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Old 04-05-2016, 04:04 PM   #1
masterfudog
 
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Burned Samurai!

Well, I'm new to the Samurai Adventure, but unfortunately it didn't last! I bought a real nice lifted Samurai, but I wanted some upgrades done to it! Air Lockers, Larger Gas Tank, Power Steering! My brother got me into this, so he hooked up the Samurai for flat tow so I could take it for the work to be done! He set all the gearing the way he does it with his, as well as the previous owner did for 1000's of miles! I towed it about 35 miles with no issues, and dropped it off! After a month, the work shop said it was ready! I would be meeting the owner to go over everything. When I showed up, he was a no show, but his knowledgeable employee was there and went over all the upgrades, as well as walk me through the towing process! He had me put the trans in 2nd gear, put the transfer case in neutral, push the clutch in, start the Samurai, slowly let the clutch out. It didn't stall, and kept running! He said that's how you make sure that it's not in gear, and explained why it had to be in 2nd! He helped me with the tow lights and mentioned how to hard wire them for future tows. Then he cleared me to go. I drove a few miles to the FWY, everything was smooth with no pull or grab. After a few miles on the FWY, about 15 minutes from leaving their shop, the Samurai caught fire and burned. I couldn't put it out with extinguishers, called the guys and the drove out along with the fire dept! When the employee showed up, he was in shock! I mentioned how he walked me through everything, and he confirmed it was good! The owner showed up, and I met him for the first time! He said that it looked like the transfer case was in gear! I said that his guy walked me through everything and said it was good to go! He said to have it towed to their shop so they could check it out! A few days later I called. The owner said that it's all my fault, not their issue! So now I'll have to take legal action. I called the previous owner, and he couldn't believe it! He said he towed it the same way for years, and he said you tow it for 15 minutes after they walked you through it, and it burns! What the heck did they do to it? He said something they did caused this to happen within 15 minutes of picking it up! What do you all think?
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #2
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T-Cases have been know to fall into gear, but most of the time the engine is smoked, or the T-case, trans get wipeout, but I never seen one burn to the ground unless it had an electrical issue.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:15 PM   #3
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T case pops in gear backdriving tranny and motor. Rod exits block, massive oil fire. Not the first time, Always disconnect driveshaft when towing a Sami.
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Old 04-05-2016, 05:20 PM   #4
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You are lucky, some one around here had the Sami flip over at speed causing him to crash.
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Old 04-06-2016, 01:37 PM   #5
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I towed my Sami with the transmission in 2nd, t-case in gear one time. The t-case did not slip into gear, I simply forgot. I towed it up to 45 mph for about 10 miles. When discovered it, I started the engine, and it really smoked. Slowly the smoke cleared. That was about eight months ago. It has been fine since then, with no smoke. Two weeks ago a compression check showed 180 to 185 in all cylinders.

Even if a rod exited the block, I think it highly unlikely the oil would not be on fire.

I question the fire being the result of the t-case being in gear.
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:55 PM   #6
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Unfortunately Wayne, I've been to a few call out where the engine had caught fire. Here is how it fails. When a Sami is flat towed, and the T case slips into gear. The trans is supposed to be in second gear, Sometimes in Reverse. Well the theory is that the engine is turning but not under it's own power. The mains run dry, spins the bearings. This heat causes the oil to vaporize. When a Rod then exits the block the hot vaporized oil get exposed to air, then ignites. If hot enough the heat will case the alloy content of the Magnesium/Aluminum block to also ignite. Bonfire time. (I know they burn because I used a cracked G16B block for a VW style fire.)

Anyway, what he's described though seems different from what I had to re-read. If he felt nothing, and after the fire was out. The sammy T-Case was still in neutral, well then I would start to suspect electrical failure. Something may have shorted from bouncing down the road. Unfortunately there is no way to prove that unless one of us has a PHD in failure analysis and Fire investigation.

All we can do is speculate, and be Forum lawyers...
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:27 PM   #7
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I think it is fair to say anything is possible.
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