How to: Prevent a Fire Hazard! | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

How to: Prevent a Fire Hazard!


It's Always Something!
Staff member
Elite Explorer
August 1, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
94 & 95 XLT's
Fall time=fire hazard time.

After a fire happened in the 94, I had to figure out where it started. After a serious freaking out and pulling off the road to a safe spot, I looked everywhere possible, there was no clue to where the fire was. The cabin filled with smoke and had an aroma of a wood fire.

A phone call was made to a knowledgeable friend and he informed me that a fire can be started in the firewall due to natures debris touching red hot elements on the blower speed control resistor. Apparently the debris from leaves and tree seedlings make their way into the fresh air supply duct work via the hood cowl.

To remedy this and to prevent this from happening to you, here is how to take care of it.

Here is the blower location on a 1st gen (91-94). Passenger side on the firewall, next to the A/C Box, behind the air filter box. The resistor is under the heater core hose's attached to the box that looks like it is covered with aluminum foil.


Remove the airbox vac lines, (noting their placement for install later), then the air box itself, and place aside. Remove the wire connectors on the blower motor, and the resistor which is attached to the right of the blower and on the A/C box.

Remove the blower motor with 3-8mm bolts.


This is what you have after that.


Remove the resistor with 2-8mm bolts.

Here is the fire starter. The resistor for the blower speed control. This is not used for high speed, only for lower speeds. The coils get red hot like on toaster elements.


Here is the fuel for the fire.

Inside the resistor hole. This is the narrow passage that clogs up and where the fire will start.


Inside the blower motor hole.


To clean this mess up, I used compressed air to blow it all out into the blower area as best I could, then used a shop vac to remove the debris.


Thats it. Reinstall the blower motor, the resistor, connect the wiring, install the filter airbox, and test your blower out.

I hope this helps somebody here, as this really gave me a good fright and was in a high traffic situation when this occurred.


Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

good post saw all the junk in mine when I replaced the fan could not belive how much was in there or that it even got in there . glad you were only scared and not left truckless.

very good post

Holy crap this happened to me with my 92. I didn't think to look in the blower motor case I bet it was full of junk. Though mine only smoked real bad through the vents. I'm gonna check out my 94 this sunday now lol.

The vents are where the smoke came out for me also, but the weird part it mostly came out the rear console vents, not the defroster vents as I had it set for floor/defrost, so the back filled first. All kinds of things were racing through my head. Not an ideal situation for being in heavy rush hour traffic.

Gotta wonder about the engineers at Ford sometimes. That is crazy! It's like a population control module in there....

nahhh more like we have are own built in Hooka Pipes :D:smokinfro

thanks for sharing

Great post. I need to get on top of this. Mine sounds like it has something in there.

wow thanks for the solution. I was scared to death when that happened to me. good thing I am free tomorrow.

Wow- just saw this one... I'll have to check this out!

Great informative post ! Wonderful job !

This is something I should do since mine was sitting under some trees for a year before I got it and there is probably a lot of stuff blocking the heater core. Thanks for the good post!

turns out mine was infested with an old rats nest. some leaves smoldered around the resistor which killed it. I think thats the only part that needs replacing. thank you for saving me from a frosted windshield and now having some air inside. :)

Great Post mine started doing the same thing after I changed out the blower motor I did not see any trash in the blower housing put I will check the resistor housing. Thanks for the info I would have never have checked it without your post.

Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!

Did this as my first real work on the vehicle. I'm pretty sure I did this entire job with an 8mm socket and an air hose. It was a good introduction... pulling the airbox showed me the spark plugs. If I can get to the spark plugs, then generally the engine and I will get along.