Hello everyone, just wanted to throw our situation out there and see if anyone smarter than us might be able to help us figure out our next steps. If you’re interested in hearing a little more about our background story, check out our new member post by clicking http://www.irv2.com/forums/f61/young...ml#post2618576
, or just skip all the extracurricular drama and get to the real issues below:
Our project for the last 6 months caught on fire. Below I have recapped the problems I encountered over a 2 day period while I attempted to get to the tire place and back, unsuccessfully.
In chronological order, for your expert analysis, I present the following ulcer inducing recollection of events:
After finishing renovating the whole interior of my rv, tires were the last thing on the list and had arrived at the tire center I had them delivered to, 18 miles from me. I drove there to pick them up, on the way I smelled a faint plastic burning smell and pulled over and found the solenoid melted but the RV still started and I was close to the tire place so I forged on and made it to my destination.
1. Solenoid Issues
-When originally cleaning all the contacts for the relays and solenoid, one of the posts on the original solenoid broke off. I could not find an exact match and ended up going with a 4 post from Advance, was advised it would work just fine. My suspicion is maybe I needed a solenoid specifically for isolating the battery? Or maybe I need a 3 post solenoid like it originally had? -Possible the original may have been all metal, while the replacement was made of mostly plastic
-The one from advanced is based on their computers results for an ’84 ford E350, is it possible it had a RV grade one installed by mobile traveler? Something similar to this: Amazon.com: New Db Electrical Spl6007 Solenoid For Golf Cart Marine Winch 12 Volt Heavy Duty: Automotive
Camdec 97226-WR Solenoid - 3 Post : Lighting and Electrical
-The other main issue I noticed was, when I first drove the RV home, I was unaware of the solenoid switch under the dash, and did not need it to start the RV. Then after a couple weeks it wouldn’t turn over at all, unless I held the switch. It proceeded to continue to only start when the switch was held until I went to take it to the tire place right before the fire, and I noticed that I no longer needed to hold the switch to start the RV.
-Also do I need to look into PVC vs Crosslink wiring for this area, could that be a possible cause of the solenoid melting?
Picture of rewiring from battery to grey solenoid that melted
Close up of solenoid before meltdown
2. Overheat Auto Engine Shut-off
-Once I arrived at the tire place, I parked the RV and went into the office. I was advised to pull around to the side of the building. The engine sat for about 3-5 minutes before I restarted it to move it around the building (approx. 300 feet). ¾’s of the way there, the engine died out and I had to coast the rest of the way. A person at the tire place advised me that it was probably a kill switch that engaged due to the engine overheating, and that my carb sounds a little high and to check the radiator fluid levels
-After letting sit for 15 minutes I was able to start it, at which point I moved it and parked it Overnight. -Next day I returned and added ¾’s of a gallon of distilled water to the radiator, as that much had fallen since the flush and actually driving to the tire place. It is worth noting I was at about a 3/2 mixture of antifreeze to water, I have recently read that I maybe should have used straight antifreeze instead?
*At this point I proceeded to drive back home with my new tires installed*
3. Carburetor Issues
Some background history on the carb. The RV came with a Holley, which was all sorts of beatup and had a crack through the bottom plate. I ended up buying a hardly used Edelbrock 1406 online, looked real clean and the guy said it had only been ran about 5 hours or so. I did the swap myself after some research but as far as tuning it, I’ve been suspect something with the vac hoses just wasn’t right or properly tuned, did seem to be running a bit higher than it should.
-When I was at the tire place and moved the RV to leave it overnight, it “diesel’ed” on me and tried to stay on during shut off.
-During driving, you have to rev the engine quite a bit higher than it should be to get it to drop into the next gear, and when it does, it often lets off a backfire with depression of the gas pedal.
-In the pictures below, I am trying to point out a piece that was attached to the Holley, but does not come with the Edelbrock. It had some kind of tube that attached to the engine block. This was all rusted out and had to be drilled out to be removed, due to this and my research, the best answer seemed to be to JB Weld the metal cover back into place since screwing it in wasn’t an option. After the fire happened, I found this same cover piece had broken off, could this have happened and cause oil to spit out all over the engine and start the fire?
The original holleybrook carb with the piece I had to JB weld back into place
Here is a close-up of the piece that goes into the engine block. I cut away the broken metal pipes and JB welded the cover back onto the engine block.
Close-up of the piece post-fire
The oval shaped hole on the engine block, directly next to the carb, that this piece was covering pre-fire
4. Fire Issues
Driving back from the tire place, aside from the backfiring issue and carb running high (issues I assumed I could just fix once I got the RV back to the house, as well as the solenoid), I was feeling pretty good about the grueling 6 months of work we just put in on this moneypit. Although a simple paint and refloor turned into a near complete overhaul, I was feeling confident about some last minute tweaks and hitting the road. Next thing I know the engine died out on me, power steering was gone, and white/grey smoke started to come out the right side of the hood. I pulled over as fast as I could and grabbed the fire extinguisher. Popped the hood and put the fire out. Proceeded to call a tow truck and fall into a spiral of depression. After a week of putting it out of my mind, here I am looking for advice on where to get this thing back running again, figure out why it caught on fire, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
-Fire doesn’t appear to be electrical, despite the melted solenoid, no other wires on that side of the engine are burnt or affected and fire seems to be contained to the opposite side of the engine
-Hard to pinpoint a specific ignition source, but the bulk of the fire seems to have been burning and done the most damage in the back right corner of the engine cover area. Basiclly on the opposite side of the firewall where the passengers left foot would be.
-I have some pieces of hardware that looked to connect vac/emissions hoses and lines, and I am unable to identify whatever this item is, so any help is greatly appreciated
-Air filter melted into tray. This one didn’t specifically fit the edelbrock as the bolt for the wingnut wasn’t tall enough. Can I just clean this up and reuse it with a taller bolt through the carb? Or do I need a edelbrock specific air filter tray?
-After putting out the fire, the radiator gave out a small puddle through the overflow hose, not a lot, but enough to be noticeable
Other random pictures for reference:
Some other things I’ve noticed and other thoughts of possible additional problems or causes.
-The a/c has never had a belt on it (I assume it doesn’t work) and also the hosing to connect from, I believe the blower, which goes to the air filter above the carb, the middle piece of hosing never existed.
- The gauges have been a little quirky, especially the gas gauge, but this could just be a corroded connection in the fuel tank
-Radiator seems to have a tiny pinhole leak at the very top Bad voltage regulator or alternator? Possible cause of Solenoid issues?
-How much do I have to replace, especially in relation to the smog and emissions stuff, can I get by without some of this stuff, and if so, how? Block hose lines?
I have read about numerous recalls for this specific vehicle and engine fire problems. Appears to be too big of an engine in such a small space and it gets too hot? Possibly spews out fuel from the carb? This with the combination of backfiring on deceleration makes me susceptible of this being the source of the fire.
The flames had started to reach into the front of the engine bay and got some of the top of the wiring harness pictured below. Can I rewrap this or do I need to hit some junkyards to find a another wiring harness to replace it with?
Thanks in advance for any help. We have put a ton of time, effort and money into this beast and I just want to make sure this is salvageable, and safe before dumping anymore time and effort into it. Thanks again. -WeGotNoSpare