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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: robertglines1 on January 26, 2012, 07:00:32 AM

Title: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 26, 2012, 07:00:32 AM
 Egg on face:: Just talked to Mike G. Previous owner of the coach.  Horses Mouth. The stories I have been told do not hold truth. It was not brakes! It was not Brakes! I was looking for a problem and a reason that did not exist.  It could but in this case did not.  For my part in this deception I am sorry. It was a badly run power cable by converter he purchased several coaches from. Of which two burned. Nice guy and he is sending me pictures of fire. According to fire Chief/inspector the main power cable was run un protected thru the rear axle area. No conduit or protection and shorted out...It was electrical!! I shared with him what else I found when tearing out the inside and all the sloppy electrical work.  At least I know for sure now and it put my mind more at rest for a reoccurance.            Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: rv_safetyman on January 26, 2012, 09:40:14 AM
Bob, there were a couple of detailed studies in Finland in 2000 and 2001 that studied quite a few commercial bus fires.  High amperage 12V/24V cables caused a bunch of fires.  The links are:

http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/uploads/6hdieo2.pdf (http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/uploads/6hdieo2.pdf)

http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/uploads/gvty79bpq89a.pdf (http://www.onnettomuustutkinta.fi/uploads/gvty79bpq89a.pdf)

With the exception of the short run from the battery to the starter, I install a fuse on at least one end of my high amperage circuits.  On my auxiliary belt driven engine alternator, I have a fuse at the alternator end as well as the house battery bank end.  I was also careful to shield the welding cable that I used to run the circuit.

I have been working with a distributor to develop a fire detection system for commercial vehicle systems using a product called Protectowire for the temperature sensing:

http://www.protectowire.com/products/protectowirelhd.htm (http://www.protectowire.com/products/protectowirelhd.htm)

One of his customers asked us to prototype a battery shutdown system using low temperature Protectowire strapped to the battery cable that would trigger a large solenoid which would disconnect the battery from the system.  They were really concerned about electrical fires.

Jim
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: artvonne on January 26, 2012, 12:42:00 PM
  Interesting how many fires were Volvo's. Maintenance plays a big part, but proper engineering and quality construction plays the biggest part.
 
  Obviously this fire Bob is discussing is from poor engineering, running a large capacity wire unprotected through an open axle bay is asking for trouble and they found it. You dont have to be a licensed engineer to properly build things. Its all in books and its all basic stuff anyone can learn. How many of us have seen cars with stereo and other electronic junk wired so poorly its amazing more dont burn to the ground.

 There are basic mechanical practices books on Aviation available at many libraries, that show accepted practices for routing and configuring of electrical wires, conduits, plumbing and hydraulic lines, wires and hoses. They show proper fastening and construction techniques of metal and wood and fabric, bolt and fastener size charts, soldering and bonding practices, etc., etc.. Its basic material and information thats been known and taught for almost 100 years. Its not that much more expensive or difficult to do it right, its just a little more time consuming which all too often these days is being sidestepped for profit.

  When we were wrecking Buses, my Father who was a retired aircraft mechanic, pointed out a lot of construction details he saw on the older GMC's, especially the wiring, that more resembled an aircraft than any other machine. And 95% of it is buried away in the bowels of the Bus where it will never be seen until it is de-constructed. Its a testimony to that level of quality and engineering that so many are still on the road today. 
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 28, 2012, 08:04:47 PM
pic I reposted pictures here under proper topic
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 28, 2012, 08:06:42 PM
rest of pic
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: Brassman on January 29, 2012, 09:14:36 AM
Those pictures are enough to make a grown man cry.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 29, 2012, 04:27:13 PM
I recently purchased a fire extinguisher from Jim Shepard that would have made this a repair instead of a major loss. Jim said I should be a salesman for him. But his product will put out burning tires.  I spent less than $200 for insurance/piece of mind that I could control a minor fire like this  before it turns major. The fire did not burn thru the floor. The pictures are in order of occurrence. I learned from them.   Bob.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: artvonne on January 29, 2012, 04:57:36 PM
  That is really sad to see. Along with a good extinguisher it would be a good idea to have an axe/hatchet handy as well as bolt cutters. The old Buses used to have a hatchet near the driver.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: white-eagle on January 29, 2012, 05:46:31 PM
With the exception of the short run from the battery to the starter, I install a fuse on at least one end of my high amperage circuits.  On my auxiliary belt driven engine alternator, I have a fuse at the alternator end as well as the house battery bank end.  I was also careful to shield the welding cable that I used to run the circuit.
Jim

and where does one find these fuses?  i got a feeling there are a couple i should have.  :-[ :-[
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: rv_safetyman on January 30, 2012, 09:01:22 AM
I use this system:

http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-FBL-200-Class-Block/dp/B001539B60 (http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-FBL-200-Class-Block/dp/B001539B60)

On my house battery system I use the fuse/holder that I bought from Wrico.  I just looked and my spares came from Xantrex and are part number JJN-400 amp.

On my alternator system I use the same type fuse holder and mounted 200 amp (I think) type T fuses. 

There are type T and type J fuses.  As I understand it, the type T is better suited to our need and are rated "fast acting".

The fuse holders seem to be generic and are designed so that the cable is held in place with compression screws.  You and also modify it to bolt terminals to the holder.  The fuses bolt in with two bolts and the spacing is universal for any fuse rating.

Jim
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: luvrbus on January 30, 2012, 09:57:53 AM
Bob, I was told that was a electrical fire and caught the tires on fire you see Prevost burn in that fashion wasn't the converters fault unless he converted Marathons also lol same cause the one to burn in Phoenix a couple of weeks ago fwiw Prevost uses a mickey mouse plastic terminal block with a bolt in the middle to tie the battery cable together on the frame and body a accident waiting to happen IMO 

good luck 
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 30, 2012, 02:24:54 PM
I have been careful putting it back together. No plastic connector blocks for me. Also I run in conduit when exposed to elements . Isolate as much as possible with insulation and straps.  Do ever thing I can to prevent fire but be prepared in case of one.   There was a black tape wraped wire harness from back to front that was non Prevost that was burned into in that area. It did not apear to be secured to frame but tie wraped to Prevost harness.  Contained about 30 wires. Some of which I have not figured out yet. Most were Generator control ,webasco,hot water heater,etc. It was burned into about center of rear differential.     Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: Zeroclearance on January 30, 2012, 03:21:18 PM
Clifford,  I am trying to picture which terminal block you are referring to?

I know that there are a few terminal blocks with posts that pass thru the battery compartment to engine?bulkhead.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: DKO on January 31, 2012, 01:54:46 PM
Glad Mike G. was helpful to you, Bob. He is a great guy. He has been a big help to me...
Those pictures hurt!

DKO
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: artvonne on January 31, 2012, 03:40:00 PM
  How far from having it repaired are you? That quite the project.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on January 31, 2012, 04:54:59 PM
launch date may-june this year. taking a 2 month break in a couple weeks. run to sun. Haven't been in a hurry on this build as it is the last one!!!! Next step is try to wear it out.   Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: Oonrahnjay on January 31, 2012, 06:05:23 PM
   I use this system:

http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-FBL-200-Class-Block/dp/B001539B60 (http://www.amazon.com/Go-Power-FBL-200-Class-Block/dp/B001539B60) (snip)

      Amazon show the 200 Amp fuse as about $53; photos showing a very similar 300 and 400 Amp fuse block are about $68.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: RnMAdventures on February 02, 2012, 08:50:53 AM
Thanks for posting the pics and info on the fire. It is on my Rodolfo's list to verify all wiring.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on March 08, 2012, 06:14:45 AM
bump; pictures of what was determined as electrical cable to bare metal.  Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: Zeroclearance on March 08, 2012, 09:53:53 AM
Bob which cable..  You have four sets of electrical circuits on your bus.   Which alternator did the bus have?  Delco 50DN or Bosch?   If the bus was a entertainer you have another 12volt alternator driven off your A/C compressor.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on March 08, 2012, 12:32:27 PM
really don't know was on drivers side bare wire above tag aparently apeared to be 24 volt cable there was still what was left of a cable junction box in the wires I stripped out but no housing just stud about 1/2 inch in diameter and bare cables attached with eyes on them..Wish I could help more.   Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: Zeroclearance on March 08, 2012, 01:15:29 PM
Bob, like you I have gone thru my wiring systems.   On the H3 and new XL's we have the battery box on the curb side.   Don't you have the Vanner and batteries in a contained cabinet?   Behind your drivers tag you should have your secondary electrical for your trans and A/C?   I guess the question is?  Was it the PRevost system that failed or your HOUSE charging system.   From what I have seen, it is the curb side frame rail that takes the high amperage DC cables.   Once inside the cabinets they are routed in PVC conduit to the front of the bus.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on March 08, 2012, 01:23:11 PM
did not enter pvc until rear bay bulk head in front of differential. were exposed to elements and just fastened to frame members.  wire bundles when leaving pvc area in front of rear axle were in flimsey wire reinforced fiberducting.  All wireing and air lines are good center line of rear differential foward in my case no damage and were not in any protected wrap except thin binding. no pvc or ducting. Battery cables were not enclosed but mearly fastened to frame members.
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: robertglines1 on July 27, 2012, 06:13:44 AM
bump thought this would fit in with fire topic being caused by dc wireing not my original assumption of brake fire.   Bob
Title: Re: Bob's True cause of 45 Xle Fire.
Post by: belfert on July 27, 2012, 08:05:49 AM
It is important to note from Bob's first post in this thread that a cable added by the converter caused this issue.  It was not a cable that Prevost had installed.

My main 4/0 cables to my inverter run through a PVC conduit, but not all the way from the batteries to the inverter.  There are several feet at each end of the cable that are not protected.  Would it be a good idea to cover the exposed cables with flexible conduit like the blue ENT tubing?  I do have appropriate fuses on each cable.