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Why you should always have a fire extinguisher


jan arnett (2)
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4 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Doesn't look like an Auburn air cleaner....  🙂  Was this car one of the later fiberglass-bodied copies with modern drivelines?

 

Thanks for the observation, Grimy.  I suppose the

article wouldn't have been as sensational if it was

headlined, "Fiberglass Car Copy Has Engine Fire."

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Real Auburn/Lycoming engines are almost unique among flathead straight eights, in that the intake and exhaust ports are on the left side. To be fair, some Graham and Continental flathead straight eights are like that too, but they are also uncommon.

 

I don't believe we should be seeing exhaust pipes on the right side.

 

159726614648c74a9ef226A6533-scaled.jpg?w

 

Good advice about the fire extinguisher though. Even better if you have your own and it is something more appropriate for a car fire, like Halon, Halotron, CO2, or Element.

 

Most likely the bystanders had dry chemical extinguishers because almost everyone does. They do a rather shocking amount of damage, and this is probably a lot worse than it looks. Still, it saved the car.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Bloo said:

Even better if you have your own and it is something more appropriate for a car fire, like Halon, Halotron, CO2,

Actually these release gasses which have been deemed harmful to the environment (Global warming . . . ) so you may be able to get them today, but not for long. 

 

Halon has been unavailable for a long time except for use in sealed rooms containing sensitive electronics. 

 

Messy? absolutely!  But I see dry powder as being the only thing available in the near future. 

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Drychem typically totals the car. If it is running, the engine will be destroyed. If it isn't the chances are better, but the hours of deep disassembly and cleaning involved still usually mean the car is totaled. You have no idea unless you have tried to fix one.

 

Someone will fix this replica no doubt, as the Auburn ones are still worth more than you would expect. If it still had the Ford truck body on it, the party would be over.

 

 

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That was not an Auburn. In fact its a very poor excuse for a replica. Never like to see someone’s toy burn. To be fair and honest.....if that were my car, I would have shot anyone who was trying to put the fire out!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Graham, I only saw one car, the burnt red one!

 

Good Point about fire extinguishers though. After suffer a catastrophic fire I am now paranoid and have them all around. My truck being DOT numbered requires one which is not a bad idea. I brought this topic up on another forum and was surprised that most of the guys there did not carry one in their car. Although I do not have a fancy, high dollar non environmental, non car harming model, I would rather have the fire out and damage the motor than have the car burn to the ground. If need be I can put in a new motor for minimal cost, a lot cheaper than replacing the entire car. A bit hypocritical because I preach about how people will get a $20k paint job but not want to spend $200 on a cover. I suppose this is the same, I dont want to spend $100 to protect a $30k car!! I suppose its time for me to step up to the plate and get the right fire suppression equipment.

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All great points made about fire extinguishers. I should really replace the ones I have with my cars as they are way over 10 years old. What do all of you recommend to be the best but not so huge that it is hard to store in a pre WWII car with little floor space? I wonder how many people reading this feel safe because they have a fire extinguisher but don't realize how old it is and may not work effectively?

Walt

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Looks like a 1980ish repop car that probably had its original high pressure fuel lines. The root of a potential problem is those fuel hoses a lot of guys never think to change after 30 or 40 years (40 years = 1980). How many of you are running them?

 

A lot of fuel injection hoses have a metal date tag on them. No extra points for numbers matching.

 

But if you get lucky the 40 year old radiator hose will blow at the same time or get a pinhole to create a low velocity fog.

 

Deferred maintenance, my guess.

 

Reminds me, back in the 1980's when you could first walk around the garage with a phone I had a 1935 Nash Advanced Six with a twin ignition. One set of wires went through an passage in the block for the second plugs. While talking with the, supposed, only other owner of that model on the garage phone he warned me that a fire could start from an arc into the grease in that passage. I told him mine was clean since I had replaced all the wires and restored operation of the twin ignition. He said "You have one of "those" cars, hung up, and I never heard from him again. I guess there was a 50/50 chance of one of those two cars needing an extinguisher.

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20 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

Looks like a 1980ish repop car that probably had its original high pressure fuel lines. The root of a potential problem is those fuel hoses a lot of guys never think to change after 30 or 40 years (40 years = 1980). How many of you are running them?

 

A lot of fuel injection hoses have a metal date tag on them. No extra points for numbers matching.

 

But if you get lucky the 40 year old radiator hose will blow at the same time or get a pinhole to create a low velocity fog.

 

Deferred maintenance, my guess.

 

Reminds me, back in the 1980's when you could first walk around the garage with a phone I had a 1935 Nash Advanced Six with a twin ignition. One set of wires went through an passage in the block for the second plugs. While talking with the, supposed, only other owner of that model on the garage phone he warned me that a fire could start from an arc into the grease in that passage. I told him mine was clean since I had replaced all the wires and restored operation of the twin ignition. He said "You have one of "those" cars, hung up, and I never heard from him again. I guess there was a 50/50 chance of one of those two cars needing an extinguisher.

Yeah, your 40 year old radiator hose doesn't do much for a Franklin, Corvair or Volkswagen now does it?????? 

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Actually when your car is on fire,  Like my 60 Corvette was,  I wasn't concerned with how the extinguisher material might damage the paint and choose not to use it, I would have dumped sand on it if it would have stopped it.  We put 3 different extiguishers on it,  the hose from the neighbors house and finally something from the fire department.  I got an OK from Hagerty to clean everything up that afternoon and I sprayed down under the hood with fluid film afterward to prevent corrosion.  Seemed to have done the trick as corrosion was very minimal.  I was also fortunate it happened at home and I could put it back in my garage afterward,  so it never even spent that night outside and I cleaned it in the hot sun  so it dried everything out.

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Dry-chem will destroy a running engine. I don't know what it does to paint. Of course if there is nothing else available you will use it, or sand, or whatever. Water will spread a fuel fire. My point was that other options are available that will put out the fire without causing more damage. Fire extinguishers are in my opinion not an area you should cheap out on.

 

If a car backfires and starts the carburetor on fire while you are cranking it, keep cranking. It might suck the fire in and extinguish it, particularly if you can get the engine started. Also, many factory air filters are also flame arrestors, a point lost on a lot of guys who "prime" the carburetor with gas, and neglect to put the air filter back on before cranking.

 

Never trust an old fuel hose, fuel injected or not. Yes FI cars can move a lot more fuel but they also had better hoses, not that it helps much 40 years later. The cheapo 35 pound hose used on carbureted cars from the 60s through the 80s is not lined. It shrinks and gets pinholes where the reinforcement threads cross. When I was working in gas stations as a kid, it was fairly common to lift the hood on a running car and see little streams of gas squirting in multiple directions from one of those hoses. The solution? A new section of that same crappy hose....

 

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Yes, a fire extinguisher is never something to go cheap on. But there are other things that need to be taken into consideration to prevent you from having to use one in the first place. The fuel hoses as already mentioned or poring fuel down a carburetor. But, if you install an electric fuel pump on a car you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, install an inertia switch in line with it. A minor collision can easily sever a fuel line and if the power isn't shut off to that fuel pump immediately, it's going to keep shooting fuel all over a hot engine and elsewhere. There simple, easy to install and not that expensive. Mounted under the dash they're easily accessed for resetting should they be tripped during a severe bump or minor collision.  Please consider the the ounce of prevention here, especially if you and I should someday run into one another!!!

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On 10/16/2021 at 9:27 AM, Walt G said:

All great points made about fire extinguishers. I should really replace the ones I have with my cars as they are way over 10 years old. What do all of you recommend to be the best but not so huge that it is hard to store in a pre WWII car with little floor space? I wonder how many people reading this feel safe because they have a fire extinguisher but don't realize how old it is and may not work effectively?

Walt

 Still seeking advice on what fire extinguisher to buy to replace the old ones I have. Brand, model  number etc. even capacity.

Where do you buy yours?   thanks .

Walt

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Walt your comments are timely, as I plan on checking mine during Fall attention in both cars.  

 

Things can go south pretty quickly at times.  We had our 39 Packard a day or two, going to go for a short evening drive with my wife.  She gets in, we begin to back the car and I smell something burning.  The dome light switch shorted out, and the plastic switch button melted.  I figure I was 1 or 2 seconds from igniting wool, mohair and other nice combustibles.  Scary moment!!

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Fire in a car is a scary occurrence, had two  first 30 years ago my jag xjs burst into flames when driving my two young daughters to school , I pulled into service station attendant sorted with extinguisher , recently my stag ignited on start up , pretty big flames really scary ,chap from nearby bank ran out with extinguisher, fire brigade turned up too , about time I bought an extinguisher 😀

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