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Old 10-24-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
Spennie
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Exploding E36 Mod

I'm not sure how to recreate the mod, but I'll share lastnight's experience (btw E36 part-out coming soon...)

I was at a friend's house in the hot tub for about 2 hours, then I had to leave around 9:30pm because I had to take care of some things at the office early the next morning.

It was cold so as I got my clothes on I fired up my car with the remote start, I heard it start and it was running fine, then the idle started to go funny. It was revving up then revving down really weird. So I peaked outside with a buddy and shut it off with the remote. I assumed it was a voltage regulator issue or something weird like that, never did I dream it was a fuel issue. I hit the remote start again to see if it would fire up and idle normally, and the car exploded into a fireball...

We immediately ran outside and I tried to shut it off with the remote, but it sounded like it was still trying to crank over and start (even while on fire BMW quality prevails) The fire was getting bigger, we couldn't get close enough to the car to open the hood and get at the main fire, nor did any of the fire exstinguishers work, all we had was a garden hose.

I phoned 911 after the first extinguisher didn't work, 3 of the neighbours are volunteer firefighters so they were there quick to get there. We couldn't get it out with their extinguishers or a garden hose so the real fire trucks showed up and it took 3 hoses on the car for about 30 minutes to get it out...

Basically everything from the firewall forward is melted... The interior is fine, the rear is fine but everything is badly smoke damaged. My rims/tires are fine from what I could see, the explosion blew out the passenger side of the car and blew a hole right through the side skirt (I think a backfire started the explosion and it blew out the exhaust manifold)... Either way, the car is totalled. On top of that, I have no fire coverage on my cheap insurance policy, which is fine I'd prolly get more parting the car out anyways, the rims, diff, ACS Skirts/spoiler are okay. The front clip may even be alright because the fire melted the mounts and it fell off on the ground and the fire department moved it away lol...

ANYWAYS: Morale of the story: I am EXTREMELY lucky this did not happen in the garage at the house I Just bought. I am also EXTREMELY lucky I was not in the vehicle or standing near the vehicle when this happened. I'm not sure what caused the problem, but I want everybody to realise that having up-to-date fire extinguishers on hand in and around vehicles is a must. Also, I want people to realise that using a remote start when your vehicle is in a garage or near a house is a bad idea. It is very lucky I did not park closer to my buddy's house or it woulda gone up for sure...

I will upload pics later.

RIP Spennie's AC Schnitzer 325is.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:20 PM   #2
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wow sorry to hear that glad ur ok
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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Damn, sorry to hear man. That's just crazy. My theory as to what happened based on your explanation. During the first start, where the car started to rev up and down, I would suspect a fuel line burst, causing a drop in pressure, hence your idle problem.
Then when you stopped the car, fuel may have dripped onto the starter and/or fuel vapors filled the engine compartment, and when you attempted to start it again, the spark from the high voltage of the starter solenoid/starter motor just lit the fuel up like a fireball.

One of the many reasons I will never have a remote start in any of my cars.
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromius View Post
Damn, sorry to hear man. That's just crazy. My theory as to what happened based on your explanation. During the first start, where the car started to rev up and down, I would suspect a fuel line burst, causing a drop in pressure, hence your idle problem.
Then when you stopped the car, fuel may have dripped onto the starter and/or fuel vapors filled the engine compartment, and when you attempted to start it again, the spark from the high voltage of the starter solenoid/starter motor just lit the fuel up like a fireball.

One of the many reasons I will never have a remote start in any of my cars.

Yeah, I suspect that's what happened as well. It was such a huge explosion it wasn't from a bit of gas dripping, but from a substantial amount.

I guess it's time for me to join the E39 world??
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:49 PM   #5
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that sucks...dude but the best thing is your ok....car can be replaced.....god bless....also I would love to buy some ACS parts from you.

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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that sucks...dude but the best thing is your ok....car can be replaced.....god bless....also I would love to buy some ACS parts from you.

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:56 PM   #7
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I'll have a mint stainless cat-back exhaust system, rear spoiler, rear skirt, front clip (I haven't examined it closely enough to see how badly it's broken).

I'll also have 4 17" Momo IDEA rims with almost brand new rubber on them (Even the front tires are undamaged, that's where we were spraying the water in through). I'll also have some black leather interior goodies, a 3.83 LSD Rear Diff and some other nice stuff.
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:44 PM   #8
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Bum deal. Do you have a for sale thread up for the part out? Let me know, and I'll try to help with the E39 fund.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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See pics attached...

They make me tear up.. lol
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0832.JPG (152.0 KB, 176 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0830.JPG (113.8 KB, 175 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0831.JPG (129.3 KB, 174 views)
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:02 PM   #10
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Shit. That sucks man.
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:19 PM   #11
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sorry to hear.. glad your ok
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:01 AM   #12
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Fenders are burnt up front on both sides, to get that much heat that close to tires = your brand new tires are stupid soft now in spots were it was close to the heat. May be still good enough to burn off in a parking lot somewere, but no more good for the street.
Weird ratio for your diff, that's worth some coin.
Under hood fire isn't common for e36's with their steel gas lines... Wander what the cause was for the initial fuel leak?
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:45 AM   #13
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Wow. Harsh.

Sorry to hear and glad nobody was hurt.

So, what's next? Replacing with another BMW? Are you even going to replace it?

If you can, I'd love to see under hood pics...
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:23 AM   #14
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That is fkn insane!!

glad you & ur buddies house are alright!

my condolances on your car
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Old 10-25-2008, 01:00 PM   #15
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I haven't quite decided what to do... Infamous was nice enough to offer up his black 318 until snow falls, then after that I can scoop a truck from work for the winter...

I do want to replace it with another BMW, it's just horrible horrible timing for me to buy a car, because I'm just finishing buying a house!
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