Exciting Day When My Van Catches Fire

Monday July 19, 2021 Guerneville CA.

Work to do

I started out working on the cart conversion as I needed to cut the handle off so I could get an inside measurement to try and find something to use to extend the handle about a foot. The power band saw makes quick work of that. So far I haven’t found anything in my junk to extend it but I’ll keep looking.handlecut1


Chopper Work

The chopper moving the hazardous stuff out of the park h as been working most of the day. He’s going in for a drop here.chopper2


Woodchips guys

Later I heard someone whistle out by my gate so I went out to see and it was the woodchip guys with a load and wondered if they could dump it.truck3


They got it dumped and said they’d be bringing two more loads eventually which is likely about all I can take.woodchips4


Big logs

While they were dumping I noticed this spot where a load could go if I moved those logs out so I cut the brush and set to work.logs5


I got my big bar out to move the logs and got them moved by rolling them.logsout


Ready for paint

Then back to do some more welding on the cart. Then I debarred it all so it’s ready for painting.welding6


Then the disaster hit

I wanted to do some work on my old van and get it ready to travel so I  hooked the battery up and got it ready to move to another spot in the yard where I’d work on it, so I had to drive around the yard going about a hundred yards or so.

Black smoke

It started right up so I started off and got a short distance when it died so I tried the key and nothing. However I did notice big black clouds of black smoke coming out of the van towards the rear. Holy shit.

I jumped out and and opened the side door to disconnect the battery and then ran for the hose a short distance away. I didn’t think the small fire extinguisher in the van would be of much help and there was a water hose close by.

Small problem

Only problem was the hose was five feet too short.

However I was able to spray out the fire that was falling under the van and starting the forest debris on fire. I quickly gave that a good soaking.

Thick black smoke

Now I had to move that hose to a closer faucet and get it hooked up which seemed like it was taking a long time while I was watching thick black smoke bellowing out from the van’s engine compartment.

I had to open the van’s engine cover which was quite hot and squirt water in there and I finally got it out and this is just after I put the hose down. The fire was only in the engine compartment and I was fortunate I didn’t start a forest fire. And I only got a couple small burns on some fingers trying to open the engine compartment cover.van7


Fried wires

I had a look into the engine compartment and saw these burned up wires but that wasn’t the cause of the fire.wires8


Gas line leaking

The fire started back by the distributor where the injector gas lines go.
For how much thick black smoke was coming out of there, there seems to be very little damage. A burned up distributor and spark plug wires and gas lines and some fried wires but everything else looks like it might be ok.

The burned up distributor. distributor9


Learned lessons

Lesson learned replace the gas lines with higher quality ones and run them somewhere away from the distributor to avoid sparks. I’ll have to look into my options for better fuel lines.

I wasn’t sure it was a gas leak until I went back where the van was parked and where I started it. A big gas wet spot on the ground with a trail leading away where I drove off.gas10


It could have been a lot worse, for sure, eh.

New hose

Interesting enough I’d bought a longer hose at the store the other day but hadn’t installed it yet.hose11


So I hooked it up.DSC02431


Ross visits

I puttered around the yard when I heard someone at the gate. it was Ross a neighbor that lives up in the hills stopped by for a visit. I took him for a tour around the yard sampling all the plums as we went.
We shot the bull for a bit and he took off for home.

Tom’s tow survive

In the evening I saw my brother Tom go by so I asked him for a tow to move the van where it was headed so he got his machine and towed me to the spot.tom12


The rest of the day I spent chair hopping and just enjoying the evening.

Nice day.

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5 Responses to Exciting Day When My Van Catches Fire

  1. Patrick Brown says:

    Steel fuel lines are really nice, but it’s been decades since manufacturers have used them. Most are plastic these days, and electric fuel pumps running fuel injection can pump a lot of gas quickly.

    Glad you got it out quickly and didn’t get seriously hurt.

  2. Patsy+Irene says:

    Thank goodness you are a quick reactor type of guy! Glad it didn’t get out of hand.
    Enough excitement for one day, EH?

  3. Nancy K says:

    Woohoo … that was some excitement!! Sure glad you got it out and I hope it’s an easy fix!!

  4. Barb in Florida says:

    I guess we know what you will be working on next.
    Sorry about the fire. Glad you weren’t burned too bad
    and got it put out before it got out of hand.
    Wishing you a good day!

  5. Mary says:

    That fire was scary, good that you were able to put it out! I hope your burns heal quickly. -Mary

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