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Biturbo fires

Regarding Paul Rollins comments :

>>Another source of fires, which I heard from a reliable source -- an
>>independent mechanic who works almost exclusively on Masers and
>>is the manual choke. Allegedly, leaving the choke on when the engine
>>warm, particularly while idling and stationary, can cause a fire.

Please can we put a stop to these rumours. There is no difference
between a Biturbo choke and any other car's choke - left out when the
engine is warm, it will cause the engine to run rich and (believe me)
you will know about it as the engine coughs and splutters like a good
'un. It will not catch fire just because the choke is left out.

As the carb fed Biturbo use a relatively simple turbo installation
involving a pressurised plenum chamber, poor maintenance (I am talking
about chafed or poorly installed fuel lines, misfitted or missing
gaskets) *might* under some circumstances cause fuel vapour to leak. As
in any car, fuel vapour floating round near spark plugs and hot exhausts
is not a recipe for guaranteed safety.

But note that it is the poor maintenance and not the design of the car
that can cause this. If we wanted to, we could all construct equally
frightening scenarios involving any other car - they all have
"weaknesses" that can be exploited by the terminally stupid.

My carb fed Biturbo has covered 91,000 miles and has never caught fire.
I know a *lot* of Biturbo owners and service shops and have never seen a
Biturbo that just caught fire - even on cars that have hit the scenery
hard enough to push the engine into the passenger compartment.

In the very few cases I have heard of where a Biturbo caught fire, the
cause in 100% of cases was poor maintenance. There is a lesson in there
for all of us - whatever we drive.

George Perfect
Maserati web site at

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