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Thread: DeLorean Car Fires ...Numbers, Causes and Fixes

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    If you are that worried about fire you can install a fire suppression system such as they have in race cars. They are not meant to save the car though. The main purpose is to buy the driver some extra time to get out. With proper care and maintenance Deloreans are no more prone to fire than any other fuel injected car. Keep a fire extinguisher handy and make sure your insurance has the car well covered and is paid up. The hoses are no more prone to fire and leakage if they are well treated. In fact, the original hoses are better than some of the replacement ones some venders sell!
    I ask here genuinely, not in any way trying to be a pain... how do you use a fire extinguisher on a DeLorean engine?

    And what I mean is not how to use a fire extinguisher in general... I mean, how do you put out a fire when you likely have both the louvres and lower engine cover in the way? It's not something any of us would want to practice, but sort of like how you rehearse an escape plan with your family in your home, I'd like to have some ideas on what to do in an emergency. Most all of us don't think well when you get panicky, and if I was on the highway and the car started on fire, I don't give myself credit for being able to stay super calm.

    Do you think it would be effective to spray a fire extinguisher down through the louvres and engine cover? How about just the engine cover? If the fire wasn't already out of control by the time I was stopped and out of the car with extinguisher in hand, run behind the car and lift up the louvres, I'm not sure I have time to safely pull the lower cover release and then pull up on it without endangering myself big time.

    I think the preference would be spray the fire as is, but I doubt that would get to all the hot spots adequately. If I'm not mistaken, fire crews coming upon a car fire on the highway swing some sort of big axe/hose attachment that punctures a huge hole through the hood and then all in one motion sprays out the tip of it. These guys aren't trying to save the car, they are trying to ensure the lives are saved of anyone around.

    Isn't one of the comments that a fire extinguisher in your car is for saving someone else's car? I don't know that I understand what this means though?

    Thoughts??


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  2. #22
    Senior Member nkemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    With proper care and maintenance Deloreans are no more prone to fire than any other fuel injected car.
    How does one know what quality of "care and maintenance" the PO (PO's) provided? What is the standard of care? Obviously if the system is taken apart you should use new crush washers, avoid improper routing (tight bends, wear points and hot points) and proper torque. But given that how long will the original components last?

    Quote Originally Posted by David T View Post
    In fact, the original hoses are better than some of the replacement ones some venders sell!
    Details! What details can you provide to back up that statement?
    Nick
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I ask here genuinely, not in any way trying to be a pain... how do you use a fire extinguisher on a DeLorean engine?

    Thoughts??
    I guess along with a FE we should carry some sort of pry bar. As you get out of the car, you should be able to release the engine cover from the cabin. But if the fire is licking around the catch you would need a bar to lift it up.

    The other alternative would be to aim the extinguisher from underneath the bumper upwards towards the engine, which sounds easy sitting here in my armchair.
    Dermot
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  4. #24
    Cock Monger thirdmanj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkemp View Post
    How does one know what quality of "care and maintenance" the PO (PO's) provided? What is the standard of care? Obviously if the system is taken apart you should use new crush washers, avoid improper routing (tight bends, wear points and hot points) and proper torque. But given that how long will the original components last?



    Details! What details can you provide to back up that statement?
    All good questions. So many facets to these cars that make them unpredictable. Really, there's very little practical documented history where these cars are concerned. They just weren't around long enough. So much of what we learn about them is through errors, or vendors and owners tribal knowledge. Not like there's a Chilton's manual for them, and I think we can all agree the factory manual is a joke.
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  5. #25
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    I looked into installing a fixed suppression system a little over a year ago. Didn’t get very far with it but recent events have me looking into it again. The big advantage of this type of system would be to buy you time. Time to get out of the car, get your portable extinguisher ready, time to open up the louvers and lower engine cover. If the fixed system puts the fire out, consider it a bonus! The system I am looking at is manual operation (you have to activate the system opposed to waiting for temperature) and consists of a remote bottle, tubing, two nozzles, and a activation handle. As someone pointed out, these are designed originally for occupant protection, and may be limited for their effectiveness on an engine fire. But again, the point is to buy time. It looks like there are two types of systems, a foam based (AFFF) or a “clean agent” (Halon or FE-36). Each will have their advantages and disadvantages – cleanup after activation (either accidental or intentional), effectiveness of the agent (Halon or FE-36 will quickly disperse in the open air environment of the engine compartment), and overall size (the AFFF bottles look much large than the Halon or FE-36). The bottle would have to be installed in the luggage compartment, running the tubing through the passenger compartment, then into the engine compartment.

    But even with a system like this, a portable extinguisher is a must. Looking at the ratings, most of us probably have a small 2 1/2lb (hopefully ABC) type extinguisher. I would recommend two – the 2 1/2lb in the passenger compartment and a larger 5lb in the luggage compartment. The passenger compartment being for your “first strike”, the luggage compartment for a backup. Just based on the raw ratings: The smaller extinguisher will probably be rated “1A:10BC”, which give you the equivalent of 1.25 gallons of water and will cover 20 square feet. The larger extinguisher will probably be rated “3A:40BC”, which will give you the equivalent of 3.75 gallons of water and will cover 40 square feet. Notice what just doubling the size of your extinguisher can do! I would recommend a good quality extinguisher, look for metal handles and valves, and of course make sure they are ABC type (a lot of smaller ones may only be rated “BC”). Keep up on the dates: Disposable extinguishers are good for 12 years – after that, throw it out and buy a new one. Rechargeable types need to be serviced every 6 years.

  6. #26
    DeLorean Taker-Aparter jmettee's Avatar
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    IMO, best "fix" you can do beyond simple maintenance is to have both a portable fire extinguisher AND a battery shutoff switch that you can reach from the driver's seat. Simply put, if you have smoke or a fire, killing the battery will kill the fuel system & also all electrical problems. A simple switch can be thrown to remove all fire sources & then you are left with trying to douse the existing flames.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmettee View Post
    IMO, best "fix" you can do beyond simple maintenance is to have both a portable fire extinguisher AND a battery shutoff switch that you can reach from the driver's seat. Simply put, if you have smoke or a fire, killing the battery will kill the fuel system & also all electrical problems. A simple switch can be thrown to remove all fire sources & then you are left with trying to douse the existing flames.
    I like this Justin. I put a battery shut off switch in my car soon after I got it, but it is not even close to something I could do easily or quickly from the driver's seat. It is one of the ones that attaches to the ground post and then your ground wire cable attaches to the other end of it and the knob/screw in the middle is what you remove to kill the power. It is quite tucked in there on the negative terminal and it's not very accessible in a hurry to get it disconnected.

    Are there suggestions of recommendations out there to do a remote shut off switch, say mounted somewhere behind the driver's seat where you can just turn and hit it? I thought I saw one at some point where it ended up being a button/switch protruding through the battery cover door and carpet and you would basically just reach behind the passenger seat, whack it/turn it/whatever and you're done. No fumbling. Are these sold somewhere?


    Sept. 81, auto, black interior

  8. #28
    Senior Member uhhair's Avatar
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    Saying the cause of a Delorean fire is either "fuel" or "electrical" really is no help. What else on the car is going to cause the fire after those two? If any 1st hand owners of Delorean car fires can/want to post, please be as specific as possible ("Torn fuel line on top of k-jet, etc"). If you can't be more specific or the cause was undetermined, that's fine, but just saying those two doesn't really add much insight to any underlying problems or causes. Just putting this out there to try and gather good information.

  9. #29
    Senior Member uhhair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I like this Justin. I put a battery shut off switch in my car soon after I got it, but it is not even close to something I could do easily or quickly from the driver's seat. It is one of the ones that attaches to the ground post and then your ground wire cable attaches to the other end of it and the knob/screw in the middle is what you remove to kill the power. It is quite tucked in there on the negative terminal and it's not very accessible in a hurry to get it disconnected.

    Are there suggestions of recommendations out there to do a remote shut off switch, say mounted somewhere behind the driver's seat where you can just turn and hit it? I thought I saw one at some point where it ended up being a button/switch protruding through the battery cover door and carpet and you would basically just reach behind the passenger seat, whack it/turn it/whatever and you're done. No fumbling. Are these sold somewhere?
    My car has one, it's installed right behind the passenger seat. PO put a hole in the plastic battery cover compartment to mount the cut off switch. When the seat is back you can't even see it. They sell them all over, just type it into amazon and you'll find plenty of them. I don't think you need a heavy duty one or anything for our cars.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    I like this Justin. I put a battery shut off switch in my car soon after I got it, but it is not even close to something I could do easily or quickly from the driver's seat. It is one of the ones that attaches to the ground post and then your ground wire cable attaches to the other end of it and the knob/screw in the middle is what you remove to kill the power. It is quite tucked in there on the negative terminal and it's not very accessible in a hurry to get it disconnected.

    Are there suggestions of recommendations out there to do a remote shut off switch, say mounted somewhere behind the driver's seat where you can just turn and hit it? I thought I saw one at some point where it ended up being a button/switch protruding through the battery cover door and carpet and you would basically just reach behind the passenger seat, whack it/turn it/whatever and you're done. No fumbling. Are these sold somewhere?
    I did install the remote battery cutoff switch from DMC-NW and love it. I decided to not use the supplied toggle switch and picked up a couple of red and green lighted pushbuttons. It is mounted to the rear sidewall (where the rear driver side speaker is) right above my left shoulder. It lights up whenever the drivers door is opened, regardless of if the battery is on or off. The only things that have power with the battery off are the radio memory wire (and by default the cigarette lighter because it's on the same circuit) and the battery cutoff switch lighting. And those are protected by a fuse directly off the battery. I'll post a picture of the switch when I get home tonight.

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