What engine bay fire system have you got?

This section is for general discussion related to VWs, and air-cooled bits ‘n bats.

Topic Author
David Eccles
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:08 pm
Location: Leicester
Contact:

What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by David Eccles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:34 am

Andybugs' recent fire totalling the bus (and it was properly looked after) with no obvious fuel line etc usual suspects, I was wondering about what engine bay fire prevention system people use on their Splits...several very diff types and varying costs around.
If you have one what is it, why did you opt for that one, is it easy to diy fit or best done by a pro etc
thought it might be useful to have an overview of various liked / popular choices - it's one of those jobs people mean to do but often don't ...and Andy's bus fire is a timely reminder that maybe it's something that really needs attention?
David
David
Drive your bus; enjoy your bus

User avatar

vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19241
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by vwJim » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:06 am

David,

Wasn't that fire caused by a carb fire? I believe he had a system in the bus, which put out the fire but failed to prevent re-ignition? Though I don't have first hand details of that.

IMHO gas systems aren't ideal. Yes gas in its various forms is very effective in extinguishing fire, but it does little / nothing to cool the area to prevent re-ignition. Plus, the gas dispersion via the cooling fan, (until the engine stops), and the engine bay vents further reduces it effectiveness.

Powder systems offer better re-ignition protection. Though often powder is corrosive and the major downside is that powder settles in the bottles so shound be removed and shaken every six months to prevent this.

Foam systems are non-corrosive and don't need to be shaken. That's why I use foam.

I used to deal with Firetec, but since the owner retired I no longer use their products. The previous owner was very knowledgeable / been in the industry for decades. He used powder, gas and foam in his various systems dependant on the application. He never advised powder or gas in a vehicle installation.

Hope that helps.

I think fuel lines are often the easy target for the cause of a fire. And yes, poor fuel line maintenance or fake hoses no doubt account for some. But carb fires, battery faults and wiring damage are all culprits as well.
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SCAT, Kennedy Clutches, CB Performance & FIRETEC. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.


Topic Author
David Eccles
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:08 pm
Location: Leicester
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by David Eccles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:49 am

Andy only had hand fire extinguisher and beer and water....and last I spoke with him still unsure why flames shooting up thru carb...proper forensics start when he beins to strio down I guess
but your advice above is REALLY helpful...
David
Drive your bus; enjoy your bus


Topic Author
David Eccles
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:08 pm
Location: Leicester
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by David Eccles » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:50 am

Andy only had hand fire extinguisher and beer and water....and last I spoke with him still unsure why flames shooting up thru carb...proper forensics start when he begins to strip down I guess
but your advice above is REALLY helpful...
David
Drive your bus; enjoy your bus

User avatar

vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19241
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by vwJim » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:57 am

That's good to know the install he had.

If there were flames emanating from the carb, then an engine backfire in the heat that day I assume. I'm surprised he got it suppressed even once, as hand held extinguishers empty in seconds.
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SCAT, Kennedy Clutches, CB Performance & FIRETEC. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.


ted698
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 1351
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 6:12 pm
Location: Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by ted698 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:15 am

I have a 3Mtr BlazeCut pipe in mine - it strip clips to the roof of the engine bay - takes minutes to fit, and is peace of mind.
Its the sort that holds a liquid in a plastic pipe under pressure, until the pipe melts then the liquid comes out as a gas through the hole.

I also have 2 hand helds, one behind the drivers seat, and one in the rear cabin cupboard.


JonnyCJ
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 2953
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:50 pm
Location: Heswall

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by JonnyCJ » Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:49 am

I and quite a few other peeps are running this with fuel cut off solenoid which immediately stops the electronic fuel pump if the system discharges.

https://www.vwaircooledworks.co.uk/Fire ... ystem.html

It's a gas system, so has the benefit of not affecting engine parts etc if it goes off. The engine will also stop upon activation and the warning light telling you the system has operated will go off. Hopefully that would reduce the damage in the case of the fire re-igniting, as I'd be able to get to it in very quick order with an extinguisher.

Despite having 100% ethanol proof fuel lines and proper fuel hose clips rather than jubilee, I still had the potential for an engine fire recently. This was a leak from one of my carbs, from the pump diaphragm. Changed the diaphragm last night and all ok. Gave me comfort having the system installed as without it the bus could have been toast.

Everyone should fit a system of some sort and have at least 1 extinguisher to hand.

User avatar

Who.Me?
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 877
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 8:13 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by Who.Me? » Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:52 pm

vwJim wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:06 am

I used to deal with Firetec, but since the owner retired I no longer use their products.
Which ones do you use?

Also; most of the systems seem to be triggered by the fire burning a hole through a pressurised tube and that hole releases all the suppressant aimed directly at the base of the fire. Even the type that spray straight from the bottle obviously need to be located over the engine to aim at the base of the fire.

Whatever the type though, if you have a mechanical fuel pump, you need the engine to stop to avoid extracting a large amount of the suppressant out through the fan.

The suppressant will stop the engine if it gets ingested through the carb, and I can see how works if you have carbs with filters perched on top that breath air from deep within the engine bay, but how effective are they at killing an engine with an oil bath?

I'm running a '60s oil bath with the snout and I've aimed the snout at the vents to make sure the engine ingests the coolest air. (I think that's pretty standard?) With that arrangement, I can't see how the engine could ingest enough suppressant through the oil bath to kill the engine? It'll just keep sucking clean air in through the vents?

User avatar

vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19241
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by vwJim » Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:52 pm

Who.Me? wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 7:52 pm
vwJim wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:06 am

I used to deal with Firetec, but since the owner retired I no longer use their products.
Which ones do you use?

Also; most of the systems seem to be triggered by the fire burning a hole through a pressurised tube and that hole releases all the suppressant aimed directly at the base of the fire. Even the type that spray straight from the bottle obviously need to be located over the engine to aim at the base of the fire.

Whatever the type though, if you have a mechanical fuel pump, you need the engine to stop to avoid extracting a large amount of the suppressant out through the fan.

The suppressant will stop the engine if it gets ingested through the carb, and I can see how works if you have carbs with filters perched on top that breath air from deep within the engine bay, but how effective are they at killing an engine with an oil bath?

I'm running a '60s oil bath with the snout and I've aimed the snout at the vents to make sure the engine ingests the coolest air. (I think that's pretty standard?) With that arrangement, I can't see how the engine could ingest enough suppressant through the oil bath to kill the engine? It'll just keep sucking clean air in through the vents?
I've not used anyone since.

Stock air filter should aim at the engine lid, or at least that's how VW fitted them.

You could wire the coil feed through a relay, that is cut off if the pressure in the extinguisher drops. So no spark as soon as system discharges.
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SCAT, Kennedy Clutches, CB Performance & FIRETEC. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.

User avatar

Who.Me?
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 877
Joined: Thu May 15, 2014 8:13 pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by Who.Me? » Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:58 am

vwJim wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:52 pm
Stock air filter should aim at the engine lid, or at least that's how VW fitted them.
I hadn't noticed that in the owners manuals. Makes sense on the right side as the battery is in the way, but on the left it's a straight shot to the air vent. I'll adjust it anyhow.
vwJim wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 9:52 pm

You could wire the coil feed through a relay, that is cut off if the pressure in the extinguisher drops. So no spark as soon as system discharges.
Similar to the cutoff for electric fuel pumps? Sounds like a good idea. I'll look at the options again.

User avatar

EeVeeWee
Registered user
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:13 pm
Location: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by EeVeeWee » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:18 pm

I mounted a Firetec fire extinguishing system.

Image

Image

User avatar

vwJim
SSVC Committee Member
SSVC Committee Member
Posts: 19241
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:05 pm
Location: under a bus in Hampshire...
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by vwJim » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:13 pm

EeVeeWee wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:18 pm


Image
What's the roof of the engine bay covered with?
Supplying quality in house designed items plus parts from SCAT, Kennedy Clutches, CB Performance & FIRETEC. Also fitting service including modifications & mechanical upgrades.

User avatar

EeVeeWee
Registered user
Posts: 299
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:13 pm
Location: Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by EeVeeWee » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:47 am

vwJim wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:13 pm

What's the roof of the engine bay covered with?

Self adhesive heat resistant foam.
Later on I mounted aluminum plates to prevent it gets into the engine.

Image


henk
Registered user
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:03 pm

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by henk » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:24 am

Foam extingiser are the best.
The only probleme with them still at the moment is that they can freeze up in the winter.
That is if you use your bus ofcourse if it is below zero.😀
That is off course for a external bottle,
Don’t see it freeze up in the engine bay.

Henk!!!


piran
SSVC Member
SSVC Member
Posts: 380
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:20 pm

Re: What engine bay fire system have you got?

Post by piran » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:38 pm

JonnyCJ wrote:
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:49 am
I and quite a few other peeps are running this with fuel cut off solenoid which immediately stops the electronic fuel pump if the system discharges.

https://www.vwaircooledworks.co.uk/Fire ... ystem.html

It's a gas system, so has the benefit of not affecting engine parts etc if it goes off. The engine will also stop upon activation and the warning light telling you the system has operated will go off. Hopefully that would reduce the damage in the case of the fire re-igniting, as I'd be able to get to it in very quick order with an extinguisher.

Despite having 100% ethanol proof fuel lines and proper fuel hose clips rather than jubilee, I still had the potential for an engine fire recently. This was a leak from one of my carbs, from the pump diaphragm. Changed the diaphragm last night and all ok. Gave me comfort having the system installed as without it the bus could have been toast.

Everyone should fit a system of some sort and have at least 1 extinguisher to hand.
i use that set up in my bus

Post Reply