Why do Bobcats catch fire?

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Tazza

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As the topic states, why do these machines actually catch fire?
I bought one that had an engine bay fire about 9 months ago, there was a 863 there that had cooked too, there is another 743 at the yard that has also caught fire. There was a new user that had one that was burnt too.
Is there any reason for this to happen? or is it just plain old bad luck?
From what i have seen in the ones that cooked, they appear to have never been cleaned, masses of oil/dirt in the engine bay that once on fire would fuel the fire quite well. Mine had a nice big copper weld on the chassis just under the engine, but i don't know if this was the cause of the fire or just the wire melting during the fire and eventually shorting out.
The reason i ask, i don't want this to happen to any of my machines. I do try and keep my machines as cleen as i can, there is always a bit of dirt around but never caked up masses. I also try to keep them leak free (not always possible unfortunatly...).
 

Mcharley

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Hey Tazza, When and if you do find out, Would you let me know? I guess I clean mine to much. Now maybe I will not clean my 863 as much. But then again I hate dirty stuff,It also does not look professional when you show up at a project with dirty equipment.On the other hand I will take a dirty bad girl any chance I get.
 

753g

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Hey Tazza, When and if you do find out, Would you let me know? I guess I clean mine to much. Now maybe I will not clean my 863 as much. But then again I hate dirty stuff,It also does not look professional when you show up at a project with dirty equipment.On the other hand I will take a dirty bad girl any chance I get.
it's really simple Tazza the engineers at bobcat care about you and know you need something to do with your free time. In all seriousness I'd agree with the dirtand oily grease build up causing most of these fires, another posibility is people hooking up electrical accessories without fuses or breakers. I've never had a fire in mine or anything even remotly close to overheating. I clean mine frequently outside an inside. Look at my heater install pics. That machine is shiney under the cab/hood.
 

Tazza

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it's really simple Tazza the engineers at bobcat care about you and know you need something to do with your free time. In all seriousness I'd agree with the dirtand oily grease build up causing most of these fires, another posibility is people hooking up electrical accessories without fuses or breakers. I've never had a fire in mine or anything even remotly close to overheating. I clean mine frequently outside an inside. Look at my heater install pics. That machine is shiney under the cab/hood.
You can never clean it too much :)
From what i have been told, there has been a problem with the starter solenoid on the starter motors, you know the copper bit that completes the circuit? from what i have been told, they have had a problem with them breaking off and shorting causing the +ve cable to catch fire. My solenoid worked fine on the one i got after it was cooked so that can't have been the case. Unless the cable was slowly rubbing over time and managed to wear through.
As for un-fused connections, i would never put it past some back yard jobs. But even if that did happen, the wire would burn but really shouldn't cause the whole thing to go up. Mind you, all you need is enough fire to eat a fuel line, then it has all the fuel in your tank to snack on!
I try to keep all my gear clean too, it really doesn't take much to do. Also, its a good thing for you too. If you burst a hose you will reduce the chances of getting crap in your system. Working on a nice clean machine is a dream compaired to one full of crud..... ooh the stories Goodtech will have on this matter! I have seen some shockers, i bet he has seen the same, but worse yet, has had to work on them too.
 

siduramaxde

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You can never clean it too much :)
From what i have been told, there has been a problem with the starter solenoid on the starter motors, you know the copper bit that completes the circuit? from what i have been told, they have had a problem with them breaking off and shorting causing the +ve cable to catch fire. My solenoid worked fine on the one i got after it was cooked so that can't have been the case. Unless the cable was slowly rubbing over time and managed to wear through.
As for un-fused connections, i would never put it past some back yard jobs. But even if that did happen, the wire would burn but really shouldn't cause the whole thing to go up. Mind you, all you need is enough fire to eat a fuel line, then it has all the fuel in your tank to snack on!
I try to keep all my gear clean too, it really doesn't take much to do. Also, its a good thing for you too. If you burst a hose you will reduce the chances of getting crap in your system. Working on a nice clean machine is a dream compaired to one full of crud..... ooh the stories Goodtech will have on this matter! I have seen some shockers, i bet he has seen the same, but worse yet, has had to work on them too.
I have seen one catch fire via a bird/mouse nest built on the turbo. This machine was a 873 and any rubber/plastic or aluminum parts were gone.
 

oiu789

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My 873 was always blowing fuel return hoses on the injectors. I was replacing them with hose from a bobcat dealer. But they did not last long. When they blew there was a mist of fuel all over the engine. I would smell fuel and shut it off. It never caught fire. I think I was lucky. The last time I replaced all of them with heavier line I got at the auto parts store. I think it is used on 6.2 chevy diesels. It has a braided exterior. I have not had any more blow outs since.
 

bobcatguy

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Most that I have heard about involved bird nests on the turbo/exhaust manifold. One I had happen to me personally involved someone replacing a factory steel line to a lift cylinder with a flexible hydraulic line (not me... seriously). The line was right next to the battery and rubbed the positive terminal. Once it wore through the rubber coating and got to the steel braiding it acted as an electric heater which melted the line and caught fire. Oh what fun! I have seen others in sawdust applications that caught fire because the owner didn't take time to blow sawdust out of the machine once they were done spreading the sawdust. It amazes me that people let a 15 or 20 minute job cost them thousands of dollars. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" The plus side is the people who don't take preventative measures keep guys like me who make a living selling low hour used machines in business.
 

bobcatguy

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Most that I have heard about involved bird nests on the turbo/exhaust manifold. One I had happen to me personally involved someone replacing a factory steel line to a lift cylinder with a flexible hydraulic line (not me... seriously). The line was right next to the battery and rubbed the positive terminal. Once it wore through the rubber coating and got to the steel braiding it acted as an electric heater which melted the line and caught fire. Oh what fun! I have seen others in sawdust applications that caught fire because the owner didn't take time to blow sawdust out of the machine once they were done spreading the sawdust. It amazes me that people let a 15 or 20 minute job cost them thousands of dollars. "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" The plus side is the people who don't take preventative measures keep guys like me who make a living selling low hour used machines in business.
oiu789, Bobcat/Deutz came out with a steel line that connected to each return with a small section of hose. If your machine hasn't had this upgrade, I'd recommend doing it. The engine came with soft line originally with t fittings that went to each return IIRC. The steel line is a nice upgrade. I had an 873 that I did this to several years ago and didn't have any troubles with the return lines after.
 

BC873G

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oiu789, Bobcat/Deutz came out with a steel line that connected to each return with a small section of hose. If your machine hasn't had this upgrade, I'd recommend doing it. The engine came with soft line originally with t fittings that went to each return IIRC. The steel line is a nice upgrade. I had an 873 that I did this to several years ago and didn't have any troubles with the return lines after.
Does anyone know the Bobcat part number for this upgrade? Thanks.
 

bobcatguy

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Does anyone know the Bobcat part number for this upgrade? Thanks.
I don't have the PN but if you call your local dealer and ask for the upgraded return line for the Deutz engine they should know what you are looking for.
 

bobcatguy

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There is a serial number break but try this 6675461
Sorry for so many replies but this site doesn't seem to let me edit a post. You can go to the bobcat parts website, enter your serial number and then view parts for your machine.
 

BC873G

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I don't have the PN but if you call your local dealer and ask for the upgraded return line for the Deutz engine they should know what you are looking for.
Thanks, that does look like the part number. I will verify if I have this upgrade already, and if not I will be proactive and get it ordered.
 

bobcatguy

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Thanks, that does look like the part number. I will verify if I have this upgrade already, and if not I will be proactive and get it ordered.
It'll be pretty easy to tell. If you have individual lines with a T fitting for each injector, you don't have the upgraded return line.
 

farmshop

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It'll be pretty easy to tell. If you have individual lines with a T fitting for each injector, you don't have the upgraded return line.
As to the original question my answer would be too much heat too many moving parts in too small of an area. With our machines taking care of livestock they are always full of debris. You can spend an hour power washing and cleaning and still have flammable debris in side. The worst fire we had was on a s175 that blew the oil cooler line apart spraying hot oil on the exhaust. With everything so tight any fire turns into a big problem with the battery and oil lines right there thing get big fast
 

7LBSSMALLIE

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As to the original question my answer would be too much heat too many moving parts in too small of an area. With our machines taking care of livestock they are always full of debris. You can spend an hour power washing and cleaning and still have flammable debris in side. The worst fire we had was on a s175 that blew the oil cooler line apart spraying hot oil on the exhaust. With everything so tight any fire turns into a big problem with the battery and oil lines right there thing get big fast
FIRST ITS NOT THE f WORD ITS A THERMAL EVENT. the only part (in my opion) that gets hot enough to combust other than an elect short. is the turbo typically its a bird nest, opening the rear door and performing a daily inspection (as stated in ops man) will greatly reduce this !!!!! the little #### can build a nest in 4 hrs. and they like turbos why i don't know. it takes five minutes to do a walk around check fluids etc. it aint a car, it requires daily maint.
 
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