Avoid a fire, everyone should read this

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chrisradioman, May 11, 2014.

  1. The second Bay I ever had, Chug Chug, I put my heart and soul in restoring, when after 2 years he was nearly finished, he suddenly caught fire.
    I wasn't exactly sure why it happened, the insurance assessor said it was the carb float over filling and fuel spilling out. The carb was vaporized in the fire so how would he know this?
    I wasn't convinced.

    I was sure of one thing, a few minutes before I had filled up with fuel and the engine was very hot.
    I had my own theory of what caused the problem:-
    1.) A tank full of fuel is very cold,
    2.) the engine gets very hot
    3.) the heat from the engine warms the fuel
    4.) the fuel warms with the heat
    5.) the fuel vapor leaves the tank through the breather system
    6.) the little red pipe in the diagram was perished
    7.) fuel vapor leaked into the engine bay
    8.) a spark in the engine bay ignited the fuel vapor (either from the brake light or the ignition system)
    9.) by the time the fire starts its too late!


    The Bay I have now also had a perished pipe the frightening thing is I didn't realise until I owned it for nearly 4 years.
    Now every bus owner I meet I ask them if they have changed the pipe, everyone says either yes or I think so.
    When I check (takes 20 secs) its perished.
    Right people open your engine bay, put your hand behind the spare wheel tub on the LHS you will feel a seam, behind this seam you will find the little red pipe, its easy to change and only takes 5 mins.
    You will feel two metal pipes joined together in-line the perished pipe will actually be distorted pulling the pipe nearest the tank down, this aids the flow of fuel from the tank in a capillarity siphoning action.

    Please people check your breathers now and report your findings here!
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    'bellaBus, Bodman, Skcor and 15 others like this.
  2. Moons

    Moons Moderator

    Great post - I'd just add that its my understanding its easier to see/access the red pipe if you remove the left hand side light cluster.
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  3. Your right M8, you can see it easily then. :)
    Moons likes this.
  4. I had to change mine 900 miles from home in Italy when a petrol pump attendant tried to put more fuel than my tank would hold and the petrol was pushed round and came out on that joint and started dripping by the heat exchanger,
    We pushed the van to the side got out my fire extinguisher and sat there while it cooled,
    Changed the broken pipe and carried on,
    Lasty and Chrisradioman like this.
  5. The pipe on the far right is the one hidden up in the vent, it teared off as soon as I pulled it so it was long over due for replacement:-

    This is what I found when I removed my petrol tank:-

    These aare the pipes on top of the tank, very cracked & very perished & couldn't get to the bin quick enough.

    This one is very very dodgy, it ripped as soon as I pulled it. Its probably 30 years old & is the original. Its tucked up above the leisure battery nearside. Up in the vent, easy to get to but hard to see.
    My advice is to change all these ASAP.
    Kkkaty likes this.
  6. You had a lucky escape thankfully. :)
  7. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    Also people with pancake air filters fitted make sure whoever did it tapped the breather system into the air filter properly!!
    76BayPhil and Chrisradioman like this.
  8. Did all of mine when fuel was overflowing from the perished filler vent that it at the top middle of the tank on earlier late bays. Most were a bit crusty, as was the filler neck itself, so I did the lot and clamped them all on as well.

    Cut down the length of the bit of pipe removed to find out if they are really badly cracked. My filler neck looked OK with some very fine cracks - I cut down the pipe and found that these minor cracks were actually nearly all of the way through the thickness of the pipe wall.
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  9. Well done M8, are you lazy people listening get out and sort yours now!
    Dave Maude likes this.
  10. All of Majors was done in February 2013 (including the two tank filler pipes) and the tank to pump and pump to fuel injection system pipes we're changed in March 2011. My plan is to do the fuel pipes again this winter and swap every four years or sooner if necessary
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  11. Nice one @Chrisradioman , I've just had a look at mine and it felt a little perished at one end!
    Managed to get a photo after putting my neck and shoulder out again!:confused:
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  12. There are multiple reasons for engine bay fires I think. perished filler neck, perished fuel pipes in the engine bay, plastic filters in the engine bay, carbs that leak round the bushes, either because the float is knackered or the needle valve is stuck, or the accelerator cable is too tight which has badly worn the spindle bushes. Everything should be checked.
    I reckon the one that gets missed most often is the rubber filler hose. Because people don't want the hassle of removing the engine they leave it. Often it looks ok in situ, but when you remove it you can see thin cracks that go right through the hose meaning that if you brim your tank to get those extra few miles, fuel will be continually seeping through the cracks.
    Chrisradioman and howard64 like this.
  13. That's been changed before, but needs doing again:)
    Chrisradioman and howard64 like this.
  14. Baysearcher

    Baysearcher [secret moderator]

    4 years?
    Even R9 stuff generally lasts less than 12 months!
    brothernumberone likes this.
  15. I've had r6 stuff that has lasted longer than the r9 stuff:confused:
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  16. Looks like I'm getting the engine out next week!!!
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  17. Bloody hell, I'd forgot about the threads posted up about this stuff, thanks for the reminder I'll have a look at the condition later!
    Chrisradioman likes this.
  18. I'm certain I changed all but the filler neck about 18 years ago when I did it's first resto!! Time to do it all again:(
    Chrisradioman and Silver like this.

Share This Page