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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    16
    Location
    Southeast Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    PT 425

    Default 425 fire hazard

    I'm just posting his to hopefully help others avoid a very nasty incident. I was at a local hydraulics shop to pick up some cylinders for work on Monday. I immediatly noticed a Powertrac 425 setting in front of the shop. The meter only had 88 hours on it, so I asked the repair manager about it as we were loading my cylinders. He told me it had been in a fire caused by spilling gasoline onto the HOT muffler from overfilling the tank. Apparently upon the gas igniteing the operater opened the hood, spilling more gas out of the still open tank. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] The result was a tracter on fire, house on fire, and several fire companys on the scene. Much more excitement than any of us desire. The shop washed the tractor, replaced lots of hoses, and installed a new gas tank mounted over the engine instead of in the hood. After seeing this I am hoping to start all my jobs with a full gas tank to avoid the temptation to fill up immediatly after heavy use while the muffler is very hot.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    2,207
    Location
    Montana (Near Bozeman)
    Tractor
    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    Well said, thanks for the post.
    PJ

  3. #3
    Gold Member smartguyz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    460
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Tractor
    JD318, Power-Trac PT425 with scuffed-up green paint.

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    Eep!

    That sounds dreadful. I have located a decent priced Halon extinguisher for all us PTers. Click here for a manufacturer of Halon Extinguishers that has an ecommerce-enabled site. I just talked to one of their reps - he was quite knowledgable, and the pricing is OK, a little expensive, but any one who has seen what dry chemical does to an engine bay will agree that Halon is the way to go!

    Sincerely,

    Rob [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    974

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    That is what I was warning about a while ago. Start your job with a full tank, but be careful not to overfill it . You can wait for a while for the machine to cool off and it may seem cool enough to refill but with the insulation on the muffler it will hold the heat in longer. I raise the hood of my 425 when I fill it whether it is cold or not. by raising the hood you move the gas tank away for the exhaust pipe. With the hood down with a level in the center of the exhaust pipe the gas cap is only 4 inches away from the level but if you raise the hood it is 36 inches away from the exhaust pipe. I like to fill mine up with the back of the machine backed up on a little incline that wasyI can see when the tank is almost full and can stop before it gets all way to the opening. If you filled it all way to top with it raised the gas would run out at the bottom of the opening and surely you would quit filling at that point. put the cap back on let the hood down. Now take the cap off and you can see that the tank is not filled to the top as you could with the hood down. With the hood down and trying to fill it you also have the fan motor that might get gas on it. Did anyone get hurt in this incident, I hope not. another thing which I know you would do , if you do spill some gas on the hood wipe it off before you let the hood down, and put the cap back on befor e you let the hood down.

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    24,077
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    Yikes! Can't be too careful with gasoline. I believe I already mentioned somewhere that I usually top off the tank before I start my jobs and that gives me 4-5 hours of solid run time. By the time the tractor runs low on fuel, I do too and need to take a break. Eat a meal and enjoy a beverage or two, then top off the tank again and get back to work. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    271
    Location
    Kingston, WA
    Tractor
    JD L130

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    This is clearly a design issue. Here's an idea for PT: how about putting the muffler at the back of the engine compartment? Nobody wants the muffler right behind the operator and right beside the gas tank. Because the PT engine just runs a hydraulic pump it shouldn't be a huge problem to accomodate such a design.

    And while they're at it, how about putting a liquid cooled engine in there. Isn't that what tractors with a similar price point come with?


  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    239
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Power Trac 1430

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    Does anyone know (silly question) if the 1430 and 1445 have the same refill issues with fuel spilling onto hot stuff. i know diesel is much less igniteable, but just curious.

    Thanks

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    974

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    It is good to fill up when you start your job before you start the engine, it is the best way. If you do have a job that takes longer than 4 to 5 hrs. and you need to refill feel the exhaust pipe where the exhaust comes out to judge whether it is cooled down enough. Another reason for raising the hood other than what I have already mentioned is that it is less likely to be overfilled that way. If you fill it up with the hood down you can fill it all the way to the top, when you are running the machine going down hill all the gas will shift toward the front of the machine against the cap, and if sor some reason the gasket in the gas cap leaks a little that can cause you problems.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    577
    Location
    NW Tasmania, Australia
    Tractor
    Kubota F-2880

    Default Re: 425 fire hazard

    There does not seem to be a fuel tank location or spill issue on my 1845 (very similar layout to 1445 and probably 1430).

    The steel fuel tank is mounted to the frame (rear "tub") and not the tilting cover and the muffler is a reasonable distance away. I would still be careful even with diesel to not spill any on a hot muffler, but the fire risk is much less.

    Sedgewood's 1845 fire (summer/fall '03) was most likely electrical in origin, not fuel or hyd oil.

    Speaking of hyd oil, it too can catch fire. Keep all hoses, fitings, and pumps as clean as possible in order to spot and correct leaks as soon as possible. A pinhole-type leak that sprays oil on a very hot surface or other source of ignition can readily catch fire and ruin your day and perhaps PT.

    The 10W30 or 10W40 engine oil that PT uses is somewhat less flamible compared to regular hyd oil, but sprayed under the right (or wrong!) conditions can still be bad news.

    Good luck,

    Rip

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