Re: In-the-tank fuel pumps cause death and destruction

Page 8 of 8  
On Fri, 29 Oct 2004 23:17:03 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:
And speaking of vehicle fires -
There is one less Aerostar in Waterloo Ontario tonight - and almost
one less house as well.
An appliance serviceman had his Aerostar parked on a customer's driveway, about 3 feet from the garage door for several hours while on a service call. Just when he was about to leave, the vehicle started on fire. Suspicion is it was a defective ignition switch, subject to recall, that was never replaced.
At any rate, I was on my way home when I saw a plume of black smoke billow up about a block away, so I turned in to see what was going on. The vinyl siding was dripping off the front of the house and the van was fully engaged. People were standing around watching, and I hollered for a garden hose and sprayed down the front of the van, keeping the flames from playing on the house like a blow-torch. It was almost 5 minutes before the fire trucks arrived, and although the truck was a total loss, and the siding and garage door were seriously singed, there was no actual "fire damage" to the house, and no-one was hurt. The plastic fuel tank, under the floor, and separated from a raging inferno by only a single layer of sheet metal, did not melt, burn, leak, or explode.
And the electrical part that started the fire was nowhere close to what we would consider to be a serious fire safety thrat like gasoline - and there were no electrical "loads" connected at the time of the fire.
There have been NUMEROUS confirmed reports of fires being caused on these vehicles from this electrical defect, vs NO confirmed instances that I am aware of, of an intank fuel pump, even in operation, causing a fire.
Note relevance - it was a FORD.
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snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

One other problem with external pumps. Noise. The tank acts as a nice muffler for the pump while. Plus the rubber on the tank straps deaden the sound even more.
My buddy's Nova with an external Holley electric pump whines. Fortunately, you can't hear it over the exhaust. ;)
Ray
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Ray wrote:

Sometimes that has a lot to do with the type of pump. For example, the roller vane type pump is inherently noisy. Often it would be the design of chioce for technical reasons, but the vehicle manufacturer will go with a different type for that reason alone. GM uses roller vanes but very sparingly because of noise.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my adddress with the letter 'x')
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snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

necessary. Some new cars you don't have to drop the tank. I found an Impala web site and the site owner did several how-to's from changing wiper blades to the fuel pump. In the Impala you remove the back seat and then there is a access panel that you remove and then you can pull the pump out from there. I assume other cars would be the same.
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Eugene wrote:

They learned that from the Japanese. I know Subaru and Mazda have been that way for years (and someone else posted Toyota too). I think it is unusual for an "American" car - but good to see thay're wising up.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my adddress with the letter 'x')
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snipped-for-privacy@sny.der.on.ca wrote:

I had to go to a Ford Exporer assy. plant one time when we shipped bad fuel pump product that made it all the way into the assembly line. The Ford guy who was dropping the tanks and swapping out the bad pumps with the Explorers up on a lift was smoking a cigarette the whole time. Gasoline was all over the floor, and the old sender units, dripping with gasoline, were being stacked into cardboard boxes that quickly became totally saturated in fuel to the side of the lift. I was simultaneously shocked and amazed.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my adddress with the letter 'x')
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WAAAAAAAAA!!!!! WAAAAAAA!!!! STUpid cry babies! :)
A Google search found two serious fires, happening on the same day, one fire causing death and the other perhaps a million dollars damage as a result of servicing in-the-tank fuel pumps. Had these fuel pumps been placed externally, as the usual and proven practice for more than 70 years, these accidents would have been prevented. Legislation is badly needed to address this serious design deficiency as professional mechanics as well as amateurs are exposed to deadly danger by a totally unnecessary fuel system configuration. In the meantime, lawyers should file a class action as all manufacturers are currently using dangerous in-tank pumps and millions of cars are affected. This suit is worth billions and billions. At the very least, all cars should be retrofitted with new tanks and external pumps by mechanics wearing fire suits and guarded by fire crews. The changeover will save hundreds of lives and much damages while costing much deserved hundreds of millions of dollars of expense to the responsible capitalist titans, all of whom are totally devoid of industrial ethics.
News Story One:
Thursday, October 28, 2004 Last updated 4:11 a.m. PT
Inhalation of toxins blamed for Des Moines fire death
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
DES MOINES, Wash. -- A man who died in a garage fire after gasoline spilled out of a truck that was being repaired died partly from inhaling toxic fumes, investigators said.
David E. Russ, 61, identified Wednesday as the dead man, also had burns on more than 90 percent of his body, investigators in the King County medical examiner's office said.
Russ and two other men was trying to replace the fuel pump on a pickup truck Monday when the leaking fuel caught fire as the trio tried to push the truck out of a detached garage.
All three ran outside, but Russ went back in and was trapped when the roof collapsed, Fire Battalion Chief Victor Pennington said.
News Story Two:
Local auto dealership heavily damaged in fire By Virgil Cochran Lamar Daily News
Thursday, October 28, 2004 -
Tri-County Ford on Highway 50-287 north of Lamar was severely damaged by a midmorning fire yesterday, but the manager Jeff Travis said the business will be up and running again in just a few days.
Travis and Prowers County Rural Fire Chief Marvin Rosencrans said the fire began when mechanics were attempting to drain a fuel tank on a vehicle in the mechanic shop to replace a fuel pump. A fuel transfer pump developed an electrical short, which triggered the blaze.
It rapidly engulfed the shop area of the building, but everyone managed to get out safely, Travis said.
Tri-County will have temporary office trailers set up on the lot by next week, Travis said, and will be open for sales of new and used vehicles. In the meantime, all automobiles for sale will remain on the lot, and customers are welcome to drop by and shop, and even negotiate deals. But the business won't be able to finalize deals until the temporary offices are set up and computer equipment is up and running again next week.
Travis said Tri-County is also negotiating for temporary headquarters for its mechanic shops, but it may be a few more days before the shop functions of the business are up and running.
Eight cars in the service area were destroyed and the service garage itself was heavily damaged if not totally destroyed, but Rosencrans said damage to the office and parts storage area was limited to mostly smoke and water damage.
Local firefighters were called to the scene about 10:40 a.m. yesterday, and the Prowers Rural Fire Department was assisted by the Lamar, Wiley, and Holly Fire Departments.
As for the existing building, Travis said the business was well insured and that he would meet with insurance adjusters sometime today.
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