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Fire Supression System Questions


snowman
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New Chump here.  I'm building my first car, and I have a question for the people about a fire suppression system.  I searched the forum, but I couldn't find anything less than a couple years old so I figured I'd post something.  

 

RacingFireSystems.com has two listed under their "Recommended Systems."  Both have a ChumpCar discount....

1) 4.0 Liter Multi-Flo Steel Mechanical AFFF System

2) 2.25 Liter Mechanical Alloy Clubman AFFF System

 

Has anyone ever used either of these?  The 2.25 is obviously cheaper, but I thought it was too small to be legal.  Any feedback is welcome at this point. Hopefully I'll see you on track soon!

 

http://www.racingfiresystems.com/RacingFireSystems.com/Recommended_Systems.html

 

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Here's what a (recently out of certification) 4L system looks like out of the car:

 

 

 

No, the garden hose was not the only backup.  There were 2 more people each with 10lb dry-chem extinguishers off-camera.  Had to discharge the extinguisher to send it off for re-cert, thought I'd see how it works.

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2 hours ago, Hi_Im_Will said:

Here's what a (recently out of certification) 4L system looks like out of the car:

 

Had to discharge the extinguisher to send it off for re-cert, thought I'd see how it works.

 

Also, when you have that bottle plumbed through appropriate nozzles it will run considerably longer.  I might try that with our 2.25 bottle when we send it for service.

 

OP, first thing to understand is they're not intended to put out fires.  Their purpose is to buy the driver time to exit the vehicle safely.  That said, the bottle volume is mostly determined by car size and where you need/want nozzles.  We currently have the 2.25 lifeline club system and have one nozzle at the driver and one in the engine compartment.  Its probably marginal for our needs initially and since we now have a cell in the hatch are going to upgrade to the 4.0L system sometime before our next race.  In a small open car like a Miata, the 2.25 will probably do just fine.  But 4.0L can't hurt either.

 

I've always preferred AFFF over any gaseous systems in race cars for several reasons.  1). Gaseous systems don't protect against re-ignition whereas the AFFF does. 2.) Gaseous systems really need a sealed environment to work best. They work by cutting oxygen to the fire. 3.) Halon is banned from mfg and controlled by the gov't.  It is very expensive and difficult to source and illegal in most countries outside the US.  FE36 and other Halon replacement gases are generally more expensive as well.

 

AFFF is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.  It also wipes up with a damp cloth.

 

As for electric and mechanical, mostly a budget and personal preference.  Electric systems are typically more expensive to buy and service if you set it off due to the frangible seal and ignition cap (lifeline anyway).  I prefer a direct connection via cable.  AFFF requires service every 2 years.

 

Disclaimer: I sold and serviced Lifeline systems for nearly 10 years.

 

 

Edited by Bremsen
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53 minutes ago, Bremsen said:

 

Also, when you have that bottle plumbed through appropriate nozzles it will run considerably longer.  I might try that with our 2.25 bottle when we send it for service

 

 

Helps to keep it sideways.  Holding it upright really cut the flow rate.  When the manufacturer says mount the bottle on its side, they mean it.

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Get the cable . How do you know if the electric is going to work?   We just did an old Super V that had an electric switch. It was in for weighing the bottle . The plug was unhooked at the bottle , no body knew.   With a  cable, you can give it a little tug and have a pretty good idea that it will work.  KISS works more often .  

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Helps to keep it sideways.  Holding it upright really cut the flow rate.  When the manufacturer says mount the bottle on its side, they mean it.

 

Depends on the system.  LL's have a flexible dip tube that allows the cylinder to be mounted in just about any orientation.

 

 

Don't forget, AFFF can be recharged at the track after an accidental (or deliberate) discharge!

 

Again, depends on the system.  Some kits have that feature, but not all.  100% true story: we tested a remote charge "self-servicable" system years ago when they were first released.  When we set the system off, the charge from one of those larger C02 bottles like paint guns use was so severe the bottle with AFFF exploded. Tore a hole right out of the side and could have easily hurt one of us.  Needless to say, we declined offering that system to our customers.

 

IMHO,  Lifeline is my first choice followed by SPA.

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