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Porsche Crest Porsche fire hazard statistics

Just discovered a report on car fires from a German insurance institution that should be of interest. Sadly Porsche leads the statistics by a wide margin. Specifically older 911 models show extremely high claim rates (industry average is 1.4 claims per 1,000 vehicles). Even if the relatively small number of registered vehicles and the unknown share of insurance fraud (report estimates 40% !!) makes this statistic somewhat questionable, it certainly is a good warning to all of us to check for fire safety. The main sources of car fires (not specific for Porsche) are reported to be:

27% Engine and/or carburetors
26% Heating and ignition system
18% Cable and radio equipment
29% Exhaust system





Remark: Statistic differentiates between fire and smolder (electrical) which is hard to read in above chart.
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Guenter

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Old 01-30-2006, 01:47 PM
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Lets all buy fire extinguishers!!!! and stick them under the seat
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Old 01-30-2006, 01:53 PM
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Hopefully everyone on this board with a carburetted early car knows when his fuel lines were renewed. All that 30+ year fabric/rubber tubing is a hazard...
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Bill

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Old 01-30-2006, 01:54 PM
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Guys,

The fuel tubing doesn't need to be 30+ years old to crack. When I purchased my Carrera the fuel lines under the intake to the injectors was shot (car was 15yrs old). The PPI found these and begged the owner not to drive the car until it was fixed, luckily he didn't and I had them replaced when I got the car.

I think that we all should check our fuel lines at every major service and replace them if they are over 15 yrs old. I was told if one of the lines had split the fire would probably have been too bad to put out with a regular size extinguisher by the time I would have realized what was happening and gotten stopped etc. From what I have read here and seen with other's cars once the magnesium fan goes you are pretty much out of luck.
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:07 PM
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A lot of times, as a group, we get worked up about safety hazards when there is statistically very little reason to worry.

With fuel/oil/electrical fires, I think the danger is very real. I'm glad this thread was posted, and I'm glad that the German insurance information is available.

It would be a worthwhile Pelican effort to make sure that every pre-1990 911 has a fire extingisher in it.
Old 01-30-2006, 04:13 PM
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Good point, Jack. Yes, I carry a fire extinguisher. I just have to find a mount that I can live with . . .

Late fall, I finally got around to inspecting the fuel lines. Like Daniel, the lines on my 87 are cracked & nasty looking. Now added to the ‘get ready for spring’ projects . . .

Ian
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Old 01-30-2006, 04:32 PM
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I bought my '73 from an insurance auction after it suffered an engine fire. Perfect candidate for the 3.2 swap (with new fuel lines).
Old 01-30-2006, 05:06 PM
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I've watched too many of my friends' old VWs pass away onto the ash heap of history because of a leaky fuel line of flakey wiring. I have mounted a fire extinguisher under the passenger dash of every VW and Porsche I've owned and carry one in the boot opposite the fuse block.
Old 01-30-2006, 07:40 PM
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Don't forget the 928s. They're notorious for the rubber hoses to the fuel injectors bursting. It happened to me and I was really fortunate the car didn't catch fire. I shut it down as soon as I smelled gas. Needless to say, I have a fire extinguisher in the car at all times now.
This poor guy wasn't so lucky!

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Old 01-30-2006, 07:54 PM
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Been there about 3 years ago. A backfire while starting and 30 year old fuel lines. POOF. A mistake I made was: I didn't realize the key was in the "on" position while I was trying to fight the fire. Fuel pump just kept pumping fuel on the fire. I was able to keep it cool with a hose until the Fire Dept. arrived.

Insurance Co. paid out almost $5,000 for the engine to come out, replace all lines, only a few wires, airbox, etc......Lesson learned!

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Old 01-30-2006, 08:23 PM
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Not only early models. I have seen 2 993's with engine fires here in Hong Kong.
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:04 PM
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Gee, I wonder if the wiring scheme that takes power from the battery, runs it to the dash and switches, and then to the fuse panel has anything to do with it?

That is the one hugely stupid engineering idea that I see on these cars. It should be obvious to put the fuses close to the power source.
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:15 AM
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I said this in another post about Porsche's abysmal disregard for *fuses* ( a new concept to them ...it seems) --->

============================================

There are many more electrical areas..Porsche does a really poor job in this category.
- For A/c cars....add the 7.5A fuse kit for the front condenser fan. Another fire hazard.
- add headlight relays, as mentioned
- add upgraded relay with external 16A fuse in smugglers box ( A/c system)...late 70's to late 80's cars.
- oddly *all* relays that Porsche uses ( ex: foglight relay) is fused only on the power side...not on the control side. Quick wire switcheroo will fix this.
- fuse box disaster. Design uses riveted construction of fuse holders that may get loose over the years. At some point in time, take box out, re-tighten or solder the rivet connections. Some of these have "bus-bar" connections that jumper incoming points on the fusebox. Or use external wire jumpers. Best to add external wire jumpers *everywhere* there is a bus connection with no external jumper wire to begin with. This would end up being a duplicate, parallel circuit.
- 930 A/c system gangs too many loads into too few circuits. Steve Grosskemper ( again) ....or was it John Rice..offers suggestions on how to add more fuses to separate these loads and have the wires run cooler. I think this article resides somewhere in the Pelican Tech Article section.
- no headlight relays ( as mentioned)
- other interior lights are still not fused with this mod ( cig lighter...fresh air panel).

I could go on....but I'm getting ill again thinking about all this...and all the work ahead of me to remedy these "excellence expected but not achieved" designs. What did Porsche do?..hire apprentice electrical designers??
====================================

- Wil
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Old 01-31-2006, 04:58 AM
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I posted this on the extiguisher placement thread, then saw this one.

"This thread has gotten me thinking about the best way to put out an engine fire.

It seems to me that opening the engine cover only helps to feed the fire by giving it a new large O2 supply. Has anyone ever left the lid closed, sprayed the extinguisher through the grill, then covered the grill opening to smother the fire? Wouldn't this be a better technique? The engine compartment because of it's fan drawing requirements is a pretty airtight space and if sealed off at the grill....

This obviously would require carrying a suitable, readily accessible, mat of some sort. Maybe the floor mats would work?

OK, now we just need a guinea pig to test my theory. Volunteers take one step forward."

I had a scary incident with my car when the fuel pressure test port cap on the fuel rail unthreaded itself and was spraying gas all over the distributor, spark plugs, and leaking down onto the exhaust manifold. Fortunately I found the cause of the leak before it went up, but it was only a matter of time before it caught.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:02 AM
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It is not just old fuel lines that cause problems. THere are some press fit brass fittings on softer metal carb bodies that can fail over time. I saw this lots in my fire investigation days back in the 80s. This missing fitting was one of the first things I would look for. I even had this happen to me on my Fiat with a Weber carb.
Most of these cars are gone now. THe numbers are skewed a little I feel because most of the other makes cars from the 60s - 80s are scrapped by now, but a good deal of that vintage Porsche are still around. Kevin
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:19 AM
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Check the backup light switch wiring at transmission.....

Last year we were cruising down the road when my wife and I smelled burning wire in the rear of the car. Suddenly the alternator light went on and moments later we were off the side of the road.....dead car!! We were lucky.

What happened was that the backup lights wiring from the switch was not connected properly when the tranny was separated from the engine. Was'nt even taped together!! This is not an uncommon problem on the older models. The wires let loose and as a result a short occurred. The alternator wiring somehow was in the mix and about one-quarter of my rear wiring harness fried in addition to the diodes in the alternator.

Well we had the alternator rebuilt and the wiring harness restored (new wires and connectors - thanx Marc). The shop claimed this was a serious problem overlooked by many who remove the tranny from the engine and do not do a qualified job reconnecting the wiring from the backup switch.

Personnally, if my engine compartment is ablaze, their is more danger opening the hood and exposing yourself to flame then
just letting it roast. Once that engine is engulfed its all over and no fire extinguisher is going to save your car! Maintaining a sound insurance policy and preventive maintenance is the only key to staying steady.

Bob
73.5T - CIS
Old 01-31-2006, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CarreraDan
Guys,

When I purchased my Carrera the fuel lines under the intake to the injectors was shot (car was 15yrs old).
The main fuel line on my 88 was just a smelly drip when I replaced it but it was about to become a 9 mm stream at the pressure determined by the regulator.
Old 01-31-2006, 07:22 AM
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Bump for a good thread with some real data
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:21 AM
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If you do mount a fire extinguisher, do not mount it to the tunnel. Drilling holes in the tunnel can pierce the fuel lines, and other cables, as I and many others before me have found out. It is an incredible pain to fix at best, and you could start a fire at worst.
Old 08-12-2011, 06:09 AM
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I mounted mine in front of the passenger seat. I made a plate that attaches to the seat rails. The only downside is that the extinguisher does not move with the seat, so you cannot have the seat all the way forward. Never beena problem though. I should post some pics of this.
Old 08-12-2011, 06:20 AM
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