Topic: Onboard Fire Suppression System

So this is new for me but seems like a good thing to have, where are the best deals/worth my money? Are the systems interchangeable, as in for multiple cars? Please advise.

It Ain't My Fault

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

The plumbing is typically done with aluminum hard-line, so while the bottle could be pinned and removed, you'd have to do a fairly time-consuming install in whatever car you'd want to move it to.  And you'd want more nozzles.  And if you have a remote-pull type bottle, that would have to be replicated.  So no, they aren't really portable.

I'm a halon (or equivalent) fan, despite the expense.  A face- and floorboard-full of foam isn't conducive to getting out of a car quickly.  I'm also a Safecraft fan, but their website is pretty useless.

I threw a rod out the bottom of a car once at speed and the under-body oil fire put some smoke into the cockpit.  I rolled the thing off the track with one hand on the big red handle, not wanting to spend the money to refill the bottle unless the car was actually on fire.  I sat there for a while after I stopped, figuring that as long as the smoke was clearing and the corner workers weren't freaking out, I was probably fine.  After I climbed out I sort of wished I had a handheld just in case the thing flared up again.  That said, I was glad I spent the money on the system even though I never used it.  We don't have one in the Lemons car, though.  It isn't particularly burny, what with the two-stroke and all.  I mean, we've already ventilated the crankcase once and ran it all Sunday that way.

Scott

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

Good call on mentioning having a hand held. If you install a fire fighting system keep the hand held. A small fire can be put out with the hand held so you can save the expense of setting off the "fire system".

I have a club race car and it has both a hand held and a halon system. My club only requires a hand held in my class of racing but with high pressure fuel lines and a battery both located in the LF corner of the car and by rule I can't move either, I do like having a fire system for peace of mind.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

I agree with Jimbbski. We have the Firesense system in the car for big problems, but still have a removable handheld for the detail work.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

Read this on the Chump Forum from a racer at Barber this past weekend....A fire suppression system is not a purchase, install and forget system and it's important that drivers understand how it works. I wonder how many people would have thought to squeeze the lever by hand assuming it's in reach.

"I will make this quick.  I had a fire from a rod through the block and oil on the hot exhaust. I pulled the fire sup system and nothing.  I had to manually pull the lever at the bottle and squeeze it by hand. It did work then.  I checked it after and the cable had gotten some water in it. I never thought to disconnect the cable and test that also as my prerace check was to make sure the pin was pulled and bottle gauge in the green.

Now I will oil the cable to make sure it is good on a regular basis and also test out the cable for binding before each race.  I never thought to test that also, but you live and learn. 

Hopefully we can all learn from this and be safer. "

Apocalyptic Racing - Occupy Pit Lane racing
Racing the "Toylet" Toyota Celica powered by Chevrolet Ecotec.
16x Loser with the Celica. 5 times loser in other fine machines

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

One thing to consider with a halon system, open cockpit or areas with lots of ventilation will render halon less effective then other forms of suppression.

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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

We had a small electrical fire at the battery, at the last Sears Point race.
No on board system, but the handheld did the job.
While I was looking at it afterward, an on board might not have
covered the location of the battery, and would've been expensive to recharge.

Handheld +1

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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

As pointed out before, it's called a fire suppression system, not a fire extinguisher system.  I believe the intent is to knock the fire down enough to buy you more time to exit.  You could engineer something to extinguish every possible fire source but the additional equipment to do so makes it unfeasible.  I think most people's expectations is a system that puts out the fire cold and I think that's unreasonable given the conditions.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

We bought this AFF system, mostly because we can refill it ourselves:

http://www.apexperformance.net/ESS_c_29.html

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

I'm guessing that they are going to require it in 2018.  We've also been considering one so we could race at Laguna Seca with another series. 

The new Lemons suggestion talks about the system capacity in pounds, but most I've seen for sale are in liters.  I'm not sure how to know if a particular system will meet the rules.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

rmcdaniels wrote:

We bought this AFF system, mostly because we can refill it ourselves:

http://www.apexperformance.net/ESS_c_29.html

from the website, the 5L is equal to 10#

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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

1. Carry extra line, it can be a little hard to find in a pinch.

2. Always have a back-up hand held to throw in the car. The times on the system are tight, the pressures can drop and we MAY have set ours off on accident twice - but we really like having it.

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- Ten+ Time Loser
- IOE, Heroic Fix, Class C and Class of 1964
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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

TKing66 wrote:

I agree with Jimbbski. We have the Firesense system in the car for big problems, but still have a removable handheld for the detail work.

Regarding the Firesense system-- looks like both steel and alloy versions.  I'm assuming that the only difference you'd get for the added cost of alloy is a small weight savings... am I missing anything else?  Anyone know how much weight is in question?  I can't imagine it's more than a few pounds at the bottle.

http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/prod … ms#reviews

Scuderia Regurgito  '75 Fiat 131, '93 e36
2010 Stafford: Winner, class ugly  2011 NJMP: Organizer's Choice and violently exploded gearbox
2011 Stafford: Most From the Least, 2012 NJMP: Shockingly issue free, 2012 Loudon: Rod thru block
2012 Hooptiefest: Multiple spun bearings, 2013 Monticello: Head gaskets, 2013 Loudon: More head gaskets, 2013 NJMP, 2013 Hooptiefest, 2014 NJMPx2 and Heroic Fix

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

Alfaholic wrote:
TKing66 wrote:

I agree with Jimbbski. We have the Firesense system in the car for big problems, but still have a removable handheld for the detail work.

Regarding the Firesense system-- looks like both steel and alloy versions.  I'm assuming that the only difference you'd get for the added cost of alloy is a small weight savings... am I missing anything else?  Anyone know how much weight is in question?  I can't imagine it's more than a few pounds at the bottle.

http://www.racerpartswholesale.com/prod … ms#reviews


The weight isn't listed but I think you're right on the difference between the two systems being weight only.
In SCCA racing every car has a minimum weight which varies depending on what class the vehicle competes in. If your car is over that minimum weight you don't want to add any "extra" weight if you can.  IF your car is light and you have to add ballast you can use the heavier system since placement of the fire system is more liberal than the placement of ballast.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

OK, so we went with an OMP 4.25 liter AFFF system.  Can't refill it ourselves, but authorized OMP service point is roughly between work and home for when we inevitably set it off by accident around the shop let alone actually use it to avoid incineration.

In any case, the kit came with dual mechanical pulls.  You guys setting up a second pull for track workers or someone other than the driver to yank on?  If so, what's the consensus best place for it?  Outside on the cowl?  Just inside the A-pillar?  Inside the A-pillar would be my thought, although I wouldn't want to put it in a spot anyone might confuse with the kill switch for obvious, albeit potentially entertaining, reasons.

Scuderia Regurgito  '75 Fiat 131, '93 e36
2010 Stafford: Winner, class ugly  2011 NJMP: Organizer's Choice and violently exploded gearbox
2011 Stafford: Most From the Least, 2012 NJMP: Shockingly issue free, 2012 Loudon: Rod thru block
2012 Hooptiefest: Multiple spun bearings, 2013 Monticello: Head gaskets, 2013 Loudon: More head gaskets, 2013 NJMP, 2013 Hooptiefest, 2014 NJMPx2 and Heroic Fix

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

I have mine attached to the "B" pillar on the pass. side as far away from the kill switch as possible. I can't reach it while strapped in but I still keep a hand held within arms reach. The fire system is for the worker to activate or myself once I get out of the car.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

We used both mechanical pulls.  The first is mounted on the center of our dash bar, directly beneath the kill switch and within reach of a belted driver.  The second is on the passenger side, in front of the C pillar.  We cut a hole through our lexan window for access.  We decided to place it well away from the driver's window/door to prevent any flailing hands from hitting it during driver changes.

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

Has anyone lit theirs off? I'm always tempted to pull the handle just to see what happens.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

rmcdaniels wrote:

Has anyone lit theirs off? I'm always tempted to pull the handle just to see what happens.

Yes.  Its not as spectacular as you'd expect.  Not as messy either.  But once the pin is pulled on that grenade, you just have to stand there watching it dump its load for what seems like forever while you look around to make sure no one is watching you be a dipshit.

1990 RX7 "Mazdarita" 
1994 Jaguar XJ12 (Winner C-Class 2013 Sears Pointless)
1964 Sunbeam Imp (IOE 2013 Sears Pointless)
1980 Rover SD1 (I Got Screwed 2014 Return of Lemonites) (Sold -> Houston.  Gone and forgotten)

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

Damn, I was hoping for some kind of spectacular foam explosion.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

It depends on the type of system.  I had an old halon 10 lb  system that I mistakenly set off with the cylinder out of the car. All I got was a woosh and a white cloud of gas (I think it was more condensation then the halon gas?) and then nothing. $300 plus dollars later I had a replacement cylinder.  I couldn't get the old tank refilled as the cost of re-testing the tank  and refilling it,  plus hazmat shipping cost exceeded the cost of a new cylinder that I could pick up at the vendor.

22 (edited by chdonley2 2017-03-18 06:37 AM)

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

I installed a 4.0 Liter Fire Sense Suppression System in the Avanti before it's first race last year. Mainly because fiberglass body and stuff. The whole damn car could burn down around us if it a  fire ever got started.
Anyway, if you get this system be advised that when you pull the satety pin prior to going on the track be careful when you replace it when done racing.
DON'T do what I did and align the holes in the two parts of the squeeze handle when you replace the safety pin. After our first race day that's what I did, and that caused to bottle to start releasing it's charge slowly. Some of the liquid leaked out of the bottle thru the nozzles and collected on the floorboard before I noticed something was amiss.
I probably neglected to read the directions completely or notice how the pin was originally installed . Sometimes I do that.
Had to recharge the bottle 'cause the pressure gauge was out of the green and it was missing some AFFF juice.

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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

rmcdaniels wrote:

Has anyone lit theirs off? I'm always tempted to pull the handle just to see what happens.

If your system is big enough, it can get interesting....

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Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

That is actually how I pictured it in my head, like in the movies when someone puts an entire box of soap in a washing machine.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Onboard Fire Suppression System

cheseroo wrote:

As pointed out before, it's called a fire suppression system, not a fire extinguisher system.  I believe the intent is to knock the fire down enough to buy you more time to exit.

My thoughts exactly.  If there is a fire in the engine bay and I can get out, I could give a shit less if the car burns to the ground.  If I had an on-board system (which I do) I might pull it, I might not, but as long as I can get out safely, f*ck the car.  Like cheseroo stated, the fire system is designed to suppress the fire giving you extra time to GTFO (like your fire suit), not necessarily extinguish the fire.  We have two nozzles under the hood, and two in the cabin (aimed toward the driver torso area) to hopefully give our driver enough time to get the hell out of dodge. 

With all the time, money, and effort we put into safety, not having an on-board fire suppression system is like not using a HANS device.  They are also not that expensive either. We have the Firesense system and it was less than $600.

Captain
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