Question about Dodge Pickup

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Hello 1976 dodge 360 cab/motor motorhome. taking off on road trip i noticed i had no oil pressure. Stoping, i put in two quarts, three all together, looked under motor, nothing out of normal, took off, still know pressure. After a mile, i had oil pressure. Drove 20 miles, climbing altamont pass. Almost to the top, crusing at 60 65, i noticed a slight decrease in power. checked oil gauge, 0. all of a sudden back to normal rpms and oil pressure. At bottom of pass my partner driving behind me, informed me of trailer lights dragging. I pulled off freeway, parked, fixed wires, and when getting into cab, smoke, dark, was spilling out of motor vent., flames, fire deparment, i put it out. what i found was one side of valve cover, the gasget that holds metal tube where i put in oil,pcv valve/hose gone, and # 1 3 spark plug wires were burnt, actually, gone. Also wire harness above area melted, but not completely. nothinh wrong with other side except where, aftter market a/c drip hose was melted half way. From bulk head wire harnes up to melted wires, pased that untouched.everything else not damaged. Sooooooo what do you think? I realise you'd like to see it, etc. but any possible course of action or possibility would be appreciated. the cause of fire is what i need. It's clear what i need to do to fix it. thank you.

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  • janis bettencourt Jul 05, 2010

    thank you Solution was quick,helpful,and easy to understand!Again, thank myou!

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Hello! The most probable cause of fire was a clogged PCV valve...Crankcase gas, being under pressure, will find a way out via a weak seal or gasket in the engine...This creates an oil leak...Ignition for the fire was probably spark in that the PCV and its vacuum line are in close proximity to the distributor...The area of damage supports this conclusion...


Guru.................Saailer

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • janis bettencourt Jul 04, 2010

    And the oil pressure dropping to zero on start up? Coming back and dropping for a second? If you put in too much oil, can that clogg the pvc, spill over and ignite?

  • David Burbee
    David Burbee Jul 04, 2010

    Hello! There is a flaw in the design of the oil pan of your engine...the oil pump is located near the back of the pan...Down in a pocket that can not be drained...Most likely the oil pump was getting plugged from all the sludge that had built-up...This causes oil pressure to drop...

    The plenum pan gasket at the bottom of the intake is noted for leaking...Oil gets into the intake charge and fuel into the crankcase...A clogged PCV valve can cause much the same result...

    Putting in "to much oil" depends on how much...Let's say you added 1-2 quarts over the 5...Pressure would build and be forced through the weakest seal...The possibility of fuel ending up in the crankcase with a sludge plugged PCV valve are rather real...

    #1 Sludge build-up in the pan...#2 PCV plugs from the sludge...#3 Oil + fuel in the crankcase...#4 Forced out through a weak seal and ignites...Probably from distributor...

    Drop the oil pan (tough job) and replace with an after market pan with out the pocket...Or add a second drain plug...Pay attention to the most overlooked item on an engine...Mr. PCV...

    Saailer


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