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My Stag Caught Fire !!!

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    My Stag Caught Fire !!!

    So, I just spent all Sunday performing a complete headlamp change to Halogens, complete with relay control. All went well...intitally.

    On completion I went trhough a set of tests, checking that 4 high beams / 2 Low beams worked BUT not at the same time. The flash worked. All was good.

    I waited for it to go dark, then went out for a drive. I went to the prom where its pitch black and got out to study the beam aim etc... spent a while doing this, decided the offside main beam was out, got back in the car and came home via a shop. while in the shop the lights were on park. By this time I had been out 15 mins or so. Came out and drove back to my house which is about 0.5 mile. Within seconds I could smell burning, looked at the dash board and the alternator light was flickering on and off... I pulled straight over and smoke poured out from the front of the bonnet. Worse, there were flames coming out from the outer headlight and round the indicator lens.

    I quickly turned off the discarnect battery connection removing all battery power only to find the flames would not go out. Yikes.. I did not have an extinguisher.... and the flames kept coming.

    I then rang the local fire brigade.... my wife as by then I was only 150 yards from home. Got her to bring a CO2 extinguisher out. That quickly put out the flames.

    I then thought it must have been something I did with the wiring which I new was a separate circuit, so I made sure it was completely isolated, and started her up... to my suprise no problem so I drove home.

    Once I had calmed down I went back out to survey the damage. It quickly became evident it was something to do with the offside headlight as all else looked OK. Then when I removed the headlamp all was revealed. I could see that behind the main grill all my wiring was exatly as it was, no signs of any damage or anything, which was a relief as I feared the main loom would be melted. But the headlamp was a mess.

    It was clear the problem was totally in the bowl, as outside the bowl all was normal. When I made the change to the headlights, I purchased a H4 loom from Paddocks. It turns out this loom was the problem. The pins on the back stick out and are not insulated. As My bowls are original and metal this was a problem as clearly they were mm's away from touching and of course that was that.

    I can't believe they supply a harness as poor as that. On the one hand the metal bowl caused an issue as it was a great ground that a plastic bowl would not have been. On the other, the metal bowl acted as a great firewall. The plastich bowl would just melt and created more fire.

    What was the main fuel of the fire? The rubber boot that goes on the back of the reflector. Nothing left of that.. quire flamable... also not very clever. Which leads me to a question. Is that boot really meant to go round the bulb? Those bulbs get very very hot and as the boot is flamable, thats a bit poor.

    IMG_1805.JPG
    IMG_1804.JPG
    IMG_1806.JPGIMG_1807.JPGIMG_1808.JPG



    Hopefully my paint is not too bad... can't really tell at the moment due t all the soot.

    Next weekends job is now lined up but not what I thought it would be...

    Dave

    #2
    Whew lucky there..

    Did you add fuses as well as relay control? I cant see that happening with a correct fuse configuration..

    When you just add a relay the "normal" fuse is no longer protecting the lamps, its just protecting the relay coils..

    Terry
    Terry Hunt, Wilmington Delaware

    www.terryhunt.co.uk

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by trunt View Post
      Whew lucky there..

      Did you add fuses as well as relay control? I cant see that happening with a correct fuse configuration..

      When you just add a relay the "normal" fuse is no longer protecting the lamps, its just protecting the relay coils..

      Terry
      There was a fuse for the lamps in place... it was a 30A based on the max 4x 55W = 220W 18A.. I thought 20A might be a bit too close so the next up was a 30A. It did go though it melted the plastic.
      IMG_1822.JPG

      Originally I had planned a dual feed, one to the HB one to the LB, but as both are nver on at the same time there seemed little point, maybe now I am thinking a bit differently as if they were on a separate fuse I could have used a 10A in that position. a lot lower.

      Comment


        #4
        Well it went.. eventually!

        Maybe thats a lesson, I'm thinking I'll fuse mine seperately!

        Terry
        Terry Hunt, Wilmington Delaware

        www.terryhunt.co.uk

        Comment


          #5
          Are you sure the spade connectors were pushed fully home and latched into the plastic housing?? I ask because I recently redid the headlamps on my Sprint and when I pushed the connector onto the lamp two of the spade connectors pushed out the back as the little locking tag had not clicked into place, simply pushing them home with a small screw driver clicked them into place and they were then fully recessed inside the plastic connector housing. They certainly should not sit proud and exposed at the back.

          The rubber "seal" is there to stop moisture ingress resulting in misted up headlamps. It should be moulded in fire retardent material - but like a lot of repro stuff these days it is only made to look good.

          Roger
          White TV8 BW35 no mods and now a Dolly Sprint to keep it company
          So many cars, so little time!

          Comment


            #6
            Dave,

            Really sorry to hear and see of your troubles, but did you consider the 'upgrade' LED quad dip conversion option that are available for Stags now. I have not gone down this road myself yet, but am really considering it.

            Tony

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Tony Triumph View Post
              Dave,

              Really sorry to hear and see of your troubles, but did you consider the 'upgrade' LED quad dip conversion option that are available for Stags now. I have not gone down this road myself yet, but am really considering it.

              Tony
              Yes I definitely considered it. It would have cost an extra 240 (Better Car Lighting). The LED's are great but I virtually never go out at night or in bad weather so I could not justify it. When the Halogens were working I was impressed with them, so am/was happy with just Halogens.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by marshman View Post
                Are you sure the spade connectors were pushed fully home and latched into the plastic housing?? I ask because I recently redid the headlamps on my Sprint and when I pushed the connector onto the lamp two of the spade connectors pushed out the back as the little locking tag had not clicked into place, simply pushing them home with a small screw driver clicked them into place and they were then fully recessed inside the plastic connector housing. They certainly should not sit proud and exposed at the back.

                The rubber "seal" is there to stop moisture ingress resulting in misted up headlamps. It should be moulded in fire retardent material - but like a lot of repro stuff these days it is only made to look good.

                Roger
                Thats a great point. No, I did not and that could explain it... I will check that on the rebuild.

                Regarding the rubber seal... I can'r be certain that was the cause. The bulbs are red hot and having rubber up against them is really dodgy.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Having read through this Dave, all I can say is thank goodness both you and the car are safe. It could so easily have been different.

                  Having also done a similar upgrade recently, you have now given me a reason to take it all apart and check it again! Although I bought new plastic bowls as well, so I don't think the same thing could happen on mine.
                  Header tanks - you can't beat a bit of bling.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Glad the damage was limited. Triumph's original design provides for a separate fuse for each element. IMO, this is a good plan. As Dave has discovered, 1 x large fuse doesn't provide adequate protection to the complete circuit. Also, and just as important, a single fault can result in total loss of light which is bad news if you're belting along a country road at nght .

                    As offered previously, if anyone's interested, they can PM their email and I'll send a copy of a design - this covers up to 4 x dip and 4 x main (a modded version of Grampian Stag's design).

                    Jonno
                    White 1976 build ("Mk2") only a few mods

                    Comment


                      #11
                      glad you and the car are ok.
                      go with 2 relays, dip and main, power these from a 3rd relay that is ignition live.
                      then its ignition off, lights off. and fuse everything. I have done this and gone to led's from Gil at better car lighting.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by StagJonno View Post

                        As offered previously, if anyone's interested, they can PM their email and I'll send a copy of a design - this covers up to 4 x dip and 4 x main (a modded version of Grampian Stag's design).

                        Jonno
                        Sounds like just the kind of thing that would go well in the tech section here Jonno
                        Paul - 3 projects, 1 breaker - garage built and housing 2 white Stags. One runs, one doesn't

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Bakdraft007 View Post

                          There was a fuse for the lamps in place... it was a 30A based on the max 4x 55W = 220W 18A.. I thought 20A might be a bit too close so the next up was a 30A. It did go though it melted the plastic.
                          IMG_1822.JPG

                          Originally I had planned a dual feed, one to the HB one to the LB, but as both are nver on at the same time there seemed little point, maybe now I am thinking a bit differently as if they were on a separate fuse I could have used a 10A in that position. a lot lower.
                          The spade type fuse ratings are different from the old glass fuses.

                          1. With glass fuses the rating is the blow point - so you have calculate the actual current draw and add on a factor. 50% is reasonable so for 20 amp current drawing a 30 amp fuse would be reasonable.
                          2. With blade fuses, the marked rating is the actual current draw in continuous use, the manufacturers building in the blowrate margin. So your 30 amp blade fuse had a blow point of about 45 amps - that’s why it didn’t blow quickly.

                          I built my own relay system similar to yours and used a 10 amp fuse across the two dipped outers and a 20 amp fuse across the 4 main beam.

                          As a bit of belt and braces, I used ceramic H4 and H1 plug sockets (rather than the brittle plastic ones) to manage the heat generated by the lamps. These are the normal spec for HID light systems, which run really hot.
                          Last edited by Carboy0; 11 February 2020, 11:09.
                          Chris
                          Magenta Stag TV8 MOD

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Goldstar View Post

                            Sounds like just the kind of thing that would go well in the tech section here Jonno
                            Happy to have it on there. Problem is that the pdf is too big for the system to accept (1.9MB). If anyone knows how to get around this, please shout up.
                            White 1976 build ("Mk2") only a few mods

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Phil S View Post
                              glad you and the car are ok.
                              go with 2 relays, dip and main, power these from a 3rd relay that is ignition live.
                              then its ignition off, lights off. and fuse everything. I have done this and gone to led's from Gil at better car lighting.
                              Phil - interested to hear from you what the beam spread and definition is like with those LED bulbs, especially on dip?
                              Header tanks - you can't beat a bit of bling.

                              Comment

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