Airbag compressor caught fire

Mike Geepers

Mike Geepers

Apprentice
Feb 1, 2018
58
28
18
Cen-Cal
#12
Too high of an amp rating on that breaker for the system?
Maybe because he had viair 440s on, and not sure of replacement brand. But only one side caught fire, while im inclined to agree it may have been arcing, why from the braided hose only? And compressor still pumps air.
 
Rktpwrd

Rktpwrd

Royal Smart Person
Feb 2, 2015
1,750
3,581
113
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
#14
As stated before, check the ground for that compressor. (I’m assuming there’s two)

Depending on how the compressor is mounted (most setups use rubber cushions on the mounts to reduce noise, vibration and harshness), the pump may be “searching” for a path to ground. The braided line you mentioned as it passed through the frame most likely provided the nearest point for a ground.
This “dirty” ground creates a lot of heat and arcing, and most likely started the fire.

I can speak to this issue as I had a similar situation many years ago with a steel braided fuel line. I had insufficient or poor grounds on my engine, and the electrical current took the path of least resistance to ground which just happened to be my braided fuel line.

The indicator that there was a problem was when I noticed a small spot of fuel dripping from underneath the frame rail. The arcing and heat from the fuel line acting as a ground actually melted a small hole in the rubber inside the braided line.
I was EXTREMELY lucky to have found it when I did, my whole car could’ve burned to the ground in spectacular fashion, most likely taking me with it.

Ever since I’ve had a healthy respect for ensuring everything is properly grounded.
Check your grounds, make sure they’re as short as possible if going to the body or chassis, and also make sure they’re of the adequate gauge and on bare metal where they attach. If the manufacturer of the compressors recommends grounding directly to the battery, then do that.

And FWIW, I’m an air compressor tech for a living, and have air ride and compressors on one of my G bodies.
Good luck.
 
Mike Geepers

Mike Geepers

Apprentice
Feb 1, 2018
58
28
18
Cen-Cal
#15
As stated before, check the ground for that compressor. (I’m assuming there’s two)

Depending on how the compressor is mounted (most setups use rubber cushions on the mounts to reduce noise, vibration and harshness), the pump may be “searching” for a path to ground. The braided line you mentioned as it passed through the frame most likely provided the nearest point for a ground.
This “dirty” ground creates a lot of heat and arcing, and most likely started the fire.

I can speak to this issue as I had a similar situation many years ago with a steel braided fuel line. I had insufficient or poor grounds on my engine, and the electrical current took the path of least resistance to ground which just happened to be my braided fuel line.

The indicator that there was a problem was when I noticed a small spot of fuel dripping from underneath the frame rail. The arcing and heat from the fuel line acting as a ground actually melted a small hole in the rubber inside the braided line.
I was EXTREMELY lucky to have found it when I did, my whole car could’ve burned to the ground in spectacular fashion, most likely taking me with it.

Ever since I’ve had a healthy respect for ensuring everything is properly grounded.
Check your grounds, make sure they’re as short as possible if going to the body or chassis, and also make sure they’re of the adequate gauge and on bare metal where they attach. If the manufacturer of the compressors recommends grounding directly to the battery, then do that.

And FWIW, I’m an air compressor tech for a living, and have air ride and compressors on one of my G bodies.
Good luck.
Thank you rocket powered for your input, and everyone else who commented. I like this forum and always find it helpful. I agree with what you are saying, and will check it tomorrow with my friend and rewire it, change braided hoses out for rubber or something else. We both were leaning towards that conclusion, and i come to the forum for confirmation. Again thank you
 
pontiacgp

pontiacgp

Canadian Prime Minister
Mar 31, 2006
23,480
4,222
113
Kitchener, Ontario
#16
If you figure out what caused the fire I'd appreciate it if you could give me the details. I have a friend who has a 2002 1500 that is covered with fire insurance and my friend would really appreciate the info....:whistle:
 

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