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Just thinking out loud
 
mattdavis11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Close by
Posts: 5,191
Cam Tower Gasket Failure = FIRE!!

It failed, the gasket ruptured above #3 exhaust port. The gasket is now visibly protruding from the mating surface, but it must have worsened in a hurry. In the span of about 6 miles it went from some smoke, to a lot. Think James Bond. I pulled over and checked it out, and knew what it was then and there. About 3 miles later, the other drivers were letting me know there could be a problem with my car.

My judgment was definitely a bit skewed as I decided to keep going. My only rationale for doing so was if I kept moving, the wind/air would keep the fire to a minimum, and the only fire extinguisher that I KNEW was readily available was at my office. There isn't much open at 8am on Labor Day and I certainly didn't see the guy that was walking his dog and waving me down carrying an extinguisher.

A mile from my destination, I lost the brakes. Rut roh!!! Not many people were on the road, thank goodness. I limped it in using the emergency brake and the engine to slow down.

When I arrived at my destination, I got out and saw small flames under the car. Damn, I was on fire!! I hauled arse into the warehouse, grabbed the extinguisher and put it out. I didn't open the hood for several minutes, I've seen bad things happen when people do that. When I did finally open the hood, I saw no fire, but sprayed it anyway.

After that, I rolled it into a parking spot, loaded my stuff into my company ride, and now here I am posting on pelican how my Labor Day began.

It was pretty uneventful really, but it got the blood flowing. There are some things that probably are fairly crispy, control arm bushing, some vacuum lines, the o2 wiring is likely toast, the brake line, but that stuff can be replaced. I have a spare set of control arms and will swap that side out for one that hasn't been heat treated once again.

But hey, I still haven't been stranded, outside that one time I hit a rock in the road, but that's not the car's fault.

Porsche, there is no substitute, we make cars that will get you there even if it's on fire.
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83 944
91 FJ80
84 Ram Charger

Last edited by mattdavis11; 09-06-2010 at 07:11 AM..
Old 09-06-2010, 07:08 AM
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Sorry to hear that Matt. Fortunately, you were not hurt and you kept your cool under fire. You can rebuild the car I hope. You have just reminded me that I need to go to Princess Auto to purchase a fire extinguisher asap. Brutal finish to a Labour Day weekend... Keep us posted.
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1984 - 944 Black / Wilwood/Brembo brakes / fresh M-474 suspension / Welt 250 lb fronts / 28 mm solid T-bars / M030 bars w Racer's Edge hardware/MSDS headers
Old 09-06-2010, 08:20 AM
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Just thinking out loud
 
mattdavis11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
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The car is fine, it wasn't that bad, it just looked bad from an onlookers stand point. I just returned from looking at it again, and I guess the heat boiled the brake fluid, the reservoir is full and the brake hose shows no damage It'll get replaced anyway.

It was time to check/replace the timing/balance belts anyway, now I have a good excuse to tear it down. In the past, this car hasn't needed much wrenching, which has made it kind of a boring car to own. What's the fun in owning a gas, tires and oil type of car? Wrenching is therapy.
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83 944
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Last edited by mattdavis11; 09-06-2010 at 08:57 AM..
Old 09-06-2010, 08:47 AM
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+1 on getting a fire extinguisher.
This is like about the 4th thread on fires i've read recently.
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79 911SC RoW
"Tornadoes come out of frikkin nowhere. One minute everything is all sunshine and puppies the next thing you know you've got flying cows".- Stomachmonkey
Old 09-06-2010, 08:52 AM
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As crazy as it seems, wrenching can be therapeutic. I get the feeling of accomplishing something. But dang, some of the small stuff can drive a guy crazy. 944s can be quirky sometimes.
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1984 - 944 Black / Wilwood/Brembo brakes / fresh M-474 suspension / Welt 250 lb fronts / 28 mm solid T-bars / M030 bars w Racer's Edge hardware/MSDS headers
Old 09-06-2010, 08:56 AM
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Matt..OUCH, Labor Day weekends are for bar-b-ques, NOT car-b-ques, glad that you are ok, and that the damage seems minimal
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1989 944 NA Glacier Blue - SOLD IT
1989 944 S2 Alpine White T-Boned (totaled) by a lady dressed in a CLOWN costume (RIP ) Apr 89 - Mar 08
1988 944 Turbo S Silver Rose Metallic, K27/6, Vitesse MAF, Tial 38mm DP WG
Semper Fi
Old 09-06-2010, 09:05 AM
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Proprietoristicly Refined
 
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Great outcome matt!

John
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:06 PM
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Just thinking out loud
 
mattdavis11's Avatar
 
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Just an update, what would be a day long project, turned into a long one. I've been busy and the free time I've had, was spent doing something else. I've had all the parts I need for several months, maybe even a year, but I intend to wrench some more today.

I finally broke down and bought a flywheel lock. It's an Arnworx. It's at TDC, the starter is hanging. Now it's time to lock it down and remove the crank bolt. I've done this many times without a lock, so it should be easier.

It ought to be a nice change from helping/doing a/c work.
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83 944
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Old 10-22-2011, 09:34 AM
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