I have a 1987 toyota 4runner, been running like a champ the whole tour so far. On saturday I'm about 25 miles from Atlantic City and I stop at the last rest area for some stuff. My truck has been burning a tiny bit of oil which I figure is common with an old truck so I checked it and added a little bit BUT I forgot to put the fucking oil cap back on. I drive about 2 miles and then theres a toll plaza to stop at, at which point I notice tons of smoke pouring out of my hood, so I'm like "shit I gotta pull over" and the lady at the toll booth notices obviously and says "you can pull over there and ill call for help" ..... so I pull over in this little parking area quick and imediatley turn the truck off and just out and open the hood. There was so much smoke - and as I opened the hood I see my engine is on fire! the exaust manifold is where the fire was cause it was so hot. I turned in a panic to run for some water bottles in the truck and to add insult to injury, I slip and fall on the pavement cause of all the oil pouring out onto the ground - it was like ice. I got up in a split second, went in the cooler throwing the apple brownies asside (which were on top) grabbed some water bottles and started dumping them over the exaust manifold and put the fire out.
Amazingly there was no damage done, and luckily I had a ton of extra oil to fill it back up. I emptied several water bottles trying to wash as much oil off as I could and then I wiped down as much as I could to. The entire area under my hood is drenched in oil, there was really nothing much I could do without a hose and stuff. Eventually the service guy pulls up and I tell him what happened and stuff and how I think it will be alright, I just put more oil in and was letting it run for a while when I watch to make sure it's not going to catch fire again. He was real cool, although I could tell he was little weary about it to but I convinced him all was well. there was a huge puddle of oily water which he through some speedy dry on - I appolagized and thanked him for his help, I even told him to send me a bill or something to clean up all the oil but he just said "i think it will be fine" and through the stuff on it.
It was still smoking but that's obvious with all the oil I couldn't get off. I was a bit nervous but I drove slow, taking it real easy and listening to the motor, and keeping a close eye for to much smoke which would indicate a fire. It still ran great and I really can't believe no wires or hoses were melted from the fire..... it was right next to a bunch of wires and hoses that I didn't have any extra of. excess oil leaked on the ground for a while ..... there was a huge puddle of it where I parked for the show (serves them right charging me $20 parking) but it stopped dripping eventually which means theres no actual leaks now. On the way up to buffalo I was stopping every 20 miles or so and looking under the hood to make sure it wasn't smoking to bad. It smoked for a while as there was a lot of oil to burn off but the furthur I drove, the less it smoked which was a great sign and now it's barely even smoking anymore - I still have to get it to a car wash though.
the fucked up thing is - I did the same exact thing before and swore it wouldn't happen again (it never caught fire before though). I was sober as can be..... all the precautions I took, having spare parts/fluids/tools in the truck in case of an emergency and then I do something stupid like this which almost cost me my truck and kept me from seeing the last 3 shows of my run. I'm so lucky and definitley caught it just in time, most of you probably don't know exacly what it feels like to see your truck on fire - certainly not a good feeling at all.
at least I know nothing will be rusting anytime soon - there was plenty of oil everywhere before this all happened