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126
206
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Louisiana
Spent the rest of the morning pressure washing the undercarriage and brain storming the path forward.

img_5171-jpeg.jpg


At the least I have to replace:

1. Pump hanger
2. Fuel lines
3. Battery box
4. Vapor vent valve

I’ve been planning to revamp the fuel system with a larger feed line and, as I always like to say, never miss an opportunity upgrade. For this round, I’ll increase said feed line from 6AN to 8AN up to the filter. I’ll leave the rest 6AN until I buy a new fuel pressure regulator and finish the job. I’ll also be adding a Holley Hydramat to help with fuel starvation on hard corners..

img_5174-jpeg.jpg
 
277
295
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Virginia
Dude, that's scary. Glad you and the car are ok. Like you said could have been a total loss.

I've never had an issue but starting last year I keep a fire extinguisher in every car. I need to get one for my new daily. You just never know.
 
36
44
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Soddy Daisy, TN
Some of you might’ve seen me mention a fire this past Saturday at an autocross event. I have learned a huge lesson and likely won’t be afforded a third chance to get this right. Here is a copy/paste of a text message I sent a friend on Sunday:

So, on the last big sweeping curve leading to the fast course exit, the car sputtered and the lights flashed. That was my first clue. Holley EFI reset and I noted the PS pump also cycled power. Corner workers reported sparks from what they thought were brakes. Since I’ve been known to thrown sparks from my brakes due to aggressive pads, that didn’t concern me at the moment. Exiting the course there was a lot of fuel vapor but I chalked that up to fuel sloshing and my abbreviated vent line. Parked the car back in the grid and we swapped drivers.

(This part is on video but I haven’t reviewed the actual sequence of events so I’ll take it from memory)

Another car pulled up after a run and I commented on the smell from his brakes. Few moments after that I made the comment the smell wasn’t disappearing and I got curious. Noticed a haze in the car and said we are on fire. Worth noting the car was still running at this point. Popped the trunk, more haze and I noticed flames through a hole in the floor pan. f***! Grid workers scrambled for an extinguisher, which seemed like an eternity, and I put the flame out. Turned the car off.

Initially, I thought the grounded battery superheated the fuel pump leads and they were on fire. It was tough to tell looking through the wheel arch and subframe. Disconnected the battery to prevent a reoccurrence and started checking things out. After much discussion, and poking around, I determined that the pump wiring was intact. If you’ve ever grounded a wire you know that the entire cable gets hot, fast, and the insulation fails rather fast. This was not the case. The conclusion was that the grounded battery superheated the hold down stud and floor pan surrounding it. This likely served as a point of ignition, melted the rubber fuel vent line and the proceeded to burn vapors off the fuel tank just like a flare in a refinery or chemical plant. The smell was burning NVH material, grime and fuel vapors
.

Fast forward to Monday :

Alright. I spent a few hours this morning tearing into the car and here is what I’ve found.

1) The rollover vent valve was indeed on fire. There isn’t much left of it and it makes me sick to see how close it came to totally failing. It appears the vent hose was pinched between the tank and the spare tire well. The nipple for the vent valve had either broken off or melted off. It’s hard to say for sure but that’s why the fire was localized.

View attachment 93426

View attachment 93427View attachment 93428View attachment 93429View attachment 93430

2) The electrical connection for the fuel pump hanger started to melt and ignite as well.

View attachment 93431View attachment 93432View attachment 93433

3) The fuel lines themselves took a beating and, given the fact they’re PTFE lines, I can no longer trust them.

View attachment 93434

4) There wasn’t much structural damage so I will just sand and paint the affected area.

View attachment 93435

Moving forward, I will have my own onboard extinguisher and I will be installing a Cartek GT battery iso kit. Another takeaway is that my so called race prep totally neglected the electrical aspect of the car and, as an electrician, I hang my head in total shame.

Life doesn’t give you many second chances and I dodged a total loss event. I am humbled by this and will implement changes to how I approach things.
Dang man! You got lucky! I too find myself ignoring the electrical systems by being more reactive than proactive. I will be going through the car over the next couple of weeks and this will be on the list.
 
126
206
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Louisiana
Dude, that's scary. Glad you and the car are ok. Like you said could have been a total loss.

I've never had an issue but starting last year I keep a fire extinguisher in every car. I need to get one for my new daily. You just never know.

Thanks man. My co-driver was really bummed he missed the opportunity. I regret that I missed the opportunity to learn from him. He routinely takes FTD or podium finishes and he won top PAX last year and is just FAST in anything he drives.

That’s a good idea and I will be putting something in each of my vehicles.

Dang man! You got lucky! I too find myself ignoring the electrical systems by being more reactive than proactive. I will be going through the car over the next couple of weeks and this will be on the list.

Totally got lucky. I’ve taken things for granted with this car and it taught me a lesson. I hope that anyone reading this takes it as a cautionary tale.
 
Last edited:
126
206
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Louisiana
One of the 13.8kV generators at work decided to essentially melt down internally and I haven’t had much time to put this pony back together. I have, however, had lots of down time to brainstorm (while stuck at work, not working) my fuel system. I’ve decided a new path. Now, I’m going to ditch the stock tank in favor of an On3 Performance 03/04 Cobra style tank and their fuel hat. As many of you know, they have a centered fuel basket and better baffling to prevent fuel starvation during hard cornering.

IMG_5491.jpeg

IMG_5515.jpeg

IMG_5492.jpeg

Shooting for next month because I don’t want to sideline the car any further. I have an event on the 24th. My end goal is a larger capacity fuel cell but that’s going to wait until the SLA, the side exhaust and a few other projects are sorted. So, perhaps next summer.

IMG_5536.jpeg

This is ready to reinstall. The hydramat was a bust and I had to use the pitiful fuel strainer that comes with the QFS pump.

IMG_5534.jpeg

(Note the Hydramat floating around as it mocks me in silence)
 

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