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Unread 03-21-2009, 03:03 AM   #1
tjone2
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Jeep Fire - Catastrophic Failure

My Jeep caught on fire today while I was driving it. It was an 08 Sahara, pretty much stock. Only mods were a new bumper winch and lights. I was parked at a red light after approximately 15 minutes of drive time when somebody told me it looked like something was dripping onto my muffler and starting to smoke. Then a different car started honking and screaming at me to get out because it was on fire. I have no idea what happened. The last time it wasn't on the pavement was over a week ago and I wasn't even beating on it at all.

Anybody seen anything like this happen? Any insight on to what may have caused this?



More pictures:
http://s82.photobucket.com/albums/j259/tjone2/fire/

I was transmitting my gps coordinates from my iPhone while all this happened. You can see all the data points from where I turned it on when I left work up until the point where the iPhone unfortunately met it's demise.

http://www.instamapper.com/trk?key=1374070949135173564


Last edited by tjone2; 03-21-2009 at 03:16 AM..
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Unread 03-21-2009, 03:15 AM   #2
KICKER32
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Who wired the winch and lights?
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Unread 03-21-2009, 03:18 AM   #3
tjone2
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Had that done by a shop called "Searcher's" - real stand up guys. I seriously doubt that was the cause. The tail end was in flames way before I could even see smoke looking forward.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 03:30 AM   #4
KICKER32
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I just noticed you said someone pointed out something dripping on the muffler(my bad)...Fuel leak?Oily rag or debris on the exhaust?

Real bummer...
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Unread 03-21-2009, 04:54 AM   #5
RAZORBILL
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Any idea which area the fire started? Front, middle, rear? I've heard of a couple JK's burning but never a definitive source.

Out of curiosity, how long was it burning to get to that state? That sucks, glad you are ok.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 05:01 AM   #6
BeerMonkeY
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well theres a serious problem if something was dripping on the muffler as there is noting but sheet metal above the exhaust. it was prob tranny fluid dripping on the exhaust up by the transmission (in the front/middle). glad you got out ok
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Unread 03-21-2009, 05:51 AM   #7
N2rock
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there have been quite a few reports of unexplained fires in the past- all of them were 4dr automatics. Which pointed to a possible issue with the transmission fluid overflow. I think this is the first 2dr I've seen.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 07:12 AM   #8
ronjenx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerMonkeY View Post
well theres a serious problem if something was dripping on the muffler as there is noting but sheet metal above the exhaust. it was prob tranny fluid dripping on the exhaust up by the transmission (in the front/middle). glad you got out ok
He said the back was on fire first. A witness said it was in the area of the muffler.

Looking at his pictures, it sure looks like it started middle/up front.

Last edited by ronjenx; 03-21-2009 at 07:25 AM.. Reason: Add comment.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #9
tcass
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glad you got out ok....real bummer. hopefully, with insurance and discounts you can be back in another soon. maybe this time you can get a rubi?

count your blessings.....sure looks a mess.

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Unread 03-21-2009, 10:15 AM   #10
Rocky529
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I saw a JK last year with a completely burnt out front end.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 10:22 AM   #11
OregonVette
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glad you got out okay.


Question: when you last had it out in the field, did you go over grass, dry weeds or taller shrubbry?

The reason I ask is, in prior fire threads, all jeeps had been in taller/dry grass which seemingly gets snagged up and around the catalytic converter. The cat is very hot, ultimately whatever is stuck up there will eventually burn when it finally gets dried out enough & reaches flash point.
It could have been wet weeds... who knows, but ultimately it will dry out and become flamable.


After time in the field, I like to take a quick "looksie" under the carriage to see what gets stuck on the bottom.



Good luck with the insurance companies & dealership
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Unread 03-21-2009, 10:25 AM   #12
4x4jkx
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There is a problem with the automatics catching fire because the tranny fluid will overflow and leak out right on top the the exhaust. The pipe gets too hot and the fluid catches fire quickly spreading to the rest of the combustible fluids in the Jeep. I've read about a few of these happening on another forum.

On an unrelated note I'm glad I bought a stickshift.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 11:29 AM   #13
bunkrdfool
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Hey your spare tire still looks like its in good condition, how much you want for it ?


J/k. That totally sucks man, hope everythings covered
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Unread 03-21-2009, 11:45 AM   #14
pm203
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Originally Posted by bunkrdfool View Post
Hey your spare tire still looks like its in good condition, how much you want for it ?


J/k. That totally sucks man, hope everythings covered
That's the insurance companys now.
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Unread 03-21-2009, 12:59 PM   #15
rayzordee
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I too have a 08 Sahara 4 door. At 8000 miles they had to replace my gas tank. They said the neck peice (plastic of course) became separated from some other Doohickey thing. I never really understood what was the problem. The Dealer acted a little strange about it too. MY 2 cents
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