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Driving Stuff Henry Built
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Discussion Starter #1
Common sense is gone.

I walked out of the shop today to get some tools out of the truck, & had a 90 something Land Rover slowly drive by. It was smoking & smelling like burning oil. As I came back around the corner, it was parked, the guy was out of sight, & you could see fire behind the right front wheel. I hollered & didn't see him. I have had previous trouble getting a tire fire out with an extinguisher, the car kept burning until the FD got there with water to cool it, so I grabbed the hose this time. Doused the fire.

The guy shows up from who knows where & asks "Was I on fire?" while the steam & smoke is pouring out from underneath. I am standing there holding a dripping garden hose, pointed at his wheel. It was a Bill Engvall moment, but I didn't give him a sign. Should have. He opened the hood. No fire there. As we watched, the fire started behind the wheel again. I kept hosing it down & the fire kept coming back. I tried the back of the tire & the caliper, but it kept restarting. Finally I shot water directly on the axle, got a bunch of steam, & the fire stayed out. Must have been a bearing issue to get that hot there. I don't know much about Land Rovers, but it was really hot right on the axle, close to the wheel. Maybe U-joint related. :shrug I asked the guy if it had some sort of automatic hubs, & he looked lost. Is it 4 wheel drive? "Oh yes" he says with pride.

The guy calls AAA. He is on the phone from then on. They come to tow him off. The tow truck driver explains that his shop is a couple of blocks away, & they could fix it. He points out that the brakes are worn, & that probably was the cause. I went back to work while they talked. I figured I'd talk to the guy when they got around to hooking it up to make sure they did more than just brakes.

It turns out that the plan was to drive the Rover to the shop, instead of towing it. I ran out when I saw the guy at the wheel to drive off, but he drops it in gear before he realizes the brakes are gone. His eyes got huge. He grinds it into park to keep from hitting my boss's truck in front of him, rolls down the window & says with surprise "The brakes are gone!". All I could say was "Uhhh, yeah. Fire there will do that". Why he & the tow driver thought it was a good idea to drive it I'll never know. SO THE GUY DROPS IT IN GEAR & TRIES IT AGAIN. :shocked HE GRINDS IT BACK INTO PARK. I said hey, don't do that anymore, it's really bad for your trans. I grew up hearing stories about people who didn't use the emergency brake when they needed it (My dad was a mechanic). So I had to ask, & it worked fine. My dad will get a kick out of that.

I encouraged the guy to have more than just the brakes done. Where the heat was it didn't seem like it was caused by a brake issue, & the fire in turn probably destroyed the hose, causing his brake failure. He got glassy eyed when I used complicated terms like bearings & axle. They got a roll off, & hauled it away. I went back to work. At least I don't have to get my extinguisher refilled.
 

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House of Windsor 4ever!
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10,464 Posts
Common sense, Hell. He definitely didn't have a brain cell to rub together. If there's a next time, try reminding him that if he collides with something or someone, he's automatically at fault for operating an unsafe/damaged vehicle.
 

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Man of endless projects
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:doh0715::smilie_slap:twak:banghead:enforce:wtf :wacko :slap

theres not enough smilies for that

is gear oil flammable? if the whole axle was that hot it must not be just the braked. maybe the front diff is dieing and just being forced to spin making the heat
 

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says with surprise "The brakes are gone!"....... Priceless !! These Wrangler style LR 90s are great serving trucks but very costly ($20-50k) because so few were imported up to 1995 and now bought up by the cool-factor crowd, which is exactly the kind of ignorant owner you ran into, he was very fortunate to have you nearby to hose him down.
 

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Kitteh Commandaar!
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4,198 Posts
Eh...I'm afraid I'd have left it burn to the ground...could have roasted some marsh-mallows :toothless:

Good on ya for putting it out though...tire fires are a biatch to get out without a tanker load of water...

KC
 

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Roller rockers are gay
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Man of endless projects
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DUH! :doh0715: :smilie_slap :whiteflag :twak :twak :twak :smilie_slap :smilie_slap :smilie_slap
well I mean how hot will it have to be to actually spontaneously catch fire like that. I wouldn't think anything can heat up that much to start a fire without leaving the car undriveable
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
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Discussion Starter #10
I wouldn't think anything can heat up that much to start a fire without leaving the car undriveable
Shouldn't everybody think that? It never crossed my mind that he would jump in & try to drive it. He even called for a tow. :shrug The tow truck driver should have at least had more sense.
 

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What model was it? Was it a boxy 2-door like an old Land Cruiser/early Bronco/Scout (Defender)? Did the roof have a step in it (Discovery)? Did it have round headlights (Range Rover Classic)? Or was it a smooth 4-door with square headlights (Range Rover)?
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
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Discussion Starter #13
I thought it was a Discovery. I overheard the year. Definitely not a Defender or a Classic. I don't know much about them, other than not to drive one that has burned until checking it out/repairing. And that the in tank fuel pump has an easy access cover.

I was hoping you'd show up & figure out what happened to it. Where have you been? :toothless
 

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They probably kicked him off the street corner and made him take off the miniskirt and high heels.
 

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At home. :thumbup

The axle end on those things is a nightmare, and there are a lot of common failures. It could have been a tube seal, wheel bearing, stub bearing, swivel seal, dry CV, or a brake problem.
Really? I've had several Range Rovers and Land Rovers and the axle ends are as simple as they come. It take me, on average, 15 mins for each rear hub to strip down to the axle housing and 30 mins each for the front. The classic RR has a double circuit braking system with 2 hydraulic hoses to each caliper in the front, so losing pressure in either circuit, it will still stop. Its likely that, due to zero maintainence, the caliper has siezed on and burned the rotor up, setting fire to the caliper itself and burning both hoses off (hence no brakes and explain the fire in that area).
My brother's 92 Disco has an identical drivetrain to the classic RR and his still has its original wheel bearings, seals, etc. except for the factory outer stub seals which I removed to allow the diff oil to lubricate the wheel bearings. This car has been flogged over every kind of terrain you can think of, except snow. Its currently at 320,000km and had NO oil leaks from hubs, swivel housings or pinion seals from new. We pull everything every 100,000km and check/adjust/lube etc and its running fine. The ENGINE leaks a shitload of oil, but its running fine, but due for a new cam and lifters soon.
 

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I would of been mad you didn't let it burn to the ground if it was mine. That is the only way to deal with those. :goodfinge
 
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