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Fire on the Interstate. This sucks!!!

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Daveytree, Dec 27, 2000.

  1. Daveytree

    Daveytree Registered Member

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    Location:
    Kingman Arizona, U.S.A.
    Well, I made it to Arizona like I had planned. The only problem is that my Blazer didn't. My family and I left Lincoln City, Or. on a Thursday morning. I was towing a 20 foot cargo trailer. Most of our belongings were on it. We made it to Roseburg Or. by about 8 p.m. When we passed a small town called Canyonville we started up an incline. About 3/4 of the way up my truck started losing speed and gaining r.p.m.'s. I pulled off to the side of the road. When the truck came to a stop, there was a large cloud of white smoke that rolled out from under the truck. I got out and looked under the truck and saw that tranny fluid was dripping from just about everything. I went around to the passenger side of the vehicle and looked under and saw a chunk of flaming material drop out of the engine compartment area. The tranny had blown fluid all over the hot exhaust manifold. Before I knew it we were scrambling to get my kids out of the truck. We sat on the side of the road for about ten minutes trying to flag down just one of the many cars cruising by. By this time flames were rolling out from under the hood. After about ten minutes a truck driver stopped and tried to put out the fire. It was too late for that. The fire was too big. We shut the hood and he called the local authorities. After a couple more minutes a radiator hose burst and put the fire out. We ended up staying in Canyonville for a couple of days, before I could rent a Uhaul and continue.
    Here is the moral of the story. I hope some of you can learn from my mistakes, so that you won't lose your trucks. Number 1, always carry a fire extinguisher. If I had been carrying one I could have put out the fire before it got too big. Number 2, don't put too much faith in your 700r4 trannies. Mine had been rebuilt about 8 months prior to this incident. It had a stage 2 shift kit, and a B&M cooler that was rated for 28,000 pounds. I have heard bad things in the past about 700's but I didn't want to believe them. I'm afraid that I have to believe them now. Finally, if you can try to make sure that your truck is insured for the proper amount. Mine was an 85, with a 4 inch lift, 3/4 ton running gear. It had a custom stereo system, C.B., Grant steering wheel, ect. My insurance company felt that the truck was only worth $3400. Does anyone know of a Blazer like that for $3400?
    Anyway, we made it to Kingman Az. I am grateful for that. I have no regrets about owning my truck. In the six years that I owned it that was the only time that it left me on the side of the road. I hope to be back in the Blazer market sometime soon. Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Smitty

    Smitty 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry to hear about the bad break. Have to agree with you on the insurance, it pays to find out what they'll pay before something happens. Hope everything works out in Kingman.

    Smitty
     
  3. mybeast

    mybeast Registered Member

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    Simi Valley, Ca.
    Sorry for you r lose, carbq's suck. The insurance point is a good one.

    When all else fails MASH the skinny pedal!
     
  4. EDdaTREE

    EDdaTREE 1/2 ton status

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    I feel your pain, I don't know what I'd do without the stress-relief of takin' the baby out 'wheeling...prob'ly hafta go postal or somethin'.

    "I'm not stuck...I'm just re-evaluating my line"
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    E-town baby!
    I'm just glad you got your family out of the truck in time and no one was hurt. Even nice K5's can be replaced, your wife and kids can't. Good luck in Kingman and in finding a new K5.

    Buy one with a SM 465 next time![​IMG]

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Pull all the sales recipts you can find and drive the value of your truck up. *8 month old tranny is a big chunk of cash. New tires is also. Any upgrades etc. Tell them to find you a K5 that was in as good of condition as yours for the paultry sum they offered you. You got to understand how a insurance company works. they are going to offer the bare minimum and if you take it great! You got to show your truck was worth more than that. Recent recipts for big ticket items is how or a lot of little things like the B&M cooler etc. A decent K5 here with newer tires, good paint, body and rebuilt trannys are going for $4,500 easy.
    Also if the tranny failed as a result of who rebuilt it you may be able to get some cash out of them.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  7. behemoth

    behemoth 1/2 ton status

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    Glad everyone made it out ok! That's one of the very first things I bought for my truck - a fire extinguisher! Thank God I've never had to use it! (knock on wood !) I agree with Grim - pull reciepts and get the insurance company to give you what it's really worth. (Then wait for your rates to skyrocket !)

    behemoth K5
     
  8. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    I know how you feel. My first trip to Moab I caught my 74 on fire on Hell's Revenge trail. Luckily I had a fire extingquisher and only have wrinkled under hood paint and some melted wires. If the insurance company is only going to give you that much, you should take a small amount less and get the truck as well, that way you can transfer all of your upgrades to the new one. Good luck.

    I thought I was wrong once,
    but I was mistaken
     
  9. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Sorry to hear about that. That really sucks, but at leats everyone is OK. One of my friends older borther's had a '91 Jeep that was really nice. 4" lift, 33s, new paint, etc. He went off roading after a storm and flipped it. At first the insurance company offered him about $5K for it. he kept going back to them with all his receipts, which totaled about $18K, and finally got $12K out of them.

    90K5

    See my truck at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502>http://albums.photopoint.com/j/Albumindex?u=1329584&a=9886502</A>
     
  10. Rockblazer

    Rockblazer 1/2 ton status

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    First of all, thank god your family is safe. That is the most important thing. Second, insurance is kind of a sticky situation. I know if the insurance company gave me anything, I would be grateful. Insurance companies are in business to protect motorists, not hobbiests! Our Blazers never came with Dana 60's or lift kits or expensive motors. Very few if any insurance companies will ever give you what your vehicle is worth unfortunately. I have heard of special insurance plans, but most will drop your coverage if you let them know what you do with your truck and what you have done to it. Lastly, let this be a reminder to everyone else, when you are going to tow or travel long distance, you can not check over your truck enough. Too many do not take trips serious enough to even check fluid levels. Not incinuating that you did, I think your situation was probably a loose cooler line not the rebuild itself. Ashame that tranny shop had no pride in craftsmanship to take care of that for you! Anyway, goodluck and take care. Todd

    "You're right... I don't understand that Jeep thing!"
     
  11. undertow

    undertow Registered Member

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    actually, I think what you said about the ins. co's isn't exactly right. If you get your vehicle appraised for its true value (by a pro) and you use that appraisal when aquiring/renewing your coverage, the company has to pay that ammount (within reason). Some people get yearly apprasials for the simple fact that they know ins. co's are out there to take your money, and most are never willing to redeam the full value of anything.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Rockblazer

    Rockblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Yep agree with you on that for show trucks and street trucks. However you run into a snafu when you look at mine! I don' t think any insurance company would give me much for grossly misshapen sheetmetal! However When you add all the parts and labor I still come up with a truck worth about $8000-$10,000. I don't think any appraisel shop would even consider whipping out a pencil for mine! But you are right for those who have alot of money in the truck. The offset of the price might be worth it!

    "You're right... I don't understand that Jeep thing!"
     
  13. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Dave: I feel bad for you. I just recently had a small one myself...luckily I had gloves on...no fire extinguisher...my gloves were warm afterwards. Something went wrong with a battery...I have 2 BTW since I am Diesel...and all of a sudden lots of smoke out the front. I knew what was going on and the first thing I thought of was the extinguisher..but didn't have one...popped the hood and just started grabbing at flames. it went out..but it sure cost me some wiring. Where would be the best place to mount the extinguisher? I have a CB so right in the middle console won't work, but I need something easily accessable.
    Also I know you had to feel bad abaout watching all them schmucks driving by going "Wow...fire...help...nah..." I had a blow out once and no one would stop to help me..I was really in the ditch..saved it. Fianlly after I was alomost done a guy stopped and helped. I didn't know him. I was a bit freaked a first..thinking..."is this guy gonna rob me and drive off". Nope he whipped out a 4 ton floor jack out the back of his truck and helped me. He told me that he was in a similar situation and he decided that if he saw someone at the side of the road he would stop and help them. I have now put that into my creed of life. I hope you all do to...and do stop for that Br*onc*. He just might pull er dairy aire out one day. Nuf said...

    SK-15
    J**P...it's whats for dinner!
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://SK-15.coloradok5.com>http://SK-15.coloradok5.com</A>
     
  14. undertow

    undertow Registered Member

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    lotsa people mount fire extinguishers on one of the windshield pilars, in-cab.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. jimmyjack

    jimmyjack 1/2 ton status

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    I have mine mounted on the kick panel of my door. It fits right in next to my seat when the door's closed. It's right there when the door is opened.

    creepin' and crawlin'

    Jim
     

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