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One less Esprit...


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If the source of the fuel continues then yes, it would have been the same. It is better to have a system than not of course, they're relatively inexpensive too compared to a large engine fire.

Handheld ones are rubbish, sometimes the ones we use as Marshals aren't even enough, hence us having so many of them! Powder puts the fire out and then AFFF (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) stops oxygen reaching the hot bits and reigniting the fire.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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The silver S2 that went up a few years back (owned by Arthur Clarke) had a professionally fitted and plumbed in engine bay fire extinguisher system. The system worked brilliantly in putting the fire out quickly, but as soon as it ran out of extinguishant, the fire just self started again as everything was so hot. I'm guessing that would have been exactly the same in this case.

If nothing else, a plumbed fire retardant system gives you a little extra time to get the heck out of the car. Adding an electrical power cutoff when the system activates is probably the best you can do.

Mike - '83 Esprit Turbo, Turbo St. Tropez,  '87 Esprit Turbo  (FrankEnSPRIT), '05 Elise

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The way I see it, having that big, fat extinguisher is better than not having it. This is a room sized model, not the little ones they sell for vehicles. Fifteen to twenty seconds of spray in it.

Some years ago, I had an accursed Triumph catch fire when a fuel line came off, and it backfired as it died. (yes, I had foolishly left the air filter off) A few shots of halon, and it was out.

I should have let the damned thing burn to the ground (TR7). It continued to torment me for another two years.

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Bugger! sad to see but at least you are ok, I was parked next to you at Goodwood the other week.

I have been told that a common problem is on the vent line from the fuel intake pipe which then goes around the top of the window in the engine bay on the partition between engine and interior. The older cars certainly have a type of rubber which hardens and cracks, allowing fuel vapour to escape into the engine compartment. If this vapour ignites and there is a source of fuel in the area, the resultant is a big fire. This line should definitly be replaced, if it breaks to it's bending motion.

That could well be the case as I understand it. It is the vapour that burns not the liquid as its to do with the vapour/boiling point of the propellant. you can put a match out in a bucket of Petrol (not that I will be trying!!)

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Pffft - you guys are SUCH drama queens - she'll polish out and look good as new! Wheeler Dealers would buy a couple of tins of spray paint and some tyre black and sell her at a handsome profit.

Kidding (obviously) Andrew. Glad you're OK, even if your lovely car did get a Viking funeral...

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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Pffft - you guys are SUCH drama queens - she'll polish out and look good as new! Wheeler Dealers would buy a couple of tins of spray paint and some tyre black and sell her at a handsome profit.

I'm sure Douglas Valley will have it soon as a CAT D repairable

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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:detective:

Like others - made me sick seeing that - really glad you're unscathed...

Been thinking about a plumbed in system - I may investigate a little further this week!

Iain

"... the Lotus Turbo (Esprit) owner will not only be comfortable in fast company, but will find, more often than not, that he has no company at all!" Road and Track magazine

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' Featured in Classic and Sportscar Aug 2008 and Wheeler Dealers.

1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 221,000 miles and counting!

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well if youre going to have a car selfcombust get some good pics and they pretty goog pics. lucky you wern't giving it the heavy foot other wise more time to stop, glad you ok and no injuries, cars can always be replaced

all the best

It's Oogies turn to boogie

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Thought I would attach a pic of the extinguisher that I carry in the carb model Turbo Esprit. It has a 9 kG capacity, but I think that I am fooling myself.

Had the foam above the fuel tanks caught fire (they got saturated when the one filler hose was not seating correctly) I would not have been able to direct the foam at the point of the fire and the car would have ended up looking like Andrew's.

I am going to have all my hoses checked this week.

Notice that I do have a battery cutout switch located on the right hand side also.

Edited by Roger 912
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Roger,

Biggest problem with what you've got there is that if the engine starts to go up the last thing you want to do is open up the back. The sudden influx of oxygen could cause a hell of a fireball right where you are standing.

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can only add to what every one else has said, what a sad sight but the main thing is that you are O.K.

What ever people say fighting a petrol fire you have to know what you are doing and the correct way to tackle it.

A small extinguisher would not have been much use

As stated the fire service arrived in quick time and could not bring the fire under control

What we should all learn is to check fuel hoses etc at very regular intervals.

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Toby. My Esprit is a Turbo so it does have louvres not a closed back. But point taken. How the hell do I store a large fire extinguisher in the passenger compartment.

I am wondering if one has an automatic unit, does it have multiple nozzles so that you can cover tops of both fuel tanks as well as the engine bay?

I would love to hear if some Esprit owners have managed to put a fire out before major damage.

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That's about the size of the one I carry. While the SE is still in a test/renew phase, it sits on the rider's floor.

All this discussion about putting out fires got me to thinking - best that it never happens at all. Petrol fires are persistent and very dangerous with the potential for an explosion and burning petrol being thrown on anything nearby, including you. As well, the cracked vent tube can get us complacent about petrol smells in the cabin. And I've seen more than one Esprit parted out due to fire, it's not an entirely unknown event with this vehicle.

I first saw those photos at work, after driving the Esprit in and catching a whiff of petrol every so often. Pulled the extinguisher out of the boot, drove home very carefully, and shut it down until I find the source of the smell. Might be the vent tube, then again it might not. All fuel lines are coming out (hell, they're almost twenty years old), replaced with steel braided hose and terminators from Russell Advanced Fluid Management Systems, a major supplier of competition fuel systems over here. Doing that will run me about USD$200, money well spent. I am not going to stand by the road and watch my beauty go up in flames.

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Very sorry to read this and the photos are nightmarish.

I guess it's one of these thread we can all identify with... sadly.

I truly hope you get a replacement.

ATB.

Edited by Hemlock

Hey whats wrong with this wreck? We`re getting gas back here.

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Absolutely terrible and gutted for you.

Just an FYI we all discuss the bottom of the petrol tanks rusting out and there was a recent post about 3 pinholes in the bottom of one. This is obviously another potential cause of combustion from vapors!

Glad you made it out, that's what counts at the end of the day when you can recite the tale to others and provide a warning.

Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs Italian, the mechanics German, the lovers French and it is all organized by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the chefs British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.

You make something idiotproof, they'll make a better idiot

You think professional is expensive, just wait until you pay for amateur.

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