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Tech Information => Safety => Topic started by: kustombrad on June 02, 2015, 11:17:24 PM



Title: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 02, 2015, 11:17:24 PM
In the process of building my streamliner one thing has constantly been on my mind, how do I "see" a fire that's behind me? I've heard of cameras (burnt up) or heat sensors (no sight) or even electric sensors (won't work in electrical fire) and decided I needed to take it to the next step. Now being I'm all about safety and it's MY butt on the line, I came up with an idea. I was hanging out at Victory Race Cars looking at some funny car tin work my friend Ron was doing and when I looked at the firewall, the light came on. Anyone who's been around drag racing for any period of time knows funny car fires (any car actually) are bad because it's hidden behind the firewall. Years ago the idea of putting little 2" lexan "windows" in the aluminum so you could actually "see" the fire, changed everything. If that idea is good enough for 7000+ HP, it's definitely good enough for me!  So the plan is to have a window on each side of my head when I'm strapped into the car

(http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc95/truckdude123/Mobile%20Uploads/M-123_zps6rc0473m.jpg) (http://s214.photobucket.com/user/truckdude123/media/Mobile%20Uploads/M-123_zps6rc0473m.jpg.html)

Next I will build mounts that are attached to each side of the canopy, that will have small 1 1/2"-2" convex mirrors mounted on each side but in my line of vision

(http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc95/truckdude123/Mobile%20Uploads/vialux-convex-mirror-multi-purpose-3-way-unbreakable-p.a.s.-1630-p_zpsabnzattv.jpg) (http://s214.photobucket.com/user/truckdude123/media/Mobile%20Uploads/vialux-convex-mirror-multi-purpose-3-way-unbreakable-p.a.s.-1630-p_zpsabnzattv.jpg.html)

so as I'm looking forward, I can see behind me. If I see black in the mirrors I'm good but any flickering color and the bottles get hit. I told a fellow liner friend my idea yesterday because he is running this summer and being I don't want to see ANYONE get hurt if it can be prevented, I shared my idea. He really liked it so we'll see what happens...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 02, 2015, 11:39:06 PM
As an added bonus, after you stop and get out, you can look in the windows if you smell something burning...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: tauruck on June 03, 2015, 02:09:05 AM
Great thinking Brad. You're right. Fire is the SCARY one.

I guess I got lucky with my fire suppression system.
It's built in Belgium and is used for the big tour buses.
It's all automatic and has sensors in the lines so if a problem arises
it does it's thing.
Not a small unit by any means and very expensive but from video I was shown it will do the job.

I need some extra weight forward of the motor low down so the unit has a dual purpose.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: tallguy on June 03, 2015, 04:24:30 AM
Brad, I'm as big a fan of safety as anyone else, but suggest you check the
rulebook (and/or one of the "officials") about this, before actually fabricating
this hardware.  Just trying to help (please don't be offended -- your idea
is actually pretty clever).


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: jacksoni on June 03, 2015, 07:36:40 AM
Brad, I'm as big a fan of safety as anyone else, but suggest you check the
rulebook (and/or one of the "officials") about this, before actually fabricating
this hardware.  Just trying to help (please don't be offended -- your idea
is actually pretty clever).
For sure get a ruling. Para 3F..."non production firewalls SHALL (my emphasis) be made of metal"...But good idea. Having had a fire in rear motor streamliner at speed......Course the engine blew so I knew something was up...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Stainless1 on June 03, 2015, 08:08:35 AM
The Hanna/Moore car had an automatic fire suppression system in the motor.  If it got hot enough to melt the sensor it triggered the system.

I thought the funny car guys always knew when then had a fire because the body was gone...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 03, 2015, 08:12:37 AM
I will bounce it off John and Lee but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. This is one of those "grey" areas of the rulebook and how you read it. The firewall is/will be aluminum and ALL holes will be filled (throttle cable, water hoses, electrical, fire lines, etc.) and the sight windows will be lexan or even wood stove/fireplace glass which is also "filling" up a hole. I don't want to be stuck trusting a sensor when I can "see" the issue at hand.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Elmo Rodge on June 03, 2015, 08:16:45 AM
Lexan will melt.  :wink: Wayno


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 03, 2015, 08:41:49 AM
Yeah, I'm sure it would if the fire got way out of hand and the fire bottles didn't do their job. I don't plan on being in the car for that long to find out...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Stainless1 on June 03, 2015, 08:48:06 AM
Glass will melt also, but it will take 1500 degrees and the aluminum will already be melted to mix into the same puddle.  I think glass ports would be an acceptable solution... now all you have to do is convince Lee.  They make view ports for Kilns and commercial furnaces.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Finallygotit on June 03, 2015, 09:21:57 AM
I'm with Stainless on this one.  Also, polycarbonate does not like hydrocarbons and will crack/craze.  That's why tail light lenses are made from acrylic.

Use high temp glass.

YMMV

 :cheers:


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Ron Gibson on June 03, 2015, 09:47:46 AM
What about mica? Won't melt.

Ron


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: salt27 on June 03, 2015, 11:23:53 AM
Didn't someone already do this fire port view thing?

What I remember is they didn't need a mirror because they could see the reflection on the inside of the canopy.

Anyone else recall this?

  Don


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Freud on June 03, 2015, 11:27:30 AM
An 8 year old should not play with matches.

FREUD


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: salt27 on June 03, 2015, 11:30:14 AM
An 8 year old should not play with matches.

FREUD

It's OK, I got rubber sheets.   :-D


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: manta22 on June 03, 2015, 11:41:58 AM
Brad;

It's a clever idea but I doubt that a driver will have time to continually check the mirrors for an indication of fire through the small windows. Reading instruments at speed is difficult enough.

There is no ideal approach. Mine is to put two automatic fire bottle nozzles into the engine bay and also install an electronic fire detector that has a field of view around the oil pan. There is an indicator on the instrument panel which I hope will attract my attention if a fire is detected. That photo was taken a while ago while I was still fabricating my instrument panel.

It doesn't have to be complicated-- a spring-loaded microswitch tied to a piece of string stretched across your engine and an indicator light that is controlled by the microswitch is a simple approach. A fire breaks out, burns the string in two, the switch closes, and the indicator lights up. Voila!

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Glen on June 03, 2015, 12:16:00 PM
On the Vesco liners we have auto sensors and a manual over ride. With the new helmets one is restricted to very little head movement.  At speed and by the time you see any flame and reacted you have probably gone another mile trying to get the vehicle stopped. The other thing is how far does the emergency people have to travel to get to where you stopped. Time is everything.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 03, 2015, 12:22:25 PM
The mirrors are in front of me in my same line of vision I'm using looking straight ahead. Imagine them a couple feet in front of your helmet about a foot apart. I'm looking straight ahead and also seeing 2 black circles. Any color will get my attention. Pretty simple...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 03, 2015, 01:15:12 PM
I like the string idea! Very simple!


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: dw230 on June 03, 2015, 01:50:26 PM
The streamliner I drove 11 years ago had this same system. I didn't need it, but the mirrors were an easy glance from the course of travel.

DW


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: desotoman on June 03, 2015, 02:28:36 PM
The mirrors are in front of me in my same line of vision I'm using looking straight ahead. Imagine them a couple feet in front of your helmet about a foot apart. I'm looking straight ahead and also seeing 2 black circles. Any color will get my attention. Pretty simple...

Brad,

Have you thought about using a backup camera on your side of the firewall instead of mirrors? No fire to worry about burning up a camera and a monitor in front of you where ever you want to put it. I bought a wireless one at costco a while back, here is a link to what I bought. http://www.yadastore.com/DigitalBackUpCamera_p/bt53328f-1.htm

Many manufacturers make them in all different sizes and for night vision and most are wireless.
Just a thought.

Tom G.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Dynoroom on June 03, 2015, 02:42:02 PM
The mirrors are in front of me in my same line of vision I'm using looking straight ahead. Imagine them a couple feet in front of your helmet about a foot apart. I'm looking straight ahead and also seeing 2 black circles. Any color will get my attention. Pretty simple...

Yep, pretty simple..... I'd do it.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 03, 2015, 02:50:11 PM
Plus it's something I can comb my hair in when the cameras and microphones are shoved in my face at the end of a pass! Gotta be prepared!


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: hotrod on June 03, 2015, 09:00:29 PM
Instead of the string you could also use an electrical connection to a sensor light through a fusible link.

They make links designed to melt at 165 degrees (I am sure other temps are available) to hold up fire curtains on computer server rooms.
If no fire the curtains restrict airflow to make the server cooling system work properly, but you want the curtains to drop at the first hint of a fire so the fire suppression system can flood the rooms unrestricted by the curtains.

http://www.jrclancy.com/firesafety-fusiblelinks.asp

See the bottom item Fusible Link 016-7519 It is composed of two metal tabs soldered together with a low melting point solder which comes unglued at 165 deg F.

Similar links are used in self closing fire doors, could be used to release a fuel line valve to automatically close fuel line off in case of fire etc.
http://www.globetechnologies.com/fire-doors-windows.php

The B and K type links have temperature limits up near 350-450 degrees if you were worried about low temp false alarms due to heat soak.

Just connect a wire to both ends of the tab and when it gets hot the link will break opening the electrical connection.


As far as the view port is concerned I would go with tempered glass or wired glass (both are used in fire doors and similar high temp applications).
You can also partially shield the view glass by placing a piece of metal screen on the hot side of the glass to conduct heat away from the hot gasses before they get to the glass (often done in wood burning stoves).


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kiwi belly tank on June 04, 2015, 10:00:27 AM
Due to the 32 gallon fuel tank behind my head I have two fire warning systems & two 2-1/2" X 3/16 tempered glass windows. My theory is if I have a fire I'll see two warning lights & unload the 10lb bottle. If I still see fire through the windows I still have another 25lb back there to kill the forest fire. The fire wall is steel & the windows are a bolt in sandwich.
  Sid.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 04, 2015, 10:05:20 AM
I like it Sid!


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: Glen on June 04, 2015, 01:33:55 PM
Brad do you have aux. fire doors on the sides of the body for the fire team to have access as well.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kustombrad on June 04, 2015, 09:22:21 PM
Just one on top. Easily accessible...


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: n49racer on December 21, 2017, 08:49:49 PM
I had an incident at SpeedWeek this year. I made a run in my AA/BFRMR. After the run, I got out of the car and noticed smoke coming out the lovers on the deck lid. It wasnít billowing but just the same. As the rear of the car is fully enclosed, it was a helpless feeling. Yes I could have set off the suppression system, but the smoke was starting to fade and if I set it off it would have ended my race week.
When we got the car back to the pit and took the panels off, we realized it was the wrap on the turbo piping curing. The car now has a small fire door on the body that I can open with my gloves on to quickly check before setting off the fire system.
Next we will install an automatic trigger system for the suppression system. Itís not just the streamliners
with this issue.


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: manta22 on December 22, 2017, 04:14:45 PM
As I've said before, with a rear-engine car, you are the last to know that you're on fire!

Regards, Neil  Tucson, AZ


Title: Re: Fire detection in rear engine streamliner
Post by: kiwi belly tank on December 22, 2017, 04:26:36 PM
I had an incident at SpeedWeek this year. I made a run in my AA/BFRMR. After the run, I got out of the car and noticed smoke coming out the lovers on the deck lid. It wasnít billowing but just the same. As the rear of the car is fully enclosed, it was a helpless feeling. Yes I could have set off the suppression system, but the smoke was starting to fade and if I set it off it would have ended my race week.
When we got the car back to the pit and took the panels off, we realized it was the wrap on the turbo piping curing. The car now has a small fire door on the body that I can open with my gloves on to quickly check before setting off the fire system.
Next we will install an automatic trigger system for the suppression system. Itís not just the streamliners
with this issue.
To cover the rules the drive will still need to have the ability to trigger the system. A warning system is cheap to build with some normally open furnace snap switches & a warning light.
  Sid.