wiring, hoses, and 2 new front tires. By the way, this car looks like it burned a lot longer then yours and the damage was more extensive. The engine turned out to be fine. New coil, distributor cap and plug wires and we actually got it to run.

So what I'm trying to say is, hang in there. I'm relatively sure your car is fixable. And anything you put that much effort into is worth fixing. Stay involved. Good Luck. :winks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
920 Posts
Sorry for your loss CoupBoss. It is definitely kind of heart breaking.

Can anyone explain what this 'resistor' wire used in conjunction with an MSD is all about?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thank you everyone for all the positive and helpful responses :)
While at work today my dad took the radiator, battery and fan out, so when I came back I could get a clear shot at the engine. It honestly doesn't look bad! The oil pan gasket is questionable but it looks and feels solid still. I was able to get a 1" socket and spin the engine over with the plugs out. This green like water came out, and I have been told its a mix of the stuff the Fire Department used to put the fire out. Somehow it went down through the valve cover/ pcv hose, and the carb. I am pretty sure its not the head gaskets. What I did was put some motor oil in each cylinder and spun it one revolution at a time, a total of 51 revolutions and some oil here and there, she's cleaning up nicely :yelpleased: I will post some pictures when I get out of work tomorrow, and can anyone else explain what this "ballast resistor" is?

One piece at a time and she'll be back sooner than later!

Kyle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Well I was able to work on her somewhat today. The alternator was removed, and the valve covers removed. Amazingly the valve cover gaskets were in one piece!!! I did find a shiny metal object sitting in the passenger side head... looks like a valve keeper or a metal seat but not really? It has no grooves for a keeper.. This is really confusing, but it may be some random piece of metal the firehose shot inside? I really hope its not anything to do with the valves:nervous

I have the whole day off tomorrow and part of Monday so I will get pictures of my progress up as I forgot to today.

Kyle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,063 Posts
After reading another thread here about their car being on fire, i bought me a Fire Extinguisher. Its still in the car. Never to leave. The thought of all that Fire Ext. mess sucks, but better then a major fire, Im thinking.

I did have a small fire (small flame really) once few years ago. All i had was my wind breaker jacket to put it out. It worked but the flame kept jumping around on me. Didn't damage alot. Inside of the hood was black. Did help me some tho. The main wiring harness was old and brittle - after the small flame, it wasn't brittle anymore. :heha:

Sorry about the whole deal. Hope you get it back together soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Progress so far

Its going smoothly, got most of the parts off and the open areas bagged. I'm going to degrease her tomorrow and then wash the engine off so hopefully it'll look more like it used to :cooldude:

Kyle
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Other than a little problem with either a valve keeper or retainer its looking better and better each day. Ordered a headlight bucket off eBaY, and contacting a friend about paint. Oh and by the way, I had a Holley fuel pump I installed over the winter. Well its threads were bad or the casting was? I don't know, I tried everything to make it work. I sent it back to Jegs and put my original on, well now that original looks pretty "toast" literally. What would you guys recomend? Its a little 302, the original to the car with a Weiand Street Warrior, and 600 Holley.

Thanks,

Kyle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,913 Posts
Progress so far

Hello Kyle,
I just showed my wife the pictures of your car.
We are both REAL sorry for the MESS.

You have a GREAT and POSITIVE outlook and that will
get you through this. I am thinking you are NOT very old
and yet you are handling this like a seasoned OLD timer.

Your positive attitude will make this get fixed.

I can't imagine the heart ache.
Once when I was a teen (back in the 60's) I was driving on route 128 and saw a
real nice 442 on the side of the road with the hood up and smoke pouring out.
I pulled over BUT there was nothing I could do help the young driver. All I could do was hold him away from the car till the fire department showed up.

From that day on I always carry a fire extinguisher in the trunk. They are mandatory at some shows I attend.

Like the others have stated - - this can all be fixed. You are on the right track and sounds like you have a plan to take things slow and steady. GREAT

I think this thread deserves special attention - -NOT to add to your obvious pain but to show other classic car owners what can happen and does happen quickly.

I plan to contact a few of my friends that are moderators and suggest this thread or at least part of it be moved to a "special" location.

Your grief may help others realize how important it is to have a fire extinguisher handy.

Enough of the sermon.

You mention the fuel pump - -yes it will need to be replaced - -BUT I would just go with a stock mechanical pump. It will be fine on your motor. You will NOT run out of fuel for certain. Check out "Rock Auto" for good deals on quality parts. I am not certain where they are in Maine - -NUt I use them a LOT.

I wish you would post a picture of the piece you found in the top of the head. I bet we can help identify it.

I like the idea of cranking with "Mystery Oil' in the cylinders. It is just my opinion - -but the fire looks as though it was quick and NOt that hot that it would hurt internals.

Of course - -drain the oil and change the filter BUT I know you probably already did this.

Man - -I admire you determination. Many people would pack it in - - BUT they would later regret the decisions.

Sure this is a nightmare right now - -BUT - -little by little it can all be fixed. A lot of the damage is "cosmetic" in nature. I know that is not the correct term to use. I understand you have hood damage and the chin spoiler etc. Lots of wires to replace etc.

You have already made some GREAT progress and it will get better. One day - you will look back at this and it will be juts a bad memory. Take your time and heck let us know if there are any parts we may be able to donate to the cause.

I will look and see if I have anything related to the headlight bucket area etc.

PLease continue to update this thread and let us know how you are doing.

I know there are a lot of people pulling for you. I also know there will be times when it seems like a huge mountain to climb. Just keep in mind - - "The longest journey starts with the first step".

I wish you well and I hope you fix the car. By the way - -the car has a nice stance and a GREAT look. YOu should be proud and I have a strong feeling you will make it better than it was.

LASTLY - -I stink at electrical - - BUt I do NOT think the ballast resistor would cause this. I am thinking the wire could heat up - - BUT I would think there was fuel involved that spread the fire. Then once the wires started melting - -the whole thing starts shorting out. The ballast resistor would keep you from burning out points - -BUt in your case I don't think it is the cause.

Print Dad - -just outside Boston, MA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Print Dad for that very nice response :)

Haha yeah i'm not very old, just 19 and have been working on this Stang with my family for four years now so she's a part of the family.
A fire extinguisher will be going in my garage, and my car now after this event!
I like the idea of using this thread as an example why to be safe and have a fire extinguisher. While I have the time to rebuild and the effort some may not and it would be great to give them some advice for the future because you never know what can happen.

I found a Carter fuel pump which looks exactly like my Oem one and its 20 bucks! Sounds like a great deal to me so I think i'm going to go with that and stick with oem equipment, it seems to be very reliable.

On the subject of the Cylinder head. My friend Don looked her over today. I pointed the valve that sits lower than the rest, so I took the rocker off and the rocker next to it. It turns out it is the top part of the valve that snapped off. Kind of like a cap on top of it. So i'm going to bring the Stang up to his shop once I get the money and he's going to help me with the work I cannot do, pull the engine and such. I'm looking for parts now but I will keep you updated on that too in case I can't find any!
As much as this sucked to happen, I have to admit this is going to be fun to put her back together :cool: and a learning experiance too.


mustangted1963, I had a small line going from the pump into a rubber hose for the filter which was RIGHT next to the coil and distributor:dunce: and rubber hose into the carb, my dumb mistake there haha

I will definatly keep you all updated on this. Thanks again for all the positive responses!

Kyle
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top