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Old 04-28-2017, 07:10 PM   #1
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ABC or CO2 extinguisher?

is it reasonable to worry that if I have a fire on my engine or under the body I may not be able to reach it with a dry powder extinguisher? Could I flood the engine Department with CO2 and put out the fire?

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Old 04-28-2017, 07:15 PM   #2
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co2 is absolutely the best thing to ever use on a diesel, even on a runaway engine.

Imagine having a lot of that dry powder extinguisher to clean up. You don't want that in your engine either.

I've got to wonder what's going to catch your engine on fire.
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:42 PM   #3
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If worry could spontaniously combust...we're head on a 25 day trip soon.

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Old 04-28-2017, 08:27 PM   #4
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I actually have this tiny co2 extinguisher that is completely inadequate, so that's something I need to deal with too. It's always good to have several decent sized co2 extinguishers on hand. The larger ones can be recharged.
I haven't ever shopped for fire extinguishers before. Amazon, here I come.
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Old 04-28-2017, 09:49 PM   #5
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We had halon in the army. Supposed to leave no residue but i think they are a little pricey.

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Old 04-28-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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The halon suffocate anyone caught in the area. I've only seen those in server rooms. But yes, I guess they'd be good for a bus fire if you could get them. I didn't even think of that.
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Old 05-02-2017, 03:36 PM   #7
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The halon suffocate anyone caught in the area. I've only seen those in server rooms. But yes, I guess they'd be good for a bus fire if you could get them. I didn't even think of that.
I thought halon had been EPA'd out of existence?

"While the production of Halon ceased on January 1, 1994, under the Clean Air Act, it is still legal to purchase and use recycled Halon and Halon fire extinguishers. In fact, the FAA continues to recommend Halon fire extinguishers for aircraft."
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:54 PM   #8
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is the engine compartment tight enough for CO2 to work? there is cleanuo with an ABC but it snuffs out a fire on top which is usually where you first see it, and on a gas engine the mnost likely place for a fire is on top.. (fuel leak at the carb)..

I carry 2 ABC fire extuingishers in my bus.. 5 pounders.. i thought about 10s but figured they might be harder to handle in an emergency situation..

I dont figure im going to be able to put out a larger fire, however If i can slow the fire down until the fire dept arrives.. or slow it down enough that i can enter the bus and recover my belongings then its done its job.

if something goes eniough wrong that I have a fire, i figure im not going to be able to drive away so at that point the cleanup is not really a factor

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Old 05-02-2017, 06:07 PM   #9
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My understanding is that an ABC extinguisher would put out a petroleum fire very well. The CO2 extinguisher would normally be best for an electrical fire.

I agree if there's a fire I'm grabbing my valuables first, then attempt to put out the fire.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:20 PM   #10
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Maybe i'll see about one of each?

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Old 05-04-2017, 12:03 PM   #11
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My understanding is that a CO2 extinguisher is just the thing for a runaway engine condition. I've never heard of anyone on the forum actually experiencing that but the ones on YouTube certainly are impressive. Enough so that I might mount one with a remote actuator at some point. Low-risk high-cost event, since the motor most often ends up grenading.

You might or might not want to stop the bus, open the hood/engine compartment, and attempt to manually manage a runaway.
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #12
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The methanol-engine versions of my bus had a fire detection and suppression system fitted as standard, but my bus never had one because it was always a diesel. I don't know what the system consisted of, but pictures show a large tank of something. I doubt that it was Halon because there are too many openings in the engine room that would allow it to disperse too quickly.

I've twice now had hydraulic fluid spraying onto hot exhaust pipes, once when a hose burst, and a few months ago when a brand-new hydraulic fan motor split. On both occasions I was very lucky that the Dexron fluid didn't ignite - if it had, I wouldn't have a bus now. With all new high-pressure hydraulic hoses and another new motor (now with extra pressure protection than before), this should never happen again. I also plan on lagging all the exhaust pipes, mainly for thermal efficiency reasons, but that would also eliminate a potential source of flash-point ignition.

There's a fire retardant called ColdFire that looks promising, but I don't know how well it would work in a bus's engine room against a fuel or oil fire. Does anyone here use it? I have two small ABC extinguishers, but they wouldn't be much good against an engine fire.

John
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Old 05-04-2017, 12:22 PM   #13
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Only run away i was ever near was in the army. Our oshkosh 8x8 was getting work done, cranked it up and the rpms quickly went higher and higher, black exhaust smoke fountaining to the shop ceiling, mechanics all bailed, last guy to jump off the truck was one of our drivers who happened to have his balled up military rain coat in his hand. He dropped the rain coat into the air intake, the filter and housing had been removed, and the engine shut off.

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Old 05-04-2017, 12:35 PM   #14
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Only run away i was ever near was in the army. Our oshkosh 8x8 was getting work done, cranked it up and the rpms quickly went higher and higher, black exhaust smoke fountaining to the shop ceiling, mechanics all bailed, last guy to jump off the truck was one of our drivers who happened to have his balled up military rain coat in his hand. He dropped the rain coat into the air intake, the filter and housing had been removed, and the engine shut off.
Well, by definition whatever got eaten by that piece of fabric was less expensive than the whole engine or whole vehicle.

One of the videos I mentioned included a moment when a mechanic tried to stuff a decent sized mechanic's towel in the air intake. It disappeared with a slight cough and a momentary change in the color of the smoke. That would be "exit, stage left" in my book! Gotta wonder about the fool who continued to stand there with a cell phone.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:00 PM   #15
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The crazy part is some people will try to block the air flow with their hands, as if they were covering up a two barrel carburetor.
Shoving clothing into the intake can work, but often can go through and cause damage.
An ABC fire extinguisher would likely also stop the engine, probably permanently.
CO2 extinguishers shut down an engine without damage.

Anyone thinking of possible runaway engines might want to invest in a manual shut off valve.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:07 PM   #16
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a manual shut off valve in the air intake seems like the best scenerio..

what is the biggest culprit of runaways? an engine that really needs rebuilt anyway? or a turbo failure?..

I could see a turbo seal failure being something that could ruin an otherwise good engine.. how much of an oil leak into the intake does it take for one to go runaway?

or if you are sucking oil in that much through the rings then that thing was beyond shot anyway..

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Old 05-04-2017, 03:22 PM   #17
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True, and any bus owner would know more or less where he stands engine wise.

My point of view is off frequently because when I was actually wrenching for a living it was always a surprise when an engine would run away. It didn't really cost us anything personally if we put a pair of coveralls through the engine, or even used an ABC extinguisher. Using CO2 became very popular because even engine oil can't burn without oxygen. The engine dies.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:24 PM   #18
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I do like the idea of a manually operated intake flap. If this bus gets that bad I think I'll get something safer.
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Old 05-06-2017, 01:35 PM   #19
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There's a fire retardant called ColdFire that looks promising, but I don't know how well it would work in a bus's engine room against a fuel or oil fire. Does anyone here use it? I have two small ABC extinguishers, but they wouldn't be much good against an engine fire.

John
ColdFire is mixed 3-6% with water. I use it my job and it is effective on vehicle fires. I am mounting a 2.5 gallon water extinguisher on my bus with ColdFire because I can refill it easily if I ever need to use it.
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