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Old 02/03/2014, 12:05 PM   #1
Diesel Donna
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Help a sister out please, car fire

Oh man, I just spent fifteen minutes composing a request here and then it got deleted. Here goes again:
My CS caught fire a week ago today. I am finally able to talk about it. No remarks from the peanut gallery please, I just need advice. The adjuster has not even bothered to contact me yet but just as well as I need advice from you guys first. I don't want them to total it, Nobody is taking my car from me. It can be rebuilt and I need everything from the dash forward, including wiring harness, dash pad (mine was 46 years perfect), inner glove box, carpet, everything!
Do I get an itemized list of Ford parts from a Mustang place or what? I never had anything but Ford parts on it before and I don't want any foreign made parts on it now.
My hood may need replacing as well. The flames came through the louvers. Fenders are good as is the bumper, fog lamps and grill. Do I try to dry out the carpet that is soaked and burned...or pull it out? I don't want rust to start in.
The Fire Dept. and Police Dept. almost cried along with me.

Okay you guys can start now.

Last edited by Diesel Donna; 02/09/2014 at 01:14 PM..

My GT/CS was my first car, still have it 43 years later. Paid $800. Featured in the May 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
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Old 02/03/2014, 12:44 PM   #2
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Wow Donna, I am sorry to hear about what happened to your beautiful car. Good news it sounds like she can be brought back. I would definitely get the carpeting out as soon as possible. I'm sure not qualified to tell you what NOS replacement parts are available and to get etc; but I would reach out to someone like Neil who seems to have had great experience restoring California Specials. I've never met the gentleman, but am taking the liberty to suggest he may be able to give you great advice and guidance. I am wishing you the best, and know all will fall back in place.
Sam

it\'s great to own a 68\' ......live free or die
Sam
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Old 02/03/2014, 12:46 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your car. I will leave it to the experts on here for the advice. I will suggest that you get the carpet out of there asap. Good luck!

Steve Cracknell
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Old 02/03/2014, 01:09 PM   #4
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OH, NO !!
My heart sank when I read your post. On the bright side, everything is fixable. First a couple questions: Was the fire caused by electrical, or fuel? What $$ level is the car insured for? (I ask this trying to anticipate what the insurance will declare - totaled or repairable. I'm SURE it will be repairable. Just don't know what the insurance company would allow.)
Take heart my friend. There's more than enough knowledge, expertise and assistance here. We'll have that car up & running.

Neil

PS: Post some photos for evaluation
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Old 02/03/2014, 01:48 PM   #5
Diesel Donna
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Thanks guys. I believe it was a fuel fire more than electrical. I have it over insured for $35k and I have been with the same insurance company for at least 35 years. Neil I still don't think I know how to post pictures but I'll try. Can't you all just come to my house til she's new again? I'll buy the pizza and beer. If only it was that easy huh.

My GT/CS was my first car, still have it 43 years later. Paid $800. Featured in the May 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
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Old 02/03/2014, 02:27 PM   #6
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Here you go.
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Old 02/03/2014, 04:17 PM   #7
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...Oh....Dammit!....So sorry DD.
Looks to be a typical fuel gush from dried up lines, carb o-rings or stuck float that fills the top of the intake w/gas. Small backfire or arching and poof!...

All repairable and I would agree to get the carpet out pronto. Wish there was more to say now than how sorry we are to see this :-(

I've experienced this a number of times without the fire when starting a car that's been sitting for long periods. Most often it's been from dried up connecting tube o-rings on a Holley or a sticky float in a dry bowl. SO so sorry!!

Tim
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Old 02/03/2014, 04:20 PM   #8
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Ouch looks electrical from the photos.
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Old 02/03/2014, 04:47 PM   #9
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On the parts, NOS will be hard to find and $. Have not seen a NOS dash pad in ages, and heard of one recently on Ebay that went for $3k (that is just silly, but capitalism in action, hens teeth...) So some may need to be good used OEM.

Best bet is to cut a check from the insurance company and take it and the car as-is. If they send it to a shop they will not pay for NOS, and the time it would take to find them could be long. They will probably want it cranked out if it goes to a repair shop to close the claim.

All the parts should be available, in time. But I'd go new Alloy Metal for all the wiring. No sense putting another 40+ year old harness in a driver IMO.

Depending on the heat, the hood may be damaged beyond repair. Have a qualified body guy (old school) asses carefully.

Don't throw anything out until you are sure its not restorable/reusable or needed for reference.

Assess the damage, get a list of needed parts together and start looking.

Very sorry for your loss, but as noted it is very fixable. Seen far worse rusted hulks resurrected, this is minor compared to some.

A bit of company from another post here a while ago...

It will get better.
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Old 02/03/2014, 06:42 PM   #10
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First Donna, I'm so sorry that happened to you. I really feel for you.

Second, while you may be tempted to try and save the car from further damage by removing carpet, etc., don't do anything until you and the insurance company have reached an agreement. If you "tamper" with anything, it may give them an excuse to pay less, or not at all.

Third, the headliner, seats, everything inside probably has smoke damage and will have to be replaced. It's going to get expensive, even with reproduction parts. Upholstery and such just isn't available as NOS, so you'll have to wrap your mind around the fact it won't be "all Ford" anymore.

Fourth, if you take a payout from the insurance co., make sure it's for repair and not as a total. Once it's totaled, that shows up on the title forever. If you can work with them, maybe take a little less to put it under the percentage where they automatically total it.

Last, if you aren't in a hurry, you can send the car to me and I'll redo the interior, wiring, engine compartment, etc., and send it back to you to get repainted. We can work out the details, but you won't believe how cheap I work for a friend.

Steve

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Old 02/03/2014, 06:43 PM   #11
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It makes me hurt to see those pictures. As long as a life was not lost every thing else can be fixed or replaced. I have a lot of parts and experience and am here to help just let me know what you need.
Marty

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Old 02/03/2014, 10:16 PM   #12
Diesel Donna
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Thanks so very much everyone. Thanks also to Arlie for posting the images. Now I'll be installing those beautiful Lucas lights I bought from you. Mine are still okay but one of them has had a bb hole or rock chip every since I bought the car and it has started to rust inside from a little water getting in there. The flip side is that my car will look brand new again when it gets done but this will be a long time coming. I think I will be starting an inventory of the parts and costs first. I am thinking the same as Steve, that if I cut out or remove the carpet before the adjuster sees it, they will think I "did" something to it that would compromise the damages.
The whole thing is a bit overwhelming.
I'll keep you all posted and you keep making suggestions. THANK YOU.

Oh yeah...I thought of Joe's car (pictured above) and Marion's fire as well.

My GT/CS was my first car, still have it 43 years later. Paid $800. Featured in the May 1998 issue of Mustang Illustrated.
70 Cadillac S&S Ambulance, 70 Toyota Land Cruiser
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Old 02/04/2014, 12:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Once it's totaled, that shows up on the title forever.
Would respectfully disagree that it affects future value. As long as it is fully disclosed, IMO not a big deal.



This type of massive rust repair is common, and far less than the repairs required on this one.. and no one freaks out that its not going to be worth anything. Only difference is the owner didn't wreck it, just ignored it to near death... I'd worry more about buying a DIY repaired car like this, than Donna's restored car, no matter what the title said.

All it means is the cost to repair was more than the insurance company was willing to pay. When you see cars like this being restored, and resold, its just a part of the hobby that resurrections occur... most buyers will get that. Just document every step with photos and paperwork and its a non-issue...

Example, hypothetically if they say its was only worth, ohh... $5k, and paid that as "totaled". And then it was restored, properly, would anyone here say the car post-repairs is one they would not buy at fair market value? Wouldn't bother me one bit...
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Old 02/04/2014, 06:29 AM   #14
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A couple of years ago the MCA made the decision to not allow any cars on the show field with out a fire extinguisher. There were some that were angered at this decision which is hard for me to understand. Fires are rare but that is little consolation when it is your car or the car next to you. For $20 you could save your car or some one else's. That is pretty cheep insurance. I would urge everyone to have one in their car. Even if it does not save the car it is better than just watching it burn.

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Old 02/04/2014, 06:33 AM   #15
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Donna I would use a shop vac on the carpet and then put some fans on it.

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