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 Posted: 10-08-2008 05:15 pm
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Joel
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Woe, woe is me. 

I took the cover off my baby, put the vino for the dinner party I was headed to on the passenger seat, and started her up.

3 blocks away the car stalled as I was pulling up to a stop sign.  'That's odd' I thought.  I rolled back a little bit as I was on a slight incline and parked on the side of the road.

About that time I notice SMOKE coming out of the engine bay around the hood!!! Shite!  I grab the extinguisher I keep handily attached to my roll bar and run to open the hood.  Of course the catch has been a little sticky and with the heat I can't get it open.  As I'm dialing 911 (ever dial 911?  they actually ask you to 'press 1 if this is an emergency'!!!  then the woman wanted to talk to me!!! maybe she was lonely and bored?  Anyway, I gave the details - quickly I might add - ask her if she understood and hung up saying 'I don't have time to talk to you - MY CAR IS ON FIRE!!!!') I started throwing important things like the vino (numero UNO!), my ipod, etc out of the car onto the grass of my neighbor's lawn.

As might imagine, black smoke and flames coming from a car attract some attention.  So, a neigbor runs out with an extra hose to put on his spigot in the front yard.  Now I'm back in fire fighting instead of emptying the car mode.  Two other neighbors show up.  I was spraying water under the hood edge and crawling around to spray from the bottom, wheel wells, etc, trying to contain it as much as possible.  With help (one guy pulling on the release, me spraying the hood to keep in cool, and one guy pulling on the hood, we got it open.  I shouldn't forget to mention the slightly portly gentleman who carried the fire extinguisher around and around the car several times frantically trying to find a place to squirt it.  We kept telling him 'don't use that!!' in case we get the hood open and need it. 

With the hood open and the hose we quickly put the fire out - just as the fire truck pulled up. 

I have no idea what happened.  I drove the car about a week or so ago, parked it and put the cover on.  I hadn't opened the hood since then.  From the way the paint bubbled and spread I would guess it started at the carbs - Dell 40's.  It had smelled a little rich under hard acceleration lately but the car wasn't even warmed up and I hadn't run it past an idle. 

I recently put on the upgraded cam pulleys and belt.  The car was running the best it's ever run.  Over the last couple of years I've slowly gotten this girl dialed in.  She was running like a top and with all new suspension components I was screaming around the corners with the Dells singing their pretty song.... Let's just say the neighbors all know me. 

I'll post pictures soon but it's got to be a total loss.  If it hadn't been for the hose the entire car would have gone up.  It was a minute or two away from that in my opinion. 

Let's see what Hagerty has to say. 

Crazy day. 

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 Posted: 10-08-2008 05:42 pm
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jcdean
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Joel,

Sorry to hear this.  I blame Wall Street.  I'm hoping that Hagerty is in a loving mood and if you can't get it repaired, you can at least get it replaced.

Joey

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 Posted: 10-08-2008 08:22 pm
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John Finch
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Joel, likewise sorry to hear of your misfortune. At least you are ok...........

Last edited on 10-08-2008 08:22 pm by John Finch

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 Posted: 10-08-2008 11:00 pm
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Judson Manning
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Joel,

Not once but TWICE I've had aircraft braided stainless steel hoses fail on my DHLAs dripping fuel onto the distributor.   You'd figure with a 1500psi burst strength they'd be overkill for 2-3psi from a regulated fuel pump...but oh no...

Both times I was at home and had started the car with the bonnet up.  The first time I shut it off before flames were sparked but not the second time and my story parallels yours.  Fortunately I was a bit quicker to the hose.

I seriously doubt you could have done anything to prevent this catastrophy, my heart goes out to you.

Judson

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 Posted: 10-08-2008 11:36 pm
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Joel
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Thanks for all the kind words.  I just can't imagine that they won't total this thing.  An adjuster will be out in a day or two. 

Just thinking about the work - if I hire someone to do it - is mind boggling.

Carbs, wiring, paint, ancillary parts (alternator, hoses, brakes), all bushings in the front end, timing belt, check pulleys to see if they're still true, etc, etc. 

And I would think I should tear the engine down to see what I cooked.  I would think all seals would be shot.  And if i got hot enough who knows what else is fried.

If I stick with this and build my next one (remember I have another one sitting here and have been slowly accumulating parts to build a 2.2 with a Toyota tranny) - I think I'll put on a fire suppression system. 

That shite happened FAST!!




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 Posted: 10-09-2008 04:01 am
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Jensen Healey
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Holy Shite! I think I'll park outside instead of in the garage which is under my bedroom!

I hope you figure out the cause so we can prevent such tragedies in the future.

Kurt

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 Posted: 10-09-2008 12:23 pm
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Dan (Florida)
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There certainly seems to be a need for a cover over the distributor to deflect fuel leaks.  My Webers leaked upon install and caught fire with just turning the key on. No damage but  for some fancy footwork.  Maybe just a strip of duct tape over the seam between the distributor cap and body would prevent a lot of  future greif. 

 

dan

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 Posted: 10-09-2008 04:55 pm
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Joel
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If they total this - I'll have a REALLY nice project for sale.  I even have an engine in storage with 40K miles on it.  this car is WAY too nice to scrap.  But, if it's totaled,  I think I'm going to take the opportunity to start work on the other one and let this one go to someone else.  If there is anyone with an initial interest you can contact me off line. 

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 Posted: 10-09-2008 11:29 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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I'm so sorry to hear about that Joel, that's just awful!

I blame Wall Street also and maybe Iceland, but even more – braided fuel lines are perhaps the greatest concentration of evil in the Jensen Healey world. As Judson suggested, they have a very high failure rate. I hear about this all the time. You can run regular fuel line for 30 years without incident, but after a couple years of the braided junk, beware!

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 Posted: 10-09-2008 11:48 pm
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John Kimbrough
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Joel, so sorry to hear about your loss - as you know, I lost my JH recently to a red light runner.  I had Hagerty and they totalled mine.  Great folks to work with. 

My Dells came from Dave Bean Engineering and came with braided gas hoses and they "looked" great.  However, I had removed and replaced the braided hose between the banjo fittings, not because of gas leakage, but because it was so stiff (and long) that it pressed the carbs apart causing air leaks into the manifold.  Guess it was a good to remove the braided hose for more than one reason. 

John

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 Posted: 10-29-2008 01:02 am
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Joel
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Just a quick update.  I've been traveling and hagerty has been taking their time.  I finally got a comment.

And it's kind of silly.  They want me to take it to the repair shop and have them tear it apart.  If the repairs are over 75% of the policy they'll total it - give me the full agreed upon value and pay the shop fees.

They gave me a goofy estimate - that guessed low by at least 100% ($4000) and said they can't figure out what it will cost until I start having the work done - that they can't just estimate. 

So now I finally am home and will start calling shops tomorrow.  I still can't see how a complete engine tear down, paint job, wiring harness, etc, etc could come to $4K. 

What a pain.

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 Posted: 10-29-2008 03:14 am
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Greg Fletcher
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Call Harry at Viking Motorsport in Costa Mesa, he can give you an accurate rebuild cost.

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 Posted: 10-29-2008 12:36 pm
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smcmanus
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The insurance company probably has no data to go on for the JH.  If they total it, they may sell it back to you for a very low price.  My BMW was totalled and my insurance co sold it back to me for $100.  It cost very little for me to repair so I'm still driving it.  I don't know how much of a hassle it is in your AO though to get a rebuilt title.

Have a nice day

Steve

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 Posted: 10-29-2008 03:15 pm
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Joel
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Harry is first on my list. 

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 Posted: 11-21-2008 04:57 pm
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Joel
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Update:

I just got a note from Hagerty.  It's been a bit of a PITA but it looks like they're going to total the car.  Now, I'll plan to concentrate on getting my Jag running. Then I can worry about JH #2.

If anyone is interested in a good deal on a slightly burnt JH please let me know.  This car is in way too good of shape to scrap.  As I said before, I had this car dialed in and I know she had better pull than some of my friends' JH's.  I had no problem running her up to 100mph and did so regularily (like just about every time I drover her). 

I do have a spare engine (40K) that I might be able to part with if someone wants to put her back together.  The car does have an overdrive which makes her very driveable on the the freeway. 

All in all an AWESOME (if slightly burnt) car that I would love to see go to someone who doesn't have too many other projects - like me.  I would put her back together but just don't have time with a 68 jag and another 74JH sitting in my driveway. 

Send me a message and I'll call you.

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