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Towing story

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by imiceman44, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Well this week end I went down to Pismo beach from sacramento, and since I wanted to take the dirt bike, the K5 and still needed a bunch of stuff for the trip, I decided to flat tow the K5 behind the C20 HD with the dirt bike in the bed.
    Well going down was fine uneventfull, got to Pismo, broke axle ujoints, was sandblasted by the strong winds and sand, so I headed back home friday night/saturday morning 12:30am.
    I pull up the first few grades and the truck has an exhaust leak so it's running rough so I was pushing it hard to get up to speed, after 2 hours driving like that I decided to refill my gas tanks so i could pull straight with no stops till sacramento.
    Well I stop and I see smoke coming out from under the hood, so I pop the hood and I see FIRE /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif I panic since I forgot my fire extinguisher but before i could ask for help (2:30 am???) the heater hose which caught fire too explodes and puts out the fire.
    Turns out the vacuum hoses were touching the exhaust manifold which was worked hard and glowing red and caught fire.
    By the way it's an 85 chevy regular cab long bed with the 350/th400 combo.

    Well after thinking that I was stranded and started kicking the truck, I calmed down and thought I have never been stranded yet, this will not be the first time.
    I look and asses the problem, I could run one hose of vacuum from bits and peaces and hook it to the vacuum advance on the distributor, and plug the rest, I found that I had a tee and I was able to provide vacuum to both the dist and the tranny.
    I plugged all the other ports.
    I shortened the heater hose and hooked it up, put some water in the radiator, and started the truck, it ran fine, even better than before, so I thought cool now I head straight to home.
    Well at first i took it easy, and the terrain became a little easier and finally after 4 hours non stop (thanks to twin 20gallon tanks ) I decided i had 10 more miles to go, I will push it a little. Well it riuns fine for the first 5 minutes then it starts loosing power then 3 miles from home it starts sputtering like I lost some cylinders, I thought fine fire again and it took out my spark plug wires but since I am so close to home i will keep pushing till it explodes, well I get in front of my house and it dies and it coasts to my door. I jump and pop the hood with a gallon of water in my hand, and sure enough, FIRE, so I put it out and check, the passenger side spark plug wires toasted, vacuum lines no trace, vacuum switches disintegrated, and the electric wires running on top of the valve covers are down to bare copper.
    But I made it home.
    fire didn't damage the engine or even the fuel lines, I guess I was a lucky bastard, that probably was my brithday present a new life. /forums/images/graemlins/woot.gif
    Now starts the fun part, fixing it.
    /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    Moral of the story:

    TAKE YOUR TIME AND TAKE BREAKS. You might not need it but the truck sure could.
    /forums/images/graemlins/bow.gif
     
  2. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I always wonder if there was a better way to route everything to prevent that from happening. My plugs are awfully close to the exhaust manifolds.

    I've heard of people running their trucks hard and having "glowing" manifolds- I've never had stock ones, so I dunno. I guess the free-er flowing exhausts helps.

    Close call though!!!Glad you made it back in one piece!
     
  3. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    IL, USA
    Must have cats on the truck. /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif
     
  4. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    Location:
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    [ QUOTE ]
    Must have cats on the truck. /forums/images/graemlins/doah.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Nope.
    85 3/4ton no CATs just EGR.
    I know I have a problem somewhere in my adjustment but it still is a good idea to let your engine breath from time to time, as in take a break.
    /forums/images/graemlins/weld.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grind.gif
     
  5. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    carb running too rich? Manifold combustion? /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif I know nuttin about carbs.
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    WOW! Flaming trucks on the side of the road always scare me. Good luck getting it back together.
     

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