407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

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407
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407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by 407 »

So, I have degreased and washed down my 407 V6 engine lots of times in the past with no issues but this time things went a little bit wrong.

Engine was cold, sprayed degreaser to get rid of some oil leaks in the front, washed it down and went away for 5 minutes.

Came back and noticed some smoke and the start of a fire.

Quickly disconnected the battery and then doused with water (thought about using the electrical power fire extinguisher I had just bought but had hose at the ready and plan B was too far away)

On inspection, seems the alternator output cable (which bolts to the top of the alternator - why ? ) had "dropped" closer to the alternator body and the water etc had created enough of a short circuit to get the cable plastic on fire.

Thought about taking half the car apart to change it but just pulled the cable up (and zip tied it to create a bigger gap) and since the car started and had 14.4 v on battery, no real damage done (for now at least)

Some not so happy snaps showing the issue (not my car)
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407 alternator .jpg
407 alternator #2 .jpg
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I know it's a bit late, but I'd never, ever suggest getting water anywhere near the engine compartment. With all the electronics, it is just asking for trouble. Once water gets in the connectors, or the fuse box or circuits, you'll get the dreaded green corrosion and endless problems.
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Ross_K
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by Ross_K »

What, in your opinion, is the best way to remove diesel on the engine?

Like 407 here, I was planning on breaking out the degreaser and power washer this weekend, as the previous owner fixed a fuel leak but didn't tend to the aftermath :-D

Thanks in advance
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myglaren
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by myglaren »

I used gunwash but white spirit works well. Give it time to evaporate before using the car.
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Ross_K
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by Ross_K »

myglaren wrote:
05 Aug 2022, 13:58
I used gunwash but white spirit works well. Give it time to evaporate before using the car.
Thanks myglaren, I 've got a couple of litres of white spirit so I'll give that a go =D>
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myglaren
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by myglaren »

I put some in a spray bottle and some in a tub, used a stiff paint brush to scrub recalcitrant bits and mopped as much as possible up with rags.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No issue using an engine cleaner with a paintbrush or rag, but pressure washing or chucking water over anything inside the engine bay is a no no. I'd just clean and rub off with a damp cloth and let it dry naturally.
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Ross_K
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by Ross_K »

Thanks for the advice guys, never needed to clean a diesel engine before.

Last diesel car I had was a ZX with an XUD9 you could eat your dinner off. This one looks like the Exxon Valdez under the bonnet :rofl2:
MattBLancs
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by MattBLancs »

You'd a better seal on the rocker cover gasket than mine did then (XUD9TE in a 306) it's fair to say that subframe would never have corroded away!

I've recently bought a bottle of "gunk" - a little reticent to use it as can still recall the smell despite probably 20 years since I've used some!

Can also recommend a "paraffin gun" fed with an air compressor. Combined action of paraffin and jet of compressed air very effective (messy though obviously)

Any cleaning product left on is likely to make a bit of a stink when the engine warms up when back in service, but generally no ill effects.

I'm not as cautious as Marc when it comes to water in the engine bay, pressure washer is a bit risky, but a bit of a splash should not be to much of a risk.

Driving through surface water at speed throws water up everywhere engine bay won't stay dry in this scenario so cleaning of a similar level of intensity should be tolerable

Matt
MattBLancs
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Re: 407 - ways to get smoke and fire after wash

Post by MattBLancs »

Just to add, am surprised by the original post - wouldn't have thought possible to get 12 volts to short through water

Matt