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I have just had a small fire on my 2000 s-type 3 ltr. It produced smoke, a burning plasticish smell and a small amount of flame from the gap near the front of the inlet manifold. It was put out with a damp towel so definately not a petrol fire but more likely an electrical fault. It is almost impossible to see under the manifold to check what might have caused the problem. Does anyone know what wiring is under the front end of the manifold which could have caused this before I start idsmantling the top of the engine by taking the manifold off.



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Hi Gerald 

my guess would be HT leads to plugs? but as I'm sure you are aware, a fire in the engine bay is a no no! (I'm not sure where the fuel line enters the engine bay?) either way I think the manifold will have to come off, I suppose one advantage is you can check the condition of your plugs etc whilst it's off?



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Thanks for the comments. The car, 2000 plate S-type 3 Ltr, is now fixed. I removed the maniford and found a large black soot mark on the underside above the camshaft position sensor. The wires to the plug on the top of the sensor had shorted to the underside of the manifold and caused the fire. The wires to the sensor come out of the harness and loop along to the sensor which is at the front of the camshaft cover and does not seem to be held down. Hence the short as the wire is long enough to reach the underside of the manifold. Wires now re-insulated and tied down with cable ties to keep them away. Plugs and coils changed while the manifold was off which is an easier job than I thought it would be, just a lot of connectors and pipes to remove and a total of 11 bolts.

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I hope no one else has the same problem. Bit scary at the time but all now OK. The car is nearly 17 years old and the problem had not happened before so other owners probably should now worry. I think the problem may have happened due to a slight missfire at tickover that I have had for some time and could not find the reason for. It did not seem to be much of a problem in driving the car so I did not try too had to solve it. Some people suggested it may be a dodgy spark plug and others thought vacuum pipe leak. I changed the plugs and coils on the right hand bank ( the ones that are easy to get at) with no effect and decided that the left hand ones under the inlet manifold would be too difficult and probably would not cure the missfire so left them. MISTAKE! I have now had to take the manifold off to sort out the fire and found that it is not that difficul a job. ( Remove the windscreen wipers, the plastic panel and the suspension brace and then 11 bolts, 6 multipin connectors and 6 hoses then lift off ). I also changed the plugs and coils on the left side while I had it dismantled and now find that I have cured the missfire. It probably was caused by a dodgy plug.

My thoughts now are that the missfire caused more vibration of the engine than normal and this meant that the wires to the camshaft position sensor were shaken so that hey moved up to touch the underside of the manifold and the vibrations wore through the insulation and caused the fire. Just goes to show that you should sort out what appear to be minor problems before they become much bigger ones 

I hope this reassures other Mark 1 S-type owners, and that this was a hopefully unique occurance.

Have a happy christmas.




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