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Electrical Fire

Discussion in '2wd Pick-Ups C/R 20 2500 C/R 30 3500' started by ty_studer, May 25, 2016.

  1. ty_studer

    ty_studer Junior Member

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    May 25, 2016
    La Grande Oregon
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    I have a 1988 crew cab long bed one ton with a 454 out of a 94 suburban that is carbourated, I did not do this work. I purchased to pickup 2 years ago and the previous owner had it for 9 years and did not do the engine swap either but claimed it was a 496, but I digress. The problem I had/have it the damn thing caught on fire while I was in the school for no more than 10 minuets. I came outside to see smoke coming from the hood, I found a fire extinguisher and got it out. I got lucky and it was only an electrical fire, the issue I have is that it was not running and the ignition was off. The drive from my apartment to the college is no more than a mile and I was no where close to operating temp when I shut him down. I don't know if it started with a wire or inside the distributor itself, because the cap is all melted and now has holes in it as well as that there are wires that got burnt up. I tried to find information on this but found nothing, I think all I will need is a distributor and plug wires as well as a new K&N, and splice in some new wires.
    Has anyone had or heard of this happening, any information would be great thank you.
  2. Rusty Nail

    Rusty Nail Victim of Culture

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    Jan 29, 2015
    Your mom's house
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    C20, K5
    Engine Size:
    350, 350
    Sad news dude.

    I cannot imagine how an "electrical fire" begins in the distributor KOEO, but there may be some other things to consider, which I believe may be more likely culprits.
    I'm no expert but I have some experience.

    There is a ground strap that SHOULD HAVE BEEN present - which is bolted on the back of the driver side cylinder head, toward the firewall. The other end of said strap bolts to the firewall in near the same approximate area where one may find fuel lines IN A '94.

    The terminals on top of/in the distributor cap are very likely BRASS.

    Ground strap is COPPER.

    Fuel line is ALUMINIUM.
    It's mounting bracket is STEEL.

    Ignition coil may produce upwards of 50,000 volts, but not engine OFF.

    I suspect leaking fuel.
    Do you smoke cigarettes by chance?

    1988 1 ton + 94 454, carbed.
    Your fuel line is at the front of the engine?
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

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