View Full Version : Fire under hood?

07-04-2014, 09:03 PM
Hope you guys don't mind me sharing my thoughts. There is no real question here.

Before I started the Pertronix and carb, I read a lot of the posts here and almost the entire Tech section. Remember, the car was not running well, missing and barely able to move her own weight although previous owner drove her fine.

I guess I got paranoid about the "backfire and fire under the hood" thing. I know others have pointed out that if these cars were truly a fire threat, there wouldn't be so many around.

Nevertheless, as I replaced all the plugs, wires, cap, rotor, points conversion, etc, I had this "backfire causing a fire" thing foremost in my mind. Since the car has the original hood insulation, I kept thinking about what a Duraflame that could be if something went sideways.

The day I finished the ignition and knew the timing was close, I put the air cleaner back on and completely buttoned her up scared about a backfire and containing the flame. My battery was weak that day and after a couple weak cranks, I just decided to take the carb off and send her away to be rebuilt.

Got her back together and she was having a different "miss" problem. Got her home and found that the brand new rotor somehow was not very tight on the dist shaft. It would move back and forth more than I knew was OK. Put the old one back out and she was smooth.

BUT, every time I was working on her, I was scared to death about starting her without the air cleaner on because of the couple of engine fire stories here.

One time, before I figured out the rotor deal, I pulled one plug wire off at a time to try and locate my missing cylinder. That didn't go well as the last one I removed caused such a stumble, the car died...AND THEN BACKFIRED!!! HOLY HELL. I saw a little smoke coming out of the air cleaner stud and thought I had a fire under the lid. I did not remove it and got a wet towel ready (not prepared properly, obviously).

Anyway, all is good, she runs smooth.
Now I feel confident to start her and adjust without the air cleaner on.

MY long winded point is I was probably worked into a frenzy for no real reason. None of the other cars I have owned (and I have had a bunch) have created such a concern in my mind. I guess not knowing the car, coupled with how nice she is, created a paranoia.

Might need to clean up the small pee stains though.

Happy 4th guys,

Sean Rollins
07-05-2014, 01:56 AM
I too suffered the same paranoia. I found that having a fire extinguisher behind my seat and a good tune up got rid of it though.