Should LR Address these Engine Fires - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 15th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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Robert Ragland
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Should LR Address these Engine Fires

Hearing of yet another engine fire is really disappointing. I'm somewhat curious what everyone's opinion is on this issue.

Many fires do result from high pressure lines needing replacement, and they are wear items. However, let's be realistic, most vehicles do not suffer fires at such a similar rate. Given the occurrence rate considering there were less than 10,000 imported into the U.S., the percentage would have created warning signs at the NHTSA long ago were we speaking of the Explorer or other high volume vehicle. Design can be a contributing factor.

Any thoughts or comments.

Additional Comments added 08/17/05 by Chrisvonc: Apologies to Robert for hitting another one of his posts
East Coast Rovers has been watching this issue in the Defender 110's for some time now but don't have enough information to identify a solid cause. Now with a growing number of 1994 Defender 90's starting to experience what appears to be the same issue, Mike from ECR offered these questions for those of us D90 and D110 owners who have had engine fires:

1. Were the oil cooler lines replaced recently?
2. Was there a trail of engine oil on the ground behind the vehicle, and a puddle where the Rover stopped (was it leaking oil as it rolled to a stop)
3. Does the 90 have AC?
4. Had an oil change been completed recently?
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  #2  
Old August 15th, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Most fires are in the oldest Defenders. Mine is a 93, Chris's is a 94. Allstate, when they paid my claim, said it was faulty maintenance and would not pay for the oil lines (but they did pay for EVERYTHING else! Question: does anyone have their service book, and does it say check/replace oil cooler lines anywhere in one of the service schedules?

DW
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Old August 15th, 2005, 11:36 AM
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Not knowing the actual cause of my engine fire yet so I wont take my personal developments into account here, but going from the round of bad luck a group of fellow forum members had last year, I would think it would be a good idea for people to inspect their lines especially the older/high milage trucks and see what kind of feedback we see.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #4  
Old August 15th, 2005, 11:40 AM
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I've never seen anything in the service manual to address the replacement of the oil lines as a regularly scheduled maintenance item. I'd have to look harder, but I don't think the factory manual even SHOWS the oil cooler lines.

-Hans
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  #5  
Old August 15th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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David Shechter
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you have a very valid point. In fact the import number is much less, somewhere closer to the 6000-7000 range. Perhaps a class action law suit is in order? In addition to my D90, I also have a 97' Toyota 4runner and I get notices about a recall from Toyota about some part that needs to be replaced. I got one as recent as about a year ago. Why can't LR, have a recall and replace the oil cooler lines. God forbid if someone is killed in a fire situation caused by the line going bad. It seems like the 93' 110's and now the 94's are susceptible to these tragedies. It seems apparent that the oil lines are good for about 9 years then they start to go.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 12:15 PM
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What makes me crazy in this country is that whenever something bad happens the first inclination is to look around and see who else we can blame. For those of us who frequent these boards I ask this. How many times in the last year or two have we heard about the fact that we need to check the oil cooler lines b/c they go bad and result in an engine fire. Although, I am seriously bummed out everytime I hear about one I can't help to think that it's our damn fault for not changing or at least checking the motherf*cking hoses that we KNOW go bad.

Should LR have something in the manual - YES.
Should it take a LR sending out a letter to remind us to change the oil cooler lines in order to do it - NO!!!

just my $.02 - Sorry for the rant! Please everyone - go out and change your hoses!
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  #7  
Old August 15th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Just to toss this into the mix, someone just sent me this link:
http://www.eastcoastrover.com/110oillines.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #8  
Old August 15th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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Joe,

Your rant is understandable, but only to a point in my opinion.

Up until a year ago, my truck went in for service at regular intervals to the LR dealer. Never once do I recall this being part of routine service. The schedule for changing out this part should be similar to a timing belt as is on many Japanese cars. Also, I don't believe appearances would be very telling, as many of these hoses collect oil and dirt to such a degree they can't be sufficiently inspected.

Were it not for a message board, most of us would likely not be aware. For what its worth, I imagine many of those with burned trucks weren't, and those 110's don't look neglected. If I brought my truck to the LR dealer every service interval, then had the thing catch fire and be told I didn't do proper maintenance, go figure.
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  #9  
Old August 15th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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What if you're not an enthusiast, what if you're one of the 5000+ people who doesn't hang out on the for D-90 source? Is it fair for them to be driving home from work and have their trucks burst into flames? Yes, everyone here who has not replaced their lines should admit to themselves they are tempting fate and are procrastinating what needs to get done.
LR does need to take responsibility to admit there is a problem and they should address it. The simple solution is to send out a letter and have people bring in their vehicles for a free line replacement. That is the proper way to handle this, by avoiding lawsuits and still maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.
You must realize, (I am by no means an attorney; however, I am a company owner who produces a product) that if this is a frequently occurring problem and someone gets hurt because of it, I would think LR would be very prone to a huge lawsuit.
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  #10  
Old August 15th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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Just another point, I had the breaks go out on our company Ford Explorer last week, I was in the driveway at work so it was no big deal but the real hardline had rusted through and all the break fluid went out the hole, if I had been on the highway (I had just got off the highway) the things might have gone differently. I spoke to the shop that did the work on it and they said it was a common problem.

Has anyone seen fight club? If not it explains how the auto industry handles things like this and decides to pay lawsuits or do a recall.
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  #11  
Old August 15th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisvonc
Just to toss this into the mix, someone just sent me this link:
http://www.eastcoastrover.com/110oillines.html
HA.Try asking ECR what happened to this truck.

It's a burned shell and was recently built. Oil lines were the culprit.
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  #12  
Old August 15th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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I had my oil lines replaced last year just in case, but after what happened to the ECR 110 I don't worry any less. Do you think they didn't put new lines on the rebuild? That wouldn't make much sense. Also, I didn't know the AC lines could cause a fire, is this with the 90 too??
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  #13  
Old August 15th, 2005, 02:46 PM
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Robert Dassler
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I have a couple thoughts.
1) RRClassic share a similar design of oil cooler line arrangement...are there reports of RRClassics having engine fires?
2) 1987/1988 Classics had no engine oil coolers. In 2004, LR made a design change on the D2s and eliminated the engine oil coolers, they said testing revealed that they werent necessary. Has anyone given any thought to just eliminating the oil cooler? It would be a simple matter of removing the sandwich adapter and the lines and pugging the ports on the radiator. My D90 has 167,000 miles and is an early 1994--still running the original hoses---I am considering doing this, especially since I only commute 12 miles a day and only occasionally tow a light trailer and have no A/C. I would think that trucks that are used in temperate or colder climates might actually benefit by not overcooling the oil and being able to burn off more crank case contaminants.
3) Despite having worked as a LR dealer tech for almost 10 years and now owning my own shop, I have no firsthand experience with the engine fires from the oil cooler lines. I have seen PS high pressure hoses develope pinhole leaks and cause flash fires as PS oil is released at 800-1000psi in a fine mist against a hot exhaust manifold. I'm not sure that 30 psi of engine oil pressure would be sufficient to do that--I suspect that it takes a while and that the oil may have to make it's way down the pipe to the converter in order to start to burn.
Rob
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  #14  
Old August 15th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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To answer some questions:

1. Is it fair for them to be driving home from work and have their trucks burst into flames?

Well, if you take it to the dealer, every dealer I know of will point out the lines are leaking (they almost alway leak before they fail) and recommend replacement. So really this is an issue of people not fixing a leak.

2. As far as how common it is, I have to say probably 1/10 of the 93 110s. I have seen so many and there are so few that it almost has to be. Less for 94/95 D90s but we do see some (my POE had a minor fire that was put out before it did any damage).

3. Sue? As a class statute of limitations issue would be the biggest thing. Should there be a TSB? Yes. If I was injured in a fire would I feel like I had an OUTSTANDING case, yes.

Remember 10 years you can still have a recall. Look at the steel gas tanks on early RRCs which were done in 1998.
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  #15  
Old August 15th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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I for one, am thankful for this website. Had it not been for this forum, it never would have occurred to me to replace oil cooler and power steering lines. Having heard of these fires from Doug Walker and others, I became paranoid (having a 94) and replaced these lines earlier this year.

Chris - sorry you had to go through this, it sucks. I thank you for your work keeping this site going and thanks to all who contribute.
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  #16  
Old August 15th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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Robert Ragland
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It seems there are a variety of opinions. I think the following would be reasonable on the part of Land Rover:

A notice detailing which lines have been known to cause, or may cause, fires and the appropriate service interval for their replacement. If they were into the customer service/reputation thing, they might switch them out once free of charge.

From our discussion here, there still remains some debate amongst relatively informed owners (wrong or not, that's beside the point) whether or not oil hoses can cause a fire. A clear warning and guideline must be established. Imagine the uproar if 5% of all Explorers or F-150's caught fire. You would probably see a fire everday on the interstate alone.
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  #17  
Old August 15th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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I think we should try to keep this a fairly technical learning experiance rather than a "he should of/you should have" type of direction. Lets try to get people looking under the hoods and see what the condition of these hoses could look like. Try to identify if there is a real developing problem on the larger picture. As someone pointed out, the people surfing this site only represent a small percent of the Defender owners out there here in the US so we will never get the full picture of whats going on out there but if we can compile enough input, being optimistic, I would like to present the informal findings to LRNA and see if they will at least look at the possibilty of an issue might be surfacing as the NAS Defenders are aging. Which is a must friendlier route/effort I would much rather associate myself with to bring something to our manufactures attention. As I think Ron said, they could always issue a recall regardless of how old the truck is.

I know, wishful thinking but I still like to hope that the friendlier route would produce results.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lriwater: As you know, most wives don't like Series trucks due to the ride and lack of creature comforts. Girlfriends seem to like those, but some sort of magic happens during the wedding ceremony.
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  #18  
Old August 15th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
As with e-mail, what is written on a blog can be taken in different ways. My original point was not to fan flames of anger, but simply to enquire whether the board members saw this as fitting of LR's attention.
Oh dont worry, I didnt take it that way, it was more of a preventive statemeent as sometimes these types of discussions can blow that way
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  #19  
Old August 15th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisvonc
I think we should try to keep this a fairly technical learning experiance rather than a "he should of/you should have" type of direction. Lets try to get people looking under the hoods and see what the condition of these hoses could look like.
I can tell you that my oil cooler lines (the flexible hose part) were definitely leaking when I replaced them. They looked bad.
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  #20  
Old August 15th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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How about someone posting pics of their clean lines connected properly within the engine bay accompanied by a write-up on the value of having these lines changed?
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