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Old 08-05-2015, 06:44 PM   #1
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DP Engine fires and causes

I posted a few days back about fire suppression systems and got a lot of great information. Thanks to all.
I would also like to prevent an engine fire in addition to putting one out. We have an '05 Western RV Alpine Coach with the Cummins 400 ISL. Is there anything I should have my mechanic check to avoid a fire? Fuel lines or? What are the most common causes of an engine bay fire? After seeing the results of an engine fire, I am a bit paranoid. Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:53 PM   #2
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Check out Mac The Fire Guy. He is at many FMCA Rallys among others.
My Business - Home
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:59 PM   #3
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Personally, I am more afraid of the absorption refrigerator fires (click) --for those still using absorption refrigerators-- and also fires that start in the braking system that spread ...brakes that hang up or not using the service brakes properly on long descents on a hot day (click). I've read about and witnessed more fires as a result of those two issues than with a fire starting in the engine compartment from leaking diesel fuel on a hot turbo ...which I believe is the primary cause of a diesel engine fire. I don't know if there's really too much you can do but to keep an eye out for leaking fuel near the turbo charger.

I also have driven diesel buses and trucks since the early 70s and have never experienced a fire in the engine compartment but have had several experiences where wheels catch on fire because of overheating brakes that were dragging or hung up on a hot day.
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Old 08-07-2015, 02:56 PM   #4
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Hydraulic lines should be inspected yearly. Especially on side radiator chassis. Also transmission lines to the cooler.
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Old 08-07-2015, 04:07 PM   #5
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There is no such thing as a clean diesel engine. Diesel engines get covered will oil from the circulating air, working motor, transmission and hydraulic hoses. The combination of the severe heat within the engine compartment, moving parts, and the oil residue is a recipe for a fire. Steam cleaning the engine compartment annually is a good safety precaution.
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Old 08-08-2015, 06:52 AM   #6
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clean engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggy Daddy View Post
There is no such thing as a clean diesel engine. Diesel engines get covered will oil from the circulating air, working motor, transmission and hydraulic hoses. The combination of the severe heat within the engine compartment, moving parts, and the oil residue is a recipe for a fire. Steam cleaning the engine compartment annually is a good safety precaution.
You must be talking about a detroit diesel engine, those things leak all over the place! I've got a 14 year old cummins ISC and she is as clean as a whistle. When I change the oil, I make sure to clean any spillage. The exhaust will cause a fire, I found a crack in the system just in time, if it would have broken the hot exhuast would have been directed to the fibre glass and foam insulation. Also a broken hydraulic line is bad news.
My company had several large Cat 992's front end loaders with fire prevent systems on it, they had V12 Cat engines and I seen hydraulic lines brake and spray all over the engine. Also seen a Fiat-Allison F-50 bull dozer catch fire by the batteries arcing against the metal battery cover which jarred lose, total loss.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:14 AM   #7
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Some DP coaches are easier to keep clean than others. Side radiators give great access to the engine, whereas the rear radiator are more of a challenge. Fortunately, I keep mine at home and can work on it when I see fit. I also have the tools and ability to be able to do it myself. I understand many are not in same position to do so.

Not liking leaks, I nip them in the bud. The last being a $3.00 gasket between the air compressor and attached hydraulic pump. A bear of a job, taking 4 hours. But no more drip after 4000 mile "road test."

I also had my exhaust manifold, turbo hot section, and exhaust pipe wrapped in a thermal blanket by ATP;

http://www.advancedthermalproducts.com

This was mainly to help with the bedroom heat after a day's driving. It did the job. A side benefit is keeping flammable liquids off the hot exhaust. The above company wraps forest service equipment exhaust systems to keep a burst hydraulic like from catching the equipment on fire and creating a forest fire.

I might be the exception, but I like to keep things clean and neat.

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Old 08-08-2015, 12:29 PM   #8
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Some great input from everyone. Thanks so much.
Mike
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:27 PM   #9
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The main thing to inspect on a side radiator system is the fan motor itself. Had mine to fail in Florida this year. Sprayed hydraulic fluid all over the engine. Did not catch fire but smoke was tremendous. Replaced the motor, hew failed in about 7 miles. Replaced again. the 3 rd failed around 1000 miles. This time we had just crossed a mountain and the engine was hot. Lost a great coach. Wis I had installed the fire suppression system. Do not trust side radiators! Has anyone else had failing fan motors. Indication is oil slick on the highway and an empty hydraulic tank after the fire.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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I have a ScanGaugeD and the 2 parameters I have at all times is Fan Speed % and engine intake air temp. I planning on installing a remote temp sensor in the engine compartment with a high temp alarm.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:59 AM   #11
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Mine started when the seal blew in the hydraulic fan motor. The fan blew the fluid back on the hot manafold and ignited. Keep a close check for oil on the fan and blades around the shaft and fan hub
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Old 08-31-2015, 03:54 PM   #12
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I guess we were just lucky or it is not as big a problem as I would have thought. Three weeks after I bought my coach I had a fuel line going to the injector crack. It was spraying out diesel fuel at high pressure. The fuel was spraying onto the exhaust pipe is how i noticed the problem. I looked in my mirror and was smoke coming out from under the coach. I stopped the coach made sure nothing was on fire and called for a mechanic. They came found the leaking line replaced it and I was on my way no worse damage than having to clean diesel fuel off of my toad.
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Old 08-31-2015, 05:07 PM   #13
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I have a scan gauge.. Can you explain how you program for fan speed?


Thank you
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:30 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedjester View Post
I have a scan gauge.. Can you explain how you program for fan speed?


Thank you
Ok. Go into your manual for the ScanGauge. On page 19, read the PIDs explanation at the bottom of the page. Now go to page 41 and read the Overview for the X-gauge you will find a step by step instruction to how to enter this new sensor. If you don't happen to not have a manual, you can download the user manual here:
http://www.scangauge.com/wp-content/...load.php?id=15.

The parameters are programmed in through the X-Gauge features of the unit. Also go to Get More Gauges for the ScanGaugeD : Linear Logic - Home of the ScanGauge for more info.

More info: http://www.scangauge.com/wp-content/...s/PID_RQST.pdf

Estimated Percent Fan Speed(%)
TXD: 00
RXF: 11FE02BD0000
RXD: 1808
MTH: 000200050000
NAM: User Defined ( I used FS%)

This is for the Cummins ISL engine (CM850) so I don't know if it will work with your ECM (engine control module).

Good Luck
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