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Old 06-04-2016, 09:15 PM   #1
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Porsche 944 Engine Fire

Some of you might remember that I bought a 1988 944 Turbo a few years ago. In short order, it was given to my older son. He loved the car because it was reasonably quick, handled well, and in his words - "it didn't look like an old man's car". He took it to the track a few times but its been his daily driver thru college.

Yesterday morning, he text me saying, "Dad, my car caught fire, call me"!

He drove the car in the morning and all was well. He went out mid-morning, started it up, heard a "pop" from the engine compartment, and saw smoke. He pulled the hood latch and got out and could see flames coming out from under the hood. He pushed the hood back down and called the fire dept. Fire dept arrived in less than 5 mins (the station is just around the corner from where he lives) and they put it out.

No idea what really caused the fire. Car has been running fine for months and he's been driving it almost every day. I am going to take a look at the car tomorrow to see if I can come up with any theories.

The good news is that he's safe and was never in any real danger. That is all a parent really cares about.

As you can see from the photos, it looks like a total loss. My son is kinda bummed out because he really loved that car and because he doesn't really have time to shop for another car since he's getting married in 4 weeks, then going on his honeymoon, then moving - all in time for him to start medical school the first week of August.

He's coming by tomorrow to pick up the spare 325i (so he won't be lacking for something decent to drive) and I'll find out what car he might be thinking of next. Of course, I love car shopping...







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Last edited by thstone; 06-04-2016 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:21 PM   #2
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Noooooooooooooo....that sucks. Good to hear he is okay. Makes me want to go buy a fire extinguisher.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:27 PM   #3
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Makes me want to go buy a fire extinguisher.
Yes, this is a good reminder that you never know what might happen.
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
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Worn fuel lines, seen a few go up like that
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Old 06-04-2016, 10:07 PM   #5
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Yes those cis-e fi high pressure braided lines pop out at the ends and will spray everywhere around coil and spark plug wires.
Thank God he is ok, get him a gt3 or gt4 so he is less sad
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Old 06-05-2016, 04:05 AM   #6
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Old fuel lines are pretty well documented cause of engine fires on the 944.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:41 AM   #7
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Mine had the same engine only N/A. Never had any fuel leaks but it was a well maintained car. Now a leaking p/s rack is a whole different thing.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:48 AM   #8
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removed. Meant no ill will.
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Old 06-05-2016, 06:44 AM   #9
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Mine had the same engine only N/A. Never had any fuel leaks but it was a well maintained car. Now a leaking p/s rack is a whole different thing.
This was also a very well maintained car with no known fuel leaks. Minor oil seep at the RMS. P/S rack was replaced with a rebuilt unit along with all new hoses last year.
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:01 PM   #10
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Glad no one was hurt. Real bummer about the car.
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Old 06-05-2016, 03:22 PM   #11
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Took at a look at the car today. Looks like the fire started on the passenger side near the front of the engine compartment as evidenced by how the paint is most damaged in this location. The lighter paint damage on the driver side was already there and is is a result of 28 years of heat from the turbo slowly baking the paint from the underside of the hood.

As you can see from the bottom photo, the distributor, coil, headlight motor (pop up lights up/down), and power steering reservoir are the major components residing on this side of the car.

The fuel injection/fuel lines are on the top of the engine pretty much square in the middle of the engine compartment. The electric fuel pump is under the car.

To be honest, I am not quite sure what to think regarding the cause of the fire. Of course, nearly impossible to discern much for certain since everything in that area is burned, charred, or melted.



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Old 06-05-2016, 07:15 PM   #12
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I had an injector pop out of the rail and spray my engine bay on a hot day with my 928 and it went bang. Luckily it happened in my driveway and I was able to put it out in minutes and save the car.

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Old 06-05-2016, 07:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thstone View Post
Took at a look at the car today. Looks like the fire started on the passenger side near the front of the engine compartment as evidenced by how the paint is most damaged in this location. The lighter paint damage on the driver side was already there and is is a result of 28 years of heat from the turbo slowly baking the paint from the underside of the hood.

As you can see from the bottom photo, the distributor, coil, headlight motor (pop up lights up/down), and power steering reservoir are the major components residing on this side of the car.

The fuel injection/fuel lines are on the top of the engine pretty much square in the middle of the engine compartment. The electric fuel pump is under the car.

To be honest, I am not quite sure what to think regarding the cause of the fire. Of course, nearly impossible to discern much for certain since everything in that area is burned, charred, or melted.




Anything is possible -- but my money is on the small hose from the fuel dampener to the fuel rail -- these look fine -- but on several of our donor cars you could take off those hoses and see that the elbow of the hose was brittle and you could snap the hoses in two by lightly bending. All my 944's received aftermarket braided replacement hoses for this piece.

Not the exact one I have used -- but similar

944 Fuel Jumper Line - Damper to Rail

or these

FUEL LINES 944T / 944 at LINDSEY RACING - Your Porsche Performance Parts Center

sorry to see it -- but many a turbo has been resurrected with some new rubber and a wiring harness and some new injectors with no major issues afterwards.

Mike
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:46 AM   #14
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Sorry to hear about your son's car. I'm thinking the turbo 944's have that problem more than the NA because half the turbo 944"s I see at the insurance auction are there because of an engine fire. I hope the insurance company doesn't give you any problems. The price of turbo 944's are on the rise and are worth a lot more than the NA cars. I can see them trying to low ball you on it's value
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:53 AM   #15
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I'm glad to hear that everyone is okay. The idea of a Porsche fire has always scared me since my uncle told me about his 914 going up in flames the day he bought it.

Just be sure to be stern with insurance if it's a loss. 944 turbos are absolutely on the rise and I wouldn't be surprised if they offer you the money for a base car that's hardly running on Craigslist.

Goodluck.
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Old 06-06-2016, 06:55 AM   #16
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Glad to hear that everybody is ok!
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Old 07-16-2016, 05:50 AM   #17
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https://www.iaai.com/Vehicles/VehicleDetails.aspx?itemID=22225954&RowNumber=12
It's up for auction. It will probably go pretty high because 944 turbos have been increasing a lot in value over the last 2-3 years
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:13 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsnotanova View Post
Sorry to hear about your son's car. I'm thinking the turbo 944's have that problem more than the NA because half the turbo 944"s I see at the insurance auction are there because of an engine fire. I hope the insurance company doesn't give you any problems. The price of turbo 944's are on the rise and are worth a lot more than the NA cars. I can see them trying to low ball you on it's value
I'm thinking Mr. Stone is going to be giving them problems!


Poor form Timco, really poor form!
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Old 07-16-2016, 10:18 AM   #19
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https://www.iaai.com/Vehicles/VehicleDetails.aspx?itemID=22225954&RowNumber=12
It's up for auction. It will probably go pretty high because 944 turbos have been increasing a lot in value over the last 2-3 years
Nice find Woody! It would make a great parts car.

My son has already bought a replacement - 1998 BMW E36 M3;

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Old 07-16-2016, 10:42 AM   #20
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I'm thinking Mr. Stone is going to be giving them problems!
We, ah.... worked it out with the insurance company.

Their first offer was $8,800. I countered at $18,000. They did what all insurance companies do and lied.

First, they said that a 944 base (which they used for valuation) was the same as a 944 Turbo. Not true. That is like saying that a Boxster base is the same as a Boxster S.

Second, they said they would only use "local" comps. Not true.

Third, they said that they would only use comps within 1 model year. Not true.

Fourth, they said that they could only add value for the cost of the actual replacement engine but not any of the labor. Not true.

At the end of several back and forth discussions, we settled at $15,200.

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