Fire in the hole!
“Whats that burning smell?” ~ The grave results of a 912E Engine Fire…
As with any car, a ruptured fuel line in the engine bay of a 912 can have disastrous consequences. In addition, the rear engine configuration of these cars has the potential to delay its initial identification – There will be no smoke bellowing from the front of the car, and in a driving scenario with the heater turned off, you may not notice a problem until its well and truly established.
There are three pre-requisites for a fire;
1. OXYGEN The large ventilation grill on the 912 engine cover provides more than enough ‘ram air’ to satisfy this demand, so keep tabs on these fuel and ignition problem areas;
2. FUEL Aside from a carburettor fire, the main culprit here is damaged or perished fuel lines;
We’ve seen a worrying number of 912’s fitted with factory original flexible fuel lines. After forty years, these original lines become perished, fragile and dangerous. The following picture shows one such original line, recently replaced on a daily driving ’67 912. [Notice the factory crimped ends]
This particular fuel line is located on the reverse side of the fan housing, and is therefore often overlooked. Located almost directly above the engines cooling fan, its condition is especially important. The fan on a 912 engine, does a superb job of spraying any leaking fluids around the engine bay – Whether it be oil from a leaky oil cooler, or neat fuel from a perished line.
In this instance, the lines securing clamp had started to chaff through one side of the fragile hose causing it to weep fuel. Once removed, a small amount of pressure actually split the perished hose in half.
Changing the fuel lines and clips on your 912 engine is a simple and very worthwhile task. While you’re at it, fit an inline fuel filter between the fuel outlet pipe and carburettor feed lines.
3. IGNITION Considerations include loose or bare electrical connections to the ignition coil – If these fall off, are they likely to short out and spark next to the fuel pump?
Check the area by the base of the nearside carburettor. The standard configuration has the fuel lines and electrical wires secured in very close proximity – Check the black plastic conduit surrounding the wires for damage and splits.
Are all the fuel line securing clips clean and tight, or corroded and loose? Remember, standard ‘Jubilee’ type hose clips should not be used on fuel lines, they can easily chew up and puncture the line as they’re tightened. Stainless steel fuel line clips are always the preferred option. Plastic cable ties should never be used.
Are the protective rubber boots covering the generator terminals in good condition, or are they perished or even missing? They’re there for a reason.
Finally, it’s worth checking your mechanical fuel pump regularly for any leaks – A fuel leak here has the potential to drip directly onto the hot exhaust lurking beneath it…
A few minutes checking over the basic condition of your engines ancillaries, can save you many hours of heartache at a later date.
(Max Levell runs Revival Cars)
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A BIG thank you to Revival Cars
Many fail to understand how I can part with so much money when it comes to my 912. A recent engine rebuild admittedly hit the wallet hard, but now that it is complete I am left with a smile on my face that would have Jack Nicholson envious when cast as the Joker in Batman. I have concluded that it’s down to an appreciation and love for this beautifully crafted and designed car that enables me to spend endless amounts of money.
Having sailed through the purchase of all engine parts for my 912 I suddenly found myself slightly downhearted when informed that some work carried out on my car had resulted in the front brake caliper having been broken!!! This was a painful and upsetting experience of which I wish to move on from and quickly, as there was no comeback. Stoddard based in Ohio, USA, had supplied me with all engine parts at a reasonable price however informed me that they did not stock brake calipers. I took it upon myself to contact Gavin Joule at the 912 Register to ask for some advice. Gavin very kindly mentioned several suppliers that I should contact, (all of which are listed on the 912 links page).
My worst fears were confirmed; brake calipers are very expensive, especially when you don’t have the original existing one to exchange. After exhausting many contacts I fortunately came into contact with Revival Cars.
I have nothing but praise for this company! Revival cars provided an excellent service with fast and prompt answers to all my queries. The calliper I received was re-built and re-anodized to the highest standard. I had the caliper delivered to my home address within days and it was purchased at a very reasonable price. I simply wanted to take this opportunity to thank Max at Revival Cars for helping me and for fellow 912’ers to seriously consider them should they ever need a brake caliper without burning too much of a big hole in the wallet.
Bring on the summer!!!