Author Topic: Fire protection  (Read 3840 times)

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Lewis Hein

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Fire protection
« on: Jul 13, 2017, 09:11:11 AM »
New silly question, but with a little more relevance, I hope.

I live in the middle of a pretty dry place, and many of the places I like to go have tall, dead grass that is pretty much the best tinder ever. Therefore, I'm contemplating some kind of shield for my exhaust to keep it from starting fires; Anyone here tried that? How well did it work? I'm hoping for some proven ideas because this is the sort of job where I'll never know if I did it right. I'll only find out if I did it wrong, because then it will start a fire.

Of course, the obvious solution is not to drive through dry grass. However, if there exists a way to make driving through tinder-dry grass safe, I'd like to know. My current thinking is a large, say 24" wide sheet metal "skid plate" sort of thing stretching all the way along under the exhaust so that combustible materials can't possibly touch anything hot.

Any thoughts, designs, or advice?

Lewis

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #1 on: Jul 13, 2017, 06:37:29 PM »
New silly question....  Any thoughts, designs, or advice?

Hi Lewis,

Well.. you certainly have an affinity for the obscure.. or in your words “silly questions”.

I believe you answered your question… “the obvious solution is not to drive through dry grass”.

Carelessly starting a grassland fire, or wild fire like we experience here in Arizona, is so horrifically destructive and devastates human life, animal life, and structures.  The land is destroyed for decades.  The erosion from the winter weather often adds another level of destruction that in some cases is permanent.

So… if you are one of those people who ignores common sense and egomaniacal then you may suffer the cost of your actions.

With that said, I doubt that you could actually design and construct a sufficient barrier in the form of a huge skip plate that would provide enough protection from the chances of grass getting caught, catching fire and then dropping back onto the ground to start a raging fire.

I’ll share my 5 days days and 6 nights fighting forest fires…..

In the summer of 1966 I fought in two large forest fires near Waldo Lake, Oregon in the Cascade Mountains.

First fire..... Myself and 5 of my crew were caught near the top of a mountain and had to spend the night at about 7,000 feet elevation.  We had scaled a very rocky, almost vertical, bluff in the late morning, so we didn’t have a quick escape down.  We were not on the front line, but doing clean up to put out smokes to prevent flare ups.  The fear of being burned alive, breathing chocking smoke, with limited survival rations was the one of the most adrenalin-pumping experiences in my life.  We were lucky the containment aircraft prevented the fire from topping the side of the mountain we were on.  We spent the cold night cuddling up to hot boulders, with only a few minutes at a time dozing off.  It’s amazing what uncontained smoke and fire in the dead of night does to your sense of alertness!

At daylight, a scouting plane spotted us and parachuted c-rations and water to us. I still have several p-38s that were contained in the c-rations they dropped. For those who may not know what a p-38 is.. google it.

Naturally, my feelings about wild fires is somewhat biased.

That’s just my opinion – it may be worthless.

Gnarls.

« Last Edit: Jul 13, 2017, 07:03:18 PM by Gnarly4X »
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Lewis Hein [OP]

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #2 on: Jul 13, 2017, 08:05:12 PM »
Hi Gnarls,

As someone who watches constantly for threatening fires during the summer months, I quite understand your biases. I have seen a few forest fires and grass fires in my day: I live in a house that was threatened severely by one, and every summer we are vaguely menaced by at least one other. I have no desire to start a wildfire of my own, anywhere.

That said, I know that many people here also live in very dry places, and presumably want to get out in the summer months. Thus, it seemed (and still seems) probable to me that someone has already come up with a safe way to drive a vehicle through dry tinder. If such a way exists, I would probably try to implement it. However, I am unsure of my own ability design it right without input.

So… if you are one of those people who ignores common sense and egomaniacal then you may suffer the cost of your actions.

I definitely am. I ignore common sense every day, and am probably more egomaniacal than most. I also regularly suffer the consequences. But I try to keep my mistakes small, and for some reason starting a wildfire doesn't seem very small.

With that said, I doubt that you could actually design and construct a sufficient barrier in the form of a huge skip plate that would provide enough protection from the chances of grass getting caught, catching fire and then dropping back onto the ground to start a raging fire.
Well, I think it would have to cover about half the underside width of the vehicle, and reach from the engine to the end of the tailpipe. Either that, or case the exhaust pipe in triple wall stovepipe.

It’s amazing what uncontained smoke and fire in the dead of night does to your sense of alertness!
Yup.

Given my above-mentioned egomania and lack of common sense, I will probably try to construct a heat shield. I will probably test it thoroughly with a thermometer. But it seems kind of dumb to actually test anything of this nature in dry grass. What if I made a mistake? What about the design flaw I never thought of or found?

If I had a proven design that was easy to do well, I might have the confidence to actually use it. I'm still sure such a design is possible, but I've never seen one realized. Hopefully, some cleverer person here has done it already.

Lewis


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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #3 on: Jul 13, 2017, 09:43:20 PM »
water heater/furnace ducting all the way around the pipe with a fan to force cooling air all the way down...........
Ed
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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #4 on: Jul 14, 2017, 04:17:59 AM »
So… maniacally going forward….

The exhaust manifold and the collector areas will get the hottest, so protecting those area should be the focus of the design.  The pipe to the cat, the cat if you have one, and the muffler will be the next hottest ignition points to be protected.  If you drive the truck slowly the exhaust will obviously stay at lower temp than if you are running at cruise speeds.

I would take emsvitil’s suggestion and get an inexpensive laser temp gauge.

Wood, dry grass has a typical combustion temperature of about 450 degrees F.  I would imagine the exhaust piping would not get that hot, but I’ve never measured the temperature.  The exhaust manifold will glow red around 800 to 900 degrees.  A tube header can get up to 1000 to 1500d F.

You could design a very simple thin aluminum shield that would be very easily attached to the under carriage. However, that would not prevent flying dry grass from getting up inside it and touching the hot pipe.

emsvitil’s suggestion of wrapping the piping in some kind of thermo insulating material may be the least expensive and simplest way to go.  The fan part would be difficult to make work effectively.

Gnarls.
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2017, 04:40:25 AM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Snowtoy

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #5 on: Jul 14, 2017, 12:59:18 PM »
Exhaust shielding is available, either in a wrap like Thermo-Tec Micro-Louver Heat Shields 11710, the hard "side pipe" shields, or you could use standard header wrap.

I too live in a climate that is exposed to fire danger, usually from late spring through first heavy fall rain, and just to keep things interesting, my property sits on a corner, that people tend to lose/attempt to lose control on several times a day.  Those vehicles, be it cars, trucks, or motorcycles that end up leaving the road, rollover or not, fortunately have yet to start a fire, just had a sedan leave the road last week and sit for an hour , without starting a fire, yet have had two grassland fires within a 1 mile of the house already.

While you should be aware of the possibility of the exhaust system causing a fire off road, heat alone isn't enough to start a fire, you need an ignitable source, and the duration of time needed for that heat source to ignite the combustible material.  The cat is usually the cause of the "hot exhaust" starting fires, and is why it has a heat shield.  As long as you don't purposely park in deep thick tall dry grass, it shouldn't be a concern.   

Results from a test done by the Forest Service using a chainsaw,

https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/programs/fire/spark/html/74511201/74511201.html

Some more info on ignition of common forest materials,
https://stab-iitb.org/newton-mirror/askasci/env99/env99397.htm
https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/jrm/article/viewFile/7009/6619
http://fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/fire07/PDF/f07014.pdf

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Lewis Hein [OP]

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #6 on: Jul 14, 2017, 01:54:12 PM »
Snowtoy,

Thanks for posting the chart and links -- they are super informative, especially the NIST article.

I, too have driven a lot through dry vegetation without a problem -- Some times of year, my driveway is made of dry vegetation. Also, my truck has no catalytic converter. However, I want to be safe rather than sorry.

I think it's next time for a good non-contact thermometer.

Lewis

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #7 on: Jul 14, 2017, 04:16:02 PM »
I suppose the best way to avoid ignition of tall grass is to be taller than said tall grass. Hawaiian style it is!



all jokes aside, I'll be interested to see what comes up on this thread. In the part of AZ I live in, the grass only really comes up to the top of the knuckles, which leaves a good 6 inches of air space. I think the skidplate thing won't work out so great unless you have a way to stop the skidplate from becoming just as hot as the exhaust.
Keep it TOYOTA!

In the past years, I used to get a lot of calls from Jeep owners wanting to go slow like the Toy trucks.

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #8 on: Jul 14, 2017, 07:27:05 PM »
Wow... I LIKE that color!!  I can envision some really cool graphics on that Runner!!! :thumbs:

Gnarls. :D
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #9 on: Jul 15, 2017, 01:32:28 PM »
Most of the grass here is about that size, too. But it only takes one piece that was too tall touching the wrong thing to start a fire. Besides, I don't want to carry a ladder with me everywhere for getting in and out of the truck.

A non-contact thermometer is on order (EXTECH 42510A) to tell me all about it.

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #10 on: Jul 15, 2017, 01:55:40 PM »
... A non-contact thermometer is on order (EXTECH 42510A) to tell me all about it.

Wow... nice thermometer!


Gnarls.
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #11 on: Jul 15, 2017, 04:52:40 PM »
Wow... nice thermometer!

Yup. $30 off eBay. A few dollars less than new price, and about the same as the el cheapo model from Home Depot new.

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #12 on: Jul 19, 2017, 03:17:58 PM »
Your biggest worry you have on your exhaust is the cat, it gets real hot compared to the rest of the system except up at the top on the exhaust manifold/header!!
David & Theresa Fritzsche, 1990 Ex-Cab with a few mods!!!!!!!!! Roseville, CA Sobriety =Serenity

Lewis Hein [OP]

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #13 on: Jul 20, 2017, 09:00:02 AM »
OK, I tested the cat on a different Toyota yesterday with my new thermometer. I hunted and hunted around the catalytic converter, catalytic converter shield, muffler, exhaust manifold, and everything could think of. The highest recorded temperature was 110 C, and the truck wasn't off for more than 5 minutes before I checked.

I'd have checked mine, except for two reasons: First, I have no catalytic converter. Second, the exhaust manifold gasket blew a couple days ago, so it's not going to the field 'til that gets fixed.

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #14 on: Jul 20, 2017, 10:42:58 AM »
These are reasons you need to carry a minimum 5# fire extinguisher and a shovel.  During fire season this is REQUIRED.  If the Sheriff, State LEO, or ODF (Oregon Dept of Forestry) find you on gravel roads with out this, they will fine you.  Sometimes I will carry a 5 gallon jug of water too.   
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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #15 on: Jul 20, 2017, 11:39:26 AM »
OK, I tested the cat on a different Toyota yesterday with my new thermometer. I hunted and hunted around the catalytic converter, catalytic converter shield, muffler, exhaust manifold, and everything could think of. The highest recorded temperature was 110 C, and the truck wasn't off for more than 5 minutes before I checked.

I'd have checked mine, except for two reasons: First, I have no catalytic converter. Second, the exhaust manifold gasket blew a couple days ago, so it's not going to the field 'til that gets fixed.

I don't think 233d F is hot enough to ignite wood or dry grass.

Gnarls.
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #16 on: Jul 20, 2017, 11:44:09 AM »
These are reasons you need to carry a minimum 5# fire extinguisher and a shovel.  During fire season this is REQUIRED.  If the Sheriff, State LEO, or ODF (Oregon Dept of Forestry) find you on gravel roads with out this, they will fine you.  Sometimes I will carry a 5 gallon jug of water too.   

Here in the desert, I always carry a 10# extinguisher.  A 5# wouldn't do didley on a fire bigger than 1/2 dollar.  I always carry a minimum of 1 gallon of bottled water all the time.  If wheeling, I carry 3 gallons.. 1 gallon for each day of a potential 3-day survival event.

I carry an Army shovel in my wheeling kit... to dig a hole for potty left-overs.

Gnarls.
« Last Edit: Jul 21, 2017, 04:43:48 AM by Gnarly4X »
1986 XtraCab SR5 22RE 5speed W56B, ~10,000 MI after break-in, DIM (Did It Myself) rebuilt engine - .020" over, engnbldr RV head, OS valves, 261C cam, DT Header. https://imgur.com/oACTHTR

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Re: Fire protection
« Reply #17 on: Jul 21, 2017, 10:14:45 AM »
Be tall, don't have a cat and try not to drive through it at all.  Avoid parking in it and idling. If you have a route you need to take routinely then drive over the grass a bunch of time before it dries out to mash it down.  Then when it gets too dry for comfort you already have a safe place to drive.

Or you could install something like this to put the fire out:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlS-hN6EmIA
« Last Edit: Jul 21, 2017, 10:33:11 AM by H8PVMNT »
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