The $100k fire - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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The $100k fire

Hi all. I've owned two Cummins-powered pickups, an '05 2500, and a 2015 3500 Mega Cab dually. Guess which one burned to the ground earlier this month, along with a brand new 5th wheel toy hauler i was pulling? Yep, the newer one. I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar situation.

It began when i was starting up a 5% grade on I-84 in eastern Oregon. I had a gradual loss of power over apx 1 mile. My speed dropped from 50mph to less than 20 mph. Equipped with the Aisin auto, i had had no trouble maintaining 50mph while pulling trailers of a similar weight (12k lbs) on that grade in the past. I used the shoulder until i reached the first available exit about 3 miles away. Just before reaching the exit, the check engine light came on along with a message indicating service DPF, see dealer, so i suspected that was why my power was down.

As i came to a stop at the bottom of the offramp, i heard a loud bang, followed by the release of pressure, loud like a locomotive releasing steam, for at least 10 seconds. I could hear the ticking and pinging of hot metal under the passenger floorboard. I pulled to the side and shut off the engine. A brownish, chunky liquid was pouring out onto the snow-covered road. Just after shutting it off, smoke began pouring into the cab and engine compartment. About 10 seconds later i saw flames emerging from under the front of the cab.

I only had time to get my dog, wallet, and phone out before the smoke became overwhelming. I had no chance to separate my trailer from the truck to save it from the fire. It took more than 30 mins for the fire department to arrive. By then the truck and 3/4 of the trailer were destroyed.

My truck was past warranty with over 100k miles on it, but was 100% stock, no deletes or mods. The DPF system had never been serviced in the 17 months i owned the truck. It always regened properly and had half a tank of DEF in it when it caught fire. The check engine light and service DPF message had never come on at any other time except just prior to the fire. It was a cold, snowy day (20F) and the engine and tranny were running at normal temp, even after i lost power. There were no signs of a catastrophic failure looming. At worst i thought i was going to have to tow it to a dealer to get the DPF serviced.

Now i'm dealing with my insurance's fire investigator to rule out arson before i can settle the claim. I want to know if anything like this has happened to fellow Cummins owners with the stock DEF/DPF system intact. Thanks in advance for your input.

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post #2 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 03:44 AM
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Wow, sorry to hear this but your safe and that is what counts.

There was a similar issue with an F450 in Canada recently but didn't end in a catastrophe, they discovered an oil leak from the turbo into the emission system.

Something failed but you will likely never get it figured out unless your insurance pushes the investigation.

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post #3 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 04:03 AM
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That sucks. Glad everyone is ok. Im sure the insurance company will take care of you and the property. I have heard of people burning their stuff to the ground in my area, usually they couldn't afford it and rather than have it repo'd they torch it. So I can see why they could think it was arson. But good luck with them.

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post #4 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 07:18 AM
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What is the warranty on the emissions system?


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post #5 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 07:25 AM
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WOW, Glad you and your dog are ok. Hope the insurance company takes care of your truck and RV. Did you get any pics of it?
Hope everything turns out ok for you.
New truck and new RV in your future.
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post #6 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 07:44 AM
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Sorry to hear that glad you and your dog are safe. i cant even think of what happend to cause the truck to catch on fire.

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post #7 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:01 AM
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This is not good to hear. Are we all driving time bombs now until the DPF is removed? They really need to investigate this situation or DPFs will be disappearing really quickly.

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post #8 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkd01 View Post
This is not good to hear. Are we all driving time bombs now until the DPF is removed? They really need to investigate this situation or DPFs will be disappearing really quickly.
i woundt worry about it as much, plenty of trucks from 2010 and up with way more miles the 100k and they havent exploded yet. if this was a common thing happening i think a lot of manufactures would be sued for this.

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post #9 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:24 AM
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Glad to hear you're ok! Losing your truck and toy hauler out of no where is a real kick to the gut, but in the end it's just stuff. You and your dog are fine, that's all that really matters.

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post #10 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 08:43 AM
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OP:

First off, glad you're safe. I've heard of trailers catching fire but never a truck unless it was in a crash. Did the trailer catch fire first and then spread to the truck? When you realized your truck was on fire, was it on fire under the hood, at the fuel tank, or at the rear of the truck by the DPF? Please post a picture if you have one.

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post #11 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 09:12 AM
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I know in times like this your hands are full, but any chance you had the screen up that shows temps? was any of them high? The pinging underneath was ether heat shield or exhaust system expanding or contraction caused by heat.

that liquid might have been trans fluid; sprayed onto hot exhaust would stand a pretty good chance of catching on fire. DPF don't have any fluid. can't think of much else that could be brownish fluid.
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post #12 of 150 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 09:15 AM
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As has been said, good that you escaped with your dog unharmed.

Reading your description of the events, my first guess is that the turbo failed, ate itself and pumped oil down the exhaust causing the fire.

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