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Interested in a full car fire extinguisher kit???

Old 11-25-04, 10:09 PM
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Interested in a full car fire extinguisher kit???

Hey everyone, I'm thinking of getting together a full car fire extinguisher kit and I'm wondering how many people would be interested in it. This kit will be nice and professional.

I know someone that designes fire extinguishers for a living. I'm talking with him about designing a full setup for the RX7. The way it would work is the bottle is mounted and there is piping that runs all over the car with nozzles placed in strategic locations. Here is the cool part...... it would have sensors that would sense the fire and automatically spray that area. That way you dont waste your bottle spraying all over the car when the fire is only in the front. Also, since its automatic the fire doesnt have to get large before you notice then pull over, get a bottle out (if you have one) , ect ect ect. The second its noticed by the sensor it would be put out even with you driving down the road. Its automatic so you dont have to do anything, even if you wrecked and were unconcious it would still work. Its going to be at least a 5 pound bottle or maybe a little bigger like 6-7 pound and of course it would be the shiney chrome.

How many people would be interested. How many people would be willing to pay for something like this? I'm definatly no where near pricing it yet but I'm thinking in the $500-$600 range, might would end up being less or maybe more. But assuming that price range how many would be interested?

If you dont think its needed I challenge you to do a search on the forum for fire or extinguisher and look how many threads there are where peoples cars caught fire. THEN tell me its not needed. Especially when insurance wont be covering the thousands and thousands of mods on your car. I mean, to put it in perspective we are talking similar price range as a nice ss cat back exhaust

Last edited by SPOautos; 11-25-04 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 11-25-04, 10:15 PM
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i've thought about that too and did some preliminary research with some of Grassroots Motorsports advertisers. I remember the cost being around the 300 mark for a race approved system.

i'd rather spend the money fixing the reason you would need a fire suppression system than buying one.
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Old 11-25-04, 10:44 PM
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I think Alberto hit it on the head. For $500-$600, you can do a LOT of work to make sure your car won't catch on fire in the first place. New pulsation damper, $130. New fuel lines around, $100+, but still reasonable. Fuel injector service, new coolant hoses around, new oil cooler lines... for that money, I could do a lot to ensure that my car wouldn't be catching on fire.

For those who race, this might be a good system. For street cars? Eh, as I said, I'd rather spend that money elsewhere on replacing known failure points.

-=Russ=-
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Old 11-26-04, 12:21 AM
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The system you're speaking of is already commercially available. Your price does sound good for what you're describing though.
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Old 11-26-04, 08:03 AM
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Let's see............last time I looked, this section was called RACE CAR TECH. I would be interested in knowing what type of suppressant you would be looking at. There has been some discussion of an approved foam that is end user refillable rather than Haylon.

Chris....are you going to be visiting the Sentmann auction this weekend? I have been there in years past and found it to be rather interesting. There is one in Indy this weekend also.

Hope you had a good holiday.

db
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Old 11-26-04, 08:23 AM
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User refillable system

Dave, the company I am most familiar with that uses the user refillable foam is Firecharger. The product is safe and non-toxic, and easy to use. We got one last year. The system is not sitting charged until you are ready to use it. it has a CO2 cartridge that pressurizes it in the event that you activate the system. The foam comes in a packet and a new burst disk. The beauty is, if you had a small fire at a race say in practice or qualifying, had to use the system, determined that the car was safe and repaired correctly, you could simply pull the bottle out, refill mix with water shake it, and be ready to go again. No more having to pay or sometimes find someone to fill a Haylon bottle on a race weekend. very nice system and competitively cheap, ~$275 IIRC. just my .02.

Cheers
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Old 11-26-04, 12:19 PM
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I'm with Travis. If I ever put in a real system (which will be soon since I just popped by 5 LB bottle when it fell out of the cradle during an enduro) it'll be a firecharger system. Cheap, easy to use/install -- everything I want in a firebottle. A buddy of mine has one in his Miata, and it's quite a nice system.
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Old 11-26-04, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveB
Let's see............last time I looked, this section was called RACE CAR TECH. I would be interested in knowing what type of suppressant you would be looking at. There has been some discussion of an approved foam that is end user refillable rather than Haylon.

Chris....are you going to be visiting the Sentmann auction this weekend? I have been there in years past and found it to be rather interesting. There is one in Indy this weekend also.

Hope you had a good holiday.

db

Yes, and last time I looked....most race cars needed a fire suppressant system. I think anyone with a real race car would understand the value in this type of system.

You guys that would rather spend the money to make sure it doesnt catch fire in the first place are crazy. Obviously if you KNEW something was wrong you would fix it and not catch fire. Most people dont catch fire because of things they know are wrong but rather things they didnt know are wrong. Take Demerious's race car for instance. While underpressure the threads that his fuel rail are screwed into gave way and he sprayed alcohol all over the engine and cought the car on fire. Run a search on fire or extinguisher and look at how many people on this forum have caught thier car on fire.....there are MANY MANY MANY and I'm sure that non of them knew what was wrong in advance. Some were even freak situations.

Anyway, I dont know all the spacifics because I'm just trying to gauge interest and see if people are interested. The guy designing it engineers fire supression systems such as this for a living so I would count on his experience in this project.

Stephen
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Old 11-26-04, 07:57 PM
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Stephen......one of the things on the list for next season is a fire system. Even though IT only requires an extinguisher, I've seen too many fires in the last couple of seasons to remain comfortable.

Some of the comments were people that thought this discussion was about street cars............................

I think I like the refillable foam system a lot.

Dave
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Old 11-26-04, 08:04 PM
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Yea, I know how you feel. I've seen sooooo many cars catch fire and there are TONS and TONS of threads on the forum where peoples cars caught fire. My car is a street car and I think its very important to street cars as well because the lines of street car and race car have become so blurred. People running street cars with 500hp. They are basically full race cars with the interior left in it haha. Thats basically how my car is, which is why I'm going to get it set up with a fire suppressant system. I know there are many others that are also in need of it so I also posted this in the rotary performance and 3rd gen section. This isnt something I'm trying to make money on. Its just something I'm wanting to do for myself and I know there any MANY MANY others that need to do it as well. You can run a search for fire or extinguisher and see how many peoples cars have caught fire. Its very sad, especially when so many people on the forum have 10K+ in mods that just go up in smoke with no insurance money for that stuff.
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Old 11-26-04, 10:34 PM
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haylon kills
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Old 11-27-04, 01:24 AM
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So Stephen, would this be based offa FireCharger system(I'll be buying in the very near future), with custom sensors wired back to a series of solenoids that would simultaneously fire the system, and direct its output? Seems like ther are two jobs that have to get done, firing the system(easy) routing the retardent o a specific location(difficult, I think). The idea of only having retardent were needed is appealing, but I doubt if most sanctioning bodies would allow it unless you can fire all nozzles manually. Anyway, neat idea, I'd be curious to know how you will route the flow to the correct nozzle, and how the manual override you woould have to have would defeat the solenoids. I guess relays keeping all the valves open until triggering would do it. I would not have them all closed until firing, if the system fired and the retardent reached a valve before it opened, it might be difficult for it to open against the system pressure once fired. What sort of valves would you use? Solenoids, relays etc. Carl
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Old 11-27-04, 02:52 AM
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Even though im not the market for such a system the idea caught my eye. Specificly the manual override aspect. my suggestion would be some sort of visibly and easily reached lever, simply because its easier to pull things toward you then push away. Maybe even use and Ebrake handle... pull up, arms the system, pressing the button on the end activates it. How do they do it on race cars BTW?

Where are you thinking these stretegic points would be? Something like an engine compartment nozzle(s) or would fire supression sectors be more clearly defined then that?
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Old 11-27-04, 06:56 AM
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Carl makes a couple of really good points. I am off to Louisville today to one of the big race car auctions and will see and speak with the Filtercharger people. Often times they offer special deals at these shows.

A quick look at the tape of the Earnhardt Jr. crash in the Vette tells it all. Even with the best of safety equipment in every regard, and an incredibly well prepared car, he still got burned.

Great idea to start this discussion Stephen. I'll let you know what I learn.

db
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Old 11-27-04, 08:31 AM
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car fires

I've seen a few fires at the track and most of them have been the result of a minor off and a really hot exhaust system contacting some taller grass. With a race car you've got the exhaust almost glowing red hot all the time. Expose anything flammable to that kind of heat and you will have a fire, so the fire system makes great sense for a race car.

-Trent
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Old 11-27-04, 11:53 AM
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I wouldn't want my fire system to be "smart" and only fire certain nozzles as you're inviting another failure mode into the system with sensors, solenoids etc. The fire system should be simple and reliable, even when the car is flying through the air with pieces coming off of it. An "oh ****" pull handle that manually opens a valve and disperses retardent through every nozzle is all you want in a racecar.

The purpose of the system isn't to save the car or save cleaning up the car, it's to save YOU. I say blow that **** everywhere and get the hell out. If the car gets dirty or damaged because I used the fire system so be it. You can't guess on what's going to happen next. The system is meant to give you time to exit a car which is burning, NOT to save the car.
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Old 11-27-04, 01:10 PM
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But you do not object to saving the car do you
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Old 11-27-04, 02:41 PM
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I like the FireCharger system for all the reasons listed and want to get a big bottle and 3 nozzles for my 1st gen. The 2.5lb extinguisher I have installed is really Plan B.
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Old 11-27-04, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
I wouldn't want my fire system to be "smart" and only fire certain nozzles as you're inviting another failure mode into the system with sensors, solenoids etc. The fire system should be simple and reliable, even when the car is flying through the air with pieces coming off of it. An "oh ****" pull handle that manually opens a valve and disperses retardent through every nozzle is all you want in a racecar.

The purpose of the system isn't to save the car or save cleaning up the car, it's to save YOU. I say blow that **** everywhere and get the hell out. If the car gets dirty or damaged because I used the fire system so be it. You can't guess on what's going to happen next. The system is meant to give you time to exit a car which is burning, NOT to save the car.

Having been on fire I agree 100%. I'm still cleaning fire chemical out of the car two years later. The stuff is corrosive and just plain nasty. But I'm alive, well, and unburned.
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Old 11-28-04, 08:42 AM
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I would be for it. I spent $350 on a two nozzle sytem for my Hot-Rod drag car a few years back, and would love a better system for my FD. Keep me updated. The non-halon sounds best to me.
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Old 11-29-04, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DamonB
I wouldn't want my fire system to be "smart" and only fire certain nozzles as you're inviting another failure mode into the system with sensors, solenoids etc. The fire system should be simple and reliable, even when the car is flying through the air with pieces coming off of it. An "oh ****" pull handle that manually opens a valve and disperses retardent through every nozzle is all you want in a racecar.

The purpose of the system isn't to save the car or save cleaning up the car, it's to save YOU. I say blow that **** everywhere and get the hell out. If the car gets dirty or damaged because I used the fire system so be it. You can't guess on what's going to happen next. The system is meant to give you time to exit a car which is burning, NOT to save the car.
Its highly possible that when/if your car was "flying through the air with pieces coming off it" you may not even be able to grab the pull handle or may not even think about it. Then when you hit the ground after doing 3 barrel rolls you'd probably be unconcious and at that point your relying on the corner workers to put out the fire before your toast.....assuming this happens on a track. Hopefully you dont just burst into total flames on impact...that would really suck.

Also, it could incorporate sensors AND a pull. The advantage of sensors is they will more than likely trip before you even have an idea that there is a fire, especially if something was to go wrong like a bad fuel line or something similar.
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Old 11-29-04, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by SPOautos
Its highly possible that when/if your car was "flying through the air with pieces coming off it" you may not even be able to grab the pull handle or may not even think about it. Then when you hit the ground after doing 3 barrel rolls you'd probably be unconcious and at that point your relying on the corner workers to put out the fire before your toast.....assuming this happens on a track. Hopefully you dont just burst into total flames on impact...that would really suck.

Also, it could incorporate sensors AND a pull. The advantage of sensors is they will more than likely trip before you even have an idea that there is a fire, especially if something was to go wrong like a bad fuel line or something similar.
There's a reason why sanctioning bodies do not do things like this.

To rehash what Carl said: How do you keep some sort of electrical glitch from triggering the system? How do you ensure the system will even be able to work without power? You'd at least need a reserve battery to power the solenoids. The entire function of your system now depends on that circuit and of course fires wreak havoc with electrical circuits. How is the system going to be manually over-ridden due to some sort of electrical failure to the solenoids when they are in between the retardent and the nozzles? You going to provide a bypass around the solenoids? How is the bypass going to work without additional valves? You're building in several orders of complexity in trying to solve problems that need not even be present in the first place.

IMO the risk of this "automatic" system either not triggering properly or somehow malfunctioning and going off at the wrong time are MUCH greater than the chance of my coming to rest in a wreck and on fire while unconcious. That's what safety workers are for. If driving racecars around was entirely safe we wouldn't need any sort of fire protection in the first place.

You want your safety systems to be as mechanically simple as possible so that they are as reliable as possible and easily operated. Once you're unconcious your life is going to be in someone else's hands anyway.
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Old 11-29-04, 02:10 PM
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It can have manual over ride so worst case senerio you use a manual lever just like you would if you didnt have any sensors.

Guys...this isnt something I'm inventing. Its already out there and used in many forms of motor sports, specialty vehicles, buses and airplanes. Its not something I'm just dreaming up. Its just that there arent any designed for our cars. I happen to have access to a designer that can design these type systems and thought I'd see if other people are as interested as I am.

Since its possible to have sensors and a manual over ride lever that triggers everthing I dont see what the problem could be. How is it all designed??? I have no idea, as its not designed yet and I'm not going to be the person designing it anyway. All I'm trying to do is find out if there are people that would be interested in a automatic setup. I think the advantages FAR out weigh any disadvantages that you might can come up with, especially considering it can have manual override.

What does SCCA say about automatic extinguishers that also have manual over ride???

Stephen
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Old 11-30-04, 12:25 AM
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What you don't seem to be grasping is that the most likely thing to happen in the event of a failure is for the system to go OFF instead of sitting there not doing anything.

Think of it like this: when the power goes out, your security system doesn't just sit there and do nothing. It goes bat ****, and you get a call from the security company. These things are one in the same. Can you engineer the thing to not go off if there's a glitch? Yes. But it would be a helluva lot easier to engineer a 13B housing into looking like a 12A with a grinder.

AFAIK, SCCA says nothing about an "automatic" extinguisher. Hell, it may be banned, but I don't have a GCR handy (I'm not that much of a n'urd).
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Old 11-30-04, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by SPOautos
What does SCCA say about automatic extinguishers that also have manual over ride???

Stephen
SCCA says "Manual or Automatice release is allowed." 17.22.1 in the GCR.
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