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Berg
04-08-2010, 06:07 PM
I was taking my girlfriend out last night. It was just before sunset, that annoying time when the sun is right in your eyes. As such I turned the headlights on. When I pulled into the parking stall both of us noticed a smell. I had my window down so I thought it was comming from outside. When I turned my headlights off I noticed th smoke comming from behind the headlight switch. We both got out of the car and I hoped that I was only dealing with some smoldering and it would stop once the headlights were turned off. No such luck, the amount of smoke increased. Unfortunately I didn't have any of my tools with me so I couldn't take it apart to get to it. So I did the next best thing: I grabbed the bezel that the switch was mounted in and gave it a yank. I broke it enough to see the flames. I yanked it again and this time snapped it from the car. At this point I could see that the switch itself was on fire and not any of the wiring. I was able to unplug the harness from the defog and headlight switches (minor burn to my finger) and placed the part that was burning on the pavement. Someone walking by had a bottle of water so I used that to put it out. We then had to cancel our date because I had to drive home before it was dark because I could no longer turn on my headlights.

The Good:
-No one was hurt
-Managed to rip burning piece from my car before fire spread

The Bad:
-Car caught fire
-Date was cancelled
-I desroyed a really nice bezel (no scratches, all lettering intact)
-No night driving until I get new headlight switch/rig up something

The Pics:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image065.jpg
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image064.jpg
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image063.jpg

So now I have to find a new bezel and switch. Sigh.

Cheers,
Berg

Naemion
04-08-2010, 06:12 PM
Damn, good to know that you were quick thinking. That could have done a ton more damage to your car.

ChrisD
04-08-2010, 06:20 PM
Holy F Kevin!

Glad you were able to act quick enough to prevent it from destroying the entire car.

I have decided that I am getting an extinguisher for my car. With how much I have played with my fuel system, electrical systems, it only takes one issue to destroy the car, risk my life, etc.

Very glad you and your GF are ok. Too bad about the date tho!

Idiot Stick
04-08-2010, 06:27 PM
She might feel bad and next time you take her out she might give a little extra...

Berg
04-08-2010, 06:28 PM
I have decided that I am getting an extinguisher for my car. With how much I have played with my fuel system, electrical systems, it only takes one issue to destroy the car, risk my life, etc.



I am going by the store tonight to get a fire extinguisher. I have removed the storage unit between the seats so I think I can put a decent sized one there.

I encourage everyone: Get a fire extinguisher for your car!

Cheers,
Berg

RyanD
04-08-2010, 06:38 PM
Another "good thing" to add to your list is you now have a badass story to tell. As Idiotic Stick pointed out, you were pretty much a hero in this situation.

But yeah, sorry about your car...but great work on the quick thinking! That could have been so much worse. Glad to hear you're both okay.

Hipster Lawrence
04-08-2010, 06:54 PM
I got all those parts for sale 20 bucks for the bezel and switch. I got anything else you may need too. I will say that the dimmer does not work on the switch I have but it is otherwise fine.
http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=385684

Berg
04-08-2010, 07:07 PM
Another "good thing" to add to your list is you now have a badass story to tell. As Idiotic Stick pointed out, you were pretty much a hero in this situation.

But yeah, sorry about your car...but great work on the quick thinking! That could have been so much worse. Glad to hear you're both okay.

Well if I get to be the hero I should show my injuries! Here's a pic of the very minor burn I mentioned:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image066.jpg

You can sort of see it just to the right of the centre of the tip of my finger (you may have to squint LOL).

Cheers,
Berg


I got all those parts for sale 20 bucks for the bezel and switch. I got anything else you may need too. I will say that the dimmer does not work on the switch I have but it is otherwise fine.
http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=385684

PM'd

Slider
04-08-2010, 07:08 PM
Yikes! Sounds like you saved the day there.

DudeMan
04-08-2010, 07:15 PM
Doesn't look good, you will definitely need skin grafting.

I would just cut it off.

Berg
04-08-2010, 07:18 PM
Doesn't look good, you will definitely need skin grafting.

I would just cut it off.

I was afraid of that. I knew that cigar cutter was a worthwhile purchase...

Physlis
04-08-2010, 07:52 PM
Good job saving your car and thinking quick. Otherwise you may have ended up on WreckedExotics.com with all those Lambo/Ferrari chumps whose cars spontaneously burnt to the ground.

Berg
04-08-2010, 09:35 PM
Holy F Kevin!

Glad you were able to act quick enough to prevent it from destroying the entire car.

I have decided that I am getting an extinguisher for my car. With how much I have played with my fuel system, electrical systems, it only takes one issue to destroy the car, risk my life, etc.

Very glad you and your GF are ok. Too bad about the date tho!


Just a little food for thought:
http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/advcat.asp?CategoryID=FIRESYSTEMS
http://www.pegasusautoracing.com/productdetails.asp?RecID=5625

What do you think about putting in a permanently mounted fire suppression system as well as a small fire extinguisher? If your concern is more related to engine fires having a couple of nozzles in there that can be triggered from inside/outside th car seems logical. I would think that having to clean fire supprssion chemicals out of an engine bay would be preferable to watching the car burn.

Cheers,
Berg

Edit: For those of us living in climates where the temperature dips below the freezing point the water based foam systems would probably not be the most sensible option.

Cavanagh
04-08-2010, 09:42 PM
Whew! Close call, very nice save.

Shadowlife25
04-08-2010, 10:21 PM
Glad that was stopped as quickly as it was Kevin. Good on you!

Next we need pics of your fire extinguisher setup ;)

andy
04-08-2010, 11:02 PM
dood that was close!!! im so paranoid about fire in my car man, fire extinguisher in all cars!! all the time!! walmart sells them for less than 10 dollars everyone should have one!

Berg
04-08-2010, 11:22 PM
Glad that was stopped as quickly as it was Kevin. Good on you!

Next we need pics of your fire extinguisher setup ;)

I'm going to try and get the extinguisher tonight and install it on the weekend. I'm pretty sure I'm going to mount it where the storage bin between the seats on the back wall of the interior was. I'll take pics then.

The more I think about it the more it sounds like a good idea. An alternative mounting point would be on the floor of the passenger side in front of the seat. This would put it beneath the passenger's knees. Neiter of these two mounting points are ideal as they are a little difficult to reach from outside the car. However, I don't want a little dinky fire extinguisher on the a-pillar on the drivers side as seen in many cars in the magazines. These seem to be there for show only as they are too small to do much good. Also I would imagine that it would be a little distracting having it there and if I were to leave the t-tops off some jackass might think it would be a fun toy to play with.

So I'm going to be looking for a class B C (liquid and electrical fire rated) fire extinguisher non water based (won't freeze) with a gauge for "at a glance" checking that is the largest I can fit in my mounting location.

It really isn't worth not having one!

Cheers,
Berg


dood that was close!!! im so paranoid about fire in my car man, fire extinguisher in all cars!! all the time!! walmart sells them for less than 10 dollars everyone should have one!

As someone who has now had a fire in his car I completely agree!

T-spoon
04-09-2010, 02:57 AM
Fire story: Before I owned my Supra, it belonged to another friend of mine. I was riding along one night and smelled smoke, he pulled over and we found the main engine wiring harness was off the firewall and sitting on the downpipe right at the O2 bung. It was on fire. He didn't even have a cup of water in the car, but somehow I managed to conjure up enough spit to put the loom out (was suprised it worked, being electrical stuff) and then unhooked the battery.

I definitely recommend fire extinguishers... can't risk having dry mouth if something like that happened again!

Berg
04-09-2010, 03:08 AM
Bought a fire extinguisher. Got one for my girlfriends car and one for my father's truck too. It's a dry extinguisher general purpose A, 5-B, C. I'll take pics later.

Cheers,
Berg

lalojamesliz
04-09-2010, 07:48 AM
i have always wanted to buy a fire extinguisher but im worried it will explode from the heat im my car. the temp here were i live has been up to 110*f and is always triple digits in the summer. would a extinguiser hold up to that since tempuratures in a car are always higher than outside?

CriScO
04-09-2010, 09:07 AM
Lucky bastard... When something similar happened to me seven or so years ago the hatchback melted it's entire dash harness! You suck!

:hehe: Seriously though, glad it worked out for you.

Berg
04-09-2010, 02:04 PM
i have always wanted to buy a fire extinguisher but im worried it will explode from the heat im my car. the temp here were i live has been up to 110*f and is always triple digits in the summer. would a extinguiser hold up to that since tempuratures in a car are always higher than outside?

I don't actually know how high a temperature they can be stored at. I do recall an episode of mythbusters where they where trying to see if a fire extinguisher placed in a fire would explode and put the fire out. They had to defeat a safety mechanism to get it to explode. They also had to light a rather large fire to get the temperatures up high enough. There are fire extinguishers specifically built for cars (though I just got a general purpose one) so it should be safe.

Cheers,
Berg

lalojamesliz
04-09-2010, 06:26 PM
i forgot about that episode... ill look into the automotive ones. thanks Berd. glad you wereable to save your car :)

andy
04-09-2010, 06:40 PM
mine has survived 110 degree summers here with no problems.

Berg
04-09-2010, 07:11 PM
So after the freak storm passed last night I went to the store and got my fire extinguishers. I bought one for my car, one for my girlfriends car, one for my dadís truck and one for the living room (we have a fireplace). All the fire extinguishers were the same and were just under $25 CDN each. They are made by Garrison and are the Heavy-Duty General Purpose 1-A 5-B C 2lb rechargeable extinguisher. It has a gauge mounted just below the handle to easily determine if it is in proper working order. The mounting bracket it came with is not my first choice. I wanted a metal one with a latch but every single extinguisher that the store had was either a plastic bracket or just a hook to hang it off the wall. For now Iíll use the plastic one and start looking for a metal alternative down the road. The fire extinguisher states right on the label that it is ďsuitable for use at temperatures from -40 C (-40 F) to 49 C (120 F)Ē. I donít think that it will exceed those temperatures in my car. Now for some pics:

Here is where the switch was in my car. If you look near the bottom left of this picture you can see where some of the white melted plastic of the switch dripped down. Itís a little hard to see but there is some evidence of smoke on the plastic above the gauge cluster.
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image067.jpg
Here is the fire extinguisher that I purchaced:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image072.jpg
Here is the plastic mounting bracket:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image001.jpg
Here is where I plan to mount it. I will make a metal bracket that uses the bolts/screws that held the storage pocket between the seats to bolt the plastic mount to.
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image069.jpg

Iím hoping I will have time to get this done this weekend.

Cheers,
Berg

joe's gt
04-09-2010, 07:15 PM
Its unfortunate that people don't seriously think about fire extinguishers in their car until they've already had a fire. Me, unfortunately, being one of them. I didn't get one till my positive terminal shorted on the metal battery hold down and caused a little fire.

Berg
04-09-2010, 07:40 PM
Its unfortunate that people don't seriously think about fire extinguishers in their car until they've already had a fire. Me, unfortunately, being one of them. I didn't get one till my positive terminal shorted on the metal battery hold down and caused a little fire.

Yeah it's one of those "its better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it" situations. I definaltely found that the second half of that sentence applied to me on Wednesday. When you think of all the potentials in a car for fire (oil, gas, electrics, plastic, etc) it kind of makes you wonder why car manufacturers don't provide mounted fire extinguishers in the car from the factory. I can honestly say that I will never own a car again without a fire extinguisher mounted in it!

Cheers,
Berg

manu
04-09-2010, 08:54 PM
Wow, quick thinking indeed. My jeep caught fire once, and the cheap fire extinguisher I bought was useless, just squirted a tiny bit of something and died off. So I'd like to stress that everyone get a proper one. Especially since my fire was a biggie, you could see the flames through the grill. Clutch cable caught fire too and snapped. Thank god I noticed it quick and drove into a gas station.

The cheapo working there wanted me to pay for their extinguisher!

Also, I'd like to remind everyone (after having my engine bay catch fire twice), to not open the hood in such a situation if you don't have an extinguisher, as it only makes the flames bigger.

Berg
04-09-2010, 09:06 PM
Also, I'd like to remind everyone (after having my engine bay catch fire twice), to not open the hood in such a situation if you don't have an extinguisher, as it only makes the flames bigger.

I would take it one step further and say if there is a fire under the hood and everyone is out of the car and safe, don't bother trying to fight it at all. Getting out of harms way is priority one. I understand that it's a judgement call as to whether or not you can get the fire out, but it isn't worth getting hurt (or worse) to save a car.

Cheers,
Berg

skidMarkNZ
04-10-2010, 08:22 AM
bah! in a mr2 thats least of your worries, motor catching fire would be a bigger problem....

then theres always the youtube vid of a mr2 vs a ford station wagon head on.... wagon a foot shorter....

mr2 front shoved back as far as bottom of windscreen, kind of put me off buying one...

bloodey nice car :biggthumpup:, just dont hit anything front first. :thumbsdown:

Berg
04-11-2010, 12:42 AM
Well I jury rigged an on/off switch to run the lights. I found that grounding one pin turns on the parking lights and grounding another turns on the headlights. I connected wires to both of these pins and ran them to a switch with the other connection on the switch to ground. This turns both the parking and headlights on at the same time. I'm not sure that it is entirely legal, but I'm sure I can get away with it for now. The dash lights do not come on (dimmer isn't in the circuit). The only thing that lights up is the boost gauge (LED connected to the parking light circuit). I have another switch and bezel on the way (thanks hellbillylarry).

The fire extinguisher was mounted between the seats as I planned. I just used some sheet metal to make brackets that used the stock mounting locations/hardware for the storage pocket. I took pictures of it but left my card reader at the office. I will post up pictures on Monday.

Cheers,
Berg

Berg
04-12-2010, 03:52 PM
Here are the pics as promised.

My quick and dirty headlight/parking light switch:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image004.jpg

And the fire extinguisher:
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image005.jpg

Now I'm just waiting on the parts so I can put the dash back together right.

Cheers,
Berg

andy
04-12-2010, 06:52 PM
much better

Berg
04-15-2010, 04:09 PM
So my fire extinguisher was noticed last night. I was at the store and when I came out there were three guys smoking near my car. I disarmed the alarm and put my stuff in the trunk. Then came around to the driver door.

Guy 1: "Hey, whats the fire extinguisher for?"
Me: "In case a fire starts in or near my car."
Guy 2 (to Guy 3): "See I told you!"

Is there some secret use of fire extinguishers I'm not aware of?

I'm still waiting on the parts to get here to fix the dash. It seems like all of the work I do to my car involves an awful lot of waiting.

ChrisD
04-15-2010, 04:19 PM
So my fire extinguisher was noticed last night. I was at the store and when I came out there were three guys smoking near my car. I disarmed the alarm and put my stuff in the trunk. Then came around to the driver door.

Guy 1: "Hey, whats the fire extinguisher for?"
Me: "In case a fire starts in or near my car."
Guy 2 (to Guy 3): "See I told you!"

Is there some secret use of fire extinguishers I'm not aware of?

I'm still waiting on the parts to get here to fix the dash. It seems like all of the work I do to my car involves an awful lot of waiting.

hahaha. Hey just curious, think it might get to hot for the storage rating in there if it is sitting in the sun during the summer?

Berg
04-15-2010, 05:06 PM
It's good until 50C. I don't know how hot it would get in my car. On the warm sunny days I usually have the t-tops off the car. After a quick google search I found that cars in some of the warmer states (like Arizon) have interior temperatures of 120-140F (48-60C). The only way I think I can answer your question is to put a cheap digital thermometre in the car that has a max/min memory and check it after hot days.

Most fire extinguishers have a safety valve in them that releases the pressure if it gets too hot. I'm sure that it won't trigger right at 50C and that I'd have quite a bit of wiggle room. There was a mythbusters episode where they were putting fire extinguishers in fires, and it still took some time to trigger the pressure release. When I'm in the car I would have the windows down and/or the t-tops off, so I don't think there is a danger of it going off while driving.

To be honest though, if it does trigger it just means that I have to get it recharged/replaced and clean out the car. After having the fire start I am more than happy to accept this.

Perhaps someone who has had an extinguisher in their car for a while would have a better idea?

Cheers,
Berg

Edit: It would also depend where in the car it is stored. If it were behind/under a seat it would be shaded and be cooler than the hot air sitting higher in the car. Also consider that most companies that have work trucks have fire extinguishers inside. Perhaps I should tint my windows lol.

Berg
04-26-2010, 04:24 PM
I got another headlight switch. It arrived last week. The wheel that controls the dimmer for the dash lights was cracked and no longer turned the shaft to adjust brightness. Fortunately my old one still worked and it was fairly trivial to swap it over. I'll plug it in tonight and see what I have. I'm not going to put another bezel on just yet in case I have a problem elsewhere that caused the fire.

http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image077.jpg

Cheers,
Berg

renegadex
04-27-2010, 08:07 AM
I have the bezel from an 85 if you still need one.

Berg
04-27-2010, 02:26 PM
I have the bezel from an 85 if you still need one.

Thanks for the offer but I got one with the switch.

I plugged the switch in last night without the bezel. I went to turn on the parking lights but obviously didn't know my own strength and turned the switch too far and turned on the headlights. First thing I noticed was that the dash lights were not on. I got out of the car and checked and noticed that the parking lights weren't on. The fuse had blown, so now I have a gremlin to track down. One thing I can say is that a blown fuse is far preferable to a fire. When I parked the car I hit the arming button on the alarms remote and the parking lights flashed as they should. The alarm turns on the parking lights using a separate fused source than the stock parking light controls. That fuse didn't blow, so I know that the lights themselves are fine. Now I just need to find some time to pull the dash apart and have a look.

Cheers,
Berg

Berg
05-03-2010, 04:10 PM
Gremlin found!

I had a few hours yesterday to figure out what was going on.

Earlier in the week I found that the problem is somewhere in the dash light circuit. When I turned the dimmer all the way down it has a switch that disconnects providing zero power to the dash lights. With the dimmer all the way down everything else worked as it should.

So I started by removing my gauges on the a-pillar to see if my wiring had caused the issue. It all looked good there. I then removed the instrument cluster to see if there was a short in there. It was fine. I now had two more things to check: the clock and the cigarette lighter. The clock is a pain to get out while the dash is in the car so I started with the lighter. I removed the centre consol from the car and checked its wiring. It was fine. I then checked the wiring on the other side of the plug that disappears behind the radio. This is where the problem was.

I am really quite amazed that the car didn't catch fire again, and a little worried that I didn't blow more fuses. There are fours wires going to this plug. One positive when the key is in the acc or run positions, one ground for the power, one power for the lighting circuit, and one ground for the lighting circuit. All four of them had melted together. They hadn't completely melted but they had melted enough that the wires would short to each other randomly if the wires were moved. So it was random at any given time as to what the illumination circuit was seeing on either the power or ground wires.

I cut this mess from the car and redid the wiring. Fortunately I had about an inch of wire I could use at the plug so I didn't need a new plug. I put everything back together and then tested the wiring by both driving around with the lights on and moving the wires by hand. It all seems to be good so I will be putting the new bezel in tonight and move on to the next project.

I'm still keeping the fire extinguisher in my car!


Thanks again to Hellbillylarry for the parts and to everyone else who offered me pieces to fix the car. I really appreciate it!

Cheers,
Berg

Siyx
05-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Think I'm off to Canadian Tire after work ....
Glad there wasn't much damage to your car. Well caught, cool headed to save the day (not the date). Hopefully next dates better for you ;)

ChrisD
05-03-2010, 04:44 PM
Nice find! Any idea how that happened in the first place? Scary situation regardless. Glad all is fixed up. :)

Siyx
05-03-2010, 05:21 PM
In your pic of the fire extinguisher i can't make out if its the Garrison Compact or the Garrison 2lb one. Both are on sale at Canadian Tire right now. $14.99 for the compact and $18.99 for the 2lb, incase any of you Canadians are looking into getting one.
The compact one looks small enough to be able to mount onto your A pillar ... 2lb'er should fit nicely in the back seat within driver's reach.

Idiot Stick
05-03-2010, 06:56 PM
I got one after reading this topic, still don't really have a place to mount it. :(

T-Tops sit in behind the seats, I have the compartment behind the arm rest, I just have it on the passenger floor in the box still for now. LOL.

Berg
05-03-2010, 08:43 PM
In your pic of the fire extinguisher i can't make out if its the Garrison Compact or the Garrison 2lb one. Both are on sale at Canadian Tire right now. $14.99 for the compact and $18.99 for the 2lb, incase any of you Canadians are looking into getting one.
The compact one looks small enough to be able to mount onto your A pillar ... 2lb'er should fit nicely in the back seat within driver's reach.


I have the 2lb one. I wanted to find the biggest one that would fit in the car without it being in the way. This one was perfect in my case. I have found that it can easily be grabbed from either side of the car either through the window or with the door open and it doesn't interfere with me at all when I'm driving.


I got one after reading this topic, still don't really have a place to mount it. :(

T-Tops sit in behind the seats, I have the compartment behind the arm rest, I just have it on the passenger floor in the box still for now. LOL.

Do you use the compartment behind the arm rest? You could bolt it to the floor such that it sits beneath the passengers legs. If you didnt want go drilling holes in your interior to mount it you could put it in one of the trunks. Just so long as you can get to it when you need it.


Nice find! Any idea how that happened in the first place? Scary situation regardless. Glad all is fixed up. :)

Honestly, no. My only guess is that in removing the centre consol and dash so many times the the wires may have been pinched at one point. Like I said on Sunday, every single problem I've had with this car has been my own fault. LOL.

Cheers,
Berg

cell172
05-03-2010, 10:54 PM
Glad your car is ok. I've had a fire extinguisher in the garage for a while but never got around to mounting it in the car. Will do that soon though.

klapa
05-04-2010, 02:30 AM
Note that there are allot of different types of fire extinguishers.

The most common and cheapest - though effective - are the "dry chemical" types. They will put your fire out but also will trash whatever you spray them on.

Best is Halon - but since about 6 years ago Halon is now "taboo" for environmental reasons - still - a Halon extinguisher half the size of a "dry-chemical" extinguisher will put out twice the fire and not harm anything it touches.

So that leaves you with CO2 - very good to put out the fire and harmless to whatever it touches - but costs more and is twice the size.

Berg
05-04-2010, 04:12 PM
Well its all back together and working now. It shouldn't cause me any more problems.
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image085.jpg
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image086.jpg
http://i150.photobucket.com/albums/s117/Berg9987/Fire/Image087.jpg

The light that lit the wiper icon has never worked since I owned the car. Now every single light in/on the car works. So it came out of this situation better than it was when it started.

Cheers,
Berg

cbarett251
05-04-2010, 05:46 PM
wow, looks good. My 85 celica had an electrical short in the steering cloumn that dripped a piece of burning plastic onto my floor mat. I was able to stomp it out with my foot before it did any real damage, but I agree with the fire extinguisher.

underscore
05-17-2011, 06:47 AM
Berg, what does that Toyota button in your last picture do? My brothers MKI has a Start pushbutton in that spot and we're wondering what was there originally.

Hipster Lawrence
05-18-2011, 12:26 PM
Nothing it's just a knockout. If the car were an auto the ECT switch would be there. Or the uber rare fog light switch.

ChrisD
05-19-2011, 05:53 AM
I think Berg won't be able to check in till the end of the month as he's out of country for work.