97 4.6 Engine Fire!


Mar 27, 2016
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I feel like an idiot but I caught my passenger side of my 97 4.6 (198K miles) on fire a couple days ago. Here's the back story...

I was getting some random misfire codes (Cylinder #3) and rough idling. So I replaced spark plugs, and checked the coil packs, and wiring. All was good. Drove again at highway speeds, misfire again on cylinder #3. So I figured the next step was replacing the fuel injector in #3 to see if that was an issue. When I pulled the fuel injector the plastic ring at the base of the injector was cracked. So I thought, huh that's interesting. Replaced the fuel injector and went on a test drive. On the test drive, got some rough idling and missing on cylinder #4.

So the problem was moving, and I figured what the heck, I'll throw in a new fuel injector and go from there. This is were I screwed up....

I thought I snapped the injector rail back on all the way and screwed it all down. Fired up the truck to let it idle in the driveway before I took it on a drive. It was then that I noticed flames on the passenger side. Oops! Put out the fire and started to see what damage I did.

1. Main engine wiring harness completely destroyed
2. Vacuum hose line cluster completely melted
3. Fuel injectors toast
4. Spark Plugs and wires

Crispy but didn't burn through the protective cover,
1. Alternator wire
2. Wiring harness going into the firewall towards the interior

Couple questions for the collective hive
1. Is it worth fixing? I redid the heads about 4 years ago (bent intake valves on both sides within 3 months of each other), and we never really got an improvement. Lags in power, burns oil. I haven't done a compression test to verify but that was the next step after fuel injectors. We had discussed putting in a new crate motor this spring/summer.
2. The wiring harness part number is F85B-12B637-P260G. I see older wiring harnesses that have the same "12B637-P260G" but don't have the same prefix. Does that matter?
3. What's the vacuum line cluster part called? I can't seem to find it.
4. When I pulled the intake cover off to pull wiring harness, the driver side rear bolt head snapped, leaving me with a bolt that needs extracting. Obviously this would need to get pulled and replaced as well.

I called a local shop to get an estimate to see if it was even worth making an insurance claim vs fixing myself, and the shop said no way we won't touch it.

Thanks in advance!



Full Access Members
Oct 28, 2018
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File a claim, Seems like it will be alot of work on a 97, how is the rest of the truck !!!! maybe a scrap yard for the wires? not easy finding a unit that old. But you never Know

Don Hall

Full Access Members
Jun 8, 2018
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Be ready though if you file a claim. Doesn't take much to total a 97.
Correct on the TOTAL comment. My 2004 with 19,500 miles (bought new) is valued at
$2500 - KBB). If the numbers work out, and repairs are possible, accept the TOTAL
payment, buy the vehicle back at a much lower price, and repair it.