Fire in the hole! actually, in the truck!

Discussion in '1989 - 1992 Ford Ranger' started by Digitalsam, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Digitalsam

    Digitalsam New Member

    Driving home from work today, I got about 300 yards from the office and smelled burning grass :blink:(grass, not gas). Windows down with the fan going, did not have the A/C on. Wholly Smoke, I thought, the prairie's on fire! I looked around for the fire and started humming the "Ballad of Little Joe". Another 300 yards and the smell was worse, like burning leaves, Ooh, someone is in trouble now, I thought. Suddenly, my vents started smoking, mostly on the passenger side! "Great gobs of goose grease" I yelled as I careened off the road and shut the truck down. I dove, tucked and rolled clear of the cab, just in time for nothing to happen. Feeling a little self conscious, I dusted myself off and stood staring at the car in a stupor. Smoke continued for a few minutes and stopped. Not enough to fill the cab, but enough to worry a fella. It is not steam, the cab smells like a burnt lawn.:furious:

    I popped the hood and saw nothing, the gauge showed engine temp as normal. I called my wife to pick me up and left the truck. It is sitting on the side of the road two miles from the house.

    Any ideas? :( Can I drive the truck home?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
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  3. OP

    Digitalsam New Member


    I gather that there are not a lot of folks who read through the older truck section of this forum.:cry:

    I went online and found posts about leaves in the blower, so I went back to the truck, unplugged the blower motor and drove her home, no problem. Am going to remove the motor and check it tomorrow, but will probably just end up pulling fan fuses and driving with the windows down or a jacket on, depending on the weather.

    So that's that cat. ;)
  4. djfllmn

    djfllmn ^^^ I am Mr. Clean!

    do you clean your cowl out on a regular basis?
  5. OP

    Digitalsam New Member

    Cleaned cowl?

    Since May, I have. The cowl is the black plastic between the hood and windsheld... Right?

    Before that, I doubt it was scooped out much, and the truck was parked under a pine tree. Probably had a lot of needles fall in.

    Would that be how the material enters the blower?
  6. djfllmn

    djfllmn ^^^ I am Mr. Clean!

    yea thats a very high probability...that is where the air intake is for the A/C system
  7. OP

    Digitalsam New Member

    Problem solved... I think.

    Ok, at lunch today, I removed the air filter (simple enough) and pulled the blower motor.

    No sign of leaves or fire. After a bit of digging and feeling, I was able to dislodge a leaf from way inside the blower housing, against the right hand side (looking back from the front) I put my iPod inside the unit and came back with this photo.


    It appears that there is a nook in the housing with a few screws sticking out that caught a lot of leaves and needles. A few minutes with the shopvac seem to have cleared it all. There were a few slightly charred leaves, but not as many as I thought there would be, given the amount of smoke. Maybe I imagined more smoke that there actually was? Smoke is a startling thing.

    So it seems that the problem is solved, though I am still a bit nervous about running the AC just yet. I may go back in this weekend and give it a good running over again.

    Also, I picked up a fire extinguisher that fits behind the seat, just in case:blush:
  8. Jim_Rockford

    Jim_Rockford New Member

    that spring looking thing the leaf is on is the resistor for the fan speeds, they get hot like a heating element, and it was burning that leaf, you are really lucky it didn't catch fire..
  9. wafire

    wafire New Member

    Great Gobs of Goose Grease! Love that post. Laughed my ass off. Leaves shouldn't make that kind of smoke. All your electrical components still work? Lights, fans, blinkers etc? Blower motor might be going bad or the bearings on it might be toast.

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