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Technical Lost my home in the Camp Fire: Salvage Advice appreciated. :(

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by AD_NAPCO, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,946


    So sorry to read about all the lost memories out there, I'd keep the engine, and move on with the rebuild of everything else. Bob
  2. elba
    Joined: Feb 9, 2013
    Posts: 624


    I know it is obvious but make sure that you are insured for a total loss and REPLACEMENT value . Go talk to the insurance person to make sure . A friends Father had an old farm house that wasn't insured and was hit by lightning and burned to the ground .
  3. Exactly.................. Runs or not, still a value to the heart.
    Sorry for what you've gone through.:(
  4. bundoc bob
    Joined: Dec 31, 2015
    Posts: 125

    bundoc bob

    Just had the same experience a year ago last August, made worse by the
    fact it was government caused [which of course they deny.] Everything, and I mean everything was fried. I do regret, however, under the pressure of time, $$$ and no doubt some shock, confusion or inherent stupidity not saving more from my machine shop that could have maybe been salvaged at a later date. Thinking of non heat-treated steel stuff. Hard to mentally keep ahead when a good machine operator is picking up the remains and putting it in the dumptruck, and looking to you for yeah or nay. Wish I could do that part over. Had an OT Gen 3 Hemi powertrain complete, melted the trans and transfer case, the engine short was nearby, upside down and may be good. The heads etc were in a nearby seacan that got half baked, plastic manifold at the far end seems OK and heads were closer to the hot end and maybe OK. Next years decision.

    First phonecall from insurance more or less began with "well, you know you are underinsured..." Moral of the story is read your insurance docs and look at comparables in the local real estate market.
  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,813


    Sorry for your loss of your home and the car/truck stuff.
    I'd have to agree with Pat, I'd drag the engine out and do what I needed to do to preserve it for later when you can decide what to do with it. Even if all you ever doo is sand blast it, paint and reassemble the pieces and mount a bar top on it it is still and will always be the original engine out of your first truck.
    Squablow, tractorguy and 1934coupe like this.
  6. foolthrottle
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 1,108


    One thing to keep in mind is, all that scrap steel has a value, and from the pictures I saw there's a lot of it. Get together with your neighbors and make a deal with a tow company/scraper, in 2012 the average burned car or truck was worth $400.00 here. Be careful cleaning up the site and watch out for scammers.
  7. raven
    Joined: Aug 19, 2002
    Posts: 4,614


    Sorry for your loss. One thing no one has mentioned here is the original engine (235) has the vin stamped on it. I’d keep that around if you were able to get the truck to a safe place.

    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
  8. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,647

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    I managed to salvage some engines, my first ever flathead... the hemi from my roadster. I oiled and greased everything up immediately after the fire. One of my hemi's took a lot more heat than the other... you can tell by how much spring pressure the springs have. If they still have pressure odds are it's fine. You also have the benefit of it cooling slowly vs. a fire department dumping water on stuff afterword. The blocks and heads will most likely survive you'll just need to replace springs keepers and the like...

    Fires suck because unlike a flood they take everything. Very little is left like you're finding out... So sorry man. I will say this... from an optimistic standpoint going forward. Everything that happened to me during my fire was like a fork in the road. It forced change, and most, if not all was a positive change.

    Keep what you can, salvage what you can. I had a burned out torch cart that I rebuilt... I even rebuilt my old engine hoist. Some stuff like my grandfathers 1950 vintage stick welder... its totally burnt out but I kept it. A lot of hand tools I ended up salvaging.

    Some of the puddles of aluminium I saved and remelted into ingots that I plan to cast into something again someday. I wished I had saved more of those puddles... A lot of stuff it was just easier to scrap than to deal with the pain of it all...

    Busy hands will keep you from going crazy. So if at all possible start with the cleanup and go from there... just keep busy. Really sorry this happened to you man let me know if there is any way I can help. For a while, I was obsessed with buying tools back and working towards the next tool to mark off the list. I now have most of my stuff back and then some and have completely rebuilt my roadster beyond where it was when It was lost. A lot of friends and Hambers helped me get started in that quest- so when you get back in a safe place let me know I can send some stuff your way to help you check some things off your list.

    Hope that helps-
    Cosmo49, plan9, HEMI32 and 13 others like this.
  9. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 810


    So sorry for your loss, as time goes on and you start putting things back together you will discover little things that you haden't thought of are still missing, stuff the insurance diden't cover or that was overlooked. Make a list, I know that I have a lot of extra stuff I don't really need and would be willing to help out, don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask your H.A.M.B. friends for help, we are here for you , that is how this place works!
    porkshop, Tuck and alanp561 like this.
  10. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,980

    from Michigan

    Good to get the various viewpoints from everybody about how to deal with it emotionally...slow and meticulous vs fast and done, etc. Trash it vs keep it, etc. Yet, the idea of whatever is right for you.
    My 2 cents...
    I agree that the block and head might still be ok.
    Also, they say that you shouldn't let go of stuff you don't have to right away to avoid regretting being too hasty. Some things can maybe be held onto for a while and then let go of later if you decide to do that.
    I'm thinking that not only might it be good to hang onto the engine even if it doesn't ever run again...
    ...but also, that if you ever did get it running, it would mean even more to you, considering everything that's happened.
    Good luck. Prayers for you and everybody out there.
    Tuck likes this.
  11. raidmagic
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 1,438


    This post sums up what I was going to offer. Sorry you've had to go through this.
  12. Tuck
    Joined: May 14, 2001
    Posts: 5,647

    Tech Editor
    from MINNESOTA
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    <---- This Quote :)
  13. rgdavid
    Joined: Feb 3, 2014
    Posts: 347


    Its obviously very special to you, its a connection and souvernir of your dad,
    Save the moter, wash it down, grease it up and put it in a box,
    One day when your family is back on its feet, 10 yrs, 15, 20 yrs, rip that box open and smile at the memories of your dad, or just look at it now and again, i hope that in the future this will make you smile, really sorry for your losses,
  14. AD_NAPCO
    Joined: Mar 14, 2008
    Posts: 415


    Thanks everyone for the condolences, sound advice, and good thoughts, and offers of help with replacing things. I really appreciate all of it.

    Unfortunately this was a total loss and everything I had ever had was in that house and shop. @F&J yes all of my Olds parts were in the shop and burned. There are puddles of aluminum everywhere. There is melted glass everywhere. I'm fairly certain that glass destabilizes and slumps at around 2,600 degrees Farenheit. The windshield in my 56 GMC NAPCO pickup when cooled looked like Karo Syrup pouring over the dash in suspended animation...
    The valve cover and side cover on the 235 show no signs of warping so maybe it escaped the worst of the heat. I will spend no more than two or three days up there sifting for anything that might be left in the ash of the house and miscellaneous parts in the shop. Unfortunately I don't have anyone close by that I can lean on to help me with the heavier stuff and just creating access to those pieces is going to be a major chore in and of itself.
    I'm having to shelter with family in Ventura, which is about 500 miles south of my property in Paradise. So I'm up against distance, and time, as I do need to get on the ball about getting back to work, but also need to take the time to deal with this before the winter rains set in.

    As far as insurance coverage goes... I could kill my insurance agent. When I told him I had a lot of valuable parts, tools, etc. and the nature of what I had in my shop, he just said " we'll just pump your coverage amount up." So I had $194,000 ( I have no idea how they come up with these numbers, I just know the next step up seemed like a waste of premium at the time ) in personal property coverage which I figured would be more than enough to cover everything I had. Well, it turns out what he should have said was " You need riders and schedules of all of that stuff because it all falls under a section called 'Limits of Liability.' Well the bastard didn't say that. So my policy covers $2,000 total in tools, $1,000 total of antiques or anything that derives it's value from age or collectibility, $500 for computer parts... I am LIVID about that part of the policy. I can't figure out why the guy didn't tell me what I needed to have in order to make sure all that stuff was covered against loss. It'd only have made him a higher commission on the value of the policy. So I'll be fighting with them over that. Who the hell are they to tell me that the coverage amount I paid for only has value to the stuff they deem valuable?

    Attached is a pic of part of what's left of my shop and my burned up 56 in the back ground. It was parked behind the shop. It looks like the fire moved fast enough that the NAPCO running gear might be salvageable.

    I really don't know how I'm going to do this.

    I'm not usually one to be intimidated by a task but honestly this is pretty overwhelming. I'm getting the brakes done on my 2006 GMC today and once that's all taken care of I'll be heading back up there. :(

    Attached Files:

    tractorguy likes this.
  15. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,980

    from Michigan

    Lord in heaven...
    Life is testing you...that's for sure.
    Won't be easy, but you're gonna move your ass and pass with flying colors.
    There's a time and place for everything. Now's the time to ask for help from anywhere and anybody you can get it. I only wish I could offer more than encouragement.
    God bless.
  16. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    of course you will deal with must and will, as far in the future,... your children will always remember how Dad manned up. ..(my own son told me the same words a couple weeks ago and i'm sure his thoughts will help you)
    belair likes this.
  17. Gasserfreak
    Joined: Aug 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,340

    from Yuma, AZ

    As many other have said, Sorry for Lose. A friend of mine lost his cars in the 07' fires in San Diego, he was able to salvage the blocks and heads of all 3 Ford 427s (the 2 R Code cars are gone forever) and 2 of the three motors are back on streets in other cars.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  18. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,980

    from Michigan

    "Dad manned-up..."
    There's a country song in there somewhere...
    raven likes this.
  19. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 6,980

    from Michigan

    The fire of '18
    It took a lot of people down
    You should've seen the devastation
    It almost burned our whole damn town

    My ma just looked up at my dad
    She said what are we gonna do?
    He looked down at her with loving eyes
    And said I'm gonna do what I always do...
    I'm gonna take care of the kids and you

    Now my pa took that big bull by the horns
    He grabbed the world by its tail
    I never ever saw him move quite like that
    He was a man hot on life's trail !!!

    Now my father had always had taught me
    Sometimes it's hardest to just stand up
    But my good ol' pa did a whole lot more
    No matter what life ever had in store
    My pa...he manned up
    partssaloon, porkshop and F&J like this.
  20. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 14,912


    Wow, that's rough, really sorry to hear it. I like the idea of saving whatever looks like it can be saved, including the engine even if it only becomes a display part, why let the fire take every single thing if it doesn't have to.

    Also, I am going to review my insurance policy on my shop and house after seeing and hearing about these troubles. Even here in cold, wet, rainy Wisconsin, fire is always a possibility and I'd hate to find out they don't value any of my stuff afterwards.
    Tuck likes this.
  21. The picture you posted is a heartbreak. I don't even personally know anyone that has suffered a loss like what you have experienced. I know that losses like yours happen as a result of storms, fires, earthquakes, and other natural events, but your story and the picture you posted makes the experience personal to me.
    I understand that your present situation makes it almost impossible to properly sift through the mess for anything worthwhile, but because of the sentimental value, I personally would stabilize the 235 as much as possible for a rebuild or yard art.
    If after some time, there is still too much pain associated between the engine and the fire, I would gather my family and friends and have a ceremonial burial. It is too bad you live so far away, because I have a 55 235 that I would give you.
    I hope you can rebuild your life with a minimum of pain.
  22. mopacltd
    Joined: Nov 11, 2008
    Posts: 917


    I too lost everything in the Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. The only thing I salvaged was a six pak manifold off the '70 Cuda. Spent many hours disassembling the 2 Cuda's and motors I had and all I ended up with was a bunch of barrels of scrap metal. I had owned the '70 440-6 4 speed Cuda since 1974 and my son and I still tear up thinking and talking about that car.
  23. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,385

    Jalopy Joker

    only you know what you have to do to make yourself feel whole again - do what you must - no easy answers for this - what you saw and have experienced must seem unreal - but, you are dealing with the reality of it all - you are wished only the very best with your decisions - saw on facebook that The Nor-Cal Nostalgia Drag Racing Association ( which also lost everything in Paradise) is putting a Camp Fire Benefit Race Car Show in Folsom, CA at the Lakeside Church this Saturday.
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  24. I suggest:

    1.when you are back at your shelter location ,sit down and make a detailed list of what you remember having in the shop in each category (tools/engines/car parts). The major stuff.
    2.add up market value for those
    3.find an attorney, show him a copy of your policy which includes the $194,000 add-on. See why they are allowed to insure you for $194,000 but then not cover you to $194,000....did they ever send out a schedule form and riders for you to sign? Great questions to ask the attorney.
    4.Any old garage photos even blurry partials can be valuable. If there's anything you posted here, we can look through your posts and maybe help you remember the condition of your shop. I think with a few shots of your shop/cars and your detailed list, an attorney can paint a picture of the general value of your shop, without an actual time-stamped photo of each Harbor Freight bearing puller set!
    5.Make a hand drawn map of your where the cars were, here's where my tool room was, here was my compressor area, you are trying to paint a mental picture to the judge, if it gets to court.

    From living through the 2005 LA Hurricanes....insurers are scrambling to minimize payouts. In South MS we had one home owner who was told, "oh, flood waters totaled your house and you don't have flood insurance". Another was told "you had flood insurance coverage, but not wind damage coverage, your house was totaled by high winds". THE HOUSES WERE NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER. google it if you don't believe.

    These Camp Fire losses are HUGE, the insurance companies will probably wind up in class action suits like where I lived in south LA and there will be lots of settlements, Maybe when you add it all up you are at $100,000 not actual $194,000 and you get most of the $100,000.

    Insurers back then and probably now did NOT have the resources to fight all these in court, so a lot maybe went to 3rd party arbitrators who -at the end of the day were expected to settle cases, not split hairs.

    Best of luck, and thank God it's just stuff, not medical injuries/worse.
    belair likes this.
  25. So many lives lost there, devastating as it is, you are one of the luckier ones. I really feel bad for what your going through, and grateful for your letting us know what's happened. Good luck with getting on with your lives, I wish you the best.
    This is a wakeup call for me and I'm sure others to check our insurance coverages.
    I'm told in Texas, since Katrina happened, and all of the subsequent lawsuits, you cannot underinsure a house any more. Premiums are based on square footages. When we bought our house 2 years ago for 180k, we were told our insurance coverage would be for 320k because of the square footage, plus 50% of that figure for personal property. All Texas insurance companies have to use the same formula. What I don't know is if the 50% (160k) is automatic in the event of a total loss, or if it's "up-to"160k based on what you can prove, or if I need riders for tools and equiptment, as seems to be the case with AD_NAPCO.
    As I said, this thread is a wake up call. Were there any other Hambers involved in the fires?
  26. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 7,112


    Oh man, that's awful. Sorry to hear of the loss of your home and stuff. I'd be devastated. Carry on.
    Budget36 likes this.
  27. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 6,079


    First off, im sorry for your situation.

    I’m about 3 hours from Paradise. I have a pickup and 10 days off starting Thursday. If you’re planning on heading up I’d be willing to give you a few days of my time.

    I could also tow up my small horse trailer and we could load it up as well.

    Maybe a few others in the area could lend a hand too?
    partssaloon, pwschuh, Helge71 and 6 others like this.
  28. Great for you Budget36! Josh could use some help for certain.
  29. I am reminded of the old adage, "What don't kill you makes you stronger"

    I've lived through a fire and feel for you, the photo is heartbreaking. HRP

  30. Very, very sorry to hear this. Praying that you’re going to be restored in full.

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