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Old 09-05-2023, 01:04 PM
Kerry Pinkerton's Avatar
Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 8,315
Default Check your fire extinguishers

Had a near disaster today. Messing with the roadster...just started it. Heard pop and my friend yelled fire! My Chinese electric fuel pump shorted out. Quickly turned off the ignition and ran to the fire extinguisher. Empty holder. Ran to another, grabbed it and ran back, pulled the handle and nothing.

Fortunately, my buddy was on the way back with his. And the fire was quickly extinguished.

Could have been really bad. No harm to the roadster other than a couple burned wires.

I've already ordered 4 new Kidde extinguishers for the shop.
Kerry Pinkerton

Last edited by Steve Hamilton; 09-06-2023 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 09-07-2023, 10:07 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
MetalShaper of the Month January 2020, March 2022
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Spartanburg, SC
Posts: 2,843

Glad it turned out ok, Kerry.

I had a similar experience at the local HD dealership 30 yrs ago. A bike in service caught fire, along with my friend who was working on it…. While everyone else freaked out and ran away, I used 4 extinguishers plus oil dry to put out the flames. All extinguishers had valid inspection tags but two were total duds. It gets real pretty fast when you squeeze that handle and nothing happens.
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Old 09-08-2023, 12:37 AM
Superleggera's Avatar
Superleggera Superleggera is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dry Heat, Arizona
Posts: 205

Check your fire extinguishers and also WHAT TYPE they are as well. Friend had a titanium fire (mill swarf recycle bin) when a car backfired, and something shot across the shop into the swarf. [One of those million to one deals!] The standard ABC fire extinguishers were dead from old age. There was no class D "dry powder" for metal fires. They grabbed a water hose from outside and tried that -- and you know what happened next with H2O on a fierce titanium fire. Welding area was adjacent to the HAAS with a hydrogen gas welding setup, propane and acetylene tanks. It got pretty spectacular. Total loss along with several million dollars of vintage racecars. Nobody hurt. Insurance battle took two years and only covered a fraction of what was lost. A few functional ABC and D type fire extinguishers would have been cheap in comparison and hindsight -- or would have bought time for the fire department to arrive. Friend didn't rebuild as it was decades of work gone, parts, engineering drawings, tooling, equipment, vintage racecars and more. He bought a sailboat instead as he had no desire to start over at zero.
• me: Mark • home: Dry Heat, Arizona USA • quote: What did you design or build today? • projects: Curve Grande and the 11Plus Le Mans Coupe

Last edited by Superleggera; 09-08-2023 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 09-08-2023, 01:48 AM
Jaroslav Jaroslav is offline
MetalShaper of the Month April 2020, September 2021, November 2022
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 2,572

I have to look into that too. As long as it doesn't burn, no one is afraid.
I once adjusted the level in the carburetor. I had the cover removed. The gas level was open. The float was adjusted by bending the metal lever that closed the valve. The engine spit into the intake manifold. In a second the carburettor was on fire.
I was a little younger. It gave me such strength that I blew the flame away.... I didn't let it burn. I have no idea who breathed so much for me, but it was some kind of miracle. Before I could find anything or even run to get a fire extinguisher, the entire workshop would be in flames. So this kind of stupidity must be done outside with a fire extinguisher behind your ass.

But I understand the fellow with the sailboat. In addition, he went to see where the water was that he missed then......Maybe he extended his life by the change of environment.
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Old 09-09-2023, 04:46 PM
Reno Reno is offline
MetalShaper of the Month May 2020. October 2023
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Reno, NV
Posts: 328

Good one Kerry. My extinguishers were in the "around to it" file, but I hung the new shop extinguisher today.
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Old 09-09-2023, 06:04 PM
Marc Bourget Marc Bourget is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: North Ca
Posts: 708

Extinguishers are "necessary evils" and I've often forgotten.

But being around when the tech re-charges them it appears they settle to a "hard" condition over time.

Anybody know if a monthly/quarterly/?? exercise of tipping upside down and shaking would lengthen the recharging intervals?
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