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Unread 08-02-2004, 03:50 PM   #1
zookie85
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XJ almost went up in flames!!

I have been having problems with my ignition switch causing the Jeep to shut down everynow and then, even on the freeway. I would just wiggle it and it came back on, no problem. Well, last night, I am driving on the freeway and I smell burning plastic! I look down and I see fire/smoke in my steering column. I swerve off the road stopping in about 2 seconds flat and i completely break off the whole plastic case around the column and manage to get the fire out with a few swats of the hand. After all the smoke cleared, i had melty, drippy plastic from my ignition switch all over the switch, black as coal. I got on the phone, and had a new switch on site in less than 20 minutes. I changed it in about 10 minutes and was on my way, although the wires in the harness are still black on the ends instead of red, but theres still plenty of insulation left so no biggie. Just thought Id let you all know, if your switch is going bad, replace it before it takes out your whole Jeep.

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Unread 08-02-2004, 05:35 PM   #2
Jareds05
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That could have been serious, good luck with the new one!!
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Unread 08-02-2004, 11:39 PM   #3
namtrah
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You are lucky, but you know that

With all the synthetic fuels, I mean materials they use in cars, trucks and SUVS and of course Jeeps, you are lucky. Usually a car fire starts slow witha build up heat and then poof, it hits the flash point and you have a roman candle with 4 wheels. Out of all the car fires, including training burns, cars go up damn quick and are semi-difficult to put out since fire can hide in small nooks and crannies. Then, if you try to salvage anything, we put at least 100 plus gallons of water and maybe foam into your vehicle. I award you the Junior Vehicle Firefighter Award for your valiant effort By the way, I would guess you do not carry an extinguisher? As a fire nazi as some call me, buy a $10-15 dry chem(class ABC) extinguisher and place it near your driver's seat. That way you can grab it on exit and attempt to suppress the fire.
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Unread 08-03-2004, 12:01 AM   #4
madrabbitt
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yeah, but the hand-beating-method is so much more fun.


i carry 2. one next to thed rivers seat on the floor, and one in the basket in the back.
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"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 08-03-2004, 01:30 AM   #5
coppertop71
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Might want to check your model and year for recalls or technical service bullitins concerning ingnition switch problems. Read one about our van took it in and Ford replace the complete switch for free. They also loaded our information in their data base and sent out another recall notice to come in for a fuel tank inspection.

All Data
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Unread 08-03-2004, 10:55 AM   #6
fourlow
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i would hate for anyones XJ to go up in flames.

The other day i saw a really nice old bronco with nice new suspension and super swampers go up in flames. I was eating lunch and he pulled up with what looked like an overheating engine. Five minutes later we saw fire dripping from under the engine. Five minutes after that, FWOOOOF.

Bye bye bronco.
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Unread 08-03-2004, 11:10 AM   #7
mans
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Damn, now you guys are scaring me! Especially considering that I live here in the tropics with the sweltering heat as part of a good 'ole day...

I do carry a fire extinguisher (one of the first few recommendations of this forum's members after I revealed that one of my injectors was leaking profusely for sometime.) That's fixed now though.

So, any other "tips and advice" on how to prevent a "roman candle on wheels"?
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Unread 08-03-2004, 11:26 AM   #8
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Never heard of the problems with Jeeps. Fords on the other hand
http://www.flamingfords.info/affohome.html

It happened to my Dads Ford AeroStar.....
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Unread 08-03-2004, 11:38 AM   #9
mans
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This is actually scarier due to the fact that just a few hours ago, before going home, I went by the gas station for a half tank fill. I did shut down my Jeep while getting filled. However, halfway through, I think I heard a distinct "BZZZTTTT" sound coming from either the steering column or the front panel area. This sound came on for about a second. Nope, it wasn't the seatbelt buzzer sound.

Hmmmm.... keeping my fingers crossed... damn, too much coffee is making me paranoid!
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Unread 08-03-2004, 06:28 PM   #10
namtrah
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Fire Prevention

Here are some things I think you could follow and I am sure others have some ideas also.

If you have a petroleum product leak ie: fuel, oil, power steering, transfer case, transmission, get it fixed, or at least spray the fluid off the components so it never has a chance to heat up and POOF!

Carry a couple different extinquishers. The CO extinquisher is great for electrical fires so you don't fill the engine compartment or interior with dry chem powder.

Install your own on board extinguisher system, that can be spendy though?

Keep the engine compartment clean and free of debri. Ensure your wires are not rubbing sharp metal or next to high temp areas that can melt insulation or cause a short.

Always turn your motor off at the gas station, Touch your door on the way out to ground and reduce static electricity, No Cell phones, or for the love of God, don't be a dumb butt and smoke next to the pump.

I have started a fire while adding engine oil. Don't add motor oil until after the motor cools, especially the exhaust manifold.
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Unread 08-03-2004, 06:47 PM   #11
madrabbitt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jp_of_Fire
I have started a fire while adding engine oil. Don't add motor oil until after the motor cools, especially the exhaust manifold.
done that at walmart... 1am, my mom calls me and says the oil gauge is acting funny, should she get some oil when shes there. I say "sure, get a 5 quart thingy'
Partner and I drive to walmart in the ambulance... we're bored anyway. I check the van's oil with the spare key... its dry...
My mom comes out, and i start pouring the oil in.

I probably got most of the 5 quarts in the crankcase....

most.

the rest drips down onto the exhaust... the engine block... which is hotter then normal because of the low oil.

smoke smoke smoke poof. flame.
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Installing HID's in stock housings is bad. Here is why.

"When you see someone who needs help, help them. When you see someone who needs a hug, hug them... Help those who can't help themselves." -Sgt Andrew Tingwall, NMSP. End of watch 6-10-2009
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Unread 08-03-2004, 09:16 PM   #12
88XJ Ltd
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Here's another tip for use at the gas station. do NOT get back in your vehicle while your'e in the process of filling up. I've heard stories of women (no comment here ) who get back in to apply their makeup or whatever, while the gas is going into the tank. They build up a nice little static charge by sitting on their cloth seat or rubbing their feet on the carpet. They get out without touching anything metal and grounding themselves, and the rest is history.


I'm not surprised people have problems with the wiring in the steering columns. I had to replace my intermittant wiper module a few years ago. It turned out that the constant up and down movement of the tilt steering had pinched the wiring and actually cut right through some wires and caused a short. After reading the post, I guess I got a bit lucky!
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Unread 08-03-2004, 11:38 PM   #13
JJorda
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Ya know, out of the two vehicles I've seen totally engulfed in flames, both were XJ's. Probably a coincidence, but I still carry a fire extinguisher at all times. Hopefully I'll never need it, but I feel better knowing it's in there. They're pretty cheap insurance, I got mine with a mounting bracket for $10 at Sears. Probably going by there tomorrow to pick up another one.

One thing that I've heard about fire extinguishers kept in cars is that you should shake them up every month or so. The vibration from driving compacts the powder in the extinguisher, causing very little of it to actually come out when you need it after a while.
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Unread 08-04-2004, 11:08 AM   #14
namtrah
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Ooops

I forgot to mention that, good catch. If you have a rubber mallet, tap the bottom of the extinguisher a few times to loosen the dry chem powder. If you have a clumped extinguisher. it may not disperse the powder, especially if it cannot fit through the nozzle. CO2 Extinguisher is fairly safe and just check the gauge once in a while. I hope no one is carrying a Class A or water extinguisher with them, unless they fight wildland fires? We should start a poll and see how many of us have started a vehicle on fire or had their vehicle start on fire?
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Unread 08-04-2004, 03:31 PM   #15
RickyN29
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I caught my Dodge Stealth on fire twice. Saw an XJ melt away in a blaze of glory (my neighbors) I have a extinguisher mounted right under my drivers seat easily accessible...
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