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Old 02-16-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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loud boom and white smoke!

okay so this is a long description and I think I know what happened. but I want to run it by you guys.

so last night I was installing a short ram intake, and cleaned the IACV. after that I decided I wanted to check the plugs and just do a little engine maintenance. it's been so cold and I had the car in the shop I started cleaning the engine bay (409 and paper towels, nothing serious). when I pulled the spark plug wires out the valley was full of anti-freeze. I after I restarted my heart I realized it was from a hose that broke about 200 miles ago. The car doesn't get driven a lot so I had forgotten about it. I soaked it all up and pulled the spark plugs one at a time wiped out the area where the sit and sprayed a little brake parts cleaner or carb cleaner into the threads to flush the just so I didn't have any galling or seizing. I'm paranoid about that. put everything back together cleaned and took it for a 15 minute drive back to the house. I was at my shop. car ran awesome. you could hear the intake a little under harder acceleration. I was pleased.

fast forward to this morning I decided to run up and get stuff to make the family biscuits and gravy, cause I'm awesome like that. car started perfect. I drove to the store and it ran awesome. came out of the store hit the key and BOOOM! sounded like a gunshot and a little puff came out from under the hood. I popped the hood and two of the four plug wires were laying on top of the motor. One was not on the plug any more but still in the hole. and the fourth on the drivers side was still attached like normal. I thought I had shot the spark plugs out or something. after the smoke in the holes cleared everything appeared to be perfectly fine. I didn't understand how that could be. so I reattached everything and it wouldn't start. acted like it had zdero spark. tried like four times and then sat there and thought about it. mainly I was panicking. I decided to turn the key off reset the fuel pump and try again. I did that and it purred to life like every other time I've ever tried to start it. so I didn't jump time or any of the horrible scenarios playing out in my head.

so here is my therory. it doesn't make sense to me but t is the best I got. I'm thinking as I moved left to right cleaning the head I got carb cleaner in the previously cleaned plug. since I only drove a little it was still in there this morning. I have crappy plug wires cause I needed them in a pinch and my steeda wires arent here yet. the plug wire arced and lit that cleaner, hence the white poof? it was clear that the explosion started on the passenger side and that was the first plug I cleaned.


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Old 02-16-2014, 11:44 AM   #2
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Both brake parts cleaner and carb cleaner are pretty volatile. I find it hard to believe that it would stay wet after sitting overnight and two 15 minute drives.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milton View Post
Both brake parts cleaner and carb cleaner are pretty volatile. I find it hard to believe that it would stay wet after sitting overnight and two 15 minute drives.
I agree. that's "the part that doesn't make sense to me"!
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:50 AM   #4
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it wasn't carb cleaner, no way it would stick around that long
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:03 PM   #5
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I just looked t was house brand advanced auto brake parts cleaner.

I'm not saying thats what it was. it's just the only explanation I can come up with. if it was fuel there would be a compression issue or something I would think? or a fuel smell from a leaky line or something. there was no fuel smell of any kind. but it did kind of have a smell of burnt butane. I'm assuming was the cleaner. This is why I posted it up here. I've never had anything like this happen before. it was like 25 degrees here last night. so I guess maybe it didn't evaporate completely.
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:14 PM   #6
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I think your theory is correct. Solvents are indeed volatile, but the plug wells are sealed pretty good, and the combination of cold KC weather and residual oil/antifreeze would have reduced the cleaner's volatility.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my_beautious_ZX3 View Post
I think your theory is correct. Solvents are indeed volatile, but the plug wells are sealed pretty good, and the combination of cold KC weather and residual oil/antifreeze would have reduced the cleaner's volatility.

This is what I'm going with aswell.
I know it doesn't seem correct. But if the plugs aren't damaged and didn't blow out (only the wires did), then there really is no other explanation.

The only thing that helps is that we're not talking explosion from a liquid. We're talking explosion from the vapors. Which the plug boots must have sealed in fairly well.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:59 PM   #8
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man I tell you what... I thought I needed a new engine and a new drivers seat!
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Old 02-16-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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Well lucky for you underroos are cheaper.
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